Archives for category: vegan


Hopping back on my blog – so I can keep myself excited to be on the healthy wagon!

After a weekend visiting friends up in Michigan and eating some “cheat” food (read: lots of wine and froyo with cookie dough) I’ve gotta get back on my healthier eating track. In short, I’ve been cutting out eating most processed foods, things with added sugar, and most dairy.

These tacos are made of simple ingredients, but they are oh-so-tasty and make for great leftovers. The “directions” are probably unnecessary, but I think the most important part is the tip – letting the veggies cook way longer than you think at a medium high heat. (see the tip).

Veggie Tacos


  • Corn tortillas
  • 1 avocado, sliced
  • 1 medium sweet onion
  • 1 orange bell pepper
  • 1 red bell pepper
  • 8 oz package of mushrooms, sliced and washed
  • Olive oil
  • 1-2 tbsp taco seasoning
  • Smoked paprika, salt, pepper, and lime juice, to taste
  • Refried beans (homemade)


  1. In a large frying pan, heat 2-3 tablespoons of olive oil at medium heat.
  2. Add sliced onions and mushrooms. Cook over medium heat until onions start to soften.
  3. Stir in diced bell pepper and seasonings, and continue to cook at medium high heat, stirring occasionally. Tip: Let the veggies cook way longer than you think you should and don’t skimp on the heat. It’s good if the veggies stick to the bottom a bit. You want it to have a bit of a “blackened” flavor. Total cook time for the veggies should be about 30 minutes. The veggies will taste best if they are totally softened, slightly blackened, and have absorbed all the seasonings!
  4. In a separate frying pan, warm the corn tortillas for 1 minute on each side over medium heat.
  5. Layer beans, veggies, and avocado on the the tortillas and top with a squeeze of fresh lime juice. Enjoy!

Refried Beans

I cheated a bit on the refried beans and used cans of pinto and black beans, whereas normally I make them in a crockpot all day from dried beans. But here is today’s faster alternative:


  • Two 15 oz cans of pinto beans (rinsed)
  • One 15 oz can of black beans (rinsed)
  • Veggie broth (I use Edward & Sons “Not Chick’n bullion cubes plus 2 cups boiling water)
  • 1/2 onion
  • 1-2 tbsp taco seasoning


  1. Add all ingredients in a medium saucepan, bring to a boil.
  2. Cover, reduce heat to low, and let simmer for a minimum of 30 minutes. You want the onion to be completely cooked through.
  3. Drain out most of the liquid (leave about 1 cup of liquid still with the beans).
  4. Blend until smooth.



This is a recipe I tried a while back. Verdict: It’s delicious!

Because it was a cold pasta salad, it was also really great to take in my lunches to work. If I’m being honest, though, it rarely made it all the way until lunch time…


  • 1 8oz box of gemelli pasta
  • 3/4 cup shelled pistachio nuts
  • 1 cup fresh green beans (cut)
  • 1/2 onion, finely minced
  • 1-2 cloves garlic, finely minced
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tbsp white wine vinegar
  • Juice of 1 small lemon, squeezed over the top
  • Garlic salt, black pepper, and thyme to taste
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped tomatoes (de-seeded, without juice) *Optional


  1. Cook pasta as directed on box, then set aside in a large bowl
  2. Finely mince the onion and garlic.
  3. Cut green beens into bite sized pieces
  4. *Optional: de-seed, de-juice, and finely chop the tomato
  5. In a small frying pan, saute 1 tbsp olive oil, the minced onion, and the minced garlic over medium heat until the onions are translucent
  6. Turn the heat up to medium high and add the pistachios and green beans until they are lightly seared. (*Optional: add the tomatoes at this point)
  7. Combine the nuts and veggies with the pasta and add the remaining olive oil, vinegar, and the spices to taste.
  8. Refrigerate and serve chilled.
  9. Optional: sprinkle with parmesan cheese.


  • I used salted, roasted pistachios. They were quite salty, so unless you really like really salty foods (as I do), I would recommend that you use unsalted pistachios.

Mandarin Salad


Summer is for eating healthy, right? Easier said than done. Between fairs, food trucks and cookouts, I’ve been loading up on all the wrong foods. Wouldn’t it be nice if people brought salads to potlucks that were actually healthy? (read: NOT 60% bacon and/or ranch, likely both).

Here’s a good, simple alternative to try out.  🙂 Enjoy!

Mandarin Salad


  • 1 bag spring mix greens (or spinach)
  • 1 15 oz can mandarin oranges, rinsed
  • 1/2 red onion, chopped
  • 1 cup sliced almonds
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • Red wine vinaigrette

Red Wine Vinaigrette:

  • 1/3 cup red wine vinegar
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • Optional: 1 teaspoon dijon mustard or 1 clove minced garlic


  1. To toast almonds: heat almonds and sugar over medium high heat for about 3 minutes, stirring occasionally until sugar is melted.
  2. Lay almonds out to cool on wax paper.
  3. Make salad dressing by whisking red wine vinegar, oil, sugar and mustard together in a bowl.
  4. Toss greens and onions, then add mandarin oranges and almonds. Drizzle lightly with dressing.