Taco Tuesday

Well, we made it! We have been residents of Mississippi for just over 3 weeks now, and are finally getting settled in. Most of the boxes are unpacked and the last room that needs work (the man cave) is well on its way. Liam has been taking everything very well, which is exceptional because for the first few days he slept in his pack and play in an over crowded room .  The area around our new house is very cute, with lots of stuff walking distance.  I just picked out a new bicycle today and am looking forward to taking  family rides down to the beach that is about a 10 minute bike ride from here!

Liam and I will be coming back to Oklahoma as soon as my youngest brother Gregory gets home for his break in his tour in Iraq, can’t wait to see every one!

On to food ❤

Before we left Oklahoma, my mom introduced me to the site Happy Herbivore. She is a fat free vegan, and has lots of interesting and yummy recipes on her website for free, and she also has a cook book and a second is in the works! The first thing of hers I tried was her chickpea tacos. I have made one or two alterations to this new staple in our house, but essentially it is just the same as hers.

The first time I made these Matt almost instantly requested a “Taco Tuesday” and with the exception of a few days when I had no access to a working oven, and or food processor, we have had these eeeevery Tuesday. Liam usually eats the filling with a little of the aoli and eats it off pieces of taco shell lol.

Chickpea Tacos

1 can chickpeas

1 T tamari

2 t lemon juice

  • Taco seasoning
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Rinse and drain chickpeas, roll on paper towel to dry off. Mix together all the seasonings, lemon juice and tamari and toss the chickpeas in the sauce.  Lightly oil a cookie sheet and spread out. Bake for about 30 min stirring frequently until a little crunchy. The first time I made these, I served them just as she said, whole. Matt didnt like that very much and so we pureed some with a little bit of vegetable stock and made it more mushy. This is the tastiest way I think.

Takes around 1/4 cup of vegatable stock and scraping down the sides as needed to get it to this point.

I serve our tacos with diced onion, tomato,  a diced arugula, spinach mix, black bean salad, and a sriracha aeoli.

Black bean and corn salad

1 can black beans, rinsed and drained

1 can corn, drained

1 can diced green chilies

1/2 white onion diced

1 roma tomato diced

2 T cilantro chopped

2 T red wine vinigar

1 /2 T agave

1 T lime juice

1 t cumin

1/8 t cayenne

salt and pepper

Mix all together! (nom as discretely as possible- I have been known to spoil my dinner on this while fixing everything else)

Fancy sriracha aeoli

2 T veganaise

1t lemon juice

1/2 t cumin

1 1/2 t cilantro chopped

1t sriacha

salt and pepper

mix well, put on everything …tacos…sammiches….

I eat my “taco” like this….every thing all chopped up in a salad with one taco shell smushed on it. nummy ❤

So, thats about how much effort I put into dinner 5 or 6 days a week. Some days…like yesterday… I can barely convince myself to cook an Amy’s cheese-less pizza, much less make a proper dinner.  So days like that inevitably end in frozen pizza, or this 🙂

Not too glamorous huh? Well, this is something that came to me from an old recipe. I used to make Black bean and sweet potato burritos, and this is essentially that, minus the tortilla, and the beans are a little different. I like to bake my sweet potatoes in a 425 degree oven for any where from 40 min – 1.5 hrs depending on how big the potato is. When the skin is crispy, and the potato can be pierced easily with a fork, it is done. I like to cook it a little longer than some because I like the caramelization that happens .. .sooooooo good.

Black beans ( I wrote down the recipie!)

I will rewrite it for those of you not fluent in chicken scratch ❤

Black Beans

1 can Black Beans

2 T soy sauce

1 T yellow mustard

1/8 t cayenne

1/2 t oregano

1t garlic powder

1/2 t onion powder

1 t cumin

1 1/2 T lime juice

Put everything in a small sauce pot and allow to simmer for 15 – 20 min.

Put over nummy sweet potatoes top with diced white onions, chopped jalapenos and sriracha ❤

I’m off to play Zelda! Don’t be jealous of my ocarina!  One more random picture just cause it makes me smile ❤

This window is over my sink, I have ALWAYS wanted a window like that! ❤  Gnnight! Miss you all!

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BACON! (kinda)

I make TLTs (that’s a tofu lettuce and tomato sandwich to you) all the time. The last time I used more pepper than normal or something and it hit me like a mac truck. I WANT BACON. I never crave meat, hell I don’t even think about it unless I’m talking to a friend about it, but I simply could not get the idea of attempting to recreate the salty, sweet, smokeyness out of my head. That was my mission yesterday, and I must say (and so did my brother and Matthew) this is far and away the best tofu I have ever had.  But then again, an old bike tire would probably taste all right if it marinated in maple syrup for a few hours.

 

Tofakin

1 block extra firm tofu

3 T maple syrup

1 1/2 T molasses

2 T apple cider vinegar

3 T soy sauce

10 -15 shakes of liquid smoke

1/2 t cumin

1/2 t paprika

about a cup of water

LOTS of coarse ground pepper

salt to taste

 

Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper. Slice the tofu in to thin pieces about 1/4 of an inch thick. Pat each dry and arrange on cookie sheet. Freeze for 1 -2 hours.

