Recipes

Addictive Mexican Salad Recipe

It’s finally happening.

I’m sharing the recipe for the salad I’ve had 3 days a week for the last four months. (I almost never do that, usually I’m all about variety with lunch & dinner.) This salad is the reason I’ve had to become mindful of my chewing, because I (almost) literally inhale it.

Making it is just so intuitive to me, I’d toss in ingredients by the handful and never really measured. But I finally got myself together and did it, because “2 handful of tomatoes, 4 handfuls of romaine…” is not going to cut it here. ๐Ÿ˜›

This salad keeps popping up as my lunch because…

a) it’s DELICIOUS and so satiating, I crave it every day

b) it’s whole food plant based and packed with protein, fiber, and fresh veggies

c) it’s the perfect way to use up garden tomatoes & chiles, and is so versatile with substitutions

d) it’s cheap & easy to keep the ingredients stocked all the time

I would even go so far as to say it’s my favorite salad of all time. My holy grail kale salad used to hold that title (which I’ll share in winter), but now this guy has stolen the crown.

My personal name for this? Sexmex salad.ย For lack of a better name ๐Ÿ˜‰

Serves 1 if you’re like me, serves 2 for most people

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup brown rice or quinoa, uncooked
  • 1/2 – 15oz can pinto beans, drained and rinsed
  • 2 cups chopped romaine hearts
  • 1 diced green onion (~1 tbsp)
  • 3/4 cup halved cherry tomatoes (or chopped normal tomatoes)
  • 1/2 chopped avocado
  • 3 tbsp salsa
  • Salt to taste
  • Hot sauce to taste
  • Optional: juice of 1/2 a lime, minced hot peppers
This salad is really versatile, so change things up to suit your tastes! Add more romaine for a lighter feel, add double (or triple) the avocado if you’re an avocado lover, or swap out the pintos for black beans. The world is your oyster.

Directions

  1. Cook brown rice or quinoa according to directions.
  2. Add cooked rice to a microwave-safe bowl along with pinto beans and salsa, and microwave until warm but not hot; about 1 minute.
  3. To your salad bowl, add rice and beans, and add all the other ingredients (and lime if desired).
  4. Toss and enjoy!

PS, I wrote this post while eating this salad ๐Ÿ˜‰

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Recipes

Easy Sungold Salsa Fresca Recipe

Ever since I started gardening a few years ago, I’ve wanted to grow sungold tomatoes. I’m always hearing how they’re magical and taste like candy.

I planted one last year, but I only got to try a few because squirrels got almost all of them. It was a tomato tease, but at least I figured out what all the hype was about (among humans and squirrels, apparently): they really are amazing.

This year I’m overflowing with them… thanks to the 6 foot tall, 128sqft squirrel-proof cage I built around them in spring. I’m also overflowing in early girls, romas, and sweet 100s thanks to the cage, too!

This year’s sungold plant! They’re orange when ripe, hence the orange salsa

I had a giant harvest of tomatoes over the weekend, and I wanted to use them up while they were fresh. I wanted to make something where they’d really be the star of the dish instead of hidden in another recipe. And I wanted it to be really easy, because I was tired from gardening!

Enter salsa fresca.

This salsa can be made with any tomato, but I made it with sungolds and a few early girls and it was mind blowing. Sungolds are really sweet, so it had the sweetness of fruity salsa (like the kinds with mango or pineapple), but it was still pure tomato flavor.

This salsa was also perfect for using up my big hot pepper harvest, because it really showed off their flavor!

Ingredients

  • ~1lb (500g) tomatoes
  • Half large red onion
  • 2-3 small jalapeรฑos*
  • 2 big garden salsa peppers (or more jalapeรฑos, or 1-2 serranos)
  • 1/2 cup whole cilantro leaves
  • 1 tsp fresh oregano
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • Dash cumin
  • Salt to taste

*If you have very spicy jalapeรฑos, start with fewer and add more at the end until it’s your desired level of spiciness!

Directions

  1. Add peppers, cilantro, oregano, and lime to a food processor. Process until everything is minced, but not pureed.
  2. Add onions to food processor. If you like your salsa with liquid (like in these photos) or prefer not to have to chop the tomatoes, add them to the food processor with the onions. Pulse until they are in small chunks, as large as you like in salsa. Otherwise, if you prefer chunkier salsa with less liquid, then add in hand-chopped tomatoes after chopping/processing the onions on their own.
  3. Add salt and cumin to taste. You may also want to add in additional minced peppers if you like it spicier!

