Categories
Breakfast Vegetarian

Soy Chorizo Breakfast Tacos

Just because it’s breakfast time does not mean you shouldn’t make tacos. Tacos are life, no matter the time of day or meal. In fact, I would eat these for breakfast, lunch, or dinner (or maybe even for all three meals in one day). In fairness, I’m an extra big taco fan – but these are just so damn good that I’d eat them at any time, day or night. Very few ingredients and practically no prep time are required to make these tacos, and the taste payoff is big.

These meat-free breakfast tacos will satisfy your craving for chorizo tacos and are so much healthier than the meaty original. If you have never given soy chorizo a try, now is the time. I rarely eat regular chorizo anymore because this stuff is legit. If you’re a vegetarian, these are perfect for the days you are craving meatiness and satisfaction. If you’re not a vegetarian, you might just flirt with the idea of becoming one after you eat these breakfast tacos.  

Ingredients (makes 8 tacos):

1 package of soy chorizo, removed from plastic casing

8 eggs

2-3 Tbsp butter

2 jalapenos or serranos, chopped

3 green onions, chopped

⅓ c. cotija cheese, crumbled

8 warm tortillas

Salt and pepper

Serve with any other favorite toppings, including:

Salsa

Guacamole

Sour cream 

Cilantro

Hot sauce

Cook the soy chorizo according to package directions and set aside on a paper towel-lined plate to drain. 

Heat the butter in a skillet over medium high heat and fry eggs to your desired doneness. I like mine sunny-side up! Season with salt and pepper.

To assemble the tacos, place the soy chorizo on top of warm tortillas. Top with fried eggs, peppers, onions, and cotija cheese. Serve immediately!

Categories
Salads Vegan Vegetarian

Vegan Thai Cold Noodle Salad

Cold noodle salads are kind of magical, especially during the hot summer months, because you get all of the satisfaction and yumminess of the noodles without the heat. This beautiful vegetarian noodle salad really brings it in the flavor department. It’s a bit spicy, a bit sweet, and so refreshing, cool, and crisp. 

I like to serve this Thai cold noodle salad for a lunch entree or as a side at dinner. Last time I made it, I paired it with grilled Thai-spiced shrimp and scallops, but this salad would also be great with grilled meat or tofu. Next time a “too hot to cook in the kitchen” day happens, make this salad. I’m guessing it will become a permanent “hot day meal” at your house. 

Ingredients:

Noodle Salad:

1 8 oz. package of rice sticks or thin rice noodles

1 cucumber, chopped

1 red bell pepper, chopped

4 green onions, chopped

¼ c. peanuts

½ c. cilantro, chopped

Dressing:

2 Tbsp. sambal oelek 

3 Tbsp. lime juice

1 Tbsp. honey or agave

1 Tbsp. toasted sesame oil

1 Tbsp. soy sauce 

1 tsp. sesame seeds

Salt and pepper

Cook noodles according to package directions. Drain and rinse with cold water. 

Combine all ingredients for the dressing in a small bowl and set aside. Season with salt and pepper to taste. 

Place the cold noodles in a serving bowl. Add the cucumber, red bell pepper, onions, peanuts, and cilantro. Add dressing slowly, tasting and tossing frequently, until it tastes just right. Season with salt and pepper if needed. Serve cold.

Categories
Salads Vegetarian

Asparagus Chopped Salad

The official kick-off to summer is right around the corner, and that calls for vibrant, colorful, veggie-packed salads. I just love this time of year because my garden and the farmer’s markets are brimming with gorgeous seasonal veggies. I definitely up my veggie-eating game when all of these lovely ingredients are in season, and this salad was the ideal way to use up some favorites I had close at hand. 

This asparagus chopped salad features some of the brightest and freshest summer veggies, with a little pop of salty protein from the chickpeas and feta. The vinaigrette is light and zesty, but doesn’t overpower the natural taste of all of that summer goodness. I’m already dreaming about my next salad as I write this . . .

