Posted in Beans, Mexican Dishes, Plant Based, Salads, Vegan

Vegan Taco Salads ~ Black Bean & Corn Taco Salad

The thing I love about salad is that that you can do so much with it. You can toss together a quickie salad that looks pretty much what people think vegans eat, or you can go all out and make a proper salad that fills you up with food and nutrients.

Guess which one I enjoy?

If you guess a big ass salad, you are correct, my friend.

Sometimes I enjoy what call it a hot & cold salad because I like to mix fresh raw ingredients with cooked ingredients, especially when it comes to burrito bowls, taco salads and Buddha bowls. Grab your favorite raw veggies, any kind of vegan protein you want and cooked veggies if you’re feeling spunky.

Check out my Sushi Salad Bowl or the Chickpea Rainbow Salad or Buffalo Chicken Salad or this Summer BBQ Salad recipe.

Sometimes I prefer something a little more traditional like potato salad, or a mostly raw vegan salad.

Today’s vegan taco salad is similar to dozens of vegan salad recipes I’ve made over the years but the difference is that I jumped out of my comfort zone and made something that I have yet to have a good experience with: peach & cucumber salsa.

It’s always been a hate-hate relationship with non-tomato salsa because I just don’t find the combination of peaches or nectarines with cucumbers all that pleasant to my taste buds. Today I decided to do it again just to see if my mind or my palate has changed.

So let’s dig into this black bean and corn taco salad.

Vegan taco salad recipe

Gather your ingredients and let’s get started!

Continue reading “Vegan Taco Salads ~ Black Bean & Corn Taco Salad”
Posted in International vegan cuisine, Mexican Dishes, Plant Based, Potatoes, Salads, Vegan

Lazy Vegan Meals ~ Vegan Tortilla Pie

The good news is that we all have those lazy days when it comes to whipping up something healthy and delicious in the kitchen. The better news is that with every passing month, every other day there are more options to allow you to be a lazy vegan cook.

Today I have one such vegan food find, the vegan tortilla pie by Vemondo. This company is a German company and the products are sold exclusively in Lidl, probably wherever Lidl stores exist, but certainly here in Romania.

Are you one of those grocery shoppers who just makes a beeline for only the things they need? That is totally my husband while I go up and down the aisles that are likely to have some kind of new vegan food products. He can usually be found waiting for me at the end of any particular aisle, protecting the cart with his life as if all the Romanians in the store actually want our veggies and vegan food products!

Anyway, my browsing skills are how I found this particular food. Vegan potato, onion and chickpea tortilla pie or cake, however you’d like to classify it.

Lazy vegan meals

However you call it, this was perfect because what I thought was just a one week heatwave has entered its fourth week, making too much time in the kitchen totally unbearable.

I kept it simple and sweet and vegan, because that’s how I roll.

Continue reading “Lazy Vegan Meals ~ Vegan Tortilla Pie”
Posted in Grains, International vegan cuisine, Mexican Dishes, Pasta, Sauces & Creams, Vegan

Spicy Buffalo Vegan Tacos w/Corn & Tomato Salsa

In our house, any night is taco night. Whether is taco bowls or taco nachos or even something as simple as a taco salad, we LOVE tacos.

My personal favorite is hard shell tacos but for some reason they have been pretty difficult to come by recently so I had to settle for my second favorite, corn tortilla taco shells. Poor me, right?

Anyway the Hubs requested buffalo soya tacos and that was my starting point for what I called our taco bonanza!

Continue reading “Spicy Buffalo Vegan Tacos w/Corn & Tomato Salsa”
Posted in Bowls, International vegan cuisine, Mexican Dishes, Plant Based, Vegan

Corn & Tofu Taco Salad Bowl ~ Vegan

Today I thought I would do something a little different. Instead of a traditional recipe, because you can add whatever you want to your favorite vegan taco salad, I just want to talk about what I did and how I did it.

I’ve made no secret about how much I love tacos, or taco salads and even taco bowls, so feel free to use any of those for inspiration.

I made corn, mushroom and mince taco salad inside a tortilla salad bowl. Let’s start there.

Before we get into the nitty gritty of what makes a good vegan taco salad bowl, let’s talk about what you can put in your salad bowl.

