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Fo Reals Life

October 23, 2012 October 23, 2012/ Morgan Eccleston

flows over corn chips into

It has been one of those days. Which words could describe but it would be unbearable to most people. Instead, I give you a gift: Nacho Cheese Sauce. Make that Vegan and Nut Free Nacho Cheese Sauce. 

You can watch a video of me making the nacho cheese sauce here:

  • 1/4 c. roasted red pepper
  • 1/2 of a 4oz can roasted jalapeno (or pickled, or 1/2 fresh jalapeno!)
  • 1/2 c. nutritional yeast
  • 1 tsp. lime juice 
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 2 TBSP. tahini
  • 1 TBSP. miso paste (white, yellow or red)
  • 1/4 c. flour
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 6oz  (about 1/2 cup) silken tofu (such as Mori-nu Soft Silken Tofu)
  • 1 c. soy milk
  • 1/2 c. water
  • Blend all of the ingredients together until very smooth, Start with half the can of jalapeno and then add more if you feel like you need to. (We used the whole can for our first batch and our faces were burning!)
  • Cook over medium-high heat until nice and thick. Stir the whole time so it does not burn. 
  • Enjoy over EVERYTHING – chips especially but I also had some on some rice and over some grits for breakfast. Yum! 

October 23, 2012/ Morgan Eccleston/ October 21, 2012 October 21, 2012/ Morgan Eccleston

Beans. If these aren’t a part of your daily routine then I’m thinkin’ you need to get with it. Beans are easy to cook. Dry beans are CHEAP (About $1 a pound around here.) That translates to around 6 cups and a little over $0.16 a cup. I hear people complain ALL THE TIME that it is hard to eat healthy on a budget. That’s just plain not true. Sure if you say “ew beans! I’ll toot!” and go for some $7 packaged meal that will fill you up for about an hour. No no no, my child, that will not do. Grab yourself a bag of beans and a bottle of beer – it’s time to learn how to make some kick ass drunken beans. You can eat em by the bowl full or fill a tortilla with them. Top a tostada or throw it into a taco shell. Mix it with rice and throw in your favorite veggies for one of those bowl thingies I hear us vegans are so excited about. (Excited, or is that the only thing people will feed us?)

Click here to download the Borracho Beans Recipe and Coloring Page! 

(Look! The beans are at a pool party!!!)

Borracho Beans

1 lb dried pinto beans, rinsed and picked over

1  14oz can diced tomatoes

2 bell peppers (any color), chopped

1 jalapeno, minced (remove seeds if you want!)

1 large onion, chopped

5 cloves garlic, minced

2 cups beer (16oz – buy a 22oz so you have some to drink while cooking! hehe!)

1 TBSP. chile powder

2 tsp. cumin

2 tsp. dried oregano (Mexican oregano if you can find it – it has a pungent flavor that rocks!)

1 TBSP. kosher salt

1/2 cup chopped cilantro

  • Soak the dried beans for 6-12 hours. Drain water.
  • Put the beans in a large pot and over with 2-3 inches of water. Bring to a boil, turn heat down to med-low and simmer with the lid on for about 90 minutes. (Alternatively you can cook them in a crockpot on high for 3-5 hours [crockpots can be crazy different!] or low for 6-8 hours.)
  • Drain off cooking liquid but reserve 2 cups.
  • Add reserved cooking water and all remaining ingredients to the pot. 
  • Simmer over med-low heat for 45 minutes to 1 hour. 
  • Enjoy!

October 21, 2012/ Morgan Eccleston/ October 19, 2012 October 19, 2012/ Morgan Eccleston

So if you have a Trader Joe’s in your area I’m sure you’ve had this happen to you… You walk in to get the same stuff you bought every time. You walk to the shelf where it usually is and hmm… maybe things are moved around? “Where is -blank-” you ask someone. “Oh we don’t carry that anymore.” “*@&#^@*&#^@*&#” you think. Alright so my favorite ever 3 bean salad has been gone from Trader Joe’s for-ever. At least a long while. This was one of my staple foods – just smash it up and toss with pasta. Boom! Ya got lunch.

Now I have to do slightly more work and make my own bean salad. There are some bonuses here though : no extra pointless oil swimming about, I control the freshness, and its easy. I’m still pissed about the 3 bean salad though, TJs!

Click here to download the 3 Bean Salad Recipe and Coloring Page!

