Vegan Chicken Enchiladas & Jalapeño Margaritas! was shot at night on New Year’s Eve so the pics are poop. 🙁 However, I’ve been on my death bed with bronchitis and a cold/flu for almost a week now so it’s all I’ve got in the archives. I felt like crap-o-la at work on Friday, thought I was recovering on Saturday (went to Manzanita, OR – the coast – b/c it was beautiful that day) until my cough started up and bought me to the ER because urgent care was closed. Sigh… sickness blows. And, you know I’m sick when I don’t even want to eat food… that means I’m for reaaalllzzz sick.
Okay, back to the food. I tried packaged jackfruit that was pre-seasoned last year and I thought it was totally gross. However, many people have told me to make it myself and give it a second go, so, I did. I purchased it in a can at Trader Joe’s and seasoned it myself. Was awesome! NOTHING like the crap I had bought pre-packaged. Honestly, it reminded me of an artichoke. I made my own vegan cheese sauce, used red and green enchilada sauces (Christmas enchiladas), and, of course, had to make my famous spicy jalapeño margaritas to go with! Especially, since I was chef-ing this up for the new year! Bubbles during the EST & PST ball drops and margs the rest of the night. WOo-hOo!
Enjoy the recipes and my pics from Manzanita! I threw in one from our walk downtown on New Year’s Eve before the margs and enchiladas (G was super upset he couldn’t play in the fountain. 😉 Cheers to a MUCH warmer winter than last!
- 1 can Trader Joe's Jackfruit - sliced into thin strips
- 2 Tbl Trader Joe's Onion Salt
- 1 Tbl taco seasoning
- 3 cloves garlic - chopped
- 1 C onion -diced
- 1/2 C red enchilada sauce
- 1/4 C green enchilada sauce
- 3-4 C vegan cheese sauce (I used my own recipe - in recipe index on blog)
- 8 tortilla shells
- Oil for pan
- Salt to taste
- 10 limes - juiced
- 1 1/2 C tequila
- 1/2 C pickled jalapeño - sliced
- 4 oz orange juice
- 2 oz orange liquor of choice (Cointreau or Triple Sec)
- 2 Tbl agave or honey
- Pinch of salt
- Preheat oven to 350f
- In a pan over medium heat, add onion in oil with a pinch of salt and cook for about 3 minutes
- Add garlic and cook for an additional minute
- Add jackfruit, onion salt, salt, taco seasoning, and stir occasionally for about 8-10 minutes or until slightly browned
- In a separate pan, spray with oil and layer the bottom with some enchilada sauce
- Evenly spread the jackfruit and cheese into each of the 8 tortillas
- Roll them up and place in pan
- Cover fully with the rest of the enchilada sauces and bake for approximately 15-20 minutes or until lightly crisped
- For the margaritas: (Make whilst the enchiladas are baking)
- Place all of the ingredients into a pitcher and mix well
- To serve, take a shaker with ice, pour mix over ice, and pour into individual margarita glasses - the jalapeños should be strained with the ice and therefore neither should enter the margarita glasses
- Margarita recipe makes about 6
- Enchilada recipe makes 8
Happy New Year! 2017 was an absolutely insane, bat shit crazy kinda year for me with lots of ups and downs. Mostly, it was pretty great! I’m hoping for an even better 2018 and can’t wait to start gettin’ all hardcore with my resolutions! More about that in a minute… For this New Year’s, I went the route of spicy margaritas (will be a future post for sure), however, to start the afternoon off on the right foot, I opted to make Poinsettia Cocktails, and of course styled them with some of my beautiful New Year decor! If you’ve never had these, they’re basically cranberry mimosas but stronger and better! Cheers to that!
Okay, so back to my resolutions. This year, I’m keepin’ it simple. I am looking for a greater sense of self awareness. I want my mind, body, and soul to be as healthy as possible so that I may be more authentic to my true self. I know, this almost sounds too cheesy/airy fairy for me to even write or say out loud, however, it is definitely what I mean. Time to get my bod back to where it was last year, hit the gym… HARD, practice yoga and meditation in the morn, if only for 20 minutes, cut calories and keep up with more plant-based cooking, and take time to focus on my cookbook, and my new book about my most favorite subject, G-dog. This will be a follow-up to, “One More Sip of Whine.” Regarding that book-o-la, I hope that 2018 is crazy kind to her and puts her out in the world with great success! Okay, so maybe that doesn’t sound so simple to you, but with the year I’ve had, that’s pretty simple to me! Wanna join me in my resolutions? I’d love the company!
I hope everyone had an amazing holiday! Back to work tomorrow, sigh… Two weeks off has been suh-weeeeet! Enjoy the New Year!
