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:
- 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.
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!
Diced honeydew melons
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)
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
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!!
I haven’t blogged in a few weeks so I thought I’d write an update this morning. First, I’m excited to inform you that I made my first all vegan holiday dinner for Christmas and it was delicious! Even though the family chuckled at my personal challenge some of them couldn’t help being enticed by the kitchen aroma and trying a few things as well. I’ll add a few of the items to the blog. Today I am adding my baked vegan candied yams. I’ve never made baked candied yams with marshmallows on top, but I understand this is popular with many people. If that is your thing, there are a few companies that make vegan marshmallows so add it to the recipe if you like.
I love Candied Yams! It is a holiday staple for me. However, I must say that these are the best that I’ve ever tasted and by far the best that I’ve ever made. I went to the store yesterday to by the ingredients so I can make some more. I’m hooked people. LMBO! Ok, you guys know that I am not the best with measuring, I just hate be boxed in to most restrictions so these are my close guesstimates (really not a work either, but hey you get it).
1 lb cut sweet potatoes or yams
1/2 orange (you’ll need the juice & a little zest wouldn’t hurt)
1/2 lemon (see above)
3-4 tbsp of soy margarine or butter alternative (this is really up to you – you can go totally Paula Dean here if you like)
2-3 tbsp of agave nectar (I used one that contained vanilla extract)
1/4c organic sugar
2-3 tbsp of cinnamon
HSS (Hawaiian Sea Salt) to taste
Add a pinch HSS & a slice of lemon to water & add yams and cooked about 10 minutes to soften
Drain the water and transfer the yams to a baking dish
In a small sauce pan add butter and lett melt
Once the butter has melted add the organic sugar and mix well until the sugar dissolves
Now add the juice of half a lemon and half an orange to the mixture.
Add the agave nectar & cinnamon
Pour the mixture over the yams and mix well
Shake a little cinnamon over the top of the yams
Optional: Drizzle a little agave nectar over the yams & add a few slices of oranges and/or lemons for added flavor
Baked until you achieve the texture your prefer. NOTE: Please do not bake too long or you may need to make sweet potato pie.
I mentioned on my dining page that I would be attending a raw vegan gathering at Arya Bhavan. There were actually 3 vegan/raw vegan groups that were there today – I decided to join all three. Hey, the support & personal information is exactly what I need. Interestingly, the Chef shared how the leaders of our group encouraged her to make raw vegan meals. They even gave her feedback, which she kindly accepted. So, if you are in an area that does not have vegan or raw vegan food restaurants, you should consider speaking up.
As for Arya Bhavan, I must say that I was in raw vegan Heaven because all of the items were so flavorful. I LOVE spicy food and so many things had a nice kick to it! Everyone that I met was friendly and so informative. There were lots of people there too – we literally packed this place from front to back. Arya Bhavan has a raw vegan buffet every Monday and I think I’ll be one of her faithful customers. She also had one cooked vegan dish and it is my new favorite. Gobi Aloo is one of my favorite Indian dishes, but this one was especially made by the Chef here so I will not find it any other place. I snapped just a few pics that I thought I would share. I tried a little bit of everything so may plate is full (and I still missed 1-2 items). The entire menu for this event & a link to Arya Bhavan’s website is listed on my Vegan Dining Page. In fact, I enjoyed this place & the Chef so much that I went back to sign-up for the monthly meal plan – 30 days of vegan meals for $150!!!! That is not a mistake – this price is insane & I love it!
Raw Vegans/Vegans packed this event
Presentation of our Indian Raw Food Buffet
Raw Pizza. I wasn’t too fond of the raw oat crust.
Dinner time! This is a little of every things & I think I had the least amount of food on my plate.
Today I made my first vegan soulfood meal and I must say that it is delicious!! I am so excited because I made one of my favorite dishes mac & cheez. In fact, I have a 13 year old daughter who I don’t force to join this lifestyle. However, I encourage her to try the dishes that I make. Surprisingly, she is asking for my dishes more and more. This way, I am not forcing her to make changes – it is a gradual decision that she is making on her own. Well, she loves mac & cheese! She asked for a serving after trying mine. I haven’t told her that it was vegan just yet. LOL.
We are also making some dining changes by eating on salad plates instead of dinner plates. We add fresh veggies to each dinner (well, me more than her). If we eat from a dinner plate the goal is for half of the plate to be fresh veggies or salad. Ok, here are some pics of my first VEGAL SOUL FOOD DINNER – YEAH!! I’m not the best at measuring ingredients for recipes (I’m kinda the R. Ray type – eye ball it, hand full, drizzle, etc) so I’ll give you the ingredients I think you should cook and season dishes to your personal taste. With that being stated, I shared the ingredients & cooking process best I could below.
MAC & CHEEZ
(makes about 5 servings)
- 2 cups brown rice penne pasta
- approx. 6 oz light coconut milk
- approx. 3-4 tbsp of soy margarine
- approx. 1/2 pack of daiya cheddar (save some to sprinkle on top)
- approx. 2-3 tbsp of nutritional yeast
- hawaiin sea salt (HSS), fresh cracked pepper & paprika (too taste)
COOKING TIP: melt the butter, than add coconut milk and once it thickens add daiya & seasoning, Slowly add in pasta & put in caserole pan. Add the cheeze you site aside to the top. I add additional paprika & pepper on top.
(makes abotu 4 servings)
- approx. 1lb of greens
- diced oninon & green peppers
- pack of vegetable soup
- HSS, freshed cracked pepper & paprkia
COOKING TIP: Sautee diced onions & peppers, add hot water, then fill pan with greens. Cook greens slowly and when they start to get tender add in the vegetable soup and more seasonsing of your choosing. Cook a few more minutes and then mix all together. (Cook according to the tenderness that you prefer, but do not overcook them).
This was absolutely delicious. There is hope for me!! I am so thankful to everyone that post recipes – I can mix and match various ingredients and then make it my own like I did today.