Beans N’ Rice

Well hello bloggies!

Summer is flying by here, and I oft find something extraordinarily interesting to post about (food wise) as of late. I have been trying to rein in my finances, so variety in my cooking has been scarce. That is not to say it hasn’t been healthy or delicious! I have to share with you probably the most simple and easy, tasty and healthy, college-proof, fail-proof veggie-friendly team. A complete punch, a dynamic duo, and unstoppable force: beans and rice.

The only woe I have today is… no more camera. I feel it was on its last leg about a month ago in Greece, so it is time to say goodbye. You have treated me so well, camera. You have been to many places, old friend. You accompanied me abroad, and you were the first big purchase with my own money I have ever made back in high school. It has been a wonderful 6 years with you, my friend. 🙂

Anyways, back to the eats. Until I work again, as a barista at my college’s coffee shop on campus in a few weeks, I will have to borrow my housemate’s camera. For now, this post will be lacking in color.

For some easy-peasy beans and rice, here is what you do. It is a great staple for vegetarians because it is complete in protein and nutrients (throw in some veggies too!) and yummy. And easy on the wallet. And waistline. It is a win-win in my book!

It is absolutely a simple ordeal. One, pick a bean. Any will do I have found! I have made it with black, kidney, pinto, and tonight was white beans. Each add a different texture, so you can experiment with different seasonings you want to add, and each is delicious with a grain. I have used up my quinoa stock, so now it was good, old and reliable brown rice. Me? I LOVE spicy food. I don’t know if I mentioned this, but I live for my red pepper flakes, chilli powder, and even cayenne. Bring on the spicy!

 

The easiest way to quickly whip up a batch of spicy beans and rice is to pick out a veggie-style taco seasoning packet (I got mine from Trader Joe’s! So good!) and then sautee them beans up. Boil some water for your grains and steam em’ up. It is that simple!

Beans N’ Rice

1. Rinse our your beans well if they are canned, or pre-soak your beans before cooking.

2. Heat up a large skillet with stick-spray or oil.

3. Sautee up some onion of your choice.

4. Throw in the beans! Let them heat up and sizzle, you may need to add water as you go to ensure they won’t stick.

6. Add your seasonings of choice, such as a taco seasoning packet. Go ahead and experiment. Let me know what you come up with too! 🙂

5. If you wish, add some veggies. I have added broccoli, corn, and spinach (add at the very last minute to avoid over cooking your leafy greens!)

6. Pile on top of some steamed up grains.

7. EAT.

They are filling and yummy, oh and supply great leftovers for taking to work.

Well, with that I am off. Ciao for now! -Mary

That’s how these cookies crumble

Good afternoon bloggies!

One thing I love about Saturdays mornings: sleeping in, eating a leisurely breakfast, making a big pot of coffee to sip on all afternoon, and lounging about. What I don’t love: where did the day go!?! It is already 3:30? How did that happen!

Well I can say I did get a lot done today, and by that I mean I super-cleaned my house! I am not kidding. I swept the living room and kitchen, vacuumed the carpeting, mopped the wood floors and kitchen floors, cleaned the stove, countertops, tabletops, and sinks, scrubbed the bath tub and shower, cleaned the toilets, and last, dusted off the furniture. Phew! It smells clean and looks lovely, but I am pooped.

Yet, not tired enough to take a dive into vegan baking!!!

I found these oat cookie recipe on vegweb.com, here is the link: Best Oat Cookies that Ever Existed

And I might have to agree. They are simply delectable. And the best thing: you can go ahead and eat the cookie dough, no worries to be had. There are no raw eggs in it, so you don’t have to even think about getting sick, well maybe worry about a tommy ache if you decide to eat too much of it 😉 I made some alterations, and you can too depending on what you have in your kitchen.

