Kabocha Squash Tacos with Spinach, Mushrooms & White Beans

After hiking in the Gunks a few weeks back, we stopped off at a farm stand and picked up a bunch of pumpkins and squash. With my most difficult decision being which to use first, I settled on the kabocha squash. 

Ingredients: 

  • 6-8 corn tortillas 
  • 1/2 kabocha squash, seeded and sliced
  • 1/2 red onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 - 2 cups mushrooms, sliced 
  • 1 15 oz. can of cannellini or great northern beans
  • 1 tablespoon Bragg Liquid Aminos
  • 1-2 tablespoons nutritional yeast  
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 2 cups of spinach, roughly chopped
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • olive oil 
  • olive oil spray

Steps: 

  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Line a baking sheet with tinfoil or wax paper, arrange the sliced kabocha squash and mist with olive oil spray. Sprinkle the squash with salt, pepper and the nutritional yeast. Roast for 30-40 minutes, or until easily pierced with a fork. Let the squash cool slightly before dicing. Lower the oven to 375 degrees. 
  2. While the squash is roasting, add about a tablespoon of olive oil to a saute pan and heat for 1 minute at medium. Add the red onion and cook for 1-2 minutes or until translucent, toss in the garlic and give it a few more minutes.  
  3. Add white beans, mushrooms and Bragg Liquid Aminos and saute for about 5 minutes or until the mushrooms are soft and cooked through. Sprinkle on the cumin, paprika, cayenne and salt and pepper. Let it cook together for another minute or two. Fold in the spinach until it begins to wilt.
  4. When the spinach hits the pan, pop your tortillas in the oven and bake for 2-3 minutes on each side. Remove the tortillas and get ready to plate. Start with the veggie and bean mixture and add kabocha squash on top. Munch immediately. 

These are really hearty tacos and one was more than enough for me. Put any leftovers in the fridge and enjoy for lunch the next day. 

Chick'n Poblano Sweet Potato Tacos

Sometimes I take other people's recipes and make them vegan. This is one of those instances. Adapted from Modern Honey

Taco Ingredients: 

  • 8 corn tortillas
  • 2 tablespoons of oil (I used olive) 
  • 1/2 lb. TVP chunks, hydrated (try these)
  • 1 red onion, diced
  • 1 poblano pepper, diced 
  • 1 large sweet potato, peeled and diced
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 package of Chao Tomato Cayenne cheese slices (or your favorite vegan cheese)
  • pico de gallo (optional) 

Chipotle Cream Ingredients (optional):

  • 1/2 cup vegan mayo or sour cream
  • 2-3 chipotle peppers in adobo sauce, diced
  • 1/2 lime, juiced

Steps: 

  1. If desired, make the chipotle cream sauce ahead of time by mixing together sour cream or mayo, chipotle peppers, and lime juice in a small bowl. (Honestly, I don't think the sauce is necessary but it's your call. Next time I'll probably just top with pico). 
  2. Heat large skillet over medium-low heat. Warm up the oil and add the onion, poblano and sweet potatoes. Put a lid on it and cook for about 15 minutes or until the vegetables are soft and caramelized. Stir occasionally; season with salt, pepper, cumin and garlic powder..
  3. Add the TVP into the pan and allow the mixture to cook for another 2-3 minutes. Season more to taste.  
  4. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F and bake the tortillas for approximately 2 minutes on one side. Flip and lay a slice of Chao cheese on top, allowing the tortilla to bake for another 2-3 minutes until cheese is melty. 
  5. Remove tortillas from the oven and scoop chick'n poblano sweet potato mixture into each. Top with pico de gallo or a drizzle of chipotle cream sauce if desired.

Chick'n Parm Tacos

This is a super fast one that makes use of some convenience items. For when you really want Italian but it's Tuesday and you know you have to make tacos. 

Ingredients: 

  • 6 corn tortillas
  • 1 cup of tomato sauce, warmed up on the stove
  • 1/2 cup of vegan mozz, crumbled (try Miyoko's)
  • 4 pieces of Gardein Chick'n Scallopini, prepared and torn into strips
  • 1/2 cup of nutritional yeast
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt

Steps: 

  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F and bake the tortillas for approximately 2 minutes on each side until they start to firm up and brown ever so slightly. 
  2. Roll prepared chick'n pieces in the nutritional yeast and sprinkle with half of the salt. 
  3. Place chick'n pieces into each tortilla, top with warm tomato sauce and crumbled vegan mozz. 
  4. Toss a little salt on top and munch immediately. 

