Crunchy Quinoa Tacos

Crunchy Quinoa Tacos

Crunchy Quinoa Tacos

Taco Friday!!! A little early for Cinco de Mayo (which we’re still celebrating today) but you just can’t have too many tacos. There’s so many fillings to add to tacos, and this was something I would never have made before but it was really great! Josh was so tired from 3 finals in two days that he fell asleep while I was making dinner so he skipped dinner and is currently still sleeping 14 hrs later… finals stink. So tacos for one!

The filling in these tacos is quinoa but after you make it, you mix it with spices and then bake it until it’s dried and crunchy. It gives it a lot of texture and the flavor is perfect for taco filling. You can top it with whatever toppings you want, but I chose lettuce, cucumbers, tomatoes, and avocado. I added salsa after the picture was taken. They were definitely really salty, because I forgot that I added bouillon to the quinoa and then I added salt while adding spices as well. I’ll be bloated for a few days, so definitely don’t add the salt!

Crunchy Quinoa Tacos

makes 4 tacos

1 cup dried quinoa

2 cups water

1 tsp Vegetarian Better than Bouillon Beef

1 tsp chili powder

1 tsp onion powder

1 tsp garlic powder

1 tsp ground cumin

2 tbsp salsa

tortillas- I used the Sprouted whole grain Ezekiel brand

Toppings- lettuce, avocado, tomato, cucumber

  1. Preheat oven to 375*.
  2. In a small saucepan bring water to a boil and stir in quinoa. Boil until water is absorbed and quinoa is cooked through.
  3. Stir in boullion to quinoa and then turn off heat.
  4. Add spices and salsa and stir to combine then spread on a parchment lined sheet pan.
  5. Bake quinoa for 45 minutes and stir occasionally to ensure it gets crunchy on all sides.
  6. Warm tortillas and fill with quinoa mixture and toppings.

Happy Cinco!

 

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)

Salsa

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!

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Super Bowl Food

Buffalo Chickpea Taquitos

Buffalo Chickpea Taquitos

Well it wasn’t the yummiest assortment I’ve ever made, but I tried to come up with some oil free Super Bowl foods that would fit within the starch solution guidelines. Chili was something simple that is healthy and can be made without oil, but I just threw a bunch of beans and diced tomatoes in my crockpot with spices and it was okay..not like my Bad Billy’s Bean Chili. Also, I baked potatoes then scooped the insides out for later in the week and sprinkled the skins with salt and pepper then put them under the broiler to make potato skins. They’re alright, I think oil free potato skins aren’t as crispy but they did have the chewy factor. I put the chili into the potato skins like a boat and topped with scallions.

We went over to my parents for appetizers and drinks and watched the first half of the game, so I brought the appetizers. I last minute decided to make buffalo chickpea taquitos so I made them up as I went and used what I had. I mixed a can of chickpeas with shredded zucchini with garlic powder and buffalo sauce. I wrapped them up in corn tortillas and then baked them on 400 for 20 minutes until crunchy. They would be better with some sort of creaminess that would cut the buffalo, so maybe if I find an oil free vegan ranch or cream cheese to throw in they would be better. Testing is important! I also made oil free tortilla chips (my dad thought they were stale, but you just have to know before you’re not going to get the same texture as a fried chip) by cutting corn tortillas into wedges and sprinkling them with spices then baking them on 400 until crisp. I served them with salsa and TJ’s guacamole.

Overall, not super impressed but at least we had something to eat on Super Bowl that still made me feel guilt free because I stayed in the guidelines. I can work on improving these things in the future. If you want to use the recipes and test them out and add what you want to, feel free!

                                                       Buffalo Chickpea Taquitos

12 corn tortillas, Mission super soft

1 can chick peas, mashed

2 small zucchinis, shredded and squeezed liquid out

4 tbsp Frank’s buffalo sauce

1 tsp garlic powder

  1. Preheat oven to 400* and mix the chickpeas, zucchini, garlic, and sauce together. Lay out the tortillas and put a small scoop on each and tightly roll, try not to crack.
  2. Place them on a parchment lined baking sheet and bake for 20 minutes until brown and crunchy then serve immediately.

