I DID IT!

I DID IT!

It’s here! It’s here! It’s here! Day 30 of #bloglikecrazy is here! November flew by. I can admit there were a couple of times during the challenge that I thought about quitting. However, I knew I wouldn’t get the lessons I was bound to learn if I didn’t complete it. And therefore, wouldn’t be able to share it with all of you.

So here it goes:

1. I’ve learned my 21-Day Water-Workout-Write Challenge was not a fluke.

2. If challenged (by myself or in this case, by See Jane Write founder Javacia Harris Bowser), I will rise to the occasion.

3. I love trying new recipes regularly. I have never been a woman who loves to whip out the cookbook and dive in. I was more of a go with what you know type of cook and try a new recipe once in a blue moon. Meatless Monday posts stretched me and now I want to incorporate recipes more regularly. What I eat is a significant part of my wellness journey and deserves a place here.

4. I am capable of surprising myself. This is something I suspected while taking Life in 10 Minutes with Valley Haggard and Pens Up, Fears Down with Sadeqa Johnson. Even when I thought the well dried up, the words would find a way to appear. However, this challenge asked me to do it every day and more days than not, I opened my computer and stared at a blinking cursor and typed nonsense until I found my way or my way found me.

5. Inspiration is everywhere. It is in the photos you take, nature, the TV or movies you watch, past travels, a conversation at work, books or even as I discovered this month, in a hospital room. Life is going on around you, inside you, and has a past, present and God willing, a future. It is always ready to be found.

If you’ve ever wondered if a challenge like this would be beneficial to you, wonder no more! Give it a try! I am already excited for #bloglikecrazy 2018!

Meatless Mondays: Black Bean Taco Salad

Meatless Mondays: Black Bean Taco Salad

I decided to make a salad tonight. Since the misconception from many people is that vegans only eat salad, I have shied away from posting one. However, I found a recipe for one that is hearty, colorful and sure to fill anyone up. I even made the dressing–Creamy Cumin Ranch Dressing! Both recipes come from Jenn S. at veggieinspired.com.

Ingredients
Black Beans
Crunchy Roasted Chickpeas
  • 1 15 oz can chickpeas (rinsed, drained and dried really well) (or 1.5 cups cooked chickpeas)
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  • 20171127_184417
    Chickpeas tossed with spices–ready to be roasted!
Salad
  • 1 head green leaf lettuce (chopped) (romaine would be great too)
  • 1-2 chopped tomatoes
  • 1 red bell pepper (diced)
  • 1 avocado (diced)
  • 1 cup fresh corn kernels
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
  2. Toss chickpeas with the chili powder, cumin, salt and cinnamon.
  3. Place chickpeas on a baking sheet in one even layer and bake for 20-30 minutes, shaking them around 1/2 way through. Chickpeas should be slightly crunchy…they will continue to crisp up as they cool. Set aside.
  4. Toss the black beans with all the spices and warm in a pan over medium heat with 1/4 cup water. Stir occasionally until warmed through, about 5-6 minutes.
  5. To assemble the salad, toss the lettuce, tomatoes, peppers, avocado and corn in a large bowl. Plate the lettuce mixture on each individual plate or bowl. Add the black beans to the individual servings and top with the crunchy roasted chickpeas. Drizzle with the Creamy Cumin Ranch Dressing.
Creamy Cumin Ranch Dressing:
Ingredients
Instructions
  1. Blend all ingredients in a high speed blender until smooth. Add additional water by the tablespoon if needed to thin.
  2. Enjoy!

Hubby says we should have it every night! The roasted chickpeas, avocado and black beans along with the dressing made this meal as filling as promised. This is the last Meatless Monday I will be doing as part of #bloglikecrazy. Challenging myself to try a new vegan recipe each week has made me push myself. It’s so easy to get stuck in a rut with 4 or 5 of your favorites and take-out but this has opened my world up. I will definitely be posting new recipes in the future.

Meatless Monday: Easy Vegan Fettuccine

Meatless Monday: Easy Vegan Fettuccine

I decided to do something simple this time around and try the Easy Fettuccine Alfredo with Broccoli from brandnewvegan.com. I was particularly excited about it because I had never tried to make an Alfredo sauce and my curiosity was piqued because the recipe called for potatoes, onion, spices and cashews to make the creamy sauce.

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Drained cashews that eventually became major part of a creamy Alfredo sauce!
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Here’s the “Alfredo” sauce. Loved the creamy consistency!

