Vegan Tacos with Jicama & Cilantro

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We were invited to a friend’s house for a Mardi Gras party this weekend and were asked to bring something to share.  After digging through Google for a few minutes, I found these two recipes found at Lunch Box Bunch & Babble and combined them to make something amazing!  Jicama, cilantro and lime combined with the black beans and salsa make magic on a tortilla.  No, seriously.  Magic.  These can be served warm, but since I was taking to share, I just loaded up two bowls (one with beans and salsa, the other with the salad), took the bag of tortillas and called it pot-luck.  This will make a perfect hot-summer-day option because no cooking is involved and could make a great go-to lunch for the week.

Makes enough to stuff 20 tortillas (and then some!)

Ingredients

  • 20 pack flour tortillas, warmed
  • 2 cups fresh chopped tomato salsa (I used my favorite jar of salsa)
  • 2 cans black beans, drained and rinsed

Combine salsa, beans in a medium bowl then refrigerate until ready to eat.

Jicama and Cilantro Mexican Salad

  • 1 large jicama, peeled, thinly diced
  • 1/4 cup cilantro leaves and stems, finely chopped
  • 1 cup red seedless grapes, halved
  • 2 avocados, diced
  • pepper, to taste
  • salt, to taste
  • 2 limes, juiced
  • dash of cayenne

Directions for Salad:

1. Combine all the ingredients in a large bowl.
2. Toss well.
3. Chill for at least a half hour to allow flavors to marinate and mix.
Serve cold with beans and salsa mixture over top of tortillas.

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Fennel Leek Soup

Fennel Leek Soup

My good friend, Kelli, told me about this soup that her dad, Paul, made for her family and how much they all loved it!  Yesterday was a perfect, soup-kind-of-day so I pulled up the e-mail she sent to me and set to work vegan’izing it.  See the original recipe uses chicken & chicken broth but I wanted to keep it plant based so I took a couple liberties with substitutions, adding barley and wild rice to it (whereas the barley is optional in the original).

I was blown away with how good it turned out.  It’s easy to pull together, cooks up fast, and unlike my first attempt at a plant-based soup (that smelled like something died in it) this smelled amazing and it was so easy to go back for a second helping.  I’d never had leeks before and am still a fennel noob, so I was a little apprehensive, once again turning to You-tube to figure out how to cut the leeks (easy peasy) – so that’s my tip for this recipe.  Trust me, try it, you won’t regret it!

I had some leftover cornbread from a batch of vegan chili we had the other night so I broke it into chunks and tossed that on top for lunch today – perfection!

Ingredients

  • 2-3 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 cups shredded carrots
  • 5-6 leeks cleaned and sliced
  • 3-4 cloves of garlic, diced
  • 2 fennel plants, (each plant has 2 bulbs) bulbs cleaned and sliced
  • 8 large mushrooms, sliced
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 Tablespoons ground thyme
  • 68 oz. vegetable stock
  • 1 cup of rice
  • 1 cup wild barley
  • 2 handfuls of fresh cleaned spinach, roughly chopped

Directions

  1. In a large stock pot add the olive oil, carrots, leeks, garlic, sliced fennel bulbs & mushrooms.  Sauté for 5 – 10 minutes.  Add salt, pepper & thyme.
  2. Add vegetable stock, thyme, rice and barley to the mixture then bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for 30-45 minutes.
  3. Near the end of the simmer, add the fresh spinach leaves.

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Quinoa-Veggie Sushi Rolls

Quinoa Veggie Sushi

I’ve made this twice now and the first time was somewhat of a disaster, taking me far too long to make on my own and it didn’t make nearly enough to feed the whole family.  I made them too tiny and they just weren’t perfect, like I wanted them to be.  This time, I added more veggies, more quinoa and had the girls layer the rolls while I rolled and cut them.  Wholesome Cook has several variations on these rolls but I wanted something simple without meat.  The recipe below made a LOT of rolls.  There was enough to fill up the five of us at dinner, plus a lunch for each of the girls and myself the next day.  I had to search for a tutorial on how to roll sushi because I’d never done it before so if you’re a sushi-rolling virgin, I suggest you do the same.  I’d also recommend buying more than one sushi mat and encourage someone to help you layer and roll the rolls because it’ll go much faster!

For the Quinoa Sushi Rolls:

  • 2 cups quinoa
  • 4 cups vegetable stock
  • 1 package nori (sushi roll seaweed)
  • 2 cucumbers, sliced thin
  • 1 cup carrot shreds
  • 1 red pepper, diced small
  • 2 avocados, diced into small pieces
  • 1 cup almonds, chopped roughly
  • 3 Tablespoons chia seeds

To Cook Quinoa

  1. Place quinoa into a sieve and rinse well under cold water.
  2. Transfer quinoa into a saucepan, add vegetable stock and cook over medium heat. Bring to a boil then reduce to a simmer and cook for about 15 minutes, stirring, until tender.
  3. Remove from heat and allow to cool slightly.
  4. Add chopped almonds & chia seeds.
  5. Place a nori sheet on the sushi mat, then spread a couple spoonsful of quinoa mix on half of the nori sheet, working from the edge closest to you and right to the sides.
  6. Layer your favorite toppings across the middle of the quinoa and, using your mat, tightly wrap the rolls all the way to the end.

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Triple Berry Kale Salad

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This salad found at How Sweet is filling, crispy, savory and a perfect way to start a new year!  It made enough for 4 adults with two smaller lunch portions the next day.

Ingredients

  • 2 heads of curly kale, leaves removed from stem and torn
  • 1 cup fresh tart cherries, pitted and sliced
  • 1 cup fresh blueberries
  • 1 cup fresh blackberries
  • 1 cup sliced fresh strawberries
  • 2 avocados, chopped
  • 2/3 cup chopped toasted almonds
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • Fresh Strawberry Vinaigrette

  • 3/4 cup sliced fresh strawberries
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 1 pinch pepper
  • 1 pinch cinnamon

Combine all ingredients together in a blender or food processor and blend until smooth.

Directions for Salad

  1. Place kale in a large bowl, and add about 1/4 cup of the strawberry vinaigrette. Massage and rub dressing into kale with your hands, then let the kale sit for 5-10 minutes.
  2. Add in salt, pepper, cherries, berries & almonds.  Mix until kale is coated with the dressing then add avocado and gently toss.

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