Monday, November 19, 2012

Taco Bell-Style Mexican Pizza (Vegetarian)

I ate at Taco Bell pretty often growing up.  I always ordered a Mexican Pizza..."no meat," until it made me deathly ill in college.  Okay, maybe not deathly ill, but pretty sick!  I have not been back since. But, I have missed my Mexican Pizzas!

I decided to try making them at home.  No frying involved and, of course, no meat!  They were really good, so I thought I'd share how I made them.

Vegetarian Mexican Pizzas

  • Flour tortillas (You can use whole wheat or any kind you like.)
  • Can of refried beans
  • Salsa
  • Mexican blend shredded cheese (Or, use a vegan cheese.)
  • Tomatoes (diced)
  • Green onions (sliced)
  • Black olives (sliced)
  • Hot sauce (I like Cholula.)
Heat the refried beans in the microwave and set aside.

Put the tortillas on the oven rack and broil for a few minutes until lightly browned and crispy.
You need two per pizza.

Spread the warm refried beans over one out of every two tortillas.  Then, stack the tortillas without the beans on top of the ones with beans (like a refried bean sandwich) See picture above.

Spread salsa over the top.  Sprinkle with cheese.  Then top with tomatoes, green onions, and black olives.

Put in the oven on 350 until the cheese melts.

Add a few dashes of hot sauce if you want. Ready to eat!

This is definitely a better alternative to fast food!

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Meat-Free Lasagna Soup

Just four days until Thanksgiving.  It's cool outside and there is a whirlwind of leaves blowing around my backyard.  I love having soup on lazy Sunday afternoons in the fall.  I decided to try making a vegan version of Lasagna Soup.  Here's the recipe. This soup is so flavorful. It will warm you right up!

Meat-Free Lasagna Soup (vegan)
serves 4

  • 1 tsp. olive oil
  • 1 1/2 cups onions
  • 2 cloves crushed garlic
  • 1 tsp. dried oregano
  • 1 tsp. Italian seasoning
  • 1/4 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
  • 2 tbsp. tomato paste
  • 14.5 oz can diced tomatoes
  • 1 tsp. dried, chopped bay leaves
  • 3 cups "Edward and Sons" Not-Chick'n broth
  • 4 oz. Campanelle pasta
  • 1 tsp salt
  • pinch of pepper
Boil your pasta in salty water, according to box instruction.  Rinse with cold water and set aside.

Saute onions in olive oil on medium heat for 6 minutes.  Add garlic, oregano, Italian seasoning, and red pepper flakes. Cook for another minute.  Add the tomato paste and stir until the onions become red in color, for 3 minutes.

Add diced tomatoes, bay leaves, Not-Chick'n broth, salt, and pepper.  Stir and bring to a boil.  Reduce heat to low and simmer for 30 minutes. 

With an immersion blender, puree the soup just enough to thicken it a little, leaving it slightly chunky.  Or, if you don't like chunky soup, puree it until smooth.

Ladle into bowls and add pasta to each bowl.  This keeps the pasta from continuing to cook in the pot of soup and becoming mushy.




Friday, November 2, 2012

Homemade Green Cleaning Products

Some of you have asked me how to make your own cleaning supplies to save money or to be more environmentally friendly.  Thank goodness for Little Miss Vegetarian readers, who have given me some ideas to share!

A friend of my family and l.m.v. reader, Gayle, shared these tips with me that she got from doTerra Living Magazine.

Toilet Bowl Cleaner:
1/2 cup baking soda
10 drops of melaleuca essential oil (tea tree oil)
1/4 cup vinegar
As it reacts, scrub the toilet.  This combination is intended for one use at a time.

All Purpose Spray:
1/4 cup white vinegar
2 cups water
30 drops essential oil (see below)
1 teaspoon Borax
Essential oils to try for the all-purpose spray:
15 drops each of lavendar and lemon OR
10 drops each of eucalyptus, peppermint, and wild orange OR
30 drops OnGuard blend
Add ingredients to a spray bottle, then shake thoroughly.

Window Cleaner:
1/8 cup vinegar
1 cup water
10-15 drops of lemon essential oil
Mix all ingredients in a spray bottle.  Shake and apply.  Wipe clean.

Soft Scrub for Bath, Tile, and Toilet:
Make in small batches and store in an airtight container.  Enough for two or four applications.
3/4 rounded cup baking soda
1/4 cup castile soap
1 tablespoon water
1 tablespoon vinegar
5-10 drops lemon essential oil
In a bowl, combine the baking soda and castile soap.  Add the water and stir.  Finally, add the vinegar.  Consistency should be a soft paste.

Wood Floor Polish:
1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup vinegar
10 drops essential oil (try wild orange or lemon)
Mix and apply.  Wipe clean.

Things you can do with Vinegar:
  1. Wash garden vegetables with a mixture of 1 tablespoon of white distilled vinegar in 1-1/2 quarts of water.
  2. Preserve cut flowers and liven droopy ones by adding 2 TBS white distilled vinegar and 1 tsp. sugar to a quart of water in a vase.
  3. Kill slugs by spraying them with a mixture of 1 part water and 1 part white vinegar.
  4. Kill weeds and grass growing in unwanted places by pouring full-strength white distilled vinegar on them.  This works especially well in crevices and cracks of walkways and driveways.  Be careful not to spray it on the surrounding grass as it will kill that too.
  5. Give acid-loving plants a boost by watering them with a vinegar solution now and again.  A cup of vinegar to a gallon of water is a good mixture.
These were also shared by Gayle:

Homemade Laundry Detergent (recipe given to her by a friend):
2 TBSP per full load
2 cups finely grated Ivory soap (or any unscented bar soap)
1 cup washing soda (not baking soda)
1 cup Borax
Combined and stored in airtight container
$1.29 for 32 loads.  No harsh chemicals.

Green Products:
Baking Soda:  scrubs, whitens, deodorizes, and cuts grease
Liquid Castile Soap (look for unscented):  Vegetable-based soap commonly found in health food stores.
White Vinegar:  Kills germs, cuts grease, deodorizes, and dissolves mineral deposits.
Borax:  Disinfectant, kills germs, bacteria, fungi, and deodorizes.

Another l.m.v. reader named Joyce, shared this link on facebook for those of you with babies:

Homemade Baby Wipes:

I can't wait to try these recipes myself!
Thanks for sharing, Gayle and Joyce!!!