Engine 2 – Day 21: Portobello Fajitas, Tips, Birthdays and More :)

Hi Friends!

Why is this time of year so busy?  In hindsight, I would have picked a better time to do this challenge.  SO I WILL DO IT AGAIN and again, and again…! :)  But, for someone who has had multiple birthdays, my anniversary, and just a lot going on at work, I think I have done pretty well.

Birthday Uncle - the flowers are for birthday Mom, miss you Mom!


Birthday Husband

As I mentioned in my previous post, the hardest thing for me to avoid has been oil! It’s practically unavoidable in restaurants, which I simply cannot stay away from.  My job requires a lot of working lunches, and so restaurants, it is.   My eating out tip (if going to a Mexican restaurant, which is basically all they have in Texas!):  Order Veggie Enchiladas, no cheese, sub avocado inside of the enchilada instead of the cheese.  Oh and get black beans, unlike what’s shown below.

Chuys Veggie Enchiladas, No Cheese, Sub Avocado Inside (I didn't eat those beans!)

BUT…. I did……I cheated AGAIN.  Ugh!!! There was a birthday dinner and I was in another restaurant that was not vegan-friendly, so what’s a girl to do?  Order Sea Bass! Now, I KNOW there have to be some people out there reading this who think that a couple of slip-ups that include a couple pieces of fish isn’t a big deal – but I am hard on myself when I cheat.  And since I cheated, I also had dessert.  I cannot tell a lie.  I’m back on track though!  And I FEEL GREAT!!  To be honest, physically I didn’t feel all that bad after “cheating”.  And, I believe the reason is because I am already squeaky clean.  My body can handle a “cheat”.  My body can NOT handle eating like that all the time.

Cheater, cheater, a couple bites of bread pudding eater!

Other than that, I’ve been doing really great, and I find it SO easy to eat Vegan.  On the day I started this challenge, I was literally almost shaking at the thought of trying to eat vegan for 28 days.  I wondered what in the world to eat for breakfast.  Then it dawned on me that I wouldn’t really have to change all that much, as I eat pretty well anyway.  A breakfast staple for me is this Nature’s Path Pumpkin Cereal with Coconut Milk.  Now, I realize it may be somewhat processed, but I think it’s still considered E2 Friendly.  :)  I also really enjoy THIS – Vegan Overnight Oats!  Oh my gosh, it’s like dessert for breakfast!   Sometimes I add a sprinkle of Cacao to it as well.  It’s fabulous!

Another favorite staple of mine right now is this lentil soup (minus the oil – just saute onions/garlic in some veggie broth).  It is SUCH a great soup to make because you will get so many meals out of this!  Some of you may have seen that I even made it for a teacher luncheon last week, but it ended up on my floor mat in my somewhat new car instead of into the stomachs of well-deserving teachers.  I was REALLY SAD about this!   It took TWO trips to the detail shop to deal with getting all of the soup out of the car.  I’m still waiting for the day that it REALLY starts to smell.  So far, so good.

It's a good idea to lock down your crock pot prior to transporting! :(

Some of these recipes may seem like they have a lot of ingredients, but let me assure you that they are not hard to make if you have the right spices.  Some of them just have a lot of spices.  Speaking of spices, please, if you are reading this – make sure you have spice spoons!  I thought I might have the greatest invention in the world – I even drew them out – and then I looked for them on Amazon – and they exist. :)  So, I ordered them right away.  They have really made my life a lot easier. :)  Another tip if you are looking for time-savers:  Keep your kitchen stocked with chopped onions and peeled garlic, ready for your press!  Sure, it’s a little more expensive than chopping yourself.  But, seriously, it makes vegan meal making about 100 times faster and easier.

RSVP Spice Measuring Spoon, Set of 6

And…I’m still enjoying my Greenling Delivery Service.  Oh my gosh, they make my life a lot easier too!  I got a new box today and just tonight, I had the BEST Portobello Fajitas!  Why didn’t I eat like this before?  Who would want to ruin this meal with chicken or artery clogging beef?

Portobello Fajitas – SOOO EASY!

  • 4 Portobello Mushrooms, Sliced
  • 1 Sliced Large Onion
  • 2 Bell Peppers (your favorite colors) – Sliced and seeded
  • 1 Jalapeno (if you desire), sliced
  • 12 corn or whole grain tortillas
  • 2 Sliced avocados
  • 1 can black beans
  • Salsa
  • ………….
  • Saute onion and peppers for about 5 minutes, until they start to turn  - then add mushrooms and cook for another 5 minutes
  • Serve on tortillas and top with with jalapeno, sliced avocado, fresh salsa, and black beans (that you heated in the microwave for about 1 minute)
  • Serves 4 – feel free to add rice or a salad on the side!

Here is my dinner plan for the week – all chopped and ready to be made.  I am literally looking forward to each and every one of these!

