Lentil and Kale Tacos with Pico de Gallo

Do you ever come home from work and just feel like giving up on the whole cooking process? Believe me I feel you on this...sometimes cooking and doing dishes are the LAST thing you want to do after a long day. However, this recipe is simple enough to make with only a few ingredients that you can easily whip up in 30 minutes. I PROMISE! 

The lentils provide a nice 'meaty' texture, the kale add a good amount of greens to the dish and the Pico de Gallo add TONS of flavor. The best part about making the pico yourself, is you can make a lot and let it marinate in the fridge, it tastes better each day...

Now, If you really want to master Mexican cooking, you can even make your own tortillas. I do this from time to time, and make a big batch to keep in the freezer. Here's a simple corn tortilla recipe you can use. The texture of freshly made tortillas is the best! Store bought ones will never do a traditional corn tortilla justice. 

I cooked these tacos with a group of people at a workshop I hosted this past weekend and not only did we have a lot of fun making them, they also received raving reviews. It's all about flavor! So I hope this recipe inspires you to make a new kind of taco, because who doesn't like a good taco?! Am I right?!  Also, I highly recommend snacking on some freshly made guacamole and chips while making these. Enjoy :) 

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Makes 8 tacos

Ingredients: 

  • 1 1/2 cups cooked green lentils
  • 1 1/2 cups dinasour kale, esteemed and thinly sliced 
  • 1 Tablespoon avocado oil 
  • 1 yellow onion , sliced
  • 4 cloves garlic , minced
  • 1/2 cup vegetable broth or water
  • 1 Tablespoon maple syrup
  • 1/2 lime, juiced
  • 4 teaspoons chili powder
  • 3 teaspoon cumin
  • 2 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

Pico de Gallo:

  • 2 ripe tomatos, deseeded
  • 1/2 medium red onion
  • 1/3 cup cilantro, roughly chopped
  • 1 inch piece of jalapeño (optional)
  • 2-3 limes, juiced

For the tacos:

  • 8 soft corn tortillas 
  • 1 avocado, sliced
  • 1/4 red onion, thinly sliced
  • 1/4 cup cilantro, roughly chopped
  • lime wedges

Instructions:

Pico De Gallo:

  1. De-seed your tomatoes by scooping out all the liquid seedy bits and discarding. Then, dice your tomatoes. 
  2. Then dice your onion and jalepeno and roughly chop the cilantro. 
  3. Mix together all of the ingredients in a bowl and squeeze the juice of 2-3 limes into mixture. I like my pico with a lot of lime, so you can add more lime juice according to taste. 

Lentil and Kale Tacos:

  1. Heat the avocado oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. When hot, add in the onions and garlic and sauté for about 5 minutes until the onions have softened and are beginning to brown.
  2. Add the cooked lentils, kale, broth, maple syrup, lime juice and all the spices to the pot and cover. Reduce heat and let it simmer until the kale softens a bit, and about 1/2 of the liquid is absorbed. About 5 minutes.
  3. If your mixture is a little wet then allow to cook uncovered for a bit longer, and if it needs more liquid you can add more broth to your mixture. 

To assemble the tacos:

  1. Warm your soft tortilla shells underneath your oven's broiler for about 1-2 minutes on each side, until lightly crisp and brown. When warmed, add a scoop of the lentil and kale mixture, and top with your Pico de Gallo and an avocado slice, a couple red onion slices, some cilantro, and a squeeze of lime juice. ENJOY!

Protein Salad Bowl

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I decided to use all my favorite ingredients and make a protein filled salad bowl. Since I'm eating strictly plant-based now (I decided to cut out dairy, meat and eggs for good) I've been incorporating more beans and potatoes into the mix, especially on days I work out hard. You know what I've noticed? I have WAY more energy (YES!), less breakouts (I think eggs were the culprit), and in a better mood. Food really does affect your gut and the way you energetically feel. I go back and forth experimenting with incorporating animal foods into my diet, but I honestly always feel best just eating strictly plant-based. 

Not only do beans and potatoes contain high amounts of protein, greens like spinach and broccoli do as well. So you can imagine how much protein is in this salad! 