Happy Oat Cookies

Ingredients

1 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup white sugar
1/4 cup plus 1 teaspoon oil
3 tablespoons water
1 chia egg (1 tbsp chia seeds + 3 tbsp cold water, let sit until it gels)
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 cup whole wheat flour + 1/2 cup of oat flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 cups oats
1/2 cup chopped walnuts

 

Directions
1. Preheat your oven to 350. First, mix together the sugars, oil, and water.  Add the chia egg and vanilla. In a separate bowl, mix the flours, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt.
2. Then slowly add the flour mixture to the wet mixture. With a wooden spoon, add 1/2 cup of chopped walnuts and then stir in the oats.  If it is too thin, let stand a bit so the oats can absorb the excess liquid.  If it gets too dry, add some water and let the oats absorb it for a few minutes.
3. Form cookies by hand into about a palm sized ball and line them onto a cookie sheet. Bake for 13 minutes or more, waiting to see if the bottoms of the cookies have browned.
Let them cool, and enjoy! These are seriously so good. Who thought vegan baking couldn’t work? The chia egg worked beautifully and helped my cookies fluff up nicely.
Well,  it looks like a movie marathon kind of day (with my delicious cookies to accompany me!) :p
Ciao for now! -Mary

A Day to Set Goals

Whats up bloggies?

I am just very nervous, excited, anxious and all sorts of giddy about telling you about my new goal. Once it’s out on the blog, it is for real. No turning back. No backing out. No. Quitting. Whatsoever. And here it is: my friend Lindsey and I are embarking on a great journey together and setting a great, big goal to work towards: Our very first half marathon!!!

I know, it’s serious. I have had my fair share of 5k’s, a 7k called Bloomsday in Spokane, and my first 10k which I have been working towards will be the Dirty Dash in August. But this is the real guy. Not as big and tough as a full-fledged marathon, no, but a teeth-grinder nonetheless. A 13.1 mile run around beautiful Spokane! I’ve marked my calendar: October 9. So, now it’s official. I am ready to do it!

I’ve decided to do a training trek I found on Runner’s World magazine, and its a nine-week program. I will be starting training in 2 weeks. Get ready for lots of posts about running! Don’t you fret, I will try to post as many yummy food posts (try to haha) as I can, but something new to look for 🙂

Ok. Food time. Recent meals consisted of: Green Monsters, (Can’t get enough. Honestly, they are amazing.)

Next, some collard greens. It was really my first encounter with this leafy vegetable. I would have posted the recipe, but they didn’t turn out well. It takes some manpower to cook down the greens I guess, they were very gritty.I will retry and share with you, and modifications are VERY much in need. If they are delicious, I will surely post it!

And last a recipe I want to introduce to you if you haven’t heard of them already. Overnight Oats! An alternative to get your heart-healthy oats in, a cold and chewy delight to wake up to, and just plain yummy.

I originally read this from another blog, found it in a few others, and have been eating them for quite sometime. So I have come to adapt it to my own liking, so you can too. All you need are a few trial-and-error experiences, and you are very ready to go!

Overnight Oats

1/3 cup of rolled oats

1 cup of almond milk, or milk of your choice

1 tablespoon of chia seed

1/2 diced banana

1/2 tbsp cinnamon

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

First, combine the dry ingredients first in your favorite bowl. Next, add the milk and bananas, stir, and then stir in some vanilla and if you like it sweet,  add 1/2 tablespoon of maple syrup. Now, stick it in the fridge. That’s it! Do this the night before your breakfast and overnight the oats soak up all the goodness so that in the morning, when you dive into your breakfast concoction, you will be eating refreshing, cold and chewy oats. It’s amazing, and it makes your morning so much easier! You can top it with fruit, chopped nuts, peanut butter, you name it.

And its a beautiful thing.

Well, ciao for now! -Mary

Lesson Learned

Hey Hey bloggies!

I am a terrible blogger. Lack of posts = lack of interesting food! I am going to work harder at this. I love writing and working on my health and also blogging, so its something I will put more effort into!

