Monday, December 27, 2010

Easy Low Calorie Chicken Meal Idea

Although I do like to cook nutritionally sound meals with organic ingredients, no high fructose corn syrup, whole grains, fresh and healthy. Sometimes I'm tired. Sometimes I just want to whip something up and have supper.

I have a job. Actually, I have two jobs, but who's counting, right? I also have a house to clean and dishes to wash and laundry to do. So, sometimes, I just want something quick and easy, but still low in calories. If you are in my shoes, I have some ideas....

Tonight we had Sam's Choice Three Cheese & Jalapeno Stuffed Chicken Breast. It was good. Really good. There are two chicken breasts per package and each has only 230 calories and 9 grams of fat. Now, that's about 35% fat, but if you're calculating overall fat, 9 grams isn't too bad.

I also fixed Schwan's Fire Roasted Vegetables. We love these! At about 60 calories per 3/4 cup (or 85 grams) they're a wonderful side dish. That's about 120 calories for 1 1/2 cups and will really fill you up.

To add some good antioxidants, I opened a jar of pickled beets. (I know, this was a really hard meal!). About 1/2 cup adds about 50 calories to your meal.

One yummy stuffed chicken breast, 1 1/2 cups fire roasted veggies and 1/2 cup pickled beets made for a very filling and tasty meal. All this for right at 400 calories. You can't hardly beat that!

Bossman was full and happy. He even had room for dessert.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

New Cookbooks on the Way!

I just sat down and did some research and ordered two new cookbooks that I'm really looking forward to trying out!

Cook This Not That promises to show me how to cook some of my favorite restaurant meals without all the added calories, sodium and cost. The cookbook is not a "rice and tofu" cookbook (which is a good thing), but contains real meals for real people.

The reviews were awesome, so I'm really excited to get this one and to share my experience with this cookbook here on my blog.

It's set to arrive December 28th, so check back and see what I've come up with on this one!

This is the second cookbook I ordered. It promises real meals at 300 calories. It even claims to have crockpot/slow cooker meals and "meals for two".

It also had really awesome reviews, so I think I'm going to get a lot of use out of this one.

Again, it's set to arrive December 28th, so come back and check out what I'm up to. (give me a couple days to pick out some recipes and actually GO to the store ;)

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Meal Planning

So, I went in to cook supper (we call is supper in the Ozarks; we have breakfast, lunch & supper around here. We only have "dinner" when we're trying to be fancy or going out to eat). Anyway, I went in to cook supper (yeah, I know, I already said that) and Bossman followed me in the kitchen. He wanted to check calories on FitClick so he could plan his meal. I'm telling ya, he's loving this.

Tonight he had a lot to add up. Just every now and then, you have to shuffle through the cabinets and throw a meal together. We had fried Spam (it's actually pretty good), Kraft Shells and Cheese (don't even ask calories on that...eeeek!) and Niblets corn on the cob. Bossman got out the measuring cups and planned how much of what he could eat and stay under his target calories for the day. It helps that we eat a bare minimum of calories during the day, so we can have a decent supper. Tonight, though, he realized how much he was overeating before counting calories. Shells and Cheese is one of his favorite side dishes and he used to pile quite a bit on his plate. Tonight he found out that 1 (thats ONE) cup (prepared) has 360 calories. Ouch!

We got our portions figured out for how many calories we each wanted to eat and all was well in our household.

Bossman had also suggested he take me out to eat tomorrow night (that would be for dinner - are you keeping this straight?). Yay! So, after supper, he got on his laptop to plan for dinner tomorrow night. We chose Ruby Tuesday's (not a lot of choices around here, especially with nutritional value in an online menu). He already has both our meals planned for tomorrow night and may even squeeze room for us to share a dessert. He even has it written down. On notebook paper. Seriously.

I love him.

My Grandson ~ so sweet & innocent

Monday, December 20, 2010

My 2nd Associated Content Article has been accepted!