You can also substitute the white potato with sweet potato. I bought these purple skinned potatoes from the local farmers market, so I wanted to use them up. 

What really brings this salad together is the vegan rawmesan 'cheese,' which I've been sprinkling on just about anything I can. Its made with nutritional yeast, which is high in vitamin B. When eating strictly pant-based you need to be very conscious that you're receiving all the nutrients your body needs. When your body is deficient in vitamin B you'll notice you're constantly tired, moody, sleep poorly, and your skin may even begin to look flushed and pale. Avoid these symptoms by eating more vitamin B rich foods like greens, nutritional yeast, nuts, seeds, and other foods listed here

I hope you enjoy this recipe, and remember to generously sprinkle that rawmesan 'cheese' on top!


Makes 2 Servings

Ingredients:

  • 3 cups mixed greens (divided) 
  • 3 small potatoes (or 1 medium potato of your choice: sweet potato, red potato, white potato)
  • 3 sprigs of thyme 
  • 2 portobello mushrooms
  • 1 can of chickpeas
  • 1/2 head of broccoli 
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp chilli powder 
  • 1/2 tsp pink Himalayan salt
  • 1/4 tsp pepper
  • 1 ear of sweet corn
  • 1 avocado
  • 2 Tbsp Vegan rawmesan 'cheese'

Instructions: 

Roasted Potatoes:

1. Preheat oven to 375'F. 

2. Cut your potato in to small pieces, and spread in baking dish and drizzle avocado oil or olive oil on top, and salt and pepper. Mix in the sprigs of thyme, and roast until golden brown for about 40 minutes. Stir every 10 minutes. 

Portobello Mushrooms:

1. Chop mushrooms into bite sized pieces and cook in your skillet with salt and pepper on medium heat stirring frequently for about 15-20 minutes.

2. Set aside once cooked. 

Chickpeas and broccoli: 

1. Bring a saucepan of water to a boil and add in broccoli, and cook until softened. For about 5-7 minutes. Drain broccoli once softened. 

2. Add 1 Tbsp of avocado or olive oil, cooked broccoli, chickpeas, spices, and salt and pepper into your pan and cook on medium heat with a splash of water for about 5 minutes. Adjust seasoning to taste. 

Sweet Corn:

1. Husk corn. 

2. Bring a saucepan of water to a boil and add corn. Cook for about 5-7 minutes. Cut the kernels off the core and set aside. 

Assembly:

1. Add 1 1/2 cups of mixed greens to each bowl and then divide all the toppings to each bowl. Add the avocado and the vegan rawmesan on top. 

2. Use your favorite dressing. I used a simple French vinaigrette dressing and it tasted great! Enjoy!

 

 

Butternut Squash Soup

Butternut squash is one of my favorite foods to eat in the wintertime, and this is a quick and simple recipe to make at home. 

I find myself constantly disappointed when ordering this at restaurants. Either they add too much, cream or butter and the flavor of the butternut squash is lost. Thats the whole point right, to taste the main ingredient?

Thats what this recipe does, using a just a few fresh ingredients, and creating a flavorful and addicting soup. Feel free to add a little ginger to the dish if you're feeling a little sick, this antibacterial addition will add a hint of spice. 



Serves 3-4 people

Ingredients: 

  • 1 large butternut squash (peeled and cut into chunks)
  • 6 thin carrots 
  • 1 small yellow onion (diced)
  • 1/2 tsp. cumin
  • 1 Tbsp. grass-fed butter or olive oil
  • 32 oz container of vegetable broth 
  • 2 cups water (if needed) 

Instructions: 

1. Melt the butter on low heat in a saucepan. Add in the onion and cumin. Cook for about 5 minutes until onion is translucent. 

2. Add in butternut squash, carrots, and vegetable broth.

3. Bring to a boil and then simmer on low heat with lid on top for about 30 minutes until vegetables are fully cooked. 

4. Blend together soup with a hand blender. If the soup needs more liquid add more water to the mixture. Season with salt and pepper according to taste. 

