Quick and Tropical Mexican Rice Plate

When I first met my husband I lived in San Diego, California. I ate in for most of my meals and he ate out for most of his. I learned that he was beyond obsessed with burritos. I liked burritos well enough but the tortilla was always a little to filling for me. I prefered rise dishes or the filling over a salad. One day he made me this filling of beans and fish and salsa in the oven and put it over a salad for me and I was forever in love with it. I now place it in burritos or over rice all the time but instead of fish I use vegan chicken and he still uses fish. He prefers it over rice and in a burrito. So I will show you both and I will show you the quick way without boiling rice or making pineapple salsa from scratch ūüôā Don’t forget that anything can be subbed¬†for the chicken portion. You can place in veggies, roasted peppers, portobello mushrooms, etc.

 Gotta love a quick Meatless Mondays dish for the whole family with easy clean up!

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Tropical Mexican Rice Dish

Ingredients:

  1. 1 package Spanish Uncle Ben’s 90 second rice
  2. 4-8 Flour Burrito Tortillas (I like the Fiber One 80 calorie ones)
  3. 1 jar Newman’s Own Organics Pineapple Salsa
  4. 1 can Fat Free Refried Beans (I use Old El Paso)
  5. 1 container of Beyond Meat Chickenless Strips Lightly Seasoned
  6. Optional Toppings: Onions, Hot Sauce, lemon, lime, garlic powder, salad, etc.

Baking:

  • Preheat oven to 425degrees.
  • On a long piece of aluminum foil smear 1/4 to 1/2 cup of refried beans in a circle in the center.
  • Place chicken (or veggies or fish if you aren’t vegan) on top.

burrito preperation

  • Cover with salsa and any optional items. I cover with the onions and hot sauce first and then the salsa.
  • Bring sides of tinfoil together and roll downward. Fold other sides into center.
  • Place directly on oven rack. Bake for 25-30minutes (longer for fish less for chicken).
  • Remove from oven.
  • Place 90 second rice in microwave.
  • Place 1/4cup¬†– 1/2cup¬†of rice in each burrito and top with oven baked filling.

burrito done

Enjoy!

 

(WW Points for filling without rice is 5 points, Rice is another 5 points for 1 cup, Fiber One Tortillas are 2pts each)

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XOXOX,

The Hippie Gypsy

Grilled Tropical Fruit Kabobs

When I was just out of college I moved into my first place on my own. I always had roommates or suite-mates prior to that point in my life. After about 2 months I moved out of that apartment because someone had stolen the tires off my car and kicked down my door to rob me in a 30 day time span.

In an effort at safety my parents had me move to a quiet remote spot. My parents helped me find the most magical beachhouse on Point Shirley in Winthrop, MA. I loved this little house more than anything. My parents even bought me my first grill since I had a porch and mini backyard with my beach view. I learned quickly that if you are having people over for a party in which you intend to grill. You should not turn on the grills gas ahead of time without igniting it or else it will all simply seep out and you will not be able to use the grill (I thought I was preheating it like one would an oven). Luckily people were only coming for snacks and dessert so I improvised my grilling techniques and held my grilled fruit kabobs over the open flame of my gas stove. The party was great and no one even noticed my poor cooking abilities and naivety. They did however love my kabobs!

Now that I am older and wiser (and giving recipes to others) I say, be like I was when I was 22. If you can’t complete a step because you don’t have that fancy tool or you live in a place that you can’t grill or what have you, Improvise. It will always work out. Food is nothing to be afraid of. If it looks terrible at least it may still taste good! If it doesn’t, there¬†is always the company to enjoy!¬†You just need to be creative. No one will die or go home hungry. They will just stop at McDonald’s.

