Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Recipes: Homemade Nachos

Using the hummus from my last post, and my husband's secret-recipe homemade super spicy salsa (sorry I can't post it here!) I whipped up some super quick vegan nachos for a yummy Sunday lunch.

  • Chips
  • Daiya vCheesev
  • Black Beans (beans/veggie protein of choice)
  • Homemade Salsa
  • Homemade Hummus
  • Any other toppings you choose. Some of my favorites: Pickled Jalapenos, grilled onions, olives, avocado/guacamole, vegan sour cream, and/or whatever you want

  • Layer chips (I used both blue and white organic corn tortilla) and Daiya shreds in a microwaveable bowl and add black beans, or chili on top. (You can do the same on a baking sheet in the oven- set oven to bake at 350-400, and bake for 20-30 minutes... but I microwaved them this time because its a lot quicker).
  • Microwave (or bake) until cheese melts... on mine it took 1:30.
  • Pour fresh salsa and dollop hummus on top, along with other toppings of choice.
  • Serve with a fork, and eat up!

Recipes: Super Easy Hummus

This was my first attempt at making my own hummus to entertain some guests with, and I think it turned out pretty good. Its super quick, super cheap, and homemade is always better than store bought in my opinion. Next time I'm going to try blending in sun dried tomatoes, olives, black beans or pesto... options are limitless!


  • 2 cans of garbanzo beans
  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • Fresh Clove(s) of Garlic
  • Fresh Lemon Juice
  • Salt or Bragg's and Pepper to taste

  • OPTIONAL: Jalapeno, Sun Dried Tomato, Olives, Black Beans etc...
  • OPTIONAL: Parsley, basil, chives, cilantro or herb of choice... for added flavor.

  • Place a raw (or roasted) clove of garlic in the bottom of a blender or food processor. Add more if you like your hummus really garlicky.
  • Add your cans of Garbanzo beans (drained, but save the liquid- I set mine aside in a tea cup)
  • Juice half of one lemon and add to blender
  • Drizzle some EVOO over your beans, I probably added about 3 tablespoons
  • Salt and Pepper to taste (I like using Bragg's Liquid Aminos for my salt)
  • Add any other optional ingredients of your choice. I added parsley.
  • Blend on low, and drizzle Garbanzo bean liquid through the top until you've reached desired thickness/consistency.
  • Taste test, and add more salt or pepper, lemon juice, spice, or herbs until it suites your needs.
  • Serve immediately, or store in the fridge.

Hummus is great for dips, on sandwiches (pictured above the next day), or as a topping for VnachosV!

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Recipes: Easy Spanish Rice

When I make rice or quinoa (in our rice cooker) I tend to make a lot so I can use the left-overs to pack my husband's lunches. Also great way to use left over-rice is to make a healthier alternative to Rice-A-Roni style Spanish rice...

  • 2 12oz Cans of Diced Tomatoes (we like the ones with Jalapenos)
  • Left-over cold rice- as much as you want, I like using just enough to be coated by the two cans of tomatoes.
  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • Salt/Pepper
  • Chili Powder (a tablespoon +/-)
  • Cumin (a teaspoon +/-)
  • Cilantro and/or Parsley (fresh or dried to taste, you can't over do either of these in my book)
  • Onion, Garlic, Fresh Tomatoes, Bell Peppers, Jalapenos, (or other veggies of choice)
  • OPTIONAL: Can of Black (or preferred type of) Beans.

  • Coat the bottom of a medium skillet with Olive Oil, add a couple pinches of salt and fresh ground pepper
  • Saute diced onions, jalapenos (if you like spice), bell peppers, and a fresh tomato to add a fresher taste
  • Add rice to skillet after onions start to caramelize (turn brown)
  • Pour both cans of diced tomatoes on top (juice and all) and break up any clumps of rice that stick together.
  • Add chili powder, a dash of cumin, parsley, cilantro and any other herbs and spices of choice.
  • Saute on low heat until all is mixed together and heated.
  • At this point you can also add a drained can of black (or red, or pinto) beans and stir together until heated.

I love this easy version of Spanish Rice, it doesn't take very long and is an excellent side dish, or to eat on its own. Below I used this recipe to additionally fill my baked hatch chili peppers (baked with Daiya inside).  Always a crowd-pleaser.

Recipes: Oven-Baked Grilled Cheese

The only draw back to Daiya vegan "cheese" is that it only comes in one form- shredded... which makes it tricky to put in sandwiches (unlike vegan gourmet that comes in a block that you can slice).

Upon rediscovering the beauty that is the midnight snack (I don't think I've indulged in one since college... but with all the late summer nights, long days of sun and swimming, I've been getting more night-time munchie pangs right before bed)... I've become obsessed with the oven-baked Daiya grilled cheese.

This is the perfect solution to putting Daiya on sandwiches (since we don't have a toaster oven), the Oven-Baked Grilled Cheese.

Here's my midnight snack:
Grilled the Tomatoes on top of the cheese, and added dill pickle slices

After whipping this together, I realized this beautiful midnight feast, is the perfect base for any sandwich, 
or "V cheese burger V."