Vegan Queso & Tempeh Bacon Tacos

Ingredients: 

  • 6 corn tortillas
  • 1 (15-ounce) can cannellini beans, partially drained
  • 2 tablespoon hot sauce (like Cholula) 
  • 2 cloves of garlic, peeled 
  • 1/2 cup of nutritional yeast
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried crushed red pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt, divided in two
  • 8 slices of tempeh bacon (store bought or homemade) 
  • 1/2 of an avocado, cut into chunks 
  • 1/3 cup of tomatoes, diced
  • 1/4 cup of red onion, diced 
  • 1 teaspoon of lime or lemon juice 
  • 1 tablespoon of chives, snipped (optional) 

Steps: 

  1. Make the queso: pulse cannellini beans, hot sauce, garlic, nutritional yeast, crushed red pepper, cumin and half of the salt in processor. Add liquid from beans until you achieve your desired consistency. (I kept it a little chunky). 
  2. For the avocado salsa: combine avocado, tomatoes, red onion, lemon or lime juice in a bowl with remaining salt. 
  3. Cook the tempeh bacon to your liking (my way: fry it up on the stove with a little bit of oil until the edges get crispy). Cut or break the strips in two. 
  4. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F and bake the tortillas for 2 minutes on each side until they start to firm up. 
  5. Smear vegan queso all over the warmed up tortillas, top with bacon strips and avocado salsa. Sprinkle with chives if you so choose. 
  6. Munch. 

Roasted Mushroom & Chimichurri Tacos

Ingredients: 

  • 6 corn tortillas
  • 1/2 cup olive oil + 2 tablespoons, separated
  • 1 pound of mushrooms, trimmed
  • 5 cloves garlic, peeled and crushed
  • 1 cup (packed) fresh Italian parsley
  • 1/3 cup red wine vinegar
  • 1/4 cup (packed) fresh cilantro
  • 3/4 teaspoon dried crushed red pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • Sea salt
  • 1/2 cup of cherry tomatoes, quartered (optional)

Steps: 

  1. Make the mushrooms: preheat oven to 450 degrees. Lightly oil a shallow baking pan or cookie sheet that is large enough to hold mushrooms in single layer. 
  2. Toss mushrooms and 3 cloves of garlic with 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Season with salt and roast for 20 minutes stirring periodically until mushrooms are browned. 
  3. For the chimichurri: puree Italian parsley, cilantro, 2 cloves of garlic, 1/2 cup of olive oil, red wine vinegar, crushed red pepper and cumin in processor. Transfer to bowl and season with salt. 
  4. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F and bake the tortillas for 2 minutes on each side until they start to firm up. 
  5. Top the warmed tortillas with roasted mushrooms and drizzle with chimichurri sauce. Add tomatoes on top if desired. 
  6. Munch. 

Vegan Banh Mi-Style Tacos

Ingredients: 

  • 6 corn tortillas
  • 3 ounces of vegan pate (I used this one
  • 2 cups of soy curls, prepared (try these)
  • 1 cucumber, cut into matchsticks 
  • 1 carrot, cut into matchsticks 
  • 1-2 jalapenos, sliced 
  • 4 radishes, sliced 
  • 1/4 cup of cilantro, roughly chopped 

Steps: 

  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F and bake the tortillas for 2 minutes on each side until they start to firm up. 
  2. Spread the vegan pate evenly on each tortilla. 
  3. Layer on the prepared soy curls, cucumber, carrot, radishes and top with the fresh jalapeno and cilantro. 
  4. Munch. 

Taco Tuesday - July.

So yeah, July. That was awhile ago already, eh? Oh well, better late than never I suppose. In trying to remember what even happened last month I realized that there was SO much. There was Camille's beautiful wedding up at the Pleasantdale Chateau, a Weird Al concert at the Count Basie Theatre, a trip to my old stomping grounds the PNC Bank Arts Center to see Marilyn Manson and the Smashing Pumpkins, friends who came to town, birthdays, beach days and more than a few BBQs. Maybe that's where the time went and why it's more than halfway through August as I write this. Anyway, here's a look at July's recipes: 

  • July 7 - Esquite (Mexican corn salad) tacos with black beans, pico de gallo and cotija cheese. (pictured) 
  • July 14 - Spicy teriyaki tempeh tacos with avocado mash and pickled vegetables. 
  • July 21 - Slow roasted tomato and white bean tacos with sweet onion jam, fresh mozzarella and basil. 
  • July 28 - Eggplant bacon tacos with lettuce, tomato and sriracha cashew mayo. 

You'll notice that the week of July 14 links to The Purple Carrot. My trainer, Marc got me into them recently. They provide raw, pre-measured ingredients and recipes for vegan meals and snacks and they didn't even pay me to plug them. But seriously, worth checking out. 

Taco Tuesday - June.

Well, it finally happened. I missed a week. Despite my best efforts to make it home from the HCI Strategic Talent Acquisition Conference in time, Mother Nature intervened. So we're a little light on recipes for June but I did thoroughly enjoy last month's creations. 

