Single Vegan What I Eat In A Day (Episode 61)

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While Amelia is back in the States, I thought I’d share What I Eat In A Day as a Single Vegan. These are some of my favorite, super simple recipes that make enough leftovers for lunch the following day. Here are the recipes:

  • Raw Rolled Oats Breakfast
  • Easy Garden Salad
  • Pasta w/ Marinara & Veggies – your favorite whole grain pasta, one jar of your favorite fat-free marinara sauce, one small chopped onion, one tablespoon minced garlic, one cup each chopped broccoli and cauliflower. Plus, oregano, fennel seeds, red pepper flakes, salt and pepper to taste. Sauté the veggies first, then add all the other ingredients and simmer for 10 minutes.
  • Mexican Stir Fry

Back by popular demand, I added a little Daisy Cam footage. I adopted Daisy almost 8 years ago from a shelter in Denver, CO. She’s a super sweet girl, unless you’re an invader in her territory.

Amelia also shared her delicious dinner at Watercourse Foods in Denver, CO. We used to live just a few blocks from Watercourse when we lived in Uptown before we moved to Ecuador. It’s one of the few 100% vegan restaurants in Denver and it’s freaking amazing! They have lots of vegan comfort food. It was our Denver version of Fratello.

Hopefully you enjoyed our video, and if you did, please LIKE, COMMENT and SHARE it, and SUBSCRIBE to our YouTube channel. ¡Muchas Gracias y Hasta Luego!

Video Transcript

Hola veggie lovers.
I’m JP with Amelia And JP.

Amelia is currently still back
in the States in Denver for her job.

If you’re new to our channel,

we post videos every Tuesday, Thursday
and Saturday at 2PM Eastern Time

and we hang out
for about an hour afterward

to respond to your comments and
answer any questions you might have

so come join us during that time.

If you’re NOT new to our channel, we
really appreciate that you are

watching our videos and providing such
insightful comments.

We really appreciate that.

While Amelia was gone
I decided to record a

Single Vegan What I Eat In A Day video

to show you all what
a single vegan can eat.

So let’s go ahead and get started.

[Upbeat Music]

For breakfast almost everyday we eat
Raw Rolled Oats.

We put some ground flax that we grind up,

usually chia, too, but
we were out of chia,

with some oats and then we add in some
nutmeg, cinnamon,

amla powder, it’s supposed to help with my
cholesterol, and a little maca powder.

And we use almond milk here that’s
fortified with calcium and Vitamin D

because with my back I want to make sure
that I keep a good calcium level.

And then we top it all with fruit.

You can use whatever fruit you like.

Frozen fruit is just fine, too.

I put bananas and papaya on this
with some walnuts.

I just love that for breakfast.

Let’s take a little break for a Daisy Cam.

We get a lot of requests from people
to see more of Miss Daisy.

And she is adorable, isn’t she? Oh my
God she’s a sweetheart.

For lunch almost everyday, I eat a salad,
a big salad.

I normally top it with
all kinds of veggies,

but I didn’t have any prepared so I just
put some sliced onion, tomato and

sunflower seeds, oregano,
some balsamic vinegar on it.

I had made some pasta with a pasta sauce
the night before.

I decided to eat that,
which is really simple.

It’s just tomato sauce and some
chopped up veggies:

broccoli and cauliflower
and onion and garlic.

I just opened up a jar of tomato sauce
and poured it in.

Amelia wanted to share her dinner with us
that she had at Watercourse

so let’s jump over to Denver and see
what Amelia is up to.

>> Amelia: Hi veggie lovers!

I’m Amelia with Amelia And JP.

I’m still here in Denver, CO and I thought
I would share

my meal with you guys last night.

I decided to go to Watercourse Foods,

which is a 100% vegan restaurant
in Denver.

It’s in what I consider downtown Denver,

but the neighborhood
is actually called Uptown.

Anyway, I highly recommend
you all check it out

if you’re ever here in Denver because
it is the first 100% vegan restaurant

and it definitely delivers. They have
a great selection of

comfort food and definitely more
on the gourmet side I’d say.

I decided to start my meal with the
Baked Brie appetizer

and it was AMAZING!

It was super light and decadent.

The brie filling itself is made with tofu,
cashew and a little nutritional yeast

that they use as a binder.

At least that’s what the server said.

It is wrapped in a very light and flaky
pastry puff. Quite tasty.

For my main course, I decided to have the
Sage Sweet Potato Gnocchi.

And wow! It was so incredibly flavorful.

The gnocchi dish comes with a
sweet potato puree,

roasted butternut squash and mushrooms,

a sage oil, fried sage leaves, and
it is topped with a walnut parmesan.

Yes please! If you get that, you will
not be disappointed.

It is pretty filling. I had
a little bit leftover

so I had that as a snack today.

Lucky me!

That’s all I have from Denver right now.

I will see you all soon, but I am going to
go ahead and pass it back to JP.

Bye veggie lovers!

>> JP: For dinner, I made a
Mexican Stir Fry

with onion, garlic, some red
and green peppers, a jalapeño.

And then I just sauteed all that,
or steam fried it,

in veggie broth on the stove until
it was nice and tender

all the veggies were nice and tender.

Then I added in some black beans,

some black pepper, some salt, cumin.

Love cumin! It’s one of
my favorite spices.

And then some chili powder.

And then just stirred all that up and let
it heat through.


Wow that looks amazing!

So delicious. And very simple too.

You can buy your veggies already
pre-chopped to save time, as well.

And I just threw some cilantro in
at the end there.


I had already made some brown rice,

fresh out of our pressure cooker.

Put the Mexican Stir Fry over the
brown rice

and then I topped it with some salsa.

Ah. Delicious.

As you can see, it is pretty simple
to eat as a single vegan.

All of those made leftovers so I had
leftovers for lunch

and then that Mexican Stir Fry made enough

that I had leftovers for lunch the next day.

So it’s a really good use of time.

I know some people don’t like leftovers.

Those people would be crazy.

Because we eat leftovers all the time.

Well I hope you enjoyed our Single Vegan
What We Eat In A Day video.

If you haven’t yet, please subscribe
to our channel.

We really appreciate that.

We have lots of really cool and
interesting things coming up

and you want to make sure and
get notified when we post those videos.

