Tosca Reno


Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Wendy's Vegan Mexican Casserole

Wendy Ritz is our Eat-Clean Diet Vegetarian Cookbook guest blogger today. She shares with us her experience being athletic and adopting a vegan lifestyle. She has also shared one of her favourite recipes - Vegan Mexican Casserole! Yum!
Wendy looking fit & fabulous on the beach!
My name is Wendy Ritz.  I am an athlete, a Personal Trainer, and a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist.  Eating meat always felt unnatural to me.  I couldn’t quite put my finger on why, but a couple years later, I found out a few reasons why this might be.  I began experiencing digestion issues, lethargy, depression, weight fluctuations, skin break outs, and SEVERE mood swings during PMS.  After a few doctors either dismissed me as a moody young girl, or tried to put me on medications, I decided to pursue a solution on my own.

I started to research the implications of diet on hormonal regulation, and I found much scientific backing that suggested women who consume a diet low in animal fats, and high in vegetable fiber and protein had a much healthier hormonal regulation.  That was when I started to gradually become a vegetarian.  I instantly felt inspired.  Then I started reading more books, such as Skinny Bitch by Rory Freedman and Kim Barnouin, and The China Study by T. Colin Campbell.  I also started to watch documentaries such as Food Inc., and Forks over Knives.  It was my own research that pushed me into complete veganism.

I lost weight, my digestion is perfect, my energy is great, my skin is clear, and my PMS is rare and slight.  I feel great…and CLEAN.  That’s probably the best word to describe it.  Even my “meat and potatoes” Marine husband loves my vegan cooking.  My veganism began with my own health issues, but the more I learnt about factory farming, animal cruelty and other health issues that run rampant in America with our heavy animal protein diets, the more I know I made the right decision not only for myself, but for the environment.

Now that Tosca Reno has come out with her Eat-Clean Diet Vegetarian Cookbook, perhaps more athletes like myself, will open their eyes to the exciting lifestyle it can be.

Vegan Mexican Casserole

1 cup textured vegetable protein (TVP)
1 can chopped tomatoes with green chiles
1 can organic black beans (low sodium)
1 red pepper, diced
1 orange pepper, diced
1 onion, diced
Salt and pepper
2 tablespoons cumin
A couple handfuls of vegan cheddar cheese (I don’t like vegan cheese but adding a little to a recipe like this makes it very creamy like you added sour cream without the flavor being over bearing)
100% whole-wheat tortillas
1 small jar salsa

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
2. Rehydrate your TVP with one cup of boiling water. Let stand 5 minutes.
3. Saute onion and peppers in a little olive oil until slightly tender.  Add can of chopped tomatoes, black beans, and ¾ of the jar of salsa.  Add salt and pepper to taste, and add the 2 tablespoons of cumin (adjust per your taste). Add rehydrated TVP. Let simmer.
4. Pour the other ¼ jar of salsa on the bottom of a 9x13 pan.  Put a layer of tortillas to fit the bottom of the pan on top of the salsa.
5. Add 1/3 of the bean mixture, a small amount of vegan cheese, and continue this process until the mixture is gone.  Top with another small amount of cheese, and bake for 30 minutes.

It's simple and AMAZING!  Enjoy!

1 comment:

  1. Sounds yummy. Glad to see you promoting yummy and clean vegan food. :) Many people can't imagine being vegan because they think of everything they have to give up. In reality the only thing you give up is a sick and obese body because we can still enjoy yummy clean food and be vegan. :)


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