Black Bean and Chick’n Enchiladas

EnchiladasSorry it’s been so long since my last post; been a busy bee, I guess. Sometimes, it just feels like a faux meat night and I was craving these enchiladas. They’re a breeze to prepare, but taste like you slaved away in the kitchen. This would also be a good meal to entice those meat-eating friends of yours to come to the table and give veganism a chance.

INGREDIENTS:

1 16-oz pkg. vegan chicken strips, defrosted (Morning Star, Simple Truth, or Gardein brands all make their own version)
1 15-oz can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 14-oz can Rotel (tomatoes with diced green chilies), drained
1 16-oz jar 505 Brand green chili sauce
1 C Tofutti sour cream
4-oz Tofutti cream cheese
1/4 C almond milk
Optional: 1/4 to 1/2 C vegan pepper jack shreds
Optional: salsa, guacamole
7 flour tortillas

DSC08094

DIRECTIONS:

Preheat oven to 375. In a large bowl whisk together the sour cream, cream cheese, vegan pepper jack (if using) and milk. Stir in the Rotel, black beans and chick’n strips.

DSC08093Scoop the chick’n mixture evenly into 6-7 flour tortillas and place into a 9×13 baking dish. Cover with the green chili sauce.

DSC08096Cover with foil and bake for 35-40 minutes. (Make sure the foil isn’t touching the tortillas too much, because it will stick to them). Enjoy with some guacamole and salsa!

Enchiladas

Mexican Stuffed Shells

Mexican Stuffed Shells

I had been seeing recipes for this dish floating around and decided to try make my own vegan version. You might not think to combine pasta and Mexican food, but it’s not unlike my Mexican Pasta Casserole. Easy and delicious!

INGREDIENTS:

DSC08058

Filling:

1 Tbs olive oil
1 (12-oz) pkg. LightLife veggie crumbles (or other ground “meat” of your choice)
1 C onion, diced small
1/2 red bell pepper, diced small
1 packet taco seasoning
1/2 C cilantro, minced
2 Tbs lime juice

Sauce:

1 (15-oz) can tomato sauce
2 tsp Ancho chili powder (or other chili powder)
1 tsp oregano
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp sugar
1 tsp salt
3 cloves garlic
2 jarred roasted red peppers
1 (4-oz) can diced green chilies

The rest:

1 box jumbo shells (approx 45 shells)
1/2 C green onions, sliced
1 (4-oz) can sliced black olives
Vegan shredded cheese
Optional: vegan sour cream, salsa

DIRECTIONS:

Preheat the oven to 350.  In a large skillet, heat the olive oil and add the onions and bell pepper. Saute until they begin to soften and brown. Add the veggie crumbles and cook another 5-7 minutes. I mixed the taco seasoning with about a 1/2 C of water and poured it into the skillet and combined it with the veggie mixture. Stir in the cilantro and lime juice and remove from the heat. Let it cool.

DSC08060Meanwhile, boil the water for the shells and prepare the sauce. In a medium saucepan, whisk together the tomato sauce and seasonings. In a food processor, puree the garlic cloves and roasted red peppers. Add the puree to the sauce, along with the green chilies and cook over medium heat. Once the shells are ready, drain, rinse and place them on a large baking sheet. (It keeps them from sticking together).

DSC08061Place about a 1/4 C of the sauce on the bottom of a 15″ baking dish. Stuff each shell with about a tablespoon of filling; place in dish. I ended up with about 42 stuffed shells with a few leftover. Top with remaining sauce, green onions, olives, and cheese.

DSC08063Cover and bake for 30 minutes. Enjoy!

MexStuffShells

Vegan Oven Tacos

DSC07843

 

Every week, when I’m writing up a grocery list, I always ask for dinner suggestions. It never fails. “Tacos.” It’s become a joke around here. When I saw this recipe on Pinterest for Oven Tacos, I knew my hegans would be very happy with a vegan version. These were definitely a hit. I had to laugh when the original recipe said that after the ground beef is cooked (yack!) “drain the liquid.” Oh, just say what it is! Grease! Melted animal fat! Ahhh . . . I love it; being vegan means never having to say, “drain the liquid/grease/fat.” Speaking of which, the Boca crumbles have zero fat, I use “no fat” refried beans, and there is no fat in the tomato sauce. Obviously, these aren’t totally fat free, but can you imagine the fat content alone in the original ones? Yikes! So, not only are these amazing, they’re actually healthy for you. I’ve discovered these great whole grain taco shells that really are delicious. Psst . . . by the way, this makes A LOT. I made 13 tacos and had some filling left over, so I recommend either serving these to a crowd, or freezing half the filling for the next taco night.

DSC07835

 

INGREDIENTS:

1 bag Boca Crumbles

1/2 large onion, chopped

1 Tbs olive oil

1  15-oz can no fat refried beans

1 small can diced green chilies

1 packet taco seasoning

1  8-oz can tomato sauce

Daiya cheese shreds

13-14 taco shells

Toppings:

green onion, sliced

sliced black olives

fresh cilantro, chopped

diced tomatoes

guacamole or diced avocado

salsa

DIRECTIONS:

Preheat the oven to 400. In a large skillet, heat the olive oil. Add the onion and saute until softened and beginning to brown. Add the Boca Crumbles and cook 4-5 minutes, or until they are heated through. (No need to drain any “liquid”)! In a small bowl or measuring cup, combine the seasoning mix with 1/2 to 3/4 C of water;  stir into the Boca mixture. Next, add the tomato sauce, green chilies, and beans. Combine well over medium-low heat.

DSC07837

 

Fill the taco shells with the mixture. I wanted to leave plenty of room for toppings, so I filled them about a third of the way up, but feel free to use as little or as much as you want. Like I said, I made 13 tacos—enough to fill a 9×13 baking dish, so if you’re making more, you’ll want a larger dish. And be careful, they break easily with the thick filling inside (especially after they’re baked). Sprinkle with some Daiya cheese.

DSC07839

 

Bake for 10 minutes. The bottom portion of the shell (that has the Boca filling) will have the awesomeness of a soft taco, but the flavor of corn. THEN, the top half is crunchy—best of both worlds!

DSC07841

Load them up with your favorite toppings and enjoy!

DSC07844

Vegan Baked Jalapeno Poppers

DSC07651

The Eighth Grader and I have been wanting to try making these for a while, but we kept forgetting. We were to bring an appetizer to a dinner the other night and finally! I remembered these. Not only that, our friends love jalapenos, so these were ideal. They were literally gone in about 5 minutes. They were so easy to make, too, so I’ll be bringing them to the next get together.

INGREDIENTS:

10 jalapeno peppers

Filling:

6-oz vegan cream cheese
1/2 C Daiya cheese shreds (I used a mixture of cheddar and mozzarella)
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp chili powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
2-3  Tbs vegan bacon bits

Coating:

Egg-replacer powder + water
almond milk

Breading:

3/4 C flour (any variety)
4 Tbs nutritional yeast
1 to 1-1/2 C panko

DIRECTIONS:

Preheat the oven to 375. To make the filling, combine all of the ingredients, except the bacon bits, in a mixer. Once well incorporated, fold in the bacon bits; set aside. To prepare the peppers, cut the tops off and slice the peppers in half, length-wise. Clean out the insides, reserving any seeds you may want to keep (for heat).

DSC07646

To prepare the coating, I didn’t measure out the egg-replacer powder and water .  .  . sorry. But I can tell you, I used about 1/3 C of Ener-G Egg Replacer and created a thick, meringue-like consistency by whisking in some water. I then combined it with about 1/2 to 3/4 C of almond milk.  Next, combine the flour and nutritional yeast in a shallow bowl.

DSC07647

In another shallow bowl, pour in the panko. So here’s the process:

Fill the pepper halves with some cream cheese filling, roll it in the milk, then the flour filling, then the panko. Place onto a lightly greased baking sheet.

DSC07649

Repeat with remaining peppers. Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until the tops begin to brown. I threw them under the broiler for about 2 minutes. Enjoy!

DSC07651

And guess what . . .  it’s snowing! Again! I’m so over it.

DSC07655

Luckily, the veggies we planted in March are doing fine. Of course, we had to cover them again last night, but we should only be getting 3 inches at the most.  I suppose the good thing is that this will help with this summer’s fire danger. But still . . . why can’t it just rain?!

Gluten-Free Burrito Bowls with Avocado-Lime Rice

DSC07555

This is my new favorite versatile meal. I saw this recipe for the avocado rice, where they also suggested making burrito bowls using it. Obviously, I wasn’t keen on their meat and dairy version, so I made my own, healthier ones. I also made some changes to the rice recipe by using this awesome rice from Lundberg. The guys tend to be white rice kind of men, but there were no complaints! It’s a blend of sweet brown rice, short grain brown rice, long grain brown rice, whole grain Wehani (brand) rice, whole grain black Japonica (brand) rice.

DSC07544

And I have to mention the quite ingenious Velcro re-closeable bag!

DSC07545

This is such a fresh, simple, and healthy meal where everyone in the family can create their own with their favorite fresh ingredients. Now, my new favorite ingredient . . . is this tri-bean blend. Organic and on sale for $1 a can! Love these. Packed with protein and fiber.

DSC07541

So, on to the recipe!

INGREDIENTS: (Makes 6 bowls)

Rice:

3-1/2 C water

2 C Lundberg Jubilee rice

2 avocados, mashed

1/2 C cilantro, chopped

zest and juice from one lime

The beans:

3 cans tri-bean blend (black bean, pinto, and kidney)

2 tsp cumin

2 tsp Ancho Chili pepper

1 tsp garlic powder

1/2 tsp salt

1/3 C water

The rest (toppings):

Green onion, sliced

Tomato, diced

Daiya cheese

Sour cream

Lettuce, chopped

Salsa

Corn tortilla crunchies/chips

DIRECTIONS:

The rice will take 35-40 minutes, so you’ll want to get that started first. Bring the 3-1/2 cups of water to a boil, add the rice, stir, cover, and reduce heat to low. Check after 30 minutes.

DSC07551

Meanwhile, in a small to medium saucepan, add the beans, seasonings, and water. Heat on low to medium heat, stirring occasionally, until heated through.

DSC07549

When the rice is done, stir in the mashed avocados, cilantro, lime zest, and lime juice.

DSC07552

Fill a bowl with about 1 to 1-1/2 cups of the avocado rice . . .

DSC07554

 . . . layer on some beans and toppings and enjoy!

DSC07556

Field Roast and Avocado Burritos

DSC07457

Yikes, it’s been a while. I have so many new recipes on my list to make, but I’ve been so busy with various different projects, that throwing together a simple favorite has been all I’ve had time for. I’ll get back into the swing of things. I can’t tell you how happy I am to be emerging from the cold and depressing days of winter! We even got our garden started this weekend. (I’ll be bringing you Garden Watch soon). In the meantime, here’s a fast and simple meal that is ready in less than 30 minutes.