I get so excited about my Associated Content articles. I'm like a little kid. But, as I've said before, they have to be submitted and reviewed before they are accepted and published. So, somebody actually reads it and makes sure it isn't copied off another article, the grammar is good, mechanics are good and subject matter is acceptable. It usually takes anywhere from 3 to 5 days, at least in my experience.

So, go read my article on What is Generation G? You want to know that anyway, right? Would love some feedback! K, thanks :)

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Change of Plans - Lets Count Calories!

I have spent so much time and effort hunting down healthy recipes and meals, shopping for organic food and reading labels so we get a minimal amount of high fructose corn syrup. What is high fructose corn syrup anyway??? And then I read THIS article about a nutrition professor who, out to prove himself right, ended up proving himself wrong. He lived on an 1,800 calorie diet of Twinkies, Hostess cakes and all things junk food for a period of ten weeks. And guess what happened? He lost weight, thats what happened! Not only that, but his bad cholesterol went down and his good cholesterol went up. Hmmmm.

Now, I don't for one second think that eating nothing but junk food, no matter the caloric intake, is good for you over a long period of time. BUT, I do think that the age old, simple as pie method of eat less calories, lose weight idea is really worth a second look. I also think that if you want something, eat it! Just eat it in moderation and exercise.

A pound = 3,500 calories. Either gain it or lose it. Simple as that. To lose a pound a week, you have to cut out 3,500 calories that week. So, if you normally eat 2,000 calories a day, that's 14,000 calories a week. To lose a pound, cut your weekly intake down to 10,500 calories. That's 1,500 calories a day.

OR eat the normal 2,000 calories a day/14,000 calories a week and exercise off that 3,500 calories to lose your pound. Keep in mind that if you are maintaining your current weight on your 2,000 calorie a day meal habit, you aren't burning any extra calories with what you're doing. You will need to do some extra exercise to burn that 3,500 calories.

Go for a walk every day. Play Kinect (I kind of like this one ;). Take up running. Do P90X. Jog. Rake leaves. Shovel snow. Mow the grass. Clean house. Yoga. Zumba. Kickboxing. Cardio. Aerobics.

So, we are switching gears and just counting calories for a while to see how that works out. When I go grocery shopping, I am only looking at the calories part of the nutrition label. (sneaky things that they are, make sure you pay attention to serving size and calories per serving - they will trick you every chance they get!) After having looked at fat grams and ingredients for so long, this has proven to be a real challenge to me. But, I'll get over it, I'm sure.

Bossman is using an online calorie counter at FitClick. He can list everything he's eaten that day and it will calculate how many calories he's taken in. He can add favorite foods and input foods that aren't already on FitClick. He loves this. I hate it. I can't seem to get in the habit of recording every single thing I eat every day. I almost feel restricted for some reason and I want to go out and be "bad" and eat chocolate till I explode. I just kind of keep track in my head and I'm okay.

We've been doing this for a month or so and I did one of those things online where you put in your age, weight, height, amount of exercise, etc., and it calculates how many calories you should eat per day. Mine came to something like 1,600 - 1,700. So, I've been keeping my caloric intake down in the 1,400 range to lose weight. Much to my suprise (and let me tell ya, I love it!), apparently I am more active than I anticipated and/or my metabolism is higher than I thought. My britches are way loose all of a sudden. Cool, huh?!

So, I'll update you on our pilgrimage though all things calories. I'm also planning to do some reviews on some lower calorie foods that we've found. I'll give 'em a yay or a nay. I would love to hear some things everybody else is trying!

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

My First Associated Content Article - PUBLISHED!

Wow two posts in one day! Now you're going to expect it of me and things will never be the same. Okay, well, really, this is just to tell you I had my first article ACCEPTED on Associated Content.

With Hubpages, you just write the article and hit "publish" and it publishes much like a blog. However, on Associated Content, you must submit the article where an actual human reads it and says yay or nay on whether it's published. Now, I doubt they go over it like an editor or something, but basically make sure it's readable, not plagiarized and acceptable according to their terms of service. Still, it's exciting to see that email saying your article has been accepted and published.

