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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Kale Caesar with Marinated Portobello Mushrooms – Kale Salad Challenge #5

I love all Kale Salads and this one was especially deelish. Not everyone is into sea vegetables, but this dressing manages to be chockfull of them without anyone being the wiser, super healthy goodness! They add such a great saltiness to this already super creamy dressing.

Kale Caesar with Marinated Portobello Mushrooms

Kale Caesar with Mar

2 heads of Kale

Chop up or tear pieces of Kale. Massage the dressing into the kale with your hands and top with mushrooms. Yum! Enjoy 🙂

Avocado Sea-sar Dressing (vegan, almost raw, gluten free, soy free)
Recipe from choosingraw.com
Yields over 1 cup

1 large Hass avocado
1 tsp vegan Worsterchire sauce
1/4 cup nutritional yeast
Juice of two large lemons
3 tbsp mellow white miso
1 small clove garlic
1 tsp spirulina
1 tbsp nori, kelp, or dulse flakes (or a mix of all three, which is what I used)
3/4 cup water (or more if needed)
*2 tbsp olive oil (optional)*

Blend all ingredients in a high speed blender till smooth. The olive oil is totally optional, but it lends a little added creaminess and richness to the dressing.

Marinated Portobello Mushrooms

3 1/2 cup portobello mushrooms, sliced
1/3 cup apple cider vinegar
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/4 cup agave
2 tablespoons  Nama Shoyu or Tamari
2 tablespoons Herbamere
3 tablespoons herbs of choice – I used oregano and bail

Blend all ingredients except mushrooms for about 10 seconds. Place the marinade, along with mushrooms, in a large plastic container or zipped bag and seal well. Toss around until well coated. Refrigerate and let sit overnight, tossing to coat from time to time. Strain the mushrooms out prior to serving, but reserve the marinade to use as a salad dressing for another time.

Polenta Shepherds Pie

When the temperature drops we just want warm and cozy foods (yet I am always happy with a Kale Salad!).  This one was great and warmed us right up!

Michael has always apprecaited a good Shepherds Pie so I have made a few Veg variations on them over the years. This one was super good because of our shared love of polenta!

Polenta Shepherds Pi

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Polenta Shepherds Pie

Filling
1 lb veggie crumbles
1 onion, chopped
3 cups mushrooms, chopped
1 cup frozen mixed vegetables
2 cups mushroom gravy – recipe below
cumin, salt & pepper, to taste

Polenta

1 1/2 cup water
1/2 cup unsweetened almond milk
1/2 cup polenta
1 tablespoon Earth Balance
2 tablespoons fresh herbs (I used basil, parsley, oregano)
salt, to taste
havarti or parmesan cheese (optional)

  1. Saute onion until translucent, then add veggie crumbles and mushrooms and cook 5 more minutes.
  2. Add frozen veggies and cook until thawed. Add cumin, salt & pepper and gravy.
  3. Bring to a boil and then reduce heat to low.
  4. Meanwhile begin polenta, bring almond milk, water, earth balance and herbs to a boil.
  5. Slowly whisk in the polenta and continue to stir until thick, a few minutes. Remove from heat. If adding cheese do so now, stirring till melted.
  6. Oil a casserole dish and pour filling mixture in.
  7. Top with polenta and smooth with a spatula.
  8. Bake for 30 minutes in a 350 deg oven. Let sit for 5 minutes before serving.

Mushroom Gravy

3/4 cup white or button mushrooms, chopped
1 yellow or white onion, chopped
1/4 cup earth balance
2 1/2 cups vegetable broth
2 tablespoons tamari
1/4 cup flour
1/2 tsp each of sage, thyme and marjoram
salt and pepper, to taste

  1. In a large skillet, melt the earth balance and add onion and mushrooms. Saute for just a minute or two over high heat.
  2. Reduce heat to medium and add vegetable broth and tamari. Slowly add flour, stirring well to combine and prevent lumps. Bring to a simmer and then reduce heat.
  3. Add spices, salt and pepper, stirring regularly for 8-10 minutes until gravy thickens.

