Vegan Spicy Tofu and Black Bean Tacos

The yummy continues! We recently got a Costco membership… dangerous. A pack of 3 firm tofus… $4.99. Like I said, DANGEROUS. Pretty excited to get healthy food for cheap.

This super hot weather is perfect for tacos and old classics. I recommend this dish with The Slackers.

Once again, this recipe is an adaptation from a recipe I recently found online. Whole Foods posted this delicious recipe!

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Ingredients: (recipe below with adaptations)

  • 1 (14 ounce) package extra-firm tofu, drained
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon taco seasoning
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1/2 red onion
  • 1 (15 ounce) can black beans, drained and rinsed
  •  corn tortillas, warmed (gluten free)
  • 3 cups shredded green leaf lettuce
  • 2 cups chopped tomatoes
  • 1 1/2 cup shredded cheddar or Monterey Jack cheese (Use Daiya to make vegan)
so fresh!

so fresh!

Directions:

Put tofu, chili powder, oregano, cumin, coriander and salt into a bowl and mash together with a fork. Set aside.

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crumble into small pieces

awesome blend of spices

awesome blend of spices

Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add garlic and two-thirds of the red onions and cook until fragrant, about 2 minutes. Add tofu mixture and cook, stirring occasionally, until most of the moisture has evaporated, 10 to 12 minutes.

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Add beans and remaining red onions, stir well and cook until beans are heated through, about 5 minutes more.

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Spoon tofu mixture into tortillas, top with lettuce, tomatoes and cheese and serve.

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Ginger Peanut Butter Cashew Quinoa Salad

I am super happy with life! Stephen and I have been eating healthy dinners and it feels great. I love finding healthy, quick dinners that I want to continue to make. I can’t take credit for this recipe but I can definitely promote it.

First recipe that i highly recommend comes from Ambitious Kitchen. This Crunch Cashew Thai salad is BEYOND! I used PB2 instead of the suggest peanut butter. Also, I used gluten free soy sauce so this dish is 100% gluten free and vegan. I think it serves 6 people which means according to My Fitness Pal this amazing recipe is only 183 calories per serving!!!

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The ginger peanut butter combo is great!

Summer Saturday Cooking

In our house… pickles are a favorite. Stephen often teases me about my love for pickles and often references the “pickle getter tool” my parents had in our kitchen growing up. Side note: My parents had a specific tool that was a claw of sorts,  specifically designed to extract pickles from jars… serious business. Hence, we take pickles very seriously in this house.

Summer is finally here in Chicago. The humidity and heat are high which means summer foods must be celebrated! Today Stephen and I strolled the neighborhood when suddenly Stephen had an idea… fried pickles! We headed to our neighborhood organic grocery and picked up all of the items necessary to make gluten free fried pickles. I loved cooking with Stephen. Usually Stephen is my sous-chef but this go around we were equal partners and had a blast.

The recipe is easy and considering what other recipes called for its not terrible for you. I rarely (never) eat fried anything but for this special occasion I gave them a try and they were delicious!

You could also easily bake these pickles to cut down on the oil.

Gluten Free Fried Pickles

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Ingredients: 

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(This recipe calls for a whole jar. We used about 1/3 of the jar and then stored the remaining batter for later use)
1 Jar of sliced kosher dill pickles
3 Cups Vegetable Oil
1/2 Teaspoon Onion Powder
1 Teaspoon Garlic Powder
1/2 Teaspoon Ground Black Pepper
1/4 Teaspoon Ground Mustard Seed
1 Teaspoon Cajun seasoning
1/2 Cup gluten free bread crumbs
1.5 cups of gluten free multi purpose flour
2 Tablespoons Baking Powder

Adapted from this blog

We love pickles!

We love pickles!

Directions:

1. Heat oil to 365 (have this ready to go)

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2. Blend all ingredients except for pickles in a bowl

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Ready for dipping!

3. With one hand grab the pickles and toss them into the blended mix (keep one hand for pickles and the other for mixing)

It can get messy!

It can get messy!

Coat evenly

Coat evenly

4. Once you coat the pickle toss it into the hot oil. Let it cook until its golden brown (about 30 seconds) and remove with a slotted spoon.

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5. Remove the pickles and place on a plate covered in paper towels.

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If you wish to get a thicker coat dip the pickle in the batter after its initial frying and then fry again.

6. Serve and enjoy! We used Bolthouse yogurt Ranch for our dip. To make vegan mix Veganoise, yellow mustard, and curry powder.

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Popsicles!

I love popsicles. One of my favorite Chicago summer staples is the popsicle carts. Nothing is better than laying on the beach and then suddenly… the popsicle bell! A refreshing fruit popsicle in the hot sun is just divine!

