Tag Archives: black beans

Tostada

I’m going to start out by telling you a little about my Louisiana–>New Orleans trip: there’s definitely a reason it’s said that they are the masters of fried food… and believe me I ate a lot of it :). I figured I could treat myself with Cafe du Monde beignets since I do normally eat healthy (my mom and I have since made a pact to eat only salads for a couple of days just to counter-act the grease and not-so-healthy foods we ate while in New Orleans). Basically we ate, walked, and did all of the normal touristy things 🙂 (I have a ton of pictures to prove it). Sadly, we did not make it to the coast because most people we asked about it said that most of the beaches would be closed and that you can see everything better on the TV anyways. Even in New Orleans, however, the devastation of the oil spill has started to have its effects. We may have been there one of the last weeks that we could still have seafood at all (for awhile at least). Many restaurants had stopped serving seafood dishes (and in a town that is known for its seafood this will have effects on other things such as tourism). The people in New Orleans are still waiting to find out if the oil will travel into their town, but the effects have definitely already spread. My mom and I had a great time there though! Here are some pictures from our trip:

Char-Broiled Oysters from Dragos->theres a reason it's a New Orleans institution. I actually have a cookbook with the recipe so I'll green it up and post it someday.

I'm pretty sure if you're in New Orleans you HAVE to get a beignet and a chickory cafe au lait from Cafe du Monde. We got them twice!!

There's still a lot of work to be done from Hurricane Katrina. Only ~380,000 of the million people that used to be in New Orleans are back.

I loved this quilt! It shows some of the all-time jazz musicians.

We tried to be healthier with this vegetarian pasta... but because we were in New Orleans where there's such a strong French influence, the delicious sauce was super buttery.

A 100 year old shrimp creole recipe. Sooo good. And how pretty is that kale leaf? I've never seen kale those colors.

 

No trip to New Orleans is complete without bread pudding!

 

This ad is actually in Nashville but I find it so funny and you should eat mor chikin than beef if you want to be "greener" so it was appropriate :).

Since we’ll be eating salads, I decided to spice it up by making a tostada in a tribute to the south-of-the- border country I will be in soon (I’m going to be researching whale sharks in Baja, Mexico for the end of July).

Tostada

Makes 2 Servings

  • 2 Whole Wheat Tortillas
  • 1 can Black Beans, warmed
  • 1 Tomato, chopped
  • Romaine Lettuce, shredded
  • A dollop of low-fat Plain Greek Yogurt per tostada
  • A dollop of Homemade Guacamole per tostada (see recipe below)
  • Shredded organic Mexican Cheese
  • optional, top with more Cilantro

Fry the whole wheat tortillas in EVOO until crispy and hard. Top with beans, shredded lettuce, guacamole, plain greek yogurt (or sour cream), cheese, and tomato.

Homemade Guacamole

  • 1 Avocado
  • 1 big clove Garlic, minced
  • 1/3 Red Onion, chopped
  • 1 tbsp. Lime Juice
  • 1 tbsp. Cholula (or other Mexican hot sauce)
  • Sea Salt and Pepper, to taste
  • Cilantro, chopped, to taste (I like a lot!)
  • 1/2 Tomato, chopped

Mix all ingredients together with a fork until blended and the correct texture.

ECO-BENEFITS

  1. Organic veggies! Local if you can find them. Most farmers markets have tomatoes and lettuce year round 🙂 (though in summer while they’re in season you can get them from local growers not using hot-houses). But make sure you get the Hass avocados while they’re in season during summer!
  2. Whole wheat tortillas have less energy consumption than refined bleached white flour tortillas.
  3. Beans are an awesome source of plant protein so you can avoid animal proteins for a meal :).
  4. Organic cheese means organic produce for the cow! Same as when you eat organic this means no pesticides entering water systems!
  5. I used Plain Greek Yogurt instead of Sour Cream due to the amount of protein found in greek yogurt! Super good for you!
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Tofu… Not Just a Bland White Blob

Let’s talk tofu:

It’s one of those foods that most people grow up making fun of, dreading, or even refusing to eat. In a few cultures, however, it is a staple. In these cultures, there is no mistaking tofu as bland or gross. I’d like to prove to you that didn’t grow up eating tofu how delicious it can be.

