Friday, May 28, 2010

New Blog Address

I've moved my blog to Wordpress.  Here's the new link:

Please update your subscriptions and readers :)

Lazy Gal's Mexican Fiesta

I love Tex Mex food (almost as much as I love a good margarita) and actually I've found that homemade Mexican inspired cuisine can be both healthy and vegan :)  As much as I enjoy cooking, when I finally get home around 7:30-8pm after work, long commute, and working out-I'm often exhausted and just want to eat without much fuss or energy.  Therefore I'm always on the prowl for yummy healthy and fast recipes/meal inspirations.  And I present to you Lazy Gal's Mexican Black Bean Soup based on this recipe from the Happy Herbivore.


  • 15.5 oz can black beans
  • 16 oz jar salsa
  • 4 oz  can of green chilies
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/4 tsp cumin
  • 1/4 tsp onion powder
  • 1/2 cup water
  1. Place all ingredients into medium sauce pan
  2. Blend using immersion blender
  3. Heat then eat!

This yummy soup is quick, easy, and healthy.  If you don't have an immersion blender, heat the ingredients on the stove then transfer sections to your blender or you can leave it chunky.  Makes about four servings (depending how much you want to eat at once).

I ate this paired with one of my Mexican fiesta salads:

Spinach, yellow summer squash, zucchini, cherry tomatoes, silken tofu blended with salsa (fabulous dressing)

This meal is both satisfyingly delicious and very healthy (key after a good workout) with ample amounts of protein (tofu and black beans) plus a gazillion veggies.  Blending silken tofu with salsa (and other liquids-I've done balsamic vinegar and Bragg's liquid aminos) creates a great salad dressing filled with protein!

Do you have any quick recipes for those busy night when you don't feel like cooking??

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Feeding the Non Vegans in My Life

Now I might be a horrible vegan BUT my brothers and father are not about to eat my tofu hot dogs.  So when I cook for my family, I often cook meat and other animal products.  But I do my best to make healthy meals that my brothers and father will enjoy.  For my meat eating readers here is one of my favorite recipes to make for the boys: Pizza Biscuit Casserole


  • Fat free or low fat refrigerated biscuits
  • 1 (or 2) jars favorite pizza sauce
  • Fat free or low fat mozzarella cheese
  • Ground beef (turkey, soy crumbles, etc)

1. Open biscuit dough and cut into quarters and place in a 9x13 dish sprayed with cooking spray.  Cover entire bottom of dish.

2. Pour jars of pizza sauce over cut up biscuits.

3. Add ground beef (browned)

4. Top with  mozzarella then bake at 375 F for 30 minutes or until the sauce bubbles/the cheese has melted.

Voila!  Very simple and quick casserole that's a crowd pleaser.  My family loves pizza but this casserole puts a new twist on the pizza pie.  I round out the meal with some green beans sautéed with garlic plus I make my brothers pick a piece of fruit too (typically banana or strawberries).  This can be incredibly "healthified" by using ground turkey or soy crumbles and fat free mozzarella plus if you're a vegetarian you can use soy crumbles and you've got a yummy vegetarian main dish.  On nights when I cook for my Dad and brothers I will just whip up something else for me to eat that's vegan friendly. 

Do you ever make multiple meals to please every member of your family?  And if you are a vegan/vegetarian do you ever prepare meat or animal products for the non veggies in your life?

Thursday, May 6, 2010

New Eats

I've been in a massive food rut for the past couple of weeks.  It's been salad after salad after salad.  And while I absolutely love and adore massive amounts of veggies, I'm getting bored of the same meal.  So one of my coworkers told me about Bragg Liquid Aminos which he told me has a similar taste to soy sauce/tamari.  I decided to research the importance of amino acids in a healthy diet.  According to the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biophysics at the University of Arizona, amino acids are the building blocks of protein and proteins regulate almost all cellular activity (aka we could not live without protein).  Humans can only produce 10 of the 20 essential amino acids necessary for human life.  Therefore, humans must consume the other 10 essential amino acids EVERY SINGLE DAY from food because humans do not store amino acids.  Plants have all the necessary enzymes to produce all essential amino acids therefore the soybean based Bragg liquid is an excellent source of non animal meat amino acids.  With this knowledge, I marched off to Whole Foods and purchased a spray bottle of Bragg Liquid Aminos to create a fabulous stir fry with these other ingredients:
Tofu Shirataki Noodles, frozen stir fry vegetables, baby spinach, 1 serving lite firm tofu, and Bragg Liquid Aminos

Which became this:

I love me some aminos :)  I spritzed some Bragg Liquid Aminos on my veggies, tofu, and noodles.  I did not miss sodium packed soy sauce plus I definitely consumed the 10 amino acids that I can't produce plus the extra 6 aminos that I can produce.  I hope my proteins are happy!