INGREDIENTS:

1 Tbs chipotle-flavored olive oil (or regular)

1/2 C yellow or white onion, chopped

1/2 C red onion, chopped

4 Field Roast Sausages, Italian Seasoning flavor, crumbled

2 avocados, peeled, pitted and sliced

4 Flour tortillas

Other (optional) burrito fillings: vegan sour cream, salsa, cilantro, diced tomatoes, Daiya cheese

 

DSC07454

DIRECTIONS:

Heat the olive oil over medium-high heat and add the onions. Cook 5-7 minutes, or until they soften. Add the Field Roast and cook over medium heat until heated through, again, for 5-7 minutes.

DSC07453

 

On a warmed tortilla, layer on some sour cream, Field Roast mixture, avocados, and any other burrito fillings you want. Roll up and enjoy! (See, I told you it was easy)!

DSC07456

 

Mexican Pasta Casserole

DSC07165

I’ve made a similar casserole, but I didn’t have all of the ingredients. I changed things up given what I had to work with. I love how easy and delicious these kinds of casseroles are—they make for the perfect winter meal.

INGREDIENTS:

Sauce:

1  14.5 oz can diced tomatoes (or a can of Rotel with green chilies), undrained

1/2 C Tofutti sour cream + any extra for serving on top

1/4 C nutritional yeast

1 packet of seasoning mix (taco, burrito or fajita)

1/2 C shredded  Daiya pepper jack cheese

1/4 C almond milk

1 tsp salt

1/2 tsp black pepper

The rest:

2 C uncooked pasta (any variety—I had a mixture of ziti and elbow mac)

1 Tbs olive oil (I used chipotle-flavored)

2 cloves garlic, crushed or minced

1/2 of a bell pepper (any variety—I used orange), chopped

1/2 C onion, chopped

1-1/2 to 2 C mushrooms, chopped or sliced

1  15 oz can black beans, drained and rinsed

4-5 green onions, sliced

1 C cilantro leaves

Optional ingredients: black olives, diced avocados or guacamole

DIRECTIONS:

Preheat oven to 375. While cooking the pasta, heat the olive oil and garlic in a large skillet. Over medium heat, saute the bell pepper and onions until they begin to soften, then add the black beans.

DSC07161

 

Cook for another 3-4 minutes, then add the mushrooms.

IMG_1099

Cook until the mushroom cook down a little—just a couple of minutes.

In a medium bowl, combine all of the sauce ingredients and mix well. Drain the pasta and add it to the skillet, along with the sauce; blend well. Transfer to a 13×9″ baking dish.

IMG_1100

Cover and bake for 20-25 minutes. Top servings with some green onions and cilantro and any other optional ingredients. Enjoy!

Spicy Empanadas

DSC07160

Happy New Year!

We spent our New Year’s Eve with friends and I brought these empanadas. I’ve made similar ones before and I noticed that I had written 5-6 jalapenos for that recipe. Those must have been some pretty mild peppers, because I used one in this recipe and they were plenty zippy! I changed these up a little and they turned out great. I think adding a chipotle-flavored Field Roast sausage link would also be great for the filling. I’m going to have to figure out how to keep them from opening up during the baking process, but it didn’t seem to make a difference in taste—they were gone in minutes!

INGREDIENTS:

Dough:

3 C flour + some for kneading
3 tsp Ener-G Egg Replacer + 4 Tbs water
12 Tbs Earth Balance (1-1/2 sticks)
1/2 tsp salt
1 Tbs white vinegar
1/3 to 1/2 C water

Filling:

8-oz non-dairy cream cheese
2 Tbs lime juice
1 Tbs almond milk + some for brushing
1 tsp shallot salt
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1 C fresh cilantro, chopped
1/2 C vegan pepper jack, shredded
1 tsp cumin
1 jalapeno, chopped fine
1/3 C red bell pepper, chopped small
1/2 medium yellow onion, chopped small
1 clove garlic, crushed
1 Tbs olive oil

DIRECTIONS:

To make the dough, combine the egg replacer with the water and process until foamy.

DSC07155

Add the flour, Earth Balance, salt, vinegar, and water. Process until well combine.

DSC07156

Transfer to a lightly floured surface and knead for about 3 minutes. Wrap with plastic wrap and chill for 30 minutes. Meanwhile, heat the olive oil and garlic in a medium skillet. Add the onions, jalapeno, and bell pepper. Season with cumin and saute 5-7 minutes, then remove from the heat.

DSC07152

Using a mixer, combine the cream cheese, lime juice, almond milk, shallot salt, and garlic powder. Stir in the cilantro, cheese, and pepper mixture.

DSC07154

Preheat oven to 400. Roll out the dough and using a disk, bowl or cup, cut out 4″ circles.

DSC07158

Place about a tablespoon of the filling in the middle of dough circle. Fold over and you can either use a fork to seal the edges closed, or a pastry wheel cutter, then place onto a large baking sheet.

DSC07159

Bake for 15 minutes, then brush the tops with almond milk. Bake another 5-7 minutes, or until the tops brown. Enjoy!

Field Roast and Spinach Enchiladas (a.k.a. Best. Enchiladas. Ever.)

These were seriously enchilada magic. They were also very easy to make, which may have been because The Eighth Grader helped out. With or without help in the kitchen, you’ll have plenty of help eating these! This is also a great dish to trick those meat-lover friends and family and later, you can do the happy “Ha-Ha That Was Vegan And You Loved It” dance. (But try not to gloat too much). ;-)

INGREDIENTS:

Sauce:

28-oz can diced tomatoes, undrained
1/2 C vegetable broth
2-1/2 tsp Ancho chile pepper
1-1/2 tsp cumin
1 tsp oregano
1 tsp sugar
1-1/2 tsp salt
2 jarred roasted red peppers
2-3 large cloves of garlic

Filling:

2 tsp olive oil
2 Field Roast sausages, Chipotle style, crumbled
1 C onion, diced
5-6 C fresh spinach, torn into pieces, or chopped
1 15-oz can black beans, drained and rinsed

The rest:

6 large flour tortillas
Daiya cheese shreds

DIRECTIONS:

Preheat oven to 350. In a medium saucepan, combine the diced tomatoes, broth, Ancho chile pepper, cumin, oregano, sugar, and salt. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, heat the olive oil in a large skillet. Add the onion and cook five minutes, or until the onion softens and begins to brown. Add the Field Roast and black beans and cook over medium-low heat for 10 minutes.

While the filling is cooking, place the roasted red peppers and garlic in the food processor:

Add just half of the sauce and puree until smooth, then return it to the saucepan and combine with the other half of the sauce.

Let it simmer for 5-10 minutes. Stir the spinach into the filling mixture. You may need to add a tiny bit of water to get the steam going. I poured a little vegetable broth in. Cook until the spinach just begins to wilt, then remove from the heat.

To assemble the enchiladas, place about a third of the sauce on the bottom of a 9×13 baking dish. Fill each tortilla evenly with the filling and top with a sprinkle of Daiya cheese. I used a combo of cheddar and jack.

Roll up tightly and place fold-side down in the pan.

Top with the remaining sauce and sprinkle some more Daiya on top.

Cover and bake for 40 minutes. Top with some Tofutti sour cream, cilantro, and green onions (diced avocado is great, too)!

Enjoy!

Baked Tofu Tacos

 

This was a delicious experiment. The Eighth Grader suggested these tacos, so why not? Tofu’s the chameleon of plant-based foods. I had bought some seasoning mix from Savory Spice Shop   that we thought sounded interesting, and decided to try it out on these tacos.

I think it works best to try to marinate the tofu in the seasoning for a few hours. (These tacos tasted even better the next day).

INGREDIENTS:

16-20 oz extra firm tofu, drained and pressed

2 Tbs Seasoning mix of your choice, divided

2-4 Tbs Olive oil, divded

1 onion, sliced

Taco shells

Lettuce, chopped

Tomatoes, chopped

Salsa

Avocado

DIRECTIONS:

Cut the tofu into little slabs . . .

Line a baking sheet (preferably with sides to catch the oil) with foil. In a small bowl, combine 1 tablespoon of the seasoning mix with about 1 to 1-1/2 Tbs of olive oil. Brush the foil with a little of the mixture, then line the pan with the tofu. Brush the tops and sides of the tofu with the olive oil mix. If you can cover and leave the tofu for an hour or two, that would be great. You can also combine the the 2 Tbs of the mixture and olive oil in a bag or dish with the tofu and marinate it that way.

Preheat oven to 375. Bake the tofu for about 15 minutes, or until the edges start to brown. Turn the tofu slices and brush the remaining seasoning/oil mix on the other side. Bake another 15 minutes or so, again, until the edges begin to brown.

While the tofu is baking, saute the onion slices in a little olive oil over medium heat.

Once baked, cut each slice in half, longways.

I transferred the tofu to the onion pan.

Scoop into some taco shells, add a slice or two of avocado, some lettuce, tomatoes, and salsa. Enjoy!

Vegan Vacation: Santa Fe, Taos and Montrose & Ouray, CO

Rio Grand Gorge outside Taos

Wow, where to start?! It’s good to be back, but it sure felt great to get away for nearly two weeks. I will try to keep this brief, but I have LOTS of wonderful food to bring you. Santa Fe and Taos are full of spectacular restaurants, so it wasn’t hard to find places to eat, even for vegans and vegetarians. I will say, when eating out in Santa Fe and Taos, be prepared to spend some dough. The average cost for the three of us (including wine or margaritas) for any meal, was $40-$45. The portion sizes, however seemed large, so splitting meals, or taking half your meal home with you (if possible) is a great idea. So first up . . .

.

SANTA FE

BLUE CORN CAFE

133 Water Street

Located just off the plaza in Santa Fe, this is a pretty decent option for vegans and vegetarians. We started with some chips and salsa (which are not complimentary). The salsa is delicious. We opted for the most vegan item: the Marinated Portobello Fajitas ($14.95) that came with onions and bell peppers, not to mention all the fixins’. (I worked around the sour cream and cheese).

This is a good-sized portion that two people could have easily split—I wish we had; it was a lot of food, but really tasty.

.

THE AZTEC CAFE

317 Aztec Street

LOVE, LOVE, LOVE this place! If fact, we ate here three different times. This is such a cool little cafe that offers a wide range of organic and natural whole foods. They have a great covered patio…

Our first visit was for breakfast. The Husband and I went with the Vegan Burrito and the Eight Grader went with the vegetarian one. The vegan one was filled with potatoes, black beans, and other great stuff (sorry, I forgot to write the ingredients down…)

 We came back for breakfast again, and the guys went with their vegetarian quiche, and I had their homemade, raw muesli with fresh fruit. OUTSTANDING! And it came with almond milk. Even better. This kept me full all day long—a great choice before a long day of hiking.

