Tag Archives: cook

Vegan Cheesy Enchiladas Recipe- treat yourself to Mexican tonight!

31 Jan

tryitvegan enchiladas with quacamoleThis is a fairly simple recipe and a family favorite!  Loaded with protein and no cholesterol, there is a ton of flavor and  great textures, this is sure to please! The cheese sauce also makes an incredible dip for nachos, chips, vegetables plus don’t forget Super Bowl and, of course,  perfect for this dish.

 

When we first introduced a Vegan diet in our house, this was one of my “best sellers” for the kids and DH.  Hook, line and sinker, they LOVED it and it has since become a monthly dish.  We don’t serve it with any other side dish since it is incredibly filling and we keep it fairly simple but you can go crazy with the toppings!

Sadly, leftovers normally sit in the fridge until it’s time to clean it out however with this dish, it is a different story 😉  (I’m actually looking forward to lunch tomorrow, nom!)  The recipe serves 5-6 people.  Enjoy and let me know your thoughts!

What you need:

  • 12 tortillas
  • 3 cans of beans of your choice (we used kidney, pinto and black beans, 14 1/2 oz. cans each)
  • 2 cans of enchilada sauce (15 oz. each)
  • 2 cups chopped onions
  • Salsa (fresh is best, we grabbed some pre made at Whole Foods)
  • Guacamole (see above)

tryitvegan enchiladas insideCheese sauce:

  • 2 cups of water
  • 1/2 cup unbleached flour
  • 1/2 cup nutritional yeast
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp mustard (ground)
  • 2 tbsp vegan margarine (earth balance) (can be omitted if you are watching calorie intake)

Extra topping suggestions that we skipped but you may like:

  • vegan sour cream
  • chopped cilantro
  • chopped olives
  • shredded vegan cheese

Start cheese sauce on the stove (medium heat) by adding flour, nutritional yeast, salt & garlic powder into a small pot and stir or whisk in the water and continue to do so until it is thick (6-8 minutes).  Take off of stove top and stir in mustard and earth balance, if using.  Pour some into a bowl for later (1/4-1/2 cup to drizzle on before serving)
tryitvegan enchiladesIn large pot on medium heat, pour 1 1/2 cans of the enchilada  sauce, beans, 1/2 cup of salsa and onions and mix together.  Pour remaining enchilada sauce on the bottom of of your pan.  Place tortillas in pan, coating the bottom with sauce and spoon mixture into tortilla, roll up and place in pan side by side.  Continue until all 12 are wrapped.  Pour vegan cheese mixture on top and pop in the oven (350) for 35 minutes.

Use a spatula (wooden works too) and serve with a scoop of guacamole and salsa.  Drizzle some of the remaining cheese sauce on top.

Margarita, anyone?  😉

So… Try it!

~M~

tryitvegan enchiladas vegan     tryitvegan enchiladas close up

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Warning: these resources have been known to breed Vegans, read with caution

16 Jan

Breeding Vegans?    No worries, I’m not contagious so you can’t catch the Vegivirus but you just may WANT TO after watching and reading these books and movies.

Oct. 2009 “Do you know of any books that I can read?  What movie do you recommend that is educational but won’t leave me bringing up my last meal?  Are there any magazines?”

I had my share of questions and it’s kind of ironic that I am asked often the same questions that I had back in the day.  The great thing to know is that there are so many more resources today than there were a few months ago compared to years ago.  Let me ask you:

  • Have you ever wondered where your food comes from?
  • If there was a way of eating that resulted in you having beautiful skin, energy and a maintained healthy weight, would you be curious to at least learn of it to see if you would even want to try it?
  • Did you ever wonder exactly what “Vegan” means exactly but didn’t want to be intimidated into “doing it” or “becoming one”?

One morning back in October of 2009 I had a day like many people do, having milk in my cereal, cheese on my burger and enjoyed my bacon extra crispy.  I had to stop at the local Costco to pick up some dinner and as “luck” or “destiny” had it, I spotted Alicia Silverstone on the cover of some book called, The Kind Diet.  I always adored her and the title of the book wasn’t the “IN YOUR FACE” type of a diet book so I picked it up and went about my shopping.  That night I read nearly the entire book and I felt as if someone had lifted a veil from my eyes.

In a very gentle way, Alicia gave me enough information to eliminate meat from my diet forever.   That, my friends, was the beginning of a new chapter in my life I was NOT expecting.

IF THAT MORNING, someone would have told me that the last time I ate meat would be then, I would say that you are OFF YOUR TREE.  I had NO INTEREST in becoming a Vegan prior.  Neither did my teenage daughter who at the time, was 12  when she read the book and hasn’t touched meat since.