  • Multigrain, Seed-Bread, or any vegan bread of choice
  • Daiya Cheese (I used the Mozzarella flavor)
  • Organic Tomato Slices (placed on top of cheese and baked as well)
  • Condiments of choice (I like Veganese, Organic Ketchup, Siracha hot sauce, and Dijon Mustard)
  • Veggies (Lettuce, Spinach, Avocado, Cucumber, Pickles, Jalapenos etc) of choice.
  • Grilled onions (I sauteed the patties in a frying pan with EVOO, a pinch of salt and fresh ground pepper, and added sliced onion rounds in the same pan, keeping an eye on them and flipping once so both sides slightly brown).
-Baked my open-faced Grilled Cheese in oven at 350 for 10 minutes until cheese melted/bread was at preferred toasted texture.
-Sauteed Patties and Onions while bread/cheese/tomatoes cooked
-Took bread out and stacked everything neatly on top, squeezing condiments generously over the patties and melted chese
-Wrapped sandwich in a large paper towel (folded in half on the diagonal) to hold everything in.

This easy snack/meal can easily be converted into pizza sandwiches... just add some tomato sauce, and toppings of choice (olives, mushrooms, pineapple, roasted garlic, sun-dried tomatoes, artichoke hearts, whatever) which I'll try out and post soon. Yum!

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Health: How to Cure the Summer Cold

With the Texas heat, it was hard to live on a diet of hot tea and soup while fighting my cold/flu symptoms. I didn't have an appetite but since I wanted to be sure to give my body all the healthy nutrients and vitamins it needed to heal quickly I forced down these good for you meals...

Fresh, Organic Spinach Salad with Spinach, Kumquats, Sugar Snap Peas, Almonds.
Dressing: Fresh Lemon Juice, Fresh, Raw, Pressed Garlic, Flax Oil, and Vinegar.

Also, on hot days when you're sick, there's nothing better than some hot wasabi to cool you down and flush out your congested system. Veggie rolls from Whole Foods.

To Drink in the 95-100 degree heat, rather than hot cups of throat coat, and gypsy cold care tea (two of my favorites- available at health food stores), I drank extra-spicy Ginger Ale, organic orange juice, and lots and lots and lots of water to flush my system.

Recipes: Get Well Soon Soup

For any of my readers who've wondered where I've been over the last week+, I've been fighting one of the worst fever/flu/sinus colds I've had since College. This is a soup my husband made for me chock full of wellness goodies that set me on a path to recovery... I love my hubby!

The Brighter the Color Veggies the Better
  • Red Quinoa (protein, iron),
  • Purple Kale (iron, vitamin A),
  • Rent Lentils (protein, iron, fiber),
  • Purple Potatoes (anti-oxidants),
  • Red and Yellow Onions (lung health, fights infection),
  • Lots of Garlic (immune system),
  • Fresh Parsley (vit C, K, A, and iron),
  • Fresh Cilantro (fights infection and viruses, digestion), 
  • Celery (calcium, helps eliminate body wastes through urine,),
  • Brussels Sprouts (iron, Vit. C),
  • LOTS OF (icky) Shitake Mushrooms (great immune system boosters!)
  • a bag of frozen organic green beans/corn/lima bean/carrots,
  • lots of Jalapenos (spicy for sinuses, Vit. C, and digestion),
  • Tomatoes (potassium),
  • Vegan Bouillon (flavor),
  • Salt/Pepper to taste.
Wash and chop everything up, throw into pot with as much water as needed/to preferred broth consistency, bring to boil, then simmer for 45+ minutes until lentils are soft, stirring occasionally.

*My husband also read that to help speed up recovery time you should STAY AWAY from Bragg's Liquid Aminos (what I usually use to salt most of my food)... this is because several amino acids actually help feed viruses... I didn't know that!

Photos: These Are a Few of My Favorites

Southern Summer Peaches,

Avocados and Vegan Red Wine,

Texas Sunsets From Our Driveway,

My Husky/Sheppard Zombie (& Molly's Night-Eyes)

Friday, June 4, 2010

Fashion: First Friday

Prototype Vintage beige dress | online- zappos? denim - vegan blue shoes | clothing swap gold scarf | clothing swap cloth, polka dot blue belt 

Information: A Diet That Protects Against Osteoporosis- Christine Northrup MD

Drinking milk for "stronger bones!" is a falsehood that advertising has conned us into believing for decades. Dairy products are now proven to be harmful to our bones due to their high levels of acidity... The best forms of Calcium are found in leafy greens... eat more fruits and veggies!

Check out this article by Christine Northrup MD

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Recipes: Quinoa Polenta, Black Bean and Sweet Potato Tostadas- Soul Food

I started by sauteing some jalapenos and onion, oil, salt, cracked pepper... added cubed sweet potato and black beans... loaded up some tortillas with follow your heart vegan cheese topped with slices of quinoa polenta (store bought, pre-made) on some, and organic red potatoes, more jalapenos and vcheesev on another... baked until potatoes were soft, and added the sweet potato and beans on top with some green enchilada sauce to keep from being too dry and add flavor.