Easy Bean Chili

1/2 yellow onion, diced

1 tsp minced garlic

2 cans diced tomatoes, no salt added

1 can black beans, drained and rinsed

1 can kidney beans, drained and rinsed

1 can white northern beans, drained and rinsed

3 tbsp chili powder

1 tbsp cumin

1 tsp onion powder

1 cup water

2 bay leaves

1 tbsp Vegetarian Beef Better Than Bouillon

  1. I dumped everything in the crock pot and turned it on high for about 5 hours. I know, I’m brave to use my crockpot on the same night as the This is Us Superbowl episode..
Bean Chili Boats

Bean Chili Boats

 

Portobello Fajita Tostadas

Portobello Fajita Tostadas

Portobello Fajita Tostadas

It’s a Mexican mashup! I’m not the biggest corn tortilla fan, but I know they’re better for you so I keep trying. My cousin Allison suggested making tostadas with them because having them crunchy makes them hold up and she was right! Their texture was much better and I could have eaten many of them this way. Josh even said we should have these often, because they were so flavorful and the textures worked well together! Portobellos are a great meaty replacement and baking the veggies in the oven is an effort saver and there’s virtually no clean up. Easy meal alert!

Portobello Fajita Tostadas

serves 2

4 Mission corn tortillas, toasted

2 portobello caps, cleaned and sliced

1 large yellow onion, sliced

1 red bell pepper, sliced

1 green bell pepper, sliced

1 tsp cumin, chili powder, garlic powder

1/2 tsp onion powder, salt and pepper

3 tbsp vegetable broth

4 tbsp guacamole, TJ’s is delicious

handful of lettuce

grape tomatoes, halved

1 Persian cucumber, quartered and sliced

cilantro, shopped

salsa of your choice

  1. Preheat oven to 400* and line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Add mushrooms, peppers, and vegetable broth to the baking sheet and then add the veggie broth and spices and mix around to coat all of the veggies.
  3. Bake for 30 minutes until veggies are tender. They don’t get as crispy without oil, but they are still tender and flavorful.
  4. I toasted the tortillas in the toaster oven for about 2 1/2 minutes on each side until crunchy and then spread a layer of guacamole on top of each.
  5. Add your veggies, then top with lettuce, tomatoes, cucumbers, and salsa.
  6. Better get your fork and knife ready! Messy, but so tasty!

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Stuffed Burrito Bowls

Stuffed Burrito Bowls

Stuffed Burrito Bowls

Burrito bowls are one of our most favorite and frequent meals in our house because they’re so versatile, filling, tasty, and healthy. You can pretty much top rice and black beans with any vegetables you have on hand and top with some salsa and cilantro. This time I packed them with veggies that I had in the fridge, and I made a vegan ranch to drizzle on top. It was a little too sweet to taste like traditional ranch, but I thought it was a tasty mix with spicy salsa. It’s a meal that can come together in a few minutes and it actually fit the HCLF macros perfectly with 80/10/10. I made a huge pot of brown rice earlier in the week so all I had to do was chop the toppings and heat the beans. Fiesta in a bowl!

Stuffed Burrito Bowl

Serves 3-4

3 cups brown rice, cooked

1 can organic black beans, canned

1/2 yellow onion, diced

Handful of cilantro, torn

1 cup yellow corn

Handful of grape tomatoes, halved

1/3 red cabbage, chopped

3 green onions, diced

2 Persian cucumbers, quartered and diced

2 cups spring mix

3/4 cup shredded carrots

Salsa for topping

1 tsp cumin, chili powder, garlic powder

Salt and pepper to taste

Vegan Sweet “Ranch”

1 tbsp raw cashew butter, only nuts

1 tsp maple syrup

1/8 tsp Apple cider vinegar

1/8 tsp lemon juice

1/4 tsp dill

1/8 tsp garlic powder

1/8 tsp onion powder

Water to thin

Stuffed Burrito Bowls

Stuffed Burrito Bowls

1. Add diced onions and black beans with a little water into a nonstick skillet. Add spices and cook for a few minutes until heated through. Make ranch and set aside.

2. Top warm rice with bean mixture and all of the veggies on top.

3. Drizzle with ranch and add salsa on top. Mix and enjoy!

Black Bean and Veggie Tacos and Homemade Chips

Black Bean and Veggie Tacos

Black Bean and Veggie Tacos

This was an attempt at the recreation of the delicious veggie tacos I had at our neighborhood mexican restaurant, and while they were good, they didn’t taste as tasty as theirs. I’m guessing it’s because they used a tad (ton) of canola oil and salt in their version and I used a spray of olive oil and sprinkle of salt so at least these were healthier! I usually prefer flour tortillas instead of corn, but due to the health benefit and trying to stay away from white flour I decided to have corn. While my taco burst open all over my plate I remembered why I don’t like corn! Next time I’ll either have to toast the tortillas to make them crunchy, use lettuce wraps, or just go ahead and make nachos out of it because that’s pretty much what it turned into. I also quartered some corn tortillas, sprinkled them with spices, and baked them until crunchy as our side of healthier non-fried chips. With some of these changes, I think that they would work better but they’re a great way to pack veggies in to a Mexican meal.

