recipes

Chilaquiles con Frijoles de Negro y Zucchini

Being that I live so close to the border of Mexico, it’s inevitable that I love me some Mexican food. If I could eat it all day everyday, I would. Now, Mexican food can sometimes be vegan friendly and sometimes not so much, but like any other food, it can be veganized. So let me stop chatting and share this recipe.

Ingredients:

2 large zucchini, sliced

1/2 red onion, sliced

1 can black beans

1 can mild rec enchilada sauce

1 bag of tortilla chips (I used quinoa and seed tortilla chips)

1 bag shredded vegan cheese (your choice)

Directions:

Saute onions and zucchini for about 5-10 minutes. Add in beans, enchilada sauce and tortilla chips. Let simmer.

Top with vegan cheese, cover and let simmer until cheese is melted.

Once done, plate and garnish with avocado.

Voila! That’s all I have for you. I hope your try this recipe and if you do, let me know.

recipes

Protein Smoothie Bowl

Now I’ve never had nor have I ever made a smoothie bowl. I see them on IG all the time, but I’ve never considered trying one, at least not until now. What made me make a smoothie bowl? I have no earthly idea. I just know I wanted a smoothie and I had a bunch of toppings that I could throw on top.

Now for this recipe there are no measurements. I never measure, I just eye it. Let me know if you try it. Enjoy!

Blend:

Frozen berries

Frozen dark cherries

Açaí powder

Goji berry powder

Vegan plain yogurt

Flaxseed oil

Silk protein nut milk

Toppings:

Pecans

Shredded coconut

Chia seeds

Hemp seeds

Raisins

Granola

Pumpkin seeds

All Black Everything, Health + Wellness, Vegan Mommy Things

Eating Healthy is for POC Too

Podcast: Black Girl in Om

Grocery Haul:

Avocados

Blackberries

Blueberries

Strawberries

Potatoes

Tomatoes

Pumpkin seeds

Pecans

Raisins

Kale

Nutritional Yeast

Bolthouse Farms Non-Dairy Milk

Vegan Mommy Things

Nutrition vs. Taste

Many things change when a woman becomes pregnant. Hormones, skin, physical features, mentality, etc. one of the biggest changes for me was food.

As a vegan, I already eat pretty healthy (in my mind anyway). However, when I am making food choices now, it’s no longer about me; it’s about the baby. I’m always wondering if what I’m eating has a high nutritional value: fiber, iron, folic acid, protein, vitamins and minerals. I’m always thinking of how what I’m eating is going to be beneficial for my tiny human that’s growing inside me.

Most pregnant women have cravings, many of astronomical absurdity. For me, my only craving has been kale. At first I thought maybe I was low on iron, but because I eat a lot of grains, I take an iron supplement, and the doctor says my levels are in the normal range, I exed that off the list. Then I thought about protein, but as much as I eat pumpkin seeds (everyday, don’t judge) and other protein rich plants, I knew that couldn’t be it either. Finally, I just settled on the fact that maybe that’s just my pregnancy craving, which to most, is pretty weird.

Before becoming pregnant, I would eat for taste. If it tastes good, I’m eating it. Even when I cooked I would go heavy on the herbs and spices. Now, taste is not even a thought in my mind when I cook or eat out.

What were some of your pregnancy cravings? Did your attitude about food change when you became pregnant?

My Life, Uncategorized

4 Years Vegan!!

I can’t believe it has already been four years that I have adopted a plant based lifestyle. I remember like it was just yesterday (it was actually last Friday that made 4 years, November 17). It was right before the thanks-for-killing-millions-of-Indians break, and I was so sick. I had spent the weekend in Huntsville, Texas, on a field trip with some of the kids from the YMCA that I was working with. I was vegetarian at the time and that weekend was full of just cheese pizza. When I came back, the constipation was so real.

On November 17, 2013, I made the decision to give up all dairy and eggs. No transitioning or anything. I didn’t like the constipation and stomach pains, and I really had no reason to continue eating dairy and eggs. My family thought I was crazy and didn’t think it would last, but here I am, 4 years later, thriving and about to have a little vegan human soon.

