vegan tacos with chipotle lime mayo

vegan tacos
vegan tacos
vegan tacos
vegan tacos

At last, spring is here. I feel safe writing it now; even certain that we might be safely past the bi-polar days of early spring.

This season I fell in love with nature more than at perhaps any point in my life. I can’t get enough of it. I crave walking barefoot on dewey morning grass, watching petals glide through the air making their descent while listening to the symphony of birds.

Spring feels like a sensory orgasm of sorts; maddening beauty all around…colors, vibrancy, crisp air. There is a feeling of aliveness in my body every time I step outside and I simultaneous curse myself for not having noticed this breathtaking beauty in springs past. Or at least not on such a fervent level.

So in honor of all things alive and colorful, I wanted to make a simple recipe that’s fresh, full of vegetables and rich in flavor; a dish that would do to tastebuds what spring does to the senses. After all, when the weather warms up, I think most of us naturally gravitate towards lighter food and a good amount of vegetables .

And one of my favorite ways of eating loads of vegetables is in the form of tacos. While I do like raw vegetables just fine, frankly I prefer them roasted and/or sautéed. I find they’re far better on digestion too despite potentially losing some of their nutrients. And the best part? You get to wrap them in a delicious tortilla and pile on your favorite toppings which will hopefully include a plethora of chipotle lime mayo.

These vegan tacos are staples in my house and never disappoint. The combination of sweet potatoes, zucchini, bell pepper sweet corn and black beans tossed with spices, garlic, honey and lime hit just the right spot for me. I don’t eat beans and corn often but I make an exception for these tacos. If you’re strict whole 30 or paleo, no sweat - skip the corn and beans and they will still taste fantastic.

Now you can certainly skip the MYOT (make your own tortillas) but to me cassava tortillas truly round out this dish. Yes, it’s a little extra work but oh so worth it. You can find the recipe for these easy to make tacos here.

Whether you’re enthralled with spring or just enjoy vegan tacos, check out this simple weeknight or any night dinner.

vegan tacos
vegan tacos
vegan tacos

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  • prep time: 10 minutes

  • cooking time: 30 minutes

  • makes: 10 tacos

Ingredients:

  • 3 large sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1” pieces

  • 1 large zucchini, cut into 1” pieces

  • 1 red bell pepper, cut into 1” pieces

  • 2 tbsp olive oil, divided

  • 1 garlic clove, minced

  • 1 cup cooked black beans (skip for paleo and whole 30)

  • 1 cup defrosted organic corn (skip for paleo and whole 30)

  • 1 tsp ground paprika

  • 1 tsp dried oregano

  • 1 tsp ground cumin

  • 1/2 tsp chili powder

  • zest of 1 lime

  • juice of 1/2 lime (if not juicy use 1 lime)

  • 1 tsp honey

  • 1 tbsp chopped cilantro plus extra

  • 1/2 tsp salt

  • 1/4 tsp pepper

  • cassava tortillas (recipe here) or buy this brand

  • spicy mayo (recipe here) or buy this brand

  • optional: avocado slices

  • optional: sliced radish

  • optional: sliced red cabbage

  • optional: additional chopped cilantro

Equipment:

  • large cast iron pan

  • roasting tray

  • parchment paper


Directions:

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Add sweet potatoes, zucchini and bell pepper, all spices, salt and pepper to parchment paper lined roasting tray. Roast for 25-30 minutes until vegetables are soft.

If making tortillas, make them now. Recipe here.

Meanwhile, shortly before vegetables have finished roasting, preheat cast iron pan on medium heat. Add garlic and cook for 30 seconds stirring continuously. Lower heat, add corn and black beans and warm through for 5 minutes stirring continuously. Turn off heat, add lime zest, lime juice and honey and add roasted vegetables and chopped cilantro. Adjust salt and pepper to taste.

Scoop vegetable mixture on tortillas, top with spicy mayo, avocado, radishes and cabbage and additional cilantro if you wish.


