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Recreating Restaurant Dishes at Home

After having lunch at a new vegan restaurant in Miami, I was so excited about the flavors that I wanted it again the next day. Being one who doesn’t eat out frequently, I figured it was time to see if I could replicate it at home. Getting more comfortable in the kitchen over the last few years is probably one of my favorite new skills. Turns out spending time chopping and dicing can be kind of meditative!

Since going dairy free, I haven’t experimented much with cheese alternatives because I feared  it would taste like the fat free cheese we used to buy in the early 90’s…GAG.  Plus, I was convinced I could just get by sans anything cheesy by sticking to whole foods. While this is generally true, by not giving myself any options it was much easier to give in to bites here and there of David’s cheesy foods; each one sending me right back to an upset stomach.

Choices Cafe had a spicy black bean, quinoa wrap with Daiya cheese and it was DEVINE.  Post lunch I headed to Whole Foods bought some and started learning how to cook with it…and um eat it out of the bag. Yeah, I liked the flavor and no this isn’t a sponsored post.

Here is the absolutely gorgeous wrap from Choices…
Choices Cafe Black Bean Wrap
Here is what it looks like when you make it at home and don’t put it in a wrap…loses a lot of the pretty factor, but I swear it’s DELICIOUS and at home I can always make it more veggie dense.
Black Bean, Quinoa, Pepper Salad

Ingredients
  • 1 green pepper diced
  • 1 red pepper diced
  • 1 carton mushrooms
  • diced garlic
  • diced onion
  • McCormmick Fiesta spice (or own blend)
  • 1/2 cup uncooked quinoa
  • 1 can black beans (whole or refried) 
  • Daiya cheese - or regular if not Vegan or Dairy Free

**optional avocado and gluten free wrap

Directions
  • Dice all peppers and onions
  • Cook quinoa according to directions
  • While quinoa is cooking sauté mushrooms, onions, garlic and peppers - 7 to 10 minutes depending on volume
  • Combine quinoa, black beans, sautéed veggies and spice
  • Top with Daiya cheese while still hot - can put in the microwave for a few seconds if it’s not melting

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I preferred this with the whole beans, but I used what I had available which was refried and it still tasted fantastic! I used a lot of spice to kick it up, but loved the overall texture this creates.

Have you ever tried a vegan cheese? Do you find yourself trying to recreate dishes at home? Do they measure up?
--------------------------------------------Running_motivation
Gratitude Journal
Jan 24
I am grateful for finding a lot of new ways to incorporate quinoa in my diet!

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