Vegetarian “Beef” Taco Bake

*Disclaimer*
I am not a food photographer and these photos were taken on my iPhone.  They probably don’t look that good, but the tacos were great despite the crappy photos.

Ingredients:
1 package Lightlife ground meat or your choice of soy meat
1 can of refried black beans
1 package of taco seasoning (if you don’t use the liquid kind *shown below*, and you only use a packet, add 8 oz of tomato sauce.)
1 1/2 cups of cheese
10-12 hard shells
spinach (optional)
sour cream (optional)
Medium size Skillet
9×13 pan

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1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

2. Combine “meat”, black beans, and taco sauce in skillet, heat thoroughly.

3. Once heated, place mixture in hard shell tacos, lining them up in a row in the 9×13 pan.

4. Add cheese to tacos. (Half of the tacos are with sliced cheese because I got tired of shredding cheese by hand.  Don’t judge.)

securedownload-14. Place in oven uncovered for 20-25 minutes, making sure cheese is melted.

5. Once you place it on the plate, take a really ugly picture of it, put sour cream but don’t show the sour cream because the spinach is covering it and you don’t realize that you did such a thing until it’s too late.
securedownloadYummy?  Yes.

Vegetarian “Chicken” Cream Cheese Enchiladas

Nicholas is vegetarian, and I eat a lot of vegetarian meals as well.  I thought I’d start posting recipes that I’ve adapted into a vegetarian recipe.  It’s all about substitution and they aren’t always the healthiest, but they are delicious.

ingredients

Ingredients:

– 1 package (7 oz) of Gardein Chicken Strips
– 1 package (8 oz) Cream Cheese
– 1 can diced green chiles (drained)
– 1 can organic black beans (drained)
– 1 package or can of Green Enchilada Sauce (I use Frontera)
– 1 cup of shredded cheese
– 2 Tbsp of chopped garlic
– 1/2 tsp garlic powder
– 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
– 1/2 tsp paprika
– 1/2 tsp chili powder
– 1/2 tsp ground cumin
– package of tortillas (select whatever size you’d like)
– 1 tsp of oil

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

2. Put oil in skillet and cook “chicken” strips and garlic for about 5 minutes.

3. Add cream cheese cut in slices, black beans, green chiles and cook until cream cheese is melted.  ingredpan

4. Add spices and stir.
ingspices
5. Lightly grease a 9×13 pan.

6. Place mixture into tortillas and roll to make enchiladas, place in 9×13 pan.  This can vary on how much you want per tortilla and how big your tortillas are.  (Nicholas was insistent on getting huge tortillas, so only 4 enchiladas fit in the pan.  I told him next time we were getting the smaller kind which I wanted in the first place… Oh well.)

7. Put Enchilada sauce and shredded cheese on top of enchiladas.

8. Place in oven for 25 minutes.

9. Eat

ingenchilada

I’m aware the pan looks kind of sparse, but once again, it’s because of the size of the tortillas.  I recommend getting medium size tortillas.   They were absolutely delicious, this isn’t the first time I’ve made these.  My family even liked them, it’s hard to tell that it isn’t real chicken sometimes.

TSTs! Tempeh Spinach & Tomato Sandwiches

Before I started dating a vegetarian I had never even heard of “tempeh” or “seitan”.  Now after visiting many pinterest pages, blogs, and recipe websites, I feel like I’m somewhat schooled on these.  Tempeh is basically fermented soybeans and Seitan is wheat gluten.

These two are used as meat substitutes, taking on the flavor of what you cook it with or marinade.  The BF hasn’t ever tried tempeh or seitan, so I made it my mission to start making things with them in the place of meat.  I am not a vegetarian, but I also don’t HAVE to eat meat every meal.  

I have yet to try tofu in a meal either.  I’m doing things one step at a time.

Sooooo I decided to try Healthy Happy Life’s Vegan “Facon” Recipe.

The tempeh sliced as thinly as I could, placed in the marinade. It looks delicious and not like disgusting mush at all, right?

The aftermath of cooking, some pieces were a tad burnt.  It was a lot harder to turn the “facon” than it is bacon.  Luckily it was still tasty.

I didn’t have any lettuce, just spinach, so we made TSTs or “Tempeh Spinach and Tomato Sandwiches” instead of BLTs.

It was actually pretty good, the taste wasn’t overpowering but still there.  The texture wasn’t bad either, it kind of had a nutty taste to it as well.  I will definitely be using tempeh in more recipes.

