TACO TUESDAY

Tuesday means taco night… right? Well it did in my house tonight!

Make these tacos for your next taco Tuesday or when you are craving tacos or when you just want something downright tasty & healthy! And yes, also vegan & gluten-free! You can really adjust this recipe to please any diet!

Taco Seasoning:

In a small bowl mix together:

2 tsp chili powder

1.5 tsp onion powder

1.5 tsp garlic powder

1 tsp smoked paprika

1 tsp oregano

1 tsp cumin

Set aside until needed for taco meat.

Ingredients for taco “meat”:

1 cup green lentils *dry lentils & rinse before cooking

2 cups low sodium vegan vegetable broth OR 2 cups of water with a vegan bouillon cube.

1 sweet onion (chopped)

2 garlic cloves (minced)

2 tsp coconut oil

Directions:

In a large pan (I used a wok) on low-med heat sauté chopped onion and minced garlic in coconut oil, until soft or have turned translucent. Add 1 cup of rinsed lentils, 2 cups of vegetable broth, add a few scoops of the taco seasoning and mix everything together. Turn heat to high and bring to a boil, give a few more stirs, cover and reduce to a simmer for approx. 30 minutes or until lentils are soft and water has evaporated. After 30 minutes, I removed the lid and stirred occasionally for 5 more minutes and added more taco seasoning.

Taco topping ideas: lettuce, tomatoes, vegan cheese, beans, olives, jalapeños, green onions, peppers, nutritional yeast, salsa, guacamole… whatever your heart desires!

I had my lentil taco meat on a lettuce wrap topped with guacamole, salsa, green onions, nutritional yeast, a bit of Daiya cheese & hot sauce. The tacos were absolutely delicious and so filling from the lentil taco meat!

Lentil Lettuce Wrap Tacos

Lentil Lettuce Wrap Tacos

Karim made his tacos (well actually I made them because he was rushing out the door for hockey) with gluten-free rice wraps topped with lentil meat, kidney beans, guacamole, salsa, hot sauce, Daiya cheese, lettuce, green onions, tomatoes and S&P to taste.

Lentil Tacos with Rice Wraps

Lentil Tacos with Rice Wraps

Karim actually couldn’t get over how much the lentil taco meat tasted like beef taco meat. I have a feeling that taco Tuesday will be happening weekly since we both loved the tacos so much!

And yes of course I made enough to have leftovers. I am a big fan of making enough food so we have enough for our lunches the next day. Karim and I are both students so we save a lot of money not buying lunch and snacks at school. We also eat much healthier by eating leftovers and packing our own lunches! Having leftovers saves time in the kitchen so you don’t have to make another meal to take for lunch. I also make/pack our lunches in the evening to save us time in the morning. I like to stay in bed for as long as I can in the morning and I also like to eat delicious food at school. I actually have Wednesdays off from school (lucky me) so Karim gets the taco leftovers in his lunch (lucky him).

Taco leftovers for lunch.

Taco leftovers for lunch.

Karim is the guacamole maker in our house. Here is his super easy & tasty guacamole recipe that I love and we used on the tacos tonight:

1 avocado

1 lime

1-2 cloves of garlic (minced)

Salt & Pepper to taste

Optional: a dash of turmeric.

Directions: Peel avocado & remove pit, add avocado flesh to a bowl and smash with a fork. Cut lime in half, squeeze all juice out of it & also feel free to add some of the lime flesh. Add the minced garlic and salt & pepper to taste. Mix all ingredients. Now enjoy! Yes, it is that easy! It is also delicious!

And… I didn’t get this post out on time so it is now officially 1am which makes it Wednesday! But I am still going to call this post Taco Tuesday. Not only does it have a good ring to it but I think taco Tuesday should happen next week in your house; and oh yeah… this was my Tuesday night dinner. I ended up going for a walk with Karim when he got home from hockey, so it is his fault that I am late posting this.