Continue reading “Corn & Tofu Taco Salad Bowl ~ Vegan”
Posted in International vegan cuisine, Mexican Dishes, Plant Based, Sauces & Creams, Vegan

Spicy Mushroom Vegan Tacos

Taco Tuesdays are a thing in our household, then again we can have tacos or burrito bowls or fajitas or mole, pretty much any night of the week. Mexican cuisines is not only super delicious, but with the abundance of beans in many recipes, it’s really easy to make vegan Mexican food at home.

Any night of the week.

If you want a quick and easy dinner recipe, look no further than these spicy mushroom carnitas tacos.

I prefer oyster mushrooms or king oyster mushrooms for this recipe, but honestly just about any mushroom will work as long as you cook them properly. And by properly, I mean you need to cook them until they are no longer soft or rubbery, unless that’s the consistency you’re going for.

Continue reading “Spicy Mushroom Vegan Tacos”
Posted in Bowls, Grains, International vegan cuisine, Mexican Dishes, Plant Based, Salads, Vegan

How Make A Vegan Burrito Bowl

As many of you may or may not know, I love a good bowl. I have mentioned it a time or two but today instead of just teasing you with another delicious burrito bowl, I’m going to walk you through creating your very own burrito bowl.

The next time you’re in the mood for a taco, a burrito or even a fajita but you’re looking for a way to cut down on calories or carbs, consider tossing out those tortilla shells in favor or…something else.

Today’s lesson in vegan burrito bowls starts at the bottom. We’re gonna stack this baby up the way it should be, so let’s start with the grains at the bottom of the bowl.

If you want to stick with a Mexican-style bowl, choose your favorite grain of rice. Basmati, jasmine, brown, wild…whatever you like, try it out. If you want a Mediterranean or Middle Eastern flair, use bulgur or couscous. If you’re feeling adventurous, consider quinoa or amaranth, even! The point is, experiment with grains and keep stackin’.

I like to add a little bit of turmeric to the water when I put the rice in for the health benefits.

And the color!

Next, are your greens. I’m partial to Romaine so its my go to but feel free to use butter lettuce, spinach, arugula, kale or any other leafy green that floats your fancy.

Now we’re at the protein portion of the dish and this is where you can get super creative. I used oyster mushrooms because when you slice them into shredded pieces and cook them until they start to crisp around the edges, you’ll get a magnificent flavor that will blow your mind. Add in some sliced onions and bell peppers, and you’ve got a delicious shredded mushroom burrito bowl.

As a vegan, I’m sure you’re no stranger to beans or tofu, both of which are great alternatives. Or feel free to dice up vegan burgers, nuggets or setian sausages and use those instead. Just make sure you season it to fit in with the theme of your vegan burrito bowl.

Now it’s time for my favorite part…the toppings!

I’m a simple girl, give me salsa and jalapenos and I am good to go. But others, like my hubs appreciates a good guacamole, shredded cheese and sometimes even sour cream. If you’re going for another type of cuisine, try vegan yogurt sauce with mint, lemon and cucumber. There are plenty of things you can do, so be creative and when in doubt, consult Google.

I ALWAYS make salsa fresh because I love the taste of fresh tomatoes over canned ones. The recipe is simple: tomatoes, onion/shallot, garlic, parsley, jalapenos, lime juice and hot sauce. Toss in some oregano, cumin, chili powder and paprika and…voila!

Top with jalapenos and serve alongside a nice cold cerveza/beer.

Posted in Herbs, International vegan cuisine, Mexican Dishes, Plant Based, Vegan

Garden Veggie Tacos

I love tacos. There, I’ve said it a loud and now everyone knows.

I love tacos, for those in the back who need the volume turned up.

But what I’ve discovered over the past few years is that you can make a thousand different types of tacos when you aren’t constrained by things like what’s “supposed” to be inside a taco shell.

This time when I was hit by a taco craving I decided to do something a little different and go for a full on veggie taco.

I know, it sounds weird if you’re used to meat or beans, or some of you experienced vegans might have found the beauty of shredded oyster mushroom tacos, but it was just what I needed. The temperature is creeping up past 30°C and while I wanted tacos, I didn’t want anything that would take a long time to cook and I didn’t want anything super heavy.

So we started with…hard shell tacos. It took a few years to make my husband a convert but now he likes them as much as I do.

