Taco Bowl Tuesday

IMG_9261I've said it before and I'll say it again, I am the luckiest girl alive because I have brilliant friends and family! After I had Rocco my bestie from 3rd grade, yes you read that right 3rd grade, came to visit! While she was only here for a few days her stay was so insanely helpful it still makes me cry to think about. Lucky for me she and her family of 7 [did I mention my bestie is also a superhero!?] often eat raw and vegan so with just what was in my fridge/pantry she made the most delectable dinner I had in ages. And because the cravings don't stop after you have your nugget I wanted it again and again, so I did my best to recreate her awesome meal! What I love about this bowl is that you can keep everything in the fridge and just throw it together when you are hungry! There are a few components, but I swear it is so quick and easy, soon you'll be craving it too!! IMG_9260[The Greens] Romaine [chopped]

Avocado Dressing [Avocado, pinch of salt, juice from 1 lemon, minced garlic if you have time]

Mash avocado until it's guacamole then toss the lettuce in the mixture, instant dressing!

[The Grains]

1 cup quinoa

2 1/2 cups water or veggie broth

1 can of black beans, strained and rinsed

Pinch o salt

Either cook quinoa, liquid, and salt like rice or throw into the rice maker and press on. Add the beans to the cooked quinoa.

[The Veggies]

Bell Peppers, Mushrooms, Zucchini, Red Onion. Chopped nice and thick.

Toss in a pan with some olive oil or water to sauté. You only need to toss them around for a just a few minutes. You want them still crunchy and fresh tasting. Toss in a pinch of salt and black pepper.

[The "Meat"]

1 cup of raw walnuts

2 tablespoons of tomato paste

1-2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil

pinch of salt

pinch of cumin and chili powder, optional

Toss in the walnuts, paste, salt, and optional ingredients in a food processor. Start slowly adding the evoo. You don't want it too oily. Pulse until it looks like the texture of taco meat. Done.

Now it's time to layer your salad. Add your greens, then quinoa, then veggies, and top with your taco meat!! This dish is magical and super healthy.

Enjoy!!!

Improv Pasta

IMG_9608 Like anyone short on time and sleep, I find that eating, while epically important, is easy to forget to do and some nights it's a scramble just to eat anything at all let alone make a dinner. Well The Captain and I have found at least one meal that we can make on the fly and be eating in less than 15 minutes, and it's warm and filling and chock-o-block full of veggies. I would say that's a major step above rice cakes or cereal for dinner.

IMG_9609[Step 1]

Boil salted water in a sauce pan. Preheat oven to 375.

[Step 2]

In another pan, sauté onions and garlic in oil [or water for a low fat option.] Add anything you have in the fridge or pantry. Seriously. Just about anything. Whoaaa dream big.

Bell peppers

Kalamata olives

Artichoke hearts

Sliced mushrooms

Spinach

Capers

The possibilities are endless. We used peppers, olives, and artichokes. Add your desired ingredients to the pan.

[Step 3] Open up a can/jar/container of leftover red sauce and top all the veggies. Lower the heat to low and let simmer whilst you make some garlic bread.

[Step 4] Add your favorite pasta to the water. I use Trader Joes brown rice fusilli, gluten free and DELISH.

[Step 5,6,7ish] If you are like us if you buy a loaf of bread you will eat the whole damn thing, so for a little portion control I use 1 ciabatta roll for both of us. I keep them in the freezer. Pop in the microwave to defrost. Cut into 4 pieces about an inch thick. Take some more minced garlic and pop in the microwave with a tablespoon of earth balance butter. Stir in about a tablespoon of olive oil, a pinch of salt, and a pinch of dried parsley. Pour all over the ciabatta pieces [I stuff them all in an aluminum foil boat so I don't have to do more dishes because I despise dishes] Toss in the oven for 5-6 minutes.

[Step 8ish] Enjoy your tasty meal in less than 20 minutes.

Mind Blowing Pesto Pasta

photo 4 As promised, here's my most absolute favorite way to eat the yummy pesto recipe I posted a few weeks ago!!! This is my go-to dish when I need to serve an army and I want to sneak feed them healthy, plant based goodness!!! What they don't know won't hurt them… Is that how that saying goes?! Dude, that's awful. But in the case of this delish pasta, the fact that there is not a stitch of cheese or oil should and will quite literally blow your mind. Ha, people use the term literally too much… but again, with this pasta it's so healthy and yummy, be warned, your head could explode. Okay, here's how easy this shiz is.

Step 1. Cut a hole in the box Follow and make this Pesto Recipe

Step 2. Boil Water

Step 3. Add your favorite pasta [I'm obsessed with Trader Joe's brown rice fusilli, so good and totes gluten free] to boiling water

Step 4. Add chopped green beans and asparagus to the boiling water party for the last 5 minutes of the pasta's cooking time

Step 5. DON'T OVERCOOK YOUR PASTA

Step 6. Drain pasta and veggies, leaving just a tablespoon or so of cooking liquid with the pasta

Step 7. Stir in pesto

Step 8. Enjoy like a Boss!!!