I won’t say that being vegan has been easy; there were times that I slipped and ate something that was made with dairy or eggs. Funny thing is, I couldn’t finish eating it because it tasted so different and weird. Once your taste buds become accustomed to not having something and you finally have it, you don’t want it anymore. Meat is the only thing I have not slipped up and eaten simply because the thought of it makes me want to vomit. Although, I still love the smell of bacon cooking.

If you are having doubts or wondering about this journey, check my shop page for my guide to veganism and meal plans.

 

My Life, Vegan Mommy Things

First Trimester is Over!!!

I am finally out of the first trimester and I could not be happier. The extreme nausea, no appetite, fatigue like no other, just not feeling like myself. Hunger pains were torture and there were only certain foods that I could eat. Now that I am in the second trimester, all of that has gone away. What has stayed is the sore breasts and nipples, the pain in my sciatic nerve because baby is growing and my body is expanding, preparing for my little one.

I’ve been told by quite a few people that the second trimester you don’t even feel like your pregnant, except for the fact that your bump is getting bigger, however, you still feel pregnancy pains. I am looking forward to actually feeling my baby move. I felt little flutters in my first trimester, but in the second trimester, near the end, you’re supposed to actually feel the little human move.

I have become more excited about being a first time mom, and especially so that my baby is vegan and will continue to be vegan. Vegan from birth. There’s not too many people like that anymore.

As my pregnancy goes on, I will continue with updates.

My Life, Vegan Mommy Things

A Vegan Baby, Arriving Soon!

You read that right. There’s a vegan bun in the oven and I couldn’t be more excited. As I finish up my first trimester, here’s how things went.


When I found out I was pregnant, I was numb. I did not want kids and finding out you’re pregnant and not married or in a relationship, pretty damn scary. I took two pregnancy tests (yes two because I thought the first one was lying), and then immediately went to my mom’s house. I cried as I told her and she jumped for joy (not because I was crying but because this is her first grandchild). As the days and weeks went on, I came to terms with it. 

At my first ultrasound, the doctor said that my baby was measuring rather small, that the heartbeat was on the low side of normal, and that there were several reasons it could be happening.

  1. My last period dates were wrong.
  2. My ovulation was late.
  3. It could be a slow pregnancy, which meant the baby could possibly not make it. 

Over the course of the next couple of weeks, I was on edge thinking the worst. I didn’t want it to be the third reason and was so scared. Apparently my mom and grandmother were too, they just didn’t want to stress me even more. Fast forward to my second prenatal appointment, the baby’s heart rate was in the normal range, it had grown tremendously, it was kicking its little foot and waving its hand. I felt so much joy and excitement. I had felt flutters since the last appointment but paid them no mind. Little did I know, that was the baby moving. 

My doctor said everything was normal, the baby looked fine and was growing as it should. Turns out, my ovulation was a week late and I do remember not feeling myself ovulate (I have severely painful ovulations but the month of July, I didn’t feel it at all). I am so glad that my baby is doing well.

Symptoms

I really didn’t have anything to notify me I was pregnant other than the fact that I missed my period. I keep track of my period like a professional watchdog and when it didn’t come (like a few days past) I took the tests. Now at about 4 weeks I experienced cramping, really sore breasts and outrageous avocado and kale cravings. It was on a whole other level. The sore breasts is what bothered me the most.

I did start taking prenatal vitamins, but my doctor didn’t like the ones I had, so she prescribed me another vegan prenatal . They are horse pills (meaning that they are huge), but for the sake of my baby, I’ll do whatever I have to do. 

Diet

My eating has been all over the place. I have not cooked much if at all. All I want to eat are samosas, fries, donuts, ice cream, and everything not healthy (but still vegan). Sometimes I have no appetite and sometimes I can’t stop eating. It’s really weird and fluctuates often. I have gained weight since my first prenatal appointment, which is a good thing. 

I was told come the second trimester, my eating will go back to normal, and I cannot wait for that to happen. I can’t stand leafy greens right now and I miss them, yet I have no appetite for them. 

Mood Swings

I will say that my attitude is not the best right now and absolutely everything and everyone annoys me (sorry y’all, but it’s true). I feel more sensitive to things that people say and I hate that. Everything just gets on my last nerves and I feel so annoyed at that. Usually I can let things slide, but not so much now. 

