Happy Monday! Did you have a fantastic weekend? We hope you did! It was a bit gray and soggy in the Chicago area this weekend, but thankfully, Mother Nature saw fit to clear the sky for Alex’s college graduation party yesterday. That was a gift in and of itself!!
Today is Kick-Start Monday. That means eating healthier than you did over the weekend, kicking up your exercise routine, and shedding the sins of the weekend and starting fresh. We have some shedding to do. After a weekend of celebrating, there are definitely some calories to burn, and this vegan breakfast (or lunch, or dinner) burrito will help us do just that. But first, back to the party.
Her party was at her grandparent’s gentleman’s farm in Wisconsin, it's named Stone Fences because the property is surrounded by field stone fences, made by the original owner. It's a magnificent gathering place that they bought and completely transformed over the past twenty years. It’s located between our home and my husband’s sister’s home, which makes it convenient, something we all appreciate. It’s also close to my family, so they were able to be there. To make it even better, Alex’s boyfriend and his parents made the drive from Chicago. She couldn’t have been happier.
Let me tell you a little bit about this spectacular farm. It’s over 160 acres of breathtaking. There is a pine forest, two ponds – one large enough for paddle boating or kayaking, woods, trails, stone walls, field stone barns, a tiny beach, pastures, and corn and soy bean fields.
This is the view from the deck off of the kitchen and breakfast room. A little slice of Heaven.
Alex in front of the gate that her Nonna made.
There are also iron sculptures, that my mother-in-law made, dotting the landscape, there's the charming original farmhouse, an incredible new home that is truly something out of a home decorator’s magazine, gardens, and a tennis court.
And…… my in-laws raise chickens, and they have sheep, some of their own and some that they keep for neighbors. It’s a magical place, especially for animal and nature lovers like us.
Look at that face! Don't you just want to cuddle???
I could have hung out with the sheep for the entire day. They're so funny! Each one has it's own personality.
Yes, we did plan our outfits! We were hoping to get a great photo for our blog. I think we got more than one!!!
One of our favorite parts of the house is the kitchen. It’s large, but not too large. It’s also a chef’s dream. It has a large Viking oven, an island with a sink, tons of counter space, and a view to die for. What more could you want?
Since Alex and I are the only vegans (my sister-in-law and niece are vegetarian/vegans), we offered to make most of the food, and funny enough, all of it was a hit.
We made Portobello mushroom burgers, a vegan Cobb salad, hummus, my vegan pizza, and corn on the cob. For dessert, a berry crumble and chocolate coconut cupcakes. They are the same recipe as my chocolate cake recipe, only I swapped the almond milk for coconut milk and added shredded coconut to the batter.
My mother-in-law made our favorite Asian salad –recipe coming soon -, and a gorgeous fudge bottom pie, which we couldn’t eat because it had whipped cream on top. I do have to admit, I would have loved a bite of that pie! This is definitely something that I will try converting to vegan.
My mother-in-law, Alex's Nonna, is a talented artisan who designed every nook and cranny of this gorgeous home.
Our day was filled with family, good food, a stunning setting, lots of laughter, and sheep. Can you tell that was one of the highlights of the day?
Unfortunately, all good things must come to an end, so here we are, back home (not that that’s a bad thing), on Monday, and it’s raining (enough already!), again.
Although we ate mostly healthy this past weekend, we did have cupcakes, berry crumble, and some wine. Not terrible, but enough extra calories and sugar to make us want to get back on track.
Since it’s Kick-Start Monday, we thought it would be wise to begin the day, or end it, with a protein, antioxidant filled meal. You can make this for breakfast, lunch, or dinner, but we ate it in the morning, hence the name, breakfast burrito.
This is really easy, especially if you make the beans beforehand and just keep them in the refrigerator so that you can add them to other recipes throughout the week.
So….you guessed it, this recipe begins with beans. Since you’re making them anyway, make extra, you can add them to salads, or just eat them alone. They also make a good dip with corn chips, but that’s not really what kick-starting the week is about, so forget that I said that.
Open and rinse two cans of black beans (BPA free cans if possible, Eden Organics is a safe brand), and rinse them well. Put them in a large sauce pan and cover with water. Add the spices and diced onion and garlic and stir often until the water evaporates. Easy peasy!
While the beans are cooking you can sauté the onions, Swiss chard, and tofu, and chop the tomatoes and lettuce.
The last step is to heat the tortillas, corn or flour. You can heat them in the microwave, or, if you have a gas stove, hold one with a tong and put it over a low flame for a few seconds and then flip.
One burrito is enough to carry you through until mid-morning, and it will give you tons of energy. If you’re making them for dinner, have two and make a salad to go on the side.
Here’s to a productive, happy, healthy week!