It's a WRAP!

IMG_4965And by wrap, I mean lettuce wraps, duh. I'm hungry all the time. Like all the time. Every damn thing I eat gives me some level of heart burn and acid reflux, but magically this meal gives me none of the painful affliction. Also, it tastes good as hell!! I'm a huge fan of all things Minimalist Baker and I love all of her spring roll recipes, but on this particular night I was too lazy to deal with rice wrappers. I thought, ya know what, this would taste delish in some yummy butter lettuce. And it was. It was delish. Here's whatcha gotta do to make these tasty suckers. Step one. Preheat oven to 450. Place sliced, pressed tofu on a parchment paper lined cookie sheet. Cook for 25-20 minutes. This is a Minimalist Baker technique and it turns out crispy and perfect. You would swear that it was deep fried.

Step two. Cook up thin rice noodles via package instructions. Drain and set aside to cool.

IMG_4964Step three. Thinly slice cucumbers, red peppers, mango, carrots, jalapeño, etc. Slice limes. Add a pile of bean sprouts, for the non-preggos. Coarsely chop peanuts or cashews.

Step four. Pull off lettuce leaves, wash, and dry.

Step five. Make THIS dipping sauce. I make a ton and use a tablespoon or so to toss the crispy tofu in just to coat.

Step six. Assemble and destroy many, many, many lettuce wraps. Mic drop. IMG_4967

Feeding Rocco

image1-2Hello loves!! We are back with another installation of Feeding Rocco! Hooray!! I love sharing all the fun, and sometimes not so fun, things we feed our mostly vegan toddler. With the exception of organic eggs and some fish we are raising this boy as a mostly plant-based nugget. I know a lot of people wonder if I'm some crazy controlling food mom and I guess the answer is yes… to a certain extent… At this stage in the game I feel I'm allowed to be! My 18 month old doesn't have the control over what's being cooked and served in our household,  just the same as the toddler of a meat eating family! He only knows what Mommy and Babbo feed him. Now I know this will change eventually and he will possibly want to try non-vegan foods and all I can do is support him and help him make well informed choices about his food. But if you're asking if I'm gonna ever get him a happy meal the answer is a resounding hell no! But at some point, if he wants some birthday cake or to try meat I will do my best to keep my emotions out of it. On to the food, you will notice there was a theme going on this week: starch and peas. He likes what he likes.IMG_1340Jimbo's Macaroni Salad with added Peas. This pasta salad was meant for The Captain, Rocco ate all of it for lunch! I added some extra peas and he went to town.

IMG_1341Mashed Potatoes with Gravy, Green Beans, and Corn. Shockingly he ate most of this! Towards the end the green beans were more fun to throw, but he loved the mashed potatoes and corn mixed together, just like his Nana! Note: I tried to give him leftovers the next day for lunch and he wanted nothing to do with it. Oy vey!

IMG_1342Daiya Mac n Cheese with Peas: My personal favorite boxed vegan mac n cheese. Tastes a bit like old school Velveeta without all the dairy and questionable ingredients. Loaded it up with frozen peas and boom. Dinner.

IMG_1343Fried Rice with Peas and Avocado: Rocco probably eats this a few times a week. Kid LOVES rice. So we fry it up with a touch of coconut oil and a splash of tamari, mix in frozen peas, and top with avocado. Sometimes I'll put in some onion chopped finely.

IMG_1344Annie's Mac n Cheese with Peas: This is my least favorite boxed mac n cheese, luckily Rocco could care less. It's a carb covered in a sauce. That's all he needs to know. Again, more peas. I usually alternate with broccoli, but right before the move I didn't want to buy more groceries, so using what I had!!

IMG_14332 Eggs Over-Hard, Avocado, and Tortillas: At our favorite restaurant in SD, Coffee Cup! We both got the same order every time and our favorite waitress knew it by heart. Rocco kills this breakfast which is a common one at home too! Sometimes instead of tortillas, I will make him toast with a bit of coconut oil on it!! But he usually always starts the day with a banana as soon as he wakes up, I swear this kid is part monkey! We buy bananas by the case load!

IMG_1525Almond Butter Toast with TJ's Veggie Straws: Quick late lunch/afternoon snack! Simple, easy, and filling. I may have eaten one or 20 of the veggie straws myself. So tasty. So salty. Mmmmmm.

Well, there you have it folks another week of Feeding Rocco! Stay tuned for more posts as we really test what this kid will eat, it's amazing what, even in a few weeks, can develop in a child's palate and what they are willing to try!

Quick Green Curry Noodles

IMG_9583So this is a take on one of my favorite recipes by my dietitian hero, Kimberly Snyder. I definitely put my spin on it, added some more veggies and some delish brown rice noodles, but it's still healthy and totally filling, warm, and comforting. Who wants to make me some, like, right now!?IMG_9584Serves 2 hungry-hungry hippos

4 cups veggie stock

1 can organic, full fat coconut milk, [helpful tip: Always shake the can before opening]

3 tablespoons green curry paste

3 tablespoons tamari

1 teaspoon of coconut oil

3-5 baby bok choy, chopped and cleaned well

1 japanese eggplant, chopped

1 cup mushrooms, sliced

1 cup sting beans, trimmed and chopped into inch pieces

4 green onions, chopped

1/2 packed of thin brown rice noodles

1 lime juice/zest

Optional: Garnish jalapeño, bean sprouts, thai basil, sambal oelek, or whatever your heart desires.

