Thursday, December 30, 2010

Who needs a sandwich? I think I'll have a burrito!

Many people ask me why I choose vegetarianism, and the more extreme veganism. The stereotype of vegans are pasty, sickly looking individuals that look like they could use a sandwich (literally). Quite the contrary, this food lifestyle is being adopted by world class atheletes, with improved performance. Plants & whole grains provide nutrient dense, highly digestible fuel -- your body is a machine and it runs much cleaner without the sludge of meat and dairy.

My inspiration came when I first picked up the Engine 2 Diet book in early 2009. I was tired of feeling tired, wanted my body to be more efficient, wanted to lose weight without starving myself, and desired to eat less meat. I have been a yo-yo dieter for many years (no carb, lo carb, weight watchers, etc). This diet does work, with the added benefit of increased mental clarity and improved cholesterol numbers. The premise is simple: eat plant-powered whole foods, including vegetables, whole grains, fruit, legumes, seeds and nuts. I have lapsed from the diet in the past year, but am back in full force! Try it, see if you feel better. I dare ya.

One thing that I love about this diet is that I find myself trying foods that I claimed not to like before (raw tomatoes are a good example, which I now eat regularly).

Last night I was craving Mexican food, so I made Jane's Jammin Burritos, from the E2 Diet book.

Here is the recipe:
Jane's Jammin Burritos
  • 1 large onion (I used a red onion)
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 2 zucchini, chopped
  • 2 yellow squash, chopped
  • 1 red bell pepper, seeded and chopped
  • 3 cups shredded napa cabbage
  • 2 cans black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 2 cans fat-free vegetarian refried beans
  • 1 cup cooked brown rice
  • 2 teaspoons cumin
  • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 6 large Ezekiel sprouted-grain wraps
  • Salsa
  • Guacamole

Preheat oven to 350º.

Sauté the onion and garlic in a large sprayed skillet on high heat for 3 minutes.
Add the zucchini, yellow squash, red pepper, and cabbage to the skillet. Cook 4–5 minutes, until the vegetables are al dente (soft but firm) and the cabbage is wilting.

Add the black beans, refried beans, and rice to the skillet. Stir the ingredients together on low heat until the mixture is thick and mortar-like. Season with the cumin and cayenne.

Slap a large spoonful of veggie mortar onto the center of the Ezekiel wrap and spread it from top to bottom along the center line.
Fold the sides over using a bit of the veggie mortar as adhesive for the top flap.
Rest the burritos next to each other and place them seam side down on a sprayed baking sheet.
Bake for 20 minutes or until the wraps are crisp.
* I topped with a mixture of jarred chipotle salsa, chopped avocado & fresh chopped cilantro.

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