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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Roasted Root Vegetable Potpie

Vegetarian Thanksgiving is not just sides of green beans and tofurkey. There are so many great recipes out there and so many amazing dishes to get creative with. I love seeing all the posts and mentions all over the web these days about it! Here is one that would make a great dish for the holiday or anytime this fall & winter!

We LOVE pot pies!! I have made many over the years with all kind of filling and all kind of crusts. Here is one I made a few years back. I typically like to make the dough but this one was deelish with just a simple flaky puff pastry topping. Also love how root vegetably deelish this was!

What are you cooking up this Thanksgiving? Please share your Thanksgiving plans & recipes with us! 

Roasted Root Vegetab

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Roasted Root Vegetable Potpie
Recipe adapted from the Tasting Table Test Kitchen
6 servings

1 large yellow onion, quartered and sliced crosswise into ½- to ¾-inch-thick pieces
1 tablespoon kosher salt, divided, plus extra if needed
2 cups vegetable broth, divided
12 large garlic cloves, peeled, plus 2 garlic cloves, very finely chopped
6 medium carrots, peeled and sliced on a bias into ½-inch pieces – chopped
1 medium rutabaga, peeled and chopped into ½-inch cubes (about 4 cups)
1¼ teaspoons freshly ground black pepper, divided
¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil, divided
5 fresh thyme sprigs plus 2 teaspoons finely chopped fresh thyme, divided
2 tablespoons earth balance, at room temperature
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
8 medium radishes, trimmed and quartered
1 sheet frozen puff pastry, thawed
1/4 cup unsweetened soy or almond milk

1. Adjust an oven rack to the uppermost position (about 3 inches from the broiler element) and preheat the broiler to high. On a rimmed baking sheet, add the onion in a single layer. Broil the onions until they are charred, rotating the baking sheet midway through cooking, 6 to 8 minutes (watch the onions closely, as broiler intensities vary). Remove the baking sheet from the oven, sprinkle the onions with ½ teaspoon of the salt and pour 1 cup of vegetable broth over the onions, then transfer the mixture to a medium bowl.

2. Reduce the oven temperature to 425°. To the baking sheet used for the onions, add the 12 whole garlic cloves, the carrots, rutabaga, 1 teaspoon of salt and ½ teaspoon of pepper. Drizzle with 3 tablespoons of the oil and toss to combine. Place the thyme sprigs on top. Tightly cover the baking sheet with aluminum foil and roast the vegetables until tender, about 30 minutes. Remove from the oven and discard the foil. Use tongs to gather all of the roasted garlic cloves, then use a fork to smash them into a paste.

3. In a small bowl, mash together the earth balance and flour. Heat a large, deep, oven-safe skillet (cast iron works well) over medium-high heat for 2 minutes, then add the remaining 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Stir in the radishes, the 2 cloves chopped garlic and the chopped thyme, and cook until the cabbage is wilted completely and the garlic is fragrant, 2 to 3 minutes longer.

4. Stir in the remaining 1½ teaspoons of salt and ¾ teaspoon of pepper, then pour in the remaining 1 cup of vegetable broth. Add the roasted vegetables, mashed roasted garlic and onion-broth mixture and bring to a simmer. Reduce the heat to medium and stir in the butter-flour mixture, cooking until the sauce thickens slightly, 2 to 3 minutes. Turn off the heat, taste and adjust with more salt, if needed.

5. Whisk together the soy or almond milk with a pinch of kosher salt.Place the puff pastry on a cutting board and use a sharp knife to lightly mark the dough with a crosshatch pattern, making sure you don’t slice all the way through the dough. If your skillet isn’t oven-safe, transfer the vegetables to a baking dish. Lay the piece of dough on top of the vegetables in the skillet and lightly brush with the milk mixture. Sprinkle with thyme and place the skillet in the oven. Bake until the pastry is golden-brown, 18 to 20 minutes. Remove from the oven and cool for 10 minutes before serving.

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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Mini Potato Kugels

I love that all the food we cooked for this year’s Passover Sedar, we cooked as a family! Such a sweet day with the four of us! Most of the recipes we made were also great for year round.

In searching for some kiddo & adult friendly Passover recipes I found this one for Mini Potato Kugels. They are perfect little cups of fried onions and potatoes, so really yummy handheld hash browns 🙂 My kids really liked them (even raw as we were making them) and pressing them into the muffin tins! Plus it was super fun for both of the kiddos to take turns pressing the on/off switch on the food processor to grate these.