3 Bean Salad

3 cans beans (cannellini, garbanzo, pinto – you could also use red kidney beans!)

1/2 c. chopped red onion

4 cloves garlic, minced fine

1/4 c. chopped flat leaf parsley

1/4 c. red wine vinegar

juice of 1 lemon

1 TBSP. fresh thyme (1 tsp dried)

1 TBSP. fresh oregano (1 tsp dried)

1/2 tsp. sugar

1/4 tsp. fresh ground black pepper

  • Drain and rinse the 3 cans of beans. 
  • Mix everything together in a large container/ 
  • Store the covered container in the fridge for an hour or so to let the flavors meld together. Even longer is good!
  • Stir up the salad before serving. Enjoy 
  • (It tastes really good over hot pasta! Just smash up some of the beans… mmmm!) 

October 19, 2012/ Morgan Eccleston/ October 18, 2012 October 18, 2012/ Morgan Eccleston

I missed using my cute little fondue pot (its tough to use for photographs though, sadly.) And I missed dunking everything into cheese. I will never miss that again. This fondue, for me, is perfect. It was awesome with pears dipped into it. Amazing with some broccoli. And hey, even better over some macaroni noodles. Talk about versatile. If you haven’t been here before you’ll also notice that its EASY – my style exactly. Also, Nut-Free! Awesome if you have realized that like every single vegan recipe has nuts in it. NOT MINE, BABY!

Do not hesitate to make this. I ate until I could not eat any longer. 

Click here to download the Cheezy Fondue Recipe and Coloring Page!

(it’s super cute!!!) 

Cheezy Fondue

1/2 c. nutritional yeast

1 TBSP. miso (white or yellow – even red is fine!) 

2 TBSP. tahini

1/2 package mori-nu silken tofu (12 oz package)

1 TBSP. lemon juice

1/4 c. flour

1 TBSP. cornstarch or arrowroot

2 cloves garlic, crushed

1 & 1/2 c. white wine, divided

1/2 c. plain soymilk (or other favorite milk alternative)

1/4 tsp. salt

  • Bring 3/4 cup of the white wine to a simmer over medium-high heat. Simmer for 5 minutes. (This takes the edge off the wine – I found the whole first batch too alcoholic because it cooks quickly and does not give it enough time to cook any alcohol off. This way, you get some of it cooked off but some will not!)
  • Meanwhile, combine all of the remaining ingredients (including the 3/4 cup of reserved uncooked wine) in a blender and blend until very smooth. 
  • Stir the blended mixture into the simmered wine and bring to a boil. Stir constantly to prevent burning. 
  • Cook until thickened (Mine took around 4 minutes. Yours may take longer or even less time!) 
  • Enjoy with bread, apples, pears, vegetables or over pasta! 

Mmm.. over some whole wheat pasta with broccoli! 

October 18, 2012/ Morgan Eccleston/ October 17, 2012 October 17, 2012/ Morgan Eccleston

Is anyone else getting cold and wet? It’s chilly here in the Northwest! I saw my breath outside this morning even. It’s a soup day. How about a really warming squash and bean soup? A little spicy, a little sweet, a little amazing… (hah!) This soup is worth the small amount of effort it takes.

First, you need to

Roast Your Squash!

 Follow that link to my super crazy easy method for roasting any squash. You won’t be intimidated with huge squash or afraid you’re going to chop all of your fingers off just trying to split one in half.

Click here to download the Butternut Squash and Black Bean Soup Recipe and Coloring Page!

Butternut Squash and Black Bean Soup

2 c. butternut squash puree (about 1/2 roasted squash. Feel free to substitute any winter squash you like!)

2 chipotle peppers in adobo sauce, minced

2 cans black beans, drained

1/2 onion, diced

2 cloves garlic, minced

1  14oz can chopped tomatoes

4 c. veggie stock (1 quart)

1 TBSP. cumin

1/2 tsp. cinnamon

1/2 tsp. kosher salt

1/4 tsp. black pepper

juice 1/2 lime

cilantro to garnish

  • Combine all ingredients except cilantro in a large pot and bring to a boil.
  • Cover with a lid, turn the heat to low and simmer for 20 minutes. 
  • Let soup cool slightly and then puree to your desired consistency with immersion blender (my favorite tool!) or in batches in your regular blender. 
  • Garnish with cilantro and Enjoy! 

October 17, 2012/ Morgan Eccleston/