muddy footsteps

Veggie tacos with black bean and corn salad

Posted in Food & Recipes, gluten-free, Health/Nutrition, lunch by nicolejanaye on July 17, 2012

This past weekend my aunt whipped together this incredible dinner that had me going back for seconds. It was simple, easy, and delicious. The plan was to originally have fish tacos, but after cooking the fish we decided to toss it out. I don’t think it was the freshest batch at the store. So instead of fish, she grilled up zucchini, sauteed some onions, and sliced up avocado and tomatoes. The tortillas were an artisan brand that were handmade by a lady from the store. You can taste the difference, it was so much better. I topped my tacos off with some salsa and tapatio to give it a spicy kick. Along side was the famous black bean and corn salad. You would think it’s just a plain jane side salad, but it actually had a ton of flavor and the lime dressing with cayenne and garlic gave it a freshness with a kick.

Black Bean and Corn Salad

  • 2/3 cup fresh lime juice
  • 1 cup olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
  • 4 (15 ounce) cans black beans, rinsed and drained
  • hot sauce (add to your liking)
  • 3 cups frozen corn kernels
  • 2 avocados- peeled, pitted and diced
  • 2 red bell peppers, chopped
  • 4 tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 cup fresh cilantro, chopped (optional)
  • 2 mangoes, chopped
  • 1/2 red onion, chopped

Place lime juice, olive oil, garlic, salt, and cayenne pepper in a small jar. Cover with lid, and shake until ingredients are well mixed. In a salad bowl combine beans, corn, avocado, bell pepper, tomatoes, red onions, mangoes, and cilantro. Shake lime dressing, and pour it over the salad. Stir salad to coat vegetable and beans with dressing, and serve.

*I got this recipe from my aunt who found it on the internet, so this is not my own creation. Also, the recipe yields a very large portion. I would half or even quarter the recipe if you are making this for one-two people.


simple living

Posted in Breakfast, Food & Recipes by nicolejanaye on April 9, 2011

How to explain the things rambling through my mind…These last few months have been a whirlwind. It’s weird but I’ve slowly been sinking into a life of monotonous agendas, routines that I could do blind folded, and eating food that my stomach recognizes so intently that it could cook itself, blind folded.

Moving back to a ‘city’ where a car is needed to get from A to B and all the way to Z is somewhat exhausting. I dislike driving, I always have. I don’t like the idea of dropping $50+ in that tub of oil that is fueling my vehicle to puff out fumes and exhaust in the streets. I would much rather be riding my bike, walking, heck even jump roping to do these routines. But in a city where I live twenty minutes driving distance away, have hills that when you climb them you can see your gas tank drop, and gym bags full of shower care to clean me up after I sweat a pound or two, it’s difficult to manage all that while rollerblading to school or work. It’s not just driving that has gotten to me, but the technology that is consuming my life.

I think I’ve fried my brain of technology. To be honest, I don’t watch tv. I think it’s a waste of time, makes you lazy and should only be used for limited pleasure, on occasion. However, the computer and internet consume a lot of my time. I don’t like that. I tweet, facebook and check my email too often to be true. This glow on my computer screen has practically turned into a night-light. I used to be this adventurous girl, rafting class 5 white waters, climbing 200 foot walls in between a high flowing waterfall. I used to ride my bike everyday to class, use the outdoors as my gym, play softball and football on a regular basis. My closest connection to the outdoors is nature sounds radio playing on my phone as I fall asleep. I’m extremely blessed to be in a beautiful home, a room to myself, my own bathroom and fireplace, warm blankets and an amazing view to come home to every night. Not that I’ve taken advantage of this lifestyle, but I think I’ve lost my appreciation for it and forget that I’m lucky to have a roof over my head. 

I’ve had debates about today’s technology numerous times. I think it’s amazing the things that our world has created, developed, and we continue to push the limits. However, I think most of us have abused the technology. It’s here to make our world easier but not to consume us.  Carl Benz and Gottlieb Daimler helped create the first car, Alexander Graham Bell invented the telephone, Charles Babbage was the first to conceptualize the computer, and without these inventions we wouldn’t be where we are today. But this isn’t for us to take over our lives. It’s to help make things easier, more convenient, and let you run the rest of your day with ease.

This past week I’ve been doing a lot of thinking. I took a day to myself and went in search for inspiration; inspiration for my life, for my future career, for my education, and for today. I was guided in the right direction and began to explore it. I found this saying, “the secret of a better life is: eating right, working out, sleeping well, indulging responsibly, and reading.” I would have to add laughing often, to complete it.

My goal from here on out is to focus on school. I need to finish my college education so that I don’t need to be working out a coffee shop any longer. I’m going to limit my computer time for school, the occasional blog post and indulging in the social media in small amounts, well smaller than what I’ve been doing. Riding my bike to school and work isn’t an option for me right now, but I’m going to try to minimize my driving time as much as possible. When I eat, I’m going to eat. I’m not going to check out twitter, update my facebook status, drive, put on make-up or do anything else but focus on what’s happening at that moment. Now don’t think I’m turning into this crazy hippie, I’m just trying to get back to my roots, to things I truly enjoy in life, and feel better about the way I chose to live my life. I’m working on an article for a magazine my school is creating. The title is ‘simple eating’. If I strive to eat foods with simple, healthy ingredients, shouldn’t I be living my life that way as well?