PS- Some pics from Christmas for your viewing pleasure as well 😉
- 1/3 C champagne OR sparkling wine
- 3 Tbl vodka
- 1/2 oz Cointreau OR Triple Sec
- 1/2 C cranberry juice
- Put all ingredients in a shaker with ice
- Shake well
- Pour in glass
Spiked Vegan Peppermint Hot Chocolate! is the only way I like my hot chocolate this winter. I can only have so much ‘regular’ hot chocolate before I get super sick of it. This drink has a twist of peppermint, and vanilla or whipped cream vodka to warm you up from the inside out. Not to mention, it’s done in less than 10 minutes! Perfect for a quick fix. 😉
In Portland, it’s been pretty cold. However, last year we were in the throws of some major snow storms at this time so I’m thankful that I’m not reliving that! It was fun for the first few days of fireplace, mimosas, snow forts, and sleds, and then it got too cold and old for my bones. After all, I left NY to escape NY winters! I’m hoping for a sprinkling of white flakes on Christmas day and that’s it. My snow quota is still super saturated from last year’s winter. Anyway, I LOVE my Spiked Vegan Peppermint Hot Chocolate! by the fireplace in my pj’s, with friends, or with a favorite holiday movie (A Christmas Story, anyone?). I’m ‘a gonna keep this post short ‘n’ sweet. Warm your soul, rouge those cheeks, and slowly slurp up this deliciousness. Happy holidays! Cheers! -FGG XO
- 1 C vanilla almond milk
- 1/2 C chocolate peppermint almond milk (I bought mine from Trader Joe's)
- 1.5 oz either vanilla vodka OR whipped cream vodka
- 1 Tbl unsweetened cocoa powder
- 2 tsp sugar (I used raw)
- Soy or coconut whipped cream for topping
- Optional: crushed up candy cane and small marshmallows for topping (TJ's marshmallows are vegetarian/vegan)
- Heat a small pot on medium and pour in both almond milks
- Once warm, stir in cocoa powder - mix well
- Stir in sugar - mix well
- After about 3 minutes (or until warm) turn off heat
- In a large mug, pour the shot of vodka (1.5 oz) and then top with contents in pot
- Top with whipped cream, candy cane, and marshmallow
Gin Fresh Fruit Fizz Cocktail is the most delicious and refreshing cocktail I’ve made all year… hands down! I had some left over kiwi and strawberry in my fridge, some fresh mint in my garden, and wanted something fruity but light with this heat wave we’re having in Portland. Also, I had purchased these amazing Moscow Mule cups and was dying to make something delicious in them.
Whenever the winter has fully gone and left us, and the sun seems like it just might be here to stay a while, I feel like everyone goes cocktail crazy. Well, at least the people that I know in my life! Which more than works for me. I remember creating amazing cocktails with my friend April when I last lived in OR. Always with fresh ingredients and incredibly refreshing in taste. She’d love this Gin Fresh Fruit Fizz drink for sure! April, I’ll make it for you next time you’re here. We used to use this stick we found in the backyard for a muddling stick… pretty sure she still has it! In my 30’s, I’ve graduated to a real muddler. I purchased a Rabbit cocktail set the other week and I’ll never look back. Muddling has never been so easy! Ahh… adulthood. A pretty sweet hood to live in.
If you love gin, strawberry, kiwi, mint, lime, refreshing and natural cocktails to help beat the summer heat, I implore you, make this cocktail now! Also, what an amazing and delicious drink to serve up on Memorial Day. Gin Fresh Fruit Fizz Cocktail will have all of your friends melting in the palms of your cocktail making hands. Slurp up!
- 3-4 ounces of gin
- 3-4 ounces of lemonade
- 2 kiwis
- 2 limes
- 4 strawberries
- Approximately 10 fresh mint leaves
- Crushed ice
- Seltzer water to fill the rest of the cup
- Squeeze the juice from 1 whole lime per cup
- Fill the bottom of each cup with crushed ice
- Add 1 kiwi, 2 strawberries, and approximately 5 mint leaves per cup- muddle well
- Add I.5-2.0 ounces of gin per cup
- Add 1.5-2.0 ounces of lemonade per cup
- Stir well or shake well
- Fill each cup about 3/4 of the way to the top with crushed ice
- Top with seltzer water - stir again
- Garnish with mint if you'd like!
To Kombucha or Not To Kombucha (this is my question) is a post about the myths, facts, and personal opinions of the health benefits of drinking this “magical elixir,” as it is often called. Currently, quite a few of my Beijing friends and I are ordering kombucha through a local supplier who brews it herself. Our friend, Jackie, is our ‘dealer.’ She has sourced and organizes our weekly deliveries and we are thankful for her efforts. Expensive? Oh yes! But we all deem it to be worthy of our loot. How are we benefiting? What does science say? What do kombucha enthusiasts say? Continue reading to find out and I’ll share with you what I’ve learned.
Kombucha originated in Asia. Many articles I’ve read state that it most likely originated in China, however, I did not come across an article that 100% proved that. Kombucha also goes by the name “mushroom tea,” though this is misleading, as there are no mushrooms in this product nor does it originate from any fungi source. To say it simply, Kombucha is fermented tea. It has been around for thousands of years and made it’s appearance in North America in the late 90’s. This is when you could find bottles on store shelves, though most likely, few shelves and only in health food style stores. It seems to have made a larger appearance and been found more widely in North America since about 2008.
