Spicy Vegetarian Bean Tacos GuestPost by Leah!

As vegetarians, most of our protein comes from beans, so I use them a lot in my cooking.  One of our absolute favorite meals is my Spicy Vegetarian Bean Soft Tacos (or Burritos…. I just hate wrapping them! haha!).  They’re super easy, delicious, and fast, which is any mom’s dream meal, right?  I definitely recommend using your own preserved beans instead of canned beans.  Saves you money, recycling, and keeps those icky chemicals out of your food!  So, without further ado, here is the recipe for Spicy Vegetarian Bean Soft Tacos!

Vegetarian Taco, Beans, Spicy
Ingredients:
For the bean filling, you’ll need…..
~ 1/2 red onion, chopped
~ 1 T. minced garlic
~ Salt and pepper
~ Cumin and chili powder, to taste
~ 1 cup water
~ 1 1/2 cups black beans (or 1 can), drained
~ 1 1/2 cups pinto beans (or 1 can), drained
~ 1 large tomato, diced
~ 2-3 pickled jalapeno slices
~ You’ll also need your favorite taco/burrito accoutrements, such as:  tortillas, cheese, lettuce, salsa, tomatoes, sour creams, guacamole, etc.
Directions:
1. Saute the onions and garlic, just until the onions are soft.  Add the spices, to taste.
2. Add water and beans.  Mix well and bring to a boil.  Once the beans are boiling, turn down to a low simmer.  Allow to cook for 20-30 minutes, until almost all of the water has evaporated.  
3. Using a potato masher or the back of a spoon, mash up the beans until they’re a good, spreadable consistency.
4. Mix in tomatoes and jalapenos and cook just until tomatoes start to break up, about 3-4 minutes.
5. Spread into your tacos and enjoy!

Crunchy Farm Baby


Leah blogs at Crunchy Farm Baby, where she writes about all things having to do with a crunchy lifestyle – natural/attachment parenting, vegetarian/vegan cooking, gardening, raising chickens, chemical-free cleaning, and shares stories about her life with her husband and one-year old on a small farm in Pennsylvania.

Freedom Friday Feature! – Sage Adderley, My Name is: Sage

The newest feature to The Vagabond Studio is Freedom Friday and I plan to feature you - my creative, supporting readers.

So, here’s the deal: Growing up, at least in my family, there are certain expectations of people. A lot of people live up to the expectations of their friends and family, and there’s nothing wrong with that! Some of these people even want to be doctors, lawyers, business managers, or IT Techs, and that’s amazing, too!  There are some people, though, who want to break from what’s expected of them and do what their heart tells them to, even if it goes against the norm. For example, a friend of mine has a three generation history with the Marines, and he went off to Julliard. That went over well, as I’m sure you can imagine. Another friend of mine, straight out of college as a single woman without children, married a widow with six kids and is now an amazing WAHM.

These people – the people who have the guts to go with what they want in life, they are what Freedom Friday is all about. So, without further delay, meet our first Freedom Friday Feature: Sage Adderley. Sage is a dear friend of mine who I have mentioned several times previously – she’s even guestblogged on The Vagabond Studio about kids and nutrition!

1. How long have you known you didn’t want the ‘typical’ kind of job?

I think in my last year of high school I started realizing I would not follow the same path as most of my classmates. My ideal jobs have been to create art and write fiction. Teachers suggested going to college after graduation and work towards becoming an art teacher but that’s not the type of art I wanted to do. I went to college after graduation, but I left before I finished my first year.

I went to work at my mom’s tattoo shop instead. It was on the job training in my eyes. I didn’t need a degree to paint or make mixed media art. I just needed to create and then promote myself. I didn’t want to play by anyone else’s rules except my own when it came to my creative work.

2. What gave/gives you the courage to step out of the box and do things your way?

My courage stems from staying true to myself. I am not good at faking things at all. To settle for a life that my heart isn’t into 100% is completely out of the question for me. I have to make art, and I have to write.

My family also gives me courage. How can I tell my kids that they can become anything in the world, yet I am not following that same mentality with my own goals? I want them to be proud of me, and I want to be proud of myself.

3. What have been some of the challenges along the way?

I have three kids so I have to balance my passions with the responsibility of financially providing for them. I worked in the tattoo industry for 13 years and that is what paid the bills. It wasn’t until two years ago that I decided to leave the tattoo world and work from home as a writer. My partner’s full time income supports our household. The loss of pay from my tattoo job has impacted us, but he supports me and encourages me to live out my dreams. We are both the weirdo artist types so we understand that drive to create. He gets that I need to write like I get that he needs to draw or we’ll be miserable.

Believing in myself has been a challenge. I grew up with two artists for parents and then married an artist. My artwork is always being compared to their work and it is frustrating because we all have different styles.

