Posts Tagged ‘avocado’

  1. spaghetti squash black bean mexican bowl

    March 12, 2016 by Angie

    I made this Mexican-style dish from Kalyn’s Kitchen recently. It’s a hot black bean mixture with avocado salsa served over roasted spaghetti squash strands. Robbie and I both loved it. We ate it all.

    avocadoy beany goodness

    My spaghetti squash wasn’t very large so the ratio of black beans/salsa to spaghetti squash is a little off. The deliciousness was unaffected.

    spaghetti squash underneath

    There it is! Spaghetti squash peeking out from underneath all the beans and veggies.

    I followed her recipe pretty closely. The changes I made were I only halved the spaghetti squash instead of quartering it. It wasn’t big enough to require quartering and I really struggle to cut through them. I don’t have Vege-Sal so I used salt, as suggested. I skipped the green chiles and the green tabasco sauce. I don’t keep those things on hand and we don’t really like them anyway. The dish is very flavorful. I didn’t miss the things I omitted. Kalyn’s Kitchen did it again with a great, healthy recipe!

    Mmm, limey avocado.

  2. sweet potato & black bean casserole

    July 3, 2015 by Angie

    I tried yet another casserole with Mexican flavors recently. This one is centered around chunks of sweet potato and a bunch of black beans. It’s this recipe from Kim’s Cravings. I followed the directions closely except for omitting the cinnamon and using just two low-carb tortillas. It was a resounding “Seconds, please!” from both halves of Robgeleen. Considering it was topped with magnificent avocado slices, I don’t know who could resist.

    a piece of casserole

  3. San Francisco, CA

    October 31, 2014 by Angie

    Our big vacation this year was to San Francisco and California Wine Country. It was wonderful!

    It’s going to be a long post so here is a Golden Gate Bridge photo to hold you over.

    Golden Gate Bride

     It’s such a fine bridge.

    We flew into San Francisco on Saturday evening and took a taxi to our very nice hotel, the Galleria Park Hotel. They didn’t have the room we reserved back in March and, for once, it worked out in our favor. They upgraded us to the nicest suite in the hotel for free!

    dining table

    A fireplace, a dining table ,and TV #2!


    A living room!

    Despite Charlotte airport nachos and a mid-flight cheese plate, we needed dinner. We walked through the outskirts of Chinatown to Enjoy Vegetarian Restaurant on Kearney, a totally vegan Chinese restaurant. We had steamed vegetable dumplings for our appetizer, which was my favorite of the three things we ordered. I got basil soy chicken and vegetables and Robbie got BBQ pork and veggie ham fried rice. The food was good but not on par with similar dishes from similar restaurants we’ve tried in other cities. (Shout out to Chinese Buddha in Atlanta!)

    chopsticks fear and dumplings

    Steamed vegetable dumplings and fear personified as Robbie realized there were no forks on the table.

    basil soy chicken

    Basil soy chicken, napa cabbage, etc.

    BBQ pork and veggie ham fried rice

    The house special fried rice with fake BBQ pork and ham.

    After getting dressed up in our swanky suite, we walked to The View, one of the bars/restaurants inside the Marriott on Mission Street. It really lives up to its name, however, my photos don’t. We could see so much of the city and all the way to the bay. The bar is worth visiting for the View alone but the drinks were really good too. We both loved our drinks: Robbie got an old-fashioned and I had an awesome sparkling wine/St. Germaine,/fresh berries concoction. And keeping with the free theme, our second round was on the house!

    The View

    Imagine a breathtaking view of the city, the bridge, and the bay. Or go see it on their website.

    We were up pretty early (5:00 am early) the next day. And everyday. We never adjusted to the time change. So after being hungry for a few hours, Robbie went next door to Bread and Cocoa and picked up some breakfast for us. We ate it at our dining table in our big suite watching CNN on the second TV. I don’t usually drink any kind of coffee but I fell in love with that latte.

    Bread and Cocoa/Galleria Park Hotel

    Bread and Cocoa next door to Galleria Park Hotel

    Here is a photo of a trolley I saw while I was waiting for the rental car company outside of our hotel.

