Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Butternut Squash Tacos

I must say that now, after being vegan for a little over a year, I'm becoming a little more adventurous in my cooking endeavours and I'm trying to eat more whole foods.  I've been exploring raw recipes and alternatives to all the processed soy I've been eating.  Well one of my go to dinners is roasted veggies: potatoes, onions, garlic, brussel sprouts, butternut squash, broccoli, sweet potatoes, etc. but we've been having a lot of that recently and so I wanted to do something different.  I've had a butternut squash sitting on my counter for a few weeks and I decided I needed to use it before it went bad.

I've made fries from a butternut squash before, topped with a little cayenne pepper, and it's so good.  So why not try and add some taco flavors to make a butternut squash taco?!

1 butternut squash, peeled, seeded, and diced
olive oil
chili powder
cayenne pepper
garlic powder

1 can, black beans in their liquid
red onion, sliced thin
Citrus Greens, click here for recipe
soft tortillas (you can make this gluten free by subbing in appropriate tortillas)

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.

Toss the squash with oil.  Spread out in a single layer on a baking sheet/dish.  Sprinkle with cumin, chili powder, cayenne pepper, and garlic powder.  Bake for approximately 30 mins or until squash is soft but not mushy.

Warm black beans in their liquid and prepare for assembly.  To assemble, put some onion slices on the tortilla followed by black beans, citrus greens (try not to add fruit pieces), and squash.  This is such a great variation on the typical taco fillings...not to mention HEALTHY!

Monday, April 9, 2012

Vegan Veggie Pot Pie

To me, pot pie is a serious comfort food.  There's nothing better than cracking open the delicious crust and devouring the hot creaminess of the sauce.  I love making this during the winter and on stormy nights or just for Sunday dinner.  I love this recipe because I think that people who eat meat won't miss the chicken in this full of flavor veggie pot pie.  And the great thing is if you see a vegetable that you aren't fond of, switch it our for one you do like.  Although I do recommend using the leek and fennel for sure.  It adds great flavor not only to the pie, but to the sauce as well!

1 leek, trimmed, sliced lengthwise and then crosswise, and rinsed a lot!
1 fennel bulb, trimmed, halved lengthwise, and sliced crosswise
1 1/2 cup diced butternut squash
2 parsnips, diced
4 oz sliced white mushrooms
4 med red potatoes, diced
1 can of yellow corn, drained
1 cup frozen peas
1 small head of broccoli, sliced into small “trees” (use the stalk too! just dice it)
1 TBS minced garlic
1/2 cup flour
3 TBS vegan butter
1 1/2 TBS olive oil
3 cups vegetable broth or vegan chick'n broth (for that chicken pot pie flavor), warmed
store bought pie crust, check the ingredients to make sure its vegan!

Okay so I’m pretty sure that’s all what was in it…  Oh and salt and pepper to taste. Sooo here’s what I did:

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

In a large pot heat olive oil on med-hi heat.  

Add in leek, fennel, butternut squash and cook until softened.  Add mushrooms and cook until the water they release is cooked off.  Add garlic, potatoes, corn, peas, flour and butter, stirring and cooking until the raw flour taste is gone. 

Reduce heat and add in the Warm vegetable broth stirring until sauce is a thickened or until it is to your liking.  

Transfer mixture to glass baking dish, cover with pie crust and bake for 20-30 minutes.  (until crust browns and the filling boils).  THIS WILL BE INCREDIBLY HOT!  BE CAREFUL EATING IT! 

PS: I used a 9x9 baking dish and 2-1 quart baking dishes (made one big pot pie for leftovers and 2 individual pies for dinner.  You could also use a 13x9 glass baking dish.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Vegan Gyros!

(First quick shout out to @gardein and @So_Delicious !!)