When it comes to my writing, sometimes I think I would be taken more seriously if I had a degree. Not finishing college haunts me at times. I have been taking writing courses on and off since 2004. I’m currently participating in an 8-week writers workshop. I am always working towards being a better writer. At the end of the day I know my success will come from hard work and persistence, period.

4. What have been some of the most rewarding moments along the way?

Selling paintings that I created and not something I was commissioned to do. It’s an awesome feeling to have someone love art that came from your mind and purchase it. I’ve had my writing published in magazines, such as Print, Urban Ink, and Prick. I’ve been self-publishing my own zines for almost ten years. The feedback I receive from readers is pretty rewarding.

5. What do you do? – how would YOU label yourself, and is that what you want to be or are you working toward a bigger goal?

I’m a writer and mixed media artist. Yes, I am who I want to be. My bigger goal is to write and publish books. I have taken the first steps to begin my exciting journey.

6. What advice would you give others who want to achieve their dreams, but might be afraid to do so?

Live in the now and build the life you want. For me, there is no “right” time to take a chance. I’m afraid if you wait for the perfect opportunity then life will blow you by, and it just may be too late.

We can all sit around and make excuses as to why we aren’t living the life we want. It’s not easy to walk away from what society thinks you should be doing and walk to your own beat. But do it anyway.

Surround yourself with supportive people, eliminate the naysayers, and get busy because time is not on your side.

Healthy in a Hurry – Guestblogger Laura Broach

Like many moms, I stay super busy most days. I home school my daughter
and maintain a full-time job in addition to blogging. Of course, there’s also the
housework, gardening, and let’s not forget the cooking. I don’t want to skimp on
nutrition when it comes to dinner, but I don’t always have a lot of time to cook
either. That’s why I get so excited any time I come across a great time saving
and nutritious recipe, but they are hard to find. Often I just modify recipes to
make them easier, quicker, or suited to my family’s likes. Like this veggie pasta
recipe. It’s healthy, filling, tastes great, and can be cooked in under 20 minutes,
including prep time! We also have a printable recipe for your convenience!

Here are the ingredients:
1 box whole wheat linguine (13.25 oz)
3 medium vine ripened tomatoes, seeded and diced
3 cloves garlic, sliced very thin
5 tbsp butter
8 oz arugula or spinach (sliced into very thin ribbons to make about 5 cups)
3 tbsp olive oil
Shredded parmesan
Salt

I always start with placing an online shopping order with my grocery store so that
I can run by and pick up all of the ingredients I don’t have the next day without
having to get out of the car. This is an amazing service, so if it’s offered by any
store in your area, I highly recommend you give it a shot! In the summer, you
may have many or all of these ingredients on hand anyway and garden fresh is
always best!

Now to put this together in a hurry:
• Bring salted water to a rolling boil and add the olive oil and the linguine.
Cook for 5 minutes less than the time recommended on the box.
• While the pasta cooks, dice the tomatoes and slice the greens and garlic.
Put ½ the butter in a wok or large pan on medium high and lightly brown
garlic. Remove from heat.
• Now drain the linguine, reserving 2 cups of the water in which it cooked.
• Add the cooked linguine, two cups of cooking water, remaining butter,
and tomatoes to the garlic butter mixture. Return to medium high heat for
about 5 minutes until pasta is al dente and most of the water is gone.
• Add the sliced greens and toss to wilt.
• Serve with shredded parmesan sprinkled on top to taste.

Now how easy is that? And if you have older kids that can help, it’s even less
work! This pasta has a rich and creamy flavor thanks to the healthy oils, butter,
and cheese. Arugula is a little peppery so if you substitute spinach you get a
milder flavor.

How does your family get mealtime done when time is short?

Laura Broach is author of the blog, Mama Making Changes, about her
family’s journey to become more green, more healthy, and more educated about
food. See www.MamaMakingChanges.com to read more posts by Laura.

Oh-So-Delish Recipe by GuestBlogger Meegs!

I was lucky to grow up with a mom who was a great cook, and she set a wonderful example of how fun cooking could be. Thanks to that, I’ve never felt that cooking was a chore. I honestly believe that when you enjoy cooking, you make better food… and I really enjoyed making this dish! It’s bold with a kick, but not tart.


Balsamic Chicken

1/2 cup chicken broth
1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
2 teaspoons honey
1 tablespoon butter
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
4 (5-ounce) skinless, boneless chicken breast halves
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons finely chopped shallots (can substituted garlic and/or onion)
Chopped parsley (optional)


1. Combine broth, vinegar, and honey.

2. Melt butter and oil in a large nonstick skillet over low heat. While butter melts, sprinkle chicken with salt and pepper. Place flour in a shallow dish. Dredge chicken in flour and shake off excess.

