Mexican Brown Rice Taco Salad

Mexican Brown Rice Taco Salad

Mexican Brown Rice Taco Salad

I’ve posted recipes very similar to this before, but this was an easy way to have a bowl full of deliciousness in not a lot of time. I also made Mexican rice for the first time in my rice cooker and it made it that more yummy! It’s an easy way to add another layer of flavor to your bowl. Instead of the rice being the base of my bowl, I added all of the toppings on a bed of spring mix to make it more of a salad bowl and it’s a delicious way to get your greens in. I usually heat my beans in a sauce pan, but this time I was feeling so lazy I just heated them in a bowl in the microwave with some onion and garlic powder and they were fine. I really recommend the ready made guacamole from Trader Joe’s! It’s delicious and easy to grab. You can add whatever to your taco salad so it’s versatile.

Mexican Brown Rice Taco Salad

Mexican Rice

1 1/2 cups brown rice

1/2 cup salsa

2 1/2 cups water

1 tsp cumin, chili powder, garlic powder

1/2 tsp salt

Salad ingredients-

bag of spring mix

chopped cucumber

diced tomato

Can of organic black beans, drained and heated

Avocado’s Number One Guacamole (TJ’s)


chopped onion

  1. Put all of the rice ingredients into the rice cooker and press brown rice.
  2. When cooked, heat the beans and then assemble taco salad.
  3. I use salsa as my dressing and it’s great!


Chickpea, Potato, and Kale Soup

It’s been a crazy week so I haven’t had time to blog or even really take pictures! Tuesday I made a chickpea, potato, and kale soup and forgot to take a picture, Wednesday I made an edamame and vegetable rice noodle bowl that I forgot to take a picture of but it’s something I’ve probably posted about before, and last night we had soup for leftovers after a hectic day. Not my best cooking week! This soup was really easy, but was flavorful and full of nutrients so it’s something you feel good about eating multiple times. It also just got better the longer it was in the fridge. I loved the addition of potatoes instead of pasta like I normally do because the potatoes don’t blow up and absorb all of the liquid. Today’s reality was leftover soup while I graded through lunch, so best picture I got of it!

Chickpea, Potato, and Kale Soup

1/2 large yellow onion, diced

1/2 cup carrots, diced

1/2 cup celery, diced

1 tbsp garlic, minced

1 tbsp Vegetarian Better than Boullion chicken flavor

4 cups vegetable broth, low sodium

1 tsp rosemary

1 bay leaf

juice of one lemon

1-2 cups water

1 can chickpeas, drained and rinsed

1.5 large russet potatoes, diced

4 cups chopped kale

pepper to taste or red pepper flakes for spice

  1. Saute onion, carrots, and celery in a large sauce pan over medium heat until semi-soft and then add garlic for the last few minutes.
  2. Add veggie broth, water, bouillon, rosemary, and bay leaf.
  3. Add potatoes and bring to a boil. Once boiling, return to a simmer for about 10-15 minutes until potatoes are soft.
  4. Add chickpeas and kale and cook for an additional 3-5 minutes until chickpeas are softened and kale has wilted.
  5. Squeeze in lemon juice and sprinkle with pepper.

For the edamame noodle bowl, I just sauteed broccoli, baby bella mushrooms, bok choy, and onion in a large wok. Then I added in the frozen edamame, cooked rice noodles, and my oil free teriyaki sauce and combined it all together. YUM!

Weekly Sushi Love

We’re used to weekly sushi because we used to go to our favorite sushi spot every weekend, but we got busy and it got too expensive for that extravagance. I’ve always wanted to make sushi, but it always worried me that the fish wouldn’t be fresh enough and I didn’t know where to buy it.