Baby’s Gender

So I do not yet know the baby’s gender. I will find out on October 16, a week after my birthday. I don’t have a preference of the sex, just as long as the baby is healthy and has 5 toes, 5 or 6 fingers (6 fingers on each hand runs in my family), and has all the right body parts in the right place. My mom wants a gender reveal party, however, I am not keen on the idea because a gender reveal party just sounds stupid. Like no one can bring gifts if they don’t know, so then I have to have a baby shower on top of that. I am that odd child in the family where “normal societal behaviors” don’t interest nor impress me.

Final Thoughts

I am excited to be a mom. Though I will be a single mom, that is how I envisioned if I ever had kids. Do I want a husband and family? Of course, but I just never saw that when I saw myself having my first child. I know that’s really odd because most women envision being married and having a home and career when they have kids. For me, as long as I had my own place, my own car, and 2 careers, I’m set (yes, I have two careers: I’m a blogger and educator). As long as I could take care of myself and my baby financially (which is why I have been working my ass off to pay debts), then whether or not I was married or in a relationship, just didn’t matter. Did I plan to get pregnant? Not at all, but the universe doesn’t adhere to plans. The universe knows what you can and can’t handle and I guess this whole time I have been preparing myself to be a mother and I could not be more happier.

xoxo The Black Vegan Author

 

Product Reviews

Ruffles Green

Before I tell you about my experience here, let me just say that the best part of eating out as a vegan at a non vegan restaurant, is that your food comes out fast and is prepared fresh.

Now this restaurant is located in The Woodlands and if anyone knows the area, you know its bourgeoisie (that’s the correct way to spell the word, it’s not boujee or any other spelling), like for real for real. Walking up you see the outside area, and with the weather like it is in Texas, ain’t nobody sitting outside unless it’s night time, and even then, mosquitoes won’t let you be great and eat. 

Walking inside, they have a very sleek look. Lots of neural colors and white. It was pretty empty, guessing I beat the lunch hour rush, so there was no line. The lady who took my order was really nice and very patient.

I ordered as my appetizer the hummus with pita bread, which both are made in house, and as my meal I had the Veggie Nut Burger, 86 the cheese.

Both dishes were phenomenal. I would highly suggest them. The burger literally will melt in your mouth. The pita bread and hummus were the best I’ve had thus far.

What I also liked was it’s a self serve restaurant. You order and pay at the same time and then you get your own drink, silverware and napkins. You also can get your own to-go containers which is a plus because I feel waiters take entirely too long to bring the check and to-go containers. 

The only negative I have is that my appetizer and meal came at the same time. I would’ve preferred to get my appetizer before my meal. Not sure if that is something I should’ve requested, however, that’s the only negative I have. So, if you are ever in the Houston area, give them a try.

Health + Wellness, My Life, Product Reviews

Nourish Juice Bar


Located off W Gray, this juice bar is so amazing and I love the atmosphere. I had been there once before. I ordered the Pink Starbust juice and a Buddha bowl. Both were absolutely amazing. The juice really tasted like candy and the kick from the ginger was perfect. 


The Buddha bowl was a curry style bowl with kale, quinoa, carrots, chickpeas and so much more earthy goodness. The curry dressing added so much flavor. I definitely want to try to recreate something like this.

Product Reviews, Travel

Unity Vegan Kitchen Review


If I could give more than 5 stars dammit I would. This food truck was my initial first stop on this tour but because of my schedule and their hours, I ended up having to save the best for last. 
First let me say, the woman who took my order, I believe it was Leslie (sorry if I’m wrong), she was so nice and friendly and made my day when she said they had chikn n waffles. I had seen these all over IG and made it my mission to get them whenever I was in Austin. 

When I say they were everything, they were absolutely everything. The gravy was tasty as hell and I loved it on the waffle, despite me never thinking to put gravy on my waffles.

The waffle was cooked to perfection and the faux chicken had an abundance of flavor and tasted like chicken if I do say so myself. Talk about southern vegan comfort food. I have half a mind to go back before I leave and get it again.

Please, if you are ever in Austin, make this a priority.

Product Reviews, Travel

24 Diner Review 

My first time coming here was in 2010 when my brother graduated with his undergrad degree. This is one of his favorite restaurants and it’s open 24 hours, like in the name.

It wasn’t crowded the first time we came and it wasn’t crowded this time. Another major thing I like was it wasn’t cold. Most restaurants I go to have me sleepy before I even order my food. 