    Trolley car

    We drove north out of the city in our rented Toyota Corolla. Driving over the Golden Gate Bridge was quite impressive.

    driving over the Golden Gate Bridge

     Driving north on the Golden Gate Bridge

    This bridge really is spectacular. We stopped on the other side at the Vista Point and took photos with all of the other tourists. 10/10 would photograph again.

    Robgeleen at Vista Point

     A kind, fellow tourist took our photo for us.

    tourist party

    Our outdoor adventure for this trip was a walk through the Muir Woods National Monument. I really really wanted to see redwoods and I was not disappointed! We even saw a bonus chipmunk! The park is beautiful and serene. Despite the overflowing parking lot, it was quiet and didn’t feel crowded at all. The trees are huge and stately, if a tree can be stately. We had a great time walking through, enjoying the trees and the quiet, and taking photos. The shuttle there and back was a little scary on the twirling mountain roads but I’m glad the shuttle was an option because it was better than wasting our vacation looking for a parking spot.

    Robbie at the entrance

    Robbie at the entrance to the Muir Woods National Monument

    Robgeleen with redwoods

    Robgeleen with redwoods!

    After the shuttle ride back to our rental car, we drove to a cute little town called Mill Valley to eat at Joe’s Taco Lounge. I will forever be glad that we chose to eat there. I think their tofu tostada is the best Mexican food I’ve ever had in my life. We had the amazing nachos too. I’m sad that this adorable and authentic restaurant is so far from my house because I want to eat every vegetarian thing on that menu.

    best Mexican food ever

    Phenomenal tofu tostada

    religious decor

    The Virgin Mary and hot sauces at Joe’s Taco Lounge

    We spent the rest of the day and the next two nights in Sonoma and Napa counties, which you should check out in my next post.

    On Tuesday afternoon, it was time to drive back to San Francisco and drop off our car. I drove back and it was so scary! There was one street near our hotel that was so steep I couldn’t visually confirm that there was land on the other side of the hill. After dropping our bags off at the hotel and returning our car, we checked out some bars on foot.

    We started at Mikkeller Bar, went on to Rickhouse, then finished the night at Local Edition. I got zero usable photos from these bars. I do recall that my drink at Rickhouse was really amazing and Robbie was impressed with his old-fashioned at Local Edition. It became clear that we needed fuel in the form of immediately available Mexican food for our walk back to the hotel. We stopped at a Chipotle on our way and were pleasantly surprised to be able to order the tofu sofritas at that location. I got a huge bowl of sofritas, black beans, grilled veggies, two salsas, cheese, and guacamole. It was quite special for emergency fast food.

    chipotle tofu sofritas

    Yes, I’m blogging Chipotle.

    For the last night of our trip we stayed at the Hotel Boheme on Columbus Avenue. It wasn’t our first choice – our first choice was sold to another company after we made our reservation and the new company didn’t honor our reservation. The Hotel Boheme’s location is really good. The hotel itself was just okay.

    Because we were still waking up at 5:00 am we had plenty of time to pack, arrange for a shuttle to the airport, and head towards the Fisherman’s Wharf for breakfast. We ate at the Beach Street Grill which was quite good. We walked the short distance to Pier 39 afterwards to see the sea lions. They are such characters! Stinky, funny characters.

    rainbow over Alcatraz

     We saw a rainbow and Alcatraz on our way.

    sea lions

     That beautiful bridge again.

    sea lions!

     Sea lions! I love them so much.

    Our final semi-noteworthy activity in San Francisco was eating surprisingly good airport food. If you are ever flying out of SFO, go to Andale. They have delicious tofu!

