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Grilled Zucchini Tacos

I have discovered a new entrée that has become one of my favorite vegan dishes – zucchini tacos!A fellow vegan discovered a mexican restaurant in Evanston, Austin Tacos, and we were excited to see VEGAN TACOS on the menu. Now unlike many places that use some type of faux meat product filled with soy or wheat gluten, this play used all veggies. Awesome! They were quite tasty. In fact, I went a few weeks later to taste and see how I can make them my on. My zucchini tacos were quite different from Austin Tacos, but I think they taste even better because I made with just the ingredients I like. Here are a list of ingredients I used:

  • zucchini
  • onions
  • jalapeno
  • onions
  • red & green peppers
  • black beans
  • smoked corn salsa (left over from the Baked Mexican Pasta Dish)
  • green onions
  • corn tortillas
  • cabbage slaw

I made the corn tortillas in my new special pan that I bought just for this purpose – I admit that I love tacos!

I like this pan because I do not have to make one tortilla at a time. Oh yeah! I then grilled the zucchini in my cast iron grill skillet by adding a little EVOO (extra virgin olive oil). This is where the goodness really starts.

While the zucchini was grilling. I combined some left over black beans, grilled onions & peppers, corn salsa and brown rice to add as a topping with diced jalapeno.

I like spicy food so I added some fresh diced jalapeno, I tossed in some fresh cilantro, added a little cabbage slaw and guacamole on the side for crunch. I had never tried this before, but I think this is one of the tastiest creations that I have tried thus far while transitioning to a vegan lifestyle.

 This was way too much food for me to eat in one sitting!!! I am pleasantly pleased by how I am eating less and less now that I am eating better. It’s amazing how satisfied you feel when you give your body what it needs. If I had participated in the VIRTUAL VEGAN POTLUCK on May 12th, this is the dish that I intended to include.  Be creative when you are making vegan dishes…..I’m learning that this is part of the fun (and motivation) for continuing on my journey no matter how many ups and downs I experience.

Baked Gluten-Free Mexican Pasta Bake

I was instantly captured by this dish created by Vogue Vegetarian! I love mexican food and it fit right within the lifestyle that I am “trying” to follow. I must admit that following a vegan lifestyle hasn’t been very easy for me the last few months – I found myself falling back into my old toxic eating patterns. I had to put my foot down and say “Darn it Michelle, you have come to far and you know the great benefits so don’t stop!! Seriously, sometimes we have to give ourselves a pep talk. I was reminded by someone who was very instrumental in my starting on this journey that I couldn’t give up on my plant-based dietary lifestyle….what would become of the “Emerging Vegan Sistah” if I did???? Well, it was enough to make me think and say this is part of my journey and that’s what this blog is all about – embracing the journey towards change.

I’ve learned that it brings me joy to create new dishes that align with this lifestyle. I rarely follow recipes to the letter, but I followed this pretty closely. I am not going to go through all of the ingredients and steps – visit Vogue Vegetarian’s blog for the original Vegan Mexican Pasta Bake Recipe. The recipe was much more than what I would eat so I cut it in half. I skipped the olives and I forgot the green onions (love them though!). I also have a few other changes: I added diced fresh jalapeno, i used roasted corn and red pepper pico da galo instead of just corn, I also used a spicy taco seasoning mix I found at wholefoods – just wasnt in my budget to by some additional spicy this weekend with my regular groceries.  This is one of my new favs!!!

Here is all of the ingredients that I used:

Gluten-Free Vegan Mexican Pasta Bake Ingredients

I was initially overwhelmed by the amount of ingredients when I first read it. However, I was pleasantly surprised by how easy and quick it was to start this dish:

This dish was looking (and smelling) great in less than 10 minutes!!

When I added the pasta I knew that dish was a winner!!!

 

Brown Rice Pasta, Hot Chunky Salsa, jalapeno, Leeks, Cilantro, Black Beans, Smoke Corn Pico, Minced Garlic, Pepper Jack Daiya

I decided to add a little extra Daiya on top. You guys know I am a true Daiya fan – it was a life saver because I love cheese so much that I needed a great alternative & as you see this melted very nicely after baking. oh la la….

Daiya brings this dish together in the end!

I must say take a bow Vogue Vegetarian this recipe gave me great inspiration! I had a nice light lunch today and I have enough for lunch and/or dinner. This was a great dish that I plan to make more. I guess I could have made the entire recipe and put half in the freezer – we live and learn. lol

 

Thumbs Up! This Gluten-Free Vegan Mexican Pasta Bake is Great!

Think Out the Box When Choosing Your Cereal (Unprocessed Cereal Recipe)

This morning I decided to share a wonderful cereal recipe. I obtained this recipe in the nutrition class for my marathon training session with the Elijah Running Club. This recipe is wonderful, quick to make and you have the liberty of creating it anyway you like it. It takes only a few minutes and its good enough for a breakfast cereal or midday snack. Bonus is that my daughter loves it too!

