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Crispy Chiimichangas with black bean filling

Crispy Chiimichangas with black bean filling

I had never made chimichangas before but I liked the sound of them: yummy rice, beans, corn rolled up into a crispy tortilla and served with guacamole and salsa. They are not hard to make. This version is vegan and because they are baked in a hot oven instead of fried in oil, they have less fat. Even though baked, not fried, they still turned out crispy and delicious.

Chimichangas

1 15 oz. can of black beans, rinsed and drained
1 cup brown rice, cooked
¼ cup black olives, sliced
½ cup corn kernels – frozen works well
2 tbsp. green chilies (you can buy these canned)
¼ cup fresh cilantro leaves or ½ tbsp.. dried cilantro
½ tsp. chili powder
½ tsp. cumin
Salt & pepper (to taste)
5 or 6 whole wheat taco size tortillas

Preheat oven to 450 degrees.

  1. Mix together all ingredients except tortillas.
  2. Scoop about 2/3 cup of filling into the first tortilla. Fold the ends over and roll up the tortilla. Repeat with remaining tortillas.
  3. Spray a cookie sheet with nonstick spray.
  4. Place chimichangas on the cookie sheet, seam side down. Brush with olive oil.
  5. Bake at 450 degrees for 5 minutes. Remove from oven, turn tortillas over and brush other side with olive oil. Return to oven for another 5 minutes. Should be crispy and light brown.
  6. Serve with guacamole and salsa.

Serves 2 to 3 people, depending on appetites.

Chimichangas with fresh cilantro and avocado slices

Chimichangas with fresh cilantro and avocado slices

 

* This is week 4 of my “quest” to make a vegan recipe from every state in the U.S. during 2015.

 

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Delicious Stuffed Pepper

Delicious Stuffed Pepper

These peppers are a little labor-intensive, but worth the effort! So delicious and good-for-you, filled with so many healthy ingredients: brown rice, fresh corn, black beans and tomatoes. Not to mention the peppers themselves. Also, you can make them the night before if you are having friends over for dinner. They also make great leftovers.

Stuffed Peppers, Southwestern-style

3 large bell peppers (your choice of color), stems and seeds removed, and cut in half
2 cups cooked brown rice
1 15 oz. can black beans, rinsed and drained
1 15 oz can whole tomatoes
1 10 oz can Rotel brand diced tomatoes
2 ears corn
½ onion, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tbsp. cilantro
½ tbsp. cumin
1 tsp. chili powder
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
1 ½ cup low-fat cheddar cheese or Daiya vegan cheese
Olive oil

1)      Prepare peppers. Place halves in large casserole dish greased with olive oil, with smooth side facing down.

2)      Cook corn in the microwave (each ear should be microwaved about 1 minute 15 seconds). When cool, scrape from cob. A serrated knife works well for this.

3)      In large sauce pan, add a couple tbsp. of olive oil. Heat oil on medium high heat and add chopped onions. Saute until tender. Then add minced garlic, ciliantro, cumin and chili powder.

4)      Add corn and black beans and stir. Remove tomatoes from can and set juice aside. Chop tomatoes and add to the sauce pan. Add 2 tbsp. of the Rotel tomatoes.

5)      Stir in two cups of cooked brown rice and ½ cup cheese or vegan cheese.

6)      Spoon rice mixture into the pepper halves. Mound it up, as needed.

7)      For sauce: Add tomato juice from canned tomatoes, remaining Rotel tomatoes, garlic powder and 1 tbsp. oil oil to medium-sized bowl. Stir together. Pour over peppers.

8)      Cover with foil. Bake at 375 degrees for 20 minutes. Remove foil. Sprinkle with remaining cheese and bake for another 20 minutes.

Makes 6 servings. Great leftovers.

Peppers before baking

Peppers before baking

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Looking to lose weight?

I lost ten pounds and dropped two pant sizes without trying. In order to lower cholesterol, I started eating low-fat, high-fiber, vegetarian foods, and I added about 2 additional hours of exercise per week. I eat as much as I want of these healthy, delicious foods and I never feel hungry. You can lose weight and get healthier too without depriving yourself! It’s all about choosing the right foods.

Get started with the easy recipe below.

Black Bean Chili

Leftover black bean chili is great packed for lunch. Black beans are full of fiber and no-fat! Make sure you drain and rinse, if using canned, to wash off extra sodium.


