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!

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

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.

Spring has Sprung

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The best spot in the world.

Spring has finally made its way to Chicago. The sun shimmered this week and the air has begun to warm. Flowers have started to bloom and blossoms are budding, it is a great time to be in the city.

This past week in one of my yoga classes my instructor used Spring to guide our class. She made a wonderful point about the changes in the air. Spring is a new beginning, an opportunity to find balance in your life, a time to reflect and make changes. Our sequence incorporated a lot of balance asanas, all were a great reminder of the surrender and strength it takes to find balance.

I have been working to find balance in my life. It is a struggle to differentiate between work and relationships especially when your work is driven by passion, but my relationships fuel my ability to work towards my passions. I am using this new beginning, Spring, to remind myself of this balance.

Eating healthy is a big part of balance for me. I found this great blog Eating Bird Food and I highly recommend it. I recently tried their “Easy Strawberry Chia Jam” and I must say it was incredibly easy and great! Try it out!

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Strawberry Chia Jam

For Real the Best Smoothie…EVER

I know each time I post I set up the recipe with “This is the best!” For real though, this smoothie is the best.

I ADORE my fellow yogis. Two weeks ago we had “Smoothie Sunday.” Smoothie Sunday was a magical affair that involved smoothie samples. A few of us brought our favorite shake to share! The combo that won my heart involved cinnamon. Two classmates used cinnamon in their shakes and my world changed.

One of my classmates brought an amazing smoothie that combined dates, cinnamon, and banana. That’s right… heaven. I’m sharing this recipe with the world because WORLD YOU DESERVE IT. Thank you Marvin for enlightening my taste buds. I of course changed it up to make a green smoothie, got to get that spinach in!

Great for an on the go breakfast!

Great for an on the go breakfast!

Cinnamon Date Green Smoothie

Ingredients:

Plus spinach

Plus spinach

1 tsp cinnamon
8 ice cubes
1.25 c of vanilla almond milk
1 banana
3 dates (pitted)
1.4 c of cold water
2 c of spinach

Directions:

Place ice in blender and pulse.
Remove pits from dates

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Place liquids in blender and then pile greens on top.

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Set to liquefy and blend until smooth.

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Pulsing the ice before helps with texture

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Looks scary, tastes amazing!

The Little Goat

Being gluten free is awesome. I feel cleaner and haven’t had a rash in 2 months (this has not happened since 7th grade). However, when going out to eat being gluten free can be the pits. I love salads, I do, but when it is your only option it can be boring.

Chicago has so many amazing restaurants. When we stumble upon a restaurant with a gluten free menu I am elated. I feel the world is open to me. I begin considering eating things I would never eat just because I can. I end up choosing something like a salad but I do appreciate the option.

Recently Stephanie Izard of The Girl and The Goat opened a trendy diner in the West Loop. The decorum is perfect! A blend of 1960’s and 1970’s fixtures and design elements fused with 1950’s diner classics.

Stephanie Izard

Stephanie Izard

The menu is robust. But despite all of this, what’s even greater is that availability of gluten free options. I don’t udnersrand why more restaurants don’t follow Izard’s model and add a gluten free bun to their menu. It opens up the availability of items to consumers. Izard also offers a daily gluten free baked good (YES!).

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Lots of vegetarian options

Stephen and I recently went to The Little Goat on a Friday afternoon (which I recommend if you don’t want to wait for 2 hours). We were seated in a two person booth towards the back of the restaurant. The lighting in the space is divine! The ceiling is a giant sunlight which makes even the gloomiest of days seem bright.

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The wall paper is perfect!

We started off with drinks!

We started off with drinks!

Stephen ordered a mid day cocktail (hes so cute and fancy) and I began with a black coffee. I could not decide what I wanted because the options were endless. Veggie burgers with all types of toppings, baked goods, omelets, salads… I could eat them all! I decided to move out of my comfort zone and get an omelet (I rarely get eggs anywhere).

SPANISH OMELETTEcheddar . pickled peppers . masa chips . tomato . sour cream

SPANISH OMELETTE
cheddar . pickled peppers . masa chips . tomato .

Stephen got a veggie burger. He was super excited about it. He also got fried pickles and onions.

So cute.

So cute.

KOREANkimchee . bacon . egg . spicy mayo . squish squash roll

KOREAN
kimchee . bacon . egg . spicy mayo . squish squash roll

We topped our meal with a delicious shake. It was so fresh and yummy.

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Salad! Salad! Salad!

I love salad! For so long I hated making salads at home because they just never were as good as restaurants. However over time I have figured out combinations that work for my taste buds! Here are two recipes that are super quick and easy. Enjoy!

Taco Salad

Taco Salad

Directions:

Mix taco seasoning with Trader Joes “meatless crumbles”- (microwave for 3 minutes)
– cut grape tomatoes
– slice 2 sticks of jicama
– chop red onion
– Place all ingredients over romaine lettuce
– Top with salsa
* if you want a bit extra dressing take a tbsp of greek yogurt and mix with cumin, salsa, and taco seasoning.

Hearts of Palm and Strawberry Salad

Hearts of Palm and Strawberry Salad

Hearts of Palm and Strawberry Salad:

-3 hearts of palm sliced
-3 strawberries sliced
-2 cups of spinach
Serve with raspberry vinaigrette- add pecans if you want!