*side rant- I’m trying this very low oil and salt way of cooking because I talked to a popular vegan blogger this weekend, and he mentioned his weight loss success was partly due to eating this high carb, low fat plant based diet that he saw from High Carb Hannah. She has a Youtube channel so I spent a day watching her videos and she’s lost 70 lbs eating this way. I really do not understand how eating multiple potatoes for dinner makes you lose weight, but I’m trying to figure out what will. I’m vegan, eating mostly plant based home-cooked meals, and not losing weight. Now I don’t know if I’m supposed to be high carb or low carb? Am I supposed to be eating 1800 calories a day like she said or stick to the less than 1500 I have now? Am I supposed to be snacking between meals or just having 3 big meals? Lots of fruit or limit it? Should I count my calories or eat intuitively? Now I’m beyond confused and not sure where to go to start losing weight so if anyone has heard of High Carb Hannah or has had success losing weight going vegan, help a sister out please!

Black Bean and Veggie Tacos

1 can organic black beans, no salt added, rinsed and drained

1 avocado, sliced

2 zucchini, diced

2 yellow squash, diced

1 large onion, diced

3 bell peppers, I used yellow, orange, and red

10 oz button mushrooms, diced

1-2 tsp cumin

1 tsp chili powder

1/2 tsp onion powder

2 tsp minced garlic

1 tsp dried cilantro

1 tsp lime juice

salt and pepper to taste

spray olive oil

  1. Spray a large saute pan over medium heat and add onions and peppers, and cook for a few minutes while you continue to dice other veggies.
  2. Add the mushrooms, garlic, and squash. Add the spices and cook for about 10 minutes until vegetables are soft and cooked through then add the beans.
  3. Turn off heat and add a squeeze of lime juice and sprinkle of cilantro.
  4. Use for tacos, burritos, taco salads, or nachos and top with a few slices of avocado, mango or regular salsa, and cilantro.

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Baked Tortilla Chips

These were so easy and quick! I don’t know why I’ve never done this before. They were a great way to have chips without all of the fried-oil part. You can sprinkle with any spices you want!

corn tortillas, however many you want, quartered

spray olive oil

sprinkle of cumin, chili powder, garlic powder

tiny salt and pepper

  1. Preheat oven to 425* and spread quartered tortillas on a sprayed baking sheet then lightly spray the tortillas.
  2. Mix spices together and sprinkle them on top then bake until golden brown, about 10 minutes.

Mexican Black Beans and Rice

Mexican Black Beans and Rice

Mexican Black Beans and Rice

I wanted to come up with something new to add to my easy weeknight Mexican repertoire besides burrito bowls or taco salad then I saw a recipe for a Mexican rice dish, so I decided to make something based on that with what I had. We usually have all of these ingredients on hand so it’s something that I can make quickly without too many steps. I added my leftover roasted broccoli/cauliflower mixture to use it up, so you don’t have to include it or you can use whatever veggies you have on hand. As Josh said, “Since when does Mexican rice include broccoli?!” umm “Since we have leftover broccoli!”

It was really filling, and full of flavor. You can toss anything you want to include with the same concept and it’s ready in 20 minutes. You heard me, 20 MINUTES in ONE PAN. What’s better?

Mexican Black Beans and Rice

1 yellow onion, diced

1 red bell pepper, diced

1/2 green pepper, diced

1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

1 can low sodium black beans, rinsed and drained

1-2 cups roasted broccoli/cauliflower

4 cups cooked brown rice

2 tbsp taco seasoning

handful of fresh cilantro, torn

1/2 carton of grape tomatoes, halved

2 scallions, thinly sliced

Toppings: diced avocado, salsa

  1. Cook brown rice by following directions on box or bag.
  2. Saute peppers and onions in olive oil on medium heat until tender, then add black beans and broccoli mix.
  3. Mix brown rice in with veggies and add taco seasoning, tomatoes, scallions,  and cilantro.
  4. Serve and top with diced avocado and salsa of your choice. Lately I’ve been loving the peach/mango salsa and black bean combo. Sweet and savory!