Almond milk latte!

We then hit up the cafe for lunch and the kid went with a bagel with jam while The Husband got the portobello sandwich:

I decided the kale salad with cashew dressing was up my alley. So delicious!

This is a must-stop-at-destination if you’re visiting Santa Fe. Great service, reasonable prices, and excellent food.

.

ATOMIC GRILL

103 East Water Street

This was a great option for a quick lunch. It was a pretty popular place and had a great outdoor patio. Not to mention a really extensive beer and wine list. We started with some chips, salsa, and guacamole. (Awesome, freshly-made guac)!

The guys ordered cheese pizza (yeah, I know…the guys will cheat and eat cheese when sometimes eating out. At least they’re vegetarian!) I wasn’t starving, so I went with the spinach and strawberry salad (minus the feta cheese).

Fresh and fabulous. It was perfect after having chips and guac, too.

.

CAFE PASQUAL’S

121 Don Gaspar

This is actually located next door to The Atomic Grill. If you’re willing to splurge a bit, this is a must! Excellent! They serve breakfast, lunch and dinner and it’s important to have reservations for dinner; it fills up. We tried to hit it up the first night, but it was full until 8:30, so we made a reservation for the following night (a Friday). The only space available was at the community table that seats about 10 people. I have to say, that was the way to go. We had a great time chatting with the rest of the diners at the table—it was a really fun experience. The restaurant has tons of gluten-free, vegan, and vegetarian options; it was pretty hard to decide. I went with the organic Tofu Mole Enchiladas:

It came with a jicama salad, cilantro rice, and corn bread (not vegan–so they subbed in their signature grilled banana). I’m not a real big banana fan to begin with, so I wasn’t lovin’ the grilled version. But that’s ok, the rest of the meal was outstanding. The sauce definitely has a bite to it, but not overly spicy.

The Eighth Grader went a la carte by having a vegan chile relleno and vegan tamale with green chile:

The Husband opted for the Plato Supremo: a vegan chile relleno, vegan tamale, and a tofu mole enchilada.

The food was probably the best we’d had in Santa Fe . . . and the priciest. For the three of us (plus a bottle of wine) was about $140. But the service and atmosphere is also incredible—it was well worth it.

.

THE TEAHOUSE

821 Canyon Road

The Teahouse is located at the top of Canyon Road. It has its own parking lot, so keep that in mind—it’ll save you from trying to find parking on Canyon.

They have an outdoor patio, but the seating is somewhat limited. The area is large, but there aren’t a ton of tables. We were fortunate to snag one…

The kid went with a green tea…which he loved…

…and a scone and a bowl of fruit.

The Husband and I had their veggie sandwich (GF bread is an option, btw), with hummus, cucumber, sprouts, and bell pepper.

It was good, but it didn’t blow us away. It was a bit dry, actually. Some Vegenaise would have been great.

.

TAOS

BENT STREET DELI

120-M Bent Street

This is located just off the plaza in Taos. It offers breakfast and lunch only. The place we were staying recommended it for vegan and vegetarian options. I’d say it definitely has plenty of vegetarian options, but not as many vegan ones. But of course, it’s not difficult to make them vegan. The kid ordered the SW Spud, a potato smothered with beans, cheese, salsa, sour cream, and veggie green chile. He wasn’t impressed; said it didn’t have much flavor. Luckily, my Taos Hum was plenty big enough to share with him.

I forgot to ask for no feta, so I spent a little time picking it out…oh well. It was delicious! (Hummus, tomato, red onion, sprouts, cucumber, and salsa). The Husband had the Pita the Greek with black olives, feta, sprouts, onion, tomato, and cucumbers. He really liked it.

We stopped here again for breakfast. While the kid had the vegetarian tamale (a special), the husband went with a croissant sandwich with egg. There aren’t many vegan breakfast options, so I went with an English muffin and potatoes…

I also got a soy latte!

.

MICHAEL’S KITCHEN

304 C N Pueblo Road

This place is a local favorite, especially if you like diner-like food. There isn’t much for vegans, but there are some vegetarian options. The Hubby went with a vegetarian burrito:

And the kid had the French toast:

I had the granola pancakes. They were really good, but way too much! Four pancakes was a lot, so I recommend either splitting an order, or seeing if you can have half an order.

.

ANTONIO’S: A Taste of Mexico

122 Dona Luz

This was certainly one of our favorite places to eat. Great food. It was raining, so we couldn’t enjoy the beautiful patio . . .

but that’s ok…it was the food we really cared about. This restaurant certainly seemed to be a hotspot. Maybe it just seemed that way since the patio was closed, but the place was packed—and it was a Tuesday night! We started with drinks (of course). The Husband ordered a margarita ($7.50) and was really disappointed. He said it was “severely weak” and decided not pay for another one that was sure to be watered down. I went with wine. I was hoping for a decent-sized glass because the wines-by-the-glass start at $8-9, but it was pretty skimpy. Oh, well, it’s probably a good thing anyway. So for booze, you may not get your money’s worth.

Antonio’s is known for their guacamole that they make right there at table. For $9 a bowl, you too could have some. We decided not to. But what a cool idea.

The guys started out with the Tacos de Papa a la Creama. They’re mashed potato stuffed taquitos with a cotija cheese on top. I tried a bite sans cheese and holy cow! It was delicious. They loved these.

For dinner, The Husband and I both ordered the veggie tacos. I ordered mine with no cheese, but asked for a side of guac. I was surprised that even though I didn’t get cheese, they still charged me $2.50 for the tiny cup of guacamole. It was yummy though. The Husband’s were pretty spicy, but mine weren’t—the heat is going to vary depending on the pico de gallo. We both thought these were great.

The kid went with the nachos, which was 6 really large tortilla chips, each topped with cheese, sour cream, lettuce, and pico de gallo. He wasn’t thrilled. It’s an appetizer, but the server said it was big enough for a meal. He was expecting your typical pile of chips with all the fixings, and it was disappointing to him. Overall, this was a great place for really delicious Mexican food—I recommend it.

.

DRAGONFLY CAFE & BAKERY

402 Paseo del Pueblo Norte

This is a great option for vegans and vegetarians! When I looked at their menu online, they had me at Kale and Quinoa Salad! They serve a brunch on Sundays from 9-3, and are open 11-9 Monday-Saturday. We stopped in on Monday for lunch. I had a soy latte in addition to the salad.

The salad was amazing! (Kale, quinoa, onion, cucumber, mint, carrots, almonds, dried apricots, and a lemon vinaigrette).

The guys both ordered the Dragonfly Enchiladas with organic spinach, mushrooms, and white beans, topped with tomatillo salsa, goat cheese and tomatoes.

.

STELLA’S ITALIAN RESTAURANT

112 Camino de la Placita

Yes, Italian food in New Mexico. After several days of Mexican food, we were ready for a little change and man, did we luck out. Stella’s is a gem of a restaurant located just off the plaza. The prices are incredibly reasonable and included in the meal are trips to the olive bar with a variety of olives and garlic.

The liquor is also reasonably priced as well. We each got a glass of prosecco for $5 per glass. The service is also exceptional. We started with the Italian Truffle Fries for $4. SO GOOD!!

I then ordered the eggplant Parmesan, served with pesto garlic toast. (The Parm was easy to brush off)  I love that it wasn’t drenched in sauce like what most restaurants do. It was delicious!

The Husband ordered the Mushroom Ravioli. These had ricotta inside (which is not listed on the menu description, so be sure to ask first). I couldn’t resist a bite…yum.

Oh, and all the entrees are served with a side of vegetables. Love that! The Eighth Grader ordered the vegetarian lasagna. We highly recommend Stella’s, especially if you’re wanting a change from Mexican food.

On our last day in Taos, we had a little picnic along the Red River. We had stopped at Trader Joe’s while in Santa Fe, so we picked up some goodies.

We picked up a Daiya Cheese Wedge (absolute best vegan cheese—ever! plus, my newest food obsession) and some apples at Cid’s Health Food Market (Taos’ answer to Whole Foods) and had a great snack while reading the latest issue of VegNews.

.

MONTROSE/OURAY

I didn’t get pictures of the food, but I will recommend El Jimador in Montrose, CO for Mexican food. I had the veggie burrito. The margaritas were also quite good!

In Ouray (probably the most beautiful town in Colorado!) we went to the Ouray Brewery. Check out these great bar chairs!

This is definitely a local (and tourist) favorite. Even at 3:00, it was packed. They have great rooftop dining, as well as two more floors of dining room. They offer six of their own brews and quite a variety of pub food. I had the portobello wrap–outstanding! And The Husband had their vegan burger. He said it was THE BEST vegan burger he has ever had. Sorry for the lack of pics, but trust me, this is a must-stop if you’re in Ouray.

So there you have it. I hope you enjoyed my culinary cruise through Santa Fe, Taos, Montrose, and Ouray. We certainly had fun eating our way through these great towns!

Guac & Bean Tacos

If you need a fast and fresh dinner (or lunch) these are ideal. I really like La Tortilla Factory’s homemade style tortillas for these. They’re a cross between a corn and flour tortilla and are the perfect size.

INGREDIENTS:

4 avocados

1/2 C diced white or red onion

1/2 to 1 tsp garlic salt

1 tsp lime juice

1 can black beans, undrained

1/2 C fresh cilantro, chopped

1 tomato diced

Tortillas

Lettuce, diced (optional)

DIRECTIONS:

Mash the avocados and add the onion, lime juice, and garlic salt.

In a small sauce pan, heat the beans, stirring often, until heated through. Get ready to assemble . . .

Layer on some avocado mixture, cilantro, beans, and tomatoes. Enjoy!

Field Roast-Mole Vegan Tamales

I’m so excited to bring you this recipe. I’ve always wanted to try making tamales and The Husband loves them, so Father’s Day was the perfect time to give them a shot. This is certainly made easier with help, so enlist someone to give you a hand. Also, the masa, filling, and mole sauce can all be made in advance. The masa and mole recipes are from Roberto Martin’s cookbook, Vegan Cooking for Carbivores, although I deviated off the mole recipe a little. This is a fantastic cookbook–I’ve made so many dishes from it and can’t wait to make more. But I did find his instructions for filling and wrapping the tamales a bit confusing—it would have been nice if he had step-by-step pictures. So I ended up watching a quick how-to video on YouTube, but I’ve got you covered—below are step-by-step pictures on how to make these delicious tamales.

