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Tortilla Soup Recipe

Sup Bloggies?  I hope you’re having a great night!

I’m off of work early, and headed home to….well, I dunno.  Probably just going to sit around the house bored until I decide to go to bed.  Can I repeat enough times how much it’s driving me crazy not to have Keenan at home with me in the evenings???  I will definitely survive though.  Gotta get money somehow.

Work was pretty average, and raced by.

I very much enjoyed my pre-made salad during my first break.

I took a bit of a break from my favorite Annie’s Goddess dressing in a last few weeks to use a Miso Vinaigrette that I bought at Safeway, so it was great to have the Goddess back in action.  It’s just so good!  I can’t even describe it.

During my second break I got to dig back into the tortilla soup that I made last night.  It was definitely still amazing.  Tons of flavor. 

Last night I promised the recipe (my dad actually texted me to ask why it wasn’t in my morning post ;)), so here it is!

Tortilla Soup (adapted from Chile-Lime Tortilla Soup from 1000 Vegan Recipes)

Ingredients

1T olive oil
3 garlic cloves, minced
2 serrano chiles, seeded, 1 minced, 1 cut into 1/4-inch slices
3 cups veggie broth
3 cups water
8 oz Easy Baked Tofu, cut into 1/4 inch strips
1 (14.5 oz) can diced tomatoes, drained
1 (4 oz) can mild chopped green chiles, drained
Sea salt and pepper
1t dry cilantro
3T fresh lime juice
3 (6 inch) corn tortillas, cut into strips
1 avocado

Directions

1.  Preheat the over to 350F.

2.   In a large pot, heat the oil over medium heat.  Add the onion, cover and cook until softened, or about 5 minutes.  Add the garlic and serrano chiles, then stire in the broth, water, tofu, tomatoes, canned chiles, plus sea salt and pepper to taste.

3.  Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low and simmer, uncovered for 20 minutes.  Stir in the cilantro and lime juice.

4.  While the soup simmers, prepare the tortilla strips.

Spread the strips on a baking sheet and bake for about 8 minutes, until crisp.

Slice the avocado.

5.  Ladle the soup into bowls and top with tortilla strips and avocado.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

You should definitely try it.  It was great with the jalapeno cornbread muffins that I made with it, and I also think it would be great with a side of rice and beans.  Anything Southwest or Mexican would probably be a great accompaniment, actually.

With that, I will leave you to your Saturday night!  Hope it’s a great one!

❤ Lindsay

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Fajita Burritos

If you haven’t noticed by now, we have a bit of a thing for Mexican food in our house.  I think it’s a combination of the spice, the versatility, and the ease of veggie-fication that most Mexican recipes allow.

Every time that Keenan gets in the mood for Mexican food, I get more than a little excited.  Thanks to his Mexican grandmothers who either used to, or still do, cook all their traditional meals from the amazing-ness of scratch, Keenan has really picked up some mad Mexican cooking skills.

So what is it that can make me look like this?

That would be Keenan’s Fajita Burritos, of course.  (Please excuse the scrubby bedroom attire.)

My favorite part of the recipe, and probably the easiest, is the spicy bean spread that we use as a base on the tortillas.

First, combine a can each of black beans and kidney beans in a colander and rinse.

Once, well rinsed, transfer them to the blender, and begin preparing other ingredients.

Chop some tomatoes.

Add to the mix.

Add salsa to taste.

Keenan included about a 1/2 cup.

Add cayenne pepper to taste.

And, just because spicy isn’t spicy enough, add some hot sauce, such as Cholula.

Then, proceed to blend.

I was even given permission to taste test.

Once the bean spread was complete, the fajita veggies had to be prepared.

Keenan chopped up a bunch of red bell peppers, onion, jalapeno pepper, and tomato.

Some un-pictured Swiss chard also made it into the batch.

These were all sauteed in olive oil and cayenne pepper until cooked.

At some point during the cooking process we also decided to add some sun-dried tomatoes.  Cause, why not, right?

Then the burrito building began!

Tortilla + Bean Spread

+ Romaine Lettuce

+ Fajita Veggies + Extra Salsa

+ Daiya Cheddar

= An Awesome Fajita Burrito

You must try this now.  Your taste buds will thank you.