  4. chicken-style seitan fajitas

    September 10, 2014 by Angie

    Mmmmm, mmmmm! This one is a winner! Robbie and I both loved these chicken-style seitan, onion, and green bell pepper fajitas. Not only is this delicious, it was easy to make and easy to clean up. The lime juice/soy sauce/spice mixture is what takes to the ridiculously good level.

    seitan and veggie fajita mixture

    All mixed up in the pan.


    olive oil (spray)
    1 package of West Soy chicken-style seitan
    1 yellow onion, sliced into strips
    1 bell pepper (your favorite color), sliced into strips
    juice of 1 lime
    1 teaspoon minced garlic
    2 tablespoons soy sauce
    1/2 teaspoon chili powder
    1/2 teaspoon paprika
    1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
    1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
    low carb tortillas
    1 avocado, sliced
    other toppings of your choice like low-fat shredded Mexican cheese, salsa, chopped cilantro

    seitan fajita

    Assembling a fajita with avocado slices, salsa, and (optional) cheese toppings.


    1. Mix the listed ingredients from juice of 1 lime to garlic powder together in a bowl. Set aside.
    2. Cut the onion and bell pepper into thin strips – fajita style.
    3. Cut any large chunks of seitan into smaller pieces.
    4. Saute the onion and bell pepper in a pan sprayed with olive oil until there are some nice brown areas. Set aside.
    5. Spray the same pan again with olive oil. Saute the seitan until it is slightly browned on all sides.
    6. Add the onion and bell pepper strips back into the pan with the seitan. Stir. Pour the lime juice mixture over everything and stir.
    7. Place the tortillas between damp paper towels and microwave for about thirty seconds.
    8. Slice the avocado and get the rest of your toppings ready to go.
    9. Assemble your fajitas using the toppings of your choice.
    10. Enjoy!

  5. tofu “chorizo” tacos

    June 26, 2014 by Angie

    For dinner last night, I tried out a new recipe from Mark Bittman’s cookbook VB6: Eat Vegan Before 6:00 and Restore Your Health..for Good. We are obviously not going to eat meat before or after 6:00 but I wanted to check out the vegan breakfast and lunch recipes. I made his tofu “chorizo” tacos last night which he has listed as a breakfast food. Nothing is stopping me from eating tacos any time of day or night so I made it for dinner. In case you don’t want to commit to the entire book, he has this particular recipe on his website.

    mmm, avocado addition is the best addition

     Tofu “chorizo” tacos with a delicious avocado addition

    Robbie and I both loved this. We are huge Mexican food fans so a new taco recipe is always welcome. The flavors are great. It created very few pots/dishes to clean up. This will definitely be on the regular rotation at our house. I followed his directions exactly, including the optional red bell pepper. I added a bit of cumin and onion powder when I threw the chili powder in (maybe a 1/2 tsp each?) and we topped our tacos with a little sliced avocado. These tacos were so good that I didn’t miss the cheese or salsa at all.

    Note: I used La Banderita Low Carb Low Fat Tortillas, microwaved for about 40 seconds between two damp paper towels, and they were perfect. Only 5 net carbs per soft taco shell!

  6. Mexican-style quinoa with black beans and avocado

    May 19, 2014 by Angie

    This was my first time making quinoa and I’m pretty sure it was my first time even eating it. It’s gotten really popular in the last decade or so and I can finally find it at my normal grocery store. I wanted to make something with it to try it out and thought it would be nice in a Mexican sort of dish instead of rice. I Googled a bit and found a few Mexican-style quinoa recipes. I used a recipe on the blog Damn Delicious as a guide. The ability to cook everything in one pot together really sealed the deal for me. Robbie and I both loved this. I will definitely be making it again, possibly this weekend.

    Mexican-style quinoa with black beans and avocado

    Adapted from One Pan Mexican Quinoa from Damn Delicious


    olive oil
    half of a red onion, diced
    1-2 tsp minced garlic
    1 cup quinoa, rinsed
    1 cup vegetable broth
    1 15 oz. can of black beans, drained (I stand by by El Ebro as the best canned black beans on the planet.)
    1 14.5 oz can of fire roasted tomatoes, semi-drained, keep most of the juice (I prefer Muir Glen Organic Diced Fire Roasted Tomatoes.)
    1 tsp chili powder
    1/2 tsp cumin
    1/4 tsp garlic powder
    pinch of cayenne powder
    salt and pepper
    juice of half a lime
    1 avocado, diced


    1. Heat olive oil in a large skillet (with a lid) on medium heat.

    2. Add diced red onion and minced garlic to the skillet. Cook for about three minutes stirring occasionally.

    3. Add the quinoa, vegetable broth, black beans, fire roasted tomatoes (with juice), and the spices to the skillet. Stir then put the lid on. Raise the heat to a boil then lower to simmer for 20-25 or until the quinoa is cooked and most of the liquid is gone.

    everything cooking in one pot

    This is what it looks like early on in the cooking process.