Some important things to keep in mind:

  • The husks have to soak in hot water for about an hour
  • The steaming process is an hour and fifteen minutes
  • Make sure you have a tall steamer, as the tamales have to be steamed vertically (although we experimented with three leftover tamales in my steamer pot that we placed them laying down and they came out fine–but they also weren’t stacked). I borrowed my friend’s electric steamer which was ideal!
  • The mole sauce isn’t super chocolate-y, so if you prefer it with more of a chocolate flavor, I recommend using four ounces instead of two.

INGREDIENTS:

Filling:

4 Field Roast sausages, chipotle-flavored
1 C corn kernels
1 tsp olive oil

Masa:

4 C masa harina
1 tsp baking powder
2 tsp salt
4 C warm water
16 Tbs (2 sticks) Earth Balance, melted
1/2 C olive oil

Mole sauce:

4 C broth made from Better Than Bouillon Vegetable Base (or any veg broth)
3 large jarred roasted red peppers (this is my variation, as I couldn’t find the required dried pasilla chiles)
1 tsp olive oil
1 large white onion, chopped
4 cloves garlic, crushed
1/8 C chile caribe (also  my addition)
1 tsp oregano
2 Tbs cumin
2 oz unsweetened baking chocolate, chopped
1/2 C slivered almonds
2 tsp salt

The rest:

1 bag corn husks
Guacamole

DIRECTIONS:

Okay, I know this may seem like a big task to some, but these really aren’t that difficult to make. Remember, soak the husks in hot water an hour before assembly. I had The Husband working on the masa while I prepared the mole sauce. To make the masa, it helps to use a stand mixer with the paddle attachment. Combine the ingredients in the order they are listed. Start out on a low speed, then increase until completely combined. Place the speed on medium for a few minutes in order to fluff it up. You can cover and refrigerate, just make sure you take it out about 30 minutes prior to assembly. It will resemble cookie dough.

When it came to making the mole sauce, I made some adjustments because I had trouble finding the dried chiles for this. (You’ll have to buy this fantastic cookbook for the original recipe). With that said, I think it came out rather delicious. :-)  I subbed in a few roasted red peppers and used a chile seasoning.

In a skillet over high heat, add the olive oil. Add the onion and saute until tender and translucent. Add the oregano, garlic, and cumin and cook another 2 minutes. remove from the heat and stir in the chocolate.

Give it a few minutes to completely melt. Stir the chile caribe into the broth and along with the almonds, salt, roasted red peppers, and onion mixture, add it the blender. Puree until the sauce is completely smooth.

Now, to make the filling, I ground the Field Roast sausages in the food processor until they were fine. In a skillet over medium heat, heat the olive oil. Add the Field Roast and corn kernels and cook until heated through, about 7-9 minutes, stirring often.

Add about half of the mole sauce to the skillet and combine it thoroughly with the sausage/corn mixture.  Warm the remaining sauce in a sauce pan to use later.

Transfer the filling to a bowl. You’re now ready to start assembling your tamales. Pat dry the corn husk and spread it out on a cutting board, narrow pointed end on the bottom.  If you have any small husks, you can overlap two small ones to make one larger one.

Place about a 1/4 cup of the masa on the center of the husk. Using your fingers, press the masa down into a circular/oval-ish shape about an 1/8″ thick.

Next, spoon 1-2 tablespoons of the filling down the center of the masa. (I’d make it less spread out than what the pic shows—you just don’t want the filling to go too close to the edges of the masa.

Fold the husk like a taco and try to get the edges of the masa to touch and sort of bind the edges together a little.

You can tuck of the husk edges inside if you need to. Basically, you need to just fold over the edges of the husk and encase the filling/masa. Lay it flat.

Pinch the edges of masa to seal each end and then fold the top and bottom of the husk underneath. You can flatten out the tamale a little too.

Set the folded tamales, fold-side down and move on. It works best to place all of the tamales in the steamer once they are all finished. Repeat until you’ve run out masa and filling. I got about 28 tamales out this recipe. Like I said, I used a friend’s steamer, which was ideal for these tamales.

Steam for an hour and fifteen minutes, just make sure that after 30 minutes, you check to make sure there is still plenty of water. Check again after an hour. After the steaming, let the tamales sit another fifteen minutes before serving.

Our friends came over and we had a father’s day fiesta complete with margaritas, corn chips, salsa, Spanish rice and guacamole!

Look at how perfect the tamales came out!

Serve them with a ladle or two of the reserved mole sauce and some guacamole.

Enjoy!

Lime and Veggie Fajitas

These colorful fajitas are so quick and easy to make. If you’re like me and tired of the same old fajita seasoning packets, I think you’ll love this change up.

INGREDIENTS:

1 Tbs olive oil (I used chipotle-flavored)
1 large yellow bell pepper, sliced
1 large red bell pepper, sliced
2 C mushrooms, sliced
1 large onion, sliced
1 C fresh cilantro, chopped
Flour tortillas

Seasoning:

1/2 C lime juice
1 tsp black pepper
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/8 tsp cumin

DIRECTIONS:

Combine the seasoning ingredients and set aside.

Heat the olive oil in a large skillet. Add the onions and cook 5-7 minutes, or until slightly tender.

Add the bell peppers and cook another 12-15 minutes, or until they are softened.

Stir in the mushrooms. These will cook fast, about 3-4 minutes.

Stir in the cilantro and lime juice mixture and combine thoroughly. Cook until the sauce is heated through.

Scoop onto the tortillas and if you’d like, add some Daiya cheese and/or Tofutti sour cream. Enjoy!

Mexican Pasta Bake

As you may recall, a few months ago, I had decided to give up wheat and soy . . . yeah, uh, the soy part has been surprisingly easy. It’s the wheat part. I don’t know how you gluten-free folks do it! Especially if you’re vegan and gluten-free! I’ve certainly laid off of it, but there’s just no way I could swear off of it for good. As for soy, I’ll have the occasional miso or Tofutti sour cream. Otherwise, it’s a no-soy zone for me. For this meal, I broke all my rules by using regular pasta, Boca crumbles, and Tofutti sour cream. *GASP* Yes, I fudged and it was damn good. This creamy, spicy casserole was delicious and I’m thrilled with the results.

INGREDIENTS:

13.25 oz pkg penne pasta

1 Tbs olive oil (I used chipotle-flavored)

1 bag Boca crumbles (a half a bag would probably be plenty)

2 C mushrooms, sliced

1 medium zucchini, sliced, then quartered

2-3 C kale, chopped or torn

Sauce:

1 10-oz can Rotel Original with diced tomatoes & green chilies

seasoning packet (either for tacos, burritos, or fajitas)

1/2 C Tofutti sour cream

1/4 C nutritional yeast

1/4 C almond milk

1/2 C Daiya cheddar (you’ll need just a bit more for sprinkling on top)

The rest: (optional toppings)

Guacamole, or diced avocados, black olives, sliced green onion, fresh cilantro

DIRECTIONS:

Preheat oven to 375. Cook the pasta according to package instructions. In a large skillet, heat the olive oil and add the Boca crumbles; cook for 3 minutes. Add the mushrooms and zucchini and cook 7-10 minutes, or until the veggies are tender. Stir in the kale and cook until it softens and wilts.

Meanwhile, whisk together the sauce ingredients in a medium bowl.

Return the drained pasta to the pot (or you can use a large mixing bowl) and combine it with both the sauce and the veggie/Boca mixture. Pour it into a 9×13 baking dish and sprinkle some Daiya cheese on top.

Cover and bake for 20 minutes. I made some guacamole, so I added a dollop on top with some green onion. Enjoy!

Field Roast and Veggie Tacos

I’ve used Field Roast in breakfast burritos, so why not tacos? ( As you can see, I had a taco fiesta foul with one of the shells, but it worked out ok. :) ) Somehow, zucchini reproduced in my fridge so I had to use some of them up—they’re ideal for tacos.  I also had some chipotle-flavored olive oil from Rocky Mountain Olive Oil Company—the perfect opportunity to use it.

INGREDIENTS:

1 Tbs olive oil

2 tsp garlic, minced

4 Field Roast Chipotle-flavored sausages, thawed and crumbled

4 medium zucchinis, cut into sticks

2 red bell peppers, sliced

1 onion, sliced

Corn taco shells

All the other fixins (optional): Daiya cheese, Tofutti sour cream, avocado slices, fresh cilantro, and salsa

DIRECTIONS:

In a skillet, heat the olive oil and garlic. Add the onions, and cook 4-5 minutes.

Next, add the zucchini, peppers, and Field Roast. You don’t necessarily have to add the sausages at this point since it’s only a matter of heating them through, but I like to get the flavors incorporated with the veggies early on.

Cook over medium heat, stirring often, for about 20 minutes, or until tender. I like to cover and let the steam help cook the veggies. Serve with your favorite taco fixings and enjoy!

Avocado and Pinto Bean Enchiladas

These are probably some of the tastiest enchiladas I’ve had. The original recipe is from eat, drink & be veganI made a couple of minor changes because I couldn’t find one of the ingredients, added some green chilies, but also made a bigger batch (inadvertently). Her recipe yielded 10-12 enchiladas, but I ended up with 17—if my pan was bigger, I would have got 18. I’m glad that I bought extra enchilada sauce because of this. I’m not sure if I just didn’t fill the tortillas up enough, but I definitely had lots of filling left over after the first dozen tortillas. In any case, they were delicious. I was really intrigued with the 1/2 cup of cashew pieces the recipe requires and I have to tell you, they’re fabulous—they add just a little crunch. I highly recommend using them. Below is how I made these, but click on the above link for the original recipe.

INGREDIENTS:

16-18 corn tortillas

1 Tbs olive oil

2 tsp garlic, minced

1 C onion, thinly sliced

1 tsp Ancho chili powder

1/2 tsp cumin

1/4 tsp allspice

1/4 tsp salt

1/8 tsp black pepper

2-1/2 C mushrooms, sliced

1 can pinto beans, drained

1/2 C cashews, chopped

2 Tbs lime juice

2 avocados, peeled and pitted

1-1/4 tsp salt

2 19 oz cans enchilada sauce

1 small can diced green chilies, mild or hot

Optional ingredients: Daiya cheese, cilantro, and vegan sour cream

DIRECTIONS:

Preheat oven to 400. In a large skillet, heat the olive oil and garlic. Add the onions, chili powder, cumin, allspice, the 1/4 tsp of salt, and the pepper. Saute for about 3 minutes.

Add the mushrooms, beans, and cashews and cook another 5-7 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool a few minutes.

Meanwhile, mash the avocado with the 1-1/4 tsp of salt in a bowl, or use the food processor. The avocados I had weren’t completely ripe so I used the food processor. I probably got them a little too mashed, but it turned out just fine.

Stir in half a can of one of the enchilada sauces and the green chilies, into the avocado mixture.

