Veggie Tacos or Lettuce Wraps

I love when meals are 100% success! With little kids this always feels like a big win all around! This was one of those times! Yeah!!! My kids LOVE guac and tomatoes and of course pretty much any toppings! So instead of assembling their tacos for them I opted to bring everything to the table in bowls, where we had fun constructing them (they used sprouted tortilla wraps and I had the lettuce wrap). They were happy, I was happy and the food was amazing! Life is Amazing! Then Michael came home and loved them too! Happy Wife & Mama! I have always loved ❤ lettuce wraps and this was a great family solution!

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Veggie Tacos or Lettuce Wraps
adapted from www.adventuresinanewishcity.com

  • 1/3 cup olive oil, divided
  • 1 small onion, roughly chopped
  • 2 Tablespoons lemon juice
  • 2-3 cloves fresh garlic, minced
  • 1/2-1 jalapeno pepper, minced
  • 1 medium eggplant (or 2 small), peeled & diced into 1/4″-1/2″ cubes
  • 2 cups mushrooms, diced
  • 3 tablespoons ground cumin
  • 1 1/2 tablespoon paprika
  • 2 teaspoons chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 block of tofu, pressed & cut into 1/2″ cubes
  • 1 head of Butter or Bib lettuce, leaves separated to make taco shells &/or tortilla wraps
  • toppings (we used Guac with jicama & jalepeno, Red & Orange Peppers, & Cherry tomatoes, quartered & for me hot sauce)
  1. Heat 3 tablespoons olive oil in large skillet over medium-high heat. Stir in garlic and lemon juice, and cook for 1-2 minutes, making sure not to burn the garlic. Add jalapeno and onion. Cook until onion softens, about 3 minutes.
  2. Stir eggplant, mushrooms, and spices into the skillet. Drizzle remaining olive oil on top. Reduce heat to low, and bring to a simmer. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the eggplant softens and reduces in size, about 15 minutes.
  3. In a separate pan add just a drizzle of oil and add the tofu. When sizzle to have a nice char on each side before turning, so a few minutes between stirs (I know this feels hard to do, but it makes for the best tofu!) Once good and seared, add to the eggplant mixtures and continue to cook for a few more minutes until ready to serve.
  4. Spoon mixture into lettuce “shells” and add any additional toppings.
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NYC Food Update

What a great couple of food outings I have had over the last couple of weeks! YUM! Some goodies but oldies and some that I have been wanting to try out and finally made my way over to. Love that!!

My Babies Blessing Party at Candle 79. Awesome!! Always an amazing time there 🙂

Quintessence in the East Village has always been a solid stand out as far as vegan raw food. I have been totally craving Caesar salads lately and they make such a great one! I have actually had that and their raw tacos twice over the last 2 weeks haha. So good! The Caesar dressing is amazing with a generous amount of avocados in the salad to make for salad perfection! YUM! Plus the tacos are just super awesome too. I love that you can order just one.

Dirt Candy is also in the East Village and I have been wanting to go there since Amanda Cohen opened it up a few years ago. FINALLY we were able make it there! It was actually pretty hard to get a decent time reservation but luckily I planned this one in advance and there we were 🙂 It is a pretty tiny, yet adorable place but of course the main reason why we were there was the OUTSTANDING food! As you know I am quite the foodie and been to many many restaurants but I have to say – I was beyond impressed with everything we ate! I am really hoping to go back super soon and try the other half of the menu!

We started with the Jalapeno Hush Puppies served with maple butter (how could we not!) and the Mushroom! dish portobello mousse, truffled toast pear & fennel compote, incredible! Complex, creamy and of course deelish! Then we moved on to our entrees. I have to say, everything we had was well thought out, very creative, visually stunning and sooo tasty! Chardchard gnocchi, grilled chard, garlic granola & drunken fig jam and Cauliflower buttermilk battered cauliflower, waffles,  horseradish, wild arugula. And although we were getting pretty full how could I not try their dessert after such an incredible meal! Popcorn Pudding salted caramel corn. The other desserts had more of an out there sound to them, and although I am sure they were deelish, I had to go with this one. Suffice it to say, there was no disappointment here 🙂 We will for sure be back and are just sad that it took us this long to finally make it there!

Cauliflower - buttermilk battered cauliflower, waffles,horseradish, wild arugula

Chard - chard gnocchi, grilled chard,garlic granola & drunken fig jam

Lula’s Sweet Apothecary is another East Village fabulous vegan stand out when you are craving some amazing dessert. This awesome warm weather we have been having was just the perfect excuse to head over for some ice cream. They have a ton of fabulous flavors and I have tried many of them but I am sure as a lot of people would agree with – the Cake Batter soft serve is not to be missed. This is the first time I tried it with a topping and I had to go caramel sauce. So happy I did that! haha YUM!!!!

Cake Batter Ice Cream -- photo from http://www.theurbanhousewife.com

Gingersnap’s Organic  is another amazing new raw place to open up in the East Village. It just opened up in November and I am so happy I didn’t wait too long to make it over there! The owner, Jamie, is super awesome, friendly and down to earth. The place itself is really cute, comfortable and they specialize in food on the fly. So although they have an awesome full menu, you can can just grab pre-made food and run. I had already eaten lunch when I went but wanted to try one of their raw vegan dessert specialties. OH MY Chocolate Ganache Cake! It was seriously the best raw food cake I have ever eaten! I am sure this would pass to anyone for a master slice of chocolate cake. I love raw food, but I know the thoughts and feelings many people have about them as desserts, and this one seriously measures up! YUM! I am excited to come back here and try the rest of the menu and their cool looking cleanse as well. Welcome to the neighborhood Gingersnaps!

Gobo is a West Village mostly vegan restaurant that has a cool vibe to it. I have been going there for years and years! It was always the, parents taking me out go-to restaurant, for so long 🙂 But it had been maybe 2 years that we have been there and it was super nice to revisit. I always start with their Scallion pancakes with homemade mango salsa. Then we moved on to the natural Seitan medallions in sizzling spicy citrus sauce and the Organic king oyster mushrooms in sizzling basil black bean sauce. I typically would not order a mushroom dish as an entrée but last time I was here my friend ordered it and I was lucky to get a taste. So deelish! The king oyster mushroom is such a star! My very favorite dish there is the Pine nut vegetable medley with lettuce wraps, which I could not help ordering to go for my lunch the next day 🙂 Absence does make the heart grow fonder, it was nice to go back. Yum!

Pine nut vegetable medley with lettuce wraps

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