Next we get to the taco filling and since we’re going with a ‘garden’ theme, I used onion, bell pepper, garlic, corn, zucchini and shitake mushrooms. It was light and refreshing and you can save yourself some health problems if you make your own seasoning. All you need are a few kitchen staples: cumin, chili powder, oregano, salt & pepper, garlic granules, paprika (I prefer hot and smoky but use what you like) and red pepper flakes.

You can’t have tacos without salsa, right? Well instead of salsa, I made a cabbage slaw that allowed me to make the veggies a bit spicier. It’s simple to make and even easier if you have a fancy food processor or even a box grater. All you need is green (or red) cabbage, scallions, carrot, vegan yogurt, lime juice, hot sauce and ground cumin.

It’s delicious and low in calories so feel free to make extra and use it as a side dish and a taco topping!

You want to take your hard shell vegan tacos to the next level? Preheat the oven and then place the shells on parchment paper lined baking sheet. Sprinkle with sea salt and lime juice and then heat for up to 3 minutes. The shells will be crunchy and crispy and super HOT!

This vegan meal was light and easy, done in less than 30 minutes even with the different components.

Use any vegetables you enjoy, are in season or have on hand.

And if you’re feeling in the mood to celebrate, let me suggest this easy blood orange margarita.

It has just a few basic ingredients:

Salt

Smoky paprika

1 Lemon

1 Lime

San Pellegrino (Aranciata)

2 shots of tequila

Run a slice of lemon or lime along half the rim of each glass and then dredge it through the salt & paprika mixture.

Add ice and then tequila (1 shot per glass, about 1.5 ounces).

Squeeze one half of the lemon and the lime in to each glass.

Top with aranciata and stir.

Make it even yummier and impress your buddies by adding a pinch of leftover salt & paprika on top of the cocktail!

Posted in Asian Food, Indian, International vegan cuisine, Mexican Dishes, Sauces & Creams, Vegan

Vegan Döner Kebab: Taco Edition!!

When we lived in Germany I got very acquainted with something that I now love; döner kebabs. They are very similar to gyros in the United States except that instead of tzatziki there are all kinds of yummy veggies and spicy pepper sauce if you want. Some places also offer a crumbly feta-style cheese with it and though it’s not my jam, I had been known eat a döner or two…per week.

Now that I’m off of animal products, I’ve made a döner with crimini mushrooms, oyster mushrooms and there was even one terrible attempt at making my own with seitan and soy flour but I’d rather not think about that right now.

Then one day we were walking around our neighborhood in Stetten (just outside Stuttgart for those interested) and we found a Bio Store which is just a German way of saying organic, but we loved it because they had a solid selection of vegan products.

Enter, Wheaty, courtesy of Veganic.

I am a big fan of this product because it is tasty with all the right döner flavors and it has a meat-like consistency. What I love most is that it has all the good things about meat without that greasy aftertaste. Take a look at the ingredients and the nutritional content and then when your eyes go back in your head, see if the Wheaty brand is available near you.

We visited 3 different markets in search of large döner wraps but they were nowhere to be found. Tortilla wraps were abundant so I improvised with döner kebab tacos, vegan style!

Start with your vegetables of choice. My favorite döner always had onions and peppers so I kept it simple with half of a green and yellow bell pepper and two small yellow onions. I sauteed them in water because there’s a fair bit of oil in the vegan döner.

I did add a few slices of garlic during the last couple minutes because garlic tastes good and has tons of health benefits, immune booster being my absolute favorite!

Now that you’ve got the inside of the döner taco, it’s time to talk about the other fun stuff! I forgot to take photos of my take on the creamy veg offered at döner kebab shops all around Germany but you can see it on the tacos! It’s thinly sliced onion, red cabbage, grated carrots and zucchini tossed in vegan yogurt, lemon juice, cumin, tahini and diced celery.

As you can see, I heated some of the tortilla shells a bit too much but they were still tasty and we scarfed them up in an attack of the munchies. Out of deference to my hubs I kept the spicy factor low but I add Sriracha to my “döner tacos”.

Posted in Mexican Dishes, Plant Based, Sauces & Creams, Vegan

Much Ado About Salsa

I know what you’re thinking, salsa is already vegan so why do we need a whole post about it. Right?

Wrong.