Blend the avocado mixture with the onion/mushroom mixture. At this point, I heated some water in my steam pot to steam the tortilla shells. Place a tortilla one at a time in the pot–it’ll only take about 15-20 seconds per side to steam the tortilla. Pour the rest of the enchilada sauce from the first can on the bottom of a 15″ baking dish (you can also use some from the other can. I also started out with a 9×13 and realized it wasn’t going to be big enough, so I added an 8×8″ baking dish). Fill each tortilla with about 4-5 tablespoons of filling, roll up, and place fold-side down in the pan. Repeat. Pour the remaining sauce on top.

Cover and bake 16-18 minutes. Remove the foil and top with cheese (if using) and bake another 10-12 minutes.

Top with cilantro and sour cream. Enjoy!

 

Cabbage and Portobello Tacos

Sorry for the absence! I’m back and ready to cook! These veggie tacos were certainly well-received last night by the family. Maybe it’s because I haven’t had much time to cook for them lately, but whatever the reason, they made this vegan trio happy.

INGREDIENTS:

2 tsp garlic, minced

1 Tbs olive oil

3 large portobello caps, sliced

1 medium onion, sliced

2 medium zucchinis, cut into matchsticks

3 C red/purple cabbage, sliced into wide strips

Corn taco shells

Seasonings: (mild)

1 Tbs chili powder

2 tsp onion powder

1 tsp cumin

1 tsp paprika

1 tsp garlic powder

1 tsp oregano

1 tsp sugar

1/2 tsp salt

The rest (optional): fresh cilantro, sliced green onion, salsa, or avocado slices

DIRECTIONS:

Heat the garlic and olive oil over medium-high heat in a large skillet. Add the onions, zucchini, and cabbage; cook 10-12 minutes, or until they begin to soften and brown. Combine the seasoning ingredients and add to the pan along with the portobellos.

Thoroughly combine everything. Reduce heat to medium-low and cook the mushrooms until they soften and reduce in size, 7-9 minutes. You may want to cover the pan and let them cook.

Serve in warmed corn taco shells and top with any of the optional ingredients. This is a fabulous (and quick) gluten & soy-free meal! Enjoy!

Chili Stew

The weather has been a bit cold and windy these days, and last night was no exception. On nights like that, a hearty soup or stew hits the spot. I threw in tons of different things in this chili and I think this one is my favorite version so far. It’s also great to scoop onto tortilla chips. I had three avocados I planned on dicing up to top the chili, but each one was bad! Total bummer. Crash Test Vegetarian used olives and roasted red peppers in her chili recipe, so I owe her a big thanks for the idea!

INGREDIENTS:

1 large onion, diced

3 cloves garlic, minced

1 Tbs olive oil

2 medium potatoes, peeled and diced (1/2 C of barley is a good substitute)

1 can black beans, drained and rinsed

1 28-oz can diced tomatoes, drained

4 C low-sodium vegetable broth

2 C water

1 6-oz can black olives, sliced

1 small can tomato paste

3 jarred roasted red peppers, diced

1/8 C lime juice

2-3 Tbs Ancho chili powder

1-1/2 Tbs cumin

1 tsp oregano

Salt and pepper, to taste

4-5 green onions, sliced

Fresh cilantro, chopped

Optional: Daiya cheese, diced avocado, Tofutti sour cream

DIRECTIONS:

Heat the olive oil and garlic in a large soup pot. Add the onion and cook for 7-8 minutes, or until tender. Add the broth, water, potatoes, tomatoes, black beans, and tomato paste. Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer and cook until the potatoes are slightly tender, about 20 minutes. Add the seasonings, roasted red peppers, olives, and lime juice. Simmer another 15-20 minutes and stir in the lime juice. Sprinkle servings with green onion, cilantro, cheese, and sour cream, if desired. Enjoy!

Easy Tostadas

This is one of those no-brainer meals that when you need something quick and easy, these fit the bill. The Seventh Grader, always helpful when it comes to cooking (but not cleaning) makes this even easier to throw together.

INGREDIENTS:

1 bag Boca crumbles

1 can refried beans

1/2 large onion, diced

1 Tbs olive oil

1 pkg taco seasoning

8-12 tostada shells

All the fixins’: Tofutti sour cream, lettuce, tomato, avocado, fresh cilantro, Daiya cheese, and salsa

DIRECTIONS:

Preheat oven to 350. In a large skillet, heat the olive oil. Cook the onion and cook 3-5 minutes. Add the Boca crumbles and cook until heated through. Add the can of refries and combine well. In a small cup, prepare the seasoning mix according to the package instructions and stir into the bean/Boca mixture. Place the tostada shells on a baking sheet and warm for 3-5 minutes. Layer on some of the bean mixture along with your favorite toppings. Enjoy!

Tortilla Lasagna

This was a smash hit with the family. The original recipe is from the Jan/Feb issue of Vegetarian Times, but I made a few changes and added some ingredients, such as green onion, cilantro, and black olives. Personally, if those three ingredients aren’t in a Mexican dish like this, don’t bother. Just saying . . . I really liked using flour tortillas, but feel free to use the corn variety, especially if you’d like to make a gluten-free version.

INGREDIENTS:

6, 8-inch flour tortillas

1 Tbs olive oil

1 small onion, chopped (1 cup)

2 Tbs chili powder (I used 1 Tbs ground cumin)

2 tsp ancho chile powder

2 cloves garlic, minced

2 C strained tomatoes, divided (I used a can of crushed tomatoes)

1, 15-oz can black beans, drained and rinsed

1 med chayote, peeled and diced or 2 med zucchinis, diced (I went with the zucchinis)

1/2 C fresh or frozen corn kernels

1-1/2 C Monterey Jack cheese, shredded (I used a mix of Daiya cheeses)

Optional ingredients: (totally worth it)

black olives, green onion, guacamole, Tofutti sour cream, salsa

DIRECTIONS:

Preheat oven to 350. Heat the olive oil in a large skillet. Add the onion and cook for about 5 minutes. Stir in the spices and garlic, and cook for 30 seconds. Add 1-1/2 cups of the tomatoes, black beans, zucchini, corn, and 1/2 cup of water.  Season with salt and pepper, if you’d like.

Cover and cook 10 minutes, or until the zucchini is tender. Meanwhile, place the tortillas on a large baking sheet and toast them for 5 minutes, turning once. Then, coat a 2″ deep by 8″ round cake pan with cooking spray and pour 1/4 cup of the tomatoes on the bottom and spread around. Lay one tortilla on the bottom; top with about 3/4 cup of the bean mixture and some cheese.

Repeat four more times, then top with last tortilla.

Spread the remaining tomatoes over the top and sprinkle on the last of cheese. If using, top with green onion and black olives.

Bake uncovered for 30-40 minutes, or until it is bubbly and the cheese is melted.

Top with some diced avocados or guacamole, fresh cilantro, and a dollop of Tofutti sour cream. Enjoy!

Gluten-Free & Vegan Mexican Casserole

I’m fortunate I don’t have a gluten intolerance (even though seitan bothers me). I can’t imagine eliminating gluten from my diet as well, but I am starting to realize that it’s not that difficult to make something vegan and gluten-free, like this delicious casserole.

INGREDIENTS:

8-oz quinoa pasta, any variety

3 bell peppers, diced (I used one red, one yellow, and one orange)

1 medium red onion, diced

2 C mushrooms, sliced

1 15-oz can diced tomatoes

1 15-oz can black beans, drained

1 6-oz can tomato paste

4-5 green onion, sliced

1-2 Tbs olive oil

Daiya cheese, any flavor

2-1/2 C Corn chips or gluten-free crackers

Optional ingredients: 1-2 C fresh chopped cilantro, 1-2 C black olives, diced avocados, salsa, jalapenos, green chilies, Tofutti sour cream

Taco seasoning packet or make your own: (This is a mild version, so you may want to add more chili powder for a added kick)

1 Tbs chili powder

2 tsp onion powder

1 tsp ground cumin

1 tsp paprika

1 tsp garlic powder

1 tsp dried oregano

1 tsp sugar

1/2 tsp salt

DIRECTIONS:

Preheat oven to 350. If making the seasoning, combine the ingredients and set aside. Cook pasta in boiling water for 8-10 minutes—not too long, or it’ll get mushy. In a large skillet, heat the olive oil and add the peppers and onions.

Cook for about 10 minutes, until they are slightly soft. Add the mushrooms and half of the seasonings; cook another 5 minutes.

Meanwhile, in a large bowl, stir together the tomato paste and diced tomatoes until well combined. Stir in the black beans and the rest of the seasonings. Stir the tomato mixture into the pepper mixture and combine well.

Using the same bowl as the tomato mixture, combine the pasta and vegetable mixture and stir well to combine. Line the bottom of a 15″ baking dish with corn chips or gluten free crackers, then spread on a layer of Daiya cheese. Pour the vegetable mixture on the chips.

Top with more Daiya cheese and green onion. Bake for 20 minutes. Serve with a dollop of Tofutti sour cream and enjoy!

Potato and Kale Enchiladas

It’s a damn good thing these came out SO DELICIOUS because they were a bit labor-intensive (and that was after I simplified the recipe)! The Husband picked out this recipe from Veganomicon and even though they sounded amazing, after I read the instructions, I put off making these until I knew I’d have plenty of time to devote to them. Finally, last night I cracked open the cookbook and got to work. I made some alterations to simplify the recipe and to cut down on some of the time required to make this. I LOVE the enchilada sauce and frankly, that portion is pretty easy. I would definitely use this sauce recipe for all enchiladas I make, and even lasagna. I will list the original recipe and add show my alterations. Overall, I’m so glad I made these—they’re wonderful!

INGREDIENTS:

Enchilada Chile Sauce:

2 Tbs grapeseed oil or olive oil

1 onion, diced

3 large green chilies (such as Anaheim or Italian-style long green peppers), roasted, seeded, peeled and coarsely chopped (Yeah, I used a 7-oz can)

2-3 tsp Ancho chili pepper

1-1/2 tsp cumin

1 tsp marjoram or Mexican oregano (epazote) I used regular oregano

1 28-oz can diced tomatoes, roasted preferred

1 tsp sugar

1-1/2 tsp salt

Potato and Kale Filling:

1 lb waxy potatoes (Yukon gold or red) I used russet

1/2 lb kale, washed, trimmed and chopped finely (Use the food processor! It will save you. Plus, I added another 1/2 lb)

4 cloves garlic, minced

1/2 tsp cumin

1/4 C vegetable broth or water

3 Tbs lime juice

1/4 C toasted pumpkin seeds, chopped coarsely, plus extra for garnish. (First, I had no desire to grab a pan and toast these, especially since I didn’t notice they had to be toasted until it was time to add them. I didn’t bother chopping them, either).