3. Increase heat to medium-high and heat until butter turns golden brown. Add chicken to pan; cook 4 minutes on each side or until golden brown.

4. Remove chicken from pan; keep warm. Add shallots (or onion/garlic mix), and sauté until starting to become translucent. Add the broth mixture, scraping to loosen browned bits.

5. Bring to a boil, and cook until reduced to 1/2 cup (about 3 minutes). Serve sauce over chicken. Garnish with chopped parsley, if desired.

This is a great, wholesome dish. Its filling and satisfying, but not hard to make. I’d love to hear what you think of it! Enjoy!

***

Meegs is an easy-going girl that loves tattoos, food, and the outdoors; but most especially her husband and daughter. She’s passionate about being greener, co-existing peacefully with animals/the environment, and LGBTQ rights. In her free time, she loves to read, go for long walks, cheer for the Eagles and the Flyers, cook, and spend time with her family and friends. A breastfeeding, babywearing, sometimes bedsharing mama, Meegs finds her online home at A New Day

How One Rockin’ Mom Changed Her Family’s Eating Habits – GuestBlogger, Sage Adderley

Last summer I was browsing through movies on Netflix and decided to add some food-related documentaries to my Instant queue. I admit they sat there for a few weeks before I finally watched them. Fat, Sick, & Nearly Dead, Food Matters, and Food, Inc. were the three documentaries that impacted me the most.

My whole world changed. That may sound dramatic but it is true. It was like I finally realized I had been following the herd of sheep when it came to what I put into my body. I didn’t question the quality of meat I ate, I rarely read the list of ingredients on food labels, and I cooked with way too much processed food. I was relying on the food industry to make the right food choices for me and that was wrong. I finally took responsibility for my own health and my family’s health.
Here are a couple of changes I made in my family’s life regarding our food choices. The first thing I did was eliminate meat from our diet. Between multiple health reasons and the unethical treatment of many factory farmed animals; it definitely felt natural for us to stop meat consumption. We weren’t huge meat eaters any way so it was relatively easy to do. Tofu, beans, nuts, and seeds are healthier sources of protein. Even if you can’t imagine life without meat, choosing to go meatless 3 or 4 times a week will make a difference in your family’s health.
I replaced white rice and pasta with brown rice, wild rice, and whole-wheat pasta. I also introduced lentils and barley to the kids. I make sure that a fruit and/or vegetable is included with every meal. This is a simple way for the kids to meet the recommended daily servings. You’ll get the most nutrients from raw vegetables but steaming, baking, and grilling veggies are good options, too. Homemade hummus and raw vegetable slices are a great alternative to chips and dip. Replace sugar-filled desserts with fruit salads and cinnamon flavored applesauce.
Along with meat, I have greatly reduced the children’s dairy intake. We have substituted cow’s milk for almond and coconut milk. Many people assume milk is the greatest source of calcium and that is a myth. Almond milk actually has 15% more calcium in each serving than 1% cow’s milk; plus it has half the calories, no saturated fat, and no cholesterol! Broccoli, spinach, and oranges are all wonderful sources of calcium as well.
I began cooking as much from scratch as possible. It’s a no-brainer that it is healthier. You are controlling each ingredient that goes into your meal. Dry beans have become a staple in my pantry over canned beans. They aren’t as convenient but they are better for your health and more cost effective. Soak them over night, cook them for a few hours (stove-top or slow cooker) until soft and use them for a homemade bean dip, chili, bean soup, or burritos. I prepare a large pot of homemade tomato sauce that I use for pasta, chili, and vegetables.
Vegetable stock is easy to make homemade and a great alternative to canned broth. When I plan on cooking vegetable stock, I freeze half of the stock and refrigerate the other half in mason jars. Fill up ice cube trays with the vegetable stock and pop out a few cubes to cook with as needed. I use the vegetable stock for soups, stews, rice, and also as a substitute for cooking with oil and butter.
When deciding on what you can do to improve the quality of your family’s health it is easy to get a bit overwhelmed. Start small by committing to remove one unhealthy food or drink from your home each month. It could be soda, salty snacks, fast food, etc. When you remove a food, add a new, healthy item in its place.

Sage is a dear friend and long-time inspiration of mine. She’s the brain behind Sweet Candy Distro, a freelance writer, blogger over at ‘my name is: Sage’, and the owner of the ‘my name is: Sage’ Etsy.  Watching her turn her health around whilst simultaneously running her own three-ring circus and raising three kids gives me the motivation to keep my own creative juices flowing and be the best person I can be. Follow her, Favorite her Etsy, and show Sage some love!!