Category Archives: om nom nom

Vegan nachos

Plant-based nachos

I ❤️ nachos and I order them any chance I get.

However, I hate the fact that often they aren’t vegetarian due to the refried beans, and the chips are always soggy or bare.

I decided to make my own plant-based nachos and see how they stack up to the competition.

It turns out, if you put the chips on the side, this solves the problem having soggy and bare chips! A nacho purist might argue against this, but I feel this is 100% needed improvement.

I’m pretty happy with how these came out, and would definitely make again.

Plant-based nachos recipe

Ingredients

  • Vegetarian refried black beans (Amy’s)
  • Fire roasted diced tomatoes
  • Plant-based cheese (Chao Mexican blend)
  • Avocado
  • Garlic – minced
  • Lime juice
  • Cilantro – chopped
  • Plant-based sour cream (Sprouts)
  • Hot sauce (Today I used Orange Sauce from La Vic’s)
  • Tortilla chips

Instructions

Pre-heat oven to 375°

Layer in an oven-safe dish: refried beans, tomatoes, and then cheese.

Cover with aluminum foil and bake 10-15 minutes until cheese is melted.

While that’s baking, combine avocado, lime juice, garlic, and cilantro. Add salt if you like! I typically use 1 avocado, 1 teaspoon of lime juice, 1 teaspoon minced garlic, and a pinch of cilantro. Adjust lime juice depending on how ripe the avocado is.

When the cheese is melted, remove from oven, top with avocado mixture, sour cream, hot sauce, and additional cilantro.

Serve with chips on the side.

When you can’t eat anything else, you make a salad.

I’ve been suffering from acid reflux, chronic sinus issues, and IBS. A few years ago, a doctor recommended an elimination diet. Well, the acid reflux and the IBS got a LOT better during the elimination phase.

Then I did a really shitty job of adding things back in and went crazy with pizza and wine. As far as I can tell, the IBS symptoms are most likely caused by corn, dairy, and/or not having enough fiber. When I was doing the elimination part, I ate an apple every day, and lots of lentils.

So, here I am trying again to get to the bottom of this and find the mysterious thing that’s making me sick. At the very least, this is a good opportunity to kick the caffeine habit. My doctor thinks that’s the most likely cause of my acid reflux issues, which might also be causing the sinus issues.

This time around I am doing a much shorter list. For three weeks:

  • No gluten
  • No dairy
  • No corn (it’s hiding in everything, this one is hard)
  • No soy (also hiding in a lot of things)
  • No eggs (easy, pretty much don’t eat them already)
  • No caffeine
  • No fake sugars (like sorbitol)

This time I am allowing alcohol, sugar, nightshades, and refined oils. Hopefully, I will still get some results. Once the three weeks are up, the key is to add things back one at a time and monitor for any symptoms.

Since I can’t order a pizza, tonight I made a salad. Roxy really enjoyed getting some scraps of green beans. I swear, she’ll eat anything if she thinks it’s people or cat food.

Lemony Dijon Dill Bean Salad

  • 1 can butter beans
  • 1 can black beans
  • 1 can chickpeas
  • 1 to 2 cups green beans
  • 1/2 red onion (diced)
  • 1 cup sliced radishes
  • 1-2 TBSP Old Style (grainy) mustard
  • 1-2 TBSP Dijon mustard
  • juice from 1 lemon (or 2 TBSP)
  • 3 cloves garlic (minced)
  • 2 TBSP dill (chopped)

This salad is really easy to make. If you don’t want to do ANY cooking, leave out the green beans.

  • Trim and cut the green beans into bite-size pieces. Blanch by boiling for 2 minutes, then transfer immediately to a bowl of ice water until cool. Pat dry and then place in a bowl.
  • Drain and rinse the canned beans, and place them into your bowl.
  • Add the onions and radishes.
  • Mix the mustard, lemon juice, garlic, and dill. Toss w/ salad or serve on the side.

You can top this with some vegan cheese, l went with Minimalist Baker’s vegan parm.

Not a fan of red onions or radishes? Try celery or carrots instead, to keep the crunch.

Today’s #Bloganuary prompt is to write about something mysterious.

Green smoothies!

I’m trying (again) to cultivate a habit of a healthy breakfast. This week, I’ve been making a modified version of Reese’s green smoothie.

I’m using only 1 head of romaine, and I swapped the spinach for kale, plus peanut butter, celery, and protein powder. Next batch, I am going to cut back on the lemon as the acidity is not sitting well in the morning.

The four pillars of health: food

We’ve been sitting at home for over a year now, and I know many feel like they haven’t been living a healthy lifestyle during quarantine. With a global pandemic, and many people forced into quarantine, daily routines have been disrupted, gyms have been closed, and eating habits have changed.

So what is a healthy lifestyle? I like to think of this as the four pillars of health, almost like supports that hold up a building. The first one is food. You can probably guess the second, but the final two might surprise some – I’ll talk about all these in future posts, so look for those coming soon!

I chose to name the first pillar food rather than diet for several reasons. First off, the word diet has multiple meanings. I want to discuss, in the most general sense, what healthy foods and healthy eating habits look like. If I say diet, many people will initially think about methods for losing (or gaining!) weight such as macro or calorie counting, calorie limitations, and so forth. This is not my focus.

Here in the US, the joke is our diet is SAD – standard American diet. This is the fast food, high fat, high carb/sugar, too large portions, and almost entirely processed foods diet that has become mainstream. This is not healthy eating.

So what does healthy eating look like? First off, I don’t think there’s one specific magic diet and I don’t think the same things work for everyone for weight control or weight loss. What I want to talk about instead is general healthy eating.

Plants. Ok, yes, I’m a vegetarian. Still! Everyone should be eating plants, specifically vegetables, and fruits. There’s a saying I’ve heard “eat the rainbow”. This is great advice. Different colored fruits and veggies have different benefits, mainly in the form of vitamins and minerals.

carrot salad
carrot salad with tofu, peanuts, mint, and bean sprouts

I’m a firm believer that sugar, specifically processed or refined sugar, is the worse thing for us, health-wise. There’s a lot of evidence it causes obesity, diabetes, heart disease, and many other “diseases of western civilization.” I will admit that I am a little teeny teeny tiny bit addicted to high sugar content drinks. I am REALLY trying to kick this habit, because I feel this the number one thing that I personally could do to be healthier. (If you’re interested in more on this topic please go read this book, it might change your life!)

So…eat lots of plants of various colors, and avoid refined or added sugars. I could go on to say eat low carb, or keto, or do intermittent fasting, but those don’t work for everyone, they aren’t necessary for healthy eating, and I’m sticking with the pillars, the basics, for this post.

Also, I’d like to add that I don’t think there’s anything that you should never, ever, eat. (Well maybe not cyanide, or dog poop, or … you get what I mean…). Honestly, I think moderation is everything, but also that moderation doesn’t work for everyone. So if you love ice cream, HAVE ICE CREAM. Just don’t eat a gallon of it at a time, every day. But if having a little bit of ice cream, occasionally is hard for you, if you’re like me and you’ll go nuts having it in the house, then maybe being more restrictive is better. I’m not really a fan of cheat days, because I feel often that’s just an excuse to overindulge and eat really poorly. Rather than shoveling a huge amount of unhealthy food into your mouth on a cheat day, why not allow yourself small amounts of these things when you want them? Again moderation is not for everyone, however, if it works, you may find that you actually eat healthier food in general, overall with this approach.

Drop a comment if you have questions or thoughts on what I’ve said. Any guesses on what the other 3 pillars are?