Enjoy with tortilla chips, on nachos, in burritos & tacos, on salads, etc.! If you make the recipe, tag me @veganmiche on Instagram and I’ll share it ๐Ÿ™‚ I’d love to see!

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Recipes

Vegan Zucchini Muffin Recipe + High Protein Option [Low Fat, Whole Wheat]

If you’re a vegetable gardener, then you know about that midsummer avalanche of zucchini & other summer squashes. A time that’s both exciting–because hey, it’s incredible getting so much food from just one squash plant–and overwhelming, because using up all the zucchini gets to be a task.

If you don’t get creative with it, you run a serious risk of getting sick of zucchini.

So I try to keep coming up with new uses and recipes for it. Last year I turned my zucchinis into lasagna, chocolate muffins (I made them every week for months), pesto noodles, kebabs, veggie roasts, and a failed attempt at oven zucchini chips. I still couldn’t use them all up, from ONE plant, even with help from my fiance!

So far this year, I’ve made squash boats, (successful!) zucchini chips, and now these protein muffins. And I have 2 plants this year… time to get serious.

I think these muffins will replace my chocolate zucchini muffin obsession from last year, because they are seriously delicious. Especially considering they’re whole wheat, low fat (in fact, fat free if you leave out the walnuts & chocolate chips), and have both protein powder and vegetables!

Ingredients:

  • 1 tbsp ground flaxseed
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup nondairy milk (I used soy)
  • 1/4 cup applesauce (or try pumpkin puree)
  • 1 cup grated zucchini
  • 1 and 1/4 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1/4 cup plain hemp protein powder*
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/3 cup vegan semisweet chocolate chips (optional)
  • 1/2 cup walnut pieces (optional)

* If you don’t want the protein, just use 1/4c whole wheat flour instead. Or on the flip side, you can try replacing some of the flour with more protein powder! You can experiment with other protein powders too, but I find plain unsweetened hemp to be the most flour-like and I can’t even taste it in the muffins.

Directions:

  • Preheat oven to 350 F, and grease a standard dozen muffin pan.
  • Combine flaxseed, sugar, milk, and applesauce in a bowl. Set aside while you grate the zucchini.
  • Add the zucchini to the bowl with the wet ingredients, then add flour, then the rest of the ingredients.
  • Stir until just combined, and pour evenly into the muffin cups.
  • Bake for 15-20 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean. (Note, you’re only looking for batter on the toothpick–if you hit a chocolate chip, it’ll never be clean!)

Recipe inspired by Nora Cooks’ zucchini bread!

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Videos

How to Reduce Stress | 7 Natural Science-supported Remedies

7 natural stress remedies

Today, I have something a little bit different for you: 7 natural ways to reduce your stress using foods and herbs, based on scientific studies. Stress is a major reason for overeating and weight gain, and causes all sorts of bad health effects, both physical and mental. So if youโ€™re stressed, reducing it could help you reach your health & appearance goals!

In the video, I go over the remedies and what types of stressors and stress symptoms they help with, how to use them, and briefly cover studies supporting them. In the post below, I list specific supplements/foods, dosages, how long they should take to work, and link the studies.

(Subscribe to my Youtube Channel!)

Unfortunately, many supplements don’t actually contain what they say they do. So I researched independent lab tests for supplements to make sure they contain the proper dose of the active ingredient, are free of toxins, and have the most bang for your buck!

For the food and teas, I’ve researched the best ones and linked my favorites. I also include my recommended dose for everything if applicable, based on the linked studies and others. And, I found a few combo products (linked at the bottom) that contain multiple remedies in one!

All of these remedies are supported by placebo-controlled studies in humans. (All studies linked below are in humans, and all but one are placebo-controlled). Studies done in rodents also support these remedies.

Tulsi from my garden ๐Ÿ™‚

1) Lemon balm:

Studies: 1 | 2

2) Tea

  • Black tea
  • In the study they drank 4 cups a day for 6 weeks, but I imagine less would help too
  • Green tea & matcha
  • Anywhere from 1-5 cups a day is helpful–the more the better (unless the added caffeine causes you stress)
  • Available as a supplement: L theanine (or a smaller dose)
  • Taking as little as 40mg is helpful, but you start to get extra benefits around 200mg (larger dose link). Take one to two 200mg capsules a day, will likely start working within a week.

Studies: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4

3) Dark chocolate

A lot of chocolate is high in heavy metals (particularly cadmium), so I researched brands that have the most flavonols and the least heavy metals!

