Vegan Tacos

It is TACO TIME people! Aren’t tacos just great, I mean seriously?! And yes, there is such a thing as vegan tacos, and no they don’t just consist of air and kale wrapped in a tortilla. I like cooking this type of vegan food because A.) it’s more than just cooking kale, and B.) most people (non-vegans) probably have no idea what a vegan taco could or would consist of, so it’s a great way to showcase more vegan food varieties. So here it is, feast your eyes on the creation of vegan tacos; taking it back to my Mexican roots here on this one, time to fully embrace the culture (yes it actually makes a difference to the flavor – the sabor that is), lets get amongst it!! It’s…MUY BIEN!!

And there you have it, that is what vegan tacos are all about folks; so many healthy ingredients, plant proteins, so much zest, and so much damn sabor (again, that means flavor people), all wrapped up in one tortilla! Damn it’s good!! This is vegan food…that is more than just kale (see what I did there)!

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On the left: black beans, red bell peppers, onions, guacamole, cilantro, and red pepper hot sauce. On the right: black beans, baked sweet potatoes, tomatoes, mango salsa, and cilantro.

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On the left – the a little bit of everything taco: black beans, tomatoes, red bell peppers, onions, guacamole, mango salsa, and cilantro. On the right: black beans, baked and seasoned cauliflower, salsa verde [green salsa], guacamole, and cilantro.

Get yourself in the kitchen – free your inner mariachi, make some cruelty free, and good for your health vegan tacos! Treat yo body!!

 

 

Head Over Heels on Plants

Well if you’ve been following my blog or Instagram pics then you already know I’m  a big fan of my Power Bowls; there really is so much variety to them – you could give each dish their own name, but at the end of the day it’s a bunch of healthy ingredients that are eaten out of a bowl…hence the name. Anyway, I already did a lengthy written post with pics about these magical Power Bowls, so here I thought I would just simply do a quick video on me actually putting one of these bad boys together. Again, you could really add in whatever different ingredient you want with these: the base (grain), the veggies, legumes, meat alternatives, seeds/nuts, and of course the jazz! Each ingredient serves a purpose, for taste and health! I let the video explain the rest, so here it is; go get head over heels on plants!

 

Bake That Sparg!

Gotta love baking up some asparagus, it’s healthy, tasty, and adds some great sabor to your meal! Just like my tempeh, I like to bake my asparagus. However, every now and then I do like to just chop it up and throw it in a hot pan to cook it up, or boil it; just go with whatever strikes you at the time…treat yo self!

For me, most of the time I add asparagus to my power bowls for dinner, but you can definitely add the sparg to a nice salad, perhaps a wrap, or whatever the hell else you feel like adding it to. By baking it, you get that delicious taste and texture of crispy on the outside, tender on the inside. It adds a nice crunch to your meals, and it’s a great way to get your greens! So next time you are at the store, and looking to add some greens into your mix – other than just kale, grab some organic asparagus, and bake that shit right up!

 

Here is how I like to eat my baked asparagus…Power Bowl bang!! Mmmmm Yummy!

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Get amongst it! Give it a try! Eat your veggies!!

Tempeh Time!

One of my favorite vegan foods is tempeh; I really enjoy the flavor and texture, and all the different foods I can pair it with. For me, this is one of the better vegan meat alternatives out there because it’s not highly processed like other ‘fake vegan meats’ or veggie burgers, and it’s packed with healthy minerals and protein! I like to bake my tempeh with a little bit of avocado oil, and soy sauce (bake at 400-415 degrees for 20 minutes). Then, I throw it in with salads, sandwiches, burritos, wraps, pastas, and of course my wonderful power bowls! Yes, this is a soy based food, but that doesn’t mean you should run away from it, not all soy is created equal. Because tempeh is fermented, it’s actually a superior form of soy for the body to digest. I always buy the organic tempeh, and I usually just buy the Trader Joe’s brand or the LightLife brand from Whole Foods or Jimbo’s.

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Here’s a little tutorial on how I like to bake my tempeh…get amongst it!

Power Bowls

I’m a big fan of Power Bowls (a term I coined myself thank you very much) for dinner mostly, and I call them that because they really are just a big bowl of super healthy antioxidant rich plant based foods: good carbs, power house veggies, plant based protein, and power spices…tastes great, and easy to make! So if you are thinking of transitioning to a plant based diet, or just need some ideas of what the hell to eat other then kale, tofu, and grass, then follow along these easy to make recipes here. [FYI – I pretty much only shop organic, and so probably 95% of what I make is all organic, and yes of course vegan].

Simply start with a grain as your base (yes, these have protein), here are some of my favorites:

  • Farro (I usually get Bob’s Red Mill)
  • Quinoa
  • Millet
  • Rice (brown or white)
  • Pasta (could be made from rice, wheat, quinoa, lentils, or garbanzo beans)
  • Barley
  • Buckwheat

Secret ingredient to cooking/boiling these grains is to use vegetable broth – adds great flavor!