I also had never made the effort to learn more about where my food was coming from and I’ve got to tell you, once you know, you look at food entirely in a different way.

PLEASE don’t take my word for it!!  I’m not trying to convince you.  I’m trying to lead you to some information so that you can make your own decision but at least know about what you are putting into your body and where it is coming from.  You may be surprised to find out why you or someone you love may have some issues like digestive issues, colitis, acne, bloating, excess phlegm, excess weight, diabetes or even heart disease JUST TO NAME A FEW.

Some of the more memorable books that opened my eyes:  (More educational than recipe books…I will be posting my recipe book recommendations soon although a few of these do have some.)

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    Skinny Bitch by Rory Freedman and Kim Barnouin

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    Skinny Bitch in the Kitch: Kick-Ass Solutions for Hungry Girls Who Want to Stop Cooking Crap (and Start Looking… by Kim Barnouin and Rory Freedman

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    Skinny Bitch: Ultimate Everyday Cookbook: Crazy Delicious Recipes that Are Good to the Earth and Great for Your… by Kim Barnouin

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    The Kind Diet: A Simple Guide to Feeling Great, Losing Weight, and Saving the Planet by Alicia Silverstone and Neal D. Barnard

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    The China Study: The Most Comprehensive Study of Nutrition Ever Conducted And the Startling Implications for Diet… by T. Colin Campbell, Thomas M. Campbell II, Howard Lyman and John Robbins ( not the easiest ready but stay on it!  This book made one of the impacts on me, don’t skip it!)

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    The Engine 2 Diet: The Texas Firefighter’s 28-Day Save-Your-Life Plan that Lowers Cholesterol and Burns Away the… by Rip Esselstyn

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    Diet for a New America by John Robbins

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    MAD COWBOY: Plain Truth from the Cattle Rancher Who Won’t Eat Meat by Howard F. Lyman and Glen Merzer

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    Eat to Live: The Amazing Nutrient-Rich Program for Fast and Sustained Weight Loss, Revised Edition by Joel Fuhrman

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    Eat for Health: Lose Weight, Keep It Off, Look Younger, Live Longer (2 Volume Set) by Joel Fuhrman

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    Go Dairy Free: The Guide and Cookbook for Milk Allergies, Lactose Intolerance, and Casein-Free Living by Alisa Marie Fleming

I LOVE these magazines:

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    Vegnews

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    Vegetarian Times

  • ****Brand new Vegan Magazine is called Laika Magazine, check it out at laikamagazine.com  Very well done!

Some movies to get you started that aren’t going to make you lose your lunch:

  • Forks Over Knives
  • Food, Inc.
  • Vegucated

Movie that is incredibly good but hold the popcorn… it’s powerful and is a Vegan breeder for sure.  I don’t think anyone can go back to eating meat after watching this in all honesty.

  • Earthlings

After all is said and done, it’s your choice entirely, right?  No one can force you to watch, read or learn.  Don’t do it for anyone but yourself.  At least you will be able to say, yes, I read the books and saw the movies and finally, I made the decision to do _____ for me.  Best wishes and as always, I encourage you to…

Try it!

~M~

Vegan Diner Classic: Scrambled Eggs, Garlic Chive Home Fries and Bacon

11 Jan

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One of the biggest favorites at the local diner is your traditional scrambled eggs with home fries, bacon and toast.  We went ahead and recreated this classic American breakfast and found it to be…well, surprisingly better than the original.  When we first started consuming a vegan diet, the comfort foods were necessary in making a smooth transition and before our taste buds were completely converted over, we were thrilled with the tofu scramble and surprisingly, the bacon-style tempeh.

Scrambled Tofu Recipe:

  • 1/2 yellow onion, diced
  • 1 block firm tofu, drained and pressed
  • 2 tbsp grape seed or other oil
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1 tbsp Bragg Liquid Aminos or soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp nutritional yeast
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric

Once oil is heated add onion & tofu and cook for a few minutes. Add remaining ingredients and mix well, breaking up the tofu into smaller pieces, about 5 minutes more.

Bacon Tempeh      tempeh_smoky_201210

We enjoy Light Life’s “Fakin Bacon” but there are other brands that are crunchier, also in the refrigerated section of your “faux meats”.  Add some oil to the pan and heat for a few minutes on each side, super easy and very tasty!

Garlic & Chive Home Fries  (we had a craving for mashed… keep them in bits if you prefer 😉

  • 2 large potatoes peeled and cut into chunks
  • 1/2 cup sweet onion diced
  • 2 tbsp Earth Balance Vegan  butter
  • 1 tbsp of olive oil or Vegan butter
  • 1 tsp finely chopped chives
  • 1/2-1 tsp minced garlic
  • salt & pepper to taste

Boil the potatoes in salted water until soft, 8-10 minutes, drain water.  Add oil or butter to pan and cook onions until transparent, add garlic for 1 minute.  Toss potatoes, chives and a dash of salt and pepper to your liking, mixing well.