Here's a look at what went down: 

  • June 2 - Crispy black soy bean tacos with feta cabbage slaw. 
  • June 9 - Spicy curry shrimp tacos with cucumber salsa (pictured). 
  • June 16 - Homemade tempeh bacon tacos with cashew mayo and spicy pineapple salsa
  • June 23 - Missed on account of thunderstorms and flight delays. 
  • June 30 - Spicy grilled tofu with nectarine salsa and fresh basil aioli. 

 

Taco Tuesday - May edition.

When I think about it, I'm not even really sure what happened to the month of May this year. It pretty much flew by. I know it included some birthdays, dinner at Russ & Daughters + a gig at the Bowery Ballroom with my college roommate, the completion of a mini-MBA program at my alma mater, Rutgers, a very busy but fun(ny) Memorial Day weekend and trip down to Florida to visit my grandmother. In the midst of all that I made more tacos. Here's what that looked like:

Admittedly not my favorite month in terms of tacos. Actually, I'm lying. I really liked bits and pieces of these recipes but not necessarily the final product. Luckily, we're already two weeks into June and I'm thoroughly enjoying what I'm cooking up this month. Stay tuned! 

 

 

Taco Tuesday - April version.

Ah, another month of Taco Tuesdays. So far I've managed to create a different type of tacos every week though I admit, I'm starting to burn out a bit. Going to have to shake things up! 

Here's how April went: 

  • April 7 - Vegan chile relleno tacos. 
  • April 14 - Lentil and walnut tacos with avocado.
  • April 21 - Beer battered tofu with spicy watermelon cucumber salsa and avocado (pictured).  
  • April 28 - Sweet potato tacos with black bean pecan spread and lime coconut cream. 

I kicked off May with a pretty killer Cinco de Mayo taco. Stay tuned for what comes next. 

Más tacos! March edition.

So I got a little creative in March. Actually a lot of creative, making tacos of all kinds. Plus there were 5 Tuesdays! Guess I felt the need to stretch my little wings.

  • Week 9: March 3 - White bean falafel tacos with pickled veggies and lemon tahini sauce (pictured here.
  • Week 10: March 10 - Refried bean tacos with pan fried poblano peppers and chili lime peanuts. Recipe from Vegan Tacos.
  • Week 11: March 17 - St. Patricks' Day edition! Brown butter colcannon tacos with vegetarian chicken. 
  • Week 12: March 24 - Tacos with Tofurkey beer brats and tomato salsa. Another one from Vegan Tacos.
  • Week 13: March 31 - Vegetarian chili and cheese tacos. I used Chao Creamy Original cheese - have you tried it? Best vegan cheese I've encountered to date. 

And here we are in April. I've got some new ideas cooking and a ton going on. Easter is over. This week I'm going to see The Sonics on Thursday and Cocksparrer on Friday, next week I'm going to catch The Buzzcocks. Not to mention it's finally spring! Time for bike rides, empty beach dates and Italian ices. 

Taco Tuesday - February recap.

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I have to admit February is my least favorite month. Yes, it's the shortest month but weather-wise it's the most brutal. This year was no exception, and even as we head into the first week of March it seems that February is still sticking around. Over it. 

Anyway, the Taco Tuesday-ing continues. A lot of these tacos included recipe shortcuts in order to accommodate some classes I've been taking. Regardless, eight weeks down, 44 to go. 

So here's a look at what went down: 

  • Week 5: February 3 - Spinach, mushroom and caramelized onion tacos with smoked mozzarella (note: this is a loose take on a dish Chili's used to serve - yes, really)
  • Week 6: February 10 - Veggie beef tacos with cheese & roasted garlic salsa 
  • Week 7: February 17 - Tempeh bacon, lettuce, tomato salsa & avocado tacos (pictured)
  • Week 8: February 24 - Roasted cauliflower & sriracha cashew cream tacos  

Taco Tuesday - January recap.

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So at some point last year I started making tacos every Tuesday. I don't really know how or why but it's a tradition that stuck. Coming into 2015 I decided to up the ante and challenge myself to make 52 weeks of tacos, without repeating a recipe. Given that I'm back to eating a primarily pescetarian diet that heightens the challenge. Here's what I made in January + a recipe. 

Sunflower Meat for Tacos

Ingredients: 

  • 1 cup of raw sunflower seeds, soaked for 2-8 hours 
  • 2 cloves of raw garlic, minced 
  • 1 tablespoon of chili powder 
  • 1 tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 cup of nutritional yeast
  • sea salt and black pepper, to taste 

Steps: 

  1. Drain the sunflower seeds and retain a little bit (1/3 cup) of the liquid. 
  2. Place the sunflower seeds, garlic and oil in a food processor and pulse until the ingredients start to break up. Add some of the leftover liquid if need be. 
  3. Add the chili powder, nutritional yeast, salt and pepper and continue to pulse until a crumbly mixture forms.

Spoon into taco shells with whatever fix-ins float your boat and enjoy. Makes enough meat to fill about 8 six-inch corn tortillas.