I have begun dabbling in my own popsicle making! The combinations are endless and they are super low calorie.

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IKEA- $2!
I also purchased additional holders from Target for $3.

Strawberry Kiwi Popsicles

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Tangy and Tart!

1 c frozen strawberries 1 ripe kiwi Vanilla Almond Milk (pour to thin out mixture)

1 c frozen strawberries
1 ripe kiwi
Vanilla Almond Milk (pour to thin out mixture)

Add ingredients to blender and set to puree

Add ingredients to blender and set to puree

the leftovers made for a tasty smoothie!

the leftovers made for a tasty smoothie!

*You can use coconut milk or  coconut water instead of almond milk

Fresh for Summer

Here is a refreshing and unexpected combination: pineapple and cucumber. I was inspired to combine these two flavors after having a cucmber salad at a sushi restaurant last week. The menu said the cucumber salad had a hint of pineapple and that got me thinking. I looked through recipes (there are a ton of thai salades) and landed on this simple salad. This low calorie salad is filling and would work splendidly on a picnic or for lunch.

picnics are my favorite.

picnics are my favorite.

Cucumber Mint Pineapple Salad

Ingredients:

1 cucumber (peeled)
1 c  cubed pineapple
2 tbsp chopped mint
1 tbsp olive oi

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Directions:

1. In a large bowl combine cucumber and pineapple.

2. In a separate bowl combine oil and mint.

3. Combine dressing with cucumber/pineapple. Mix well.

3. Chill in fridge and serve. (It is recommended you serve immediately however I made this the night before and packed it for lunch and it was quite fresh.)

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Fresh and interesting

Gluten Free Chocolate Granola

Stephen and I are HUGE fans of Jessica’s Gluten Free Granola. We specifically love the Chocolate Chip one. Each bag costs $7.00. Although it is delicious, it is expensive and does not last long in our house (Stephen might love it too much). I had an urge to make granola the other night so I pulled together a variety of ingredients and came up with this delicious mix. What’s even better is it satisfies your sweet tooth just like Jessica’s! The recipe made two jars and does not even come close to $7.

Gluten Free Chocolate Granola

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Ingredients:

  • 1 c chocolate coco crispies
  • 1/2 c gluten free oats
  • 1.5 c puffed rice
  • 1/4 c sugar free syrup
  • 2 tbs honey
  • 1/4 c chocolate chips
  • 5 walnuts
  • 1/4 c pumpkin seds (optional)
  • 1/4 c coconut flakes
  • 1 tbsp cocoa powder
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
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You could also add raisins or dried cranberries

Directions:

1. Pre-heat oven to 375

2. Mix oats, cereal, and pumpkin seeds together, place in baking sheet. Bake for 7-10 minutes.

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3. While the oats are baking, mix the honey and syrup together. Whisk until honey dissolves.

Image-74. Stir in cinnamon, vanilla and cocoa powder.

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5. Remove oat mixture from oven and place back into mixing bowl. Evenly mix liquid with oats.

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6.  Mix  in remainder ingredients. Spread evenly into a baking sheet and place in the oven for 10-15 minutes.

7. Remove the granola from the oven and use a spatula to spread the melted chocolate chips evenly. You can opt to put the chocolate chips in after so that they don’t loose their shape however spreading them allows the mixture to clump up and makes it even chocolatier!

8. Allow the granola to cool and then place in an air tight container.

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That’s Life

Chicago is in this weird in between phase with seasons. There are moments when I can feel summer: the smells, the glow about people, the dewiness in the air, the warmth, frozen yogurt, dog walks… the list goes on. Although today was 54 (get it together Chicago), it is almost summer in my heart and that’s what matters.

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The tress are perfectly green and have beautiful blooms.

Yesterday I hit the mother load with mail and received both Yoga Journal and Vegetarian Times (thank you mother in law for the rad gifts!). This month the times is featuring detox and gluten free recipes, heaven. In the issue they recommend a 3 day cleanse that is pretty to implement and filled with delicious recipes. They list the 7 best detox foods and some favorites were included: blueberries, brocolli, and beets to name a few.

One of the best things about summer.

One of the best things about summer.

The recommended breakfast for the cleanse is a beet smoothie. If you like beets I recommend, if you don’t like beets.. beware!