I was also inspired because this is one of Mayim Bialik’s recipes and LOVE all things Mayim! True to form it was great 🙂

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Mini Potato Kugels

5 medium potatoes, grated
1 large onion, grated
3 Tablespoons olive oil, separated
1 teaspoon paprika
1 Tablespoon potato starch

Salt, to taste (somehow I missed that this was not in the recipe, so notice the salt I sprinkled on top 🙂 but best to add to the mixture first!)

  1. Grate the potatoes, and then drain the liquid from them.
  2. Saute the grated onion in 2 Tablespoons of the olive oil until soft but not brown. Add paprika.
  3. Mix onions into the potatoes and add potato starch and 1 more Tablespoon olive oil.
  4. Push into greased muffin tins, filling each muffin space all the way to the top, and spritz with a little more oil.
  5. Bake at 400F for 40 minutes.

Easy Slow Cooker Lentils

My friend Dina told me about a super easy slow cooker lentils recipe. It was really yummy and beyond easy! There is something so nice about placing everything in a slow cooker and hours later having a hot cooked and deelish meal waiting for you! Perfect for weeknight dinners 🙂

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Easy Slow Cooker Lentils

2 cups brown lentils
1 1/2 cups quinoa
1 chopped onion
3 cloves minced garlic
1 tbsp fresh grated ginger (I keep mine peeled and frozen so it is super easy to grate )
1 tsp each garam masala, turmeric, cayenne, cumin
Salt to taste

Mix all of the above in the slow cooker and put in enough water to cover by an inch plus. Cook on high for 2-3 hrs or low for 3-4 hrs. (add more water if needed) I served it with yogurt and chopped cucumber. Deelish!

Creamy Polenta with Barbeque Seitan Sauce

As you know we LOVE polenta over here 🙂 What is not to love; creamy, smooth corn goodness! And what makes this even better is a deelish, hearty sauce over top 🙂

Just a couple of past polenta dishes: Vegan Creamy Polenta with Sausage and PeppersMushroom and Kale PolentaPolenta & Shallot SquaresPolenta with Nectarine-Blackberry SalsaPolenta with Black Beans, Pan-Fried Tofu & Roasted Coconut Tomato SauceSlow Cooked Corn Polenta and Chiles and Polenta Vegetable Casserole.

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Creamy Polenta with Barbeque Seitan Sauce

1 1/2 cups water, divided
3 teaspoons tamari, divided
1 large onion, chopped
1 red pepper, chopped
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 15-ounce can tomato sauce
1 tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon chili powder
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
1 tablespoon peanut butter
1 teaspoon stone-ground or Dijon mustard
8 ounces coarsley chopped or grated seitan
4 cups cooked polenta (see recipe)

Heat 1/2 cup water and 1 teaspoon tamari in a large pot. Add onion, pepper, and garlic and cook until onion is soft and translucent. Add remaining 1 cup water and 2 teaspoons tamari, tomato sauce, sugar, chili powder, vinegar, peanut butter, mustard, and seitan and cook over medium heat, stirring frequently, for 10 minutes. Spoon the cooked polenta into bowls and top with the sauce. Enjoy 🙂

Perfect Fall Soup: Butternut Squash, Carrot & Apple Soup

Today was that perfect Fall day. Super brisk yet still super sunny highlighting those gorgeous fall colors!! We spent the late afternoon crunching on all the fallen leaves and a messy outdoor art project!! It was a bit chilly and as it got later (and colder) I figured it was the perfect day for a warm & creamy soup. Yum!!

I was thinking Butternut Squash Soup with Coconut Milk. Then I decided to add carrots from the CSA and apples we picked last weekend. I figured this was going to be a winning combination and it was!

I used pre-chopped butternut squash which made this meal a breeze and done within 30 minutes!

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Butternut Squash, Carrot & Apple Soup

  • medium butternut squash, peeled and chopped
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 2 apples, peeled and chopped
  • bag of carrots/parsnips, peeled and chopped
  • 4 cups (water & broth)(I used 2 of each) 
  • olive oil
  • salt & pepper
  • 1 can of coconut milk (all I had was light and it still came out creamy)
  • dash of nutmeg & cinnamon

In a large pot sauté onions in olive oil while peeling and cutting the squash, carrots & apples.
Turn the heat down and add the veggies, stirring until they are all added.
Add liquid and salt &pepper.
Cover and bring to a boil. Turn down heat and simmer until the squash and carrots are soft.
Using an immersion blender puree completely smooth in the same pot.
Add coconut milk, nutmeg & cinnamon, taste and season, stir (I used the blender again) and enjoy!

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