Veggie Quesadillas From Leftovers

A half package of tortillas has been languishing in the cupboard for a while. One of these days I’m going to learn how to make my own so that I don’t have to buy a giant package for one person. Meanwhile, I needed to do something with the leftovers.

It just so happens that I had an abundance of veggies and some vegan cheese waiting to be tried so it was veggie quesadillas for lunch! Actually, for a couple of meals because they were excellent and I had the supplies.

I just sautéed small amounts of veggies that I already had – onion, green pepper, mushrooms, squash and broccoli in one pan.

In another nonstick pan, I put down a tortilla, added the vegan cheese, and tossed in the veggies. Then I added the top tortilla and let it all warm up and brown on both sides.

Served with some lettuce, black olives, black beans, and barbecue sauce for dipping (you read the right- bbq sauce) and it was a delicious meal.

All ingredients were things I already had that would’ve been wasted and it came together in mere minutes. The green pepper had actually seen better days and was teetering on the edge of becoming compost so I was glad to give it purpose!

What’s your go-to meal for using up leftover veggies? I do a lot of stir fries and often sautée veggies to put on top of a baked potato. When I still ate eggs, omelettes were a wonderful way to use odds and ends.

Comment and share your ideas!

Beyond Burger

A recent trip through Kroger revealed a refrigerated case full of Beyond Burger patties near the check out. I squealed like a little girl and grabbed a package to try.

I’ve had Beyond Burger in restaurants but never had the opportunity to cook it at home.

In case you’re not familiar, it is a simulated beef that contains no meat or dairy. If you eat beef every day, it may be a clear imposter. However, if you’re like me and haven’t tasted cow in a while, it’s a convincing replacement. The texture and taste are great but I will admit that it doesn’t smell quite right. It doesn’t smell bad – just not right. However, it cooks up nicely with no shrinkage and good flavor.

If you are a beef eater and are happy doing that, say no more. Do your thing. I’m not interested in pushing my choices off on anyone.

If you’re interested in eating less meat, this might be a good way to ease into it. And if you’re vegan or vegetarian like me, it’s a fun way to have something that reminds you of your old life without harming an animal or eating meat.

When I stopped eating meat some years ago, there were few faux meats worth eating. Thankfully, many advancements have been made and the options are broadening rapidly. It’s fun rolling up to Burger King for an Impossible Whopper or finding really good fake chicken tenders in the frozen food section.

This stuff is still processed and not something we should be eating every day but it’s a great treat and I highly recommend giving Beyond Burger a whirl if you’re so inclined.

Happiness Is…

Happiness is a homemade meal that comes together in mere minutes. This veggie enchilada dish allowed me to use up odds and ends of yellow squash, onion, peppers, mushrooms, broccoli and spinach that might have been wasted. It took just a few minutes to prep and twenty minutes to bake!

Happiness is also homemade “Nicecream” made in the blender with just three ingredients – all of which have names you can pronounce!

Eating At Home

As things start to open up in my state, everyone I know seems to be dying for a restaurant meal. I can honestly say that eating in a restaurant is almost at the bottom of my list of things to do.

It may be because I’m a decent cook and know how to prepare meals exactly the way I like them. It’s partly because restaurants in my area aren’t interested in people who wish to eat healthy or who eat plant based.

Sad salads and greasy grilled cheese sandwiches are the standard faire for vegetarians in my area. A few nicer restaurants in neighboring towns offer the Beyond Burger or a black bean burger but most vegetarians or vegans are better off just staying at home in my part of the state.

Personally, I eat mostly vegan at home and hope for vegan but am happy with vegetarian in restaurants. I tend to use eating out as an excuse to have pizza or some other really bad cheat dish because the options are so slim.

The above picture is from my lunch yesterday – just a simple sauce packed with veggies over soy noodle spaghetti and a nice little salad. All the ingredients came from Aldi and nothing was expensive.

Dessert was this big bowl of berries. Easy, simple and delicious!

People act like those of us who don’t eat meat or dairy are asking for something ridiculously hard to achieve. It’s really not when you stick to simple ingredients.

So I’ll just continue doing my thing at home and be happy. At least cooking at home is cheaper than take-out!

How Lucky Are We?

How fortunate are we to live in a place where this bounty is accessible year round at a store? I think about it all the time but don’t say it nearly enough.

I’m grateful for access to affordable fresh foods. People the world over would give anything for easy access to fresh, delicious fruits and vegetables. Here we have it as close as our local grocer or farmer’s market.

What small thing are you grateful for that you don’t say nearly enough?

Homemade Nice Cream

There’s nothing better than a dish of ice cream on a hot summer day. Since embracing plant based eating, I’m constantly on the prowl for ways to transform unhealthy comfort foods into something plant based.

Turns out, chocolate ice cream is the simplest thing to figure out.

I looked at several recipes but it seemed like one would be too dry, another would taste more like bananas than chocolate – so I doctored up one into something that suited my tastes.

Homemade Chocolate Nice Cream

2 cups of frozen sliced bananas

1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder

1 cup unsweetened almond milk

1 teaspoon vanilla

Place all ingredients in a blender and blend until creamy. If this seems too dry for your blender, just add a little more almond milk to get things going.

Once it’s well blended, pour your mixture into a parchment paper lined container to store in the freezer. It’s that easy. At this point you may wish to add some chunks of vegan chocolate or nuts.

A couple of things to note. You can freeze this to enjoy later or can enjoy as soft serve right now! Add a little more almond milk for milkshakes!!

Also, I allowed mine to freeze overnight and it was hard to scoop. Next time, I will freeze in single serve containers. That way I can set it out to soften just a bit before eating.