Have a good night!

❤ Lindsay

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Not-Chicken Salad

Hello!  I hope you’ve all been doing swell!

I’ve been keeping busy.

Friday, we visited Ocean Shores, Washington, for a nice overnight trip to the beach.  Because of the crazy amount of rain we were getting, I actually ended up staying inside watching the NBA finals (HUGE SURPRISE!) and working on a jigsaw puzzle.  I got some Chinese take-out for dinner that ended up sitting in my stomach to a load of bricks, so even our swimming pool plans got nixed.  To assist my stomach I ate almost an entire of package of Double Stuf Oreos.  Didn’t you know that a crap ton of sugar is the solution to everything? (NOT!!!!)  I still a great time, and it was nice to get out of town with my love, even for a day.

The giant shark is a gift shop named Sharky’s that we stopped at on our way out of town.  I found a sweet tie-dye mug with a peace sign on it that says Sharky’s Ocean Shores, Washington.

I also bought the matching shot glass.  They were just that cool.

We actually drove straight from the hotel at the ocean to drop me off at work (3 hours away) on Saturday.  This is what I got to deal with the entire car ride.

Arlo is seriously amazing with car rides.  He’ll usually just sleep or chill the whole time.

Yesterday, I had the day off, but all I really did was run my mom’s Mother’s Day present over to her, grocery shop, watch some basketball, and chill out.

I also got this fun little package in the mail.

My iHerb goodies came!

I ordered some vanilla Sun Warrior protein powder, chia seeds, and dulse powder.  The wonderful people at iHerb also sent me some little samples of preserves and cocoa that I’m excited to check out.

I tried the Sun Warrior in my smoothie this morning, because I was too excited to wait until my other protein powder runs out.  I’m not a food nerd or anything…

I also created this fun recipe that I used in my lunch for work today, that I like to refer to as Not-Chicken Salad.

Instead of using chicken, the base of this salad is actually chickpeas.

I combined them with some Vegenaise and dijon mustard.

Also thrown in the batch were some grated carrot and chopped red cabbage.

I, then, proceeded to mix everything together with a fork, attempting to mash the chickpeas as much as possible.

I also decided to add a couple pinches of cayenne pepper to the mix, just cause it’s my favorite.

You can see the mixed and mashed product in the background here.

This morning, all Keenan had to do was slice open a whole wheat pita, add the mixture, along with some chopped apple and sprouts that I requested.

And voila!  The final product!  This was so tasty! I really think that the apple chunks were the best part of the sandwich.  Only about half of the recipe went into my sandwich, so I’m pretty excited to have leftovers either tonight or tomorrow.

I had some of the leftover apple bits in my salad today, as well.

Also included were spring mix, sprouts, tomato, grated carrot and Annie’s Goddess dressing.  Yum!

My final meal at work today was a leftover veggie egg roll from a 4-pack that we bought at Safeway on Sunday, with some soy sauce that I nabbed from the cafeteria at work.

I prepared two of them to eat, but after using half of my 15 minute break to call and talk to Keenan, I only ended up munching on one of them.  No big.  That just means more for later!

Well, my ferry is pulling into Bremerton, so I will bid you adieu for the evening.  It’s my weekend again! (I love having 3 days off a week!)

Have you visited anywhere cool lately?  Planning a sweet vacay??

What’s your favorite sandwich filler?

❤ Lindsay

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Quick and Easy Quinoa Bowl

Hey!  How’s your weekend going?

It’s been all work, work, work around here.

And I am exhausted for some reason.  I have a feeling I am going to sleep all day tomorrow.

Wanna see something funny?

I realized that if I want I can stick my tummy out far enough to make me look pregnant.  Yes, I know this is ridiculous.

Normal...

...Preggers.

I bet I could really freak out my parents or close friends if I did that after not seeing them for a while. 😉

After I  got home last night, I decided that I needed to figure out something quick and easy that I could take to work with me, since I was out of soup.  Yesterday, I ended up eating Top Ramen noodles made with water from the coffee pot at work, drained in the sink in the employee lounge, and seasoned with three soy sauce packets.  Total fail.  It was a complete act of desperation, and can never be repeated.