Ingredients:

Salad:

1 bunch of asparagus

2 c. mixed greens

15 oz. can chickpeas, drained and rinsed

1 red bell pepper, chopped

One cucumber, cut into small pieces 

½ c. parsley, chopped

¼ c. green onions, chopped

½ c. feta cheese, crumbled

Salt and pepper

Dressing:

⅓ c. olive oil

2 Tbsp. apple cider vinegar

2 tsp. Dijon mustard

2 tsp. oregano

Salt and pepper

Heat two inches of water in a large skillet and bring to a boil. Cook the asparagus for about 2 minutes, or until bright green and slightly tender. Allow it to cool and cut into bite-sized pieces. 

Whisk together the dressing ingredients and set aside. Season with salt and pepper. 

Place all salad ingredients in a large bowl, drizzle with dressing, and toss. Serve immediately! 

Categories
Salads Sides Vegetarian

Classic Coleslaw

Sometimes I feel like the classics can get a bit too complicated. While there is certainly a time and place for more fancy versions of the classics, sometimes you just want the good ol’ original version. 

Take this coleslaw, for example. It’s the kind of coleslaw you would’ve gotten at your granny’s house at a family cookout. There’s nothing fussy about it. In fact, it’s about as basic as it gets. And in this case, that’s a good thing. Maybe I’ll make some fancy coleslaw some other time, but today definitely calls for granny’s simple version.

Ingredients:

Salad:

3-4 c. green cabbage, shredded

1 c. carrots, shredded

Poppy seeds, for topping

Dressing:

½ c. mayonnaise

1 Tbsp. white vinegar

2 tsp. apple cider vinegar

2 tsp. Honey

Salt and pepper

Combine dressing ingredients in a bowl and whisk to combine. Place the cabbage and carrots into a large serving bowl. Mix the dressing into the veggies and refrigerate for 30-60 minutes before serving. Top with poppy seeds, if desired. Enjoy!

Categories
Pasta Salads Sides Vegetarian

Spring Green Pasta Salad

This spring green pasta salad is perfect for when you’re craving a salad, but you need something a little more substantial. Not only is this bright green pasta salad gorgeous, it is so fresh tasting. All of the best spring veggies are included: baby spinach, arugula, peas, asparagus, fresh parsley and mint. The salty feta and tangy and robust shallot dressing balances out all of the tender sweetness of the veggies, resulting in a tangy-sweet and healthy meal or side dish.

Serve this salad alongside grilled chicken, fish, or shrimp for a side dish, or eat it alone as a meal. If you’d like to add protein, this salad would be great with shrimp or chicken mixed in. You can also sub out any of these ingredients with your other springtime favorites, like baby kale or chard. 

Ingredients:

1 lb. pasta, cooled

3 c. baby spinach

1 c. baby arugula

½ c. peas

1 c. steamed asparagus, cut into pieces

¼ c. fresh parsley

¼ c. fresh mint

½ c. feta cheese

Shallot dressing

Salt and pepper to taste

Cook pasta according to package directions. Drain and cool. Prep the veggies and shallot dressing. 

Combine all ingredients in a large bowl. Add dressing a bit at a time, mixing the salad, until your desired taste is reached. Season with salt and pepper. Serve cold.

Categories
Vegetarian

Baby Arugula, Lemon, and Fresh Mozzarella Pita Pizzas

These beautiful pita pizzas are the epitome of early summer. Made with a very short and simple list of ingredients, these heavenly mini pizzas are light and fresh. Technically, this is a white pizza because there’s no tomato sauce in sight. Instead, the pitas are brushed with olive oil, topped with salt, pepper, and red pepper flakes, followed by fresh mozzarella – crowned with lemony arugula. 

These pita pizzas are made quickly in the oven and are perfect for lunch or a light dinner. I like to serve them with a lightly-dressed salad and freshly-made iced tea – all just perfect for a backyard picnic. 

