Wednesday, March 7, 2012

fork-worthy quinoa veggie enchiladas!

So it turns out my other half is more into the 90% vegetarian lifestyle we started after watching Forks over Knives. I can't say I'm that surprised since he has always been the more health conscious one. I can't tell you how many times we've been out to eat and the server gives him my food. Um excuse me, I ordered the cheeseburger add bacon and avocado with chili fries AND he has the turkey burger and salad. haha. If I was to be a vegetarian I would be totally fine eating popcorn and broccoli all day, but unfortunately that lack of creativity doesn't fly with "the vegan" which I now affectionately refer to him as :) . Thanks to the help of pinterest and clean eating magazine I've actually come across some great recipes! This one is adapted from Clean Eating's southwest quinoa salad...

Quinoa Veggie Enchiladas 

  • 1 can of black beans
  • 1 green and 1 red bell pepper
  • 1 large tomato
  • corn tortillas
  • 1 can a diced green chilies
  • 1/2 onion 
  • taco seasoning
  • salt and pepper 
  • 1 lime 
  • pepper jack cheese (optional, I have a love/hate relationship)
  • corn (I used Trader Joe's roasted corn, yum!)
  • enchilada sauce (I used Fresh and Easy green sauce, it says it contains wheat, totally defeating the purpose of this being gluten free, ugh! I typically buy Fontera green enchilada sauce, highly recommended!)  
  • quinoa 
  • cilantro

found these tortillas at fresh and easy, yum!!

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cook quinoa according to package directions. Slice bell peppers and onions and cook until tender. Prep all other ingredients; dice tomato, shred cheese, etc. Once everything is cooked, throw everything into a bowl: bell peppers, onion, tomato, cheese, black beans, quinoa, chilies, and cilantro. Squeeze in lime juice. Add taco seasoning and salt & pepper(I didn't measure, so eyeball it or season to taste) and stir. If you want to make it spicier, add some cayenne pepper. It will look like this: 

Next, lay a tortilla flat and spoon in the quinoa mixture. Fold the tortilla over, making sure the ends are on the bottom of the dish so everything stays inside. Repeat until you've made enough to your liking and cover with enchilada sauce and cheese, again totally by your preference. I know how you's kids like 'em extra sloppyyy (billy madison lunch lady voice :) Pop it in the oven and bake until cheese is bubbly and crispy in the ends of the tortillas. 

They don't photograph very well, especially on an iphone, but I wanted proof! They were absolutely delish and the vegan was very happy with my skills! Since it's just us, I had a lot of the quinoa mixture left over, so he took it to work and ate it as a salad the next day for lunch and loved it! I will definitely be making this again!

Veg on!

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Sunday, March 4, 2012

I speak for the trees!

In honor of Dr. Suess's birthday and one of my all time favorite books, The Lorax, I've decided to do a post about recycling! 

If you know me personally, you know that I am all about recycling. I have 4 separate trash cans in my house and I am pretty crazy about what goes in them. My roommates over the years have definitely seen me dig through the trash and reorganize, or better yet make a wall of posters about what goes where. 
Believe it! 

Here is my OCD recycling set up:

trash, recycle, cans, and compost

I would really love the matching Simple Human recycling separator trash can, but my boyfriend would have me on the streets if he found out I spend $140 on "just" a trash can. eco conscious girl can dream :)

As important as it is to recycle, it is even more important to look at the packaging of items you are purchasing. Remember that song "reduce, reuse, recycle and close the loop." Now seriously think about it: If you're recycling plastic, say your dish soap bottle, isn't it just as important when you buy new dish soap that it comes in a bottle made from recycled plastic? Or better yet, bring the soap bottle to a natural foods store that sells soap in bulk for you to refill! I once used the same laundry soap bottle for 2 years! Close the loop people!

The most common things that are recycled are paper, aluminum, glass, and plastic. Plastic is very difficult to break down and most likely can only be "down cycled" or recycled into something else one time. Plastic is a dead end waste stream. So when you're out shopping next and you reach to buy something packaged in plastic, look around to see if there is an alternative. i.e I refuse to buy liquid laundry detergent because the powder version comes in a recyclable cardboard box and when it comes to buying soda or sparkling water, I only buy aluminum cans. 

Stores like Trader Joe's and Fresh and Easy are the worst offenders when it comes to packages. Yes, it seems very convenient when you're buying it all, but then you're left with an overflowing trash can after the fact. And besides, no one really needs 8 zucchinis! Come on TJ!

Here is my top 5 list of favorite recycled products: 

1. Preserve Products

This company has a deal with Stonyfield Farm where all of their products are made from recycled yogurt cups.  I use their razors and always keep an extra toothbrush in the cabinet for guests. They also have kitchen and table wear available on their website. The toothbrushes and razors come in packaging marked and ready for you to mail it back to Preserve for them to recycle again! Their process includes a sizeable reduction in greenhouse gases emitted, and significantly less water, energy, oil, natural gas, and coal used in making plastic.

2. Seventh Generation 

Not only are Seventh Generation products all natural and eco friendly, they are super packaging conscious, even their labels are recyclable. My favorites: lavender & mint dish soap in a 90% post consumer recycled plastic bottle, and their kitchen trash bags made with 55% recycled plastic. 

Did you know?! If every household in the U.S. replaced just one package of 30 count kitchen trash bags made from virgin plastic with 55% recycled ones, we could save 51,000 barrels of oil, enough to heat and cool 2,900 U.S. homes for a year!

3. Compostable produce bags

If you aren't shopping at grocery store that has these, I suggest you go to a store that does and steal some!! ...Or go buy some, I don't need a lawsuit here. BioBags are made from cornstarch, vegetable oil and other renewable resources. These are such a great idea and also very handy when throwing out that rotten cilantro - the whole thing goes straight in the compost!

4. Recycled toilet paper

I don't care what brand you chose, please please please switch to recycled toilet paper! Buying recycled toilet paper helps protect forests, clean water, and preserve wildlife. According to the Natural Resources Defense Council if every household in the U.S replaced a single roll of virgin fiber toilet paper with a 100 percent recycled one we could save 423,900 trees. I read something once that The United States is the only country who uses a specific type of tree to make ultra soft toilet paper, and huge forests are being cleared in search of it. Is your toilet paper really that important USA?! No one else seems to care that much!

5. Casabella Sponges

These sponges are made from 100% cellulose. Cellulose is derived from wood pulp, a renewable resource. When you're done with them, just throw them in the compost! And they're super cute too!



unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, 
nothing is going to get better, 
it's not. 



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