For food, this past week I made some delicious black bean and quinoa burgers from my recent issue of Vegetarian Times. Though absolutely delicious, they weren’t the most photogenic of food items I created. So I will share the recipe and let your imaginations paint delicious looking burgers. They are totally yummy, trust me, but just not the prettiest little things. Here is the link to VT: Black Bean and Quinoa Burgers

Black Bean and Quinoa Burgers

  • Start off with a cup of quinoa, and cook  it according to instructions, about a 1-to-1 ratio for about 30 minutes.
  • Pull out a big pan and saute 1/2 red onion and garlic with 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Once softened, add 1 chopped tomato.
  • Add one can of rinsed black beans and 1 and 1/2 cups of water and set to a boil. Boil until most of the water is evaporated, and add spices to your liking. I love mine spicy, so I added some garlic powder, onion powder, black pepper, salt, paprika, red pepper flakes, and hot sauce.
  • One boiled down, add the mixture and but 1/4 cup of the quinoa to a food processor or blender and blend until smooth. Add the mixture to a bowl and then stir in the remaining quinoa and 1/4 cup whole black beans. Let the mixture cool.
  • Preheat the oven to 350, grease a cookie sheet well, and form the bean mixture into patties, about 1/4 cup each. Stick in the oven and cook 20 minutes. Flip, and cook for 10 more minutes. Let them cool and serve however you wish: with a whole grain bun, stuffed into a pita, on top of a mexican salad, plain topped with guacamole, anything you wish 🙂

Enjoy! I ate two of them because they were so delicious, and froze the remaining ones. So good to have quick meals for when you are in a tight time crunch!

In other news…

The reason for the title of my post. Lesson. Learned.

This morning I was in a rush to get to work, making lunch, putting on makeup, not getting burned by my coffee, and cutting up pita bread into triangles, I had a run in with some nice sharp knives from Cut-Co. Very nice knives, super high quality and nice and sharp. Hence, the lesson is don’t rush when handling knives! I cut my pointer finger of my left hand pretty bad with a serrated Cut-Co knife.

One thing I was proud of was how I handled the situation. 1) Oh. My. God. So. Much. Blood. I let my self freak out for about 1 minute, and since I was by myself, I took action. 2) I looked up the closest urgent care center, drove myself over with a towel around my finger, and signed myself in. 3) Three hours, two stitches and a huge bandage later, I made it to work and home, then made dinner, and now I am managing typing this post with one finger less then normal 🙂

So my lesson learned to you: slow down! Even if you are late, accidents that happen because you are speeding around only make you much later then planned.

So for me, no workouts the next two days, no showers for 48 hours, and I am officially excused from dishes tonight 🙂

Well bloggies, hope you have a wonderful Tuesday evening. Thanks for tuning in!

Question: What is one meal you always make when in a time crunch? (Or super easy to make when you only have one hand to use 🙂 )

 

 

 

Blender Love Affair

Good Morning!

I just wanted to show you how my Green Monsters have been going ever since I whipped out my brand new Ninja blender. See below 😉

It’s a beautiful thing, isn’t it? I want to introduce you to my green smoothie. He is just a down-right lovely sight to see in the morning. So. Green.

Power Peach Kale Green Smoothie

-2 cups of kale

-1 cup of almond milk

-1 tablespoon ground flaxseed

-1 tablespoon wheat germ

-1/2 frozen banana and 1 peach

I am still trying to adjust to kale in my green smoothies. I know they are good to mix up with the usual spinach, but in smoothies they are quite bitter and chewy. Maybe next time I will add some more banana for added sweetness and less kale. Honestly, I stuffed my blender with it. Healthy yes, extremely normal green smoothie tastiness, not quite. Work will be done on the kale ratio for green smoothies.

Oh Ninja, you did good my friend. I blended through my frozen bananas like there was no tomorrow. I often thought my old blender would die when I blended them, but this is just a walk in the park for my new morning friend. I am so excited about it!

I also added half of my sample packet of Amazing Grass Amazing Meal, in the Original blend. I wanted to just “test” the waters with any supplement. I have to say I enjoyed it! I only used half a serving, but the protein kept me full and I could barely taste it as I blended away. Looking at the ingredients and nutrition, I am thinking about investing in some.

In other news, I am learning more and more about preparing tofu. I always reserved my supply for stir-fry’s, but I wanted something more savory with less oil for tonight’s dinner. I realized you can’t really seriously mess up with tofu, you could even eat it raw. I looked up this baked tofu recipe from vegweb.com. Click here for more tofu goodness!

Simple Baked Tofu

It turned out to be so easy and so delicious. The marinade is easy and I had leftovers for the next few nights.

