Ichiban Spring Rolls with Dipping Sauce

Vegetable Spring Rolls
These little treasures are the best. The spring roll skins are perfectly wrapped and fried to perfection. The layers of vegetables blend so well with the dipping sauce. The sauce is nicely sweet and sour, with just a hint of spice to set off your taste buds.
Be sure to check them out the next time you visit Ichiban Sushi and Hibachi Restaurant in Ocean Springs.

Cruising the Coast and Ichiban Sushi and Hibachi Restaurant Ocean Springs, MS

Vegetable Sushi

Cruising the Coast 2011


Ichiban Sushi and
Hibachi Restaurant

Across from Hartz
Chicken on Highway 90.

This is one of my favorite restaurants right now. The
sushi is to die for whether you are a vegan or not. My favorite roll is the
vegetable roll pictured on the left.
Their vegetable spring rolls are also wonderful as well. We are regulars
there and look forward to going there every week.  Be sure to say hello to Amy the owner. She is
one of the sweetest ladies in the restaurant business here.  Her wait staff are well trained and the
service is spectacular.  The sushi chef
are awesome.

She is currently running an $11.95 all you can eat sushi
lunch from 11 am until 3 pm every day.  I
only get to eat the lunch special on Sunday afternoons because I work in
Pascagoula and it is too far to drive during the week.

If you are in Ocean Springs for one of the cruising the
coast events, stop by and check this restaurant out.

Jicama Noodle, Orange and Avocado Salad and Cruisin the Coast

Jicama Noodles, Orange and Avocado SaladIt is cruising the coast this week. The cars starting rolling yesterday and it is awesome to see them in their glory.

Jicama Noodle, Orange
and Avocado Salad

1 jicama, run through a spiralizer making fine noodles

1 can mandarin oranges, drained

1 avocado, peeled and diced

1 cup chopped peanuts


Zest of 1 orange

2 Tablespoons fresh orange juice

2 teaspoons cilantro paste

1 teaspoon mustard

1 teaspoon honey

2 Tablespoons Olive oil

Wash and peel the jicama and chunk into pieces that will
fit into the spiralizer. Run the jicama through the spiralizer.  Cut the noodles into bite size pieces to make
for easier handling. Drain 1 can of mandarin oranges and set aside. Cut the
avocado in half and de-seed and take out of the shell with a spoon cut into
bite size chunks. Chop 1 cup of peanuts.

In a large bowl, put the ingredients for the dressing
into it. Whisk until emulsified. Add the jicama, oranges, avocado and peanuts.

Enjoy right away or refrigerate for an hour so the
flavors will meld together.

Note: If you do not have a spiralizer, you may use a
mandolin or potato peeler to make the noodles. They will not be as fine cut as
the noodles put through the spiralizer.

Jambalaya Stuffed Red Peppers

I have been testing out new recipes to add to this blog. I used a base recipe from John Besh out of New Orleans to get the correct flavors come through in the jambalaya. The recipe comes from “My New Orleans” cookbook but his recipe serves like 10-15 people, so I had to cut down the spices and the quantities of the vegetables to get the right consistency to the mix when it was done. I have substituted faux meats in this recipe to keep it vegan. I made jambalaya with a little extra cayenne pepper and should have cut back on it some. It was real good with the bread to put out fire that was burning my mouth.

My Anaheim pepper also had more heat than normal and that may have added to the heat factor in the dish. Every one in my family liked it and said the heat factor was just fine.

Jambalaya Stuffed Red Peppers         

Jambalaya Stuffed Red Peppers

Bacon, Sausage Jambalaya Filling

6 slices vegetarian bacon slices, cut in 1” strips

6 patties vegetarian sausage, cut into chunks

1 large onion, diced

1 red pepper diced

1 Anaheim pepper, diced

2 stalks celery, diced

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 ½ teaspoons thyme

3 bay leaves

2 Tablespoons smoked paprika

1 teaspoons cayenne pepper

1 ½ teaspoons celery seed

1 (14 oz) roasted tomatoes with basil

2 cups no chicken broth

1 cup jasmine rice

3 green onion chopped

2 Tablespoons olive oil

1 teaspoon brown sugar

2 Red peppers sliced in half and seeded

In a large pot, add olive oil, onions, peppers, celery,
garlic, veggie bacon and veggie sausage. Cook until sausage and bacon are
crispy and brown Add thyme, smoked paprika, brown sugar, cayenne and celery
seed. Cook for 1 minute. Add tomatoes and no chicken broth and jasmine rice.
Bring to a boil and then reduce to simmer for 25 minutes or until rice is done.
Add the green onions at the end and fluff with a fork.