 



Sweet Potato and Black Bean Tacos with Guacamole & Pico De Gallo

So I'm sure you all know by now of my addiction to Mexican food and guacamole. So naturally I had to post a taco and guacamole recipe! 

It's very simple to make, just takes some chopping and cooking the sweet potato and then you can assemble the tacos. The hardest part about this recipe is not eating all the guacamole! I tend to snack on it while making the rest of the recipe. 

I've been following a Ketogenic diet for a while and the results are amazing. It's essentially low carb and high in healthy fats. The reduction in carbs puts your body into a metabolic state called ketosis. Your body becomes more efficient in burning fat for energy! It also turns fat into ketones in the liver, which supply energy for the brain. The diet consists of eating 75% healthy fats like avocado, coconut, grass-fed butter, coconut oil, or ghee.  20% from protein, and 5% from carbs. Remember it's all about QUALITY!

My biggest word of advice is always to avoid carbs and sugary foods including fruits in the morning for breakfast, to avoid sugar cravings throughout the day.  Eating plenty of healthy fats keeps you feeling satisfied longer and you crave less and snack less throughout the day. I eat mainly a veggie diet, but you can include eating meat in this diet as well (just make sure it's good quality meats). 

This recipe (and guacamole) is full of healthy fats and flavor, I hope you enjoy! 



Makes 8-10 Tacos

Ingredients:

Tacos

  • 2 medium sweet potatoes
  • 1 14 oz. can or package of organic black beans
  • 1 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 2 tsp. cumin 
  • 1 tsp. cayenne pepper
  • 1 tsp. onion powder
  • 1 1/2 tsp. garlic powder
  • Salt and pepper to taster
  • 8 Soft organic corn tortillas 

Guacamole

  • 4-5 ripe avocados
  • 1/2 small red onion (diced)
  • 1 medium tomato (diced)
  • 1/2  bunch cilantro (chopped)
  • 1/2 jalapeno (diced)
  • Juice from 3 limes
  • Salt and pepper taste

Pico De Gallo

  • 4 tomatoes 
  • 1/2 small red onion (diced)
  • 2 small cloves garlic
  • 1/2 bunch cilantro 
  • Juice from 2-3 limes
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Toppings

  • Vegan sour cream
  • Sriracha aioli


Directions:

1. Peel off the skins of the sweet potato and cut into 1 inch chunks. 

2. Bring water to a boil in a large saucepan and cook the sweet potato until soft, about 20-30 minutes. 

3. Bring your skillet to low-medium heat, and add the olive oil, black beans, spices, and salt and pepper. You may need to adjust the spices according to taste. Then add the cooked sweet potato and gently smash and mix into the bean mixture. 

4. Chop and mix together all the guacamole ingredients and do the same for the pico de gallo. 

5. Warm the corn tortillas in a pan for about 2 minutes on each side. Add the sweet potato mixture, guacamole, pico de gallo, and vegan sour cream and sriracha aioli which you can buy in your grocery store. Enjoy! 

Tempeh and Vegetable Rice Rolls with Thai Almond Butter Dipping Sauce

This recipe is refreshing and perfect to make when its hot outside. The dipping sauce is addicting and you can use it with so many other recipes! Feel free to make this into a salad as well instead of making the rice rolls. 

I made this for a large group of people, and it was devoured in no time! Hope you enjoy!


Asian Kale Salad


Makes 4 servings

Ingredients:

Salad:

  • 1 bunch of kale
  • 3-4 carrots
  • 1 yellow pepper
  • 1/2 avocado
  • 2 Tbsp. sesame seeds

Garlic Ginger Dressing: 

  • 3 cloves garlic (grated)
  • 1 inch ginger (grated)
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • 3 Tbsp. raw honey
  • 1/2 cup tamari 
  • 3/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/3 cup rice wine vinegar 

Instructions: 

1. Prepare salad by washing kale, and tearing the leaves off the stem. Roughly chop and place in salad bowl.

2. Thinly slice the carrot, and dice the yellow pepper and avocado. Add to the kale. 

3. Mix together all of the ingredients for the garlic ginger dressing. Add as much dressing as you would like and message kale. 

4. Sprinkle seasame seeds on top. Enjoy!