Marinade:

3 tablespoons soy sauce
3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon garlic powder
1 tablespoon ground ginger
1 tablespoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1 tablespoon olive oil

(I added some nutritional yeast for more minerals and vitamins!)

Cut up 1 pound of firm tofu and marinate overnight of for 10 minutes. Set up a wire cooling rack over a pan and bake in the oven for about 20 minutes.

I enjoyed this with quinoa and the last of this summer’s asparagus. I can’t believe I missed asparagus season! Oh well, they were delicious.

Anyway, I have also been going to Lila Yoga here in Spokane. I have to say, I have just done the introductory two weeks and I am coming up on my second week. I have tried Yin Yoga and Vinyasa. I love them both. I am considering a summer package. Yoga just makes me feel so good, flexible, and strong!

Well, off to work. Ciao for now! -Mary

Back to Blogging!

Hello!

Ahh bloggies, it has been a while, and I have lots to share with you! I just got back from my vacation in Greece, and it was simply amazing. Relaxing, beautiful, warm and sunny, it was just what I needed. I have so much to share with you! I traveled with my sister Liz, brother John, and my father. We spent 10 days in Greece in Athens, Santorini and Mykonos, and I also spent a couple of days at home. I will show you in picture:

Athens

 

Santorini

 

My beautiful family in Mykonos

 

ahhhh paradise!

 

Greece was simply beautiful and amazing.

So now, I have some exciting news to share with you! I invested in a Ninja Professional blender. I am so excited to start using it, and start creating much more beautiful smoothies to share with you! My old blender simply wasn’t cutting it: I was chewing on chunks of greens and I thought it would die sometimes as it blended through my frozen banana. So I am so excited to take much more beautiful pics of much more appealing GM’s!

I also wanted to sample Amazing Grass Amazing Meal powder before investing in the big boy, so I picked up a single packet and will show you as well.

And my most exciting news to share: I entered one of my Green Monster’s to the Green Monster Movement, and Angela featured it! 🙂 I am so proud! So you should check out her site and other reader’s submissions, then submit one of your own! Whoo-hooo!

Well, tomorrow my friends and I are headed to Coeur d’ Alene for some swimming in the lake, fireworks, and great times. Happy Fourth of July everyone!

Ciao for now! -Mary

Sunday Morning

Good morning, my bloggies! I just love Sunday mornings. Time to catch up on my z’s, eat a yummy breakfast (I’m thinking oat pancakes? you’ll see them for sure) and drink some good coffee. Oh and yes, catch up on some blogging!

I’m going to get things rolling right away. Here are two great dishes I wanted to share with you right away that I had over the past two days. So delicious, so healthy, so veggie, so good! Enjoy!

Tomato, Broccoli, Kale Fry

1 cup of chopped kale

1/2 Roma tomato

chopped red onion

1 cup of broccoli

1 tbs minced garlic

1 tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil

1. Put non-stick skillet on medium-high heat. Add olive oil. Once hot, add red onions and sautee for about 3 minutes. Add garlic, sautee until the red onins cook down.

2. Add tomatoes and sautee for about 3 minutes.

3. Add broccoli, sautee and cook until broccoli turns a vibrant green.

4. Add kale, and cover pan. Let steam cook up kale for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Once kale is a bright green and reduced in volume, you are good to go!

5. Enjoy!!

This was a great way to get lots of healthy leafy greens into my diet. Plus I had leftovers for lunch the next day! I paired it along side a veggie burger with hummus and a whole grain bun. Dessert was summer sliced strawberries. So delicious!

On Saturday, I had to volunteer for The Fig Tree to set up a display table and hand out copies of the paper at Eco-Expo, the first time this event was held by Spokane Community College. It showcased local companies that were green and sustainable. We were there to showcase the stories we have on sustainability, but it was really awesome to meet all sorts of people working to be green 🙂

I also wanted to share with you my recent purchase: The Kind Diet, by Alicia Silverstone! I read the book from cover to cover, and am so excited to start eating kind! It was enlightening, encouraging, down-to-earth, and opened my eyes. I definitely know how I want to better my health, and I want to try out lots of her recipes here on my blog. Check out The Kind Life, her website to see what the Kind Diet is all about! You won’t be disappointed, I loved it!