1-1/2 tsp salt, or to taste (Seemed like a lot, so I just did a little)

12-14 corn tortillas (These are my favorite: a cross between a flour and corn tortilla. They roll up beautifully without having to steam them at all first) : La Tortilla Factory Hand Made Style

DIRECTIONS:

Preheat oven to 375. Use a 11.5″x7.5″ casserole dish. To save yourself a headache: first, get the kale washed, trimmed and chopped, and peel and dice the potatoes.

To prepare the sauce, saute the onion and oil in a large skillet over medium heat, about 4-7 minutes. Add remaining sauce ingredients, bring to a simmer.

Remove from the heat, let cool, then taste it to adjust seasoning, if necessary. Puree in an immersion or regular blender until smooth. (I used the food processor).

To prepare the filling, boil the potatoes until tender, about 20 minutes. Drain and set aside. (This next step, I recommend doing while the potatoes are cooking) Cook the grapeseed oil and minced garlic in a sauce pot (I used the same skillet from the sauce–just washed it out) over medium heat until garlic just begins to brown. Add the kale, sprinkle with some salt and stir often. Partially cover the pot and steam the kale about 4-6 minutes. Then add the potatoes, broth (or water), lime juice, pumpkin seeds, and salt. Mash the potatoes a little bit with a spoon. Cook another 3-4 minutes.

To create these fabulous enchiladas . . . finally. . . the recipe says to ladle some sauce in a shallow dish and a heated griddle. Seriously?! My kitchen already looked like the Swedish Chef had made a 10-course meal in it and adding another pan to my already-crowded workspace just wasn’t going to happen. Plus, the tortillas I used are perfect for rolling—they’re soft enough already that they won’t crack. So if you wish to torture yourself, this is what the original recipe says: Ladle a bit of sauce onto the bottom of the casserole dish (ok, I did do that). Take a corn tortilla, place it on the heated griddle for 30 seconds, flip over and heat until soft and pliable. Drop the tortilla into the sauce and cover it completely with sauce. Place it in the casserole dish and layer it with another heat, sauce-covered tortilla (or use one. Or don’t do it that way at all). Seriously, too messy and labor-intensive. Fill with potato filling and roll up. Ok, I took the easy epicurean vegan way. After adding a layer of sauce on the bottom, I scooped some filling into my already soft and wonderfully pliable tortilla, rolled it up and placed it in the pan. That easy. Continue until the pan is filled.

After reserving about 1-1/2 cups of the sauce, pour the rest over the enchiladas. Now, I can’t imagine enchiladas without cheese, so I sprinkled some Daiya cheese shreds on top.

Cover with foil and bake for 25 minutes. Remove foil and bake another 10-15 minutes. Top individual servings with the extra sauce (that you’ve warmed up). You may not recognize your kitchen once these are in the oven, but at least while they bake, you’ll have time to reclaim your space! Enjoy!

Vegan King Ranch Casserole

Kelly at Vegan Thyme posted this recipe last week and knowing that the he-gans I live with love casseroles (especially of the Mexican kind), I figured this would be a winner over here. And no surprise, it was. The original recipe calls for Morning Star Vegan Chicken Strips, but I couldn’t find those—at least not the vegan ones. They make vegetarian ones, however. So I opted for Boca Chick Patties instead.

The great thing about this recipe that Kelly pointed out, is that you can use your favorite vegetables and seasonings—there’s no right/wrong way to make this casserole. Next time, I’ll add some guacamole or diced avocados on top, otherwise, it was perfect.

INGREDIENTS:

4 Boca Chicken Patties, slightly thawed and diced

1 large red bell pepper, diced

2 medium zucchini, sliced, then quartered

1 small onion, diced

2 tsp olive oil

12 corn tortillas, sliced into strips

1 C vegan shredded cheese (I used a mixture of pepper jack and cheddar)

1 C fresh cilantro, chopped

1 tsp cumin

1/2 tsp cayenne

Salt and pepper

4 scallions, sliced

1 C black olives, sliced

3 Tbs Earth Balance

3 Tbs flour

1-1/4 C almond milk

1/4 tsp nutmeg

Optional ingredients: Tofutti sour cream, salsa, avocados/guacamole

DIRECTIONS:

Preheat oven to 400. Lightly spray a 9×13 baking pan with cooking spray; set aside. I recommend having all the ingredients chopped, shredded and measured before you get started—it’ll just make things easier on you. In a large skillet, heat the olive oil. Add the bell pepper, zucchini, onion, and chick patties; cook 10 minutes. Stir in the cumin, cayenne, and cilantro.

Meanwhile, in a small sauce pan, melt the margarine. Whisk in a tablespoon of flour to thicken it up. Gradually add the other two while whisking, forming a paste. Whisk in the milk and continue stirring over medium-high heat until it begins to thicken. Remove from heat and season with nutmeg, salt, and pepper.

Pour a third of the sauce onto the bottom of the baking pan and spread as evenly as you can. Next, add a layer of tortilla strips. There’s no rhyme or reason to this step—you can layer them down willy-nilly, just as long they evenly cover the bottom.

Pour half of the vegetable mixture on top of the tortilla strips, then another layer of tortilla strips. I then drizzled another third of the sauce on top.

Repeat layers once more and then top with the vegan cheese, scallions, and black olives. Bake uncovered for 30 minutes. Let it cool 5 minutes before diving into it. Enjoy with sour cream, salsa, and/or guacamole on top.

Sweet Potato, Kale & Black Bean Fajitas

I’mmmm baaaacckkk! And boy, does it feel good. I had an amazing conference experience that you can read about at Folsom’s 93 and then a fabulous respite up in the mountains where we got to spend time with some great friends and just relax. It was the perfect opportunity to try out a new recipe from my friend at Tried and Tasted Recipes and it was absolutely delicious! I will be making this again and again. It makes quite a bit, as we fed about 8 and still had leftovers.

INGREDIENTS:

3 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil, divided

1 large or 2 medium sweet potatoes, peeled and chopped into 1/4 inch cubes (I used 2)

2 red bell peppers, diced

1 large red onion, diced

10 cloves garlic, minced, divided

1 large bunch of kale, rinsed and roughly chopped

1 can black beans, rinsed and drained (I used 1-1/2 cans)

2 tsp ground cumin, divided (I recommend more)

1 tsp ancho chili powder (again, I suggest adding more)

Freshly ground salt and pepper

8 tortillas

Optional ingredients: Cilantro, Tofutti sour cream, vegan shredded cheddar or pepper jack cheeze, guacamole

DIRECTIONS:

In a large saucepan, heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil and add 6 cloves of minced garlic; saute 5 minutes. Add the potatoes and peppers, and saute another 5 minutes. Stir in 1/2 tsp of the cumin and the ancho chili powder. Turn to medium heat and cook for 10 minutes, then season with salt and pepper.

In a smaller saucepan, heat the remaining 1 tablespoon of olive oil and garlic. Add the beans and kale; stir once and cover for 2-3 minutes, or until the kale has cooked down. Season with the rest of the cumin and more salt and pepper.

Serve a scoop or two of each mixture onto warmed flour tortillas with Tofutti sour cream, cilantro, cheeze, and guacamole. You won’t be disappointed—they are outstanding!

Mexican Fettuccini

I’ve had some sun-dried tomato pasta in the pantry for a while, so I decided it was high time to do something with it, but any type of pasta will do for this meal. After taking his first bite, The Husband remarked, “Now that’s a smorgasbord of flavors!” It was definitely flavorful and it seemed to gather steam with every bite!

INGREDIENTS:

8-oz sun-dried tomato fettuccini

1/2 C walnuts, chopped

1/2 C salsa

2 C spinach, chopped

1/2 C black olives, sliced

2 Tbs olive oil

2 Tbs nutritional yeast flakes

2 Tbs water

Salt and pepper, to taste

2 green onions, sliced

Tofutti sour cream

Cilantro

DIRECTIONS:

Cook pasta according to package instructions. In the meantime, in a medium sauce pan, toast the walnuts for about 3 minutes. Add the salsa, spinach, black olives, olive oil, nutritional yeast flakes, water, salt, and pepper. Combine well and let simmer on a low heat until spinach has cooked down and everything is heated through.

Top individual servings of pasta with the sauce, a dollop of Tofutti sour cream, cilantro and green onions. Enjoy!

Cuban Black Bean and Potato Soup

This comes from the latest issue of Vegetarian Times and was pretty easy to make. I altered a couple of things and it made a comforting, hearty meal.

INGREDIENTS:

1 medium onion, diced (1-1/2 C)

1 small red bell pepper, diced (1 C)

1 small green bell pepper, diced (1 C)

6 cloves garlic, minced

6 C cooked black beans, (I used canned–drained) divided

3 medium potatoes, diced (2-1/2 C)

2 Tbs white wine vinegar

1 Tbs cumin

1 Tbs fresh oregano leaves (I used dried)

1 bay leaf (I left this out)

1/2 tsp salt

Green onions, sliced for a garnish

Optional: vegan cheddar, Tofutti sour cream, salt and pepper

DIRECTIONS:

In a large soup pot, saute the bell peppers, onions and garlic in a bit of water or vegetable broth for 2-3 minutes.

Transfer to a blender (or food processor) and blend until smooth.

Add 3 of the 6 cups of black beans, as well as 6-7 cups of water. I think a low-sodium vegetable broth would be great, too.  Puree until the mixture resembles a thick soup. I didn’t have enough room in my food processor for all of this, so I pureed what I could, transferred half the mixture back to the soup pot, then pureed the rest with the rest of the water. Transfer to the soup pot and add the rest of the beans, potatoes, vinegar and seasonings. Bring to a simmer; reduce to medium-low heat, cover, and simmer for 20 minutes. Garnish each serving with green onions and/or other optional ingredients. Enjoy!

Boca Enchiladas

When we first went vegan, the thought of having Mexican (or Italian) food again seemed like a pipe dream, but I think that some of my favorite meals have been just those—thanks to yummy meat and dairy alternatives. Lucky for me, too, because the Husband loves enchiladas and if I didn’t come up with a veg-based one, he wouldn’t be fun to live with. ;) I’ve also made a seitan version, and these Boca Crumbles ones are pretty darn delish, too.  I made a pretty big batch so feel free to halve the recipe for a smaller crowd.