  • Chocolate bars (anything by this brand is good!)
  • Cacao nibs (I LOVE these in smoothie bowls, as a healthy chocolate chip replacement, etc.)
  • Cacao powder
  • Can be taken right before a stressful event to help (studies found good effects with 280 cals/50g of a dark chocolate bar, but you would likely need less when using cacao powder or nibs since they contain more flavanols)

Studies: 1 | 2

4) Ashwagandha

  • Available as a supplement
  • Recommend taking 1 of these capsules per day (do NOT recommend taking higher doses), can expect to see good effects in at most 4 weeks (they will almost certainly start sooner though!)

Studies: 1 | 2

5) Rhodiola Rosea

  • Available as a supplement
  • Recommend taking 1-2 capsules a day, can expect to see benefits in 2 weeks or less

Studies: 1 | 2 | 3

6) Holy Basi (Tulsi)

  • Available as tea
  • Available as a supplement
  • Recommend taking 1 capsule per day, can expect to see benefits by 6 weeks or less

Studies: 1 | 2 | 3

7) Probiotics

  • This probiotic contains 5+ strains mentioned as helpful
  • Take 1 per day, expect to see benefits in 8 weeks or less
  • Can take non-dairy kefir or yogurt as well

Studies: 1 | 2 | 3

 

Combo products:

  • Supplement that contains ashwagandha & L-theanine
  • Supplement that contains lemon balm, ashwagandha, rhodiola rosea, and L-theanine (also contains other herbs though)

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Happy de-stressing,

Recipes

Vegan Caribbean Beans Recipe

Black beans, pinto beans, brown rice, avocado recipe

Today I’m sharing my favorite bean recipe of all time. That’s a serious statement given how often I make beans.

It’s based on a recipe my mom made when I was a kid, and since then I’ve veganized & modified it, and have been making it by feel ever since. But today’s the day… after years and years, I finally wrote it down.

Cue applause. ๐Ÿ˜›  (It may come as a surprise since I often post recipes, but I usually don’t write them down otherwise!)

These are my favorite beans not only because of the taste, but because they’re easy to make, involving almost no chopping if you have a food processor. Bonus: I’ve discovered they’re the perfect way to use up hot peppers from the garden, and tomatoes, bell peppers, onions, & herbs to boot–and this recipe really makes them shine. They’re also one of my favorite bulk cooking recipes because the flavor actually gets even better over the course of a few days.

Not to mention, they’re really versatile, and can be dressed up or down depending on your mood. As a kid we had them in cheese-topped tortillas, and now my usual go-to is with brown rice and avocado. They also go great as part of a salad!

Vegan caribbean beans recipe with avocado

Ingredients:

  • 2 – 15oz cans black beans, drained and washed
  • 1 – 15oz can pinto beans, drained and washed
  • 1 large yellow or white onion
  • 2 cups bell peppers, any color
  • 1 cup fresh tomato
  • 3 tsp fresh oregano (or 1 tsp dried)
  • Heaping 1/4c fresh parsley
  • 3 large garlic cloves
  • 2-3 small medium-hot peppers* (~3 tbsp worth)
  • 1/2 tsp ground cumin
  • 2 tbsp white vinegar
  • 1/4c dry white wine
  • Topping ideas: Avocado, fresh tomato, scallions, hot sauce, vegan cheese

*Every hot pepper I’ve tried has tasted good in it, and I often mix and match: jalapeno, garden salsa, anaheim… try experimenting with your favorite peppers! Or try 1/2+ tsp dried cayenne to taste.

Directions:

  1. Chop the onions and bell peppers, either by hand or in a food processor. Add to a pot over medium heat and sautรฉ around 5 minutes or until the onions begin to get translucent.
  2. In a blender or food processor, combine the vinegar, wine, oregano, parsley, garlic, and hot peppers. Blend briefly until everything looks approximately minced–do not blend until smooth. (Careful not to inhale it right after it’s done blending, the hot pepper can sting your nose!)
  3. Chop or food-process tomatoes until diced, and add them to the pot with the onions and bell peppers. Also add the blended herb mixture, and the rest of the ingredients (beans, cumin).
  4. Simmer for 15 minutes, until everything is tender and combined.
  5. Blend 1/2 to 3/4 of the pot, depending on how pureed you want your beans. If you puree them a lot they’ll be like black bean soup, and if you puree them less they’ll likely stay in tacos better–it’s up to your personal taste! I usually coarsely blend around 2/3 of it.
  6. Serve on its own, with rice, or in a burrito or taco.

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