Now I can eat a bowl of oats and banana every single day especially with some chia seeds and dark chocolate dreams (it's like dessert for breakfast).  But I've been getting hungry less than an hour later.  I drink plenty of water (and me, don't come between me and my coffee) so I don't think hydration has been the problem.  So I decided to experiment with protein powder so I searched my blogs and discovered on Jarrow Brown Rice Protein Powder from the Fitnessita:

I added 2.5 T (55 calories, 12 grams protein) plus 1 tsp chia seeds to my oatmeal mixture along with a huge banana for some fructose sweetness and potassium.  I'll keep y'all posted how the protein powder effects my morning hunger.

Do you ever fall into a food rut and how do you climb out?  Any suggestions for filling additions to my oatmeal?

Saturday, May 1, 2010

New Favorite Restaurant

I'd like to thank you all for your wonderful comments, emails, texts, etc.  I shared my story and my struggle to open a window into some of the "hidden" truths in food blogging.  Personally, when I read certain blogs, I allow myself to feel like a failure for not eating kale (24/7) or train for marathons or owning a Vitamix.  I love the fresh taste of a spinach smoothie but I NEVER feel full after drinking one.  I mainly wanted to share my story to "clear the air" and help anyone struggling with food/body image (etc) realize that he/she is not alone.  I struggle almost everyday to love my body.  So please if you are struggling, remember that a number is just a number and beauty flows through all of us whether we use Stevia or Splenda in our coffee.  Again thanks :) And if you have more questions for me, please email me or comment on one of my posts.

If I could write songs, I'd write my own Ode to Joy to the wonderful Open Kitchen Bistro in Falls Church.  What makes Open Kitchen so amazing:

  1. Wonderful/friendly service who doesn't look utterly confused when you state that you are a vegan and really don't want another salad
  2. A menu with items that are vegan and/or easily veganized
  3. Gorgeous decor and patio-perfect for the crisp Spring night
  4. Pot of tea for $3.50
  5. Vegan (and non vegan) cooking classes
On a beautiful Spring night here in the lovely DC metro area, my friends and I decided we needed a good meal ASAP preferably in VA so we could all drive with outdoor seating and a restaurant where vegan food would not be a salad without the cheese and meat.  And Open Kitchen Bistro seemed the perfect restaurant.  I started with a chamomile citrus tea that arrived in this:

(my own teapot...adorable)

And for my meal I had this:

Vegan Zucchini and Basil Soup


Quinoa Vegetable Medley

I absolutely loved the soup!  The accent of basil with the pureed zucchini left me wanting another bowl or two.  I gobbled the soup up in 3 seconds and then started analyzing the quinoa vegetable medley which upon first sight disappointed me.  I thought that a vegetable medley would include more vegetables than a couple pieces of carrots and onions (which I love but do not agree with my poor tummy).  Then when I took my first bite, my suspicions were confirmed.  The quinoa and veggies had no flavor.  I'm a spice girl (lol...I'd be Garlic Spice) and the quinoa just tasted boring and bland to my overly seasoned tastebuds.  So instead of eating dull quinoa I decided to snap pictures of my friends' meals (which I didn't sample as nothing about them were in the neighborhood of vegan).

Herb crusted Tuna Burger with side salad and homemade chips

Steamed Mussels

Both dishes smelled wonderful and both of my friends were in love with their dishes.  Since I didn't enjoy the quinoa, I didn't eat it (why waste my calories) so my friend V. took them home for her lunch the next day.  However I'm planning on returning soon to sample some of the other vegan options including a cauliflower steak...yummm :) And Open Kitchen also offers vegan cooking classes.  I'm going to attend a Vegan Indian cooking class later this month.  Though the quinoa disappointed me, I LOVED Open Kitchen because of the great service, numerous options, and  decor (sorry no pics this time).  I will definitely be back soon!

Has anyone ever had difficulty ordering food at restaurants?  I hate when my family wants to go to steakhouses for dinner.  I've even hidden a PB&J sandwich in my purse to supplement the iceberg lettuce I always get served.