Thursday, October 12, 2017

Vegan Shrimp & Grits

 Chef MiMi J’s Vegan “Shrimp” & Grit
What we don’t realize is that a lot of time the flavor of our favorite protein comes from the seasoning. For example the distinctive sausage flavor comes from spices such as sage, fennel seed and marjoram. You can impart those flavors into mushrooms, tofu or any veggies. In this recipe I manipulated the flavor of the heart of palms by soaking them in a mixture of seaweed, kelp, and vegetable broth. The flavor of the seaweed really imparted itself into the heart of palm making it tastes similar to seafood.
SERVES 2 TO 4 total time: 35 MINUTES

 4 cups low-sodium vegetable stock
 1/2 cup of plain almond milk
 1 cup quick-cooking grits
 8 ounces daiya chives and onions cream cheese
 2 tablespoons unsalted vegan butter
 1/4 teaspoon salt
 1/4 teaspoon pepper
 2 ears grilled sweet corn, cut from the cob
 2 tablespoons freshly snipped chives
 1 pound marinated heart of palm (seaweed or kelp will give it a seafood flavor)
 1/2 teaspoon salt
 1/2 teaspoon pepper
 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
 1/4 teaspoon chipotle chili powder
 1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
 1 cup baby heirloom tomatoes sliced in half
 1/2 sweet onion diced
 2 garlic cloves, finely minced or pressed
 Bring the stock to a boil in a medium saucepan. Once boiling, add the grits and whisk
 constantly until they are fully mixed into the stock, about a minute or two. Reduce the
 heat to low and cover, stirring once or twice more, until the grits are thicker and creamy,
 about 5 minutes. Stir in the vegan cheese, almond milk, salt and pepper. Taste and
 season more if desired – this will depend on the salt in your stock.
 Pat the heart of palm dry with paper towels once you removed the from the marinaded.
 Once it’s dry, season it with the salt, pepper, paprika, chili powder and cumin. Heat a
 large skillet over medium-high heat and add the vegan butter. Once it’s melted and
 begins to sizzle, add the heart of palm in batches and cook on both sides until seared
 brown. The butter will start to brown as you cook. You can whisk it occasionally and add

  olive oil to prevent it from burning. After you’ve cook all your heart of palm, remove them
 from the pan and stir in the onion, tomatoes, herbs and then garlic. Sauté until onions
 are translucent and the tomatoes have released some of their juices.
 To serve the grits, spoon them into a bowl and add the tomatoes mixture and then top
 with the seared heat of palms. I like to drizzle any of the pan sauce in the pan on top
 too. Cover with spoonfuls of grilled corn and a sprinkling of chives. Eat immediately.

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

The Journey From Corporate to Culinary by Meika Johnson

Saturday, October 15, 2016

Heart Healthy Chili

·         1 lb Ground turkey
·         ½ lb Ground chicken chorizo from Sprouts

·         3 cloves Garlic
·         1 Jalapeno pepper
·         1 14 oz. can Kidney beans, red
·         1 Red bell pepper
·         1 Green bell pepper
·         2 Roma or plum tomatoes
·         1 Yellow onion
Canned Goods
·         1 1/2 cups Chicken stock
·         1 14 oz. can Tomato sauce
Baking & Spices
·         1/2 tsp Cayenne pepper
·         1 1/2 tbsp Chili powder
·         1 tbsp Paprika
·         1 Salt and pepper
Oils & Vinegars
·         2 tbsp Apple cider vinegar
·         1/2 tbsp Olive oil
1.    Dice onion, bell peppers, jalapeno and mince garlic. Set aside.
2.    In a large pot, add oil and heat to medium low, add onions and sauté around 5 minutes or so, stirring often.
3.    Add minced garlic and cook, stirring often for 2 minutes.
4.    Increase heat to medium or medium high and add ground turkey and chorizo, cook until browned, crumbling into small pieces (use a potato masher if desired).
5.    Add diced jalapenos, bell peppers, tomatoes and sauté for 1 minute.
6.    Add chicken stock, tomato sauce, and apple cider vinegar and stir.
7.    Add in remaining ingredients and stir.
8.    Simmer over medium-low heat for 40 minutes, stirring occasionally. Chili will thicken. If you notice it getting too thick for your tastes, add a splash of chicken stock as needed.
9.    Turn heat off after the 40 minutes has passed and let rest on the stove for another 5 minutes before serving.
10. Optional: top with green onion, minced cilantro, diced avocado, red onion and diced tomatoes. (or whatever toppings you prefer)

Monday, October 26, 2015

Where have you been Meika?

