Vegan Chilaquiles

 

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I decided to try something different for my vegan tastes. (For those new to the blog, I’m not vegan but I do make a lot of plant-based and vegan dishes because my body likes it).

I really did like this recipe, though I thought the sodium content was a wee bit high for my taste (and I didn’t use that much salt). I did make it a little more spicy than what the recipe called for.

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In terms of chilaquiles, I thought this was a good alternative. I usually eat the beef or chicken with cheese type. This was super easy to make and I highly recommend it even if you’re not vegan.

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To try this recipe, click here.

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Oh-So Tempeh

On our quest on eating healthier and cleaner, I’m trying new foods I haven’t even heard of. The risk of being healthier is sometimes taking a plunge into the unknown and trying certain foods and vegetables you wouldn’t dream of eating. Why would you eat something you never heard of?

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Exactly, you wouldn’t. Hell, for the longest time I didn’t. Now I’m a bit older and a bit wiser and well, junk food ain’t doing it for me anymore.

Introducing tempeh.

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One of my friends recently went vegan, and she’s been praising tempeh to the gods. After seeing her enthusiastic posts, I figured why not? Let me try tempeh and see what the hype is.

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Tempeh is pretty much fermented soybeans in a block form. However, the true benefits of tempeh comes in what it’s hiding:

A 3-ounce (84-gram) serving of tempeh contains these nutrients (2):

  • Calories: 162
  • Protein: 15 grams
  • Carbs: 9 grams
  • Total fat: 9 grams
  • Sodium: 9 milligrams
  • Iron: 12% of the RDI
  • Calcium: 9% of the RDI
  • Riboflavin: 18% of the RDI
  • Niacin: 12% of the RDI
  • Magnesium: 18% of the RDI
  • Phosphorus: 21% of the RDI
  • Manganese: 54% of the RDI

RDI= recommended daily intake.

It sounds good but how does this stuff taste?

I decided to try a new recipe located here. We’re not on any kind of diet but we do want to eat better. I figured it couldn’t hurt to try, right?

For the recipe, I chose black kale because I never even knew it existed. It’s actually rather pretty:

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It also has some pretty dope anti-cancer benefits.

I de-stemmed it and blanched it out.

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Honestly, I only used one bunch but the next time I’ll use a couple of bunches.

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Look how beautiful that green is!!!! OMG!!!!

I fried the tempeh in coconut oil and added the recipe sauce to it:

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And then I added the black kale:

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Results:

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Yes, it’s not the prettiest picture but that’s beside the point. It tasted great! I highly recommend this recipe!

How do you tempeh?

Calling Dr. Green Thumb

No, I’m not planting weed, LOL. I do like the song, though.

Ever since we moved into the duplex, my mind has run wild with the thoughts of having a garden. When I was growing up in Palm Springs, my Granny grew her own vegetables and fruit. I can remember picking figs, oranges, lemons, grapefruits from various trees in the backyard. She even grew hot peppers but I was told to never touch them because of how spicy they were. One time she grew grapes!

As I’ve become older, I realize how much I just want to grow my own ish. Don’t get me wrong; I love frequenting farmer’s markets and supporting local farmers. Hell, I just bought some blood oranges yesterday in the hopes of actually using my ice cream maker for once and make sorbet.

But there’s something so…how can I put it…like really down-home about getting your fingers dirty into the soil, planting seeds, watching something grow (or not).

I’m going to keep it one hundred…I just started gardening so a lot of my info is coming from Google, Martha Stewart Living, and Better Homes & Gardens. I’ll occasionally pop into some random blogs. What I’m trying to say is if you have any gardening tips, hook a sista up, will ya?

So, let’s start with the very basic (and I do mean basic) of my gardening adventures: my little pots that could:

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I picked up the colorful ones at Target for $1 each. The bigger ones, which will hopefully contain my strawberries and watermelon, cost $2.

The fuchsia one are my coneflowers, the purple one are my petunias, and the yellow are the sunflowers. Sunflowers are the easiest plant to grow so I’m super jazzed it’s sprouting. It’s the little things…

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These are my bell peppers. The one on the left is yellow, and the one on the right is red. I actually planted them too close together (they’re supposed to be around 18 inches apart, something I found out after the fact), but I didn’t want to move them. It seems they’re both encouraging each other to grow. The red one was originally dying when I picked her up at Home Depot and while most people would choose another plant, I decided to give her a chance.

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Now look at her! She just needed some love!

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This patch of dirt should be my green onions. They’re growing in the same area of my bell peppers. Hubby loves green onions so I hope we can have our own instead of buying them. I’ll keep everyone updated with this progress.

