Posts filed under ‘Vegan’

Crispy Cauliflower Tacos with Mango Salsa (SRC)

All this hot summer weather makes me crave three things: crisp salads, fresh fruits and food with a Mexican flare. It brings me back to my Texas roots where Tex-Mex and authentic Mexican restaurants are everywhere. Chips with table-side guacamole and tacos or fajitas are my go-to so I am always up for a new twist on an old favorite to “get my fix”. Enter this tacos!

cauliflower tacos mango salsaFruit + avocado + crunchy cabbage and crisp cauliflower in handheld form – hello summer!  There’s something fun about eating with your hands, right? This flavor combination is a total win! I was blown away by it’s complexity – zesty lime juice, sweet fresh mango, warm and almost nutty cauliflower with crunchy cabbage and velvety avocado topped off with a tangy yogurt drizzle…wow.  
cauliflower tacos mango salsa2

This taco recipe was lightly adapted from Fried Ice and Donut Holes blog that I was assigned for this month’s Secret Recipe Club reveal. Talk about a fun name for a site! I LOVED scanning through Melissa’s blog…her food style is right up my alley: lots of vegetarian options, salads and yummy breakfasts. I searched her recipes multiple times while I was hungry…mmmm, a bad (but oh-so-good) idea since I wanted to eat my computer screen :)

At first peek, both Melissa’s Crispy Avocado and BLT Salad and Buffalo Chicken Burgers with Spicy Celery Slaw called my name (who doesn’t love avocado, bacon and tomato?) but without eating nightshades, these recipes are “on hold” for now. Oh, and her Mexican Chocolate Tart with Cinnamon-Spiced Pecans looked and sounded sinfully delicious! I ultimately chose her Crispy Cauliflower Tacos with Mango Salsa— love the concept, love the taste and YES, I will be making these again for sure!

cauliflower tacos mango salsa 3Based on my dietary restrictions, I switched up a few things. I made my own grain-free cauliflower tortillas but any tortillas can be subbed here (corn, gluten-free etc). I reduced the amount of oil bit and subbed finely crushed plantain chips for a grain-free swap for the breadcrumbs. I sliced the avocado instead if mashing and used dairy-free coconut milk yogurt in place of the the sour cream. In the mango salsa, I eliminated the jalapeño (nightshade) and didn’t miss it at all!

cauliflower tacos mango salsa1

Crispy Cauliflower Tacos with Mango Salsa (Adapted from Fried Ice and Donut Holes’ recipe)
Grain-free option, Gluten-free, Egg-free option, Vegetarian, Vegan Option, Dairy-free, Nut-free, Nightshade free option, Soy-free, Paleo and AIP friendly  

Ingredients
For the Mango Salsa
1 Mango, peeled, cored, and chopped
1/2 Red Onion, finely diced (about 1/4 cup)
1 Jalapeño, seeded and finely diced (omit for AIP and Nightshade-free)
2 Garlic Cloves, minced
1/2 Lime, juiced
1/2 cup Cilantro, coarsely chopped
Salt and Pepper, to taste

For the Crispy Cauliflower
1/4 cup olive oil, divided
1 head Cauliflower, cut into small florets
6 Tbsp gluten-fee Panko breadcrumbs, divided OR crushed plantain chips or sweet potato chips (AIP/Paleo/Grain-free)
Salt and Pepper, to taste

For the Tacos
8-10 Small Tortillas (I made Grain-free Cauliflower Tortillas)*
1 Avocado
1/2 Lime, juiced
1 cup Shredded Cabbage (I used green but red would be great too)
Dairy-free Yogurt or AIP Friendly mayo (or Sour Cream if you can do dairy)

Directions

For the Mango Salsa
1. Combine the mango, onion, jalapeño (if using), and garlic in a bowl. Toss with lime juice and fold in cilantro.
2. Season with salt and pepper, to taste, and set aside.

For the Cauliflower
1. Working in batches, heat half of the oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Add the cauliflower and cook until golden brown, stirring occasionally, about 7-10 minutes.
2. Toss with half of the panko/plantain/chips and cook until have become golden brown, 2-3 minutes.
3. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Remove the cauliflower from the skillet into a bowl and repeat with the remaining oil, cauliflower, and panko/plaintain/chips.

For the Tacos and Serving
1. To assemble tacos, mash the avocado with the lime juice.
2. Spread some avocado onto a tortilla and top with cabbage, cauliflower, salsa, and sour cream.

Serves 4 (2 tacos each)

cauliflower tacos mango salsa hand

For other recipes from this month’s reveal, please click the link below!