To keep the same thing from happening to me today, I decided to make myself a work snack ahead of time.

Meet the Quick and Easy Quinoa Bowl!

Yeah, there are veggies hiding in there.

I apologize for my schweaty bowl...

Basically, I just cooked up a cup of quinoa with a cube of veggie boullion.  When there was about 10 minutes left in cooking the quinoa, I tossed in some cut up broccoli and asparagus and allowed it to steam.  (This method saves some of the nutrients of leaching out into the water!)  Once it was all cooked, I divided it between three small bowls, added half a cup of rinsed, canned kidney beans, some Braggs Liquid Aminos, and refrigerated.

Okay… two of the bowls were refrigerated.  The other bowl went in my tummy immediately. 🙂

Hope you like it!

❤ Lindsay

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Spaghetti Squash Marinara

Hey friends! How are you doing tonight??

I had a lovely time after I got home from work last night.  My friend, Jordan, whom I refer to as my little brother so often that people actually get confused and think we’re siblings, turned 21 at midnight last night!  So, of course, that required taking a little trip out to the bar to celebrate and have some drinks with him.  I’ve been waiting for him to turn 21 for quite a while, so it was nice to be able to go hang out and watch him have an awesome night.

Between getting home from work and heading out to the bar last night, I decided to make myself a fun little dinner.  I mentioned a few days ago that we bought a spaghetti squash at the Chimicum Farm Stand.

Well, I finally decided to bust it out and cook it.  Mind you, this was my first attempt at spaghetti squash, but it’s super simple, and I definitely think it turned out great!

Spaghetti Squash Marinara

(Adapted from 1000 Vegan Recipes)

  • 1 whole spaghetti squash
  • 2T EVOO
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 2 cups marinara sauce

Cook your whole squash in a large pot of boiling water for 30-40 minutes.

With the lid on to hold in the steam.Check out my legs reflected in the pot. Whoops! 🙂

Once the squash is soft enough to be easily pricked with a fork, drain the water, and cut the squash in half.

Then, scoop out the seeds and guts.  Scoop out the stringy flesh of the squash into a bowl using a fork, and toss the shell.

In a large skillet, heat the olive oil and toss in the minced garlic.  Once the garlic begins to cook, add your squash and marinara sauce.  I used Walnut Acres organic tomato and basil spaghetti sauce, but any brand will do. 

You can also create your own.

Mix all the ingredients together, stir-frying the squash and sauce until cooked.

Check out the steam coming off that baby!

Serve and enjoy!

I enjoyed mine with some green beans.

There were plenty of leftovers, but post-bar I came home and devoured all of them.

Kind of a bummer, I was hoping to take them to work today!  No big though.

 

What’s a food that you have never tried, but really want to?

 

❤ Lindsay

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How to Start on Your Path to Health Part One {and Amazeballz!}

Hey everyone!

Sorry I missed blogging yesterday! Since I had the day off, I was out and about all day long!  I had a great time though.  I ran some errands with the bf and Arlo, including a visit to the vet where the pup got his rabies shot.  I was so so mad at us for making him go through that, so we had to promise him a trip to the park afterward.  We finally bought Arlo a leash too.  He may have been happy about going for a nice long walk at the park, but he was totally PO-ed that we made him use the leash.   Arlo did make a new friend who is a chihuahua mix a bit larger than himself.  He always loves meeting new dogs.

We also went to a barbecue last night at the bf’s friend’s house, where we enjoyed some black bean burgers on whole wheat buns with mustard and lettuce.  (I forgot tomato!)  They were absolutely amazing as always.  We also brought a salad to share, which was enjoyed by everyone.  I even brought my Annie’s Goddess dressing with me, and quite a few people tried it and really enjoyed it!  Our friend, John, the bbq host, also tried one of our black bean burgers and said that he thinks he might have to go buy some for himself!  I love introducing people to delicious, healthy, vegan food!

Something else has also changed in my life since the last time I posted.  I finally tried the Fitnessista’s amazeballz!   All I could say was, “Ohhhhh myyyyyyy Gooooooddddddd!”  They are absolutely, well, amazeballz!  I was super scared that they weren’t going to turn out well, because we only have plain protein powder in the house right now, instead of vanilla, but they really were fantastic.

