Saturday, March 31, 2012

Sweet Potato & Black Bean Burritos

I just can't get over how amazing sweet potatoes and black beans are together!  

Yesterday I wanted to make my Sweet potato & Black Bean Enchiladas for lunch but I didn't have the enchiladas sauce, I had flour tortillas instead of corn tortillas, and I didn't have as many spices/ingredients.  So then I thought "well, what about taquitos instead?"  Sounded like a solid decision to me. Until my roommates made plans to go to the beach, a plan that I simply refuse to be left out of.

So in my rush, I threw some rice on the stove and cut out the baking part.  Instead of enchiladas or taquitos, they turned into sweet potato and black bean burritos!
Don't you just love how a few small steps can turn a food with similar ingredients, such as enchiladas, into something totally different, such as a burrito??

These are DELICIOUS!!!
 (and so cheap... and so healthy... they just keep getting better and better)

Originally I was not going to blog about this because I thought that I already had too many combinations of sweet potatoes and/or black bean recipes, but my friend insisted. I hope that you enjoy them as much as I did (and will. There are still leftovers in my fridge).

Que te vaya bien!

Friday, March 30, 2012

Chocolate Chip Cookies

So I have been wanting to venture out into the vegan baking world for awhile now and over the weekend I finally got all of the ingredients that I needed! Wooo!! 

For this recipe I made a trip to my local organic grocery store for some egg replacement, vegan butter, and vegan chocolate chips.

These were absolutely amazing! They were even fully approved by my non-vegan roommates. I must say that for my first time baking anything vegan, this was a great success!!

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Change for the Better.

The theme of this blog is Vegan & Verdure, which I define as the health and vigor achieved while eating a plant-based diet.  I feel that so far I have done a very good job of showing the health aspect, but I have not mentioned the vigor aspect yet.  Well, that is all about to change because I feel pretty vigorous right now!

Here are just a few exciting highlights from my personal experiences while eating a vegan diet!

Since changing my eating habits:

I have lost 15 lbs.

I have run faster. (I ran a 5k on Saturday and it was less than challenging. Time to up the distance… half-marathon anyone?)

I have learned [and am still learning] how to cook.

I have become more informed.

I have learned how to love and respect my body.

I have learned how it feels to be judged and how to show love despite that because, well, now I know how it feels to be judged.

In this moment, I am the healthiest and happiest that I have ever been in my life.

What could possibly be more exciting than that? Well, knowing that I can keep pushing myself to learn more, eat more, run faster, and live longer.

Whoever thinks being vegan is boring, stupid, tasteless, and weird needs to do some serious re-evaluation because I absolutely LOVE my life and thank God everyday for the health that He has given me!

Another Delicious Breakfast! Fruit Oatmeal

Breakfast is my favorite meal of the day (with dinner being a close second).  I frequently make oatmeal because it's fast, filling, and can be absolutely delicious depending on what you put in it!  

Plus, look at how insanely cheap it is!!! Only 75 cents for one serving.
I think it actually just became a little more delicious after finding out how cheap it is. 

I recently bought flaxseed because I kept seeing it pop up here and there; and I have heard rumors of it being very good for you.  I did not realize how amazingly good it is for you until I bought and read the package.

Listen to this:
"Flaxseed contains high levels of natural antioxidants called lignans.  Many plant foods have some lignans, but flaxseed has at least 75 times more than any other.  To get the lignans that are in just two tablespoons of flaxseed meal, you would need to eat about 30 cups of fresh broccoli."
[Source: back of my flaxseed meal bag]

Wow ok, so that sounds important.  
My question is, what are lignans and how do they help me?
Here is what I came up with through a quick google search:
"Lignan is a chemical found in the cell walls of plants.... (commence lots of scientific names and explanations)..." So basically they help reduce breast cancer, prostate cancer, cardiovascular disease, inflammation, and the list goes on.
[Source: Lignan Benefit by Ray Sahelian, M.D.]

In addition to lignans, flaxseed also contains a lot of fiber and omega-3s.
My conclusion?
Go flaxseed!

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Banana & Coconut Pancakes

Pancakes are simply amazing and, fortunately for me, they are easily made vegan! My favorite thing to do is mix in some oatmeal and fruit and Voila! Delicious and healthy breakfast. 

Just mix all of these ingredients together. I love how cheap it is too!

Remember to always add whatever you feel like.  A few extra spices here, some fruit there.  Honestly, I love the extreme versatility of pancakes.

Que te vaya bien!

Vegan Diet Helped Prisoners

This article was very encouraging!

It is about how a prison in California created a program called NewStart in which prisoners were offered a vegan diet along with Bible studies, anger management, and job training.

The prisoners who participated in NewStart experienced very positive changes in how they felt physically, mentally, and spiritually.

This only goes to show how important it is to eat a healthy diet, because what you eat affects every cell of your body!