June 21, 2015 at 10:00 pm 15 comments

Frosty Vanilla Fig Smoothie

I forget how much I LOVE summer! Sunny mornings and brisk afternoon showers…the grass is bright green and flowers are in full bloom. I sleep with my windows open, and I wake up to the sun peaking in my window and sound of birds chirping…so flippin’ cool. Does that almost sound like an opening to a Disney movie?! Let’s not forget all the fresh produce as well – juicy melons, spicy crisp radishes, sweet cherries and loads of zucchini just to name a few – YUM.

Fig smoothie 1I have really been craving fresh foods and cold, refreshing dishes, especially after sitting out in the sun to soak up some Vitamin D for a bit. I’ve also recently discovered my love of frozen figs…yep, frozen ones. They were selling a huge bag of organic green figs at Costco, and I’ve had them stashed in the freezer for a couple months since limiting my fruit intake on my elimination diet. I was craving something sweet and cold the other night, and I thought I’d give these a try on my stomach. Tummy approved and WOW, are they delicious!

I let a couple figs sit out on the counter for a few minutes, then nibbled at a frozen one…a little bite of heaven! Ever since, I’ve been incorporating them in a variety of recipes (and trying to eat them in moderation as I am reintroducing fruits). First up, this frosty fig and vanilla smoothie is one of my favorites…I’ve had it for dessert a couple times too! This smoothie is perfect as an afternoon pick-me-up or a quick breakfast to start your day with loads of energy :)

Fig smoothie

Frosty Vanilla Fig Smoothie 
Grain-free, Gluten-free, Paleo & AIP-friendly, Nut-free, Vegan, Dairy-free, Soy-free, Refined Sugar Free, Nightshade-free

Ingredients

1 cup coconut milk (I used from a can, but any milk would work based on preference/allergy)
1/4 tsp pure vanilla extract (alcohol free for AIP) or vanilla powder
a couple shakes of ground cinnamon
2-3 medium green figs, frozen and rough chopped (can use other color and varieties)
*If you’re sensitive to sugars, add 1/4 avocado for creaminess and use 1-2 figs, but will be less sweet

Optional add-ins:
handful of leafy greens (baby spinach, chard, kale)
1/2 cup of frozen banana, your favorite berry or mango for a different flavor

Directions

1. Add ingredients in order as they are listed to a high-powered blender (such as a Vitamix). Blend on high until smooth.

Notes: If you do not have a high-powered blender, you might need to let your figs de-frost for 15 minutes or so and chop them smaller OR add more liquid.

Fig smoothie 2

June 5, 2015 at 3:28 pm Leave a comment

Triple Squash Veggie Soup

Squash is an everyday staple at the moment – from zucchini and yellow squash to butternut, acorn and kabocha, I eat it all…all the time. Im finding it interesting that some of my favorite foods that used to agree with me are simply off-limits for now. Take peanut butter and nuts for example, I had several varieties on a daily basis and now my stomach just can’t handle it. Gluten-free grains such as rice and quinoa fall into the same category.

triple squash soup close1

Starchy vegetables have been the easiest for my body to accept – carrots, sweet potatoes, yams, winter squash, and beets are being consumed by the pounds. I wish I could tell you I was joking! I never thought I could eat so many foods with an orange hue…and I can’t tell if my hands are tinted orange from the constant prep of these ingredients or if it’s a result of all the Vitamin A I am consuming. However, orange is better than a green or purple glow so I won’t complain too much ;)

triple squash soup1

A variation of this soup is made on a weekly basis as a back-up option for quick lunches, last minutes dinners or an easy snack. Sometimes I’ll throw in some sweet potatoes in place of the cauliflower or add some coconut cream for richness with some spices for a different flavor. This soup is versatile and comforting, feel free to experiment with add-ins for serving to jazz it up a bit — Avocado, baby greens, infused oils, more roasted carrots or squash cubes (if you like a bit of texture in your soup) and caramelized onions are all great options. If you’re looking to bump up the protein, I imagine cooked white beans, quinoa, shredded chicken or hemp seeds would compliment this soup quite well. If you like to make dishes ahead, whip up a big pot of this soup and reheat throughout the week!

triple squash soup close

Triple Squash Veggie Soup
Grain-free, Gluten-free, Soy-free, Dairy-free, Egg-free, Nut-free, Vegan/Vegetarian option, Nightshade-free, Paleo/AIP-friendly

Ingredients

2-3 cups cauliflower florets*
3 medium carrots, diced
1 1/2 cups bone broth, low-sodium veggie broth or chicken stock (use veggie stock for vegetarian/vegan)
2 stalks celery, rough chopped
1 medium onion or 1 leek, rough chopped (optional but adds flavor)
1 medium zucchini, chopped into 1 inch cubes
1 medium yellow squash, chopped into 1 inch cubes
cooked flesh from 1/2 medium spaghetti squash (about 2 cups)**(see notes below)
1 tsp dried rosemary
1/2 tsp dried thyme
3/4 – 1 tsp sea salt (or to taste)
freshly ground pepper to taste
Drizzle of olive oil (about 1-2 Tbsp, I used garlic-infused oil)
fresh juice from 1 lemon
drizzle of apple cider vinegar or coconut vinegar (or more lemon juice. I like a generous drizzle but I enjoy the acidity)

