Taco Salad – Easily Customizable!

This is a picture of my lunch today – YUM!

I love salad and anyone who knows me, knows that it’s no secret. You can put whatever you want on them – the possibilities are endless!

This salad in particular is easily customizable. See below the recipe to see just how customizable it is!

This took me maybe 15 minutes to make, probably less but I didn’t set a timer sooooo. And I didn’t measure anything (I usually don’t), but you know how things taste so adjust it to YOUR tastes!

1/8th pound ground beef (80/20) (The 1/8th lb is a guess)

Red pepper flakes

Garlic Powder

Onion Powder

Chili Powder

Cumin

1 roma tomato

shredded cheese

Sour cream with some ranch seasoning packet mixed in (just a tiny bit, a little goes a long way!) (If you can, avoid the Hidden Valley brand because it contains MSG)

Lettuce

Once your meat mixture is cooked through and a little browned and crispy, take it off the heat and let it cool a bit. While it’s cooling, chop up a tomato and put some lettuce into a bowl or on a plate or however you prefer to eat it. Put the meat mixture on top of the lettuce then add the tomato and some cheese and top it off with your sour cream ranch! And then eat it and love it!

Here are the customizations:

To make this lower in fat and calories: Sub ground turkey/chicken meat for the ground beef, sub reduced fat or fat free sour cream for full fat sour cream and do the same with the cheese.

To make this vegetarian: Sub pinto beans (or any beans) for the meat. You could even use Tofu or vegetarian/vegan meat.

Additional toppings: Avocado/guacamole, tortilla strips, onion, green onion, salsa, olives, mushrooms, diced peppers, use anything you want!

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Curried Rice Salad

This really does have a lot more vibrant yellow color to it, but my phone camera is not that great…

I’ve seen different variations of this on the internet and decided to make my own. I’m sure there is one exactly like this out there somewhere but I couldn’t find it. So here is the one I made.

1 cup uncooked rice (I used jasmine), cooked

3 green onions, sliced

Juice of one orange

Juice of one lemon

2 T oil

1 t seasoning salt

1 T yellow curry

1/2 cup dried cranberries

1/2 cup chopped walnuts

I just put all the ingredients into a bowl and folded them together until combined. Perfect served warm or cold!

Low Carb Veggie Wrap

I like things a little spicy and full of flavor and this was a perfect lunch! I sauteed yellow, orange and red bell pepper with onion in a little olive oil and added some red pepper flakes, garlic and s&p towards the end. I like the veggies to be crisp so I only cooked them for a few minutes.

I then took a low carb tortilla and spread a tiny bit of hummus on it, added some spinach leaves and piled on my cooked veggies, so good!

Roll it up and eat it! You won’t regret it!

You can add chicken and it would make a perfect dinner! This would be good with some eggs on it too, breakfast burrito!

Cheesy Flax Crackers

1 cup flax

3/4 cup cheese (I used a combo of Parmesan, Mozzarella, Cheddar)

1/2 cup water

1 t. garlic powder

1 t. Italian seasoning

S&P to taste

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Combine all the ingredients and mix well. Flatten out as thin as you can. I flattened mine out onto stoneware. Cook for 15-20 minutes or until desired crispiness.

The edges will probably burn, but I just cut them away. Mine are slightly crunchy and slightly chewy.

I love them. I think they would be good with a little smear of cream cheese on top!

Tomato Rice Side Dish – Vegan

I hadn’t gone grocery shopping for awhile and needed a quick side dish, so I looked through the pantry and fridge and put this together.

Tomato Rice – it was full of flavor and really good!

(sorry about the picture quality)

For 3 servings:

1 cup rice (I used white)

14.5 oz can diced tomatoes (with juice)

1 1/2 cups water

1/4 cup diced onion

1-2 cloves chopped garlic

salt and pepper to taste

I cooked the onions and garlic together in a little oil to soften and then added the rice, tomatoes, water, salt and pepper and simmered it until done!

It was really good and you can add practically anything you want to it!

Tomato Basil “Cream” Pasta & Some Chocolate

This was probably one of the best things I’ve ever eaten! I love pasta, and I especially love creamy, bad-for-you, pasta sauces. But this sauce was not bad for you but still so creamy! I’ll show you the picture first, then tell you more about it. The picture isn’t too pretty, I was to hungry to make it look pretty…

The creaminess in the sauce comes from raw cashews. I was surprised, I thought it would come out chunky or gritty, but it was velvety smooth and delicious and I can’t stop talking about it! I doubled the recipe and froze half so hopefully the frozen sauce will come out okay! I did not come up with the recipe all on my own, I used this one for a base and made my own changes to it. I added extra cashews and I also added tomato sauce instead of tomato paste. I added diced onion, extra garlic and some nutritional yeast. I’ll definitely make it again!

I tend to want to bake on the weekends, so this last weekend, I made vegan double chocolate banana swirl bread! I made it extra chocolatey by adding chocolate chips and extra cocoa powder. It’s so good!