 

Once it has frozen, mix the rest of the ingredients in a shallow dish or large ziplock bag. Put the tofu in and allow to marinate for several hours, even overnight if you want. I had to let mine defrost a bit in the sink because it was getting close to dinner time and they were still kinda frosty.

 

Put a little oil in a non stick skillet and allow it to heat up to med high heat. Put more pepper on them and cook until they are golden brown and all caramelized on the out side. (I am so mad that I didn’t take another picture of what it looks like when it was done! You just have to believe me, it looked awesome lol)

I like veganaise aaaaaaaaaaand mustard on my sandwich. What can I say, I’m a rebel. They also tend to be more than half spinach lol. We ate these with some more sweet potato fries and cucumber and red onion salad. If you are interested in trying tofu, this would be a great starter recipe because the flavors are so familiar, and they are so thin that there is little chance you could have a texture issue lol. Also the process of freezing tofu changes the consistency of the tofu making it less mushy, more meaty.

 

As if the day needed to get better after a success in the kitchen, it was capped of with a fantastic night out with miss Katie!! ❤ I wish I had been hungry because the resturant we went to had tons of vegan options. >;(

Yeah, I eat carrots as my drunk food….wanna fight? ❤

Super slacker

With Liam and I back in Oklahoma and Matt still in Florida, I have little desire most days to do much more than roast a giant pan of vegetables for dinner. I am the type of person that can eat virtualy the same thing every day for a week and not get tired of it. My personal criteria for food.

1. Is it tasty.

2. Is it good for me

3. Does it take more than 30 miniutes before I have food to shove in face.

That is pretty much it. All of those things considered, I have not felt the urge to take pictures of 2,472 avocado and black bean roll ups, or 75,000 kale salads. You should probably be grateful. Those are the actual numbers. Its lunacy. And while our grocery bill is quite a bit lower, it does get a bit old after a while.

This is my excuse for zero posts in over a month. It’s a weak one, but its pretty much all I got.

Yesterday Liam and I went to the grocery store and inspiration was throwing large boulders at my head as I meandered up and down the isles. By the time I got home there was no less then 7 things that I couldn’t wait to make. Only problem is I’m not very good at cooking for 1.5. Lucky for me, my favorite Katie ever was coming over for dinner.  I gave her options, but wound up deciding for her, mostly because I had to get the tofu marinading.

This dinner was not only super yummy, but wicked fun to make. Some times I like things that have lots of steps, easy small steps….kinda like the little kid slide at the park.

Balsamic glazed tofu

1/4 c soy sauce

2/3 c balsamic

2 T agave

2 smashed cloves of garlic

1/2 t red pepper flakes

1/4 t pepper

1 block extra firm tofu sliced and pressed

Combine all ingredients and pour over tofu. Allow to marinate for at least an hour.  Make sure your grill is well oiled and set to med high. (because of the sugar content in balsamic, this tends to char a bit if cooked on too high a temp) Cook about 4 min on each side, longer if you like a firmer texture ( like I do).

While the tofu is on the grill, and if you have an awesome friend to watch it so it does not burn, pour the marinade in to a small sauce pan and simmer until it has reduced by about half.

Edamame and roasted corn salad

1/2 bag frozen shelled edamame

2 ears of corn

1/2 bell pepper

2 green onions

dressing

2T olive oil

1 t agave

2 T rice wine vinegar

1t sesame seeds

Soak corn (in husks) in water around 30 min. Throw them on a med high grill and turn frequently. I actually have no idea how long this takes, when you can smell it, it is done.  Put the bell pepper skin sided down on the grill to blister.

While corn is on grill steam or microwave edamame and put in large bowl. Combine dressing ingredients.   When the pepper is charred, peel away the majority of the skin, dice. Cut corn from cob, and combine everything together.

Sweet potato fries

1 large sweet potato cut in to french fries

2 t olive oil

1 t smoked paprika

1 t garlic powder

1/2 t cayenne pepper

1/2 t salt

Preheat oven to 425

Put everything in a ziplock and toss to coat. Line a baking pan with parchment or tin foil and arrange fries evenly.  Bake for 20 min, turn the fries, raise oven temp to 450 and bake about 20 min longer.

I know I say this a lot, but I really, truly, honestly, loved this dinner. I had not experimented much with different glazes for grilled tofu, and pretty much just stuck with barbecue sauce. This is way better. And the salad! Just make it its stupid good.

I will indulge you with one of the things I have been eating very nearly every day. Ladies and gentlemen, I give you whole wheat toast, with almond butter and CHILI AND GARLIC CHOLULA. I eat this, no lie, every freaking day. It sounds so strange, but is just wonderful.

Hopefully my cooking day yesterday will give me the boost I needed to quit with the redundancy (Roasted broccoli and kale chips do not an interesting blog post make)

By for now! ❤