Salsa is vegan but it is so much more than that. It is the perfect snack for people in search of low calorie alternatives to chips, chocolate and other junk food. It’s a great source of beta carotene thanks to the tomatoes, and it’s a great way to impress the hordes who prefer the jarred crap, er salsa.

This won’t be a long post because there isn’t that much to be said about salsa, so let’s jump right into it.

A good salsa recipe starts with the right ingredients.

For this salsa I went mostly basic but once you have a base salsa, you can change things up and see how different ingredients change the flavor. Here is a base list of ingredients:

Tomatoes
Limes
Onion
Parsley
Oregano
Chili peppers
Garlic
Cumin
Hot sauce (couple drops)

I used lemons this time around mostly because the limes were too hard and needed a few more days to ripen but typically lime is the way to go in my opinion. You’ll also notice a distinct lack of cilantro and that’s because I’m one of those people who can’t abide it. I won’t try it anymore and I don’t add it to my salsa so…that. But parsley is a great substitute if you’re part of the population who simply can’t do cilantro. I prefer jalapenos because I think they provide great flavor with just enough heat that I won’t burn off my husband’s mouth but sometimes I go a little crazy and use habaneros or Thai chili peppers. For the onions, try red or white or yellow, or even scallions.

Sometimes, like Cinco de Mayo or Wednesday, I’ll add a half shot of tequila mixed with the lime juice for a grown up salsa that is super delicious.

You can choose to hand chop your ingredients for a more rustic style salsa but I just don’t have the time or patience so I refer to my handy food processor/chopper. But there is a method to my madness. I prefer to pulse the tomatoes until they are manageable and then add the rest of the remaining ingredients.

So…how is this vegan?

Simple, it just is. But there are some people out there who add things like grated cheese to flavor it or other ingredients that might have animal products in it that you don’t know about such as some jarred lime juice brands.

 You should be able to taste all the ingredients in every bite.

 

A few more tips:

*Check your tortilla chips to ensure they are vegan and suitable for your particular diet.

*Make your own tortilla chips in the oven with whole wheat tortilla shells or get really fancy and make’em from scratch

*Don’t be afraid to experiment with other, similar ingredients.

 

Posted in Mexican Dishes, Plant Based, Vegan

Margarita Monday…With A Vegan Twist

I am a big believer in celebrating life whether it is a major achievement or a small step on the path to something bigger or better…or whatever. I am also very much a believer in enjoying each day as it comes and if anyone has ever read my #MustangPrairie series then you know I love giving each day special meaning. In Mustang Prairie it’s #merlotmondays but today it is Margarita Monday.

Why? Mostly because I love cocktails and consider myself a bit of cocktail aficionado. A bit.

So let’s get the first thing out of the way, this is a margarita-less Margarita Monday because I was in a Paloma kind of mood.

All you need is good tequila (I have Cuervo right now) and grapefruit soda like Perrier which is incredible, but I recommend San Pellegrino (Arianciata Rossa) which is a delicious blood orange flavor. Add a twist of lime and you’re ready to get your cocktail hour on…until it’s time to get the vegan taco bar started!

Did somebody say taco bar?

Absolutely! Living in Los Angeles we ate plenty of Mexican food and since taking up a plant based diet, my husband and I have had a great time veganizing our favorite Mexican, South American and Spanish dishes. The best part is finding out how different proteins adapt to the flavors. Black beans offer up a different flavor, taste and texture than mushrooms but sometimes you just want to go back to your college days where you ate plain hard shell tacos…with tofu crumbles.

This was a simple taco bar, starting with tofu crumbles, onions, red bell peppers and corn. The bottom of each hard shell is lined with shredded Romaine lettuce and from there you can stack with whatever you like.

Salsa? Check!

Guacamole? Double check!

Black olives

Jalapeno peppers

Limes

If you have the time, and YOU DO, make the salsa yourself.

In fact, I’m going to do a full post on making a proper salsa just for you lovely people!

This is the perfect plant based taco recipe for when you’ve got a craving for your favorite Mexican style fast food but you want it fresh, healthy and with zero animal products!

And best of all, there’s enough for everybody!

This is a quick and easy meal and it can be made even easier with a side of rice & beans or my favorite, creamy garlic & dill cucumber salad.

What’s your favorite vegan taco?