I also have some great news that I have realized I haven’t shared with you yet… I am taking a vacation to Greece in two days with my family! I am so excited for some vacation, beach and sun. So I won’t be posting for quite some time (2 weeks!) but my next post up will be filled with great pics and hopefully great eats. I am going to maintain my veggie lifestyle abroad, it will be my first great challange, so I will let you know how that goes! Maybe I will come back stronger and filled with great advice I will share with you for sure!

The morning of the event I needed something that will stick to my bones and give me great energy for the entire day. So I made some oats, duh!

Banana Nut Muffin Oatmeal

-1/3 cup rolled oats

-1/2 cup of almond milk + 1/2 cup of water

-1 banana

-1 tablespoon of chia seeds

-a dash of salt

-1 teaspoon of vanilla extract

-Chopped almonds

1. Combine oats with salt and chia seeds. Add vanilla, almond milk and water on the stovetop and mix in oats and seeds. Turn up the heat until the mixture boils. As soon as it boils, add chopped banana.

2. Whip the oats until the chopped banana melts into the oatmeal.

3. Serve in a fancy bowl topped with chopped almonds.

This was absolutely delicious. It was banana-y and crunchy from the almonds, just like a banana nut muffin! I would suggest walnuts next time, as that is how the muffins are traditionally made, but if all you have is almonds, go for it. It was delicious.

The oatmeal fueled me for a “sustainable” day! Well, I have a shopping list of items for Greece, and lots of errands to accomplish. Have a great Sunday afternoon my bloggies!

Ciao for now, Mary.

 

 

Gushing about the Green

I am gushing about green smoothies. Especially this morning. I swear, the colors may turn out ghastly (mine always seem to…) but the taste is heavenly. Even more great is how they make you feel: energized, full, and rearing to go for the day.

Let us dissect my smoothie I had this morning:

  • A handful frozen raspberries
  •  4 fresh strawberries
  • 1 frozen banana
  • tons of fresh spinach
  • 1 cup of almond milk
  • 1 tbs all natural peanut butter
  • 1 tbs ground flaxseed
  • 1 tbs wheat germ
Let us review the health stats. These will surely have you reaching for your blender at the end of this post!
Berries: Berries are some of Mother Nature’s greatest fruits she bears. They are always low in calories, so you can liberally snack on them and add them to green smoothies, for example! (though they aren’t very green after you sneak these babies in). Raspberries, for example, are brimming with antioxidants that protect you against a variety of human diseases. It also is one of nature’s most fibrous foods, with up to 20% of its weight being fiber! Now that’s tummy-sticking awesomeness. Not to forget the vitamin C, B vitamins, folic acid, and other minerals. This powerhouse of vitamins, antioxidants, and fiber makes this a great tool to combat cancer. Take that!
Bananas: Bananas are another great ingredient to green smoothies. When frozen they not only add thickness and creaminess, but they also naturally sweeten it. Bananas are more carbohydrate rich than other fruits, about 20 grams, so that makes them a smart choice for the morning or before a workout when you need fast, clean energy. Bananas got their good rep from their high amount of potassium. Potassium is important for heart and nervous health. I’ll take my banana everyday, thank you very much!
Spinach: Spinach is another one of nature’s miracle foods. A famous and most loved dark leafy veggie, the spinach in a green smoothie is sweet and vibrant green. Always choose green. Why? They are anti-inflammatory, full of antioxidants, vitamin K and calcium for bone health, and so low in calories. Chalk-full of essential vitamins, their nutritional punch per calorie can’t be beat. Pile as much as you can in your blender, bloggies, and witness the benefits of the green smoothie increase!
Flaxseed: I have already gushed on how much I love flax on a previous post, but let me repeat and expand. Flaxseed is wonderful! It is an excellent source of omega 3’s and fiber for those going veggie and everyone alike. They also have anti-inflammatory properties which help them combat other diseases like cancer, and also are great for cardiovascular health.
Wheat Germ: I add wheat germ to up the nutritional content. It has lots of vitamins and minerals that are essential for healthy functioning, because sometimes it is just hard to balance everything out! Check out these: fiber, B vitamins, iron, folic acid, zinc, protein and omega 3’s. Can I get a “hell yes!”
Peanut Butter: I use peanut butter for a protein boost in my smoothies. If you don’t have a powder on hand or can’t afford one (like me at the moment) then peanut butter offers a completely natural source of protein and healthy fats. It also, like the foods above, has antioxidant properties. Plus, eating nuts helps you control your weight, not gain it. And let’s be honest, it is simply delicious.
Almond Milk: It has no saturated fats compared to its dairy counterpart, yet is fortified with calcium and essential vitamin D. Low in calories, almond milk complements green smoothies beautifully with a nutty smooth texture. Plus it has plenty of Vitamin A, E, and protein. Pour yourself a glass… or two!
And that is what you are starting your day off with? All that packed into a delicious thick and creamy morning drink? That is why I love them. And you will too, trust me 🙂 Experiment to found out your favorite variations!
I got all this health information from The World’s Healthiest Foods, click here for any information about any healthy foods on your mind! It is VERY extensive!
Also, check out the Green Monster Movement, by Angela on Oh She Glows, for great Green Monster inspiration. Get blending!
Ciao for now! -Mary