Detox Beet & Blueberry Smoothie

Ingredients:

  • 1 c blueberries
  • 1 c vanilla almond milk (unsweetened)
  • 2 beets (boiled)
  • 1 slice of ripe avacado
  • 3 ice cubes
  • 1/4 c of cold water

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Directions:

  1. Place ingredients in blender and hit liquify, serve immediately

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When school is over I am going to do the full 3 days and post the recipes. I think a cleanse/detox will be the perfect way to kick off a healthy, productive, and fun summer! Until then I am going to do my sort of cleanse that involved frozen yogurt from time to time 🙂

Each morning I start with a smoothie and then eat a kale salad, cucumber and side of fruit within my day. I have consistently been drinking the detox water I posted about weeks ago. Since I have started my water I have lost about 7 pounds.

Each morning I start with a smoothie and then eat a kale salad, cucumber and side of fruit throughout the day. I have consistently been drinking the detox water I posted about weeks ago. Since I have started my water I have lost about 7 pounds.

Veggie Quinoa Stir Fry

Whole ingredients! Veggies! Whole grains! Balance! Oh its good!

The detox greatness continues with this veggie stir fry recipe. I adapted this recipe and added quite a few veggies to the mix. It was filling, nutritious and super low calorie. One serving is only 190 calories!

Veggie Quinoa Detox Stir Fry

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Ingredients:
  • 1 small yellow onion
  • 2 carrots
  • 1 head of broccoli
  • 10 button mushrooms
  • 1 small bushel of kale
  • 2 small zuchinni
  • 1 c of quinoa
  • 3 c veggie broth
  • 1.5 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp pepper
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp red pepper flakes
yum!

yum!

Directions:

1. Rinse veggies and chop roughly. Place ingredients in food processor and pulse.

2. Place veggies in deep saute pan (needs a lid) with 1 tbsp of olive oil and let cook for 2 to 3 minutes.

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3. Pour quinoa and broth and bring to a boil. Mix all ingredients together.

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Bring to a boil and cover

4. Stir in spices.

5. Once boiling cover mixture, bring to a low -medium and cook for 15 minutes (or until moisture evaporates)

* You can serve cold or warm

Quinoa Kale Salad

Detoxing is amazing. It is so wonderful to have your body love and thank you for providing it with good nutrients. Additionally I am back at the studio and all is right with the world. It is so critical to consistenly remind ourselves to turn inward and take care of ourselves. When we forget this we loose balance which puts others out of balance as well. I want to create peace for those around me and for myself. Yoga is an essential piece to this peaceful puzzle.

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I have had made detox kale salads for dinner and they have been filling and packed with goodness. This recipe is light and wholesome. I adapted the recipe to fit the ingredients I have.

Bluberry and Kale Quinoa Salad

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Ingredients:

dressing:
1 tbsp honey
1 tsp soy
1 tsp toasted sesame oil
1/4 c lite balsamic vinaigrette dressing
1 tsp chopped ginger

salad:
1 c tri color quinoa
1.5 c chopped kale
.5 grated carrot
1 c blueberries
10 almonds chopped

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wholesome ingredients

For complete instructions click here.

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Mix salad ingredients in a separate bowl while quinoa is cooking. Keep dressing separate.

Mix all ingredients together once quinoa is cool.

Mix all ingredients together once quinoa is cool.

Gluten Free Chickpea Pita Pizzas

It’s day 5 of the diet and I must say… things are good! I have had only one stomach ache (opposed to 5) which is a big relief!

Pittas are supposed to eat cooling foods. Garbanzo (chickpeas) are one of the foods that are okay to eat. Last week we made these pizzas and they were great. I am glad it aligns to the ayurvedic diet and we can  make it again!

Balsamic Cabbage Chickpea Pita Pizzas

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serving: 3

Ingredients:

  • 3 gluten free pitas (I found great low calorie ones in the gluten free freezer case at whole foods)
  • 1 bag of 16 oz shredded red cabbage
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 can of 15 oz garbanzo beans- drain and split
  • cilantro
  • 2 tsp cumin
  • 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tsp honey
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 3 tbsp goat cheese crumbles

Directions:

Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees.

1. Over medium heat heat 1/2 tbsp of the olive oil in a non stick pan. Place cabbage in pan with balsamic. Mix ingredients, lower temperature a little, cover and let cook for 10 minutes.

2. In a food processor place half of chickpeas, 1 tsp cumin, 2 tbsp of cilantro and mix.

3. Remove cabbage and drizzle with honey, set aside.

4. Clean out the skillet, lightly dust pitas with olive oil and toast each side.

5. On a greased cookie sheet place pitas and spread chickpea mix evenly on pita. Distribute cabbage evenly among each pita. Then top with remaining chickpeas, sprinkle with cumin and goat cheese.

6. Place in the oven for approximately 6 minutes, or until cheese begins to soften and melt.