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 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?

Posted in Asian Food, Beans, Fruit, Grains, Herbs, Indian, Plant Based, Vegan

The Lazy Vegan’s Guide to Mealtime

It’s been almost two years since my husband and I adopted a plant based diet and aside from concern over my protein intake, the most common question I get asked is, “But what do you eat?”

I usually answer with sarcasm, something along the lines of grass and twigs because, let’s face it, that’s what people expect to hear whether or not it’s true. The truth is that I love to cook and would consider myself something of a foodie but that’s only if and when time permits. As a full-time writer and part-time author, my schedule is pretty packed most days. But a girl’s gotta eat, right?

So when we’re not whipping up fancy vegan feasts or rustic weeknight meals, we take the Keep It Simple, Stupid school of thought.

Step One: Grab some veggies

Depending on where in the world you live, you might find you can’t get all the produce all year long, which means you have to improvise. Don’t be afraid to spend some time in the produce aisle and see what’s on offer and what’s in season, more importantly, what’s not in season. You’ll notice that some fruits and vegetables may be available all year long they don’t always taste how they should.

If you’re not much of a cook, think about easy meals like stir-fry, vegetable medley, curry or a plain old casserole dish.

Step Two: Pick a grain.

This is my favorite part because the grains are where I’ll decide what this dish will be. Reach for bulgur or couscous and give your meal a Middle Eastern or Mediterranean flair, add rice to make it whatever you want, or my personal favorite, add a serving of your favorite Asian style noodle.

You don’t have to stick with any hard and fast rules here, just go with whatever flavors you feel like grabbing from your spice rack.

If you’re feeling really crazy, grab some tortilla shells and turn that veggie-tofu mix into tacos, burritos, nachos or fajitas.

Step three: Get your spices in order.

I firmly believe that the key to good, healthy vegan eating is variety. Eating a variety of fruits, vegetables, grains, beans and legumes, sure. But also variety in your spice cabinet, because this is how you’ll keep your taste buds excited about meal time.

You’ll want the basics like salt and whole black pepper, herbs like dill, thyme, oregano, basil and marjoram if you’re not ready for fresh herbs, but as you become more comfortable in the kitchen pick up more spices and herbs like cumin, cayenne pepper, curry, turmeric, garlic granules, all spice, smoky paprika and whatever else strikes your fancy.

Change up your spices and you’ll never be bored at mealtime.

Step four: Enjoy

Despite what you think or what you may have heard, being vegan doesn’t require you to spend hours in the kitchen. In fact, I would argue that it’s easier because there’s no animal protein you have to cook but we can debate that later.

This is my go-to method for creating quick and easy meals. It’s a fantastic way to eat healthy without ordering fast food or paying to eat out at restaurants on a regular basis.

Veggie taco.

Sticky orange cauliflower & rice

Just add rice & Sriracha and you’re good to go!