That’s it for today from JP
home alone in Ecuador.

We’ll see you next time.

Food With Friends Featuring Olesya #2 (Episode 56)

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Our good friend and Amelia’s FAVORITE yoga instructor came over for another Food With Friends cooking video. Olesya is from Russia and speaks several languages, so you get to hear some cool pronunciations.

Amelia Olesya

Olesya had never tried tofu, so we invited her over in our first Food With Friends video back in Episode 35 to cook Tofu Scramble. And in this video, she learned how to make our easy and satisfying Vegan Mexican Lasagna. YUMMM!!! Amelia also walked her through our Vegan Refried Beans recipe, but you can use store-bought to save time (just make sure they’re oil and lard free).

Mexican Lasagna Plate

And since Olesya never arrives empty handed, you’ll also learn how to make rich and delicious Plátanos con Pasta de Maní (You can find the recipe here: Ecuadorian Peanut Butter Plantain Recipe).

Plátano con Pasta de Maní

We always have SOOO much fun when our friends come over to cook with us!

Hopefully you enjoyed our video, and if you did, please LIKE, COMMENT and SHARE it, and SUBSCRIBE to our YouTube channel. ¡Muchas Gracias!

Video Transcript

>> Olesya: Hello.

>> Amelia: Buenos días.

>> O: Buenos días.

>> JP: Buenos días.

>> O: Are you read to film?
>> A: Yeah.

>> JP: Are you ready for another
Food With Friends?

>> O: [laughing] Yeah, I am.

>> JP: Not friends FOR food.

>> O: More tofu, right?

>> A: Yes. More tofu.

>> O: You look nice!

>> A: Thank you! I like your earrings!

>> O: Thank you. It was a present from
one of the Rumisol [inaudible] actually.

>> JP: I like your necklace.

>> O: Wow! Guys!


>> O: What else you like?

[Upbeat Music]

>> A: High veggie lovers. I’m Amelia
with Amelia And JP.

JP is behind the camera and I’m
here with Olesya.

And we are going to make our
Vegan Mexican Lasagna today,

which is another tofu dish.
Yes. And delicious tortillas.

And JP’s homemade salsa.
And I already made refried beans.

You’re gonna really like this.
This comes together so quick.

All we have to do is drain the tofu
and then we’re gonna just

kinda smash it in here, put some salsa
and lime juice in here.

And then JP’s going to cut these
tortillas for me

because he didn’t like the way
I did it last time.

>> O: Wow!

>> JP: It’s just more efficient
to cut them.

>> A: Yes. He’s all about his efficiency.

And then we’re gonna layer it in

this casserole dish. And put the layers
on, put some salsa on,

and we’ll be good to go.

>> O: And how long does it take
in the oven?

>> A: About a half hour.
>> O: Ok.

>> JP: Yeah, it’s super fast.

>> A: So in the meantime, JP also made
some chips.

>> JP: Yeah, those are just corn chips.
>> O: Wow.

>> JP: Corn and water.

>> A: Yeah. They’re just.. We just use
these tortillas.

>> O: Uh-huh…

>> A: Which are just corn.

>> O: Where’d you get
those tortillas, guys?

>> A: We got them at SuperMaxi.
>> O: SuperMaxi, ok.

>> A: Yep. There’s nothing.
No oil added. Just baked so

we’ll have a delicious snack.

We have some avocado, too.

Alright! So let’s get started.

>> JP: And we have a salad.

>> A: Oh yes.
>> O: My stomach is talking to me.


>> A: We have to have salad.

Alright, so I’m gonna.. Whoops..

>> JP: That’s why we cut that over the sink.

>> A: Yeah, well.. What can I say?
I’m not perfect. [laughter]

>> JP: I love my new Fitbit!
It’s got a timer.

>> A: That’s awesome.

>> JP: So that I don’t forget the chips
and burn them up.

>> O: Yay! Chips!

>> JP: See I just put those and
bake them on there.

>> O: Uh-huh..

>> JP: And then we’re done.

>> A: Yeah. Doesn’t get much
easier than that.

>> JP: This is a whole package of chips.

A whole package of one of these.

So the nice thing is there’s no oil,
no salt.

You can put salt on them.

Sometimes I like to squeeze a little
lime juice or spritz it with lime.

And then put some.. a little salt over em,

but I didn’t do any of that because
my salsa is so good you don’t need that.


>> O: Do you like it a little bit spicy?

I think in [inaudible] they put some
kind of you know..

spice.. paprika or something like that.

>> JP: Oh, that would be good
on the chips.

>> O: And mango salsa. Mangos they eat
with pepper, or paprika.

>> JP: That sounds good.

>> A: Alright so we’re going to start
the tofu mixture,

which has a really cheesy consistency.

It’s very tricky. It’s tricky/sneaky.

>> JP: Well, it’s kind of like ricotta.
The texture of ricotta.

But there’s a Mexican cheese..
What’s it called?

>> O: I think that it’s called oaxaca,
but I’m not sure.

>> A: I think you’re right.
>> O: Look it up.

There is a city in Mexico, in the
south of Mexico that is called..

oaxaca? I’m hoping that I pronounce
it right.


>> A: Sounds good to me.

>> JP: Hopefully no one from there is
extremely offended right now.


>> A: Well if they are they can tell us
how to pronounce it properly.

So now we’re just going to.. sorry,
I didn’t explain that very well.


Just basically like we were doing the..
>> O: Eggs.

>> O: Yeah?
>> A: Exactly.

>> O: So I’ve got experience
so don’t worry.

>> JP: You’re going to be a tofu expert

>> A: I know..
>> O: [laughing]

>> A: She’s gonna re..

We’re gonna have to do a different
dish next time.

>> JP: Looks good!
>> A: Yes.

>> O: I’m done here?
>> A: Yes. Nicely done.

Ok. So I have one cup of salsa.

So I’m just gonna go ahead and
pour that in.

>> O: Nice…

>> A: And then if you wanna start
mixing that up.

While you do that, I’m gonna squeeze
in the juice of one lime.

>> JP: The juice of one lime.
That sounds so formal.

>> A: The juice of one lime.

Which I have cut in half so this is
the juice of a half a lime.