Without further adieu, go check out Top Trend for 2011 Random Acts of Kindness - How to Pay it Forward ~ hope you enjoy!

My first Hub!

I now have my first Hub! Woo Hoo!!

I know, what's a hub, right? And why are you so excited? Well, a Hub is an article written and published on Hubpages. Hubpages is a website devoted to content writers who write about anything and everything. It allows those of us who are aspiring writers to get published and read.

So, I'm published - kinda, sorta. Even though this is exciting, I do have to say that anybody can write on Hubpages. All you have to do is sign up and start writing. With that in mind, it doesn't necessarily mean everybody who writes on Hubpages is a good writer. However, to be a good writer you have to get people to read what you write and want to come back for more. (I'll update on this as it happens).

I'll be even more excited when the article I submitted to Associated Content is accepted and published. That means it was at least decent.

For now, check our my article on VERY Last Minute Gift Ideas over on my Hub.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Here I Go Again...

Here I go again, not blogging for extended periods of time. Why is that? Am I not eating and therefore have nothing to blog about? No. (trust me on this one). Is it that I'm lazy? No. Not that either. If anything I'm maybe too busy. Is it that I don't have time? Maybe a little of that. Maybe.

I do work six days a week. So, yes, that means my time is pretty much taken up. However, I also have my laptop at work, generous amounts of time where I can do whatever I want or need to do and nobody telling me I can't post a blog if I feel like it. So, that's not really the issue either.

I have been learning the rental car business and that has been taking up quite a bit of my time here lately. But, not all of it. (nice try, though, huh?)

I think my interest just comes and goes. I think I need to work on disciplining myself to do things that I don't have to do. There are so many things a person has to do every day that if we (or at least I) encounter something I don't have to do, oftentimes I don't. Even if it's something that I enjoy doing.

So, here's to me doing more posts and keeping up better with my blogs. Cheers ;)

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Heart Healthy Zucchini Bread

I went to the local Farmer's Market this morning to pick up my tomatoes and peaches for canning. (25 lbs. of each, so canning pictures tomorrow;) I shopped around a little bit and came home with quite a few treasures. The result is this wonderful heart healthy zucchini bread. Sorry for the pictures - I was so excited to get started on this that I left my good camera at work and had to use my iPhone. Dontcha just love technology?

One of my treasures was this bag of locally grown and ground whole wheat flour. One of the ladies at the Farmer's Market makes about 50 lbs each week. Whoa! That's a lot of work. $5.00 for a 5 lb bag was well worth it. Whole wheat flour is sooooo much better for you. But, (there's always a "but") it does not bake quite like all purpose flour. It tends to be a little heartier and courser making your baked goods drier and it may change the taste slightly. A lot of people mix it with all purpose flour (a recipe that calls for 2 cups flour would alternate to 1 1/3 cup all purpose flour and 2/3 cups whole wheat flour). For this recipe I used 2 cups of the whole wheat flour and a cup of regular old Quaker oats and no all purpose flour. 

I started by peeling and grating a large zucchini. The recipe calls for 2 cups. As you can see, I don't always follow directions well. But, it's my zucchini bread, so if I want a very well rounded 2 cups, I can have it. I did not squeeze out any of the moisture/water from the grated zucchinis because with the whole wheat flour, I want a lot of moisture.

Anyway, dump 3 eggs in a deep bowl. Preferably farm fresh, but all I had was Eggland's Best. Which is probably the best egg available at the grocery store. I didn't buy farm fresh eggs today as I need to use up what I already have.

Beat the eggs with a mixer until they are good and foamy. Then beat 'em a little more, just to be sure.

Once your eggs are good and foamy, add the following: 1 cup of sugar; 1 Tbsp of vanilla; 1/4 cup of oil (I use Smart Balance Olive Oil); and 1 tsp of ground cinnamon. Now, beat it some more so it's mixed up good.

In a separate bowl mix the following: 2 cups whole wheat flour; 1 tsp baking soda; 1 Tbsp baking powder - mix. I just took a fork and sifted/mixed.