Here is the recipe:

Ingredients

  • 2 Potatoes, quartered. (I recommend Yukon Golds)
  • ¼ onion (or the white part of 1 Leek), chopped
  • ½ cup cashews
  • 1 cup potato water used to boil potatoes
  • 1 Tbls Italian Seasoning
  • 1 tsp Lemon Juice (I like 2 personaly)
  • 2-4 cloves Garlic (again, more is better for me)
  • Salt and Pepper to Taste
  • 1-2 Tbls Nutritional Yeast (optional if you don’t like Nooch)
  • Fettuccine Noodles
Instructions
  1. Soak cashews in 1 cup hot water while preparing sauce
  2. Peel potatoes if desired and quarter them
  3. Add potatoes and onion to a large pot and cover with cold water
  4. Once the water is boiling, cook for 10 minutes
  5. Remove veggies with a slotted spoon and add to blender
  6. Add 1 cup of the potato water
  7. Drain cashews and add to blender
  8. Add remaining ingredients and blend until smooth
  9. Add more water to get the consistency you desire
  10. Season with salt and pepper to taste
  11. Prepare Fettuccini according to package instructions
  12. Add 1 bag frozen Broccoli during last 5 minutes of boil
  13. Drain thoroughly and stir in Alfredo Sauce

I can’t wait to make this again! Jeff and I both loved it. Speaking as someone who used to be a cheese addict, I was thoroughly impressed with this recipe.

Meatless Mondays: Vegan Tuna

Meatless Mondays: Vegan Tuna

Today, I decided to try vegan tuna. I saw a few videos online that made my mouth water and last week, I tried a version at Whole Foods that convinced me it was time to try it at home. A few of the recipes I saw included some kind of vegan mayonnaise which I like but I wanted to challenge myself to make the “mayo.”

The recipe I found was on www.brandnewvegan.com. I know hubby and I eat too much oil and this recipe was oil-free which made it an easy yes. As I was mashing the chickpeas with the potato smasher and fork, I loved watching the transformation of the consistency into something that definitely reminded me of tuna.  After I blended the cashew mixture, it really was a smooth, creamy dressing! I was probably a little too excited. It was definitely a recipe I would try again and I am looking forward to trying more recipes from this site.

Ingredients

  • ½ cup raw cashews
  • ½ cup water
  • 15ox can low sodium garbanzo beans (chickpeas)
  • ½ cup red onion, diced
  • 1 stalk of celery, diced
  • 1 small carrot, diced
  • 2 tbls dill pickle relish
  • 3 tbls lemon juice
  • 2 tsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tbls yellow mustard
  • 1 tsp nutritional yeast (optional)
  • 1 tsp low sodium soy sauce
  • ½ tsp garlic powder
Instructions
  1. Add the cashews and water to your blender to let them soak
  2. Mash garbanzo beans in a large bowl using a potato masher, or fork
  3. Add diced veggies and stir
  4. All the remaining liquid ingredients to the blender with the cashews and water and pulse until smooth.
  5. Stir dressing into ‘tuna’ .
My husband and I both enjoyed our vegan tuna salad sandwiches and I am already looking forward to trying a new vegan recipe next Monday!

Meatless Monday

Meatless Monday

Although I talk about my wellness journey, I don’t post much about food. I cook but my husband loves it way more than I do.  When I was learning more about #bloglikecrazy (write 30 posts in 30 days throughout the month of November started by See Jane Write founder Javacia Bowser), theme days were suggested. The only one that spoke to me was Meatless Mondays. Since I have been plant-based for several months, it would be nice to share a few of the meals we eat or trying for the first time.

Tonight, hubby cooked a vegan three-bean chili. He doesn’t measure anything out but he told me he used pinto, kidney and black beans, canned diced tomatoes, corn, mushrooms and uses chili powder, cumin, oregano, paprika and salts and peppers to taste. He also includes onion, bell peppers and celery and does not skimp on the hot sauce. His chili never disappoints. We decided to try vegan corn muffins for the first time. We had vegetarian Jiffy corn muffin mix but I added fresh corn and sugar. It was nice to see the vegan alternative to egg pictured here:

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When he came home, he didn’t bring muffin tins but a larger pan. No biggie–we just made it work. It was a little flatter than we would have liked but it tasted good–sweet and not dry at all. So here’s how it all turned out:

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We didn’t have muffin tins but it turned out great.

Day 6  of #bloglikecrazy is in the books!