Sunday, September 25, 2011

Yummy Vegan Tacos (a post for Ashley)

This grey and dreary Sunday morning, I went on a nice long run/hike around town and up into the surrounding bluffs. I ran ~2.5 miles across town, climbed the stairs build into the bluffs until I reached the top, and looked out onto the town. I then descended the stairs and ran back home via a slightly different route. Total mileage was probably in the realm of 6 miles.
I didn't take any more pictures, but the rest of the sights were pretty much the same as this post: Sunday Walk, as I used the same route.

I came home exhausted, but mentally centered, and it occurred to me that this is exactly the type of workout that Ashley would love. Ashley, if you don't read her blog, is a vegan athlete. She is inspiring in her endeavors, and though she pushes her body to its maximum, she doesn't compete with others. She is very centered on her personal goals and her body's well being. She's inspiring, as very seldom does she let things get her down. I've been reading her blog for years, and I've actually met her in person, which is something that rarely happens in my neck of the blog-world.

A couple of weeks ago, Ashley had an accident. She was on a long bike ride in preparation for completing yet another 70.3 triathlon, when she apparently fell (post here if you didn't see it). She woke up as they were taking her to the ER. She's sustained multiple injuries and right now can barely walk, nevermind compete in the races that she loves so much. She can't work for months, and I'm sure the hospital bills will be incredible when they finally come, but she is putting on a brave face and doing her best to stay positive. I wish I could be there to help her. I have been wishing I could do something for her for a while, but as she's in North Carolina, and I'm in Minnesota, I feel stuck. I don't get vacation days, and anything I know she would like (vegan treats, etc) would probably rot in the mail on the way to her. I don't make a ton of money, but I am making a donation to the fund that has been set up in her name to help her get through this time (link here for details). Right now, I want to do more. I want to dedicate this post to Ashley.

So today, I present to you a vegan meal in honor of Ashley's diet, and a very Ashley-like workout. In addition, I plan to donate the proceeds from my blog for the entire month of September to Ashley's recovery fund, along with matching funds from my personal bank account. This won't be much, but every little bit helps.

If you want to help, you can help in two ways:

1) Go to the link above and donate to her fund.

2) If you can't spare the money right now (and we'll all understand), please take the time to click on my foodbuzz banner on my blog. If you're in a reader (like Google reader), you'll need to go to my blog site. My blog earns money by those clicks. Click as many times as you like. All the funds are going to Ashley when the payments post.

Finally, some yummy vegan tacos for you to enjoy for your troubles:

Yummy Vegan Tacos
1 zucchini or yellow squash, cubed into small pieces
1 onion, diced
1 tbsp minced garlic
1 can/~1.5 c black beans
1/2 c chunky tomato salsa
1 c corn (fresh or frozen)
1/2 tsp pepper
1/2 tsp chili powder
1 tsp cumin
1 tbsp oil

corn tortillas or other chosen wrap

Prep your veggies. My corn came frozen this week, but if you have fresh sweet corn, take this time to cut it off the cob. 
Sizzle, sizzle! Preheat oil and start sauteeing your veggies. 
Season: Once the onion/zucc start to brown, stir them around and add garlic, chili, pepper, and cumin. You'll also add salt. How much? To taste, but I use a lot of salt in this dish. It really tastes better with it! In any case, stir in the spices and keep cooking another 1-2 minutes until the dish starts to get dry.
Add beans, corn, and salsa. If you use canned beans, rinse them well. That can-muck is pretty nasty, imho. The beans and corn will let off a lot of moisture, so let them hang out for a couple minutes. The corn will start to break down and the starch inside with naturally thicken the juices into a sauce.
When it's done, it looks like this. It has a little bit of a pan-sauce holding it together, but it definitely has texture.
And just look at all that veg! (For those of you who would comment that my pics would look better if I waited for the food to cool down before I took them, you should know that it's currently 57 F in my house and I wanted to eat something warm, not hot. This was an even 5 minutes after taking it off the heat. I can see my own breath after I drink coffee today!)
Microwave your wrap of choice for 1 minute. If you make fresh wraps, more power to you. You should do a post on that so I can learn!
Assemble tacos. Now, if you were starving, you might take the time to dice a mango (its delicious with this recipe, I've tried it) or an avocado (they all looked nasty today). If you like it spicy, you might want some hot sauce or more salsa, but this is a really filling and satisfying lunch or dinner. I truly recommend it.

Ok, I hope that you enjoyed the post, and I hope you can take a minute to donate some pocket change to Ashley, or at least help me do it.
Have you ever been in a traumatic accident? What happened? 

PS: Insomnia post is still coming. My students had a test this week, and I spent all week prepping them and then 8 hours grading. Good news: Average 75%, which is pretty damn good for a first year teacher handling an upper-level course. Historically we tend to kill them with knowledges.


  1. YUM! Those look delicious. I would probably add melted cheese though :)

    When I tore my ACL and was not even able to bend my knee for about two months, I got pretty bummed out... I used it to motivate me to do more strength training and now I'd like to think I'm stronger overall because of it. Sometimes injuries or accidents can help motivate rather than discourage.

    All the best to Ashley as she recovers.

    PS: Keep up the good teaching work! :)

  2. You are amazing!! <3 I'll have to ask Richard to make this recipe for me :)