>> O: So it needs another half..

>> A: Yes.
>> O: ..juice of another half a lime.

>> JP: Poor little lime. You can hear it
screaming if you listen closely.

>> A: Oh God! That’s not funny. [laughing]

And I am going to use salt.
The salt is optional.

So I’m gonna do a teaspoon of salt.

>> O: Okay..

>> A: So this looks great!

>> O: Good.
>> JP: Wow! Yummy!

>> A: Ok. So now we’re gonna set
this aside.

And then what we’re gonna do..

actually checking my recipe.

You think I’d have this memorized by now.


>> JP: Where can that recipe be found,

>> A: That can be found on


>> JP: Cut these into quarters so that
it’s more uniform

and this is also faster than ripping
them up,

which is what we used to do.

But this is so much faster.

>> O: Um-huh..

>> A: I don’t know if it’s really faster.

>> JP: It is too! Look at that!

It’s completely done!

>> A: Ok. Alright.
>> JP: Done!

>> A: Good job!


>> JP: Thank you!


Alright, now you can use as many
as you need.

>> A: Ok. Thank you.

>> JP: And then the rest, I will just
put in the oven and bake into chips.

>> A: Alright. That sounds good.

So this recipe calls for refried beans and
I made my own although

you could use jarred or canned
refried beans of course.

>> JP: These are so delicious.
>> A: Oh, I know they’re so good!

So they’re really easy to make.

I use dried canary beans but you could
use pinto beans

or black beans would be good too.

And I soaked them overnight and then
I cooked them in our pressure cooker.

But of course you could cook them on the

Just be careful, you have to add
lots of water.

I’ve had bean burns before. [laughter]

Very disappointing!

>> JP: And if you buy them, make sure
you get oil free and LARD free.

>> A: Lard-free. Yes.

>> JP: A lot of the refried beans in the
states have lard.

>> A: Yes.
>> JP: You have to look at the labels.

>> A: So once they’re cooked, I just
poured them into a pan

or a soup pot, obviously, with the
juices that they cook in.

And then I added some veggie broth.

And I did one small onion, so that’s about
a half a cup of chopped onion.

And I did about two tablespoons garlic.
I like it garlic-y.

And then I put in some salt, about..

One to two teaspoons of salt depending
on how salty you want it.

And then, you just let it cook.

So you just keep stirring it. Let it cook
and it gets nice and thick.

And then you mash it with a..
>> JP: Potato masher.

>> A: This nice little tool.

And then at the end I squeeze in
the juice of one lime.

So one of these little limes.

Little lime.

And that’s it!

So I made it ahead of time so it would be
cool enough that we could work with it.

Because we didn’t want it to be
scalding hot.

And per JP’s request we have some extra
if we want some on the side.

>> JP: I love to have extra.
>> A: Yeah.

Ok. I’m going to start the
layering process.

So I’ve got 3/4 cup salsa to go on the bottom.

I’m just gonna spread this out.

>> JP: And you don’t need to oil that,

>> A: Nope. The salsa will keep anything
from sticking.. to the bottom.

No oil in this recipe.

Step number two.

I’m going to layer our NICELY cut…



On the bottom here so this is our
first layer.

So on a traditional lasagna, this
would be pasta.

Yeah, I don’t know what the actual
meaning of lasagna is,

but I’m guessing it just means like
layered.. dish.

>> JP: Isn’t that the type of noodle?

>> A: No, because, I mean.. people..
I don’t know.. people..

>> JP: Spaghetti is a type of noodle.
Fusilli is a type of noodle.

>> A: That’s true. Maybe it is,
I don’t know.

I was just thinking how you see people
do like raw lasagna..

>> JP: Wouldn’t it be called a parfait?
If it was…


>> A: I have no idea!

>> JP: Everybody love a parfait!
[quoting Donkey from Shrek]


>> A: OK! Moving on!

I’m going to use 1 1/2 cup
of refried beans.

And I just like to do.. measure out
1/2 cup at a time.

This can be a little tricky to spread.

>> JP: Without moving the tortillas
all over.

>> A: Yes. You kinda have to press
it into place.

So this would be tricky if you did..

made this and had your refried beans
in the refrigerator.

So if you make these ahead of time,
which I often do..

I would just pull them out and let
them come to room temperature.

Next step is to add in one cup of our
tofu mixture.

And again, you wanna just kinda
evenly spread that.

>> JP: Olesya’s taking over.
>> O: Ready. Set. Go.


>> A: Alright so now we’re doing
the second layer.

>> O: Does it have to be perfect?
>> A: No.

>> JP: Yeah it does. Has to be absolutely
perfect. Geometrical.

>> A: Oh geez.

>> O: I can use all of these
for this layer?

>> A: Yeah.

The thing is, you know, it doesn’t
have to be precise

so if like.. maybe you want to use
flour tortillas..

you can use flour tortillas.

Maybe you want more tofu..

or maybe you want less tofu.

Well JP I don’t know how many extra
beans we’re gonna have.

>> JP: [Gasping]
>> O: [Laughing]

>> JP: That was my ONE requirement!

>> A: Well we do have.. I will always
make more.

The beans.. refried beans are in
steady rotation here in this house.

>> JP: A mainstay?
>> A: A mainstay, yes.

>> JP: Along with the juice of one lime?

>> A: Yes.


I don’t know why you find that so funny!


>> O: Mmmmm… A lot of beans
and that’s good.

>> A: I know. This is a very hardy lunch.

But it’s not heavy so you won’t feel
the need to take a nap afterwards.

>> O: You think so?

>> JP: No gut bomb.
>> A: No.

>> O: I just like taking a nap.


>> A: YES! You will DEFINITELY need
to take a nap afterwards.


Ok. Next thing is to put our
tofu mixture on.

>> O: Do you like it?
>> JP: Looks good!


>> A: We do wanna finish up the tofu.

>> JP: Yeah, so there’s only two layers.
>> A: There’s only two layers

I had that mixed up.

>> O: There is not so much left, though.
>> A: No.

Now we do our final tortilla layer.

>> O: Are we going to put
anything on top of this?

>> A: We are. We’re going to put
more salsa on top.

And then one final thing of salsa.

And then we just need to smooth that out.