What are some of your favourite taco toppings?

Cheers,

Paige xo.

Stuffed Zucchini Boats with Cauliflower “Rice” (Healthy, Vegan & Gluten Free).

Two of my favourite veggies are cauliflower and zucchini. Not only are they both delicious tasting; they are also very versatile. I had cauliflower and zucchini in the fridge and wanted to use them, so I decided to get creative and make stuffed zucchini boats with cauliflower “rice”. I’m excited to post & share this recipe with you because they tasted absolutely delicious, are vegan, gluten free and absolutely healthy!

Stuffed Zucchini Boats with Cauliflower “Rice”

Feeds 2 hungry bellies!

For the Zucchini boats, you’ll need:

-2 medium/large zucchinis

For the cauliflower “rice” boat filling, you’ll need:

-1 small head of cauliflower (chop into florets, add to food processor & pulse until rice-like)

-2 cloves of garlic (minced)

-1 small sweet onion (diced)

-1 tablespoon of extra-virgin olive oil

-1 tablespoon of apple cider vinegar

-Salt & Pepper to taste

-*Broccoli and/or other veggies of choice

-*Spices/seasonings of choice (optional).

For the tomato sauce, you’ll need: 

*Feel free to make your tomato sauce of choice.

I usually make a tomato sauce from scratch with whatever I feel like; but yesterday I made a jar of Ella’s “The Best Tomato Sauce: Vegan” and yes, it is absolutely delicious! So easy to make and so nice to have on hand! Thanks for sharing the recipe, Ella.

You can find the recipe here: http://deliciouslyella.com/2013/01/05/the-best-tomato-sauce-vegan/

Directions:

-Preheat oven to 400F.

– Wash cauliflower, remove core and leaves. Chop the dry cauliflower (you don’t want wet cauliflower) into small florets that are small enough to fit into the food processor. *If you do not have a food processor, you can also grate cauliflower. Add florets to the food processor and pulse until you have a rough grain that looks like rice (not mushy).

-In a large saucepan, add 1 tablespoon of extra-virgin olive oil and heat on low. Add onion and 2 minced garlic cloves and sauté until soft or golden brown. *If you are adding other vegetables, add now.

-Turn the heat to medium and add the riced cauliflower to the onions. Add a tablespoon of apple cider vinegar, mix in. Cover and cook for approx. 5-7 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat. *I added small broccoli florets in at this time, seasoned with fresh ground pepper and left covered to steam the broccoli.

-Slice zucchini in half lengthwise. Scoop seeds out. Sprinkle with spices of choice (I used fresh ground pepper and garlic). *I just set the seed’s aside and mixed in a few spoonfuls to the cauliflower mixture, just before adding it to the boats.

-Spoon the cauliflower rice mixture into the zucchini boats. Top with tomato sauce and nutritional yeast. Optional: Daiya or Vegan cheese of choice. *I found it easiest to already have the zucchini boats placed in the baking pan already, so no messy transferring.

-Bake on 400F for approx. 25-30 mins. or until zucchini is tender.

-Enjoy! I love hot sauce so I topped mine with hot sauce!

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The stuffed zucchini boats with cauliflower rice are absolutely delicious & I can hardly wait to make again! Karim even said they should become a regular in our kitchen!

Paige xo.

Vegan Roasted Butternut Squash

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For the love of Butternut squash!

I was first introduced to butternut squash this fall when I decided to pick one up at Vancouver’s Farmers Market (I love farmers markets). The first time I cooked a butternut squash, I roasted it with herbs and ate it as a side dish. It was absolutely delicious and quickly became a regular in my kitchen.

Vegan Roasted Butternut Squash:

Serves 3-4

Ingredients:

1 medium-large butternut squash

1 can no-salt added garbanzo beans, drain & rinse

3 cups of water

1 Tablespoon of extra-virgin olive oil

1 large carrot

1 low sodium vegetable bouillon cube *Or you can replace the water with low sodium vegetable broth.