A Successful Day, I’d Say!

Finally. A totally blog-worthy day. I did it: I had my camera and took a picture of everything I munched on today, and guess what? All of it was completely healthful, colorful, and delicious. Oh you would be proud!

So here you go bloggies, a first fully fledged blog post.

Let’s start with breakfast. I put together a green smoothie, much like from The Green Monster Movement, from Angela on Oh She Glows, but I added a secret ingredient: Wheat Germ! Oh the benefits of wheat germ. It is only 60 calories for a tablespoon, but is brimming with healthful statistics. Wheat germ is the remnants of the grain when refined white flour is made, meaning it is chalk-full of goodness. Its full of folic acid, fiber, and a slew of other minerals and vitamins.

I got my wheat germ recently on my saving grocery trip (finally!) from Bob’s Red Mill. I love this brand of flours and whole grain goodies. Who knew that there was more out there than white and wheat flour? I’m talking potato flour, almond flour, and more. I also grabbed oat flour for some future pancakes in the works 😉 stay tuned!

Today’s blend was almond milk, one tablespoon each of wheat germ and ground flaxseed, a handful of kale, and half of a frozen banana.

It finally looks the way a green monster should look: green. It was also my first time dabbling with putting kale into my smoothie, but it was delicious. It just looks like a happy smoothie, doesn’t it? I know my insides were happy too!

Now, I was all happy inside but even happier with today’s lunch results! I had a leftover “Mizuno” salad from Spokane’s Main Market, a health food co-op! It was so delicious: chick peas, spinach, tomatoes and more.

I laid them gently on a bed of fresh spinach with some EVOO (channeling my inner Rachael Ray, in case you don’t watch, its extra virgin olive oil!!) and balsamic vinaigrette. On the side was two pieces of 100% whole wheat toast with a hummus spread. Surprisingly, hummus toast is to die for. I never will look back to butter; it is so much more creamy and way healthier, mind you! 

Snacks throughout the day: almonds and an apple. ‘Nuff said.

Now dinner. I made the mistake of starting to make dinner after I was absolutely STARVING. BAHH. And I pre-planned my day so I wasn’t going to turn back. My plans were for a tofu-stir fry with sticky brown rice. (which takes 45 minutes to boil!) So while I was fighting hunger pangs (it was that bad!) I decided to nosh on some left over organic frozen edamame beans.

Can’t get enough of these little guys!! Well. Finally. Rice is done. Now I will introduce you to the college gal’s super easy and healthy stir fry!