Saute eggplant and mushrooms with coconut oil. Cook until soft. Mix coconut milk, tamari, and curry paste and add to eggplant and mushrooms. Let simmer for 20 minutes.

Cook noodles via package instructions while soup simmers. I like to keep the noodles separate because I HATE soggy noodles.

Add beans and bok choy for the last 5 minutes or earlier if you like softer veggies. Finish with lime juice/zest, and green onions. Then just ladle soup over a pile of delish noodles.

Stuff your face.

Papas Loco

IMG_0086If you are my friend and want to go out for breakfast/brunch/lunch you know where I am going to suggest. Coffee Cup. Every. Damn. Time. Seriously, it's my favorite place in all of San Diego and I'm not alone, come the weekend there is always a giant line! It's like Diners, Drive Ins, and Dives good, but wayyyyyyy too cool to ever appear on that show. It's nestled in fancy pants La Jolla and barely seats 45, maybe. I have probably been to CC at least 40 times over the past few years… maybe more, maybe a lot more… Rocco has been there 7 times since he's been born… It's a serious obsession. They have my order memorized, yes, I'm happy to announce that I am a regular somewhere. I just love that!!! I even ate there the day I went into labor!! I am super positive it was the jalapeños that started the whole labor shenanigans. But now that our little bundle of joy is here and all kinds of serious about his nap times we don't get to brunch as we used to, so while not nearly as scrumdidilyumtious our recipe hack was pretty freakin yummy. Enjoy!!! IMG_0085Fed 2, but it's probably a good 4 servings… I'm sustaining life, I eat ALL. THE. TIME.

Whatcha need:

3 larget red potatoes, scrubbed clean and diced

1 tablespoon dried rosemary

2-3 tablespoons of olive oil***

1 15oz can of black beans [preferably organic]

1/3 cup onions, chopped super fine

1 clove of garlic, minced

3-4 green onions, sliced [we go a bit crazy with them]

1 jalapeño, sliced [We use the whole thing, seeds and all. If you are a pansy you can seed them]

2-3 tablespoons fresh cilantro, chopped fine

1 avocado, sliced

Serve with your favorite salsa and corn tortillas[preferably organic, non-gmo]

[Step 1] Get potatoes in boiling water or in a steamer, whichever method you prefer. Cook until fork tender. When they are finished strain and then pat dry with paper towel.

[Step 2] In a pot, add a drizzle of olive oil and then toss in green onions and jalapeños turn heat up to high. Add a pinch of salt and some fresh cracked pepper, sauté for just a few minutes until they have some color! Pour out onto a paper towel.

[Step 3] In the same pot, [we like to use as few pans as possible] add another little drizzle of olive oil, toss in onion and garlic. Watch carefully so they don't burn. Cook until translucent. Then toss in beans. Add a pinch of salt and let simmer while you brown up the potatoes.

[Step 4] In a nonstick or cast iron pan, add a tablespoon of oil and get it nice and hot on medium/high heat.  Then toss in potatoes. Smash them down with a spatula and let them just hang out. You can sprinkle a pinch of salt and pepper before you toss them over. If the pan is getting dry you can add another tablespoon of oil. The key here is to get them super brown and crispy!!!

[Step 5] Assemble. Pototoes, then beans, top with jalapeños and green onions, then place avocado and sprinkle with cilantro!! Done and Done. Serve with your favorite salsa and corn tortillas.

***Some of you may know that I don't like to cook with a ton of oil, if any, but I think for a special meal is completely acceptable!!!

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!!!

Cauliflower Wings, say whaaaa!?

photo 5So I've wanted to make these "wings" for a while now and at a recent wifey event I decided to try it out. I based my recipe off of A Simply Raw Life's recipe found on Pinterest. I kept pretty much everything the same, but I did switch up the dipping sauce. Let me tell you, this was a MASSIVE hit. Veggies and non-veggies alike were stuffing their faces with these things!! I mean the outside was spicy and crunchy and inside was soft and delicious. I really seriously can't say enough amazing things about these things!! I think football season is getting ready to start soon [right!?] and these would be perfect even for the manliest crowd! I can't wait to make them for The Captain. Awesome for any get together or even a quick and yummy dinner. Cauliflower

1 head of cauliflower, chopped into bite size pieces

1 cup unsweetened almond milk

1 cup flour

2 teaspoons garlic powder

1 cup buffalo sauce, I used the Trader Joe's

2 tablespoons of earth balance, melted

Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Mix milk, flour, garlic powder in a bowl and then add the cauliflower and coat all of the pieces. Place evenly on a cookie sheet and pop in the oven for 25ish minutes until good and crunchy. Mix hot sauce and melted earth balance and pour all over cauliflower. Pop back into the oven for 5 minutes. They taste amazing right out of the oven. Proceed to stuff face.

photo 4Dipping Sauce

1 box of silken tofu

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon of garlic powder

1 teaspoon dried parsley

1 tablespoon Apple Cider Vinegar

Juice of 1-2 lemons [I like it with more lemon]

Toss all ingredients in a blender and pop into the fridge for at least an hour.

