All posts by A.A. Mackey

plant based whole foods adventurer - wife - boxing fan - heirloom organic gardener - wellness educator - mother - golfer - traveler - friend - photographer - daughter - runner - sister - recipe scientist - writer

Urban Cowboy Breakfast

Once upon a time Bill and I were junk food vegans.  We sought out the best in vegan junk food throughout the country when we would travel.  One of the things we encountered along the way was a breakfast called The Nebulous Potato Thing. We think it is probably one of the coolest names ever for a breakfast.  It was delightfully filled with potatoes, peppers, beans, vegan sour cream, vegan cheese and – it was fried with lots of oil on the grill.  Now it sounds pretty gross to me, but at the time…I remember eating until I felt gross.

Those days are gone now and I can eat until I am comfortably full without feeling gross.  Today I set out to recreate a healthy version of the Nebulous breakfast, which I am dubbing:

The Urban Cowboy


You will need:

a bag of frozen Ore Ida hashbrowns (or 6 large russet potatoes diced)

4 sweet peppers

1 hot pepper (or sub another sweet pepper if you don’t like heat)

1/2 bag of frozen corn

1-2 packages of extra firm tofu diced (you can sub any bean if you like)

Cayenne Pepper, Smoked Paprika & Fiesta Lime Seasoning – to taste

1 jar/package Frontera Guacamole mix

1/2 cup or so of shredded purple cabbage

6 green onions diced

a handful of diced cilantro

salsa for topping if you’d like

Makes 4 large servings


Add hash browns to a hot non-stick pan along with the peppers that you have sliced into rings and the corn. Add NO water or broth to the pan…just be patient, heating the potatoes on medium, leave them sit long enough to start to brown – in other words…leave them alone for a bit, you can check them with a spatula, but you don’t need to constantly stir them.  The potatoes will begin to brown. As seen here…


In another pan… coat the bottom of the pan with a mix of these spices, use as little or as much heat ast you’d like with the cayenne. Skip it entirely if you don’t like spicy.

It should look like this…

Add in your cubed tofu – or your can of beans (drained) then toss them with the spices and set on medium heat.


Meanwhile back at the ranch…

keep tossing the potatoes every 3 minutes or so as they continue to brown. When they are browned to your liking…Then add in your jar of Guacamole mix. I use this because it is relatively low in sodium per serving compared to most salsas and I like the flavor.


toss it all together and lower the heat to low.

In your other pan of tofu(or beans)… you want to heat them thoroughly or brown your tofu.


now, toss in your diced cabbage to the potato mixture and then turn off the heat, let sit for 5 minutes. You want it to be al dente, not soggy. So it only takes a few minutes.


It should you look like this:


now assemble your plate:

potato mixture first, then add on your tofu or beans, top with cilantro and green onions, salsa if you’d like and serve with half a plate of greens. Garnish with lime slices – squeeze over the whole plate :)


perfect for breakfast, lunch or dinner. Wrapped in a collard wrap, or a Engine 2 tortilla.

BBQ Potato Chip Soup

This hearty soup reminds me of BBQ Potato Chips.  I used to love BBQ Chips, haven’t had them in forever, but this soup hit the spot!

You will need:

64 oz. water

About 12 potatoes cubed – I used Sweet, Red, Yukon and Russet

2 Cups of shredded kale

10 green onions  – diced (save two for garnishing)

1 – 15 oz. can of great northern beans

1 12 oz. bag of frozen carrots

1 – 15 oz. can of no salt added carrots

4 potatoes that have been pre-cooked (steamed or baked is fine)

4-6 tablespoons of a smokey/mesquite/BBQ type seasoning – like Mrs. Dash Southwest Chipotle (I used a combo of smoked paprika, garlic powder, rosemary, lemon zest, oregano powder, black pepper and chives)

Puree the 4 cooked potatoes, canned carrots and beans in the food processor.

Wash and cube the potatoes, add them to a stock pot with the bag of frozen carrots and the water. Bring to a boil, then simmer for approximately 30 minutes until the potatoes are tender.

Dice the 8 green onions.

When the potatoes are tender in the pot, add the puree, the onions, and your spice blend. Stir and simmer for 15 minutes.

Remove the pot from the heat, add the shredded kale, stir.

Wait 5 minutes.

Serve with onion garnish.

Variations: You can spice this however you’d like. The seasoning blend I made reminds me of BBQ chips. Most smokey/mesquite/chipotle seasoning type blends will give the same essence. Feel free to play with flavors you like.  I can see this working well with just about any Mrs. Dash blend.

Investigate herb blends that you may enjoy by visiting spice shops if you have one nearby.  So many amazing blends exist without you having to worry about how to get the flavor profile you are seeking.  Just add the pre-blended spices you like to your recipes.  If you are more confident in the kitchen, try making your own spice blends! Taste as you go, enjoy the process and experiment with flavors!

A simple dinner

Friday night dinner
Friday night dinner

Roasted potatoes, sweet potatoes and Sweet Dumpling squash tossed with garlic and jalapenos with Mrs. Dash Extra Spicy Seasoning – served with forbidden black rice tossed with a few tablespoons of smokey BBQ sauce – garnished with a few baked Vidalia onion rings and steamed kale. Simple and delicious!