Fast Tofu and Veggie Stir Fry

  • cubed organic extra-firm tofu
  • teriyaki sauce
  • minced garlic
  • onion powder
  • red pepper flakes
  • olive oil
  • frozen veggies
  • sticky brown rice
1) Start boiling water (3 cups of water to 1 cup of rice for the “sticky” version). When the water starts boiling, add the rice and cover. Return to simmer for about 45-50 minutes.
2) Press out the excess water of your tofu on paper towels, and then marinate with red pepper flakes, onion powder, and teriyaki sauce.
2) Heat up pan over the stove until hot, then add the oil until it starts to heat up.
3) Add the minced garlic for a few minutes (be careful not to burn!)
4) Throw in the tofu, and saute until it is lightly browned, remove from heat.
5) Next, toss in your frozen veggies (of your choice) and saute until well heated. Feel free to more add spices, water or sauce, and oil as you need.
6) Mix in cooked tofu.
7) Serve on top of sticky brown rice.
8) Eat.
9) Enjoy. 🙂
So easy, so healthy! A great addition to a college budget, fly-by-the-seat-of-your-pants, healthy-minded girl 😉 Now that’s what I would call a successful day!
Off to watch a chick flick with my friends and share a bottle of wine. Hope it’s a good one!
Ciao for now! -Mary

Good. Old. Sweat.

Sweat, we meet again. And I mean this in the best of connotations.

I am not the type of girl who glistens. I am not the type of girl who looks just as good leaving the gym as I came in. I am that girl on the treadmill who is huffing and puffing, rolling up her sleeves, and always getting ready for business.

I am not afraid to admit it. Hey, I will shout out of my car window to poor innocent by-standers on my school’s campus, “I AM A SWEATER.” (not the fuzzy cozy christmas ones 😉 mind you) It runs in the family, but I am not blaming genetics. No, not at all. There are times when I am self-conscious as I hop of a machine with a drenched shirt and hair all-in-a-mess. There are times when I am extra careful to wipe down every machine I use because, well, that would not be classy in my sweaty position. But most of the time, I embrace it. Because without it; it just doesn’t feel right. I honestly can judge a workout based upon two things: soreness and sweatiness. And today, oh today, it was a sweaty one.

I have to admit it, I haven’t been to the gym in some time. But alas that was a thing in the past, because today I left the gym with a messy ponytail and a drenched t-shirt. And it felt great! 🙂

Now, let’s get down to food. I mean real, good old college food. I am on a tight budget these days until I get paid in a couple of days, (hooray!) but until then, its time to get creative with what I have. After all, that’s the point of my blog: college budget meets healthy food. So, meet my main ingredients: canned red beans, boiled red lentils, frozen corn and spinach, and taco seasoning. Oh, and my great powerful little friend, quinoa.

Straight from TJ’s! Organic quinoa. Lots of yummy, chewy/crunchy whole grain awesomeness.

I came up with a recipe with a little bit of inspiration and a lot of substitution. I am glad to say I have my very own first orignal recipe! (hold your applause, please 🙂 ) I am thrilled to say that it was DELICIOUS. I want all bragging rights for this baby. It was filling and healthy (enough bragging, I know). So, without further ado, I present…

Red Bean and Lentil Fiesta!!

Here is the recipe:

  • -1/2 cup of quinoa
  • -1 cup of frozen corn
  • -1/2 cup of frozen spinach
  • -1 can of rinsed red beans
  • -1 cup of red lentils
  • -red pepper flakes
  • -taco seasoning (I found a packet that was 100% vegan, and I got the extra hot version!)

Make sure, before you cook your lentils, to rinse them well and look for things that don’t belong there, like pebbles.

1. separately boil quinoa (1:2 ratio, about 25 minutes) and lentils (1:4 ratio, 25-45 minutes depending on the consistency you want)

2. de-thaw corn and spinach. Rinse red beans well and zap them in the microwave for a couple of seconds.

3. Add packet of seasoning to cooked quinoa, add the veggies and the beans and stir up. Keep the extra water with the veggies to mix the seasoning, and add more if needed.

4. Drain the lentils, and add them to the mixture, stir well.

5. Stir in Red pepper flakes to your desire.

There you go! A cheap, filling, delicious, colorful and oh so healthy, 100% vegan meal. Who ever said that vegans hardly eat, was sadly misinformed. I was so stuffed! I will have leftovers for days my friends. Well, it is a rainy evening so I think I am going to grab some earl grey tea, cuddle up with my housemates, and watch a chick-flick.

Have a great evening my little bloggies. Ciao for now! -Mary