Vegan Spicy Tofu and Black Bean Tacos

The yummy continues! We recently got a Costco membership… dangerous. A pack of 3 firm tofus… $4.99. Like I said, DANGEROUS. Pretty excited to get healthy food for cheap.

This super hot weather is perfect for tacos and old classics. I recommend this dish with The Slackers.

Once again, this recipe is an adaptation from a recipe I recently found online. Whole Foods posted this delicious recipe!


Ingredients: (recipe below with adaptations)

  • 1 (14 ounce) package extra-firm tofu, drained
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon taco seasoning
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1/2 red onion
  • 1 (15 ounce) can black beans, drained and rinsed
  •  corn tortillas, warmed (gluten free)
  • 3 cups shredded green leaf lettuce
  • 2 cups chopped tomatoes
  • 1 1/2 cup shredded cheddar or Monterey Jack cheese (Use Daiya to make vegan)
so fresh!

so fresh!


Put tofu, chili powder, oregano, cumin, coriander and salt into a bowl and mash together with a fork. Set aside.


crumble into small pieces

awesome blend of spices

awesome blend of spices

Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add garlic and two-thirds of the red onions and cook until fragrant, about 2 minutes. Add tofu mixture and cook, stirring occasionally, until most of the moisture has evaporated, 10 to 12 minutes.


Add beans and remaining red onions, stir well and cook until beans are heated through, about 5 minutes more.


Spoon tofu mixture into tortillas, top with lettuce, tomatoes and cheese and serve.


Surviving Florida Summer: How To Guide

It is HOT out. For the past week our air condition has been broken. My frizz is flying, Burt can’t catch a break and that sweat that creeps up at night has found a new home. Popsicles, watermelon and swimming pools sound fantastic to me at all times. Keeping in line with HEAT I recently submitted this post to A Breakfast Serial. Enjoy!

05-13-2009 11_33_08AM

Pre Global Guts Fiesta Outfit

This post can also be found at A Breakfast Serial.

Surviving Florida Summer: How –to Guide

Activity #1 Global Guts

Materials Needed:
(1) two swim towels
(1) swimming pool
(2) donut floats
(1) raft
(3) kids

Step 1: Kid #1 uses raft to make large waves in pool- continue waves, even if body is tired.
Step 2: Kid #2 and Kid #3 place bodies in donut floats.
Step 3: On your mark, Kid #2 and Kid #3 swim through impending waves.
Step 4: First kid to end of deep end wins leg of global guts.
Step 5:  Winner takes towel, grabs each end of towel, place towel parallel to back (reference superman for further instructions).
Step 6: Raise towel overhead, run around pool, let towel wave in the air (close eyes and imagine towel is country of origin flag)

Activity #2 Fiddler on the Roof

Materials Needed:

(1) boom box
(1) Fiddler on the Roof featuring Zero Mostel tape
(2)  towels (schmatas)
(1) swimming pool
(2) kids

Step 1: Place fiddler on the roof tape into boom box
Step 2: Fast forward tape to “Matchmaker.”
Step 3: Kid #1 and Kid #2 take towel, wrap towel around head… leaving only face exposed (reference babushka doll for further instructions).
Step 4: Press play
Step 5: Skip around pool, schmatas on heads, screaming Matchmaker

Activity #3 Maury

Materials Needed:

(1) box of bagel bites
(1) television
(2) kids

Step 1: Remove bagel bites from microwave
Step 2: Sit on ratty couch
Step 3: Turn on television; turn channel to Maury Povich show.
Step 4: Eat bagel bites
Step 5: Finish Maury, wait for Cheers

Ginger Peanut Butter Cashew Quinoa Salad

I am super happy with life! Stephen and I have been eating healthy dinners and it feels great. I love finding healthy, quick dinners that I want to continue to make. I can’t take credit for this recipe but I can definitely promote it.

First recipe that i highly recommend comes from Ambitious Kitchen. This Crunch Cashew Thai salad is BEYOND! I used PB2 instead of the suggest peanut butter. Also, I used gluten free soy sauce so this dish is 100% gluten free and vegan. I think it serves 6 people which means according to My Fitness Pal this amazing recipe is only 183 calories per serving!!!

photo (7)

The ginger peanut butter combo is great!

Burt Banana Bites

Burt has been a charmer. An absolute DELIGHT! Maybe he finally is coming out of his puppy years or maybe (just maybe) our hard work is finally paying off. Either way, we adore his behavior. To celebrate his consistent listening and good behavior I made Burt celebratory treats. I also purchased him a little token of gratitude.