Ingredients:

4 pitas

5 Tbsp. olive oil

Fresh mozzarella, sliced

3 c. baby arugula

Juice from one lemon

Sea salt, pepper, and red pepper flakes to taste

Parmesan cheese, for topping

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. 

Brush each pita with1 Tbsp. olive oil. Top with mozzarella and sprinkle with sea salt, black pepper and red pepper flakes. 

Place directly onto the oven rack and bake for about 8 minutes, or until the cheese is melted and lightly browned. Be sure to keep an eye on the pitas as they cook because depending on the thickness and size, baking time can vary.

Combine arugula with the lemon juice and 1 Tbsp. of olive oil and mix together. Season with salt.

Top the pitas with the arugula and top with Parmesan cheese. Enjoy!

Categories
Breakfast Vegetarian

Shakshuka with Feta

I don’t care if it’s breakfast, lunch, or dinner, shakshuka should be on the menu at your house. This popular Middle Eastern dish with poached eggs swimming in an aromatic, hearty sauce is so satisfying to the palate (and the eyes). Shakshuka can, and definitely should, be served at any time of day you’re craving something delicious, fast, and healthy.

There’s no denying that shakshuka is a fun word to say, and I learned that the word actually means “mixture.” And let me tell you, what a divine mixture it is! Vegetarians and meat lovers alike love this nutritious and flavor-packed meal, especially when it is served with freshly-grilled pita on the side. Perfect! 

Ingredients:

2 Tbsp. olive oil

2 large shallots, chopped

1 red bell pepper, chopped

3 cloves of garlic, minced

2 14 oz. cans of fire-roasted crushed tomatoes (with their juices)

2 Tbsp. tomato paste

2 tsp. cumin

1 tsp. smoked paprika

1 tsp. chili powder

6 large eggs

½ c. feta, crumbled

2 Tbsp. fresh parsley, chopped

Salt, black pepper and red pepper flakes to taste

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.

Heat the olive oil in an oven-proof skillet over medium heat. Add the shallots and bell pepper and cook until soft, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic, tomato paste, cumin, chili powder, and smoked paprika and cook for 1 minute, or until fragrant. Add the crushed tomatoes, and parsley. Reduce the heat to low and simmer for 5 minutes. 

Turn the heat off and add salt, black pepper and red pepper flakes to taste. Mix thoroughly. Then, use a spoon to create wells for the eggs in the sauce. Crack the eggs directly into the wells, making sure to leave a small “wall” of sauce around the eggs so that the whites don’t spread when you bake them. 

Carefully place the skillet into the oven and cook for 8-10 minutes, or until the egg whites are opaque and cooked through, but the yolks are still soft. Remove from the oven and allow the shakshuka to rest for 1-2 minutes.

Before serving, top with feta cheese, additional parsley, and additional salt or red pepper flakes. Serve in bowls with grilled pita bread.

Categories
Breakfast Sides Vegan Vegetarian

Venezuelan Arepas

If you have never eaten arepas, it’s time to start. These gluten-free disks made of precooked corn flour are incredibly yummy and don’t weigh you down like bread. Most people eat them filled with good stuff, and that stuff can vary by time of day. 

Breakfast arepas can be filled with sweet jam or savory meats, eggs, and cheese. At lunch or dinner, they can be filled with tuna, chicken salad or beans and veggies. Arepas are about as versatile as food can get, and no matter what you put in or on them, they are terrific. 

Ingredients: 

2 c. masarepa (I like P.A.N.)

2 ½ c. warm water

Pinch of salt

Avocado oil

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. 

Pour the warm water in a bowl and stir salt in to dissolve. Add the masarepa a little at a time until it is mixed together. Knead the mixture with your hands until a dough is formed. Allow the dough to sit for 5-10 minutes.

Divide the dough into 8 pieces and roll each piece into a ball. Then, using your hands, pat each ball in your hands until you form a disk that is about ½ inch thick. Repeat with all pieces. 