Today we eat our feelings…

photo 1Sometimes a girl just needs to eat her feelings. I'm lucky that my beautiful and wonderful and tough as nails friends agree. I've moved a lot since I married The Captain over 7 years ago and San Diego is where I've blossomed. In those years I stumbled a lot, I had a lot of things to figure out once I moved away from my friends and family. Now over the years growing up and finding security in myself and my faith is what really helped me become the Lauren I am today. For the first time in years have true [non-crazy] adult friends. I'm just beyond blessed that I've found people who love and accept me for the right-nutter that I am! Okay, I digress. Back to the food. So my kick ass friends decided we needed to do brunch and they are so awesome they let me make my crazy vegan food and one buddy even made the fluffiest most delicious vegan pancakes ever!! I mean like whoa. photo 5I made The Minimalist Baker's Best Damn Vegan Biscuits and I can assure you that they are insanely delicious and absolutely live up to the name! I finish them off with Fat Free Vegan's killer Mushroom Gravy and it tastes like unicorns and fairy dust. The awesome pancakes from Food.com were so yummy, I was amazed at how fluffy they were!!! Definitely try making these at your next big breakfast! And now my vegan quiche, the love of my life. I keep all the ingredients on hand to make this quiche just in case the craving hits… and yes, it hits often. Like really, really often.

Yields 8 Pieces [basically it feeds 2 hungry people or 4-6 normal people]

1 vegan pie crust, I love the Wholly Wholesome brand

1 box of silken tofu

1/4 of refrigerated firm tofu [basically like an inch or so]

1/4 cup of nutritional yeast

1 teaspoon of salt

1 teaspoon of turmeric

1 tablespoon of arrowroot [you can substitute corn starch]

1-2 tablespoons of unsweetened almond milk

Preheat oven to 375. Mix all of the ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth.

photo 2

For this particular filling I used:

1 onion, sliced very thin

1 red bell pepper, diced

1 cup of kale, chopped

I like to caramelize my onions with water. Crazy thought I know, but seriously. I put the onions in a hot pan with 1/4 cup of water. Cook on high heat until  water evaporates, then continue the process until the onions are browned and yummy. It usually takes about 10 minutes. Then I pop in the red pepper and kale until heated through. Mix with tofu mixture and place in pie crust and bake for 45 minutes. Take out and let sit for at least 5 minutes.

Now there are a tons of options here, like seriously, whatever your heart desires. Here are a few of my favorite combos.

[sautéed onions and mushrooms] [red bell peppers, artichoke hearts, and kalamata olives] [chopped spinach and vegan cheese, like Daiya]

Enjoy!!!!

I ain't got time for that sh-- stir fry.

photo 1I love stir fries. I had them all the time when I was a kid and I totes see why!! They are packed with veggies and take 5 minutes to make. I have very little patience to cook these days, but am conveniently hungry all the time, so these are the perfect quick meals. I still opt for very quick cooking veggies that taste delish crunchy. Other quick options are thinly sliced red onions, thin asparagus stems, shredded kale, mushrooms, etc. You get it. I serve mine with jasmine rice because for some reason pregnancy has made my desire to eat brown rice non-existent. For the perfect rice, I always go just a little shy of the package ingredients. I loathe mushy rice. Like ugh, that's just day ruining. photo 2Feeds 2 decently hungry folks 2-3 tablespoons of vegetable stock to cook veggies

Big ole handful of snow peas, trimmed

1-2 handfuls of mini bell peppers equivalent of say 1 small bell pepper, sliced

1 can of baby corn, eat approximately 3 handfuls while prepping food

Sauce

1/4 cup Tamari

1/2 cup veggie stock

1 tablespoon arrowroot or cornstarch

1/4 teaspoon of garlic powder

Optional

Sambel Oelek or Garlic Chili Sauce [I like to add mine as I go]

1-2 tablespoons of crushed cashews

So add a tablespoon of veggie stock to a pan and add snow peas. Cook until bright green and still crunchy, a few minutes. Add another tablespoon of stock and add the peppers, cook for just a minute or two. Then throw in the baby corn. Mix all of the sauce ingredients together and pour into the hot pan. Cook on medium high until the sauce is thick and delish. You can then top with cashews or some spicy sambel oelek. If you want to have fun with the sauce you can add a touch of honey for a little sweetness or mix in a tablespoon of smooth almond butter for a delish nutty flavor. Seriously, the possibilities are endless.

photo 3