Gyro: “jai-roe”, “yeer-o”, I don’t care how you pronounce it… I just care that I really wanted to have one!  We have this really great Greek place near where I grew up.  I never actually liked the gyros… hmm something about the meat just wasn’t that tastey to me… BUT HOLY MOLEY! Could I demolish some Tzatziki sauce!  You know that sauce… the yogurt based, cucumber, onion-y, minty goodness that people put on Gyros… SCREW THAT! I ate it on French fries, salads, vegetable wraps.. anything I could!

So tonight I guess I was craving that delicious sauce more than I was the actual Greek sauce. But anyway… Here’s what I came up with and it was great! I loved it more than a real gyro… and the “royal taster” (aka the BF) went back for seconds, which meant it passed his test.

Tzatziki Sauce

¼ cup cucumber, seeded and diced

¼ cup red onion, diced

1- 6oz So Delicious plain Greek Style Yogurt

8 mint leaves, chopped finely

Lemon juice, To Taste

Salt & Pepper

Gyro “Meat”

gardein BBQ skewers or beefless tips (16 chunks thawed), sliced into thinner slices

2 TBS Italian/Garlic Herb salad dressing

1 tsp minced garlic

½ tsp dried oregano

4 mint leaves, chopped

Small handful, red onion, chopped (wow, how very Rachael Ray of me)

Gyro Accessories

Pita Bread

Diced Tomato



Green Bell Pepper

Combine the ingredients for the sauce and let sit, in fridge, while prepping the gyro “meat”.

Combine the marinade for the “meat”, add thinly sliced beef-less tips or bbq skewers (removed from the skewers) mix to coat and refrigerate for about 20 minutes.

When ready to eat, cook the “meat” in a pan on med-hi heat for 8 minutes, stirring occasionally. 

Toast, or warm in the microwave with wet towels, the pita bread.

To serve, assemble somewhat like a taco. I love Tzatziki so I put some on the pita first then add the “meat”, lettuce, tomato, onion, and bell pepper and then I put more Tzatziki on top of that!  See below:

YUMMMM!!! We both went back for seconds (annnnnd even went back for thirds on the pita bread smeared with the sauce… )Yes it was that good… don’t judge me!

Monday, April 2, 2012

Vegan Chili Mac

My mom used to make chili mac all the time when I was growing up… I moved out of their house almost a year ago and I guess I just wanted a little taste of home.  Luckily I had a bunch of ingredients and the feeling of some creativity, and thus my vegan chili mac was born! :-) yummmm I also had a little bit of help from the BF in that he actually wrote down what I did so that I could relay it to you!! Soooo I think everyone should thank him, hehe.

2 TBS olive oil
1/2 red onion, chopped
1/2 cup chopped zucchini and squash, total—NOT 1/2 cup of each
1 15 oz can Cannellini beans, drained
1 15 oz can black beans, drained
1 15 oz can diced tomatoes, Do NOT drain!
1 1/2 TBS Chili Powder
1 TBS Cumin
1/2 TBS Cayenne Pepper (or less, depends on your heat tolerance)
1/4 of a 4.5 oz can of Green Chilies
3/4 cup veggie broth
1 1/2 tsp minced garlic
1/2-1 lb of elbow macaroni (less pasta if you want it a little more SAUCY)

Start boiling water for your pasta... Then,
In a saucepan heat the olive oil on Med-heat, saute the onions until almost tender, then add in the zucchini/squash.  Season with salt and pepper. 
Add all of beans, tomatoes, garlic, chili powder, cumin, cayenne, and veggie broth.  Simmer on low, stirring occasionally.
While that’s simmering cook your macaroni.  Drain the pasta and mix the chili in with the noodles.

YUMM YUMM!  Super quick meal to make with what you’ve got in your pantry.  No joke it took me exactly 30 minutes to do everything, including chop the veggies.  Take that Rachel Ray! (he noted the times I started and when everything was put in the pot… he’s so good to me.  —Note to self, bring him in the kitchen EVERY TIME I cook)

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