Yes, It’s Vegan!

One of the first foods I had when I came to the Unites States was Tacos. And I feel in love with them right there and then. Tacos are oh-so-delicious, and there are tons of recipes with tips out there on how to make them a bit healthier.

I came across this amazing vegan(!) Black Bean Taco Recipe, and this is the only way I’m making Tacos since. Although I have to add, since neither I or the hubs are vegan, we do add dairy toppings to them. I also always make fresh guacamole to go with them (I’m totally in love with avocados). They are so good, I have to share the recipe with you.


Black Bean Tacos with Corn Salsa

 (serves 4)


Olive Oil Cooking Spray

2 cloves garlic

2 1/2 cups canned black beans (rinsed & drained)

1/4 cup rolled oats

1/4 cup cornmeal

1 TBSP chili powder

1/2 TSP Cumin (optional)

1 TSP salt (divided)

1/2 TSP freshly ground black pepper (divided)

8 small corn tortillas

1 cup corn (thawed if frozen)

1 medium red bell pepper, chopped

1 small green chile, diced

2 scallions, chopped

juice of two limes

1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro

Heat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit, and coat a baking sheet with cooking spray.

In a food processor, chop the garlic. Add the beans, oats, cornmeal, chili pepper, cumin,  3/4 TSP salt, and 1/4 TSP pepper. Process until mixture is combined, stopping to scrape down the sites a couple of times (about 1 minute).

Crumble bean mixture onto the prepared baking sheet (do not stick your hands in the blender, use a spoon ;)), and coat lightly with some cooking spray. Then bake the bean mixture until it’s firm and crisp on the bottom, about 10 to 15 minutes.

Use a spoon to break up pieces of bean mixture, turn it, and coat again lightly with the cooking spray. Bake until the bean mixture is crisp all over, about 10 to 15 minutes.

Warm the tortillas in the oven for about 5 minutes.

To make the corn salsa combine the corn, chopped red bell pepper, diced chile, chopped scallions, and remaining salt and pepper in a medium-sized bowl. Sprinkle with lime juice, and add fresh cilantro.

Nutritional Info for the recipe as is above:

321 calories per serving (2 tacos), 3g fat, 60g carbs, 13g fiber, 14g Protein

My taco topped with guacamole, fat-free sour cream, and some cheddar cheese.

Vegan Black Bean Taco with Corn Salsa and Guacamole


spaghetti overhaul

A few days ago I stopped by the Commissary after the gym to get some eggs and milk. I use the gym on the Naval Base the Hubs is stationed at, so the Commissary (it’s what the Navy calls the Grocery Store on base) was convenient. The produce is right at the entrance and I walked right into a display of Spaghetti Squash. Now, don’t ask me why there is a sale on a winter squash (at least I believe it’s a winter squash, correct me if I’m wrong) in June but the commissary can have funny sales like that from time to time. Anyway, I grabbed one and went ahead getting the eggs and milk. I was really good at that quick stop since I really just picked up these three items, instead of coming out with several grocery bags full of stuff, and in the end forgetting the thing I actually went to the store for.

I have had Spaghetti Squash only once a couple of years ago, but I’ve read a lot about it since. I spent some time looking up ways to cook the squash and as it turns out it’s super easy! I was toying with the idea of trying a recipe with a white sauce, but went for the meaty spaghetti sauce I had frozen. I like to make a slow cooked meat sauce from scratch in a big batch and freeze individual portions for a quick, easy and delicious dinner. This was the last of it, so I will be making some sooner and later and I’ll post the recipe then. So much better and healthier than any store-bought sauce!

You can bake, boil, steam or microwave the squash. Once cooked, the flesh separates into string like strands like spaghetti. One cup of cooked Spaghetti Squash has only about 42 calories, and 10 grams of Carbs (4gr as sugar) according to the U. S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) nutrient database. A cup of cooked Spaghetti in comparison has about 225 calories, and 43 grams Carbs. Spaghetti squash has a high water content and is not as dense in vitamins and minerals as other winter squash, but if you’re watching your calorie or carbohydrate intake it makes a great Pasta Substitute. Plus it is delicious ;)!

Here’s how I cooked my Spaghetti Squash:

  • pre-heat oven to 350 F
  • cut spaghetti squash in half lengthwise, and scrape out the seeds and pulp
  • bake the halves cut side down (use a cookie sheet) 30-40 minutes, let cool for a few minutes to make the squash easier to handle
  •  separate the strands by running a fork through the flesh from stem to stem

I did add a little salt & pepper to the squash before serving but with the flavorful sauce it wasn’t necessary at all.

It was such a delicious, quick, and easy dinner, plus we had enough left overs for both our lunches the next day. I will definitively start experimenting more with spaghetti squash and try it with different sauces. I read it’s also delicious if you just toss the cooked squash with some olive oil, garlic, salt & pepper and some Parmesan in a skillet, hmmmm!