Whistle While You Work!

by Angela (Oh She Glows) on August 2, 2010

Hi there =)

We had a really tiring and physical day, but we also had a fun time today. We spent a couple hours in the basement sanding (no pics yet, too much dust) and then almost 4 hours doing yard work. Weeding, mowing the lawn, pruning, removing dead shrubs/vines, etc! Eric said I did a great job today. I beamed with pride (usually I have no confidence with renos and yard work type endeavors!)

IMG_1829 IMG_1831

A weed-free garden is a peaceful garden!


The weeds were out of control as we haven’t had any time to weed in over a month!


I think these beds need some flowers! All the perennials have come and gone this season. It is sad when their bloom is complete!

Blue Jay feather…we have lots of Blue jays around here.


I also discovered a love for pruning…


I went a bit crazy, as you would expect.

I sculpted, I designed, I made art. I love pruning because it appeals to my artistic side. I also love symmetrical objects. Very feng shui. Eric kept walking by and chuckling to himself because he said he’s never seen someone have so much fun while pruning before. What can I say, I whistle while I work!

While I was busy weeding and pruning, he was pulling out half dead shrubs and vines covering the house.

Even though the work was hot and sweaty and not ideal for a day off, we made it fun by enjoying each other’s company. We actually had a great time out there. Many hands make the work light, or however that saying goes! ;)

After admiring our work, we came in and were starving, so I got started on dinner right away.

I made a vegan version of my favourite 7 layer tortilla pie (aka Mexican Lasagna!). It is delish both ways and I highly recommend it!


Mexican Tortilla Pie

Adapted from 7 layer tortilla pie.


  • 2 (15 ounce) cans pinto beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 cup salsa, divided
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1 (15 ounce) can refried beans
  • 1/2 cup chopped tomatoes
  • 7 (8 inch) flour tortillas
  • 1/2-3/4 cup Mae’s humnut cheese sauce
  • Dried parsley, to garnish
  • Enchilada sauce (I used for top layer)


Mae’s Humnut Cheese* (adapted)

  • 2-3 tbsp hummus
  • 1 tbsp nutritional yeast
  • A pinch of turmeric if you like your cheese yellow
  • water to thin


[*Note: I tripled her humnut cheese recipe.]

Directions: Preheat oven to 400F. In a large bowl, mash pinto beans. Stir in 3/4 cup salsa and garlic. In a separate bowl, mix together 1/4 cup salsa, cilantro, refried beans and tomatoes. Place 1 tortilla in a greased pie plate or tart dish. Spread 3/4 cup pinto bean mixture over tortilla to within 1/2 inch of edge. Top with 1/4 cup humnut cheese, and cover with another tortilla. Spread with 2/3 cup refried beans, and top with 1/4 cup humnut cheese. Repeat layering twice. Cover with remaining tortilla, and spread with remaining pinto bean mixture, humnut cheese, and enchilada sauce. Cook for about 35 minutes. Serves 6.


I didn’t have 7 tortillas or refried beans, so I made an adapted version, but it still worked out!

I had two slices and Eric had THREE! We were hungry monstaaaaas. In our case, it did not serve 6 as the recipe suggests! lol. It depends on how hungry you are I guess.


Eric said ‘If you keep cooking like this I won’t ever need to eat meat again!’ , as he shoveled in the pie.

I’m not so sure that will ever happen, but he has cut down meat about 75-80% and he says he doesn’t really miss it. I get a TON of questions about Eric’s diet- in fact, it is probably one of the most frequently asked questions as of late. I think he needs to start a blog! ;)

Eric does love a good beef burger, so I don’t think he would ever give up meat entirely (or maybe I am wrong here)… and that is fine by me. I will support him, just like he supports my choices. I don’t think that everyone needs to be 100% meat-free to make a difference. The fact that he is now making healthier choices than he once did, is a positive step and makes a huge impact on the system and his health. Small changes add up to something big! I truly believe this. I don’t think that everyone’s ‘end goal’ should be a vegan diet, but I do support awareness and consciousness about our food choices and the opportunity to feel our best with what we put into our bodies. I guess you could say I am pro-educated choice!


Do you live with someone and if so, do you share the same ‘diet’ or do you have different eating habits, opinions on what you eat, and different taste preferences? Is it difficult, easy, fun, creative, annoying?

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{ 30 comments… read them below or add one }

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Suze August 3, 2010 at 3:07 am

You have managed to make even gardening seem like something I would like to do!