Stuff the pepper halves with the jambalaya mixture and
put the peppers in a steamer basket. Steam for 25 minutes.

Best stuffed peppers I have ever had.

There will be leftover jambalaya for the next few days or
you can freeze it for another time.  As
with all spicy foods they blend better for the next day.

Mexicali Black Bean and Rice Burrito and the end of the Labor Day Weekend 2011

Wow, what a wild weekend. After 3 days of constant rain, there is finally sunshine. Tropical Storm Lee is finally past us and moving its way Northeast. Our pool filled to almost overflowing and I was concerned it would start overflowing into the house, but we were saved from that disaster.

I made these for burritos for lunch today and they were a real hit.

Mexicali Black Bean and Rice Burrito

Black Bean

1 Tablespoon olive oil

1 can black beans, rinsed and drained

1 med. Onion

1/3 red pepper, diced

1 Anaheim pepper, diced

3 cloves garlic minced

1 Tablespoon chili powder

2 teaspoons cumin

1 Tablespoon brown sugar

1 can (14 oz) fire roasted tomatoes

½ cup water

3 cups cooked rice

1 large flour tortilla burrito size

1 slice vegan American cheese

Vegan sour cream for dipping

In a large saucepan over med high heat, add oil. Add
onion, peppers, and garlic, sauté until translucent about 3 minutes. Add chili
powder, cumin, brown sugar—cook chili powder for 1 minute to take the pantry
taste off of the spice.  Add tomatoes,
beans and water, simmer 10 minutes.

Heat up your grill pan to 450 degrees.

Assemble the burrito in this order:

Layer cheese on the first third

Layer beans next

Layer rice next

Fold and roll into the burrito shape

Place burrito back onto the grill and then grill for 2

Cut on the diagonal and serve with vegan sour cream.

Enjoy it is wonderful:)

All American Baked Oatmeal and Tropical Storm Lee

Our house is being bombarded with high winds and buckets of rain this morning from Tropical Storm Lee moving slowly west in the Gulf of Mexico. Whenever it is wet and rainy I love to make a variation of baked oatmeal for breakfast. This baked oatmeal is delightful and really satisfies the taste buds.

The diced peaches, apples and blueberries really enhance the flavor of the oatmeal and a little dash of non-dairy creamer puts it over the top.

All American Baked Oatmeal

All American Baked Oatmeal

3 cups old fashioned oats

1 cup brown sugar

2 teaspoons cinnamon

2 teaspoons baking powder

½ teaspoons baking soda

1 cup almond milk mixed with 1 teaspoon vinegar to make
almond buttermilk

1 tablespoon Ener-g egg replacer mixed with 1 tablespoon

½ cup melted vegan butter

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1 small apple peeled and diced

1 small peach peeled and diced

¼ cup blueberries

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In a medium mixing bowl, add the egg replacer and the
water and whisk lightly. Add brown sugar, cinnamon, baking powder, baking soda,
salt and vanilla extract, whisk lightly. Add almond buttermilk and diced
apples, peaches and blueberries. Stir gently. Add oats and fold together. Put
into baking pan and bake for 30-40 minutes or until done. ( A knife put in the
center should pull out clean, when it is done.)

This will feed 4-6 people comfortably.

I usually have a canned of sliced peaches ready  in a bowl to put on top of the baked oatmeal
and some non-dairy creamer to pour lightly over the top.

This is a breakfast that stays with you and if
you are not allergic to oats is gluten free.

Enjoy your new breakfast treat.

Loving the Vegan Lifestyle

When I started this almost two years ago, I found there was a large learning curve of what it really means to eat for your health.