Heat the oil in a skillet over medium high heat and make sure the skillet is hot before adding the arepas. Brown the arepas on both sides, about 4 minutes per side.

Place the arepas on a baking sheet and bake in the oven for 15 minutes, or until they puff up a bit. You can also place them directly on the oven rack if you like them a little more browned. Remove them from the oven and allow them to cool enough to touch.

Cut the arepas in half (hamburger bun style) and fill with your favorite fillings!

Categories
Sides Vegan Vegetarian

Easy Baked Tostones

Tostones always remind me of the first time I ever tried Cuban food. I ordered these as an appetizer that day, and let’s just say that I have never been the same since. Crispy, salty plantains dipped in all kinds of amazing sauces? Yes, please. 

So when I was grocery shopping the other day and happened upon some lovely green plantains, I knew what I had to do. I didn’t really want to make a huge mess deep-frying plantains (plus it’s nearly bikini season – T-Minus 2 days to be exact), so I opted for the baked version instead. If you are doubting the yumminess of baked tostones, try these. They are SO good. Dunk them in some guacamole, aioli, aji verde, or whatever makes you happy, and you’ll be a happy camper. 

Ingredients:

2 green (unripe) plantains

4 Tbsp. avocado oil

Sea salt

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. 

Peel plantains by cutting off both ends and then slicing vertically to remove the skin. You may need to use a spoon to separate the plantain from the peel. 

Slice the plantains into rounds that are about 1 inch thick each. Toss them with 2 Tbsp. of oil and place on a lined baking sheet. Bake for 15 minutes. 

Take the plantains out of the oven and then smash each one with the bottom of a glass until they are flattened. Toss with 2 Tbsp. of oil, add sea salt to the tops, and bake for 15 more minutes, or until lightly toasted and crispy. 

Enjoy hot with guacamole, aioli, aji verde, or any other yummy dip you like!

Categories
Vegan Vegetarian

Crispy Tofu with Peanut Sauce

There’s nothing quite as tasty as crispy fried tofu in a delicious sauce. I know, I know. Some of you claim that tofu sucks, but I am positive you say that because you have never had really well-prepared tofu. I don’t care if you’re the meatiest meat-lover out there, if you tasted this tofu you’d love it. The person serving it to you might have to blindfold you and lie about what they’re putting into your mouth, but you’d love it. If you’re one of those people who just won’t try tofu, open your mind (and your mouth) to this version, and you might change your outlook.

This crispy, peanutty, sweet and salty tofu with peanut sauce is unbelievably yummy. It’s full of all of the good flavors, like garlic, onions, peanut butter, a little sweetness, a little tang . . . and perfectly cooked tofu that is crispy on the outside and tender on the inside. The veggies can easily be changed if these ones aren’t your thing, and you can add some hot peppers or sriracha if you need a little heat in your day. 

Ingredients:

1 package of extra-firm tofu (pressed and cut into cubes – see below)

2 Tbsp. avocado or vegetable oil

2 Tbsp. cornstarch

Salt and pepper

1 green bell pepper, sliced

1 onion, sliced

Two-Minute Peanut Sauce

Cilantro, chopped (for topping) 

About 30 minutes before cooking, drain the tofu, wrap it in a kitchen towel and press it. You can do this by placing a plate on top of the tofu, and then a heavy item, like a stock pot, on top of the plate for about 10 minutes. This will help remove excess water from the tofu before you cut them into cubes.

In the meantime, prepare the peanut sauce. 

Place the cornstarch on a plate, along with a large pinch of salt and pepper. Lightly coat the you pieces in the cornstarch. 

Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium high heat. Make sure the oil is very hot before you add the tofu. Cook the tofu, turning occasionally, until all sides are browned and crispy. Set aside on a plate. 

In the same pan, cook the onions and peppers until soft, 3-5 minutes. Add the peanut sauce to the skillet, along with the tofu, and heat through quickly so that the tofu stays crispy. 

Top with cilantro and serve immediately with rice, noodles, or anything that makes you happy!