INGREDIENTS:

Diced honeydew melons

Diced Pineapples

Diced Granny Smith Apples

Sliced Straw berries

Bunch of green grapes

(I’ve also added cantaloupe, blueberries, raspberries, etc in the past)

Lots of Cinnamon

Agave nectar (really just a small amount depending on how much you make)

Walnuts and/or Pecan

Non-Dairy Milk (I use unsweetened vanilla almond milk, but I may try coconut milk this week)

Clean Cereal Ingredients (except Non-Dairy Milk)

INSTRUCTIONS:

1st – Mix all of the fruits and nuts together in a bowl

 2nd – Drizzle a small amount of agave nectar on the top and add a liberal amount of cinnamon

Gotta Love Cinnamon!

3rd – Mixed all the ingredients together and eat alone or with non-dairy milk

This recipe is delicious! If you buy the fruit already diced this should take you 2-3 minutes to make. Enjoy!!

Kicking Black Eye Peas & Okra

Todau I am posting a dish that contains two items that I generally have not liked most of my life. It is quite amazing to see how are palet changes as we age and as we expand our understanding of food. I must thank my daughter, who now exclaims that our entire place is green and there’s nothing to eat, for getting me to try this dish. My BFF fixed this for her one day when she was sitting for me before she moved to TN. My friend’s recipe included smoked turkey, but I think my vegan version is just as good or even better. This is a very easy and delicious dish that is great over brown rice – that’s how I had it with a little vegan jalapeno corn bread (see prior post) on the side.

Here are the ingredients:

1/2 lbs os soaked black eye peas (I soaked in cool water while I was at work

1 medium bell pepper (diced)

1 medium onion (diced)

2-3 pieces of garlic (diced of minced)

1 and 1/2 c of okra (fresh or frozen)

EVOO

HSS

Fresh cracked black pepper

Instructions:

Soak the peas for 4-5 hours in cool water (you can purchase pre-soaked peas or soak in warm water for a shorter time)

Drizzle EVOO in a skillet and sautee the diced onions, bell pepper & garlic

Add peas to the mixture and add water until the black eye peas are almost covered with water

Cook Your Black Eye Peas After Soaking

Cook the peas about 30 -45 minutes on slow heat. Add HSS and fresh cracked pepper to taster. You may also add other seasonings to kick this up. I use cajun seasonings and a little cracked red pepper. After the peas have become visibly tender or close to the texture of your preference add the in the okra (the point is to keep the okra from over cooking or becoming too soft).

Add Okra to the Simmering Black Eye Peas

Cooked for another 10 – 15 minutes. Again, until the okra has the consistency that you enjoy.  I used frozen okra and I do not like soft okra so I only cook this dish about 10 minutes once I add the okra. This dish was great, especially for a person who didn’t like black eye peas and despised okra. I like for this dish to have a little kick so I add crush red peppers at the end. If I really want to “kick it up a notch” as Emeril use to say on the FoodNetwork, I add a litle hot sauce or tobascco sauce. Hey, I’m a girl that likes spicy food! Try this dish out, I’m sure you’ll like it.

We're done! Black Eye Peas w/ Okra. Yum!

Vegan Jalapeno Cornbread (Gluten-free & Soy-free)

I am so excited that I am exploring more and more with vegan cooking. I know that I can not practice this lifestyle unless without creating dishes at home. I also need room to explore in the kitchen as well. I enjoyed this time of kitchen creation. I was never a big fan of cornbread as a child, but about 2 years ago I began to incorporate it into my meals. Now, I’ve never made cornbread from “scratch” so this was truly a new experience. Well, I found a recipe  on my VegWeb app and it turned out pretty good. I had to add my twist so I added fresh jalapeno. I think I’ll continue to explore, but it was pretty good for my first attempt.

Here’s the recipe (I used all organic ingredients):

1 cup of cornmeal

1 cup of flour of your choice (I used brown rice flour)

4 tsp of baking powder

2 tbsps of flaxseed meal + 6 tbsps of water

1 cup of non-dairy milk (i used coconut milk)

1/2 c of unsweetened apple sauce

1 fresh jalapeno (diced)

Mix all the dry ingredients together

Mix the flaxseed meal + water

Fold wet ingredients into the dry ingredients

The mixture will be doughy and think

Fold in the jalapeno

Cornbread Dough with Jalapeno

The dough had an interesting consistency. The recipe suggest placing it in a cold oven. I also decided to use a cast iron skillet that was first sprayed with olive oil cooking spray. The consistency was quite different from when I made my boxed corn meal. lol

Cornbread Mixture Prior to Baking

Gluten-Free, Soy-Free Vegan Jalapeno Cornbread

Here's A Serving

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