He’s Here! He’s Queer! He’s ready for a camp fire. His new PRIDE threads.

Burtie Banana Bites

2 bananas
1/2 c oat flakes
2.5 tbsp peanut butter
1/3 c blueberries


How do blueberries sound?

He approves!

He approves!


  •  Preheat oven to 300 degrees
  • Mash bananas and add blueberries.


  • Fold in peanut butter an oats.
Taste test before you split up mixture

Taste test before you split up mixture


He likes it!

  • Spoon mixture onto cookie sheet.


  • Wait until they begin crisp.
  • He waits...

    He waits…

  • And waits...

    And waits…

    And now to enjoy!

    And now to enjoy!

Summer Saturday Cooking

In our house… pickles are a favorite. Stephen often teases me about my love for pickles and often references the “pickle getter tool” my parents had in our kitchen growing up. Side note: My parents had a specific tool that was a claw of sorts,  specifically designed to extract pickles from jars… serious business. Hence, we take pickles very seriously in this house.

Summer is finally here in Chicago. The humidity and heat are high which means summer foods must be celebrated! Today Stephen and I strolled the neighborhood when suddenly Stephen had an idea… fried pickles! We headed to our neighborhood organic grocery and picked up all of the items necessary to make gluten free fried pickles. I loved cooking with Stephen. Usually Stephen is my sous-chef but this go around we were equal partners and had a blast.

The recipe is easy and considering what other recipes called for its not terrible for you. I rarely (never) eat fried anything but for this special occasion I gave them a try and they were delicious!

You could also easily bake these pickles to cut down on the oil.

Gluten Free Fried Pickles




(This recipe calls for a whole jar. We used about 1/3 of the jar and then stored the remaining batter for later use)
1 Jar of sliced kosher dill pickles
3 Cups Vegetable Oil
1/2 Teaspoon Onion Powder
1 Teaspoon Garlic Powder
1/2 Teaspoon Ground Black Pepper
1/4 Teaspoon Ground Mustard Seed
1 Teaspoon Cajun seasoning
1/2 Cup gluten free bread crumbs
1.5 cups of gluten free multi purpose flour
2 Tablespoons Baking Powder

Adapted from this blog

We love pickles!

We love pickles!


1. Heat oil to 365 (have this ready to go)


2. Blend all ingredients except for pickles in a bowl



Ready for dipping!

3. With one hand grab the pickles and toss them into the blended mix (keep one hand for pickles and the other for mixing)

It can get messy!

It can get messy!

Coat evenly

Coat evenly

4. Once you coat the pickle toss it into the hot oil. Let it cook until its golden brown (about 30 seconds) and remove with a slotted spoon.


5. Remove the pickles and place on a plate covered in paper towels.


If you wish to get a thicker coat dip the pickle in the batter after its initial frying and then fry again.

6. Serve and enjoy! We used Bolthouse yogurt Ranch for our dip. To make vegan mix Veganoise, yellow mustard, and curry powder.


Fourth of July Throwback

This is part throw back… part new. I made these treats last year but never actually wrote about it. Its a win win for me! These Eagle treats were a party hit and really easy to make. If you are heading to a BBQ today and want to woo the crowd, whip these little guys up!

American Eagle Marshmallow Treats

*Warning: These are too good… be careful



  • Package of oreos
  • White chocolate (chips to melt)
  • Coconut Shreds
  • Cashews (pick out the pieces that are relatively skinny beforehand)
  • Black Icing (the pen kind is best)


**Have all of your materials ready to go, this is time sensitive and you need to move rather quickly because of the chocolate.

1. In a microwave safe bowl melt white chocolate.

2. Dip the marshmallow into the white chocolate and immediately place on oreo (use chocolate to as an adhesive)

3. Coat the chocolate covered orea with coconut shreds

4. Repeat steps 1-3 until supplies run out

5. Push cashew into the middle of the marshmallow

6. Draw two small dots above the cashew nose.

Voila! Patriotism at its finest!

The Heat

This past weekend Stephen, Kyle and I ventured to the movie theater to see The Heat. We rarely go to movies. When I do attend I usually am hyper critical of the films. At times this is a great attribute and has made for some great conversations, while at other times I wish I could just laugh at dumb stuff.

I am not quite sure what drew me to The Heat, none the less, I suggested we catch this flick. I am in support of any female led comedies. Upon arrival the credits rolled and I noticed Paul Fieg directed and produced it. I began to feel more confident in our choice. I am a fan of Fieg’s work and have adored him since the good ol’ days of Freaks and Geeks.


