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LaForce Baker Featured in Crain’s Chicago Business “20 In their 20s”!

When you think about lists of business leaders like "40 under 40" and "30 under 30", one thing is obvious: the younger the cohort, the harder to get in.

That makes it extra remarkable to see our founder and executive chef LaForce Baker at the top of Crain's Chicago Business "20 in their 20s"!

Read the full article here:

Image credit: chicagobusiness.com

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Moon Meals™ Expands to All Chicago Jewel Locations!

We are extremely proud to announce that the Fiesta Wrap is now available in all Jewel locations throughout the Midwest! This means it is now easier than ever to pick up a grab n’ go, vegan, healthy and delicious meal.

What is the Fiesta Wrap?

The Fiesta Wrap is our crowd-pleaser. It’s a healthy, delicious, slightly spicy, vegan burrito. It features a vegan taco meat, vegan nacho cheese sauce, organic cooked black beans, organic cooked short grain rice, organic cooked sweet corn kernels and chopped jalapeno peppers, all contained in a spinach wrap.

It’s the perfect meal for professionals who are on-the-go, serving as a great lunch option, a hearty snack between meetings or even an energizing bite between work and your evening workout. It’s even great heated up in the oven.

The Fiesta Wrap is also the perfect addition to your weekly meal prepping. If you want more meal prep ideas, click here to check out our healthy recipes page!

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Don’t Miss the First Annual Hyde Park Apartment Chef Cook-Off!

Bring your appetite to the best chef competition in the neighborhood! Moon Meals is excited to host the first annual Hyde Park Apartment Chef Cook-Off on August 18, bringing the top amatuer chefs together to show off their best culinary creations.

Event goers will get to taste each dish, as well as a variety of food, beverages and the Moon Meals Fiesta Wrap. The event will take place at the Regus Hyde Park, 5113 S. Harper Avenue.

Tickets are $15 each. Click here to purchase yours!.

About The Competition

The 10 chefs will present their creations to a panel of Hyde Park professional chefs:

  • James Martin, former executive chef at A10
  • Lamar Moore, executive chef at Currency Exchange Cafe
  • Carlos Cruz, executive chef at The Promontory
  • LaForce Baker, founder and executive chef of Moon Meals, Inc.

Want to compete in the event? Click here for more information.

The Hyde Park Apartment Chef Cook-Off is part of the Chicago Food Bowl, a series of events throughout August to celebrate the chefs, restaurateurs, mixologists, innovators, entrepreneurs, critics and connoisseurs who put Chicago at the forefront of the nation’s food and drink scene.

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Submit Your Application for the First Annual Hyde Park Apartment Chef Cook-Off!

Calling all Hyde Park amateur chefs! Are you the best home cook in the neighborhood? Find out at our first annual Hyde Park Apartment Chef Cook-Off on August 18. Moon Meals is looking for 10 competitors of all skill levels to compete with their best dish for a panel of Hyde Park professional chefs:

  • James Martin, former executive chef at A10
  • Lamar Moore, executive chef at Currency Exchange Cafe
  • Carlos Cruz, executive chef at The Promontory
  • LaForce Baker, founder and executive chef of Moon Meals, Inc.

The winner will take home bragging rights and a Jewel gift card for $200!

Competition Requirements

We’re looking for 10 chefs for this event. Competitors must prepare their best dish ahead of time and have it ready to serve by 12 p.m. on Saturday, August 18. The dish will need to be available in five one-ounce services for the judges to sample, as well as additional portions for attendees to try. Be prepared to also submit and ingredients list ahead of time.

Email teresa@moonmeals.com to submit your entry by the August 6 deadline.

You can purchase your tickets here.

The Hyde Park Apartment Chef Cook-Off is part of the Chicago Food Bowl, a series of events throughout August to celebrate the chefs, restaurateurs, mixologists, innovators, entrepreneurs, critics and connoisseurs who put Chicago at the forefront of the nation’s food and drink scene.

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Don’t Fear Tofu

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Tofu has been making its way into mainstream menus for a few years, but many people are still confused by this vegetarian classic. Is it a meat substitute? Is it a vegetable? Do you put it in a salad? The answer is that tofu is an extremely versatile food item that just about anyone can enjoy!

 

What is tofu?

Tofu is derived from soybeans, and made by pressing coagulated soy milk into flat, white blocks. It is a staple in most vegan and vegetarian diets due to its high protein content and nutritional value. This purely organic food is often used as a meat substitute in many recipes, and it is commonly found in East Asian and Southeast Asian dishes.

 

What are the common misconceptions?

One of the most common misconceptions about tofu is that it lacks taste. While it may not be bursting with flavor on its own, it has the ability to take on the flavor of other ingredients in the dish. Because of this, it can be used for just about anything! Add tofu to hearty soups and stews, and it will take on a savory, meat-like quality. Include it in a smoothie, and it adds texture to the fruity drink. Another benefit of tofu is its nutritional value: high in protein and amino acids while low in calories.

 

How do you use it?

Learning how to properly cook tofu is the first step towards enjoying it. There are tons of tips available, but the most useful is to press and drain out any excess water before cooking it. This allows it to better absorb the dish’s other ingredients, resulting in a bolder flavor and a more meat-like consistency. The tofu is then be ready to substitute meat in many dishes.

 

It is clear that tofu can be used beyond vegetarian and vegan diets. While everyone has different tastes and food preferences, there are ways to make tofu enjoyable for anyone. Its endless possibilities and ongoing list of health benefits should not only inspire, but encourage all to give it a try.

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How to Host a Vegan at Your BBQ

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People tend to associate a barbecue with cheeseburgers, hot dogs and other meat-focused dishes. However, that’s not for everyone, as roughly one million of the United States population is vegan. Although that means only about half a percent holds this dietary preference, it’s important for a host to be able to cater to the needs of their guests by integrating healthy, vegan dishes into a traditional barbecue.

 

Appetizers

The appetizer is an essential piece to a BBQ, as it is the perfect way to lightly snack and socialize. A simple, easy way to satisfy your guests is to offer a pre-made vegan appetizer that everyone will love, such as chips and guacamole, hummus with veggies or a fruit platter. These options are healthy, meat-free and can be easily prepared.

 

Proper Grilling Rules

Meat is known as the king of barbecues. However, veggie and tofu patties are quickly gaining ground on meat, as they can be seasoned to taste like a meat patty. One rule to keep in mind, is to avoid grilling these items on the same spot used for meat, as that will result in cross contamination. If there’s not enough room for everything, use disposable foil or trays to separate the vegan items from meat, or grill the vegan items first.

 

Tweak Traditional BBQ Favorites

Instead of wondering what to make, veganize traditional BBQ favorites. Tweak dishes like baked beans, macaroni salad and potato salad to have a vegan spin! Researching recipes to cook these dishes on your own is a simple way to make sure that your guests have vegan options.

 

Make a Super Salad

Super salads are healthy and simple options to provide at a barbecue. Although people have a wide variety of food preferences, you can accommodate them all by leaving different types of cheeses and dressings on the side. This way vegans can leave out the cheese and enjoy non-dairy dressings.

Knowing how to host a vegan at your barbecue will prevent your guests from worrying about what food items they can eat. If you would like to learn more, or explore other vegan recipes, sign up for our newsletter!