Read the article Here

Monday, March 19, 2012


     Falafel is a typical Middle Eastern food that is used in wraps.  It is made out of chickpeas, onion, spices, and flour and then lightly fried to give it a good crunchy outside with a warm and soft inside.  As I may have mentioned, I am completely obsessed with hummus.  Therefore, it only makes sense for me to be obsessed with falafel as well!

Can I just say that this meal takes my food experience to the next level.

Que te vaya bien!

Sunday, March 18, 2012

A little something called pH

pH levels.
Isn't that something that I vaguely remember from high school chemistry class?
Well, yes. And as it turns out, it is something that you should pay more attention to.

pH (or potential Hydrogen) is a measure of the acidity and alkalinity of a solution.[Source:]
Ok, so why is that important?

Our bodies are controlled by their pH levels.  The range of pH levels are from 1 (the most acidic) to 14 (the most alkaline) with 7 as neutral. An acidic blood pH level will lead to fatigue, excessive weight, heart disease, cancer, and many other diseases. The body's ideal pH is 7.35, which is on the alkaline side of neutral (Thrive, Pg. 47).

[Click photo for source]

Did you know that cancer cannot live in an alkaline environment? There is a cure for cancer. It is called eating an alkaline forming diet (which is plant-based).

Today's North American diet consists of fast food, pre-cooked meals, and processed foods that all lead to a very acidic blood pH level.  No wonder everyone is so tired, overweight, and dying from heart disease and cancer.

These problems can be fixed by simply eating the right foods!

Here is a small list of alkaline forming foods:
  • Avocados
  • Bananas
  • Bell peppers
  • Berries
  • Broccoli
  • Carrots
  • Celery
  • Lemon
  • Mangos
  • Mixed greens
  • Onion
  • Parsley
  • Peas
  • Sweet Potatoes

Some of these foods, such as lemons and apples, are considered acidic, but once they are consumed then they become alkaline forming.
 (Thrive, Pg. 49-52)

... the list goes on.

So how do I figure out what my body's pH level is?

Well, you use little test strips that look like this:

You simply put a piece of the strip on your tongue and watch as it changes color.  Then match the color to the pH scale that comes with the pack.  You can buy them at places such as Walmart, you local health food store, or even on
Here is a link to some test strips on amazon: Phinex Diagnostic pH Test Strips.

Be informed. And eat your fruits and vegetables!

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Mushroom & Spinach Stuffed Pasta Shells

      I am still reading through Thrive and enjoying every page of if! The book is full of great information and I recommend it to everyone.  I have only made one recipe from the book so far, it was an experiment for me, so I did not take any photos for posting.  The recipe was a success though so I will be posting about it soon!

      For now I will post one of my own recipes.  It is a simple one, made by many people I'm sure, but a good recipe nonetheless.  This recipe is for pasta shells stuffed with mushrooms and spinach (and many extra spices that you will throw together!).  As you may have noticed, I frequently use the mushroom and spinach combo in much of my food.  It is such an unbeatable, healthy, and delicious combo... how could I not use it?!

      I understand that the recipe on the photo is sightly vague.  Firstly, I cannot fit all of the directions in such a small space while still keeping it readable.  Secondly, I hope that the vagueness shows flexibility in the recipe and encourages experimentation in the kitchen.

      If you are at a loss, which I doubt that you are... but just in case, spices that I frequently use in my mushroom/spinach combo are garlic, pepper, paprika, chili powder, onion, and olive oil/wine/any kind of sauce.  It is best to sauté on a low heat in order to maintain as many of the nutrients as possible.

What are your favorite spices?

I have shared this at:

Craft DIY Ideas


Que te vaya bien!

Saturday, March 10, 2012


      I recently started reading the book Thrive by Brenden Brazier.  It is about his journey to optimal performance as a professional iron-man triathlete.  Guess what gets him there? A nutrient rich, plant-based diet.

Expect good things from in the next few days as I post recipes and health tips inspired by Thrive!

Monday, March 5, 2012

Sweet Potato & Black Bean Enchiladas

My friend came across a recipe for these enchiladas on Pinterest and invited me over for dinner to enjoy them with her.  Oh man, they were so amazing!  After I left I decided that I just had to make my own.  

Here is the recipe that I came up with.
(I left the amounts of the spices out so that you can tweak it to how you like it. If you are the kind of person who needs to follow the recipe to the T, then I recommend beginning with a teaspoon of each spice and working out from there.)

Make it your own by adding different spices or vegetables!
Just experiment :)

I shared this recipe at:

Craft DIY Ideas

Que te vaya bien!

Hummus, Spinach, & Avocado Wrap

If I could, I would slather hummus on everything.

My roommates can attest to this, when I made this wrap I almost fell to the floor in absolute delight!

I shared this recipe at:

Craft DIY Ideas

Que te vaya bien!