Since going vegan, veggie sushi sounded like a much more manageable option. Since making it for the first time a month or so ago, I’ve been making it weekly. I’ve made it for family, friends, and tonight was just to make Wednesday a little bit better. I had leftover nori, leftover veggies and mango in my fridge, and all I had to do was cook the rice and roll it up! If you have all of the ingredients prepped this is a healthy meal that feels fancy and comes together really quickly. I love practicing the craft of sushi rolling and trying different combinations to try and find the best. I bought a bamboo mat and rice paddle to feel professional but I’m pretty sure I don’t use them correctly… but it’s fun! I place a nori sheet shiny side down and spread my sticky brown rice on evenly with a rice paddle. I leave the far end empty to ensure enough space to close. I use a fork to mash a 1/4 of an avocado onto a strip of rice, then top with julienned cucumber, mango, carrot, or spring mix. Wet your finger and trace the far end of the nori, the roll tightly away from you and it will stick and close. Set aside to set before using a sharp serrated knife to slice. I use short grain brown rice from Whole Foods and cook it in my rice cooker, then combine each cup of brown rice with 2 tbsp of seasoned rice vinegar so it becomes stickier. This time I made 3 combinations. First I made avocado, cucumber, carrot, and spring mix. Second was avocado, cucumber and mango. Third was avocado, cucumber, mango, and spring mix. You can pretty much make whatever you think sounds good! I sprinkle with sesame seeds and serve with low sodium soy and grated ginger. The best part is it’s a fraction of the cost and you can eat it in your sweatpants. I love at home sushi!

Savory Lentils and Brown Rice

Savory Lentils and Rice

Savory Lentils and Rice

I know I’ve posted about this recipe before, but it’s soooo tasty and soooo easy! It takes about two minutes to prep, press the brown rice button on the rice cooker, and an hour later you have a savory, flavorful meal in one pot. We’ve been on a mushroom kick this week already, so I left them out of the recipe this time and it was just as satisfying. We loved the addition of a fresh side salad to have a contrast, and I think it’s the perfect addition to this rich dish. I told Josh that it’s the fastest and easiest thing I’ve made in weeks, so if you need a break this week and still want to stay on track this is the dish to make!

Lentils and Brown Rice

1 cup short grain brown rice, dry

1/2 cup green lentils, dry

1 yellow onion, diced

1 tsp minced garlic

1-2 tsp Vegetarian Better than Bouillon, chicken flavor

1 tsp cumin

Salt and pepper to taste

3 cups low sodium vegetable broth

1. Place everything in a rice cooker and press brown rice, takes about an hour.

Cheesy Vegan Broccoli Brown Rice Bake

This recipe was kept pretty true to itself, with the only change of adding more rice because I had leftover and instead of miso I took their suggestion and added soy sauce and rice vinegar instead. This was a great cozy night in meal and was definitely a better vegan cheese sauce than I’ve had before. It gave the rice a creamy texture and came together easily. Josh didn’t love the breadcrumbs on top, but I thought it gave it a mac n cheese like texture. This felt like a delicious casserole, but made plant based so no need to feel guilty about going back for more. I froze the rest so we could have it another time. The recipe I used is below if you want to try!


Mushroom and Spinach Pasta with Rosemary White Bean Sauce

Mushroom and Spinach Pasta with Rosemary White Bean Sauce

Mushroom and Spinach Pasta with Rosemary White Bean Sauce

Perfect rainy night meal alert! I came up with this idea after I saw Clinton Kelly making a white bean and spinach pasta on The Chew last week. I was really excited to see a vegan option on their show because I usually have to ignore most of the things that they make now. Minus the parmesan, it was vegan! Thanks Clinty! I decided to take their idea and run with it and come up with my own recipe. Adding baby bella mushrooms is always a good idea, and I blended the white beans to make a creamy sauce to coat the brown rice pasta and vegetables. I make a rosemary white bean dip for appetizer sometimes and love the flavor combination so I thought I would make a rosemary, lemon, white wine, cannellini sauce. It’s a nice feeling knowing everything you are putting in your body is healthy and you’re doing the best for yourself, and making a creamy sauce out of white beans instead of dairy is a great option. It’s lighter and doesn’t weigh you down, yet it’s still a comforting pasta dish.