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Coco-Almond Quinoa Risotto with Saffron Mushroom Gravy

Just reading the name of this recipe makes my mouth water with how good it was!!!! To me this was perfect date/impress/romantic/thank goodness for leftovers food.

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Coco-Almond Quinoa Risotto with Saffron Coconut Mushroom Gravy
recipe from kblog.lunchboxbunch.com
makes 8-9 cups (lots of leftovers – half recipe to serve just a few, but if you are like me make the whole thing!)
Risotto:
4 ounces coconut milk
8 ounces almonds, sliced
2 cups scallions, sliced (1 bunch)
16 ounces quinoa, dry (about 2 1/2 cups) – rinsed
5 1/2 cups water
1-2 Tbsp garlic powder
2 Tbsp maple syrup
1 cup white mushrooms, sliced
1/4 cup nutritional yeast
2 tsp herbed sea salt

Gravy:
8 ounces coconut milk
2 Tbsp maple syrup
2-3 Tbsp nutritional yeast, pinch salt
1/2 tsp cayenne
1 1/2 cups sliced white mushrooms
a spoonful of cooked quinoa risotto
1/2 tsp saffron (optional)
add a splash of water if you’d like a thinner gravy

1. Using a large pot – bring your water and a pinch of salt to a strong boil. Add the rinsed quinoa. Cover with a small vent and allow to boil for 10-12 minutes on med-high heat.

2. When the ten minutes is up, remove the lid completely from the large quinoa pot. Not all the liquid will be absorbed. Add in: all your almond, scallions and a splash of coconut milk. Also grind in some fresh pepper.

3. Stir with a wooden spoon and turn the heat down a bit. The ingredients will begin to absorb more of the liquid and a thick risotto will begin to form.

4. Next add in the nutritional yeast, maple syrup (just a splash), garlic powder and risotto mushrooms. Continue folding the quinoa until a moist thick consistency forms. Like a very thick oatmeal. Turn heat off and begin spooning the quinoa out of the pot and into a serving/storage bowl. You can also begin plating your quinoa.

5. In the same pot, you will make the gravy. It’s OK if some of the quinoa ( a few spoonfuls) remains in the pot. This will help to thicken your gravy.

6. For gravy: add all the gravy ingredients and stir on medium until sauce thickens. Allow saffron to bloom. Remove from heat and spoon gravy over top plated quinoa – or transfer to a gravy serving bowl.

7. Plate your risotto and then add the gravy. Garnish with fresh pepper and plenty of mushrooms from the gravy. ENJOY!!

Plated Risotto

Plated Risotto

Risotto

Risotto

Gravy

Gravy

Quick Mushroom & Kale over Brown Rice

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Quick, the kids are sleeping! This dinner was a perfect combination of healthy, delicious and fast! Leftover brown rice and a quick mushroom and kale stir-fry in the wok. Yum! The avocado was amazing on the side. First off, doesn’t avocado make everything taste better? and then with the sriracha in the kale the avocado was a nice cooling element.

Quick Mushroom & Kale over Brown Rice

  • 8 ounces mushrooms any type, sliced (I used cremini mushrooms)
  • bunch of kale, destemmed and chopped
  • cooked brown rice
  • olive oil, 1-2 tablespoons
  • mirin, 1/4 cup
  • rice vinegar, 1/8 cup
  • white cooking wine, 1/4 cup
  • sriracha, a few dashes depending on how spicy you like it
  • 1 avocado (optional)
  • salt, to taste

In a wok or large frying pan heat the olive oil over medium heat and add the kale, mirin and white wine. Using tongs toss to coat and keep cooking kale to cook it down (3-5 minutes). Add the mushrooms and cook another 3 minutes till they become soft. Add sriracha and salt to taste. Plate over brown rice and slice avocado on the side.