In response to your question, my partner and I have quite different diets preferences. Mine is that I will eat anything (except ice-cream, yuck!) whereas his are much more restrictive. He has some very definite likes and dislikes, and doesn’t eat any fruit at all. He also doesn’t like sweet things, which just means when I bake I generally freeze some and then eat it all myself!

He is also Muslim, and when we moved in together we agreed to keep the house halal. We do this to the extent of not allowing alcohol or pork products inside the house, since we don’t live anywhere near a halal butcher. The alcohol is very easy, as I don’t drink either, although not for religious reasons. Not allowing alcohol sometimes put off some of our guests, though, which is little frustrating as I think it is possible to have a great time without drinking. The pork also isn’t a problem – I still eat things with bacon in them when we eat out, I just don’t have it in the house.

I do most of the cooking now that he is working and I am still a grad student who works from home. I sometimes get frustrated that I can’t try out some recipes that I would like because he is less adventurous than I am, and also that there are so many recipes with wine in them that I can’t figure out a decent substitute for!


Ellani August 3, 2010 at 3:32 am

My husband totally supports my being vegan and eats everything I cook with relish, but I don’t think he will ever go completely vegan. My kids (4 and 2 years old) are not vegan, but eat pretty healthily and like fruits and veggies (but also dairy and meat). My oldest has really gotten into my morning green monsters, as long as they have lots of fruit in them too! And her awareness of what is healthy seems to be growing. I hope my example will help them choose a healthy lifestyle, but I won’t pressure them to become vegan.
It is a challenge sometimes to feed everyone according to their tastes…


Emily August 3, 2010 at 5:34 am

That is so great to hear how supportive Eric is of you diet, and of your cooking and recipe experiments! My boyfriend and I don’t live together but most nights of the week we we are at one of our houses cooking dinner together. He is really supportive of my dietary needs and will always adapt a recipe to suit my needs. Some times he will buy a meet or extra ingredient that he wants but he always makes sure what I’m eating is prepared the way that I want. He has definitely begun to eat a whole lot healthier since we have begun dating and it’s really great to have his support :)


JL Goes Vegan August 3, 2010 at 5:44 am

Oh, that pie looks so, so good! Will definitely try it! (My omnivore husband says similar things, but I think he’s a long way off from meat-free! LOL)


Holly B August 3, 2010 at 6:06 am

Great question and so timely as I’ve been thinking about the differences in how my bf (whom i live with in a small nyc apt) and I eat and live. While we do go for the occasional run together and he certainly does not shun a vegetable if put in front of him, my boyfriend loves his neighborhood take out, fast food burgers and sweets. He’s fortunate to have great genes, and is naturally slender…I on the other hand have to work my bootay…hard to look the way I want to look. It’s tough having delicious Crumbs cupcakes in the fridge (right now we have a tray of 6 massive cakes a friend had delivered as a thank you…arg!) or gourmet (but high calorie) pizzas, and snacks around. I don’t want him to change the way he eats because of my lack of control…but it can be very difficult to stick to my guns in a co-habitation situation :-P hopefully with time it will come


Therese August 3, 2010 at 6:31 am

My boyfriend and I have a great time gardening together even though both of us are totally inexperienced in that department! But it’s a great way to spend time together!

Alan isn’t vegetarian but since we moved in together he doesn’t eat meat all that much anymore. Even before we were dating he had stopped eating a lot of red meat, now he just has it on occasion. Other than his penchant for junky snack food he’s a pretty healthy eater!

And I’m right there with you, I don’t care what other people eat as long as they KNOW what they’re eating and why.


[email protected] August 3, 2010 at 6:50 am

My husband and I definitely have different food choices. I am an “unofficial” vegetarian- don’t have much taste for meat anymore and hardly eat it these days, and he loves his burgers and fries, although he has cut way back on that stuff. We eat most of our meals from home, and don’t bring in (or prepare!) a lot of junk food at home. Most of the time we can find common ground :-)


Brittany August 3, 2010 at 7:37 am

My parents have completely given up on my eating habits. (I’m vegetarian) My mother no longer attempts to cook or buy food for me. I do most of my own shopping and cook most of my own meals. My boyfriend grew up eating meat meat meat and is dead set against trying new things even when I put my heart and soul into them. I’m convinced that if he tries the things I make he’ll learn to like them, but I don’t want to push him, so I’ll have to let him figure it out on his own time… But he’s got to know, when he moves away from his mother’s house, he’s going to have to find some way to sustain himself that doesn’t involve just yelling at her to make him food…


Rachael @ Mrs-Adventure August 3, 2010 at 8:29 am

Eric’s diet sounds similar to Mr. Arkansas (my husbands) he has cut way down he only eats meat at (maybe) one meal a day now and say’s he doesn’t notice as long as I am cooking yummy foods.


