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    • Black Bean Tacos

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    •  7/30/2013 9:31:36 AM
    •  Our five week road trip is coming to a close as we spent a few days in Texas making our way back west. We had the fun opportunity to spend time with some of our friends in Dallas. They spent the three days trying their best to convince us that Texas is the place to be. We went to some fun areas,  ate at amazing restaurants, did a little shopping, but my favorite meal was one we had at home. Our host planned to prepare just for us, because we not meat eaters.  She got the base recipe from Vegetarian Times, but then she whipped us some amazing salsa while I made some guac to top the tacos.

      Black Bean and Toasted Corn Tacos


      I have altered the recipe just a little bit from the original:

      1 can black beans

      3/4 cup prepared salsa

      3 cloves of garlic, minced

      Juice of 1/2 lime

      3 tsp ground cumin (split) 

      1/4 tsp black pepper

      1 1/2 cups frozen corn

      6 6-inch corn tortillas or taco shells


      Combine black beans, salsa, garlic, 1 1/2 tsp cumin, and lime juice in a sauce pan. Bring to simmer for 5-6 minutes until soft. Mash together to desired texture. 


      In another saucepan bring to medium high heat, lightly coat with olive oil, place frozen corn and sprinkle with 1 1/2 tsp cumin, 1/4 tsp ground black pepper, and cayenne to taste. Cook for about 10 minutes or until crispy. 


      Preheat oven to 350 degrees, fold corn tortillas into a taco shape and bake in the oven for 8 minutes or until toasted. 

      Optional toppings:


      Chopped cilantro

      Chopped green onions

      Roasted red pepper slices

      Baby spinach leaves

      Quick Salsa (recipe below)

      Quick Guac (recipe below)

      Quick Salsa


      3 roma tomatoes

      4-5 garlic cloves

      cilantro to taste

      juice of half lime

      1/4 cup onion

      Blend together on low until desired texture. Adjust flavor to your liking.

      Quick Guac

      2 ripe Avocados

      2 tsp garlic powder

      2 tsp onion powder

      2-3 Tbsp finely chopped cilantro

      2-3 Tbsp finely chopped onions

      salt and pepper to taste

      Mash all ingredients together, or better yet, have the kids help with this one!



      This meal comes together pretty quick even though it seems like a lot, this is a meal the kids can really get involved in. 



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    • Water Water Water!

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    •  7/22/2013 11:00:46 PM
    • We always here drink more water! This is especially important in the hot summer months. I personally LOVE water, just plain old refreshing water, but I often get complaints or a shocking, "wow" when I tell people that is all I drink. They complain that it's boring or so hard to get enough. How do we know how much is enough? I have heard many good water consumptions rules but my favorite two are; drink 8 8ounce glasses daily or drink half your body weight in ounces, for example if you weigh 120 lbs you would need to drink 60 ounces of water daily. I am still not sure which is best, but in general we all should be drinking more water. I like to increase my water intake when it's hot out! 


      If you are one of those who gets bored with plain old water, I have a fun tip for you. I love adding lemons, cucumbers, and mint leaves to my water. I saw this done at a hotel I stayed in a few months ago. I have since seen similar ideas circulate online.  It is also fun to experiment with different berries, you could add strawberries and lemons or raspberries and limes. 


      I like to wash and chop the fruit and add it to my glass jars full of water. I prepare them at night so they I can leave them in the fridge overnight. Then I get to sip on them all say. The water tastes like a trip to the spa, so cool and refreshing, not to mention the alkalizing and detoxing effect it has on the body~ bonuses everywhere! My kids even love the flavored water, it helps them to consume more water as well. Take a pass on summer sugary drinks and mix up your own flavored water!



      Summer Water


      1/2 english cucumber sliced

      1/2 lemon sliced, I leave the peel on if organic

      5-8 mint leaves *optional 

      One 64 oz mason jar with lid

      Add sliced lemons and cucumbers to mason jar, add mint leaves and fill with water. Cover with lid and store in fridge overnight or for about 4 hours before consuming. ENJOY!


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    • Smoothie trick

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    •  7/15/2013 8:18:35 PM
    • This new trick has become a staple for me on the road this summer. We are traveling for five weeks and have a very small fridge with a tiny freezer shelf. This makes it very hard to have all my favorite frozen fruit on hand.  Green smoothies are a staple in my life so I needed a solution. I was taught this fun trick by my cousin who is a college student. She used this because it is a lot cheaper. This is perfect for budget minded folks:




      YEP~ Canned pineapple!! We all know fresh it always BEST, but for those moments when you just need the pineapple to combat the bitterness of the 1/2 bunch of kale in your smoothie, this works perfect!


      Today Smoothie:

      1 8 ounce can crushed pineapple (as pictured above)

      1 cup blueberries

      about 7-9 large strawberries

      1/2 bunch kale

      water and fax seeds. 

      YUM! Breakfast of champions!

      Hope you are enjoying your summer!


      Please share your favorite smoothie tips and tracks with all of us!


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    • Fun Fruit Salad

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    •  7/8/2013 6:21:22 PM
    •  We all LOVE fruit in the summer, but how much more fun is it when it's cut into fun shapes? I was recently inspired by a friend's 4th of July fruit salad. Red watermelon stars served with blueberries. How cute is that idea? 


      We are on our annual cross country road trip and stopped in Wisconsin to spend some time with family. I went grocery shopping on the first day and came home with a bunch of fruit. After realizing that my sister in law had already purchased fruit for everyone, I decided it was time to pull out the cookie cutters and try out the fun shaped fruit salad. The kids even got excited to help cut the shapes. It was a fun mess!



      We found out that watermelon is the best fruit for cookie cutting. Be sure to cut the slices to the thickness of your cookie cutters. 


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    • Grill Time!

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    •  6/30/2013 11:23:23 PM
    •  It's summer time and most people are gathering for fun BBQ's and family time. I remember the adjustment phase when we switched to a plant-based diet... what do we bring and still look normal or not draw attention to our new lifestyle? My solution was bean burgers... they are hard not to notice which somehow spurs a small debate of health food and we gracefully would try not to offend those eating steak or hotdogs at the table. We have since tried to bringing large portabella mushrooms, they grill up just like a piece of meat and can be eaten on a hamburger bun to blend in with the family (or friends). At our last gathering we had friends eagerly waiting to taste a slice and they were all pleasantly surprised. No health food banter was necessary! I love when good food can speak for itself.  If you have been afraid to give it a try then you are just like me, it took me watching someone else do it before I dared. Let me tell you, it is easy and very hard to mess up. Give it a shot.




      It is very simple, just remove the stem and drizzle with olive oil to help make it juicey when grilling, We like ours with just a little salt and pepper, and maybe a few other seasonings to help bring out the flavor. Just place it on the grill stem side up and wait until you see juices coming into the center or you can poke it with a fork, juice should leak out. 



      The great thing about mushrooms is they can be consumed raw, so you don't have to worry about under cooking them!

      I have had them both ways; on a bun and just plain in the last month and have enjoyed every bite! I have to be honest only two of my kids are keen on the idea, but all I can ask is that they each try a bite or two when they are prepared. I know their tastebuds will soon appreciate this fine cuisine! 


      Happy grilling!


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