Monday, June 16, 2014

vegan. quesarito. done and done

When I saw the signs at Taco Bell for the new Quesartios, I knew I had to make my own. I love burritos. I love quesadillas. Why haven't I thought of this before?

What I used:

Food for Life Brown Rice Tortillas- to make it gluten free and because they are just really good

Daiya Cheddar Style Wedge- a couple slices per quesadilla

Cooking spray for the quesadillas

Beyond Meat Beefy Crumbles- After cooking with these a couple times now, I've found that I prefer the beefy flavor to the feisty, even for things like tacos and burritos. It also seems to cook best in a cast iron pan with a little canola oil. It tends to stick and dry out in a regular skillet with no oil. 

Pico de Gallo- I followed Isa's recipe from Isa Does It, but any recipe would work.

Guacamole- I always make my own and it's a pretty basic recipe, so you can use whatever recipe you like best.

Sliced black olives

I cooked the crumbles first, then made the quesadillas, then assembled the burritos with crumbles, lots of pico de gallo, olives, and guacamole. 

I kind of love making vegan versions of not so healthy food and I gotta say these turned out awesome. I like to tell myself that the homemade pico + guac make this healthy, which probably isn't true, but it has to be better for you (and animals !) than the Taco Bell version, right? Yup.  

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

eating, thinking....and running?

Since becoming vegan, it seems that I have to think a lot more about food. I read labels of packaged foods, but I also read a lot of food blogs, cookbooks and just books about food. Since there are no vegan or vegetarian restaurants in my area, I'm also constantly thinking about what I'm going to make for my next meal (btw, lately, I've been trying to cook from my actual cookbooks versus just being lazy and using Pinterest). So thinking about food obviously means I eat food, too. Learning about new foods, and then proceeding to eat those new foods has been one of my favorite aspects of being vegan. 

So when I saw JL's tweet about Running, Eating, Thinking: A Vegan Anthology I was so curious that I downloaded it to my Kindle right then. I like thinking, I love eating, let's see what running has to do with those two things, is kind of what I thought.  I read the anthology in a day. It's composed of short essays from well-known vegans like Colleen Patrick-Goudreau, Gene Baur, and Matt Frazier of No Meat Athlete and more really cool people. I loved all the essays, but I wasn't surprised that my favorite was written by a history professor who also writes for The Atlantic, James McWilliams. I really loved the book and I think all runners and all vegans would benefit from reading it.

I actually loved it so much that I decided to try Couch to 5K. I finished a week of it with no problems and even though I only ran for a full minute a couple of times, I still consider it a success because this was my idea on exercise for most of my life:

via multiple tumblr accounts, couldn't find the original, but I LOVE YOU, BILL.

Seriously, I was always like, the next to last person to finish the mile and I was ALWAYS the last person picked for team, so I understand Bill, for sure. But ever since reading Eat and Run by Scott Jurek last year, I've been thinking about running. And now since I've graduated and I have all this time to do whatever, I figured I should try to get in shape. I don't expect to love running all of a sudden and I don't expect to lose a bunch of weight right away, I'm just excited about trying something new and sincerely working on it and just seeing what happens. 

P.S. I did finish the first week of C25K and after starting the second week and trying to run slowly up a hill, my right knee started to hurt so bad! I rested and iced but after a week it still hurt so much where I could barely go up and down stairs, so I did some research and after finding this page I tried an epsom salt bath and bought a knee strap and now my knee feels almost totally normal again. I also iced about 3 times a day and started doing hip exercises, planks, and crunches. I don't really know if it was the salt (def a little skeptical of that) or the strap or that I just needed more time, but I'm so ready to get back to my C25K routine!

Wednesday, May 28, 2014


 This last semester was so busy and the classes were probably the worst I've had in all my four years of college, but I made it.  I'm happy and proud, but I'm honestly just glad it's done...

I did have time to cook during school, but now that it's summer I've had a lot more time to be in the kitchen and it's so. much. fun. 

The best buffalo chicken pizza ever. I used this recipe for the gluten free crust, Beyond Meat tossed in buffalo sauce, Daiya pepper jack, green peppers, and onions. 

I made this cake for my mom's birthday from Bryant Terry's new book Afro-Vegan. It's the cocoa-spice cake with candied ginger and coconut-chocolate ganache. Modifying recipes to be gluten free is always an experiment and I found this cake to be a bit too heavy and rich, and I honestly could have done without the candied ginger. The ganache was very good.

My new favorite lunch is this avocado chickpea mash. I based this off a recipe that used the same typical flavors of guacamole like lime juice, red onion, and cilantro, but instead I added (to one drained can of chickpeas and one avocado) green onion, cumin, lemon juice, and lots of parsley, then I put some Trader Joe's South African smoke seasoning on top. 

Grilled cheese with Daiya and kale salad was another favorite lunch this semester

Vegan Taco Bell. This ALMOST tasted better than Chipotle. It had refried beans, rice, pico de gallo, potatoes, lettuce, and guacamole. 

These tofu po' boys are also from Afro-Vegan were AMAZING. We made gluten free bread crumbs from crushed cornflakes. 

The roasted red bell pepper sauce was so legit. I actually roasted the pepper myself on the grill and I think that made the sauce better than if I had used one from a jar. I find the jarred ones to be too strong.


OH MY GOSH. This asparagus and sweet potato curry is from Bryant Terry's Inspired Vegan. It was so. good. Perfect for a cool spring day. I found the recipe here, so go ahead and make it. now.


Isa's breakfast nachos are everything. They are life. I want them now. 

Vegan food is awesome.