The first time I went I had the Betsy Veggie. It’s a handcrafted burger made with beets, lentils, flaxseeds and other delicious goodness. I swear I tried to recreate it but no such luck. 


Since then I had been feigning for that burger so when we went last night, I was too hype. It tastes just as good as I remember. My waitress was pretty amazing. The waiter the first time I came was very knowledgeable about the burger so I was comfortable ordering it this time. 

Product Reviews, Travel

The Vegan Nom Review


If I tell y’all that the taco I had should be damn illegal and questionable about being vegan. I’ve never had a vegan taco that taste so damn good and was super flavorful.

I am a huge fan of food trucks and I loved the location. There was no long line and they prepare your food fairly quickly. I ordered there Gracie Madre which came highly recommended by the woman who took my order. 


I took the first bite and fell in love. I will definitely be going back before I head back to Houston. 

Product Reviews

Restaurant Review: Verts Mediterranean Grill 5*

I am a huge sucker for Mediterranean food. I love falafel, baklava and hummus. I have always been in love with ethnic food and more willing to try it since I am a POC (person of color). I will try anything as long as it’s vegan.

Verts is located off I45 and Louetta, located in the North Houston area. It happens to share a wall with two restaurants I love dearly – Chipotle and Salata. I had been going to that Chipotle for a while and then one night I decided to walk in. It has the feels and décor of Freebirds and Chipotle. The prices, menu and create-your-own-meal line, is similar as well.

What attracted me more than anything to this restaurant, again, was it had falafel. Another way that they are similar to Chipotle and Freebirds is that they are stingy with they rice. Like, you have this big bowl and you’re only going to give me two spoonful’s of rice? I’m not a big girl but I have a big girl appetite. I had the guy pile on more rice and ignored his questioning look when I asked for more.

He asked what kind if meat and I told him falafel. Those are made to order which I love, meaning they aren’t just sitting out on warmers like the meat is. I then had him add the chickpeas, carrot slaw, cucumbers and tomatoes as well as hummus. I want the tzaziki but it wasn’t vegan. It was made with greek yogurt. I’ve had tzaziki before, but only the vegan version.

The staff is actually really friendly and attentive like Chipotle and Freebirds. The establishment was very clean, not crowded, they get your food prepared fast, all with a smile. I have definitely found my new favorite restaurant and lucky for me, I don’t have to drive into Houston to get Mediterranean food.

Product Reviews

5* for Green Vegetarian Cuisine

Today I went to Green Vegetarian Cuisine and what I love about them is that all menu items, you can make vegan. I had the chik’n fried chik’n with herb mashed potatoes and kale. It was amazing and so flavorful. I don’t typically eat meat substitutes but when I do, it is only when I go out. The gravy was so flavorful and savory.

I typically only go to vegan/vegetarian restaurants when I am in the area or I am meeting a friend. I had only been to this restaurant once before and since I had business in that area (a mile away), I figured I would stop by. I am glad I did.

The staff is uber friendly (thanks Victoria) and always willing to help, at least for the time that I was there. When I came in, there were only a few people but after a few minutes, the place was becoming packed.

Another thing I love about them is that they are fast. In this instance it is actually okay to be fast. When cooking vegan food, it doesn’t take as long as it does when cooking animals. Vegan foods can even be eaten without being cooked all the way because there is no chance of getting any kind of illness by eating half cooked vegan food.

I think I had been sitting there for 5-10 minutes after ordering until they brought my food and I was glad because I was starving. The presentation was also key because I am a very visual person. If it is presented pretty, I am more likely to inhale it.

I highly recommend this restaurant if you are ever in Houston or San Antonio.

Afro Hippie Vegan

All Black Everything, Uncategorized

Mind+Body+Soul Monday: Black Women Control Food

In the Black community, whose food do we always relish over? That of our mothers, grandmothers, great-grandmothers, aunties, etc. Basically, a Black woman. As Black women, we are the soul creators of delicious food in our community. We do the grocery shopping, preparing and cooking. We have the health of our families in our hands. Never thought of it that way, did you?

As Black women, we prepare food without any thought of if it is going to benefit our families or not. We prepare it to feed our families and make sure that it tastes goods. As millennial Black women, we hope to have husbands who love our cooking as much as they do their mothers and grandmothers. What if I said that as Black women, we have the ability to keep our race alive and thriving? Hear me out.