2 15 oz. cans of black beans, rinsed and drained
1 10 oz. can of Rotel diced tomatoes with green chilies
½ green or red pepper, chopped
½ large onion, chopped
½ package ground veggie burger* (6 ounces)
2 tbsp. olive oil
2 tbsp. chili powder
1 tbsp. cilantro
1 tsp. cumin
2 cups of water
Salt & pepper

1) In a large pot, heat olive oil on medium-high heat. Add onions and stir a few minutes, until onions start to soften.

2) Add green pepper and stir fry with onion for a minute or two.

3) Add chili powder, cilantro and cumin and stir.

4) Add veggie burger. Stir fry with other ingredients for a few minutes.

5) Add black beans, tomatoes with chile rellenos and water. Simmer for about 15-20 minutes on medium-low heat.

6) Salt and pepper to taste.

7) Great with sliced avocado, diced purple onions, fresh cilantro or diced tomatoes.

Makes enough for four people with good appetites.
*I used Smart Ground Original veggie protein crumbles

Follow us on Facebook: www.facebook.com/vegetarianlight

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JalapenosMy brother Jeff has long been known for his chili recipe. I think he makes it every year for the Superbowl, as well as for other similar winter parties. Well, being a vegetarian, I hadn’t tried it before since he puts hamburger in it. As luck would have it though, his daughter is now a vegetarian, so the other day, I got to try the veg version, with veggie crumbles in it. I loved it! The secret ingredient is……Campbell’s tomato soup. Also the jalapeno peppers make it really spicy. Since some jalapenos are spicier than others, you might want to taste one before adding it to figure out just how much to add.

Hope you enjoy the Superbowl and all of the great party food.

Jeff’s Spicy Chili

2 14.5 ounce cans of diced tomatoes
1 or 2 14.5 ounce cans of kidney beans
1 can Campbell’s Tomato Soup (the secret ingredient)
2 jalapeno peppers, chopped (use more or less depending on how spicy you like your chili)
1 medium yellow onion, chopped
¾ cup veggie burger crumbles
Olive oil
Chili powder, to taste

1) In a large kettle, add a 2 or 3 tbsp. of olive oil and the chopped onion. Saute until tender, about 6 -8 minutes.

2) Add the remaining ingredients. You may wish to add some water if it is too thick for you. Simmer for about 2 hours.

3) Add olives, sour cream, cheese, diced onion or your favorite chili topping. Serve with corn chips or corn bread.

4-6 servings, depending on how hungry you are

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Introducing the Vegetarian Light Cookbook!

Vegetarian Light Cooking (the Cookbook!) After being repeatedly asked when I was going to put together a cookbook with recipes from the website, I decided to do it. And here, at last, I present to you Vegetarian Light Cooking!

Vegetarian Light Cooking contains 133 easy-to-follow, delicious, low-fat recipes that feature ingredients vital to physical wellness and energy, along with information about their unique health benefits.

What you eat plays a significant role in creating energy, preventing and managing diseases, and enjoying mental and physical stamina. If Spinach Lasagna, Roasted Red Peppers in a Tomato Cream Sauce, and Jambalaya sound good to you, you will have no trouble incorporating these recipes into your healthy lifestyle.

Click here for more information and to order Vegetarian Light Cooking.

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Veggie Tacos

I can make these tacos in about 15 minutes. The seasoning packets that come with taco meals to prepare at home are often packed with sodium. The seasonings here do not add any extra sodium. These are healthier and tastier than most tacos you would purchase in a restaurant too!

Veggie Taco1 cup ground veggie burger (I use Lightlife Smart Ground Original)
1 tbsp. olive oil
½ tbsp. cumin
1 tbsp. cilantro
1 tsp. chili powder
½ tsp. cayenne pepper
3/4 cup black beans
½ cup water
4 taco shells

Optional toppings:
¼ cup taco sauce or salsa
Reduced fat Cheddar or Mexican cheese
Orange peppers, sliced very thin
Lettuce, shredded
Tomatoes, cubed
Avocado, sliced thin or cubed
Fresh cilantro

1) On medium heat in sauce pan, add veggie burger, olive oil and spices. Stir fry a few minutes. Add water and bring to a boil. Immediately reduce heat to simmer. Simmer about 5-10 minutes.

2) While simmering taco filling, heat taco shells in 350 degree oven for about 5 minutes. Heat black beans.

Veggie Tacos

Veggie Tacos

3) Add ¼ of veg beef to bottom of each shell. Top with ¼ of the black beans. Then top with your choice of toppings.

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