Monday, July 30, 2012

Cheesy Vegan Enchiladas


1 Large can of La Victoria (mild) Enchilada Sauce
1 pkg. Medium Firm tofu (squeezed, drained and then cut into small chunks)
2 Teaspoons of The Pepper Plant Hot Sauce, (whichever flavor you prefer…I use the garlic one)
½ Cup Homemade salsa or Tostitos brand Mild
1 Can of Organic Sweet Corn (drained & rinsed)
1 Can of Organic Black Beans (drained & rinsed)
¼ Cup chopped Cilantro (fresh or dried)
1 Heaping Tbsp. minced garlic
1 Tbsp. each granulated onion and garlic
1 Tbsp. Granulated Sugar
3 Tbsp.’s Chopped Dried Chives
½  Cup of finely Chopped Sweet Red Onion
1 Cup of Whole Black Olives, crushed between your fingers so they are large chunks.
1 Pkg. Daiya Jack Cheese wedge, shredded

Rinsed Black Beans, Corn and Tofu in a large bowl.

Salsa, Hot Sauce, Garlic, Cilantro, Gran. Garlic and Onion, Freshly Chopped Onion, Sugar, Chives, Corn, Beans and ½ of the shredded Daiya Cheese (reserve other half for the top of your enchiladas) to Chunked and drained Tofu. Mix well & let sit for one hour so all flavors blend.

Prepare 9 x 12” dark glass pan:
Spray lightly with Vegalene non-stick spray. Pour a small amount (about another ½ cup of enchilada sauce over the bottom of the pan and set aside. Make sure you cover the bottom with the sauce to help keep them from sticking.

Lightly brush both sides of corn tortillas with corn oil. Place in microwave on high for approximately 2 mins, or until they are soft and change color. When tortillas are ready, remove from microwave and stir your filling one more time to mix well. Blot both sides of your tortillas to remove excess oil.  Place two heaping tablespoons of filling in the middle of your tortilla in a line down the center. Roll quickly and place in pan seam side down. Do all of the tortillas the same way until you have filled the pan. I usually put seven to the left side of the pan, and then add the last two lengthwise at the other edge.

The remainder of the enchilada sauce, (or however much you want, making sure you cover all of them well), over the finished enchiladas, add the remaining shredded vegan cheese, and sprinkle with the crushed olives, covering the casserole.

The top of the aluminum foil with Vegalene so the cheese doesn’t stick to it, place the foil (spray side against the enchiladas) on top of casserole pan, cover & seal them with foil. Bake at 375 degrees for 35 mins, remove the aluminum foil and bake for 10 more mins uncovered. Serve with brown rice, vegan refried beans and a salad. Yum!

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Here's another of my Vegan Favorites! Enjoy!

Vegan Shepherd’s Pie

Prep Time:  Approx. 40 minutes                              Serves: 4 people
Cook Time:  Approx. 40 minutes                             Preheat Oven: 400 degrees

You will need for crust:

1)      4 Large Organic Russet or Idaho Potatoes, cut in large    chunks
2)     ½ container of Tofutti Cream Cheese (Vegan)
3)     2 Tablespoons Earth Balance Buttery Spread
4)     3 - 4 Cloves of fresh, minced garlic (optional)
5)     1 Tablespoon sea salt
6)     1 Teaspoon of Black Pepper
7)     ¼ Cup of chopped scallions, (green tops only)
8)     ½ Container of Tofutti Sour Cream (Vegan)
9)     1 Cup of Silk Soy Creamer
10)   2 Teaspoons of Garlic Granules
11)    2 Teaspoons of Onion Granules

Steam Potatoes in Vegetable steamer until soft.  Put chunks into bowl and add all other above ingredients.  With an electric mixer, mix until smooth and creamy.  Set aside. (Salt & Pepper to taste)

You will need for filling:

1)      1 Carton of sliced Crimini Mushrooms
2)     1 Carton of button mushrooms (quartered)
3)     1 Carrot chopped thinly in rounds at an angle.
4)     1 Cup of Broccoli florets cut into bite sized pieces
5)     1 Sweet Vidalia or Maui Onion, cut into chunks
6)     3 Cloves of garlic, minced
7)     ½ Cup of Fresh or Frozen Sweet Corn
8)     ½ Cup of Fresh or Frozen Peas
9)     1 Can of 365 Organic Green Beans, drained
10)   ½ Cup shredded cabbage
11)    1 Cup of shredded Dinosaur Kale (It's delicate nature is excellent in this recipe)
12)    ¼ Cup of Shoyu Soy Sauce
13)    1 small container of Pacific Vegetable Stock (6 oz.)
14)    ¼ Cup of Water
15)    2 ½ Tablespoons Arrowroot Powder or Corn Starch dissolved in 3 Tablespoons of cold water
16)   2 Tablespoons of Toasted Sesame or Peanut oil

In large skillet, sauté mushrooms, onions, garlic, carrots, and broccoli until the vegetables turn bright in color.  Add Sweet Corn, Peas, Green Beans and Shredded cabbage and Kale.  Add Vegetable stock, Soy Sauce, Water and let simmer 5 minutes.  Salt and Pepper to taste. Add Arrowroot powder (or Corn Starch) dissolved in water and let simmer until sauce thickens.  Gravy should be thick, if it isn’t, add another tablespoon of Arrowroot powder to a teaspoon of water, stir and mix well then add to the vegetable/gravy mixture again.  When gravy is formed, set the skillet aside.

Return to mashed potatoes, lightly grease your 9 x 12 x 2 ½ inch deep, glass pan.  Dump potatoes into the center and push out and up the sides of your dish until a sort of mashed potato bowl is formed.  Pour vegetable & gravy mixture into the pan with the mashed potatoes.  Place in preheated 400-degree oven for 40 minutes or until potatoes rise above the sides of the pan and are browned on the bottom.  Remove from oven and let stand 10 minutes.  Serve with whole grain bread for dipping, and a salad.  Enjoy!

Monday, July 2, 2012

After studying the human body, as well as health and nutrition throughout my life, I've finally conceded that there is no substitute for proper food and exercise in the effort to lose weight. So many of us chase the illusive magical pill, or diet trick, or just plain old starvation in our desire to find the almighty "thin" balance that so many talk about.

Unfortunately, this weight loss tends to be just out of reach to many of us. I've wanted to believe, for many years, that the weight would come off, "if only". "If only" I ate the right foods, and "if only" I lowered my carbohydrate intake, I would lose weight. But the truth was, I HAD to exercise. You see, I realized that I spent most of my time on a diet, trying to figure out how I could "avoid" exercising...(not one of my favorite pursuits in life!). I'm not one for sweaty cardio exercise, although, ultimately, I realized I would have no choice if I wanted to lose the weight! I would just have to buckle down and work at it...that would be my challenge.

My cardio workout, however, consists of 10 times up and down the stairs in my house, 3 times a day. The rest of the time it's's age-old best friend. I live in the mountains, so walking is more of a chore than I ever wanted to do, but I find myself doing it now...every day...whether I want to or not! I don't know if you really have to do that "muscle confusion" thing to keep up with weight loss, so I'll have to get back to you on that. I must say, keeping the body fit is a lot of work, especially when you write for a living. That in itself tends to keep you pretty sedentary for hours. At any rate, next Saturday is my day for weigh-in, so I'll keep you posted on how it goes. In the meantime, remember, there's no substitute for proper proportions, a diet filled with 80% vegetables, 10% fruit, and 10% protein (in the form of tofu, nuts, seeds and beans). Good nutrition, physical activity, and a positive mind set will work every time! Best of luck to you all.

With Love,
Jan C.