Add your flour mixture to your egg mixture a little at a time and stir with a fork. Add 1 cup of oats to the egg/flour mixture and stir with a fork. Then, add your zucchini to the egg/flour/oats mixture and stir with a fork just enough to start mixing it up and getting the flour moist. It will look something like the above picture. Then, mix with your mixer for a few minutes to get it all creamy and.....well, mixed.

Coat 2 loaf pans or a smaller rectangle pan with cooking spray and make sure to get the corners good. I used the smaller rectangle pan so that it wouldn't be quite as thick as a loaf pan would have been.

Bake at 350 degrees for 60-75 minutes. With the pan I used, it took 60 minutes, but again, it wasn't as thick as a loaf pan. Of course, bread is done when touched in the center and it springs back and the sides are all pulled away from the pan.

Wah-lah! Heart healthy zucchini bread. We had to taste immediately (you know, while it's still warm and all) and it was excellent. Not as sweet as a lot of breads. It was also drier, like cake or muffins as opposed to wet like banana bread or something. It holds together very well and is yummy! Think I'll make some more to freeze.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

St. Louis Cardinals Game Pics

We had the opportunity to go to a St. Louis Cardinals baseball game last night. We even got treated to Cardinals Club tickets. Score!

Front of Busch Stadium from our VIP parking. You absolutely cannot get any closer than this and be parked.

The field from our seats. Pretty dang close!

The Gateway Arch from our seats. For some reason I really like this picture.

Can't take too many pictures without playing around a little with the aperture and shutter speed. I kinda like this ol' gate with the sea of red in the background. I guess the gate isn't too old. This Busch Stadium was just opened in 2006. But, it kinda looks old, so I'm sticking with that.

Phillies warming up. Wonder what this fellas job title is? How much do you think he gets paid? Just sayin'.

Yadier Molina on deck. I was actually able to focus despite the backdrop between homeplate and us. Pretty cool, huh?

Carpenter on the mound. He's like 6'6" or something. Funny how depth perception plays tricks isn't it?

And, finally, Big Mac and Pujols in the dugout. Classic. Cards won 7-1 which made the whole night even better.

Cardinals Club Night Out

This was so yummy! I didn't cook it though. As if you couldn't tell. We had a night out with a fancy dancy dinner at the St. Louis Cardinals baseball game. We were given tickets to the Cardinals Club which includes VIP parking, a five star dinner, to die for seats and waited on hand and foot. Nice. Very nice.

Doesn't that look incredibly yummy? It was. Trust me. It was also great to have an incredible night out with Bossman. 

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Grilled Chicken & Pineapple Quesadillas

Rave reviews on this one and very filling! Yay me! Sorry. Just glad everybody liked them.

Start with some skinless boneless chicken breasts. I used a package of 3 to make 4 good size quesadillas. Put a chicken breast inside a gallon ziplock bag. No sense in getting chicken "stuff" all over your cutting board.

Take your big meat tenderizer mallet thing and beat the pulp out of your chicken breast. You want it flat and spread out.

Since beating with a mallet isn't quite enough, I like to take a heavy can from the cabinet and beat it some more. Remember - thin, thin, thin. It takes less time to grill and you don't want a fat ol' piece of chicken to have to bite through.

This is what you want your chicken to look like when you're through beating it to death. Ready for grillin'...

While the grill is preheating, take two fresh avocados and peel and slice them. Keep in mind there's a seed inside, so slice at an angle to curve around it.

Here's the avocado peeled and sliced. I actually ended up cutting my avocado up in smaller pieces and strips as I prepped the tortilla shells.

Put some salt and pepper on your chicken and throw it on the grill. Don't mess with it right away so the flavor gets seared in.

Brush your favorite barbecue sauce on the chicken while it's grilling. You can also add some spice if you like it. I just did the barbecue sauce since I was feeing four people and wasn't sure who liked spicy and who didn't.

Now it's time to break out the griddle and the tortilla shells. I use whole wheat tortilla shells. Large burrito size works well.