 

Tofu Scramble This!

photo 2Vegan breakfast food is quite a hard egg to crack… hahaha. Eggs. Vegan's don't eat eggs. In all seriousness, eating breakfast out, one life's greatest pleasures, is a ridiculous challenge when you are vegan. Living in Cali has its perks, but I still have yet to find a tofu scramble as good as my own… Yep, giving myself a big ole pat on the back! I've found heavenly vegan pancakes, the most delicious vegan biscuits and gravy, and the most amazing papas loco on the planet, but I love my tofu scramble. photo 1Serves 2-3

1 container of extra firm organic tofu, drained and pressed then smush with a fork, until it's crumbly

half of an onion, chopped finely

half a red bell pepper, chopped finely

2-3 handfuls of baby spinach, roughly chopped

1 teaspoon of garlic powder

1 teaspoon of turmeric

nice big pinch of salt

squeeze of lemon

[Optional veggies: finely diced zucchini, mushrooms, jalapeños, carrots, etc. The possibilities are endless]

photo 3Heat a tablespoon of water or veggie stock in a non-stick pan over medium heat. Add onions and cook until translucent. Add red pepper and spinach, cook until spinach is wilted. Add tofu to the pan, add garlic powder, turmeric, and salt then mix well. Once mixture is heated through, turn off the heat and squeeze a quarter wedge of lemon. It just brightens up all the flavors!! I serve mine with warmed corn tortillas, avocado, and salsa or hot sauce. You. Are. Welcome.

Leek and Sun-Dried Deliciousness

vegan-pasta-gluten free2 My mom, Sandy, is the queen of throwing a pasta dish together. Seriously, she can make anything taste delicious. ANYTHING. So when Sandy came to visit a few weeks ago, I tasked myself with the challenge of creating a delicious Sandy-like pasta with only ingredients I had on hand! I also decided I wanted to make it gluten AND oil free on top of being vegan. Challenge accepted!!! It turned out pretty great, but the consensus was that it was a touch dry and I should've added olives... Picky, picky. Now I'm no quitter so I decided to try again and this time I got it right! It's such a delicious mix of textures and flavors, and it solidifies my love of leeks. Those tasty little bastards are so freaking good.

vegan-pasta-gluten free1

Feeds 4 super hungry folks

1 pound Trader Joe's brown rice fusilli pasta

2 tablespoons veggie stock + any extra you need

1 can white beans, rinsed and strained

3 garlic cloves, minced

2 leeks, trimmed, rinsed, and chopped

1 cup mushrooms, sliced

1 cup kale, de-ribbed and shredded

1/4 cup kalamata olives, chopped

1/3 cup sun dried tomatoes, chopped

1/2 cup pasta water

salt/pepper

Get pasta cooking per package instructions. Be sure to never overcook gluten free pasta, it goes from perfectly al dente to mushy at the drop of a hat. Start the leeks with the 2 tablespoons of veggie stock and a pinch of salt. Once they are softened, add garlic and mushrooms and another lil' pinch 'o' salt. Adding any stock if the pan gets dry. Once they are all cooked add kale and another heaping pinch of salt and some pepper. Once the kale is wilted toss in the remaining ingredients to heat through. Toss the pasta water, add strained pasta, and mix thoroughly. Enjoy with a big freaking glass of wine. Wine is optional, but encouraged.

It IS All Good

It's All Good Cookbook ReviewNowadays we want to know every aspect of celeb's lives until they tell us and then we call them snobs... or at least that's what seemed to happened with Gwyneth Paltrow. I have no idea why people give her such a hard time. Sure, she suggests clothes that cost more than 2 months rent in her "Get" posts and yes, her beloved manuka honey costs like 40 dollars a jar, but at the heart of her brand is finding balance within your own life. My takeaway has always been creating a distinct and wearable style for yourself, eating real food that's healthy AND delicious, finding local and interesting businesses to support, and to just enjoy the good things in life. At least that's my opinion. And hell, if I made millions of dollars I'd be buying Helmut Lang and Stella McCartney everything then I'd smother it in gluten free flour and expensive-ass honey! Perhaps that's untrue... Alas, I love GP and think that her GOOP brand is a super cool site for the hip chick who loves quality and values information. GOOP is where I found out about Dr. Junger, developer of the Clean diet, a detox cleanse of which I'm a big fan! Her newest cookbook It's All Good is a collection of diary, gluten, sugar free recipes that she uses while on the detox. This diet is supposed to make me look and feel good... Challenge accepted! So I decided to eat from her book for 2 whole weeks to see if she could make good on these claims. It's All Good Cookbook ReviewIt's All Good Cookbook ReviewIt's All Good Cookbook ReviewIt's All Good Cookbook ReviewIt's All Good Cookbook ReviewIt's All Good Cookbook ReviewIt's All Good Cookbook ReviewDuring the 2 weeks I was cooking a lot, but I will say that the majority of the recipes were fairly quick and easy to make. Her salads were to die for! Seriously some of the best I've ever made at home. The Mexican chopped salad was so flavorful and satisfying. It's one of my lunch staples now! The white bean and swiss chard soup is now a regular on my weekly menu, I've made it 4 times in the last month! I'm also a huge fan of her French style white beans which I paired with her mushroom and asparagus sauté. HOLY bananas!! Yum. Yum. Yum. Other dishes like the pureed white beans, while really tasty, definitely reminded me of baby food... super yummy baby food. The quinoa was delish albeit very simple, but I suppose that is the whole idea. There are meat dishes in the book which for obvious reasons I didn't try, but they all seemed clean and delish. I don't know about how I looked, but I felt great! As it turns out without gluten I immediately felt lighter, which sucks because my Lord, do I love gluten. I didn't see a huge difference in my weight or skin, but I definitely felt slim and amazingly I was never hungry. I highly recommed this book to anyone looking to clean up their diet and try some fun new recipes, it would also make a great companion to the clean diet detox! In summary: Gwynie is the bomb, buy the book!!