For serving (optional)
drizzle of olive oil (I used garlic Italian herb infused oil) – pictured
handful of leafy greens (baby spinach, kale, swiss chard) – pictured
zucchini cheese (recipe to come) or your favorite cheese
coconut cream
fresh avocado, cubed or sliced
fresh chopped herbs (basil, parsley, cilantro)
lemon zest

Directions

1. In a medium dutch oven or soup pot filled with 3 inches of water over high heat, add cauliflower, carrots, celery and onion to a steamer basket and cook until almost tender (roughly 5-7 minutes).
2. Add zucchini and yellow squash on top and steam for another 2 minutes or so until tender and let cool slightly. Reserve some of the cooking water just in case you need to add it to a blender.
3. Add broth, rosemary, olive oil, lemon, vinegar, salt and pepper to a high-powered blender (such as a Vitamix). Top with steamed veggies and puree in a until smooth, about 2-3 minutes. If you have a smaller blender, you may need to do this in batches, please be careful with hot contents in a closed blender!
4. If you want the soup thinner, add a bit of reserved cooking liquid. Season to taste with additional salt, pepper, lemon juice etc and serve!

*Cauliflower adds creaminess to the soup, but you can swap this out for cooked sweet potato (Japanese sweet potatoes are a favorite!) or even white potato if you can eat them. White potatoes are not nightshade-free, paleo or AIP friendly (just in case you need to follow that eating style).

**To cook a spaghetti squash, cut in half lengthwise and scoop out the strings and the seeds. Cook cut-side down at 350F for 30-40 minutes until tender, based on the size of the squash. Sometimes I will put a couple tablespoons of water to steam in the bottom of a baking pan to steam it a bit while baking. After you remove the squash from the oven, let cool and take a fork to scrape out the “spaghetti” looking strands/flesh. If you like soup with some texture, don’t blend the spaghetti squash and add it in at the end for serving.

Notes: if you want to bump up the protein, feel free to add your favorite protein of choice – cooked beans, shredded chicken, hemp seeds or cooked quinoa if you’d like!

triple squash soup spoon

May 31, 2015 at 11:21 pm 2 comments

Greek Souvlaki Skewers with Tzatziki (SRC)

Greek food is hard to find in the town I live in…while that’s a true statement, it’s also my lame excuse for completely forgetting how delicious it is! After making this flavorful and fuss-free dish, I racked my brain wondering why I don’t make more Greek-inspired food…and I’m determined it won’t be the last!

Soulvaki 3 dishes

I was given the blog Hapa-tite for this month’s Secret Recipe Club assignment, and what fun I had getting to know Nicole. I searched through oodles of sweet treats that called my name…Dark Chocolate Pistachio Toffee and Rhubarb Ginger Crumble Bars to name a couple. With the sunny weather peaking through on occasion, I was fishing for recipes to utilize the grill in order to catapult me out of this rainy Spring and into summer and warmth. Nicole’s recipe’s did just that, and how appropriate for a Memorial Day cookout! I was choosing between her Curried Chicken Skewers with Lime-Apricot Glaze and her Pork Souvlaki to coerce me to fire up the grill. I was really intrigued by her Tomato Petit-Fours with Mango Glaze but didn’t want to alter the recipe too much to fit my dietary needs for this month’s reveal, but I’d like to explore that flavor combination soon. Ultimately, I opted for Souvlaki, that was marinated overnight to infuse some zesty flavor and tenderize the meat from the acidity of the vinegar and lemon. Oh My Yum!

Soulvaki over cauli rice

Nicole recommends serving this with toasted naan wedges along with the Tzatiki sauce, but I switched up a few things to cater to my current grain-free elimination diet. I wound up serving this in a lettuce wrap for a fresh, light dinner that is delicious served warm or chilled for a lovely lunch of leftovers.

Soulvaki WrapThe protein in this dish is versatile – make it with pork like Nicole suggested, cube some chicken or beef, substitute in cubed ahi tuna or swordfish or even marinate pressed tofu or veggies with this recipe. Stuff the protein (or veggies) sandwich-style in naan or a pita, serve over a salad or in a bowl with rice (or cauliflower rice – pictured) for a little versatility…all are SO super delicious with this dairy free cucumber-yogurt sauce. I’d never made Tzatziki before, but I sure will again!

