Invariably you are going to be faced with a……. Vegan coming for dinner, panic sets in as you wonder what they can eat. Your mind races…what is a vegan, do they eat eggs? Dairy? No No I think they eat fish but not red meat…omg…your mind searches for answer. For the record fully plant based eaters don’t eat any products fish, fowl or meat, nor do they eat any dairy, eggs or honey. What do we eat ? Everything else..which is an amazinly vast amount of veggies, fruit, seeds, nuts, grains, pastas etc… the list is endless. In fact we probably eat a wider variety of foods than most people simply because we don’t meat.
Maybe you’ve planned to BBQ meat and make Greek salad but now a wrench has been thrown into your plans. Panic not!!! There are tons of great vegan recipes online, and I mean tons. My favorite cook book is the Oh-She-Glows cookbook which is 100% plant based and the author includes tons of gluten free options as well, just in case someone coming to your party is gluten free. Gluten is a protein found in wheat that some people have an intolerance too.
I generally offer to bring something to the party, great vegan dish, this makes it easy for me to eat and as well takes the pressure off the host (ess). Tom thinks I might try to brain wash him into giving up meat but I am really very simply trying to introduce more homemade whole foods to people. I love the taste of meat, trust me I have eaten my share of steaks, chicken breasts and more. But I found that eating meat is heavy, hard to digest and leaves me with poor energy. I love how I feel since giving up meat and switching to a whole food plant based diet. I feel light (energetically); I have higher energy and am able to better handle the demands of my life. I’ll never forget that about 25 years ago my step father said that the reason to give up meat was to raise your vibrational level, high beings vibrate at a high level. I have found I have pure clean energy since giving up meat; in fact, sometimes I am amazed at how good I feel, and also how spiritually connected I am. Some days feel like I am floating on a cloud of hope and love. Which is something considering all the change and potentially stressful things I have been handling lately
I made the following recipe a few weeks ago on a Sunday afternoon, it required a bit of work but was well worth the effort, I put on some70’s folk music and danced around the kitchen. This recipe is amazeballs I love it. The avocado cream is fantastic. So next time you have that pesky vegan friend coming over knock their socks off with this amazing recipe.
I didn’t use the nutritional yeast in this recipe and the sauce was great.
Yesterday I stopped into an ice cream shop in Whitby with Tom; he was craving ice cream after our walk. I asked the server if he had anything without dairy and he said no, but that he had was thinking about being giving up meat but since he lived with his parents he thought it would be hard. In September he was off to school and thought that would be a good time to give it a try. If that was you and you read this blog as I suggested, I just wanted to say that you have awesome energy and I wish you much hope on your journey.
Sweet Potato, Black Bean, Spinach, and Pepper Vegan Enchiladas
Adapted from Time Crunch Vegan Enchiladas.
Yield: 4 Enchiladas
1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 onion, chopped (~2 cups)
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 cup sweet potato, chopped (or zucchini)
1 bell pepper, chopped
2 handfuls spinach, chopped
1 can black beans (~2 cups), drained and rinsed
Enchilada sauce or Pasta sauce (about 2.5 cups)* see note
1 tbsp nutritional yeast (optional)
1.5 tsp ground cumin
1-2 tbsp fresh lime juice, to taste
1/2 tsp kosher salt, or to taste
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp chili powder, or to taste
4 whole grain tortilla wraps (I used Food for Life Ezekiel)
Cilantro Avocado Cream Sauce, to pour on top (recipe below)
Green onion & chopped cilantro, to garnish
1. Preheat oven to 350F and grab a baking dish large enough for 4 enchiladas. Pre-cook the chopped sweet potato, by simmering it in a small pot of water for about 5-10 minutes until just tender. Do not overcook. Drain and set aside.
2. In a large skillet or pot, add 1 tbsp oil and bring to medium to low heat. Add in the chopped onion and cook for about 5 minutes, stirring often, until translucent. Add in garlic and reduce heat to low and cook for a couple more minutes. Now add the chopped pepper, pre-cooked sweet potato, drained black beans, and chopped spinach. Cook for about 5-7 more minutes on medium-low heat.
3. Now add in your enchilada or pasta sauce. Stir well, and add in your seasonings: nutritional yeast (optional), cumin, fresh lime juice, salt, garlic powder, chili powder- all to taste. Adjust seasonings if necessary. Stir well.
4. Scoop about 3/4-1 cup of the mixture onto the bottom of your casserole dish and spread out in a thin layer. Scoop about 1/2-3/4 cup of the mixture onto each tortilla and wrap, placing the fold down on the casserole dish. Repeat for the remaining 3 tortillas and leave a bit of filling left to spread over the top. Sprinkle with vegan cheese if preferred.
5. Bake tortillas at 350F for 18-20 minutes. Meanwhile, make your Cilantro cream sauce (see below). When enchiladas are cooked, remove from oven and pour the sauce over top. Garnish with chopped cilantro and green onion. Serve immediately. Makes 4 enchiladas.
Note: Depending on what kind of sauce you use, you will have to adjust the seasonings to taste. I used a pasta sauce so I likely needed more seasonings to achieve the taste I desire
1 & 1/4 cup avocado flesh
2 tbsp water, or more as needed to thin out
2-3 tbsp lime juice, to taste
1 tsp apple cider vinegar (optional)
1 cup packed fresh cilantro
1 tsp kosher salt, to taste
1/2 tsp garlic powder
3/4 tsp ground cumin
Black pepper, to taste
Red pepper flakes or cayenne pepper, to taste
1. In a food processor, process the avocado flesh and water until creamy. Now add in the rest of the ingredients and process until smooth and well blended. Use immediately for best results.
A few weeks ago I had the opportunity to do the opening stretches for a 5k walk to raise funds and awareness for prostrate cancer. It was one of those moments where I felt so grateful to be a part of that event. Raising awarenss for the cancers that affect men on fathers day. I have great men in my life and lost my husband Frank to colon cancer. Remind your men to get their exams done xo they can be a bit stubborn but we love and need men in our lives.