1/2 a large or small-medium sweet onion chopped

2 cloves of garlic (or more or less depending on garlic preference), crushed

1 tsp cayenne pepper (if you like spicy)

Sea salt & fresh black pepper to taste

Top with nutritional yeast

Instructions:

1. Preheat oven to 400 F. Peel, de-seed, and cut squash in cubes. Place squash on parchment paper lined baking pan. Brush squash with oil, season with pepper, dash of salt & garlic (or spices of choice). Bake for 45 minutes or until soft.

2. Heat oil in a soup pot on medium heat. Add onions and garlic and sauté until golden. Add carrot and spices.

3. Add water or veggie stock, roasted butternut squash, and garbanzo beans.

4. Bring ingredients to a boil & then reduce to a simmer. Puree using an immersion blender or blender.

*If you are using a blender or food processor be careful not to burn yourself when transferring to the blender and back to the pot.

5. Top with fresh-black pepper & nutritional yeast.

Enjoy!

I make this soup for myself or one other person; I love having leftovers for school or work the next day. Leftovers are the healthy fast-food 🙂

Paige xo.

Avocado Broccoli Slaw Salad

Tonights dinner was Avocado Broccoli Slaw salad. One of my favourite salads & it is always absolutely delicious. I love this salad for a number of reasons: not only is it delicious, it is also healthy, vegan, quick & easy to make! Does it get much better then that?

Ingredients:

– 1 Lime

– 1 Avocado

– 2 garlic cloves (or whatever you prefer)

– 1 pear (I used an asian pear)

– Fresh ground pepper to taste

– 1 bag of Organic Broccoli Slaw

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For Christmas my mom gave me “M&M Garlic’s” Minced Garlic – I love their garlic products & they are from my hometown, so that is even cooler! Better yet, already having the minced garlic on-hand makes this salad even quicker to make!

Salad Preparation:

– Empty the bag of broccoli slaw into a bowl

– Dice the asian pear & add it to the broccoli slaw (mixing it in)

*I made the dressing in my Blendtec blender but feel free to use an immersion blender.

-Remove the skin & pitt from the avocado. Add the avocado to the blender.

-Add as much garlic as you prefer to the blender. I love garlic and used a tablespoon of minced garlic.

-Cut the lime in half and squeeze all of the lime juice into the blender. Cut the pulp out of the lime & also add it.

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-Add fresh pepper grinds.

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– & blend until you have a creamy dressing!

*I LOVE garlic & pepper- almost all of the food I make I add a ton of garlic and pepper!

– Add the dressing to the salad & mix in!

ImageSince this is all I was making for dinner tonight, I decided to add quinoa to make it more filling. Quinoa is great in salads- the salad becomes more filling & more nutrient rich. Quinoa is full of benefits, to name a few: it is full of fiber (makes for a happy tummy), protein & magnesium rich, contains iron & is gluten free (it is not related to the wheat family).

Quinoa cooking instructions:

1. To add quinoa to this salad- measure out 1/2 cup of quinoa.

Image2. Rinse Quinoa. Why? Quinoa naturally comes with a bitter coating called saponin. You can rinse quinoa or soak to remove the saponin coating.

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3. After rinsing, add it to the cooking pot, add 1 cup of water. I also added a veg cube to add more flavour to the quinoa.

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4. Bring water to a boil, cover with a tight fitting lid, and turn the heat down to simmer.

5. Cook for approx. 15 minutes.

6. Remove quinoa from heat & allow to sit for 5 minutes with the lid left on.

7. Remove lid, fluff with a fork, eat plain or add to the salad!

ImageImageImageIt was my 1st time adding quinoa to the avocado broccoli slaw salad and it was delicious. There was also enough left overs for our lunches tomorrow!

Hope you enjoy this salad as much as I do!

Paige xo.