Pop some bread in the toaster, finish it off with your favorite cup of Joe & don’t forget to tip your waitress 😉

Apple Match Stick Fries: Reducing the risk of some cancers, cardiovascular disease, asthma and diabetes

7 Jan

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This morning I posted a link on Twitter that speaks of the great health benefits of apples (HERE)  Thanks to my mandoline, we have found some creative  ways to make snacking on an apple a bit more appealing to even those who insisted that they didn’t like apples.  
 
With much more focus on eating smaller meals with healthy snacks twice a day, apples are a great go-to for all ages.  With over 7000 different varieties around the world, there are at least a handful that will make your mouth water.  (For an apple directory, try HERE)
 
Cardiovascular disease and cancer are the two top killers in North America, choose apples for preventative measure considering they are loaded with phytonutrients (plant nutrients) that are known to reduce the risk of some cancers, cardiovascular disease, asthma and diabetes.  (http://www.nutritionj.com/content/3/1/5)
 
Give your palate a treat, pick some apples the next time you are out and make a point of including an apple once a day in your diet, however you choose to slice, dice or bite it 😉  Your body will thank you!
 
Try it!
-M

 

 
 
 
 
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Greek/Cypriot Macaroni with meat… the Veganlicious version!

29 Dec

Greek/Cypriot Macaroni “me kema” (Macaroni with meat… the Veganlicious version!)

Warning!!  Aroma fills the kitchen quickly and attracts family/friends before food is ready!”

One dish that my Cypriot/Greek mother in law taught me is a favorite in our house.  Once I went Vegan and stopped buying/handling/eating meat, I found a better, tastier alternative minus the added cholesterol and so-full-I’m-sick feeling.  This is omnivorous husband and kid approved… a monthly staple in our house.

~Disclaimer:  It should be noted that I am not the best cook in the world, close to it nor claim to be anything other than someone who wants good tasting food that leans on the healthier side.  I welcome your cooking tips and suggestions to make this a better site for all 🙂  With that said… enjoy!  (I know you will… :))

What you need for 4 hungry people:

1lb of Pasta (I personally use Whole Wheat)

1 package Vegan Beef crumbles (Boca or my favorite by Smart Ground)

1-2 tbsp oil (I like olive or grape seed oil)

1/2 cup diced onion (sweet/yellow)

1/2 cup chopped parsley or cilantro (combo of both isn’t bad either)

14oz. can of diced tomatoes (whole tomatoes I like better and then dice myself.  Go crazy… use organic!  Your taste buds will thank you!)

(I’ve been known to add a little tomato paste, tomato sauce or in a pinch, ketchup (GASP!!) at times… with or without it’s still yummy)

(OPTION:  no canned tomatoes?  Use fresh!  4-5 Organic Roma tomatoes and a couple of tbsp of tomato paste works great too!)

cinnamon

1 tbsp Greek seasoning (No Greek seasoning?  Use Italian seasoning.  Have mint?  Go crazy, add a dash ;)

salt to taste

pepper to taste

Vegan Parmigiana is optional but delish!

Directions:

(Cook pasta according to box, save some water when you drain it)

1.  Pour a tbsp or two of your oil into a pan and place your onion, cook until soft.

2.  Add your “beef crumbles” and cook according to instructions.

3.  Add your tomatoes (if using fresh, add some water)

4.  Sprinkle the cinnamon on top (I eye-ball it, sorry…just coat the top like my MIL -completely covering the mixture in a light coat-but I’d say at least a tbsp.  If it gets too thick, just add some water.

5.  Add salt and pepper, mix and put the lid on top for a few minutes for the flavors to come together.

(TiV WARNING:  Aroma fills the kitchen quickly and attracts family/friends before food is ready)

6.  Add the parsley (or pars/cilantro mix) a few minutes before serving.

7.  Add drained pasta to the mix and if too thick and sticking, add some of the water from the pasta.

8.  Serve with a piece of parsley.  Why?  For one, it gives a nice finishing touch and you and I both know that we first feed our appetite with our sight first, then our sense of smell and taste.  Second of all, parsley is a natural and great way to freshen your breath for after the meal and you will be prepared for the hugs and kisses after for making an incredibly quick and tasty meal ;)  Nutritionally, it contains Vitamins A & C, Folic Acid and Iron PLUS contains phytochemicals (phyto=plant) that are linked to fighting cancer cells with antioxidant properties, preventing blood clots and reducing the risk of stroke.

“Try it… it’s Vegan!”

M

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