We love the foods that are fried, fatty, salty, artery clogging and heart attack causing. I used to be one of those women. Going vegan, I have found and made many vegan versions of my mother’s recipes and even those of my favorite ethnic foods. I am an avid cook and have been since I was in grade school. I want to one day cook for my future husband the foods he loves, but in a way that will be beneficial to his health.

Black mothers pay no mind to what they feed their children as long as they are fed. If you love your children as much as you say you do, stop feeding them death, violence, abuse and disease. Everything a Black woman feeds her child(ren) and family, needs to be of nutrients, health, healing, and above all, from the earth. Black women, our ancestral women before slavery, did not feed what we feed our families today. In the tribes in Africa, they fed them food of the land with a side of a little fish.

We grew our own foods and picked our own foods to ensure great health and healing in our men who worked all day, and children who played and worked as well. We need to instill that of our heritage and history in our daughters so that when they grow older, they can do the same for their children and families, and so on.

Black women,  have the power to change the declining population of our people. We have the power to heal those who are sick and dying. We hold so much power. We give life after all, so why not elongate it? We can make a huge change in our community. There are so many resources and Pinterest is a huge win with me, where you can find vegan recipes for absolutely anything.

My final words, Black women, love your families by giving them food that will keep them alive.

Mind, Body and Soul,

Afro Hippie Vegan

Health + Wellness

Health & Wellness Wednesday: School Lunch Program

Many people who live in a low income area, qualify for their child(ren) to have free or reduced lunch. Essentially this saves the parents money, but in the long run, are they really saving money with all of the health problems that will occur? I have seen many kids in the schools that I work at who are as tall as me and twice my size, eating their free lunch and everyone else’s. If parents really knew what these kids were eating and drinking at school, I think they would second guess it. Just because something is free, does not mean that it is good.

In majority white neighborhoods, I have seen that most kids bring their lunch to school (their lunches being no better than the crap they serve in the cafeteria). Mainly it is because these parents have the money to buy enough food for their children to take a lunch to school. I overheard some of the students talking about how the food in the cafeteria isn’t real food and its days old. If an elementary student knows that what the school is serving isn’t real and is detrimental to their health, why can’t parents who have their kids on free or reduced lunch get that?

Most all people who live in low income areas have food stamps and those how have multiple children, get a lot of money. I am not sure why these parents aren’t buying extra food for their children to pack a lunch to take to school. Another problem is the stores that are available in these neighborhoods. They do not have healthy food widely available so I guess the parents figure that they might as well eat at school.

It does not cost a lot of money to buy extra food for children to take their lunch to school. They can even have leftovers from the night before which I have seen quite a few kids have in their lunchboxes. All I am saying is that in these low income neighborhoods, there is no excuse for the parents to not be able to pack their kids lunches.

To my point, the meat the children are being served in the schools is not meat that should be allowed to be fed to anyone. Animals in factory farms who are too decrepit to kill and sell in stores because it is against whatever code, the controllers still want to make a profit off of these animals. So what do they do? They grind up the meat of these sick, diseased, crippled animals and sell the meat to the school lunch programs. That is what your children are eating. I see this everyday. Grey meat, pink meat, meat that doesn’t look like meat, let alone the smell of when I walk into the cafeteria. It smells like the city dump.

Growing up, I was never on free or reduced lunch, thank goodness. At the time, I hated it because I hated the food that my mom would buy. Lunch meat, chips and some kind of sugar cake with a CapriSun. I had to have that everyday. I hated it. Since we had specialty lines in high school (that served shrimp baskets, crawfish baskets, real cheeseburgers, boudain baskets and Red Baron pizza), I usually bought my lunch with my allowance. Most kids aren’t given those choices today.

My point of all of this is that my people who live in low income areas with children, especially my single parents, stop trading in your food stamps for cash. Do better about your situation for your children. Don’t let them eat the remains of lame (crippled, useless, etc.) animals. You wonder why so many kids in low income areas are angry and violent. It isn’t just their home lives or environment; food plays a  part too.

Resources:

http://failedmessiah.typepad.com/failed_messiahcom/2008/01/downed-cows-sla.html

http://www.nea.org/home/37485.htm

Health and Wellness,

Afro Hippie Vegan