Recently several people have asked if I am still alive and I even have some who tell me they miss my post and pictures. I must admit, I am extremely flattered. Well, I've been knee deep in work and I love it. Since I left corporate america in March I have been 10 times busier. I've help open up a new restaurant for some investor, I helped get a food truck up, running and making money, I've grown my client base and I've been doing cooking parties.

I truly believe that leaving my office job was the right move for me. I am happier and I look forward to work now. There is something so therapeutic about cooking and creating in the kitchen for me.

These days I can still be found at The Space Dallas and I am all over the DFW area showing people how to cook dishes near and dear to my heart. I have a Gumbo Workshop coming up at The Space Dallas in December and a new TV appearance coming early next year. Below are a few pictures of me in action. Look for my gumbo class here .

Hungraciously Yours,

#dallas #cookingparties #cookingclasses #privatechef

Sunday, July 26, 2015

New Orlean's: The Good The Bad & The Ugly

Today concludes my extended weekend in New Orlean's. Six ladies, one hotel room, one bathroom, 16 hours on the road and unlimited memories. The purpose of our trip was to support a friend, bond with new friends and eat plenty of good seafood and Cajun creations. Although I am glad to be home, in my own bed, using my own restroom, I am already missing my girls and the constant smell of creole food and hot pissy Bourbon street.

To start our trip off each ladies was assigned a creatively suggestive nickname. If by chance we happened to call someone their birth name, we would then be required to take a shot. I say this to set the mood of how festive the girls trip was.

Thursday (Day 1)
8pm Arrival - Refresh & Dress
10pm Copeland's Cheesecake Bistro (We loved everything about this place. good drinks, excellent food and great late dining environment. Their take on Shrimp & Grits was AMAZING)
12pm to 2:30am - walked Bourbon St.

Friday (Day 2 - City Wide Water Warning - No ice or drinks like soda and water)
10:30am Riverwalk Outlet Mall
1pm Mulate's (I had the BBQ shrimp and it was good)
5pm Poolside & hot tub
8:30pm Deanie's in the French Quarter (The food and drinks here is really good - pack your patience because the dinner line is wrapped around the corner - we waited at least 2 hours in the heat on funky ass Bourbon St)
11:45pm Bourbon Street again (we found a really cool karaoke spot at and drag queens show at Lucky Pierre's)

Saturday (Day 3)
9:30am Cresent City Farmers Market (under whelming small parking lot farmers market - they did offer a few fresh seafood vendors)
10:15am Mother's Restaurant - We made the mistake and ordered breakfast - very bland grits - super dry ham and my crawfish étouffée omelet was bland and they skimped on the filling, although I love the idea)
12:15pm Nola in the French Quarter (Everything here was absolutely amazing & beautiful - it's pricey but well worth it)
2:30pm Walked French Quarter - Cafe Du Monde - French Quarter Market (I love the French Quarter Market. This is where you can find the true N.O. experience, live music, food and plenty of people)
8:30pm Oceana (dinner was good, I can't say that it was worth the 3 hour wait, but it is something good to try)
10:15pm Novelty store for a girls adventurous pit stop (huba-huba)
10:45pm Once again, karaoke at Lucky Pierre's on Bourbon Street.

Sunday (Day 4)
9:25am breakfast downstairs 
11:30 hit the road heading home

Here are a few take always:
1) Bring bottled water (I was told the water has been iffy every since Katrina)
2) Use yelp, trip advisor or Google to find out the famous or popular locations to eat (Now, don't expect perfect food just because you see 5 stars and a great review and don't count out a place just because you see a few bad reviews)
3) Talk to the locals and find out where they eat and what they like to do.
4) Google calendar events or festivals to find different things to do.