Lightly coat your griddle with butter. I use Smart Balance Lite with Olive Oil. If you're gonna use some butter, might as well make it as healthy as butter can get. I have a large griddle so I can put two tortillas on at once. Lightly brown both sides. If you don't have a griddle a skillet will work as well. I'm kind of partial to my griddle and use it often. I'm not sure why. Does that make me a weirdo? 

When the chicken gets done (doesn't that look good?!) put it off to the side and throw your pineapple on the grill. It's always better to use fresh pineapple, but I used canned rings because they are a lot less work and well, they're kinda cute. Dontcha think?

When your pineapple is done (doesn't take very long) you want to take it and your chicken off the grill. Take a sharp knife and slice the chicken in thin strips.

We're getting close! Time to build your quesadilla. Take a tortilla shell and put it on your griddle. Put a handful of monterey jack cheese as a base. Throw on some chicken strips, followed by some grilled pineapples, jalapenos and avocado. Put another handful of monterey jack cheese on top and cover with another tortilla shell. You need cheese on the top and bottom so it melts and holds it all together.

Leave your quesadilla on the griddle long enough to melt the bottom cheese. Then flip it and let the top cheese melt. You'll have to hold it when you flip it since the top cheese and ingredients will be "loose".

That's it! These were so yummy! Bossman loved them - he said that there was a different flavor in every bite. This is true, sometimes you get a taste of pineapple, sometimes avocado, sometimes jalapeno - and sometimes a combination of any of them.

Alyssa said they were "wonderful" and "awesome" and "I guess I'm going to have to start eating healthy - this is really good!"

Not sure what Dillon said. He just

About the only "unhealthy" thing on these is the amount of cheese. However, eating cheese occasionally isn't at all bad for you. The avocados and pineapples kind of offset the cheese. Dontcha think?

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Asparagus Cashew Rice Pilaf

This is a great meal that's easy to prepare and it sure beats a greasy cheeseburger any day of the week. Hold on! You're about to learn how to make your own Rice A Roni - the "basics" of this recipe can be used when you don't have a box handy.

First things first though. All your slicing and dicing needs to be done and out of the way.

Trim and cut about 1/2 pound fresh asparagus into 2" pieces. Dice about 1/4 cup onion. Slicing and dicing is done. That wasn't too bad was it?

Melt about 2 Tbsp butter in a large skillet I use Smart Balance Lite with Olive Oil. Then take some spaghetti noodles and break them into small pieces. Think Rice A Roni here when you're wondering how small to break the spaghetti. 

It's hard to explain how much spaghetti - I generally use what appears to be 1 1/2" across when I hold the noodles all together. Give or take. Just guesstimate. 

Stir the spaghetti around to get it coated with butter. Brown as you would Rice A Roni. But keep in mind that spaghetti noodles do brown quicker than Rice A Roni so keep an eye on it.

Add your onion and about 1 tsp of minced garlic and cook for about 2 minutes. Just long enough for the onion to get tender. 

Can you see my "ooopsss!" moment? Lesson: don't measure over what you're cooking. As you can see, this is waaaaay more than 1 tsp of minced garlic. Ooopss! Like I didn't already learn that lesson when I was about 13 or so. Silly me. I went ahead with my recipe anyway and it wasn't noticeable at all. So, keep in mind, a little too much minced garlic is okay. At least in this recipe. I don't recommend making this ooopss in in all recipes.

Add about 1 1/4 cups uncooked rice and cook another 5 minutes or so. Not sure why I don't have a picture of the rice? 

As a side note, I use brown rice for it's health benefits over white rice. However, just so you know, brown rice takes longer to cook, so in this recipe it will give it a crunchy texture. We are okay with that, but you may want to use white rice.

Add about 2 1/2 cups veggie broth. I use Swanson's organic - as you can see on the box it's all natural, 100% fat free, no msg and lower sodium. 

Bring the whole mixture to a boil. Turn it down to a simmer, cover and cook for about 20 minutes.

