Cilantro Lime Black Bean Burgers and a Little Appreciation

It’s been two months since I moved back in with my parents and in about three weeks I’ll be back out again. I must confess, living at home is not as terrible as I thought it would be. Don’t get me wrong I’m ready to have my own space again, but I’ll miss a few things about home livin’. Like how my car wouldn’t start this morning and all I had to do was knock on my dad’s door…problem fixed. Or how my mom keeps the pantry stocked with 80% of the ingredients I need for any given recipe. Oh, and then there’s my always-down to sip wine, blast country, and make recipes together sister. Yea, I have it pretty good here. I am happy I can appreciate it this time around. For example, I really appreciate my dad, the grill master, helping me create these Cilantro and Lime Back Bean Burgers.

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Mac and Cheeseless Cheese

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It’s only right that I start this post off with a full disclosure that I love cheese. Yes, I limit the amount of cheese I let myself eat because of the sodium and saturated fat content (when I can help it) but this post isn’t about that. That’s another story for another day. This post is about pure culinary curiosity.

“Only the curious have something to find.” ~Unknown

A couple years ago (three to be exact) a vegan co-worker of mine  brought vegan Mac and Cheese to lunch and let me try some. Ever since then I have been determined to make my own. It only  took me three years to work up my culinary confidence….better late than never.

All I knew about the creamy creation that had aroused my culinary curiosity was that it had been made with cashews. A girl can only remember so much detail in three years. So I had to do some recipe investigating. After pinteresting my afternoon away I  decided on this Healthy vegan Mac and Cheese recipe. It seemed simple enough so I went for it.

I didn’t let the long list of ingreidents intimadate me and you shouldn’t either!

Ingredients:
8 ounces pasta noodles
1 teaspoon olive oil
1 small onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup yukon gold potatoes, chopped
¼ cup carrots, chopped
1/3 cup onion, chopped
1 cup reserved pasta cooking water
¼ cup raw cashews (soaked for 1-5 hours and drained if you your blender is weak)
2 teaspoons sea salt
1 teaspoon dijon mustard
1 teaspoon paprika
1 teaspoon turmeric
1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice (optional)
¼ teaspoon black pepper
pinch of cayenne pepper
¼ cup nutritional yeast

Other than the nutritional yeast and some spices, most of the ingriedents I had on hand. As for the spices, I made an important discovery, the Latin section of Giant Foods sells spices cheaper than the spice section…go figure.

Since I don’t own a food processor I used my blender. The first thing I did was soak the cashews for an hour so they would blend better. IMG_3024

After that things got a little crazy….not too crazy but I did have three burners on my stove going at one time. The first to saute onions and garlic, the second to cook pasta, and the last to boil carrots and potatoes. All the steps were simple so multitasking was easy. 

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Once the pasta, carrots, and potatoes were soft, the onions translucent, and the pasta finished I added all the ingrents to my blender and blended away. I was amazed quickly it all blended together into a creamy, yummy, cheesey  cheeseless sauce.

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Bean Burrito Dinna Success!

Tonight my dinner was SO YUMMY it earned itself a post!

Sometimes when I’m trying to plan out my meals a couple days ahead of time it’s easier to work frozen meals into the schedule. Tonight I was planning to have a Kashi Black Bean meal with some brussels sprouts…

BUT THEN as I was driving home from my evening spin class I had a moment. I was like “Amy you really don’t want boxed food tonight stop being lazy and make your own bean burrito”. I think my endorphines were still going. So yes I talk to myself and yes I did just that :)

Here’s the results:

Ingredents:

  • 1/4 cup fat free refried beans
  • 1/4 cup chick peas
  • 1 Tbsp Gucamole
  • 1 light baby bell cheese wheel
  • 1 smart choice tortilla
  • 2 mushrooms
  • fresh cilantro
  • 1 Tbsp fresh salsa
  • lime juice.. lots of it!

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Oh and I topped the burrito with hot sauce but that was really just me trying to be artsy!

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I just tossed it all togehter, wrapped it in tin foil and stuck in the oven on 400 for 10 minutes to melt the cheese and warm it up! It was SO good. You know that feeling you get when your really excited to eat something? Well I got that and there’s no way it would have come from boxed food! Tonight was such a success :)

Question: what’s your easy go-to dinner?