Mae August 3, 2010 at 9:00 am

The vegan tortilla pie looks AMAZING. Re: eating habits of those I live with, my parents don’t enjoy (their words, not mine:) “healthy shit” so it’s hard to cook for them. Since becoming vegetarian, we barely ever eat the same meal. Also, I get done with work at 3 and working out by 4, get home at 4:30 starving so I have a big snack/ linner. They eat dinner at around 7 but I’m not hungry then.

I try to listen to my body’s hunger cues but at the same time I hate that I always eat alone. :/


katie August 3, 2010 at 10:32 am

I think your attitude towards Eric’s diet is great and really refreshing. I’ve only recently really started cleaning up my diet, and I cannot tell you how much better I feel because of it! I want my fiance to share my happy healthiness with me, and I know I can be a bit (ok, alot!) of a nag about it. This is something I’m working on…encouraging (and enticing) him to eat healthily, but supporting him making his own choices. We’re currently dealing with some physical distance between us (hello, Atlantic Ocean!), but I can’t wait till we live together and we can make healthy and delicious meals for us to enjoy together! This tortilla pie will definitely be one such meal!


Marathon Bound Gal aka Grace August 3, 2010 at 10:42 am

That Mexican Lasagna looks fantabulous! You are so creative with your cooking! I love it!

I am using “Choosing Raw” to help me get where I am eventually vegetarian. I’m doing it in baby steps but I am almost there. I eat pure veggie for breakfast, lunch and dinner now, but every now and then I may break in and have something but haven’t yet, and it’s been over a month now. Woohoo! Now the hubby on the other hand, will not become full fledge vegetarian as he does like an occasional burger or steak like Eric, but he’s almost 85% vegetarian. He doesn’t eat much meat at all. I’m real proud of him in that aspect.

Just want you to know you have helped me tremendously to get there in a gradual way!


Amber K August 3, 2010 at 11:43 am

My husband and I definitely eat healthier than we ever have before, but he still eats some things I don’t. He will never give up meat entirely, but he’s down to just a little on his lunch sandwiches. I have never liked meat, even when I was a kid, so it’s a lot easier for me!


Candice @ Baby Beluga August 3, 2010 at 11:44 am

Ian has a completely different diet than I do. But when I make dinner for him he will most certainly eat it but throughout the day he loves to munch on candy and drink glass after glass of milk! I’m trying to slowly get rid of all of it in the pantry…shhh dont tell lol


Tanya Kummerow August 3, 2010 at 12:28 pm

My husband has also cut down on eating meat since I went all vegan this year. And I don’t think he misses it either. He too enjoys a burger or club sandwich when we go out to eat…but we have sort of an informal rule of no meat in the house. When we have guests sometimes I will cook meat or we will have a BBQ and everybody brings their own and that is fine with me. People ask me if I am disgusted when I see people eat meat…absolutely not. I choose to not eat meat and dairy for the environment and animal cruelty…but I can understand enjoying certain non-vegan foods. I love your take on “pro educated decision” I agree with you completely.


Sami August 3, 2010 at 12:40 pm

unfortunately, my family thinks i’m a freak for the way i eat. they used to be totally opposed, but i think they’ve come to the realization that it’s not goign to change. i feel better, look better, and have tons more energy! :) god loves me the way i am, and that’s all i need. plus all you bloggers make me feel normal :D so thanks for being so inspiring and making me feel a lot less lonely in my journey for health.


Kelly @Strawberries and Freckles August 3, 2010 at 1:41 pm

The Mexican tortilla pie looks fantastic! I will have to try it! Oh, and your landscaping looks so pretty! I, too, look at pruning as an artistic outlet..the skies the limit with creative possibilities!


Ruth August 3, 2010 at 2:01 pm

That looks yummy! I’m a vegetarian and my hubby isn’t, but it’s not a problem. We have separate lunches and breakfasts on the weekdays, but on the weekends and at dinner we eat the same veggie food. I’m slowly attempting to adopt more vegan practices, but I haven’t sold him on that so far!


Kendra August 3, 2010 at 2:30 pm

Leave it to me to be completely sidetracked by a relatively small detail in a post but that feather is so pretty (Well a little tattered but the pattern and color is amazing). I have a thing for feathers especially in headbands.