Day 1 – Portobello Fajitas with Black Beans

Day 2 – Baked Sweet Potato w/ Roasted Peppers and Greens w/ Cashew Sauce

Day 3 – Spinach and Mushroom Stacked Enchiladas w/ Black Beans

Day 4 – Mac and Not Cheese w/ Greens

Day 5 – Savory Lentil and Greens Soup

Oh, one more tip before I leave you – try this Cashew Sauce when you make greens.  You only need a spoonful to top your greens.  I have heard some feedback from a couple of people who just couldn’t seem to get down their greens (cooked kale, collards, etc.).  This may help you!

Cashew Sauce for Greens (Engine 2 Recipe)

  • 1/2 cup toasted cashews (toast them in your oven or on the skillet for just a few minutes)
  • 1 tablespoon tamari
  • 1-2 cloves garlic, depending on how much you like garlic or how badly you want to keep the vampires away!
  • Blend in a food processor or any high powered food processor – Like Vitamix

My last day of the challenge is officially next Thursday.  I’ll get my blood taken next Friday so I can compare before/after!  The funny thing is that while I know I’ll cheat here and there, I don’t intend to stop the “challenge”.  I feel like I should be on a permanent challenge to be meat and dairy free – and to limit my oil and any sugars as much as possible.  It just MAKES SENSE!  And, I think that is what taking this challenge is all about.  Not to end up with some sort of perfection, but to learn what works for you and to discover how easy, fun, and delicious it can be to eat meals that don’t have dead animal and pus-filled dairy in them!  (Sorry about that…)

I’ll try to upload some other E2 recipes that I’ve enjoyed sometime this weekend!  Thank you, Engine 2, for challenging me to do this challenge! :) I’m loving it!

Love and health…



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About Kim

I am the mother of two wonderful kiddos, Allen and Zane - and happily married to Lance (HealthyDaddy). :) I love learning about healthy eating and my journey led me to finding a way to keep all of this truly exciting information in one place. I found that I was forgetting recipes that I loved a year ago - or misplacing them. This website is a way to keep it together, while sharing with the world (Or the 5 people who will read this!) what I have learned. I'm trying to change the world...or at least our eating habits...one meal at a time. :)


  1. Melissa says:

    LOVE LOVE LOVE so many things about this post!! Must get those spoons! Must try those fajitas…they sound crazy good! Only thing I didn’t love…having to see that darn lentil soup photo again and the puss reference. haha! :) xoxox!

  2. Judy says:

    Hi! just found your blog. looking forward to reading it. off topic, but Inoticed the pic of your spill. I also have a VW, and i got these GREAT mats for it. Not as pretty, but very handy for keeping it clean. (this sounds like an ad, gad) http://www.weathertech.com/store/product.aspx?ParentGroupId=1&ItemGroupId=52

    • Kim says:

      Hi Judy! I have great rubber mats too – but the spill was so massive, the liquid went all around the mats, and under the seat! Ugh! I’m glad you found our blog – welcome. :)

  3. Katie Stewart says:

    Eating out out is not too tough when it comes to avoiding animal products. You can make a meal from the sides add a pasta dish minus meat/fish and/ or salad. I know because my husband has many buisness lunches from a lot of crappy restaurants! Also he will bring lunch or have a dairy free amy’s burrito and those days he has to eat out he will order small and just eat the burrito before or after. Just some ideas! Thanks for recipes! Looking forward to see your follow up labs!

  4. JoycieB says:

    This made me LOL for real! Love the picture of the floor mats with the spillage!!! Thanks for the meal plan layout; makes it look so simple really!

  5. Rick says:

    As for breakfast & lunch I have found it pretty easy by just more or less finding something that works and staying with those choices . For me breakfast is Ezekiel Whiole Whole Grain Cereal topped with sliced bananas ,ground Flaxseed and almond milk , with a side of Ezekiel Whole Wheat bread with Polaner All Fruit with fiber spread…occasionally I substitute the Whole Foods 365 Instant Oatmeal..this is a breakfast that gets me thru to lunch consistently… ( hey ,if you think that lacks variety…I used to consistantly eat eggs every morning, for years!! ),.Lunch is typically a healthy veggie salad with plenty of beans etc..which I either prepare myself or get from one of many salad bars ….I have been eating strictly plant strong for several months now ,feel great..and like many others ..wonder why I ever ate any other way ….good luck.

  6. Engine 2 says:

    As for the coconut milk – we don’t generally recommend it – try soy milk, almond milk, some of the oat milks are good as well. Generally the rule is that the calories from fat has to be under 20%. So let’s say something has 100 calories – the calories from fat should be less than 20 calories. But it looks like you are not consuming huge amounts, we use non dairy milk only in cereal in the morning.

    While we’re on label reading – the other thing to check is sodium, sodium should be 1mg of sodium per 1 calorie – so if something has 100 calories it should have no more than 100 mg of sodium (per serving)

    Hope that helps a little – Jeff Novick has a great DVD all about reading labels if you are interested :)

    But you are doing great! You’ll get the eating out thing down – it takes a little time to get comfortable asking for healthy plant-strong meals (especially on business lunches) but the more you do it, the more you will start to see the possibilities of what you can have, rather than only see what you can not have. It definitely gets easier as time goes on though! We’ve all been there :)

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