If you’re looking for a delicious dinner you can whip up in 30 minutes, try these roasted vegetable vegan tacos. The great thing is they can be customized for whole 30 and paleo lifestyles, are completely vegan . #tacos #paleotacos #whole30tacos #vegantacos #vegan #vegetarian #roastedvegetables #calmeats #veganmexicanfood #dinner #healthyrecipes

rutabaga noodles with tahini sauce and cashew crumble

rutabaga noodles with tahini sauce and cashew crumble
rutabaga noodles with tahini sauce and cashew crumble
rutabaga noodles with tahini sauce and cashew crumble

I grew up only a sea away from a country rich in flavors and spices. Some traditional recipes made their way onto our table but not nearly enough given the proximity.

My mom would frequently travel to Turkey for work and would come back baring delicious foods that we’d never dream of having access to in Romania. One of them was halva. Funny because I’d had it my whole life but Romanians always made it with pressed sunflowers and never tahini.

That was my very first introduction to a flavor I would come to revere as an adult. It is unmistakable - an ingredient used in Middle Eastern and Asian dishes alike. Truthfully one that can’t be substituted.

So a few moths ago while stocking up on tahini I had a burning desire to make a quick sauce. The only problem was, I now had a tasty sauce on my hands but hadn’t quite thought about what I’d do with it. Sure, roasted carrots or sweet potatoes would always be good options for dipping but I was in the mood for something new. Something that would wake up my taste buds.

Rutabaga already had its moment in a previous post where I gushed about its versatility and distinctive taste, but I feel the need to reiterate just how delightful this unassuming root is. While raw it tastes somewhere between a turnip and cabbage, when cooked its essence is revealed. Everything that’s been hidden beneath the waxy surface comes to life when this noble root has just a few minutes in the heat.

To top it all off, I wanted something to complete the taste I was after - something intense but not overpowering. A sprinkling of cashew crumble is exactly what this dish needed. It is one of the simplest and most delicious ones I’ve had. Flavorful, intense and satisfying.

rutabaga noodles with tahini sauce and cashew crumble
rutabaga noodles with tahini sauce and cashew crumble
rutabaga noodles with tahini sauce and cashew crumble

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prep time: 5 minutes
cooking time: 5 minutes
makes: 4 servings

Ingredients:

  • 1 large rutabaga, peeled and spiralized

  • 1/2 cup runny tahini

  • 1/2 cup roasted unsalted cashews

  • 2 tsp olive oil, divided

  • 1/4 tsp sesame oil

  • 2 tsp coconut aminos

  • 1/2 cup water

  • 2 tsp lemon juice

  • 1/2 tsp salt

  • a handful of very thinly sliced carrots

  • handful of very thinly sliced cucumber

  • 1 tbsp finely chopped cilantro (optional)

  • 1 green onion, green parts only (optional)

Equipment:

  • blender

  • large mixing bowl

  • small mixing bowl

  • spiralizer

  • large non stick frying pan

Directions:

Combine tahini, water, lemon juice, coconut aminos, salt and sesame oil in large bowl and set aside.

In blender finely grind cashews until they’re fine. In small bowl, combine them with 1 tsp olive oil and a pinch of salt and mix well with your fingers by pinching the mixture until it becomes crumbly - set aside.

Preheat pan on medium heat. Add 1 tsp olive oil and rutabaga noodles and toss frequently for 5 minutes until they begin to soften but are not mushy.

Remove from heat and add to bowl with tahini sauce. Toss to combine.

Place noodles on plates and add carrot and cucumber slices along with as much cashew crumble as you wish. Top with cilantro and green onion and serve.