Today is a new beginning and now it’s my turn to focus on the present. I want to leave you all with a quick meal that I whipped up for breakfast. After I submit the ‘publish’ button, it’s my time to get the day going.


High-protein breakfast scramble


  • Eggs (cage free & organic) *
  • Black beans
  • Quinoa
  • Garlic oil or sun-dried tomato oil (optional)


  1. Cook your quinoa as directed on the box. Near the end of the cooking process, I like to add garlic oil to the quinoa. If you roast garlic cloves in a baking sheet, covered with olive oil, it will emit a wonderful liquid that can be used as you would olive oil. Plus, it has an incredible taste.
  2. Whether you choose to use a can of black beans (rinsed, of course) or cook your own, heat them up in a separate pan, drizzled with your choice of oil. Don’t be afraid of olive oil. I use a small amount, but it’s healthy fat. People are so afraid of avocados, olive oil, and nuts but decide to eat a snickers bar sometime during the day. Our bodies need healthy fat. Don’t be afraid of it.
  3. Combine the black beans and quinoa and crack an egg or two over the mixture. Sometimes I scramble them and other times I keep them sunny-side up.
  4. Top with fresh basil.

*You can find this list somewhere on the internet but there are 10 foods that should ALWAYS be consumed organic. Eating 100% organic is amazing but not many people can afford to eat this way. However, eggs made the list and should always be consumed as organic.



Learned my lesson

Posted in Food & Recipes by nicolejanaye on January 14, 2011

Speaking of hypocrites. Sorry folks, but today I took a fat bite out of the hypocritical cake.

On a regular basis it’s important to eat balanced meals so that you are getting plenty of vitamins and nutrients. If you work out on top of your usual routine, it’s imperative to get plenty of protein, calories and electrolytes. Well this past week has been a fun little doozy for me. Last Thursday I had 4 wisdom teeth pulled. Good times.

So this week I’ve been laying off the gym and living off bananas, sweet potatoes, and soy yogurt. I’ve somewhat gotten to a point where I’m tired of eating and making food. I can hardly open my mouth and can only chew with my front chompers. It’s exhausting and I’m sick of not being able to eat properly. Needless to say, I haven’t been getting enough nutrients and calories. I went to bed hungry last night and woke up hungry. Unfortunately bad timing because I had training at the gym at 6:30 AM. I live 2o minutes away and I like to get there early to warm up. This meaning, I have to wake up extra early to be there on time. I managed to shovel down a banana and take literally two sips from a protein drink. Let’s just say the end of the workout wasn’t so swell. I actually managed to do the entire workout pretty well for the mind and body set I was in, but I was somewhat a mess afterwards.

I’ve learned my lesson.

So from this experience I would like to share with you guys this healthy dish. It’s perfect for a post-workout meal and filled with plenty of protein.

When you exercise and work out muscles, you are literally tearing the tissue apart. You NEED protein to help build the muscle back. Each element of this meal has a good source of protein.


  • Quinoa
  • Black beans
  • Sun-dried tomatoes
  • Olive Oil
  • Eggs
  • Salt(Kosher or Sea Salt ONLY)/Pepper


  1. Prepare the quinoa accordingly to the box. Make them a tad bit undone because they will be cooked further later in the meal.
  2. Cook your own black beans or strain/wash a can of organic black beans. Combine the black beans and quinoa in a medium sauté pan. Add a portion of sun-dried tomatoes with a tablespoon of olive oil to the combination. Sprinkle with salt and crackle some black pepper over top. Once everything has been warmed, transfer your dish to a plate.
  3. Fry up two eggs in the pan and place on top of the black bean/quinoa mixture. I like to cook them just enough so that the yolk is still liquid, so that when you transfer them on top of your mixture, you can slice the yolk and it will run throughout the rest of the food.

I hope this dish seems as appetizing to you as it does for me. Now it’s time to get my butt back into gear and eat plenty of food!

Special Mint Brownies

Posted in Food & Recipes by nicolejanaye on March 24, 2010

Alright so not that special but they are quite unique.

I actually got this recipe from my grandma and adjusted it from there. It’s going to sound a bit strange and un-appetizing but don’t judge before you try them. I actually prefer them to ‘normal’ brownies. Plus, I can’t have normal brownies anyways because of the egg.


  • 1 package of brownie mix
  • 1 can of black beans
  • 1 TSP peppermint extract


  1. Blend the entire can of black beans. Don’t drain the liquid.
  2. Combine the wet ingredients (blended black beans & mint extract) with the dry ingredients (brownie mix)
  3. Bake as normal.

That’s it.

They are awesome. I actually bake the brownies on a cookie sheet. The batter fits perfectly and I like how the brownies are a little bit thinner than normal. Also, after the brownies cool, I put them in the freezer. It brings out the mint flavor and provides an added freshness to the dessert. Just like after brushing your teeth and then drinking water. You can sub out the mint extract with nuts, chocolate chunks, and even a packet of VIA to make mocha brownies.

Not only are these brownies vegan (if you get a brownie mix without dairy) but they have a boost of protein and fiber and contain no added oil.

Don’t judge the book by it’s cover.

They might sound strange but you might get hooked.

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