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Grilled Tropical Fruit Kabobs

1 container of Sweet and Sara (R) Toasted Coconut Marshmallows

1 box/bag of bamboo skewers (soaked 5-15minutes in warm water)

2cups Cubed Pineapple

2cups Shredded Sweetened Coconut

3 Starfruit sliced thin

2 mangoes cubed

1lb strawberries

1 container of melon balls (honey dew, seedless watermelon, or cantaloupe)

4tbsp melted Earth Balance (R) Butter Sticks (with a basting brush)

Vanilla Sugar (for sprinkling) ( I use Penzey’s)

1/2 bag of SemiSweet Vegan Chocolate Chips (melted in a bowl) (I use 365 brand)

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  • Prepare your grill or open flame to be of medium heat.
  • Melt Chocolate in a bowl in the microwave or a fondue¬†pot. Keep a spoon nearby for drizzling the kabobs.
  • Place shredded coconut on a platter so that you can roll your kabob in it.
  • Lightly baste all hard fruits that will be directly on the grill with melted Earth Balance.
  • When stacking your fruit on the skewer, do not¬†do it all at once. Place the thicker fruits like pineapple on first and place on the grill for 2-3 minutes (they need more time and won’t fall through the grate). Then the softer fruits¬†and marshmallows¬†and hold over the open flame like you are at a Camp Fire! this prevents them from falling through the grate or falling apart on the grill. Softer fruits will burn quicker and watery fruits may drip causing spitting flames so holding it over is a safer option.
  • Once the fruits are dripping just a tad you know that the sugars are extracting and the kabob is ready.
  • Drizzle the kabob with melted chocolate, sprinkle with vanilla sugar,¬†and roll in coconut. Serve (or Eat) Immediately.

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NOTE: These are always a hit and the kids love to be able to make their own! If you want to prepare some in advance for a kids party, grill some starfruit¬†ahead of time then use all softer fruits and marshmallow along the base (for when they grill their portion) and top with the starfruit for a “magic wand”¬†effect.¬†You can also get graham crackers and make fruit smores as well!

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XOXOX,

The Hippie Gypsy

Traveling Vegan: Snacking your Way to Athleticism

I was athletic prior to my vegan days. I ran a half marathon just months before being given, what I felt at the time was, a life sentence of veggies. My life has turned around for the better since that event over a year ago and it is about to change again! This week I will be allowed to begin my athletic streak again! The doctors gave me the A-OK to start running or cycling or whatver-ing! I was so excited I joined a gym with free spin classes and yoga! Then I got a call from my new trainer and her question about my diet hit home. I have never been an athlete while vegan. No more lean chicken breast or broiled fish or hard boiled eggs. What should I be eating before my Saturday training session?

So I started first by cutting my calories this month. I was consuming far too many. I use the Calorie Count app on my phone www.calorie-count.com and it is great, Weight Watchers is another great option www.weightwatchers.com but costs about $15 a month for their online food logging service. I prefer the free¬† calorie count online or app service, it even gives you a letter grade on your eating habits. Now the tough part is what calories are good for this new athletic lifestyle? I have talked to some friends, fellow runners, my old trainer, and referenced some sites. The best advice I was given: more protein less oil. So I went on a hunt for a new protein shake and since I tried one I liked at “The Seed” conference in NYC, I am going to start there and itemize how my training goes or adapts with it. So here is my recipe for the protein smoothie that will start of my travels to the gym, pre-run, and anywhere else I go!

1 packet or serving Vega Vanilla Chai Protein Powder (available at Whole Foods or online)
1 serving frozen tropical fruit blend (again whole foods has a banana, strawberry, mango mix I love)
1 banana
1-2 cups of milk (the suggestion was Rice but I only had unsweetened almond milk or vanilla coconut)
1 tbsp freshly ground flaxseed powder

I place it in the blender with the milk, powder, flax, and banana on the bottom and the frozen fruit is like ice on top. I like a little more milk because it is not as thick but my friend likes it thick so it melts over a period of time in the morning. This is a dense treat so remember it is a whole meal not just a snack! Enjoy!

PS I will keep you updated on how this works at Saturday’s training session!