Amazeballz

  • 2T protein powder
  • 2T shredded coconut (I used sweetened, instead of the unsweetened that the recipe calls for, because it was what I had on hand from a while back.)
  • 2T almond butter
  • 1T honey (The recipe calls for pure maple syrup, but I didn’t have any.  I know some people will argue that honey isn’t vegan, but I am not that nitpicky.  It isn’t a high cholesterol product and it isn’t a direct animal product.)
  • 1/2t pure vanilla extract
  • 2T cacao nibs
  • pinch of cinnamon and sea salt

The original recipe calls for it to be mixed in the food processor, but to save dishes, I mixed it with a spoon until it had a consistent texture.  Then, I just rolled the mixture into 2 balls and devoured them. We are lucky that there are actually pictures to show of the beaut’s.

Amazeballz are definitely going to be a regular part of my diet.

How to Start on Your Path to Health

I know tons of people who have the desire to begin leading a healthier lifestyle, but don’t know where to begin.  I have decided to do a series of posts, designed to help make heading in that direction a bit easier.

Today I will cover Beginning to Add Healthier Elements to Your Diet. So many diets focus on eliminating items from your diet, whether it be carbs, fat, calories, and whatever the craze of the year may be.  I prefer to begin any lifestyle change by ADDING and SUBSTITUTING instead of eliminating.

One excellent place to start is with beverages. You know that soda and high fructose corn syrup are bad for you, so why do you continue to drink them??? You can get caffeine from coffee or tea, which both contain antioxidants, and very few calories.  You can get your sweet fix from fruit, or stevia, or agave syrup (both now available in most local grocery stores).  A big change I made in the beginning of trying to live more healthily, and trying to save some money, was taking a mug of tea or coffee from home, instead of buying a sugary, expensive latte everyday.  It also helps out the environment, since you aren’t using a disposable cup every morning.  I’m a huge tea fan, since there are so many different types and flavors to try out.  Lately, I’ve been sweetening most of my tea with Truvia, a brand of stevia sweetener.  I’m also a huge fan of green tea with a wedge of lemon squeezed in. 🙂

I can never emphasize enough how much better you will feel all the time if you add extra fruits and veggies to your diet.  Drink a green smoothie for breakfast.  Make a veggie-based dish from a good cookbook.  Try eating salads for lunch or dinner.  Try different ways of cooking veggies, like steaming, roasting or stir-frying.  You should try to make at least half of each meals out of veggies.  This will also save you on calories, if that’s a concern for you, since veggies have less calorically dense than other foods.

An important group of foods to begin exploring is plant-based sources of protein.  It seems that everyone is always concerned about getting enough protein if they eat less or no meat.  Beans, legumes, and soy products tend to be some of the more popular meat replacements.  I’m a huge fan of vegan soups and chilis, which you can find at the grocery store, or make at home.  I always have a box of Amy’s soups from Costco in my pantry, so I can grab one if need be.  I also keep cans of black beans, kidney beans and garbanzo beans around at all times, because they get used so often.  I also keep dry lentils around, because they cook quickly compared to most beans, and are great in soups, chilis and may other dishes.

There are lots of soy meat-replacements, but I tend to avoid those, since they are so processed.  However, they can be great for transitioning away from a meat-heavy diet.  Tofu and tempeh are two popular soy-based choices, and can be adapted to fit many different recipes and flavors.  A good vegan cookbooks can give you some excellent ideas for preparing meals with tofu and tempeh.

While you’re trying out the meat replacements, go ahead and try out some dairy replacements.  There are tons of dairy-free milks to choose from, including soy, rice, almond, and coconut.  I tend to rely most of almond milk, however, because I enjoy the taste and texture.  I also enjoy rice milk, and you can actually buy a case of Rice Dream at Costco.  I haven’t had a chance to try coconut milk yet, so I can’t give my opinion on that one.