First though, here are some of the environmental benefits of tofu:

  1. If you replace meat with tofu once a month, you’ll save 20,000 gallons of water a year. That’s because cows drink water and eat food that requires water to grow. (Bon Appetit)
  2. I can’t say it enough: plant protein is way more eco-friendly than animal protein.
  3. Adding tofu to a dish will not change the flavor but it will add protein that will help fill you up letting you eat less which is awesome for you and the environment! Saving resources!
  4. Soybeans are fed to cattle. It takes 7lbs of grain and soy products to produce 1lb of meat. If this was used toward human consumption, 7x more people could have food to eat.
  5. Reduce deforestation (which takes place for cattle raising in other countries–> the #1 cause)
  6. Less methane emissions from cattle–>less cattle = less methane emissions.
  7. Less water pollution–> cattle sewage seeps into ground water and washes into rivers, streams, lakes, and oceans.

As an added benefit, tofu is way less expensive than animal protein. With the economy in the state it’s in right now, that’s a added reason to switch to tofu for some meals!

Strawberry Orange Smoothie Bowl

  • 1 frozen banana
  • Carton organic strawberries
  • Orange juice
  • Firm tofu
  • Granola (I used a delicious granola with flax seed in it)
  • Agave Nectar
  • Optional: maca

Blend all ingredients. Pour into a bowl and top with granola and agave.

Tofu Scramble Burrito

  • Two cloves garlic, sliced
  • Tofu (I had firm so that’s what I used, but silk is better for scrambles)
  • Garlic salt
  • Paprika
  • Black beans
  • Local salsa
  • Wheat tortilla

Saute the garlic and tofu together. If using silk, scramble it like an egg. If using firm, brown the tofu. Sprinkle with garlic salt and paprika and add black beans to the hot pan. Cook until hot. Meanwhile, warm tortilla. Place the mix in the tortilla and top with salsa.

  • You can add any veggies you’d like to this as well.
  • It kinda takes the place of a breakfast burrito.
  • This is a super good source of protein between the beans and the tofu! Check out The Magical Fruit to learn about beans eco implications.
  • It doesn’t look super scrumptious but it is!

“I think the environment should be put in the category of our national security. Defense of our resources is just as important as defense abroad. Otherwise what is there to defend?” -Robert Redford

The Magical Fruit

Lets talk “green” beans… green meaning eco-friendly… not actual green beans. I felt like I had to get to them eventually… they are in the title of my blog. So… what makes a bean eco-friendly?

  1. Eating less meat may be one of the most effective ways to fight global warming… and an easy way to cut back on meat (but keep up protein) is BEANS!!!!! (And as the song says: the more you eat…–> and who doesn’t want to stay regular?)
  2. Plant protein uses 1/10 of the fossil fuel than animal protein!
  3. Even when you buy beans in a can, you’re still eating at a much greener spot on the food chain.
  4. Less water is used in the production of beans (and all plant proteins) than animal proteins as well!!
  5. Beans have a super long storage life (canned or dried) so they won’t go bad!

And as an added bonus: the obesity rate among vegetarians is much lower than the average American (only 0-6% as opposed to 2/3 people in the normal population).

So yay for beans BEANS the magical fruit!

Black Bean Quinoa Burgers

  • This recipe serves like 4-6 people (I made it for me and my roommates) so keep that in mind if you need to cut it back.
  • 1 cup uncooked quinoa
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 large finely grated carrot
  • 1/4 cup chopped cilantro
  • 1/2 can organic, vegetarian, refried black beans
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1 shallot, diced
  • cumin
  • garlic salt
  • cayenne pepper
  • curry powder
  • extra virgin olive oil

Cook the quinoa by boiling the 2 cups of water. Then add the quinoa, lower to a simmer and cover for 15 minutes.

Mix the cooked quinoa with carrot, cilantro, and spices. Meanwhile, Saute the shallot and add the black beans.

Mix the shallot and the quinoa mixtures together. Add the egg and flour. When everything is mixed together, make into uniform-sized balls. Place olive oil in a pan, flatten the balls and fry until cooked through. You can also bake them in the oven if you prefer.

Topped with salsa and placed on cracked wheat bread, black bean quinoa burgers are great for lunch or dinner!

I topped my burger with salsa, but the original recipe called for topping with guacamole. My roommate, L, topped hers with ketchup and said that the burger was better than her frozen TexMex (individually wrapped) vegan burgers–> they’re more sustainable as well!!

Lessons Learned

  • Beans are a great plant protein alternative to animal proteins.
  • Although they come in packaging, they will not go bad and the savings in fossil fuels by avoiding the animal protein is worth it.
  • Less water usage!
  • If you want to stay regular you know what the magical fruit is 🙂

2 Updates

  1. I made this recipe again for dinner but wrapped it up in a tortilla and it was so good!
  2. I also used the leftover black beans on top of a piece of wheat naan, added cheese and salsa and had a Mexican pizza! (I think I was craving that sort of food today).