Spicy Vegan Refried Beans

Spicy Vegan Refried Beans

Ingredients

  • 1 pound dried pinto beans
  • Kosher salt
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 medium onions, one split in half, one chopped (about 1 cup)
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 3 medium cloves garlic, minced on a microplane grater (about 1 tablespoon)
  • 1 jalapeño pepper, seeded and finely minced (about 1 tablespoon, optional)
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped canned chipotle chilies in adobo sauce (optional)

Directions

  1. Place beans in a large bowl and add 1 gallon water. Stir in two tablespoons kosher salt. Set aside at room temperature and let rest overnight. The next day, drain and rinse beans. Transfer to a large Dutch oven. Add bay leaf, split onion, and 3 quarts water. Bring to a boil over high heat, reduce to a bare simmer, cover, and cook until beans are completely tender and skins are loose, 2 to 2 1/2 hours. Discard onion and bay leaves. Drain beans, reserving liquid. (See note above for pressure cooker or canned bean variations).
  2. Heat vegetable oil in a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat until shimmering. Add onions, garlic, and jalapeño (if using) and cook, stirring frequently, until softened but not browned, about 3 minutes. Add beans and chipotle (if using) and cook, folding with a wooden spoon until homogenous. Add 2 cups of reserved bean liquid. Mash beans with a potato masher until desired consistency is reached, adding extra cooking liquid as necessary to loosen to desired texture. If smoother texture is required, use a hand blender or a food processor to process beans to desired texture. Season with salt to taste. Serve. Uneaten beans can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.

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Thai Spiced Tomato Soup

Thai Spiced Tomato Soup

Ingredients:

  • 1 white onion, chopped
  • 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 2 tablespoons Thai Kitchen red curry paste
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 2 (14-oz) cans reduced-sodium vegetable broth
  • 1 (28-oz) can crushed tomatoes
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 tablespoon packed brown sugar (you can skip this if you are sugar conscience)
  • juice of 1/2 lime
  • a handful of cilantro leaves

Preparation:

1. Cook onion in oil in a 4- to 5-qt heavy pot over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 6 minutes. Add curry paste and cumin and cook, stirring, 2 minutes.

2. Add broth, tomatoes, water, brown sugar, and 1/4 tsp salt and simmer 15 minutes.

3. Puree soup in batches in a blender or using an immersion blender (be careful when blending hot liquids). Return soup to pot and reheat if necessary. Otherwise stir in lime juice and serve immediately. Sprinkle a few cilantro leaves and enjoy. Serves 4

Dear Unsupersize Me Movie Viewers,

Dear Unsupersize Me Movie Viewers,

So it’s been threes weeks from one of the best nights of my life…the movie premier of Unsupersize Me and I have seen an unexpected response from many of the viewers. Some of the questions asked the most are below:

1. Are you still vegan?

Answer: Heck yeah! Why would I not?!?!

2. Do you still work out?

Answer: Heck yeah! Why would I not?!?!

3. What was the hardest part?

Answer: well this one isn’t quite as easy to answer.

The truth is that the diet and exercise was the easy part of my journey. I did have some struggles along the way, but never with the diet. My body IMMEDIATELY felt better from eating a plant-based whole foods diet. It helped my mood improve, sleep better, have more energy, and in general be a better person. There is no way I could have ever endured the Zen Fitness workouts, if I was still eating the crap I used to.

The main struggles were some emotional ones. While my daily life activities changed, my thought processes and personality changed as well, and this left me struggling to keep up. I realized that my fat was a large emotional cover up. I was very jaded, sarcastic, and some might even say mean-spirited. I realized during this change, that I was mean and sarcastic in an effort to scare people so that they didn’t hurt my feelings. No one was going to hurt my feelings, if I got to them first. I had a “Don’t care!” attitude and I honestly thought that I didn’t care what people had to say. As the pounds came off, I started to get a lot more sensitive. Things that “friends” were saying about my new life was hurtful to me and my feelings were hurt. What used to be my old sense of humor is now recognized to be a very negative way of thinking that came from trying to protect myself from having my feelings hurt.

During the year of filming, I lost a few friends, had struggles at work, dating, shopping, and finding my way in new social circles. I lost the comfort from my big fat security blankey and was vulnerable. Every aspect of my life had changed and my mind was left to try to catch up with it.

But it is! And everyday of my life get better and better. I have made new friends that support my lifestyle changes. I’m more sensitive to people’s thoughts and feelings. I have a new house, job, car, friends, and relationship and things are looking pretty darn good. My mind is catching up to what I have done with my body and both are looking forward to the future.

With the premiere of Unsupsersize Me, it was a big reminder of how far Carly and I have come on this project. To see people’s honest reactions helped me to realize that many people were in my same old fat shoes. I hope that the film will show people how easy the diet and exercise part of it is and how great it feels to have your mind catch up with it! I’m truly humbled by everyone that has reached out to me after watching the film and gave questions and comments. Keep em coming!!!

Best Regards,

Tracy Ryan