And if you want more salsa, you can put
more salsa on top as well.

We usually just do the 3/4, but…

>> JP: You definitely want it
to be covered.

>> A: Yes.

Alright, that’s it!
>> O: Let me know when it’s perfect.

>> A: That is perfect.
>> O: When you think it’s good.

>> A: I think that looks amazing.

>> O: Ok.

>> A: And now we just need
to pop it in the oven.

Actually, that’s not true. We cover it
with aluminum foil first.

Because we don’t want it to get
burnt on top.

>> JP: Or for our British watchers, it’s


We’re using aluminium.

>> A: We don’t.. we try to use as little..

>> O: How do you say in Spanish actually.
Oh, aluminio.

>> A: Oh yeah.
>> JP: Aluminio?

>> O: Aluminio.

>> JP: How is it?
>> O: Papel aluminio.

>> JP: Aluminio.
>> O: Eso es.

>> JP: Eso es.


And then we’re going to
put it in the oven for..

>> O: 30 minutes?
>> A: 30 minutes. Yes.

>> JP: Treinta minutos.

How do you say it in Russian?

>> O: 30 minutes?

>> JP: Or aluminium.

>> O: Alumini.

>> JP: Alumini?
>> O: Uh-huh.

>> JP: And how do you say 30 minutes
in Russian?

>> O: [Speaking Russian]

>> JP: WHAT?!

>> O: [Speaking Russian]

>> A: Wow!
>> JP: That’s so cool!

>> A: That is cool!

>> JP: I know. Olesya speaks
so many languages.

>> A: Fluently too!
>> JP: Fluently!

>> A: I’m lucky I can make..
get English words out.


>> JP: Yeah. Extremely lucky!


>> O: Sometimes you forget?

>> A: Yeah. I get them mixed up now
with Spanish. Uhhhh…

It’s like I’m making up my own language
that only I understand.


It’s a little scary.

>> JP: Alright, what are we doing now?
>> O: Ok, let’s wait.

>> A: We gotta wait.

>> JP: Do we wanna make..

Olesya brought.. what did you bring?
Mamey and..

>> O: Mamey and if you want to
have like a dessert

we can make some plátanos verdes with
peanut butter paste.

>> A: I would love to make that!
>> JP: Do you want to make that?

>> O: Yeah, sure. And it’s going to take
around 30 minutes to boil them.

>> JP: Awesome. Now what’s it called?

This is a traditional Ecuadorian dish,

>> O: Yeah. They make it with
plátano maduro, the yellow one..

the sweet one and with plátano verde
this one that I brought.

I wanted to try with this one because it’s
less sweet.

It has to look a little bit..

It always looks like this a little bit


So yeah. Basically we just boil the

and then we mix it with peanut butter.

Mash it very well and it’s good!
It’s delicious!

>> JP: It is delicious.

Wow! Look at how she’s peeling!

>> O: I’m just peeling this.

>> A: Yeah. That’s not how I did mine.

>> JP: Yeah. We did ours..
>> O: How did you do it?

>> JP: We tried to peel it like a banana
and then we cut it..

>> O: That doesn’t work.
>> JP: ..then we ended up peeling it off.

>> A: You’re right. It does not work.
>> JP: It doesn’t work..


..with plátanos. With plantains.

These are..?
>> O: Maduros.

>> JP: Maduros. Yep.

>> O: Cut them into small pieces
so they cook fast.

Let’s add some water guys.
Cover it with water..

and let it boil for about 20, 30 minutes.

I cut it in small pieces so I don’t think
it’s gonna take too long.

>> A: I’m just gonna check the lasagna to
see how it’s coming along.

And we do wanna end up taking foil off
and letting it cook uncovered.

Ooo, it looks perfect.
>> JP: Wow. It does.

>> A: I think stage two now is to
uncover it.

And we’ll finish the cooking.

>> JP: And how are the maduros coming?

>> A: Do we need a fork?
>> O: They still need.

They still need time.

>> JP: Quite a bit. That was really hard.

>> O: They gonna take awhile.

>> A: So the maduros are duro?

But those aren’t maduros.
Those are verde. Yeah.

>> O: Verde.
>> JP: No, those are verdes.

>> A: Maduros are the yellow..
>> JP: The yellow ones.

>> A: Alright. I think we’re ready.
Let’s check it out.

Let’s take a look!

Oh. See, it’s all bubbly.

And look at our tortillas kinda
getting puffed up.

>> O: Looks delish.

>> A: Yes. Yum.
>> O: Can’t wait.

>> A: Smells really good.

>> O: It’s that time.

>> A: It is that time.
>> O: [laughing]

>> A: Alright. It probably is gonna
need to sit for a minute or two

otherwise it’s just gonna kinda
spill out everywhere.

>> JP: Yeah, I would let it sit to cool
for a few minutes.

>> A: Yeah.

>> JP: How is our plántanos coming?

>> O: I think they need a little bit more
time because they need to be soft.

I don’t think they’re ready yet.

>> A: Do we wanna get our salad ready?

>> JP: Yes.
>> A: And I warmed up those refried beans.

>> JP: Yay!

>> A: Ok.
>> O: Thank you.

>> JP: That looks DElicious.
>> A: It does look delicious.

>> JP: Alright what are you guys
going to eat?

>> A: Hahaha!
>> O: [laughing]

>> A: I don’t think
we’re missing anything.

>> JP: So you’re gonna try the…
>> O: I think we..

>> JP: You’re gonna try
the nutritional yeast?

>> O: Yeah. I’ll put a little bit
just to see how it tastes.

>> A: I would just try sprinkling a
little bit on top

since you’ve never tried it maybe
just a little in one spot

in case you don’t like it.
>> O: Ahhh. Yeah.

>> JP: What’s everybody think?

>> A: Delicious.
>> O: Delicious.

>> JP: Muy delicioso.

>> O: Delicioso.
>> A: Sí.

>> A: Wow it smells really good.

>> O: Peanut always smells good.
>> A: I know, right? [laughing]

>> JP: So how do you know how much
peanut butter to put in there?

>> O: I don’t actually. It depends..
depends on the taste. [laughing]

>> JP: You have to taste it.
>> O: Yeah.