Also, the best vegan cheese you will ever try is Daiya, which comes in cheddar and mozzarella flavors.  They also have a new pepper jack flavor coming out soon that I am especially stoked to try out on nachos and quesadillas.  I currently use the cheddar frequently for nachos, and I’ve heard that it even makes good grilled cheese sandwiches, but I have yet to attempt those.  The mozzarella is great for pizza.  You can find Daiya cheese at health food stores, and I’ve also been able to find it at Fred Meyer grocery stores.

Grains are an important part of a healthy diet.  Many American’s only eat white bread, white rice and white pasta.  This is terrible for you, and, in my opinion, so tasteless!  There are so many more exciting grains out there that you can use!  When buying bread, WHOLE wheat flour should be the first ingredient listed on the package.  You should also look for brown rice and whole grain pasta.  Other fun grains are quinoa (which is a complete protein), buckwheat, wild rice, millet, and amaranth.  You can use these like you would use rice in a dish, to switch up your nutrient profile and food experience.

For the ice cream lover out there, you also have many options that don’t force you to give up that sweet, cold, creamy deliciousness.  One of my new favorite products is Larry and Luna’s Coconut Bliss ice cream.  Especially their dark chocolate ice cream bars.  They are soooo creamy you completely forget you aren’t eating the real thing, and the flavor is to die for.  You can also find many sorbet flavors that contain no dairy.  I’m a huge fan of mango sorbet.  Banana soft serve is another option that has become a craze throughout the blog world.  It’s basically just frozen bananas thrown in the food processor and processed until smooth and creamy.  You can also add other fruit or chocolate to change the flavor, but plain banana is also great. Choosing Raw has a great post on making banana soft serve.

I hope this guide helps you begin your journey towards health!  And that it helps you to explore new foods that you might never have tried otherwise!  The point right now is to begin trying new things before you have to go out on a limb and get rid of old things.  Try this for the next week, maybe trying one new item each day.  Maybe add a green smoothie in one morning, a vegan version of one of your favorite recipes on another.  Try making a taco salad with black beans instead of meat.  There are so many different foods to try that your possibilities are endless.

By the way, I got my butt outside to go running again this morning!  I wrote a few days ago that I was having trouble with motivation, but I set my alarm an hour early this morning, laced up my running shoes and did a quick, easy 2.5 miles across the bridges by my house.  It felt amazing, of course.  It may not have been much, but it was something, and any purposeful sweating is a good thing in my book.

I hope you all have a great Saturday night, and I will see you in the morning!

❤ Lindsay

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Pizza Night!

Hey guys! How’s it going?

I just had a nice couple of days off from work and now I’m on my way back to Seattle for another day at the hospital.   I did get a chance to make some fun food while I was off though, including 1/2 vegan/ 1/2 vegetarian pizza from scratch.

I had been craving pizza for a couple weeks, and after a failed attempt about a week ago where in the middle of making some Bob’s Red Mill Gluten-Free Pizza Crust, I dropped and broke the bowl the crust was in, getting the dough full of broken glass.  Since we didn’t have crust we put the project on hold.  However, watching Connery play Bond in Thunderball seemed like the perfect occasion to give pizza another shot.

Vegan/Vegetarian Pizza

For the crust I used the Basic Pizza Dough recipe from 1,000 Vegan Recipes by Robin Robertson.  However, I substituted whole wheat flour for the all-purpose flour called for in the recipe both for nutritional value and because I think it has a better flavor. (And because it’s what happened to be in my cupboard!)

For the sauce, the bf combined:

  • 2 cans tomato paste
  • 1T garlic powder
  • 1T oregano leaves
  • 1T dry cilantro leaves

Our toppings included diced scallions, baby sweet bell peppers, spinach and artichoke hearts.  You can be creative with pizza and use whatever veggies you have on hand.  The bf’s half had mozzarella cheese, and my side had Daiya vegan “mozzarella cheese”. 

I baked the pizza at 45o degrees F for about 30- 45 minutes.

We devoured almost the entire pizza.  I had one slice of my half left that I ate for breakfast the next morning.  I seriously think homemade pizza is wayyyy better than store-bought.  Not only do you get to customize it exactly to fit your preferences, but you also know how much better it is for your body.

Have you ever made pizza at home from scratch before?  What is your favorite recipe?

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