I do not like how photoshopped McCartney is… bad move 😦

The verdict:
This movie was fantastic! I was surprised by the themes and choice in delivery for particular subjects.

It was consistently funny
The film was crude and genuine. Although it was vulgar, it wasn’t trying to prove a point. Sometimes I think female led comedies think they need to be overly vulgar to make up for the fact that they are in a rare position as leading ladies. The Heat is bold, but it never feels awkward. Melissa McCartney nails every line and does a phenomenal job acting through a range of emotions.

As an active member of the Young Activist Council for Chicago Alliance Against Sexual Exploitation I am hyper aware of media’s portrayal of prostitution. We meet McCartney as she stakes out a transaction between a prostitute and a john. I was sitting on the edge of my seat anticipating how she would handle the two. I hoped she would put the blame on the rightful people (the john and pimp)… and she did. She makes a comment to the prostitute but overall her focus is on bringing justice to those who are seeking the services. It was beautiful to see the rightful perpetrators be brought to justice.

Gender in the Workplace
The film was not scared of acknowledging the misogyny that is still incredibly relevant in the workplace.  In a scene where Bullock and McCartney are confronted by a DEA agent they have an open dialogue about the difficulties they face in their respective agencies because of their gender. Through a comedic lens they shed light on how difficult their positions are and how they must work harder than their peers just to be recognized as somewhat equal.

Love Interests
There weren’t any! I think this is the first female comedy (ever) that does not even dabble with a love interest. At the end of the film Marlon Wayans winks at Bullock, but aside from that second of film time… the women’s love interests are absent from the plot. There are consistent jokes and references to the women’s sexuality but the the women own their sexuality. The women carry the film on their own without the help of a man, and its awesome and so refreshing.


Over your Fourth Of July holiday opt for The Heat and support female comedy!


I love popsicles. One of my favorite Chicago summer staples is the popsicle carts. Nothing is better than laying on the beach and then suddenly… the popsicle bell! A refreshing fruit popsicle in the hot sun is just divine!

I have begun dabbling in my own popsicle making! The combinations are endless and they are super low calorie.


IKEA- $2!
I also purchased additional holders from Target for $3.

Strawberry Kiwi Popsicles


Tangy and Tart!

1 c frozen strawberries 1 ripe kiwi Vanilla Almond Milk (pour to thin out mixture)

1 c frozen strawberries
1 ripe kiwi
Vanilla Almond Milk (pour to thin out mixture)

Add ingredients to blender and set to puree

Add ingredients to blender and set to puree

the leftovers made for a tasty smoothie!

the leftovers made for a tasty smoothie!

*You can use coconut milk or  coconut water instead of almond milk

Muscle Beach

Happy July! Summer is here and life could not be better. Sunshine, dresses, and…. Annette Funicello.


Love summer!


Last week I hosted a vintage summer party for my beautiful friends and it was inspired by all things summer. To prepare for the party I researched mid-century foods and recipes. Jell-o became a central part of the party as it is a necessity for any vintage party.  The dishes were fun to make and I loved putting together the playlist.

Some of the tunes came from Beach Party. This album is the perfect




Cherry Coke Jell-o
Groovy Jell- Salad
Pigs in a Blanket (vegetarian)
Green Olives (a must for any mid-century shin dig)
Pineapple Upside Down Cake
Smores Bars
Fruit Salad
Cheese Plate (Swiss, Cheddar, Pepperjack)
Finger Foods: Cashews, Chips, Chocolate Covered Raisins


Gin & Tonics
Summer Sangria



Lime Jell-O blended with cream cheese and walnuts. Served wit cool whip, cantaloupe, and watermelon.

Lime Jell-O blended with cream cheese and walnuts. Served wit cool whip, cantaloupe, and watermelon.


how very American… cheese!

Wrap veggie hot dogs in crescent rolls and bake for 10 minutes

Wrap veggie hot dogs in crescent rolls and bake for 10 minutes

Summer is the best for fruit!

Summer is the best for fruit!

Gluten free and delicious! Due to time constraints I used the Duncan Hines gluten free yellow cake mix, it was great!

Gluten free and delicious! Due to time constraints I used the Duncan Hines gluten free yellow cake mix, it was great!

Cherry Coke Jell-O This was a party favorite! Combine cherry jell-o, coke zero, and cherry pie filling!

Cherry Coke Jell-O
This was a party favorite! Combine cherry jell-o, coke zero, and cherry pie filling!