>> O: I know that my Ecuadorian family
usually uses the mixer.

They actually mix it in a
very smooth texture.

So it doesn’t have all this chunks.

But I don’t think that it’s needed,
honestly. [laughing]

>> JP: YouTube needs to invent

>> A: Yeah, wouldn’t that be nice.

>> JP: For all these cooking channels so
people can be really envious.


>> JP: Alright, what are we adding?

>> O: I added some cranberries.

So it’s a little bit sweeter.

And let’s put a little bit more.
>> A: It looks delish.

>> JP: Dried cranberries.

>> O: Yep.
>> A: Yummy.

>> O: I like cranberries.
>> A: What a neat idea for dessert.

>> O: [laughing]

But if you want real dessert, make it
with plátano maduro actually.

>> A: Ok.
>> O: Which is the yellow one.

>> JP: The yellow plátanos
are much sweeter.

>> O: It’s very good.

>> JP: And then we’re going to drizzle
some date syrup over it.

>> O: Yeah.
>> JP: Wow! That looks really good!

>> O: [laughing] Hope it tastes good also.

>> A: I’m going in.
>> O: Let’s do it!

>> A: That’s really good.. yeah.

It’s just the right amount of sweet.

>> JP: It sounds just like me!
>> A: Awww…

Aren’t you funny?!
You’re just full of it today.

>> JP: [chuckling]

>> A: Thanks for joining us for our
second episode of Food With Friends.

Thank you for teaching us how to make
the verde plantains.

>> O: Yeah.
>> A: Oh, there’s an unhappy dog.


>> O: We had a delicious lasagna today.

It was tofu and hopefully next time you’re
gonna teach me something…

somehow the desserts.
>> JP: Without tofu?

>> A: Without tofu.
>> O: [laughing]

>> A: We’ll move on to our next..
>> O: Yeah…

>> A: And we’ll do something
with nutritional yeast.

>> O: Yeah, that would be great.
>> A: Yes. Awesome.

>> O: Thank you so much guys!
>> A: Thank you.

>> O: I love being here!

>> A: Aww. Well we love having you.
Thank you.

Thank you. We’ll see you guys soon.

Oh don’t forget to subscribe!

Hit that notification button so you get
our next episode.

[Blooper Beep]

Alright. Bye…!


You’re not stopping…

Cuenca Pharmacy Tour and Paying Bills + Beet Burgers Cooking Video (Episode 54)

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If you’ve never been to Cuenca or a South American country, you may be curious about basic things like paying bills and shopping at pharmacies. In this video, we’ll show you the unusual (by American standards) way of paying bills and perhaps reassure you about the quality of pharmacies here in Cuenca.

We’ll also share our Beet Burger w/ Black Beans & Quinoa recipe in a cooking video. You can find the full recipe on our sister recipe website,

Beet Burgers

Paying Utility Bills

The process for paying our utility bills here in Cuenca has been a constant learning process. We used to pay for our water, electric and landline at the Farmasol pharmacy near our house, but they stopped accepting utility payments for some reason. Now we go to JEP Cooperativa, which is a co-op bank here in Ecuador.

Paying for Electric, Water and Phone at JEP


JEP only accepts cash and they don’t accept our American ATM bank cards, so we have to go to a regular non-coop bank first to get cash. We prefer Banco Pichincha because they don’t charge ATM fees.

Banco Pichincha

Our utility bills run about $60/month: $40 for electric, $15 for water and $3 for our landline phone that came with the house. For reference, we have a single family 2-story home that’s about 1,500 square feet. Some landlords include the cost of utilities in the rent, but ours doesn’t so we have to pay them ourselves.

Our Internet with Puntonet

We use Puntonet for our Internet access, which costs us $35/month for high-speed, fiber to the curb. It’s FAR better here than our crappy Comcast service back in Denver. We pay Puntonet with auto-pay using a credit card (no international transaction fees).

Our Mobile Phone with Claro

We use Claro for our Ecuadorian mobile phone. It only costs us $17/month! We bought a cheap Samsung phone for $170 when we setup the account, but it was awful. We still have iPhones with Verizon back in the states (we both still work, Amelia for a company in Denver and I have web design clients) so after we upgraded our iPhones, we swapped the SIM card from the Samsung to our old iPhone and it works much better.


We’ve tried setting up auto-pay at Claro using our credit card multiple times, but it never works so we go every month in person to pay. When you go in the front door, you have to get a number and wait your turn.

Claro Number

They ask for your Claro phone number at the front desk, but it doesn’t get recorded on the ticket so you have to repeat it to the clerk who takes your payment. It usually takes less than 15 minutes to pay.

How Our Electricity Got Shut Off

In the video, Amelia mentioned that our electricity got cut off one month. That was due to the confusing nature of bill paying here in Ecuador. There is no online access to bills, so we don’t know what the amounts due until we go to JEP. Furthermore, the bills are only available after a certain day of the month, which has been changed several times in the year we’ve been living here.

The bill available dates are currently between the 1st and 5th of the month (it varies). However, they used to be available between the 19th and the 24th, then the 24th and the 29th. If you go before that date, the bills aren’t available so you can’t pay them.

That’s where the confusion arose with our electricity getting shut off. We went to Farmasol to pay our bills (before they stopped accepting payments) and the electric bill wasn’t available yet because they changed the available date. We figured we would save a trip and just pay for it next month after several friends told us paying a month late wouldn’t matter. The next month, we paid our bills after all of them were available, but they cashier didn’t charge us for the previous month’s electricity.

The next month, Farmasol stopped accepting payments and our payment dates changed AGAIN when JEP took over. The missing month still hadn’t been paid so on our first trip to JEP, they charged us for the missing month and the current month, but when we got home, our electricity had been shut off already for non-payment of the bill three months before.

Thankfully, our landlord happened to drop by and we told him what happened. He took our JEP payment receipt to the electric company showing that we had just paid the late bill and our electricity was turned back on a few hours later.

Paying Rent

We didn’t cover how we pay rent in the video, but it’s worth a mention. This is a cash society. We haven’t seen personal checks, online bill pay is still in its infancy here, and most individuals and small businesses don’t accept credit cards.