Place cut asparagus in a saucepan of water and bring to a boil. Turn down and simmer until tender but still firm.

At this point, your spaghetti, rice, onion, minced garlic and veggie broth mixture can be used as a homemade Rice A Roni dish (minus all the pastuerized, processed, excessively added to stuff that you buy on the shelf) just add whatever you want or have on hand. Or just add chicken or beef broth instead of veggie broth to make an alternative to store bought boxed dinners. Heck throw some left over chicken in there if you want to.

But right now we're making asparagus cashew rice pilaf. So, on with the show! When your rice mixture has been simmering for about 10 minutes and there are 10 minutes left, add about 1 cup of cashew halves. Recover and continue to simmer.

Cashews (or any kind of nut) is a great source of protein if you don't eat a lot of meat. Even though they are high in fat, it's the "good fat", so no worries.

When the rice mixture has been simmering about 15 minutes and has about 5 minutes left, drain and add your asparagus. Continue simmering the remaining 5 minutes.

That's it - you're done! Now just serve and eat. This is very good and very filling and Bossman approved.

There can be so many variations on this recipe. I want to try it with zucchini instead of asparagus to see how that would be. I would be interested in knowing what others would do with this recipe. Any ideas???

We followed our meal up with some fresh cherries and blueberries. Yummy!

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Ahhhh, Thursday

Wow, what a crazy week it's been. I think mass chaos is an appropriate term. Sheesh.

My daughter, Alyssa, her husband, Dillon, and their son, Kylar made it in from Colorado last Wednesday night. Dillon is in the military and is here for chemical school so they are staying with us. So, great to see them! So, crazy around here though!

Kylar is teething and giving his mommy fits of not sleeping at night and being a clingy little chunky monkey during the day. Even when his little face is all red from crying and he's belting out a tantrum he's still the cutest little guy on the planet.  Just ask me.

Dillon has to go out to the barracks at night to sleep so he's only here for a few hours each evening and on the weekends. Just long enough to eat and fill us in on his day. Not long enough to relieve mommy from a teething baby.

Needless to say, I've been slacking in the cooking department and healthy recipes and blogging. I know, I suck. It's just much easier and quicker to throw some burgers and dogs on the grill or some tuna helper on the stove. It's much easier to feed a few more mouths when all you have to do is buy an extra box of tuna helper. So, that's what I've been doing, even though I know I suck.

Today was the day though. The kids got paid and they were going to go grocery shopping and cook their own meals in their own little downstairs apartment. I was going to get back to my healthy recipes and blogging. Yay me!

Not so fast though....

The kids' car was acting up. Just a little swaying and shimmying in the steering wheel. We took it to get the tires rotated and a front end aligned. $70.00. Not bad and they could fix it and still afford groceries.

I was really excited just to get back to my recipes and blogging. And to give my little sister some new recipes (since she actually reads my blog - hey sis!). Then, the call came and the kids' car needed two inner tie rod ends. Now, we're up to $318.00. Yes, they had enough money to fix it, but Alyssa started crossing items off her grocery list. But, sometimes you gotta do what you gotta do. We told them to go ahead and fix the car. I offered to help out with groceries. I know, I'm so nice.

Then, another call. Now, the car needs a whole "rack" - like rack and pinion, tie rod ends, etc. $508.00. Whoa! And, they can't do it until next week. Peachy.

They're a young couple with a young family. They don't have $508.00 to fix their car AND buy groceries, diapers, wipes, formula, toilet paper. You get the idea. So, I did what any other mother would do for the time being. I took Alyssa to Walmart and bought them some groceries. I was really excited about getting back to my healthy cooking and blogging. They were really NOT so excited about stuffed eggplant and asparagus and cashew rice pilaf. I'm not sure why. I'll win them over though. I'm sure of it.

We came home. We unloaded groceries. I started a load of sheets in the washer. I took out the trash. Alyssa put away her groceries. I looked through my recipes for something that didn't require an oven. The heat index was 106 today. 'Nuff said?