    4. Towards the end of the cooking time, wash and cut the lime and avocado in half. Dice both halves of the avocado.

    5. Stir in the juice of half a lime. Stir in the diced avocado. Serve immediately.

    Mexican-style quinoa

    I feel the photos don’t do it justice and for that I apologize. It’s extra tasty good, I promise!

  7. black bean & avocado salad

    July 8, 2013 by Angie

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    I made my slightly altered versions of two great recipes from Kalyn’s Kitchen for dinner tonight. The first, her baked tofu with soy sauce and green onion, I make quite often. We both love it. The second recipe was her pinto bean salad with a few changes. They were beautiful together.

    black bean & avocado salad and baked tofu

    I used a can of El Ebro brand black beans instead of pinto beans and I’ve never seen white balsamic vinegar so I used regular balsamic vinegar. I was also a bit short on the cilantro because I can’t stand when people leave the stems in but I was hungry and tired of meticulously picking each individual cilantro leaf off of the stems so I stopped before I got the full 1/2 cup.

    black bean & avocado salad

    This salad is excellent. We ate the entire thing. I don’t feel that bad about it either because it’s quite a healthy salad.

  8. taco casserole

    May 15, 2013 by Angie

    For dinner tonight, I made a vegetarian version of this recipe for a taco casserole. It’s like a Mexican lasagna! The layers are Morningstar Farms Grillers Meal Starter Crumbles mixed with fire roasted tomatoes, green chiles, and spices, then vegetarian refried beans, then reduced fat shredded Mexican cheese, followed by spinach tortilla strips. After the last tortilla strip layer I covered with some salsa and a lot of cheese and baked for about 40 minutes.

    kinda messy

    What I did is not too different from the original recipe but here’s my ingredient list for your convenience.


    a package and a quarter of Morningstar Farms Grillers Meal Starter Crumbles
    1 16-oz can of vegetarian refried beans
    1/2 of one 4-oz can of diced green chiles
    1 can of fire roasted diced tomatoes, drained
    1 tbsp chili powder
    2 tsp ground cumin
    salt to taste
    a little sprinkle of cayenne pepper
    2 flour tortillas, cut into 1″ strips
    about a third of a jar of salsa
    2 cups reduced fat Mexican blend cheese
    sliced avocado for serving

    taco casserole

    I pretty much went over the directions already and they are also not very different from the original recipe. I used much less green chiles and put them in the crumbles mixture only. I ran out of ingredients and space in my pan after only two layers of the tortilla strips so I stopped there. I had to bake longer than thirty minutes in my oven to get everything bubbly and melty. Next time I will probably do a layer of tortilla strips on the bottom too to hold everything together better and make it more like a lasagna. Robbie and I both really liked it so there will be a next time!

    taco casserole servings


  9. tortilla soup

    April 2, 2013 by Angie

    For dinner last night I made tortilla soup for the first time. I used a recipe from The Vegan Slow Cooker by Kathy Hester to start and made some of my own changes and additions.