So in order to pay the rent, we go to the bank, withdraw cash from the ATM and deposit it directly into our landlord’s bank account. He gave us his account information and we use it to fill out a deposit slip.

Paying the bills and the rent is a great way to get our 10,000 steps in for the day!

Cuenca Pharmacy Tour – Pharmacy’s


Pharmacies are abundant here in Cuenca and throughout Ecuador. For some reason, Ecuador hasn’t gone through the corporate consolidation process like the states has so there are lots of consumer options here. Within walking distance from our house, we have a Cruz Azul, Pharmacy’s, Fybeca and Medicity. And we’ve seen others.

In the video, we toured a Pharmacy’s, but most of the larger pharmacies are pretty similar. They’re a lot like a Walgreens or CVS back in the states and they have a lot of the major brands.


Most of the beauty products are a LOT more expensive here. My physical therapist has us bring back Cetaphil for her because it only costs $11 in the states compared to $41 here.


Most of the packaged medicines and vitamins are kept behind the counter so you’ll need to ask for them. In the smaller pharmacies like the Cruz Azul in our neighborhood, nearly everything is kept behind the counter.

Cruz Azul

If you would like us to look for something in particular, just let us know.

Núcleo Nerve Medicine


Núcleo is a drug that’s available in most countries, but not the United States. This drug helps regenerate damaged nerves and the protective sheath around nerves. It also helps with neuropathy from nerve damage or diabetes. And from my experience, it actually works without side effects and only costs me about $45/month.

Due to my spinal issues, I have nerve damage in my hands, legs and feet. The neuropathy in my feet was really bad before I started taking Núcleo several months ago. I’ve also regained some of the lost feeling in my hands and legs. It’s difficult to say for sure if this is solely due to the Núcleo or if part of the improvement came from my stellar physical therapy here in Cuenca or the natural healing process.

Regardless, it’s unacceptable that this isn’t available in the states when it’s available in most other countries. It could help millions of people suffering with nerve damage or diabetic neuropathy. I was prescribed Gabapentin following my surgeries, but the side effects, especially depression, became unbearable so I had to stop taking it. Núcleo would have really helped me.

Tosta Sourdough Bread

On our way home from paying our bills, we stopped by Tosta for some delicious sourdough bread. We timed it perfectly because it was straight from the oven and still warm! Yum!


Tosta Inside

Tosta Bread

Hopefully you enjoyed our video, and if you did, please LIKE, COMMENT and SHARE it, and SUBSCRIBE to our YouTube channel. ¡Muchas Gracias!

Video Transcript

Hi veggie lovers! I’m Amelia with
Amelia And JP. JP is behind the camera.

Today we are going to go pay our
utilities and our cell phone bill.

We also need to go to the pharmacy,
which is perfect because we had a viewer ask us

to do some video of the
pharmacies here in the area.

We will post these videos, all of our videos,

at 2 p.m. Eastern time every
Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday

and we do stick around for about an hour to answer any questions or comment on any

of your comments so please join us and
remember to subscribe and ring that bell

so that you get notified on all our
latest and greatest.

♫ Upbeat Music ♫

I’m standing outside Claro. Amelia is
inside paying our bill. We’ve tried to

set up automatic payments
with our credit card at Claro several times,

but for some reason it never works correctly.

So we just come down here once a month

and pay in person. It’s $17 a month
for our mobile phone bill here in Ecuador.

There is another company called
Movistar, but most of the people we

talked to recommended Claro
so that’s why we went with them.

And after we leave here after Amelia pays our bill we’re gonna head down to JEP and pay our utilities.

Now that we could also pay
online if we had a JEP account, but since

we don’t we just go pay it in person, too.
And you have to pay that with cash.

They don’t take credit cards there so we’re
gonna go do that next and then go down

and tour a couple pharmacies.

JP: Still waiting?
Amelia: Still waiting.

It actually hasn’t been that long.

I’m going into JEP now to pay our
utilities, which is the water, electric

and we pay I think $3 a month
for a landline that just came with the

house that we rent so it just is part of
rent as far as I’m concerned.

As another thing we do pay our utilities in cash here.

Umm.. I’ve heard that you can set up a

JEP account pay some of these online
but we haven’t tried that.

If somebody knows let us know.

I’m standing outside of JEP
waiting for Amilia.

You can’t use your phone or any
electronics while you’re in the banks here.

They all have security guards. The security guard will come up and yell at you and tell you to

put your phone away or leave. So I’m just
standing outside under a shade tree next

to this woman selling delicious looking
cherimoyas and cherries.

They have the most amazing dark cherries here!

Oh my God they’re like candy!

A: Success!
JP: All paid?
A: All paid.

JP: So they aren’t going to shut off our electricity again?
A: No. [chuckling]

We’ve had some issues figuring out
when we’re supposed to pay bills

and they changed our due date and they changed the location where we can pay them,

but luckily our landlord helped us through all of that.

We only had our electricity shut off for what, nine hours?

JP: Yeah [laughing]

That was embarrassing. [laughing]

And the funny thing is we had just paid it that morning!

But we didn’t realize we
had a short window and somehow one month

apparently didn’t get paid when they
made the bill switch. I don’t know.

Now we are heading over to the pharmacy
right down the street

to get JP’s prescriptions.

We decided to stop on the way home
and get some bread from Tosta.

We timed it perfectly, although
that was an accident and they had just

pulled some fresh out of the oven. Yay!I

[sounds of cutting bread]

JP: Yummy bread.
A: I know. I’m hungry and I could not wait for a piece.

A: We are back from running our errands and
enjoying our delicious bread from Tosta.

A: Sitting outside and
enjoying the wonderful weather.

JP: I know. It’s beautiful here today it.

A: It is. We had…a viewer asked us
to record the pharmacy’s,

which we were happy to do so

since as I mentioned we needed to go
anyway. There are many different

pharmacies out here they’re super easy
to find. Umm, there.. I think they’re pretty

similar to like a Walgreens or a Rite
Aid. What do you think JP?

JP: Yeah they’re very similar to like Walgreens,
except a lot of the stuff is behind the counter.

JP: Things that you don’t actually need a
prescription for but they still keep it

behind the counter anyway.

A: Just obviously to minimize theft.
JP: Yeah.