Afterward, I was in a cooking mood so I decided to make Frozen Chocolate Banana Bites.  I ate too many of them… Not a great picture quality, but still yummy in my tummy (and the BF’s.)

Have you ever tried tempeh?  Do you have any good recipes for me to try?

Gym Time

I currently am a member of a gym that I don’t go to.  I mainly signed up for that gym because of the classes and the pool.  What I forgot to take a look at was the actual class times and the fact that I hate swimming.

Since I can’t run and it’s depressing me, I need to do some classes or something to feel better.  I’ve heard from a lot of my friends that Gold’s Gym has some awesome spinning and body pump classes.  Plus… they have Yoga and Zumba!  Instead of being a douche and not looking at the times of classes beforehand, I checked it out and it will fit nicely into my new day schedule.  Plus it’ll be $10 less a month than what I pay now.   Luckily, I do not have a contract with my current gym so I will be saying sayonara to it soon.

Oh and I went and got all domestic yesterday by making “Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Bars” derived from Chocolate Covered Katie’s recipe, minus the cream cheese, adding chocolate chips (of course), and using spelt flour.  I took it over to the BF’s house to eat because even though it’s healthy, I’m pretty sure if I ate all of it, I would gain 80 lbs.

Do you have a favorite class you like to participate in?

Food for Thought

I’m not a cook and I don’t even pretend to like cooking, my brother got all of those genes.  When I do cook, I do try to make healthier alternatives to things.  I just wanted to share a couple of my favorite recipe blogs, two of them being Vegan.  I’m not vegan or even vegetarian, but they have so many healthy delicious recipes.

Vegan
Oh She Glows

My favorite dishes that I’ve actually cooked (shocking… I know.)
Easy Tomato Basil Cream Pasta
Lightened Up Protein Power Goddess Bowl <— SO filling and tasty

The next meal I’m going to try cooking of hers that looks so yummy
Our Perfect Veggie Burger

Vegan Desserts
Chocolate Covered Katie
 

Desserts I’ve tried:
Healthy Deep Dish Cookie Pie  (I tried this and hated it, but I think that I didn’t blend the chickpeas up well enough.  I’m going to try it again, because I’ve heard it’s actually delicious.)
“Not Guilty” Chocolate Chip Cookies – Not bad, but not your traditional chocolate chip cookies either.
Gluten-Free Chocolate Lace Cookies – My favorite by far.
Pumpkin Cream Cheese Bars – Minus the “cream cheese” plus some dark chocolate chips.

Other Great Food Blogs:
Skinnytaste
HealthyTippingPoint 
Carrots ‘N Cake

Millions of Peaches, Peaches for Me

I guess I’m sticking with the 90’s song themed titles this week?

I decided to post a recipe today, which is funny to me because I rarely cook and I never create recipes.  This is probably a copy of someone else’s recipe, so if it is, let me know and I’ll give you credit.

When I went home this weekend, I bought some peaches.  They are sooo delicious that I decided to make them the fruit in a smoothie I usually make.  I usually alternate what kind of fresh fruit I put in my smoothie, most of the time it’s either bananas, strawberries, or pineapples.  I drink this smoothie post workout and sometimes as a meal replacement.  It really doesn’t work as a meal replacement very well for me, so it’s like a snack to my actual meal.  Just getting my stomach warmed up for the good stuff.

(Disclaimer: I am not a photographer and I don’t own a fancy camera.  Half the time I have no idea what I’m doing when I take pictures, so what you see is what you get.)

It’s pretty easy to make this, so that’s another reason why I drink it so often.  I use Visalus protein powder because that’s what I have and I’m going to use it until it’s gone.  You can use whatever protein powder you want.  I add Flax Seed because you can’t taste it and it has so many amazing health benefits. I normally drink regular milk, but when I make my smoothies I use Almond Breeze because you cannot tell the difference.  This would be a vegetarian smoothie if you left out the Greek Yogurt.  I put in the Greek Yogurt because it makes it a little bit thicker. It wouldn’t be Vegan because Vi-Shape has whey protein in it.

Recipe:
 8 oz. Almond Milk
2 Tbsp of Oikos Organic Greek Yogurt
Your Fruit of Choice (Peaches, in this case)
1 Tbsp Milled Flax Seed
2 scoops of Visalus Shake Mix or 2 Tbsp of Protein Powder
4-5 Ice Cubes

Add all ingredients into blender, place on smoothie setting for 20-30 seconds, and VOILA!  You have a smoothie that tastes amazing.

OH and HAPPY FOURTH of JULY!!
No work tonight, which will be the first 4th of July I haven’t worked in years!