Tracey August 3, 2010 at 2:34 pm

My boyfriend, Chris, and I definitely have different eating habits. I’m vegan and try not to eat processed foods and he is a meat-eater. However, when we first started dating he ate tons of fast food and processed junk food (he also can eat anything and never gain a pound, grr). Now, since learning a little from me he has cut out fast food and enjoys all of my vegan creations! He still will eat meat at lunch sometimes and when we go out to dinner, but he supports me and actually really likes all of the vegan meals I prepare!


Michelle August 3, 2010 at 3:24 pm

My husband is wonderfully open to a minimal meat diet, which most my friends find shocking. Neither of us are 100% vegetarian, and I think knowing that a food isn’t totally off limits makes you crave it less. If one of us wants meat, we’ll plan for it and wait a couple of days and see if we still want it. Like you, we try to buy organic/local meat. I think, for us, him seeing how great I was feeling (and how much happier I was when he got home in the pm) when I went high-raw made him want to try too.


Jenny August 3, 2010 at 3:47 pm

I really appreciate and admire your outlook on food choices. I think you’re right, small choices do add up! If everyone just does what they see as “do-able” then it will make a positive difference in our personal and public worlds.

Lovely garden!


DCass August 3, 2010 at 5:23 pm

I used to be a vegetarian, but then when i went to college it was too hard and expensive to try to keep with that lifestyle because our university meal plan had very few vegetarian options. So i switched to eating meat again. Then i started dating my boyfriend and he is a big time meat eat and he’s a fantastic cook. I’ve been trying to get back into a healthy veggie-loving mode of eating but it’s really hard to in my relationship. But lately we’ve been compromising on food: I’ll cook vegetarian on night and he cooks his pot roast the next.


Brooke August 4, 2010 at 9:18 am

I made the Mexican Tortilla Pie for dinner (with some mods… didn’t have pinto beans, only black beans and vegan cheese as opposed to the hummus cheese) and my husband kept thanking me for making it. He ate about half himself and told me that he can’t wait to come home for lunch today to eat some more. Awesome dish! This is definitely going in the rotation! Thanks for posting and giving me some ideas for dinner!


Hollie August 4, 2010 at 11:13 am

I really like this way of thinking! My husband is a biiiig-time meat-eater. I, however, am slowly working my way towards vegan. I already don’t eat dairy because of an allergy (my son is allergic, too) and I don’t eat beef, pork, or fish. So we have had to adapt, and our choices are limited, but I think that learning to be flexible is the best thing you can do!


Mel August 4, 2010 at 12:22 pm

I definitly changed my boyfriend’s eating habits…he used to eat meat, pasta and potatoes all the time and was grossed out by most veggies. so nowadays he includes many new veggies into his diet and he even eats non-meat meals too! before, he *needed* meat for every meal-breakfast, lunch and dinner! but there are still many things that he will never eat, like beans, lenses, quinoa, couscous, tofu and so on. I was not eating meat for 2 years before we started dating and I have to admit that I started eating meat again, just to share a dinner with him, because I don’t like the separate cooking thing…however I don’t like meat that much and could easily live without it. Nevertheless, I could never become a vegetarian because I love fish so much! He does too, luckily. I don’t eat dairy though.


Sara August 4, 2010 at 7:49 pm

WOW!!! This is delicious! Mae’s humnut cheese tastes just like cheese in this dish! I love it! So good! Thank you!


Kristina August 16, 2010 at 4:03 pm

I have been married for about 8 months. I am what you’d call a pescetarian- I eat fish and seafood, but no other forms of meat. My husband eats meat, and would probably never consider going vegetarian. Many times we will make similar meals, but we just add the meat/fish/veggies/tofu on the side. When plating, we add what we want. An example is tofu teriyaki with rice and veggies. In this case, he may cook some chicken, and eat the rice and veggies with teriyaki sauce- just no tofu. It’s really not that difficult- unless I want to surprise him with a meal. I’m not into touching or preparing meat/poultry. SO, if I am preparing the meal for the two of us, it will probably be a seafood dish. I realize it’s a little strange that I’m willing to prepare raw seafood, and not meat. That’s me. :)


Julie November 20, 2013 at 8:34 pm

I’ve made several of your recipes with great results (peanut butter cups etc) but never felt compelled to comment untill now. this tortilla pie is so great for three reasons.
My 22 month old son loves helping to spread on layers, including extra veggies like corn
Made with gluten free corn tortillas my sister enjoys it too
It’s quick and easy to make after work


Tamara Ko July 10, 2016 at 9:48 pm

Can this recipe be used for the Fast Metabolism diet…phase 3? I found it on a pinterest page for the FMD and wondered if you knew…thanks!


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