A: Especially the little stores everything in the little
pharmacies are behind the counter so you

have to know what you want because most
of the people working there do not speak English.

JP: So the pharmacies are the ones
that we know of are Farmasol, Medicity

No, that was Fybeca.
Fybeca, Farmacias, Cruz Azul,

which is Blue Cross in English.

A: Yes and I think..
JP: Is that it?

JP: There may be more there’s a lot

of pharmacies and a lot of little ones like
the little one in our neighborhood.

JP: The Cruz Azul. It’s really tiny. They..
Almost everything is behind the counter there.

A: Yeah, but they’re really helpful so we’ve
gone and gotten prescriptions there

before and they have had to order them
but they get them the same day usually.

JP: Usually the same day or the next day.

A: But if you’re in a hurry I would definitely

recommend going to a larger pharmacy

or if you actually do want to
wander up and down some aisles..

JP: And see all the stuff.
A: Yes. Go to a larger pharmacy.

A: The interesting thing, I mentioned
prescriptions. JP, you want to..?

JP: Oh yeah I’ve got my
prescriptions here.

This is Núcleo. And this is a drug that
helps with the regeneration of nerve damage

and the protective sheath that coats nerves.
And this is not available in the United States,

but it is available here and it
doesn’t even require a prescription.

I’ve been taking this for a few months and I
definitely think it’s helping with my

nerve damage from my spinal issues
and I don’t feel any side effects from

it so it I feel better I’ve got more
feeling back in my hands and legs and

feet and there’s no side effects.

A: Yeah and it’s very affordable so a lot of

the stuff here is really affordable um
the doctors will write you a

prescription so that you know what to
get from the pharmacist, but then we can

go back and just buy them normally.

JP: Yeah, we just show them the box.
A: Like the B vitamins, for example.

JP: We got these B Vitamins, too. My neurologist

here recommended I take these
every day as well

because that’s also supposed
to help with nerve damage.

A: So not everything
is available over-the-counter.

A: I think that they have changed their
policy on antibiotics

and that you do need a prescription for that.

[loud car alarm; laughing]

JP: Car alarms galore. It’s non stop here.

A: Anyway, not everything is available over-the-counter.

A: Some prescriptions..
[loud car alarm]
JP: It’s never-ending.

A: Not everything is available over-the-counter.
Certain things like antibiotics require

a prescription now.
I would assume opioids probably.

JP: Probably. You used to be able to buy
antibiotics without a prescription

You could just walk in and tell them
you want some and they give them to you,

but because of the over over prescribing of

antibiotics and all the antibody
antibiotic resistant bacteria or

whatever now they’re.. they require
prescription now, thankfully.

[chewing sounds]

JP: Anything else?
A: I was hungry.

JP: Amelia’s hungry. I’m hungry, too.

JP: All right.
A: The bread is delicious.

JP: All right. So now you’re gonna go do yoga?
A: Mm-hmm.

JP: I think I’ll do my workout and then we’re
gonna do some cooking this afternoon.

A: That’s the plan.
JP: All right. See you soon.
A: See you soon.

I decided to make Beet Burgers
because JP and I have not had them in..

..ages I think a year, year and a half maybe.
And they sounded really delicious.

The beets here are really good and it’s
pretty quick and easy to make.

Although, I had to review my notes a
couple times because, like I said,

I haven’t made him in a long time.
So let’s run through our ingredients.

OK. So I have two beets, which I have to grate.

These are raw. I have peeled them.
I have 1 cup of black beans that I have rinsed and

drained.. or drained and rinsed.
I have 2 cups of cooked quinoa.

One onion that I need to chop still.
1 teaspoon paprika.

1 teaspoon cumin.
1/2 teaspoon mustard.

1/4 teaspoon salt (kinda hard to see in there).
I have 3 tablespoons minced garlic.

And then I need to make a flax egg.
That’s first thing I’m gonna do and to

do that I’m going to grind up two
tablespoons of flax.

We use a coffee grinder to grind all of our seeds.
We actually do not use this to grind coffee, FYI.

Alright so this is super simple. Just
putting in my two tablespoons of flax

seed which is going to make us some flax meal.

[coffee grinder sound]

So I actually have a little bit more than
two tablespoons.. once it’s ground.

A: You can buy ground flax meal we just did not.
JP: It’s better if you grind it fresh.

JP: It loses its nutritional value as it sits.

A: So I am going to measure out the two tablespoons

and the rest of this we can use for our
breakfast tomorrow and I’m just gonna

give this a quick stir with my teeny
tiny little fork.

Alright and that just needs to sit and
it will kind of turn into this

jelly-like consistency, which will be our
flax egg. So we will set that aside and

then the next thing I need to do is
grate these beets. So I need a cup of

grated beets and I’m not exactly sure
how much that’s going to be, so..

JP: Those are raw, right?
A: Yes. Raw peeled. Please make sure you peel them.

I don’t think the peel of beets would
taste very good.

I did slice these up so they will fit
into our little tube here.

[food processor sound]

So we need a cup of grated beets.
Boy these look delicious don’t they?

JP: Wow, they’re so red!
A: I know.

A: I think we’re gonna have plenty.
We have extra quinoa because I

made a little extra intentionally so we
can have that for breakfast in the

morning and we’re gonna have a little
bit of extra beet, grated beets which is

delicious in salads, which we’ll
also have tomorrow.

I still need my food processor so I didn’t rinse it out.

I did change the blades so we’re now using

this one not the shredder one. We’re
going to put in our grated beets, one cup.

Black beans. I think I’ll go ahead and put our spices
in so that I don’t end up making a mess.

Quinoa is going in here as well. This is
gonna be a very hearty burger JP.

And very pretty. And then lastly we want to
put our flax egg in and in case you have

not made one yet you can see this is
your end result it’s kind of gelatinous.

I’m just gonna pulse this until
everything is blended. We don’t want

things to be mushy we want them
still to be a little chunky.

[food processor sound]

Yeah I think this is good.
Oh my gosh it smells really good.

I’m really excited to eat these!

I’m going to set this aside for a moment,
chop my onion, and I’m going to sauté

the onion and garlic and a little bit of
veggie broth until the onions are translucent.

All right, I’ve heated a quarter cup of veggie broth.