    tortilla soup

    olive oil
    vegetable oil (my addition)
    1 medium-size yellow onion, minced
    2-3 tsp minced garlic
    1 box of Pomo Chopped Tomatoes (instead of crushed tomatoes)
    3 tbsp tomato paste
    1 can of El Ebro black beans, rinsed (my addition)
    4 cups low sodium vegetable broth (instead of the suggested water)
    juice of 1/2 lime
    1 tsp cumin
    1 tsp chili powder (increased from the original recipe)
    1/4 tsp garlic powder (my addition)
    salt and pepper to taste
    1/4 c tequila (optional, I included it though because why would you ever skip tequila?)
    (original calls for 1 tsp of agave nectar or maple syrup but I skipped this)
    1 package of West Soy Chicken-Style Seitan (1 lbs 2oz)
    fried corn tortilla strips (my addition)
    1 avocado
    handful of fresh cilantro, washed and chopped (original recipe says to add 2 tbsp fresh cilantro in the slow cooker but I only used it for garnish)

    1. Heat the olive oil in a pan and saute the onion and minced garlic until translucent.
    2. In the slow cooker, combine the onion and garlic, chopped tomatoes, tomato paste, black beans, vegetable stock, lime juice, cumin, chili powder, garlic powder, salt and pepper, and tequila. Cook on low for 6 hours. The original recipe says to puree the soup with a hand blender after six hours. I didn’t do this because there were no giant chunks in this soup and it’s not the kind of thing that will become creamy (like a potato soup) so I thought it would be better left whole.
    3. About half an hour before you’re ready to eat, brown the seitan in vegetable oil. Add the browned seitan to the slow cooker and turn it up to high.
    4. While the seitan is warming, fry corn tortillas in olive oil. Cut the fried tortillas into strips to use as a garnish.
    5. Slice the avocado into pretty wedges and wash and mince the fresh cilantro.
    6. Serve the soup into bowls and top with avocado wedges, fried tortilla strips, and cilantro.

    Verdict: This soup is soooo good! Robbie and I have only ever had tortilla soup at Mellow Mushroom because it seems to have chicken in it everywhere else. Their vegetarian version is pretty awesome but Robbie said he liked mine better 🙂 I will definitely make it again – probably soon before my second container of seitan expires. If you decide to make it I strongly suggest going all out with the garnishes. It takes some time but the fried tortilla strips and avocado wedges are what make this soup so special.

  10. seven layer dip

    May 30, 2012 by Angie

    I don’t even feel bad about eating this delicious seven layer dip because it’s a slimmed-down version with a shredded Romaine lettuce base, fat-free sour cream, and reduced-fat shredded Mexican cheese.  Still have to watch out with those chips though – bummer.

    Based on the recipe “7-Layer Mexican Dinner Dip” from 400 Calorie Fix by Liz Vaccariello.

    The seven layers are:
    1. lettuce

    2. bean mixture

    3. veggies

    4. avocado

    5. salsa

    6. sour cream

    7. cheese



    4 cups shredded Romaine lettuce
    1 tsp olive oil
    1/4 cup chopped onion
    1 clove minced garlic
    1 can pinto beans, drained and rinsed
    1/3 cup water
    1 tsp ground cumin
    2 medium tomatoes, chopped
    1/4 cup finely chopped cilantro
    1/4 cup chopped green onion
    1 avocado
    1 cup salsa
    1 cup fat free sour cream
    1 tsp chili powder
    1/2 cup reduced fat shredded Four Cheese Mexican cheese (I like the Sargento brand.)
    Chips for dipping (We are in love with Beanitos brand low-glycemic corn-free chips.  You can make your own not-horribly-bad-for-you chips by baking whole wheat tortillas.)


    1.  Make the bean mixture by heating the olive oil in a skillet over medium heat.  Cook the onion and garlic for about a minute then add the beans, water, and cumin.  Cook for about 5 minutes then let it cool.  Mash the mixture using a potato masher.

    2.  To make the veggie layer, wash, chop, then combine the tomatoes, cilantro, and green onions in a medium-sized bowl.

    3.  In a small bowl, mix the fat-free sour cream and chili powder.

    4.  In a big clear dish like a 9×9 glass brownie pan, assemble the dip starting with the lettuce layer and ending with the cheese layer.  Use the chips of your choice for dipping.

    I made this for a potluck at work a year or so ago and it was a huge hit even with my co-workers who are usually not into “healthy” or “vegetarian” food.  It tastes so fresh that everyone loves it.