INGREDIENTS:

1 Tbs olive oil

1-12 oz bag Boca Crumbles

1 medium green bell pepper, diced small

1 small onion, diced small

1-4 oz can diced green chilies (I used mild)

3-10 oz cans enchiladas sauce (I used Old El Paso–mild)

20 LaTortilla Factory Hand Made Style Corn Tortillas (Love these!! They’re a cross between a corn and flour tortilla and come in white and yellow corn—see below)

1 pkg Vegan Gourmet Monterrey Jack cheese, shredded + 1/2 C Daiya cheddar, shredded, mixed together

1 C black olives, sliced

1 bunch green onions, sliced (both green and white parts)

Optional garnishes: Tofutti sour cream, cilantro, diced avocados

DIRECTIONS:

Place the rack in the middle of the oven and preheat to 375. In a large skillet heat the olive oil. Add the bell pepper and onions; saute until softened. Add the Boca crumbles and cook until heated through; stir in the green chilies.

I think it helps to steam the tortillas first, but only do a couple at a time, as the bottom ones will stick if there are too many on top. In a 15″ pan (I made the mistake of using a smaller pan, so I had to use 2 pans) pour 1-1/2 cans of the enchiladas sauce on the bottom of the pan. Place 2-3 spoonfuls of the Boca mixture into the steamed tortillas; add some cheese on top.

Tightly roll up the tortillas and place, fold down, into the baking dish.

Once each tortilla is rolled, top with the remaining sauce and cheese. Sprinkle the olives and green onions on top.

Cover with foil and bake for 20 minutes. Uncover and bake another 5 minutes.  Serve with a dollop of sour cream and cilantro and/or any of the optional ingredients. Enjoy!

Chipotle-Lime Pasta with a Cream Sauce and Avocado

Vegan MoFo, Day 21

I picked up some Pappardelle’s Whole Wheat Chipotle Lime pasta and since it has a bit of kick, I figured a cream sauce would be ideal to go with it. I also had an avocado on-the-verge of being tossed, so it all came together beautifully!

INGREDIENTS:

8-oz Chipotle Lime pasta

2 tsp garlic, minced

2 Tbs Earth Balance margarine

2 Tbs flour

1 C almond milk

2 Tbs Vegan Parmesan cheese

1 tsp lime juice, plus a little more for thinning, if needed

1/2 C Tofutti sour cream

2 green onions, sliced (white and green parts)

1/3 C fresh cilantro, chopped

5-6 mushrooms, diced

1 avocado, diced

DIRECTIONS:

Cook pasta 10-12 minutes, or until al dente. Meanwhile, in a large saucepan, heat margarine and garlic. Whisk in the flour. Once the flour is thoroughly combined, whisk in the almond milk, then the sour cream and Parmesan. Stir in the lime juice, mushrooms, cilantro, and green onions. Add more lime juice, if needed.

Ladle the sauce over single servings of pasta and top with the diced avocado. Enjoy!

 

 

Seitan Enchiladas with Green Chili Sauce (and a Field Roast Sausage Thrown In)

Vegan MoFo, Day 9

That’s right, I had to throw in a Field Roast Mexican Chipotle sausage link—I had a lonely one in the fridge, and these are enchiladas, after all. It was the piece de resistance. This recipe is based on one my sister used to make all the time, but with *gasp* chicken and *gasp* again, half-and-half, so I was determined to veganize it. If you’re not big on seitan, try some other filling options: ground meatless crumbles and refries, portobellos and onions, or bell peppers and zucchini. Either way, I think you’re love the creaminess and cheezyness of this classic dish.

INGREDIENTS:

2 pkgs. seitan, beef or chicken style, chopped into 1″ pieces (or other filling of choice)

1 Field Roast sausage link, Mexican Chipotle flavor, crumbled

1-4oz can diced green chilies

1 C Tofutti sour cream

1/8 C almond milk

1 C  fresh cilantro

1 C black olives, sliced

3 green onions, sliced (white and greens parts)

1-1/2 C vegan cheddar and/or vegan Monterrey Jack cheese, shredded, divided

2-16oz jars of 505 Green Chili sauce, choose your level of hotness

11 flour tortillas (I know, I tried to make it an even number, but it just didn’t happen)

DIRECTIONS:

Preheat oven to 350. In a medium bowl, combine seitan, Field Roast, chilies, cilantro, sour cream, almond milk, and 1/2 C of the cheese. Pour 1/2 of on jar of the green chili sauce on the bottom of a 15″ baking pan. Spread evenly. Fill each tortilla with about 3-4 tablespoons of the seitan mixture and fold over to make a burrito.

Lay folded side down.

Sprinkle a little cheese on the enchiladas, then layer rest of green chili sauce on top–spread evenly. Sprinkle rest of cheese on top, then layer on green onions and olives.

Cover and bake for 30 minutes, then enjoy!

Latin-Inspired Coleslaw

Vegan MoFo, Day 3

I have become enamored with coleslaw this year. I guess it’s because we’ve received so much cabbage from our CSA, and before, I never really gave cabbage that much thought. I’ve made regular coleslaw and Asian coleslaw, so of course, it was only natural to make a Mexican-style one. This is great on its own, or wrapped in a tortilla.

INGREDIENTS:

1 large head of cabbage, shredded

1/2 C carrot, shredded

1 large red bell pepper, sliced thin

1 C fresh cilantro, slightly chopped

3 large green onion, chopped (both white and green parts)

1 Tbs pimento, diced

1/2 C Tofutti sour cream

1/2 C Vegenaise

1 Tbs almond milk

1 tsp lime juice

1/2 tsp liquid smoke

1/4 tsp Ancho chili powder

1 tsp cumin

1/4 tsp salt

1/2 C vegan cheddar shredded (or vegan pepper jack for an added kick)

DIRECTIONS:

In a large bowl, combine cabbage, bell pepper, carrot, cilantro, and green onions. In a small bowl, combine sour cream, Vegenaise, almond milk, lime juice, liquid smoke, pimento, chili powder, cumin, and salt. Add the sour cream mixture to the cabbage mixture and combine thoroughly. Stir in cheeze. Enjoy!


8-Layer Dip

Who needs 7 layers when you can have 8? This is also much like my Soyrizo Layer Dip, but with minor changes. Always a crowd-pleaser, this dip is not difficult to throw together.

INGREDIENTS:

1 16-oz can vegetarian refried beans

1/2 C Tofutti sour cream

2 avocados, peeled and pitted

1/2 C salsa

1 large tomato, diced

3 green onion (white and green parts), sliced thin

1/2 to 1 C vegan cheddar, shredded

1 3.8-oz can sliced black olives

1 tsp garlic salt

1-1/2 tsp lime juice

1/3 C fresh cilantro, chopped

Tortilla chips

DIRECTIONS:

In a medium-sized bowl, smash up the avocado. Sprinkle with garlic salt, cilantro, and lime juice; thoroughly combine.  On a 8-9″ plate, layer on beans, sour cream, avocado mixture, and salsa. Next, layer on the cheese, tomato, green onions, and olives. This is would be a good time to admire the beauty of it, because it’s gonna be gone as soon as the guests get one taste! Serve with corn tortilla chips (pita crisps would be good, too) and enjoy!

Vegetable Soft Tacos/Fajitas

Between school, tae kwon do practice, errands,  and well . . . life, I love meals that make themselves. Ok, well,  they don’t exactly make themselves, but pretty close.  I had lots of veggies to use up, so fajitas/tacos were perfect. I added lime juice and cilantro for a flavorful combination. I served them with some warmed refried beans topped with vegan cheese for some protein.

INGREDIENTS:

1 small summer squash, cut into 2″ pieces

1 small zucchini, cut into 2″ pieces

1/2 large onion, cut into 2″ pieces

1 red bell pepper, cut into 2″ pieces

1-2 Tbs olive oil

1 avocado, sliced

1-oz pkg fajita seasoning

1/8 C water

1/8 C lime juice

1 C fresh cilantro, chopped

Salsa

Vegan cheddar, shredded

Tofutti sour cream

Flour tortillas, warmed

DIRECTIONS:

In a large skillet heat the olive oil. Add the squash, zucchini, bell pepper, and onion.

Saute covered for about 15 minutes, stirring occasionally, until softened. Combine the fajita mix with the water and lime juice. Add to the vegetable mixture and combine well. Stir in the cilantro.

On a warm tortilla, layer on some sour cream, veggies, avocado, salsa, and cheese. Enjoy!

Breakfast Burritos

I love lazy Sunday mornings. The Husband and I decided to combine forces and throw together a tasty breakfast. He loves hasbhbrowns, so he fired those up and I worked on the rest of the ingredients in another pan. It was a lovely joint venture.

INGREDIENTS:

1 16-oz bag hashbrowns

1 red bell pepper, diced

1 yellow bell pepper, diced

4 green onions, sliced thin

2 Field Roast sausages (Chipotle flavor)

1/2 C fresh cilantro, chopped

Olive oil

Salt and pepper, to taste

Flour tortillas, warmed

Optional ingredients: Tofutti sour cream, vegan shredded cheddar, salsa

DIRECTIONS:

Pretty easy: The Husband seasoned the hashbrowns with salt and pepper and cooked them in one skillet, while I sauteed the peppers in some olive oil for about 10-15 minutes in another skillet. I then added the sausage, which just needs to be heated through–no “cooking” involved. I had two leftover sausages from the casserole, so this was perfect.  Then I added the green onions and cooked them a few more minutes until they began to soften. Once the hashbrowns were browned, about 25 minutes, we combined the two pans and stirred in the cilantro. Spoon onto a tortilla, adding the optional ingredients, if using. Enjoy!

Portobello Tacos with Salsa Verde

This recipe from Vegetarian Times serves 6–easily. The salsa verde–at least 10! It makes a lot of sauce, so next time I’ll probably halve the recipe for that. I also found the sauce a bit bland, so I added a bit more salt. The original recipe is for grilled portobellos, but I decided to saute them. These were very yummy and the marinade was simple and delicious.

INGREDIENTS:

Marinade:

1/3 C canola oil

3 Tbs balsamic vinegar

1 tsp black pepper

Tacos:

6 large portobello mushroom caps

6-6″ soft corn tortillas (can easily get 12 tacos from this recipe–and I think I prefer flour tortillas)

2 avocados, sliced

2 C chopped tomatoes

3 C shredded cabbage

Vegan sour cream

Salsa Verde:

4 tomatillos, chopped (or 1 C canned)

1 large green bell pepper or poblano chili, roughly chopped (I used the bell pepper–may have been why I found it bland)

1 large bunch fresh cilantro, leaves only

1 medium onion, chopped

3 cloves garlic, minced

3 Tbs agave nectar

1-1/4 C canola oil

1 tsp black pepper

1/2 tsp salt

DIRECTIONS:

If using the grill, preheat grill for high heat.

To make marinade: Combine all ingredients in a small bowl.

To make tacos: Brush mushroom caps with marinade. Grill mushrooms 3-5 minutes per side. Cool until easy to handle, then slice into strips. (I actually poured the marinade in a zip lock bag and added the mushrooms, letting them marinate for about an hour. Then I sliced them and sauteed them in a large skillet for about 5 minutes).