And to that I’m going to add
my three tablespoons of minced garlic.

That spoon’s a little too big to get in there.
I can keep trying but it’s just not gonna work.

And….. Whoops. Our onion..
So in my, on the website we say

to use a yellow onion, which I did not have.
I think any onion will do.

JP: I agree.

A: I love these red onions. I love white onions and I love yellow onions.

They’ll all be delicious, but we can only use one so purple it is.

Ok. And like I mentioned before I’m

just gonna sauté these until they are translucent.

JP: And over here, we’re making some
green beans to go with our Beet Burgers.

While the onions are cooking, onions AND
garlic are cooking, I am going to

transfer our beet mixture to a bowl
because we are going to add in the

onions and garlic along with two
tablespoons of whole wheat flour to this

mixture and then we are going to form
them into patties.

And then we’re going to bake these.
I should mention that.

We are going to bake them in a 350 degree oven.

Wow looks really good.

Alright, I think our onion and garlic is looking good.

So veggie lovers it is dinner time for the
dogs and they are right underneath our feet,

waiting to be fed. They’re gonna have to wait
a couple more minutes. Sorry babies.

Last up before we form these into
patties is to add in two tablespoons of flour.

And I am using whole wheat flour.

All right, now I just need to grab, grab our baking sheet

and then I will make our patties.

This should make six patties.

And you can see I’m just molding them.
They’re kind of fragile.

A: But boy they really look good, don’t they?
JP: They sure do.

A: I love the color. I’m glad I decided to use a red onion.

Fate intervened. Umm.
The nice thing.. these are fragile..

You don’t have to flip these though so
we’re going to bake these now

for 30 to 40 minutes until they’re nice
and done and a little crispy.


A: Mmmmm..
JP: Wow! Those look yummy!

A: I know! They look really good, don’t they?
JP: They smell good, too!

A: They DO smell good! Oooo! This is quite hot!

Dinner is ready!


A: This looks delish, JP.
JP: Wow, that does.

A: Uno más.

A: Do you want lettuce and tomato?
JP: Yes, please.

A: I’ll give you two slices.
JP: Thank you.

A: Well you’re very welcome.
JP: That’s so red!
A: I know.

A: Pile that right on top.
JP: Wow! Looky there! Looks so good!
A: I know it’s so pretty!

And then I’m gonna do ketchup and
mustard on mine.. and then I’m gonna eat!

JP: What kind of mustard?

A: Well I’m gonna use regular yellow mustard.

I know you like the spicy brown mustard.

Any of your favorite condiments will do.

A: Avocado would be really good with this, too.
JP: Oh, it would be good.

JP: All right, let’s eat.
A: Next time. Let’s eat!

That’s all for today veggie lovers.

I hope you enjoyed our day in the life
video and I hope you found the pharmacy

information helpful. And I also hope
that you give our beet burgers a try.

Please remember to subscribe. Ring that
bell so you get all the latest and greatest.

And we will see you next time.

Food With Friends Featuring Rachel + Weird Exotic Fruit Tasting (Episode 50)

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In this episode of Food With Friends, our friend Rachel joined us for some delicious Lazy Girl Easy Vegan Enchiladas and weird exotic fruit tasting.

The fruits we tasted were Dragon Fruit (pitahaya in Spanish), Ecuadorian Guava and Sapote.

Dragon Fruit

Dragon Fruit

The Dragon Fruit is extremely sweet and juicy. Just cut it in half and dip out the goodness with a spoon. We love Dragon Fruit, but it is a very effective laxative so it’s best to eat in extreme moderation. That little bit I ate in the video completely cleaned me out the next morning!

Ecuadorian Guava

Ecuadorian Guava

The Guava is a lot different than us North American’s are used to. Here in Ecuador, it’s a pod with a white, edible cotton-like pulp and lots of slimy black seeds. The pulp is sweet with the consistency of cotton candy. None of us were huge fans of this fruit. It was mostly seeds and the edible pulp clings to them so you have to put the whole thing in your mouth and spit out the slimy seed.



The Sapote was quite delicious, but a bit stringy with lots of large seeds. It was hard to cut and the strings got lodged in our teeth requiring floss to remove them. It tasted like a cross between a cantaloupe and a sweet pumpkin, but the the consistency of a stringy mango. While it was a bit more high maintenance to eat than a mango, it was delicious and we all agreed, worth buying again.

Hopefully you enjoyed our video, and if you did, please LIKE, COMMENT and SHARE it, and SUBSCRIBE to our YouTube channel. ¡Muchas Gracias!

Preparing for New Years in Cuenca with Monigotes and Black Eyed Peas (Episode 47)

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This video turned into a New Year tradition video, with a blending of Latin American culture and Southern US culture.

Each year on New Years Eve, Ecuadorians and people throughout Latin America burn monigotes in the street as a way of casting out the old and welcoming in the new. The word “monigote” literally translates to ragdoll, but a more accurate translation would be effigy. They’re also called Año Viejos, which translates to Old Year Things.

The monigotes are made of paper-mâché or fabric and usually filled with straw or sawdust. Some are also filled with firecrackers so when they’re burned, they make quite the show and they’re very noisy.

It’s common in Ecuador to put a mask on the monigote that looks like a specific person. Some people even print pictures of politicians or members of opposing soccer teams and affix them to the monigotes. I’m guessing a few bosses and ex-boyfriends or girlfriends also make their way onto a monigote or two. Our friend from Venezuela says, “That’s playing with voodoo, which is playing with fire!”

We’re looking forward to venturing out on Monday night (New Years Eve) to film the burning of the monigotes in El Centro. We’re not quite sure what to expect, but we’re guessing lots of people, fires and smoke. Stay tuned!

My family (JP’s) comes from Missouri, which is a southern state where Black Eyed Peas are considered good luck to eat on New Year’s Day. There are several theories/myths about this tradition dating back to The Civil War, and even though we’re not superstitious, it can’t hurt to eat some delicious Vegan Black Eyed Peas on New Year’s Day!

Black Eyed Peas

Hopefully you enjoyed our video, and if you did, please LIKE, COMMENT and SHARE it, and SUBSCRIBE to our YouTube channel. ¡Muchas Gracias!

Links to Info & Places We Visited in the Video