Smore's Bars (another favorite). These no bake treats are great.

Smore’s Bars (another favorite). These no bake treats are great.

Summer sangria! White wine base.

Summer sangria! White wine base.

This was Stephen's area :)

This was Stephen’s area 🙂

Happy Summer!

*If you want any of the recipes message me and I would be happy to pass them along. Most I just found on google searches.

Lean In and Stop Whining

I have had so many posts running through my brain but unfortunately due to circumstances my time on the computer is limited and thus I reserved my typing for Smarty Pants. However, I NEED to get this out.

Lean In: Women, Work, and the Will to Lead has been widely critiqued both within popular media and feminist circles. Additionally, when I bring up the text to just about anyone immediately their eye begins to wince and their lip quivers. They follow up their facial twitch with “ew I don’t like that book.” I immediately ask: “have you read the book?” The response 99% of the time is: “no.”

I think it is easy to read op-eds from fancy journalists and take their word. Its also really easy to avoid dealing with a tremendous and daunting problem we have in our country (or world :)). Sheryl Sandberg (as privileged of a beautiful Jew she is) isn’t just taking on getting a parking spot for pregnant ladies, she is taking on patriarchy and as we all know from our time in Women’s Studies courses… patriarchy sucks and is a difficult beast to tackle. I am not shocked that people would rather critique then indulge in the text’s points because if they were to take Sandberg’s points and assign value to them, then that would mean they are part of a movement that can be uncomfortable and difficult.

A breakdown of why your critiques are invalid:

1. Sheryl Sandberg is privileged which makes her points irrelevant.

Congratulations! You have done a magnificent job of pointing out the obvious. It would make little sense for someone who works at a fast food restaurant to write a text about gaining power. Sandberg also acknowledges who her intended audience is, and her role within the corporate sphere in the first few pages. Sure, Sandberg was able to gain power because she attended a well regarded undergraduate an graduate institution but this argument does two things. First, it negates all hard work she put into getting into those two schools (last I checked I am a Jew and I wasn’t automatically accepted to Harvard). Secondly, it is just another form of the same ol’ critique that surrounds women of power. Do people question Obama’s validity? My sources tell me went to a fancy undergrad and grad school and guess what… he is still seen as a relatable human!

This entire conversation makes me think of the hierarchy of power I referenced frequently with my students. We as a country have three classes of people. We have lower class (work jobs that require no thought), middle class (a job that requires a specific skill set) and the wealthy (jobs that require innovation and critical analysis). To gain wealth you need to be able to think. The thinkers are the influencers and their thoughts eventually dictate the work and rolls of the other two classes. I love grassroots efforts (which Sandberg is trying to cultivate with her Lean In circles but I think its also critical we acknowledge that we need women like Sandberg, one of the wealthy folk to be thinking about these systems. At the end of the day… she does have power because of her status. Yes, her power is of less value to society because she is a lady, but she has found her way to the class that makes the big decisions. Her point about women needing to be in more leadership positions gets to this very point. We can march and protest all we want (and these are beautiful ways to get your point out) but we also need people at the top making major changes to be our allies. It never hurt anyone to have a friend at the top.

2. Sheryl Sandberg is exploiting feminism:

Great… exploit! Her entire chapter on her role within the feminist movement was refreshing. My beautiful and lovely feminist allies need to take a step back and calm down. Who cares that she references Gloria Steinem on every page? The fact of the matter is… she is referencing feminism constantly and isn’t that something to be excited about? I can not tell you how many books, articles, and conversations I have been a part of where the central topic is “how do we get people to not be scared of the word feminism?” Well here is one platform that seems to be pretty darn successful.  We should be celebrating these efforts. Perhaps the general public isn’t being introduced to feminism through punk or a zine but they are being exposed and isn’t that what we want?

3. Sheryl Sandberg hates moms:

Really? I just can’t.


Lean In and stop critiquing:

We should always be critical of any body of work. But I think our need to analyze…. analyze… analyze…. is hindering our ability to see the real value in this text. If we are going to shift our systems of oppression we need to tackle it from all angles. Further, I don’t care which power class you belong to: being told you are worth power is always relevant. Having a supportive partner is ALWAYS relevant. Asking for what you want while using an authoritative authentic voice is a must, and realizing that YOU ARE OF VALUE is a lesson we all should not only listen to but embody.

Also please note that I could have written about 3 more pages about my obsession with the ideas of this book, but instead of me telling you why its amazing, just go out and READ it (don’t just watch the TedTalks).