To make salsa verde: Puree all ingredients in a food processor 1 minute or until smooth. Pour salsa over mushroom strips and let stand 10-15 minutes. (I just scooped a couple of tablespoons of the salsa into the taco).  Lightly warm tortillas 15 seconds per side in a skillet or in grill.

Fill tortillas with sliced mushrooms, avocado slices, tomatoes, and cabbage. Top each with sour cream, if using. Enjoy!

Vegan Enchiladas

These were yummy and satisfying! I used stir-fry seitan, but you can use sliced portobello mushrooms, or Boca Meatless Crumbles. To clear out the sinuses, puree some chilies in adobo sauce (comes in a 7-oz can) and mix in with the meat-of-choice. I used about 6 tablespoons and the Husband and Fifth Grader found it a little too fork-curling hot, so next time, I’ll use only 1-2 tablespoons–just depends on what you like.

INGREDIENTS:

16-oz seitan, sliced portobellos, or Boca Meatless Ground Crumbles

1/2 large onion, chopped

12 small  flour or corn tortillas

2-1/2 C mix of vegan Monterey Jack cheese and vegan Pepper Jack Cheese, shredded

Tofutti sour cream

1-2 avocados, diced

Fresh cilantro leaves

1 recipe enchiladas sauce:

3 Tbs olive oil

1 Tbs flour

1/4 C chili powder

2 C vegetable broth

1 6-oz can tomato paste

1/2 tsp cumin

1 tsp oregano

1 pkg. enchiladas spices or recipe (below):

1 Tbs chili powder

2 tsp onion powder

1 tsp cumin

1 paprika

1 tsp oregano

1 tsp sugar

1/2 tsp salt

DIRECTIONS:

Start with the enchiladas sauce: Heat oil in a saucepan, stir in flour, then chili powder (if you need to make your own chili powder, combine 3 Tbs paprika, 1 Tbs cumin, 2 T oregano, 1 tsp cayenne, and 1/2 tsp garlic salt). Add vegetable broth, tomato paste, cumin and oregano. Simmer 15 minutes.

Preheat oven to 375. Sautee meat-of-choice with some olive oil until browned. Whether you use seitan, portobellos or ground crumbles, they only take about 10 minutes. Stir in spices. Add onion last couple of minutes of sauteeing.

Spread about a 1/2 cup of the sauce on the bottom of a 15″ baking pan. Fill each tortilla with about 3 tablespoons of meat mixture and 1-2 Tbs of cheese. Be sure to save about 3/4 cup to 1 cup of cheese to spread on the top. Fold each tortilla and place into the pan. Top with the rest of the enchilada sauce and cheese. Cover with foil and bake 15 minutes. Uncover and bake another 5 minutes.

Serve hot and top with a dollop of Tofutti sour cream, avocados and cilantro.

Enjoy!

Pita Quesadillas with Cilantro Hummus

I was thumbing through the latest issue of Vegetarian Times and when I saw this recipe, I decided right then and there to try these. I happened to have all the ingredients, even adding some Vegan Gourmet Monterey Jack cheese and between that, the roasted red peppers and cilantro, it made a delicious, quick and easy lunch.

INGREDIENTS:

Hummus:

1/2 C cilantro leaves

2 cloves garlic, peeled (I used minced)

1-1/2 C cooked chickpeas (or 1 15oz can, rinsed and drained)

2 Tbs lime juice

2 Tbs olive oil

Quesadillas:

4 7″ whole-wheat pitas, split crosswise

4 jarred roasted red peppers, drained and sliced into strips

1-1/2 C baby spinach leaves

Optional: Vegan Gourmet Monterey Jack, shredded (I did little slices, but shredding it would have been better)

DIRECTIONS:

Preheat oven to 350. To make hummus: Process cilantro leaves and garlic in food processor until chopped. (I added the garlic later since it was already minced). Add the chickpeas, lime juice, oil, and 1/4 C water; puree 3 minutes, or until creamy.

To make the quesadillas: Place 4 pitas halves on baking sheet. Spread each with 1/2 C hummus. Top with peppers, spinach, cheese (if using) and remaining pita halves. Bake 10 mins, serve and enjoy!

Taco Salad

This is a light and easy meal that only takes about 10 mins to pull together. I’m loving these Meatless Ground Crumbles from Boca! They are perfect for this meal. If you don’t have taco seasoning, it’s easy to make your own–below is a recipe.

INGREDIENTS:

1 pkg (12 oz) Boca Meatless Ground Crumbles, cooked according to package instructions

Lettuce

Vegan cheddar, shredded

2 roma tomatoes, chopped

1 avocado, chopped

Salsa

Tortilla chips or strips (found with the salad dressings and croutons)

Tofutti sour cream or vegan ranch dressing

Taco seasoning:

1 Tbs chili powder

2 tsp onion powder

1 tsp ground cumin

1 tsp paprika

1 tsp garlic powder

1 tsp dried oregano

1 tsp sugar

1/2 tsp salt

DIRECTIONS:

Layer lettuce (I used a combo of spinach and romaine), ground crumbles, cheese, tomato, avocado, salsa, tortilla chips or strips and vegan ranch or Tofutti sour cream and enjoy!

Seitan* Tostadas with Avocado Dressing

Well…the (*) indicates that seitan may not be the right choice for these tostadas–the original recipe called for chicken so I figured chicken-style seitan would be the ideal substitute. I guess I can’t always be a vegan-recipe-master. Next time, I will try refries with Boca brand “beef” crumbles. But I wanted to share the recipe for the Avocado Dressing that is fantastic! It would go great with tacos, burritos, or as a salsa.

INGREDIENTS:

Avocado Dressing:

6 Tbs vegetable oil

4 Tbs cider vinegar

4 tsp minced pickled jalapeno peppers

1 tsp sugar

1 tsp salt

2 avocados, peeled, pitted and diced

2 tomatoes, chopped

1/3 C cilantro, chopped (I added, but optional)

The Rest:

I recommend trying 1 can refried beans with 1 bag Boca Ground Crumbles or possibly using a taco seasoning mix with the seitan.

1 pkg, 10-count tostada shells

Vegan cheddar, shredded

Tofutti sour cream

Lettuce, chopped

DIRECTIONS:

For the dressing: Combine all ingredients, cover and refrigerate until ready to use (top “meat” with it).

Recipe source: Creme de Colorado Cookbook

Fresh and Healthy Soft Tacos/Burritos

When I don’t have a lot of time but I want my family and I to have a satisfying, healthy dinner, this is one of my go-to meals. I typically have the ingredients all the time and with so many different ingredient options, it’s easy to make the whole crew happy!

INGREDIENTS:

1 C cooked rice

1 can refried beans

1/4-1/2 C salsa

vegan cheese, shredded

diced avocado

sliced green onion

cilantro, chopped

Small flour tortillas

Tofutti sour cream

Other tasty options: diced or shredded cucumber, sprouts, lettuce

DIRECTIONS:

Combine cooked rice (I use Minute Rice), refries and salsa in a medium pan, heat on low-medium heat. Stir until heated through.

Separate other ingredients into small bowls and I like to start with the sour cream, then layer the beans/rice mixture, then top with cheese, avocado slices, etc. on a warmed tortilla.

Voila! You’re ready to eat! Served with a salad, this is a quick, delicious and healthy meal. Enjoy!

Seitan Fajitas

I love that there is a tasty alternative to meat! Even my husband went so far as to say that he liked these better than chicken. This…coming from a man who  absolutely loves chicken!  Maybe it’s because seitan really, truely has the same texture and similar flavor to meat, particularly chicken, but none of the saturated fat, hormones and antibiotics. These were super easy to make and I served them with a scoop of refries with vegan cheddar melted on top. Talk about a yummy, protein-packed meal!

INGREDIENTS:

2 pkgs seitan, break up or slice into pieces (I like Westsoy brand)
1 Tbs olive oil
1/2 large red onion, sliced
1 large red bell pepper, sliced into thin strips
3 cloves minced garlic
1 packet fajita mix + 1/2-3/4 C water
Tofutti sour cream
Vegan cheese, shredded, cheddar flavor
cilantro, chopped
Salsa
sliced avocado (optional)
Flour tortillas (I like Whole Foods brand–organic and small. They come in whole wheat, fat free and Homestyle (white). I like the taste and that they are the perfect size. Small, so I don’t feel like I have to load up a large tortilla. I can always make 2 if I want more).

DIRECTIONS:

Saute onions and garlic in olive oil until tender, 3-5 mins. Add seitan and saute for 10-12 mins. Combine the fajita mix with the water and add to the pan. Coat veggies and seitan and cook for 2 mins on med-high heat. Reduce heat to low and cover for about 3 mins.

I like to spread a Tbs or so of Tofutti sour cream on a warmed tortilla, then add a bit of cilantro, then seitan mixture and top with vegan cheese and salsa. If I have avocado, I’ll add 1-2 slices on top. Roll up and enjoy!

Soyrizo Layer Dip


Meat-eaters won’t know the difference! I like to use Soyrizo instead of refried beans because it adds so much flavor. Soyrizo needs no seasoning, isn’t raw and can be served cold or heated up. I served this dip cold and didn’t tell people it was vegan. It was gone in a matter of minutes! The ingredient amounts are approximate–I just threw it together and how much you layer on is up to you.

INGREDIENTS:

1 pkg Soyrizo
1 C Tofutti sour cream
1 C Vegan cheddar, shredded
1 C sliced black olives
1 C green onion, sliced thin
1/2 C salsa
1 C fresh cilantro, chopped
1 C fresh roma tomatoes, diced
Optional: 1C prepared guacamole, or 1-2 C diced avocado

DIRECTIONS:

Layer Soyrizo, sour cream, guacamole, salsa, cilantro, green onion, tomatoes, cheese, olives and enjoy with your favorite tortilla chips!

Soyrizo Tacos

Soyrizo is such a perfect alternative to meat and these tacos are so satisfying and delicious. Combined with fresh ingredients, vegans and non vegans alike will love them!

INGREDIENTS:

1 Tbs olive oil
8 oz vegan chorizo or taco crumbles (found in the tempe and tofu section)
4-6 corn shells (or soft, if you prefer)
1/2 C diced onion
1/2 C chopped tomatoes
1 C tofu sour cream (Tofutti brand)
2/3 C shredded vegan cheese
Prepared salsa
I added diced avocado and chopped fresh cilantro

DIRECTIONS:

Heat the olive oil in a skillet over med-high heat (I added the onions at this time and cooked until softened). Add the chorizo or taco crumbles and cook, stirring until heated through, 3-4 mins.

Arrange onions (if you want more), lettuce, tomatoes, salsa, sour cream, cheese, avocado, salsa and cilantro in bowls. Assemble as you want! Enjoy!