Mushroom and Spinach Pasta with Rosemary White Bean Sauce

12 oz baby bella mushrooms, cleaned and sliced

6 oz bag of baby spinach

1 can cannellini beans, drained and rinsed

1/4 red onion, diced

1/2 c vegetable broth, low sodium

1/4 c white wine, use the cheap stuff

1 tsp dried rosemary, chopped

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 lb brown rice pasta, TJ’s bag has only brown rice and water, no fillers!

1 lemon, zest and 1/2 juice

few splashes of Worcestershire sauce

salt and pepper to taste

vegan parmesan to top

  1. Spray olive oil in a large skillet and saute red onion, mushrooms, spinach, worcestershire, and garlic until tender.
  2. In a high speed blender (I used my Nutribullet) put the beans, veggie broth, rosemary, salt and pepper and blend literally less than a minute until just smooth and thick.
  3. Cook rice pasta very al dente because it will continue to cook when combining.
  4. Add wine to the veggie mixture and cook for a few minutes then add the white bean mixture to make a creamy sauce.
  5. Pour the pasta in to combine, and then add the zest of one lemon, and half of the lemon’s juice.
  6. Serve with a sprinkle of veggie parm on top.

    Mushroom and Spinach Pasta with Rosemary White Bean Sauce

    Mushroom and Spinach Pasta with Rosemary White Bean Sauce

Warm Butternut Squash and Kale Quinoa Salad

Warm Butternut Squash and Kale Quinoa Salad

Warm Butternut Squash and Kale Quinoa Salad

In the dead of winter I’m not in the mood for a traditional cold salad. After a long day I want to sit down to a warm meal, but I’m also trying to make healthy plant based dishes so when I saw a recipe for a warm quinoa salad on Pinterest I wanted to give it a go. All of the ingredients made a delicious combination, but I made a few changes to the original. Instead of sautéing the ingredients in a pan, I wanted the crispiness of roasted vegetables because I like cooking veggies that way the best so the squash and kale were still crispy and tender inside. I always have to roast more kale than needed because I always have to eat some right off the pan while it’s still super crunchy. Yum! It gave the salad a nice texture and with the craisins and pecans it was a great mixture with the blandness of quinoa. Instead of their dressing, I made up my own because I love the flavor of Dijon mustard and maple syrup with the savory squash so I thought it would be perfect for this salad and I didn’t want to use that much olive oil. It came together really quickly, due to Trader Joe’s amazing pre- cleaned and diced veggies and frozen quinoa, so it was a great weeknight meal and it was packed with flavor.

Warm Butternut Squash and Kale Salad

Serves 3-4

1 bag of diced butternut squash

1 bag frozen quinoa, TJ’s ( 2 cups?)

Half a large bag of kale

2 tbsp Craisins

Small handful of halved raw pecans, toasted

1/4 red onion, diced

Maple Mustard Dressing

I’m approximating because I tend to just add things together until it tastes how I planned for it to, so taste as you go. It was sweet and slightly spicy.

3 tsp maple syrup

2 tsp Dijon mustard

1/4 tsp onion powder

1/4 tsp garlic powder

Salt and pepper to taste

Water until thin enough for dressing

Maple Mustard Dressing

Maple Mustard Dressing

1. Preheat oven to 375* and spray a baking sheet. Spread cubed Butternut Squash on half and then top with a little sprayed olive oil, salt and pepper. Put it in the oven to start cooking. (10-15 min)

2. Cook frozen quinoa in the microwave and let sit.

3. Mix all of the dressing ingredients and set aside.

4. Add kale to the other half of the baking sheet and spray with olive oil, and a little bit of salt and pepper. Bake vegetables for another 10 minutes.

5. When vegetables are crispy and cooked through, combine all ingredients and drizzle about 4 tsp of dressing and mix together. Eat while warm.