However, dealing with the car took the better part of the day. Funny how exhausting that can be. Plus working and grocery shopping. I wanted something on the easy side.

Bossman came home and wasn't really hungry due to the heat. So, I did what every other red blooded American woman would do. We had sandwiches, leftover potato salad and peanut butter oreo cookies (courtesy of Alyssa). And life is good.

Tomorrow I'll tell you how I owned my dream truck for all of two weeks....

Friday, July 9, 2010

Just a Harley....

I decided to play with my camera today and snap some shots of my husband's 2007 Harley Davidson Ultra Classic Screamin' Eagle. Here lately, it seems I'm drawn to black and white, antique and sepia photos so that's what I did with these. And I'm just loving that aperture and shutter speed setting when I use my camera on manual. Whoda thunkit???

I don't know why I like these settings so well. But, I just love, love, love this picture.

This is what happens when you apply "antique" to your photos. This gives an overall black & white/sepia look while allowing bright colors to show up.

Just blurred a few edges because I kinda like that effect also. More to come....

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Black Bean and Artichoke Burritos

Here's a healthy (and easy, quick, get the picture) meal. I work six days a week and don't get off until 5:30 - 6:00 in the evening and don't want to spend a lot of time in the kitchen when I get home. Bossman and I work together so it's not like he's home pacing the floor and gnawing on cardboard waiting for me to cook supper. We call it supper here in the Ozarks. But, he is hungry and doesn't want to wait for a gourmet meal.

These burritos have no meat. Yay vegans! They have no refried beans full of lard and other creamy (un) goodness either. And did I mention that they're easy.

You'll need the following:
1 15 oz can black beans
1 13 "ish" oz can artichoke hearts
1 onion
3 cloves garlic
Shredded cheddar cheese
1 tomato
Burrito size tortilla shells

Open your black beans and pour 'em in a skillet. Bring them to a boil. Turn heat down so they are at a "hard simmer" - kind of simmering with a slight boil. You want them to thicken to resemble refried beans. Minus the lard.

Slice the onion. Crush the garlic cloves. Open the artichoke hearts. If they are whole, slice them. Put the onion, garlic and artichoke in some butter to saute. You want the onions and artichoke hearts to brown a little.

While your beans and onion/artichoke hearts/garlic are cooking you want to slice up that 'mater. I didn't take a picture of the 'mater slicing. I figured you've sliced enough of those in your life.

This is what you want your beans to look like when they're getting close to done.

This is what you want your onions, artichoke hearts and garlic to look like when they're about done.

At this point throw a couple burrito tortilla shells in the microwave to heat them. If you're feeling saucy, you can brown them in a skillet with some butter. If you just want to eat, toss them in the microwave.

Put a burrito tortilla shell on a plate and place some beans in the center. The amount I'm using in these pictures will make a really overstuffed "manly" burrito.

Throw some of your onion, garlic, artichoke heart mixture on there. Doesn't that look good?

Throw some cheese on there, too. This is Bossman's burrito so there's plenty of cheese. Me, being lactose intolerant and dairy allergic, I try to do without cheese. Tonight, I did have a smidgen of cheese on my burrito just because it looked so good. If I don't eat a lot of dairy, the lactose intolerance is tolerable. The allergy is another story. I sneezed for a solid 30 minutes and my sinuses were congested. Knowing this would happen, I ate some anyway. I'm kind of silly like that sometimes.

Throw some of your sliced 'maters on there and roll it up burrito style. Yummy. Yummy.

This recipe made 3 very generously, overstuffed "manly" burritos. I had to put a toothpick on top to keep them together. It would be easy to stretch it to 5 or 6 burritos if you made them normal sized. If you need more than that just double the recipe.

Bossman comments: After taking a few bites he asked, "do these have meat on them?" Nuh-uh. "Wow, I really like the texture. I thought you had meat in these. You can quote me on your blog on that." 


"Thanks Babydoll. Those were really good. Thank you for letting me participate in your blog experiments."

Guess they were a hit!