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My beloved succulents. We had these at our old apartment so they naturally came with us. I want to get a couple more so I have a little succulent garden. They’re also great decor since we have a bit of a steep step at the side of the home and I already tripped on it. Having the plants there tells people in a way to not step on the plants but also to watch their steps.

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Those decorations I picked up in Chinatown for about $5 each. The flower plants, my ranunculus, I’m still debating what I’m going to do with them. I picked them up at Home Depot for about $3 each but I should’ve done my research since I learned they were poisonous to cats (we have a Sushi). For the time being, she ignores them but I don’t want her to get curious. I might have take that L and dispose of them.

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I originally bought these for me until I figure out how invested I was going to be into gardening. Bear figured out they were for him (they’re actually for kids), and he took over.

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He loves watering the plants and gardening. It gives him a sense of responsibility and keeps him away from the iPad and TV screen for a short while. He’s a very outdoorsy kid so if he doesn’t have to be stuck inside the house, he won’t.

And lastly, my first attempt at making compost:

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I didn’t just come up with this but I did a bit of “research” via Google. Better Homes & Gardens gave me a ton of ideas to work from.

Martha Stewart Living suggested the different materials I can use in my compost.

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My little compost consists of torn newspaper, food scraps, coffee grinds, egg shells, leaves, twigs, and dryer lint.

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Again, it’s small because my garden is small. Once I get a handle of where my garden is going, I’ll make a bigger compost.

So, that’s it! A little project but I’m super jazzed about it. I’m also in the process of trying to decorate our small backyard, so I’ll do an update on that progress as well.

How do you garden? Do you have any tips?

 

Vegetarian Snack: Brie x Cucumber Open Sandwiches

So, originally I was going to post about the vegan sautéed red chard I just made. However, I didn’t take a pic of it so, LOL, I’m going to have to wait a couple days to remake it and take a pic of it.

However, last night, I did make vegetarian brie x cucumber sandwiches last night. I had a lot of brie and a lot of cucumbers and I thought, ‘Can I actually combine the two?’

Turns out, I can.

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Ingredients:

Brie cheese, softened so it can spread easily

Cucumber slices

Your choice of bread (I used dark, rye bread but I think any bread will work)

Any garnish of your choosing. (Some used sprouts, cracked black pepper, smoked paprika, etc.)


Now, I have to admit, while this came out hella good (I actually had three of them), it’s not something you would eat all of the time, no matter what type of bread. Brie is a very good but hella fattening cheese and I could’ve sworn my waist line expanded just by looking at the pic.

But it’s a great appetizer to serve to guests (instead of bread, you could use Triscuit crackers), and a good once in a while snack.

Now tomorrow, I will post my results of the sautéed red chard! It came out so delicious!

Vegan Collard Greens

I’m not sure if I posted this recipe before but I have to say when some things are made accidentally, they can sometimes be the best results.

Last Thanksgiving as I was preparing a meal for my family, I decided to make collard greens. I haven’t made collard greens in forever and I legit forgot how much time it takes. Between the washing and soaking (and more washing and soaking), cooking, marinating, the entire process can take up to 5 hours. Sometimes more.

As Maks and I adjust to a healthier lifestyle and incorporate more veggies in our diet, sometimes one has to sacrifice some time to get healthy. Collard greens is traditionally made with either ham hocks or a turkey leg. Sometimes I didn’t have access to either, so I did without and substituted the greens with veggie broth.

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Ingredients:

1 pound of collard greens, thoroughly soaked and washed.

3 cups of veggie broth

1 large onion, chopped.

2 garlic cloves, chopped.

2 Tablespoons of olive oil

A pinch of red pepper flakes

Seasoning Salt

Pepper


 

Directions:

Soak the collard greens to make sure they are thoroughly washed. I usually soak them in cold water with salt for 30 minutes, drain, rinse, and re-soak. I do this several times, with a minimum of three washes. This is to cut down the bitterness of the greens, but also to kill any residual bugs hiding in the leaves.

In the meanwhile, chop the onion and garlic and put it in a large pot. Pour 1 Tablespoon of olive oil and sautée the onion and garlic. Turn off the fire after a few minutes.

Once the leaves are thoroughly washed to your liking, strip the leaves and cut them into 1-inch, 2-inch strips. Pour them into the pot with the onion and garlic mixture, and add the veggie broth with the additional tablespoon of olive oil.

Cook until boiling, and then let it simmer. The greens should eventually go from bright green to dark money green. This should take a minimum of

Add seasoning salt, pepper, and red pepper flakes as needed.

Total time:

Depending on how much you wash the greens, this could take a minimum of four hours. The actual cooking part takes around 45 minutes. Many people often have the greens soak overnight to cut down on the time spent in the kitchen.

Do you have a recipe for vegan collard greens? How did it turn out?