What is this stuff & how is it made?:
This fermented tea is meant to heal a multitude of ailments and diseases according to kombucha enthusiasts, be a great supplier of probiotics, give you energy, help and/or cure anxiety and depression, and to simply give you a good n’ healthy gut, in addition to a multitude of other things. Just Google it. There are far too many ailments and diseases that this “magical elixir” cures so I will not list it here. Many people home brew this concoction or purchase it in the store either pasteurized or unpasteurized (more about that later). It has a slight vinegar taste and is quite acidic. You can buy it or make it in many different flavors. My two favorite are lavender/blueberry & lemongrass/ginger.
The process is simple. You need to purchase a SCOBY (symbiotic culture of bacteria and yeast). Some also refer to this as the “mother.” Simply stated it is the home for the bacteria and yeast. You add a small bit of sugar (gets further diluted in the fermenting process) to black tea (sometimes green tea), and then let it ferment for at least a week. Don’t go too long or the process could go south and have serious health effects. Due to the fermentation, there are trace/slight amounts of alcohol in the kombucha. The fermenting process occurs in a non-refrigerated environment, perhaps in the dark, and typically in a glass jar. Using ceramic in the fermenting process can lead to lead poisoning and other materials can easily kill the “mother” or have other negative effects. It is of the utmost importance that kombucha is made in a sterile environment to avoid introducing unhealthy bacteria into mixture. Just know what you’re doing!
There is no scientific evidence or studies to support that kombucha can cure diabetes, cancer, depression, anxiety, arthritis, colitis, or any other disease or ailment that many posts/articles state. However, there have not been very many in depth studies of the effects of kombucha on humans.
When drinking unpasteurized kombucha (less safe if you don’t know you’re making it properly) you get a large does of probiotics. Probiotics give your gut healthy bacteria. Therefore, it may be able to help and prevent certain illnesses. Probiotics are most definitely great for your immune system and for getting that digestive tract running smoothly. There have been documented studies done on rats that showed kombucha reduced their liver toxicity. Of course, it is safest when pasteurized but this could compromise the health benefits kombucha offers.
There may or may not be a high enough volume of antioxidants and flavonoids in a drinkable dose of kombucha so that one may garner the positive effects that they would have on your body.
How to drink kombucha:
It appears that many people drink approximately 4 oz (125 ml) of kombucha a day. However, other articles I have read state that people may have 2 oz in the morning and then 2 oz again in the evening. I have also read that after a few weeks of drinking kombucha you may slightly increase your ‘dosage’ as long as your body is reacting positively to it. Some people with sensitive stomachs or who start by taking too much too soon may experience nausea, vomiting, or even jaundice (though not common). Listen to your body! I have read that drinking it in the morning is the best time to imbibe, however, that information was not included in most of the articles that I had read.
What the nay-sayers think:
- It is too high in acidity and that this can damage your teeth (though I’ve read that you should drink it all at once to avoid this, swish some water around in your mouth afterwards, and refrain from brushing your teeth for the hour following consumption).
- If you drink too much you can put yourself at risk, as there are cases of individuals getting lactic acidosis (just know you do not want this).
- There a few incidents of individuals dying from consuming kombucha that was not brewed properly.
- There is no scientific evidence to support that kombucha prevents, cures, or helps diseases.
What the enthusiasts are saying:
- It can help to prevent, cure, and diminish symptoms, of a variety of diseases and illnesses.
- The probiotics help with digestive issues (move those bowels, people!), give you energy, lift your spirits.
- Loads you with B vitamins and boosts your immune system.
- Enhances the absorption of minerals.
- The proof is in the pudding. If for thousands of years individuals have felt and witnessed first hand the positive effects of this “magical elixir,” there is not much more evidence one needs to acquire to believe in the healing power of kombucha.
What myself and my friends have noticed since drinking about 250 ml/day for a few months now: (some of us have different answers and we drink it for different needs or simply for overall wellness)
- “Can eat and not feel bloated, heavy or gross.”
- “Gets the digestive tract moving better and produces better stools.”
- “Gives perkiness that was not there prior throughout the day. Feel less tired.”
- “Works better and faster than the probiotics that I have taken in the past.”
- “Happier and more energetic.”
- “I had really gripey IBS type pain for a good few months before hitting the kombucha. It was staring to get me down. I didn’t realize how much I wasn’t regular but now, when drinking this daily, I am so regular and feel no pain anymore. It is so much better drinking the kombucha than not drinking it that I actually stress if I run out.”
To conclude, I would say that you should do what you think works for you! If you think this is non-sense and don’t believe that people experience these positive side effects than don’t drink it. If you want to give it a try hoping it will cure something or at least for a better gut due to those amazing probiotics, give it a go! Start with less and increase as you go. Just remember, be aware of how you feel, how much you’re drinking daily, and that I have heard that the pasteurization process can kill the probiotics, however, you could research this more. Do what’s good for you, your gut, and be smart! Please feel free to comment and let me know your thoughts. Would love to get a good discussion going!