I’m hoping to make Creamy Vegan Broccoli and Rice Casserole and Paella Style Spiced Tomato Rice soon!

A 100% Vegan Day – with pictures!

I forgot how much I love being on a vegan diet, the first full day back and I already feel better. It’s also easier than I remember! This is a short post, mostly just about what I ate…

Breakfast today was a piece of Dave’s Killer Seed Bread and peanut butter. If you haven’t tried this bread yet, then I definitely encourage you too! It’s sooo good! I also had a raspberry, blueberry, banana smoothie which was good too.

Lunch: Avacado Pasta (which is a favorite from before)

 

Dinner: Rice & Beans

 

Throughout the day I snacked on some Honey Nut Chex Cereal and some applesauce with cinnamon. Pretty uneventful day eating wise but I have been looking for some good, easy recipes and found a few that I want to try out. I’m pretty excited that my husband is doing this with me, it makes it a little easier!

I also did a little baking today, I love baking and I always think that vegan baking is actually easier than regular baking! I made Raspberry Orange Coffee Cake (ingredients are flour, oil, soymilk, white and brown sugars, cinnamon, nutmeg, baking powder, raspberries and orange marmalade):

 

I’m jumping back on the vegan bandwagon! (And a wedding photo!)

Hey guys, it’s seriously been forever! Since I’ve been here last, I’ve gotten married, settled into my new home and new job, and I’ve been busy spending time with my husband working on getting our computer repair business off the ground. It’s been busy times, but good times!

I’ve done a lot of different diets during my life and some helped me drop weight fast and some didn’t work at all.

I lost the most weight doing a low carb/no carb diet, but I also didn’t feel healthy. I am aware now, that a diet like that is not necessarily a “healthy” diet. And I will not be doing that diet anymore.

I felt the most healthy when I was following a vegan diet, it also showed on my outward appearance, and by that I mean my skin was AMAZING! Glowing and flawless. It’s never been that good in my entire life! I also felt better overall.

So tonight, my husband and I have made the choice to follow a vegan diet which is perfect timing because tomorrow is grocery shopping day and I get to shop at my favorite grocery store again! I’m a sucker for Trader Joe’s, what can I say? They’re small but have the best prices! I’ve also discovered a new grocery store – Chuck’s Produce. I like to compare them to Whole Foods (even though there isn’t much comparison). They carry name brand and non-organic items in addition to organic items. They have a HUGE selection of fresh veggies and fruits, and also an area to buy rice, beans, flour, sugar, cereal, and almost anything else you want, in bulk. They also have amazing prices (on most things).

And they have my favorite – carrot cake. BUT, it gets better…….the carrot cake is VEGAN and probably the most amazing cake I’ve ever tasted.

I believe that there is only one Chuck’s location and it’s near me which makes me sad for all of you.

Anyways, it’s really late at night and I’m tired so I’m getting off of here and I’ll be back after making our vegan meal. I’m happy to go back to eating vegan, I’m pretty excited actually!

Here is picture from our wedding:

PS – Please send my your favorite vegan recipes!

Vegan Diet, Day 23-28 (with pictures!)

Well, tomorrow is day 30 of my Vegan Diet! I am pretty proud of myself that I made it this far! I do have a confession though, I ate a meatball today! It was good too 🙂

I’ve been thinking about what I’m going to do after the 30 days and I think that I will probably stay away from dairy, and eat meat occasionally. It has been hard for me to get enough protein everyday – mostly because I’m a picky eater and some fake meats kinda freak me out a little, not gonna lie. And I don’t like tofu. There are only a few fake meats that I can stand and I can’t eat them plain, they have to be in something or served with some kinda sauce or on a bun.

I think my body was mostly reacting to the dairy anyways and not the meat, but I guess we’ll find out. After eating meat a couple of times after NOT having it, we’ll see how my body really reacts. Who knows, I may just become a full-time vegan!

One thing I’ve picked up in the last week is working out 5 days a week for at least 30 mins each time. I used to jog a lot and when I was doing that, I was steadily losing weight and toning up, then things got busy and I’ll admit that I got a little lazy. When I quit running, I was able to go 1.5 miles and I know, that is not much, but for someone who never ran in her life, it was pretty good and felt amazing and it didn’t take long to get there. Well it’s been about 5 months since I’ve done any running and I was sad when I tried to run 1.5 miles and didn’t even get to a mile so that just motivated me even more to keep at it! I’m doing good so far. I forgot how good working out feels! You guys should try it 🙂

Anyways, here are some things that I’ve made lately…

Crispy Roasted Chickpeas – I added paprika, cumin, salt & pepper (they didn’t last long, yummy!)

I was craving something in a tortilla so I used two spinach tortillas and added hummus, avocado and some sautéed veggies. It was super good and easy to make, will definitely make again!

Something for lunch that I made at work – Sourdough bagel with hummus, avocado, tomato, onion, lettuce and pickles.

I’m really craving stir fry with rice, so I think that’s what’s for dinner tonight!

Oh yeah, and my birthday is coming up on the 3rd!