When you make these changes, there is a growth in knowledge you never expect and reward for being nice to your body and your soul. I finally feel comfortable with my way of eating and just overlook the comments made my the meat eaters who do not know any better. I lead by example without any pressure so that they can ask the questions if they really want to know how I am maintaining my lifestyle even in the midst of the carnivores in my house. I will be updating this blog and letting my other blog Gulf Coast Style sort of die out because the high fat foods no longer have a strong pull on me.

Looking forward to more blogging.

“Shady’s” Government Street Ocean Springs

Shady’s in Ocean Springs has changed up its menu to offer a lot of vegan combinations.  We went there on Wednesday night after our appointment to sign some legal paperwork for setting our wills and trusts. It was not very crowded, but the atmosphere was buzzing as it always is during the later dinner hour.  We sat at a table by the window for two and watched the crowd slowly gather at the other tables. A friend from the Aegis Mardi Gras Krewe came in and sat at another table for two on the other side of the restaurant. We greeted her on the way out. I can now choose from entrees with fried tofu. I am in love with the Thai Coconut Milk soup, so I had a cup of that and the Mangoes and sticky rice for dessert. 

I love this version of Coconut Milk soup because it is made with the golden curry instead of the green curry that I use. The spicing was just right, especially when it doesn’t burn the back of my ears. I was driving my own car so I did not partake in an alcoholic beverage but had unsweet tea instead. The Mangoes and sticky rice were wonderful. The dessert is essentially sliced mangoes with a cup full of sticky rice drizzled with sweetened coconut cream and chopped peanuts. The combination of flavors cannot be beat.

I know there is a great deal of construction going on in the downtown area of Ocean Springs, but you need to go in and check out the Thai Coconut Milk Soup either with tofu or two other choices of proteins to suit your fancy.  It is well worth the trip and you will not be disappointed.

“Dining on Disney Favorites”

I bought a cookbook from Disney while in Orlando in August. One of those 4 day weekends where you drive 2 days and enjoy 2 days in the park. We stayed at the Shades of Green and had passes to the park for visiting one park a day. The girls had the passes that let you park jump and that was a blessing because they were gone from dusk to dawn pretty much the two days we were there.

I found this cookbook at one of the stores on Main Street Disney. It is the most amazing cookbook. It has the most popular items and the recipes from the park chefs with a great variety to even please a vegan. I have been making some of the recipes from the cookbook and my family loves them. The french toast is awesome. I did the lamb chops with the white beans for my husband, I used tofu to top mine. I also did the Thai Noodle bowl with coconut crusted tofu. My husband could not stop eating it.

As much as I would like to convert everyone to my vegan diet, I know that is impossible. So I have small victories when I can with my family and friends. I am of the belief if the food is spiced and prepared well, there will be no complaints even from die hard carnivores. But you do have to take the time to prepare and taste it as you are cooking. My only chef training has come from Culinary Institute texbook which I bought from the bookstore several years ago. I have also taken some hands-on-training from some local chefs in Idaho when we lived there. Chef Darling (that is his last name) taught me all my knife skills. He was a Research and Development Chef for one of the french fry manufacturers there and did the taste profile for McDonalds French Fries.

Now that I have sampled the recipes in the Disney Chefs cookbook it is time to veganize them and put them up on the blog for you all to enjoy. 

Just a note: Still have to travel to Whole Foods on Magazine Street in New Orleans  to get most of my vegan resources as my local market does not really cater to alternate eating styles very well.

“White Lotus” Downtown Ocean Springs

My favorite chef has just opened his new restaurant in Downtown Ocean Springs.

It is called White Lotus and the food is to die for! Chef Scot really understands flavor profiles and makes the most delicious sauces to go along with his entree’s. I had many choices of entree’s to choose from on the menu, which is a sure delight for my vegan palette. I had the fried tofu with sweet and sour sauce. This sweet and sour sauce is the best I have ever tasted. Most sauces of this type are either too sweet or way to vinegary. His was a perfectly balanced sauce.

My husband who is not a vegan had the Tom Yum soup with Shrimp and the steak with a spicy basil sauce. I tasted the broth from Tom Yum soup and it was perfectly balanced in its flavors with the fruity taste of lime and cilantro.

If you are ever in Ocean Springs, you should stop in to the White Lotus and give it a try.