Then, when the grains are almost done cooking, I throw in a variety of what I call power spices (because each spice carries significant health benefits); however, I do recommend getting organic spices! Here are just a few of my favorites:

Next, add in your veggies (yes, believe it or not, these have protein too); here are a few of my favorites, of course this is where you can get creative and add a bunch more:

  • Kale (well of course duh)
  • Tomatoes (also love the heirloom variety)
  • Brocoli or Broccolini
  • Asparagus
  • Celery
  • Mushrooms
  • Bell Peppers
  • Beets
  • Carrots
  • Sweet Potatoes/Purple Potatoes
  • Cucumber

I also like to add in a variety of legumes (these are packed with protein) here are some examples:

  • Black Beans
  • Garbanzo Beans, aka Chickpeas
  • Kidney Beans
  • Lentils

And then sometimes I throw in some vegan meat alternatives (yes, these all have protein as well), here are a few I really like:

Once I have all this stuff done, and cooked, I throw it all in a bowl, and then sometimes I sprinkle on some seeds for added crunch and flavor (you guessed it, these have protein too) – here are a couple of my go-to’s:

And lastly, I like to jazz it up! Here are a couple favorite jazzing ingredients:

I am sure you have noticed my parentheses throughout this post that indicate which food groups contain protein, and as you should have noticed…it’s pretty much every category. Wait, vegan food has protein? I know, mind blowing right?! I did this on purpose to finally inform and dispel that misguided idea that plant based eaters don’t get enough protein, or to finally answer that question every vegetarian or vegans gets asked – “where do you get your protein.” Well, there you have it, this is where I get my protein. Also, keep in mind that this is typically only one meal in my day, this doesn’t count all the other protein I get during the day from what I eat for breakfast, lunch, and snacks.

So what do these magical Power Bowls full of plant based goodness actually look like when it’s all said and done, well here are some examples:

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Base: farro. Power Spices: turmeric, cayenne, pink Himalayan salt, black pepper, and garlic. Veggies: diced celery, crimini mushrooms, asparagus, and tomatoes. Meat Alternatives: baked tempeh (baked on a cookie sheet with a little bit of avocado oil, and Bragg’s Liquid Aminos). Jazz: red jalapeño sauce, fresh squeezed lemon juice.

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Base: quinoa. Power Spices: cayenne pepper, pink Himalayan salt, ginger, black pepper, and garlic. Veggies: red bell pepper. Legumes: garbanzo beans. Seeds: pumpkin seeds. Jazz: red pepper hot sauce.

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Base: farro. Power Spices: garlic, turmeric, black pepper, and pink Himalayan salt. Veggies:  chopped red bell pepper, celery, and baked broccolini. Seeds: sunflower seeds. Jazz: organic reduced sodium soy sauce, and fresh squeezed lemon juice.

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Base: farro. Power Spices: turmeric, cayenne pepper, ginger, black pepper, and pink Himalayan salt. Veggies: tomatoes, and broccolini. Legumes: black beans. Seeds: pumpkin, and sunflower seeds. Jazz: Bragg’s Liquid Aminos, red jalapeño hot sauce.

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Base: pasta – organic vegetable radiatore. Power Spices: cayenne pepper, pink Himalayan salt, garlic, and black pepper. Veggies: vine tomatoes, and kale. Meat Alternatives: baked tempeh. Jazz: fresh squeezed lemon juice, red pepper hot sauce.

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Base: pasta – organic whole wheat. Power Spices: pink Himalayan salt, black pepper, cayenne pepper, and Bragg’s Organic Sprinkle. Veggies: vine tomatoes, and kale. Meat Alternatives: Organic quarter pound veggie burger – “Original” from Sunshine.  Jazz: fresh squeezed lemon juice.

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Base: farro. Power Spices: turmeric, pink Himalayan salt, black pepper, and cayenne pepper. Veggies: kale, and vine tomatoes. Meat Alternatives: baked sweet potato, and a cut up veggie burger. Jazz: sunflower seeds, and fresh squeezed lemon juice.

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Base: a mix of quinoa and white rice. Power Spices: pink Himalayan salt, black pepper, and cayenne pepper. Veggies: red bell peppers, and kale. Legumes: black beans. Jazz: red pepper hot sauce, fresh squeezed lemon juice, and topped with avocado.

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Base: organic vegetable pasta. Power Spices: pink Himalayan salt, black pepper, and cayenne pepper, and garlic. Veggies: steamed broccolini, and vine tomatoes. Jazz: fresh squeezed lemon juice, and chopped cilantro.

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Power Salad – Base: organic red leaf lettuce, vine tomatoes, celery, cucumbers, fermenter beet cabbage (great for gut health), and carrots. Meat Alternatives: tempeh. Jazz: I make my own dressing: balsamic vinegar, fresh squeezed lemon, cayenne pepper, pink Himalayan sea salt, black pepper, and dijon mustard (also sometimes I add in a bit of veganaise to add some creaminess to is) – mix all this together, and bang you got your dressing!

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Power Salad – Base: organic kale, vine tomatoes, rainbow carrots, and a baked purple potato (loaded with antioxidants and disease-fighting phytonutrients). Meat Alternatives: lentils. Jazz: dressing: balsamic vinegar, fresh squeezed lemon, cayenne pepper, pink Himalayan sea salt, black pepper, and dijon mustard. I also like to add in seeds and nuts to my salads for extra crunch and protein – in this case I used sunflower seeds.

 

Bang! And that’s my long winded Power Bowl rant! Again, there are so many ways to get creative with this, and so many other ingredients you could use…possibilities are endless! Give it a try, get in the kitchen and power up with a plant based Power Bowl!