Enjoy and if possible sit down and relax by the fire your amazing husband built while you cooked dinner 🙂 Image

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Vegan Pizza with homemade dough

Who doesn’t appreciate a good slice, especially here in NYC where pizza is so very important and such a point of contention – even for vegans! Our favorite place to order from is Viva Herbal Pizzeria where we can get spelt or gluten-free crusts with daiya and even vegan sausage as toppings (our personal fave combo!) Pala Pizza also has great vegan options and that brick-fired pizza taste, yum!

Sometimes it is easy to buy dough and tomato sauce quickly whip up a pie at home, but if you are interested in making your own dough, here is a great recipe! My mom made the dough and I added the homemade sauce (thanks mom!!).  It was really very very good!

Check out here for some of my other fun pizza nights 🙂 Flatbread Pizza with hummus, green olives, cherry tomatoes and za’atar (this is a raw one and Well Worth the effort!), Raw Eggplant Pizzas and the quick at home whipped up kind with purchased dough.

Vegan Pizza with Homemade Dough & Daiya Cheese

Pizza Dough Recipe

  • 3 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon finely ground sea salt
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 1/4 teaspoon dry yeast (1 packet of dry yeast)
  • 1/4 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 1/2 cup warm water
  1. Pre-heat oven to 500 degrees (if using a pizza stone – place in the oven to get hot and heat for an hour)
  2. Mix together the warm water, sugar and yeast. Put aside to get foamy. If it does not foam then the yeast is not good – redo this step.
  3. In a separate bowl mix all of the other ingredients. Add in the yeast mixture and mix well until dough forms a ball. Place the dough on a lightly floured surface. Knead the dough – Use the palm of your hand and keep pressing in and folding it over and repeating for about 5 minutes.
  4. Divide the dough into 4 – one pound balls. Place these dough balls into containers and cover the container with anything that will keep the air out. Set the dough to rise in a warm spot for at least 45 minutes. (you can freeze any unused dough after rising*)
  5. Prepare your topping. Stretch out the dough and aim for it to be even thickness all around. Top your pizza and place in the oven. Bake for 8 minutes. Let it rest. Add any herbs to your pizza afterwards.

*If using frozen dough – allow dough to defrost in fridge 12 hours

  • Either use a jar of Marinara Sauce or make your own

Basic Sauce Recipe

  • 28 ounce pureed tomatoes
  • sugar to taste
  • salt to taste
  • 3-6 finely grated fresh peeled garlic cloves

Mix all the ingredients together.

Topping Suggestions:

  • Mushrooms
  • Onions
  • Fresh or Roasted Garlic
  • Broccoli
  • Sweet Corn
  • Peppers
  • Olives
  • Fresh Tomatoes
  • Sun Dried Tomatoes
  • Grilled/Fried/Baked Eggplant
  • Grilled Zucchini
  • Roasted Red Pepper
  • Capers
  • Saute Spinach
  • Pesto Sauce
  • Artichokes
  • Soy Pepperoni or Soy Sausage or Tofu/tempeh
  • Daiya Vegan Cheese or other vegan cheese
  • Herbs

Unbaked Pizza

Vegan Soba Noodles at Page at 63 Main

AMAZING! I loved our meal at Page at 63 Main in Sag Harbor. So YUM! They had two really great vegan options. The Asian Steamed Buns were so deelish but the Vegan Soba Noodles were out of this world. I am not normally that impressed with a soba noodle dish. I love them, but restaurants don’t typically impress with them and these were seriously amazing! And of course I love that the word Vegan is in the title of the dish on a fancy restaurant’s menu 🙂 Awesome!!!

Vegan Soba Noodles: Black trumpet mushrooms, carrots, seared water chestnuts & soba noodles with lemongrass soy glaze.

We dove in too fast to catch a picture of the Asian Steamed Buns but here is what was in them; pickled cucumber, avocado, scallions, cilantro, green curry, soy glaze and smoked coconut with shitake mushrooms. Really amazing 🙂

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