Soulvaki tzatiki

I made a few little changes to the recipe based on dietary necessity: I swapped out chicken for the pork loin for the protein. For the tzatiki sauce, I used dairy-free, unsweetened coconut milk yogurt and a few spoonfuls of full-fat coconut cream (for richness) in lieu of the Greek yogurt and opted not to peel cucumber for added color. I squeezed the grated cucumber to remove excess liquid in order to thicken the sauce. In the marinade, I used apple cider vinegar in place of the red wine vinegar and added an extra garlic punch by using garlic-infused sea salt. I purchased some Mediterranean leaf oregano from the bulk herb section of our local natural food store…I thought that option was more appropriate in this Greek dish as opposed to Mexican leaf oregano. The Mediterranean oregano had a lemon citrus scent as opposed to the Mexican variety, which paired nicely with the lemon, garlic and olive oil marinade. This dish is crazy flavorful and easy, plus if you do a little prep work dinner can be thrown together in a flash!

Soulvaki skewer1

Greek Souvlaki Skewers with Tzatziki Sauce (lightly adapted from Hapa-tite)
Grain-free, Gluten-free, Paleo & AIP-friendly, Dairy-free, Egg-free, Soy-free, Nut-free, Vegan/Vegetarian Option, Sugar-free

Ingre­di­ents

For the Marinade:
½ cup
olive oil
1 small red onion, finely chopped
2 cloves fresh garlic cloves, minced (could probably sub 1/4 tsp garlic powder if necessary)
4 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
2 Tbsp apple cider vinegar (or red wine vinegar)
2 tsp oregano (I used Mediterranean oregano)
sea salt to taste (I used a rounded 1/4 tsp of garlic salt)
freshly ground black pepper to taste
1½ pounds pork loin, chicken or beef, trimmed of excess fat, cut into 1 (for vegetarian/vegan see notes below*)

For the Dairy-free Tzatziki Sauce:
1 cup unsweetened plain coconut milk yogurt (can use 2% greek yogurt if you can do dairy)
1/2 cup full-fat coconut cream (the thick cream on the top of the can. I use Natural Value brand without gums)
1 English cucumber, grated and squeezed well to release extra water (can peel but not necessary)
4 cloves fresh garlic, minced
2 Tbsp fresh squeezed lemon juice
1-2 Tbsp olive oil
pinch of sea salt

wooden skew­ers soaked in water for 30 min­utes before use OR metal skewers 

For Serving (Options):
cooked grain of choice or grain-free cauliflower rice (pictured)
sliced cucumber, de-pitted and sliced Kalamata olives, diced tomato (not AIP-friendly or nightshade free)
Lettuce leaves (for lettuce wraps) or chopped greens for a salad (pictured)
Grilled or roasted vegetables (pictured)
Gluten-free naan or gluten-free pita bread

Instruc­tions

  1. Whisk all of the mari­nade ingre­di­ents together in a small bowl. Place pork/chicken/etc cubes in a Ziploc bag and pour in the mari­nade. Seal the bag and toss to coat evenly with the mari­nade, then open the bag and reseal, remov­ing as much air as pos­si­ble. Place bag in the refrig­er­a­tor for at least two hours to overnight (overnight recommended for optimal flavor!).
  2. Mix all the tzatziki ingre­di­ents together in a bowl until well com­bined. Cover and place in the refrig­er­a­tor for at least two hours to overnight (overnight is preferable).
  3. Put pork/chicken/protein on skew­ers and grill until they are browned on all sides and cooked through, about 8 to 12 min­utes, turn­ing 4 times dur­ing cook­ing. Remove the skew­ers to a plate and allow to rest for 5 minutes.
  4. While the meat rests, prep your serving options: salad greens, veggies, heat grains/bread/cauliflower rice then serve with a large dollop of tzatziki sauce and enjoy!

*Vegetarian/Vegan options: If you want to use tofu in place of the protein (will not be soy-free/paleo or AIP if so), use pressed, drained firm tofu. Marinate overnight or atleast a few hours. If you prefer vegetables instead, they will not need to marinate overnight, slice your favorite veggies (I used yellow squash, zucchini and red onion, but mushrooms/tomatoes/eggplant/bell peppers (if allowed) would all be good options). Toss the marinade with the veggies, let sit for 30 minutes then cook.

If using swordfish or ahi, you will not need to marinate the fish as long, otherwise the lemon juice will “cook” the fish. Set aside a bit of the marinade prior to adding the fish so you can use that to drizzle on top after cooking. Marinate fish for about 20 minutes and cook until flaky.

Soulvaki Wrap fold and unfold

For other recipes from this month’s reveal, click the link below!

May 24, 2015 at 10:00 pm 8 comments

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