If you’re looking for a flavorful noodle bowl but are following a grain free lifestyle, look no further than this tasty rutabaga recipe with tahini sauce and cashew crumble. It’s a satisfying, creamy and you won’t miss the pasta. #veganrecipes #vegan #tahini #rutabaga #paleorecipes #paleo #plantabased #whole30recipes #whole30 #paleonoodles #whole30noodles #cashews #tahinisauce #calmeats #veganfood #rutabaganoodles

asparagus sausage scramble with egg

asparagus
red onion, asparagus, scallions
tray with mixed vegetables
asparagus sausage scramble with egg

Perhaps I’m getting ahead of myself here, considering that we’re only a few days into spring, but I can’t help but already celebrate asparagus season. I’ve had a fascination with asparagus since first discovering this green beauty upon moving to the States.

Asparagus feels memorable every time it ends up on my plate. Despite its year long availability, it is a pricier vegetable and I reserve it for special meals. But in spring, when the farmers markets explode with the green spears, I take full advantage and gorge on it.

Even though asparagus at first glance seems robust and sturdy, it can easily be wrecked in the cooking process. It needs to merely kiss the heat for a few minutes in order to come into its full, glorious potential. I guess I never really thought about vegetables making out with heat but okay…I guess this is where we are now.

But let’s get back to today’s recipe. I wanted a versatile enough dish that could easily make for a simple breakfast lunch or dinner. I also wanted it allergy friendly and first and foremost, tasty, with earthy yet bright flavors to celebrate all that spring has to offer.

Red onion and sausage create a flavorful base and are tossed with cauliflower rice, sweet bell pepper and asparagus. Ginger and coconut aminos, add depth and the whole thing is finished with some bright lemon zest. Now, you could certainly stop there, but if you want to take it a step further, you could add an an over-easy egg and take this dish to another level.

asparagus sausage scramble with egg
asparagus sausage scramble with egg
asparagus sausage scramble with egg

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asparagus sausage scramble with egg

  • prep time: 5 minutes

  • cooking time: 25

  • makes: 4 servings


Ingredients:

  • 1 tbsp olive or avocado oil

  • 2 sweet Italian sausage links, casings removed

  • 1/2 red onion, chopped

  • 1lb asparagus, trimmed and cut into 2” pieces

  • 1 yellow, red or orange bell pepper, chopped

  • 4 cups cooked cauliflower rice (follow package instructions) or make your own here

  • 1 tbsp coconut aminos

  • 1” knob grated ginger

  • zest of 1/2 lemon

  • 1/2 tsp salt

  • 1/4 tsp freshly ground pepper

  • 4 eggs

  • optional: 1 green onion sliced, green parts only


Equipment:

  • large cast iron or heavy bottom skilled

  • medium frying pan


Directions:

Heat cast iron skilled over medium heat. Add oil and sausage. Cook sausage breaking it up with a wooden spoon until it’s cooked through - about 10 minutes. Remove sausage and set aside.

In the same pan, if needed, add a little more oil, onion and a pinch of salt. Cook onion stirring regularly for 5 minutes until translucent. Add bell pepper and asparagus and cook for another 5 minutes until vegetables have softened a little.

Return sausage to pan, add cauliflower rice, sausage, grated ginger, coconut aminos, salt, pepper and lemon zest. Cook for 5 more minutes, stirring occasionally, until all ingredients have combined.

In a separate pan, cook eggs to your preference and serve along with asparagus scramble.

Optional, top with green onion and serve right away.


A 30 minute recipe that can make for a simple breakfast, lunch or dinner. A delicious combination of asparagus, red onion, sausage and cauliflower rice are tossed together with ginger and coconut aminos to create this speedy dish. It’s low carb, paleo, gluten free and whole 30 too. #paleodinner #30minuterecipes #whole30dinner #glutenfreedinner #quickmeals #glutenfree #dairyfree #whole30 #calmeats #paleo #realfoodrecipes #cleaneatingrecipes #speedydinner

paleo jerk chicken and shrimp tacos

paleo jerk shrimp and chicken tacos
hands and greens
paleo jerk shrimp and chicken tacos
jerk chicken and shrimp tacos
paleo jerk shrimp and chicken tacos

I believe patience is something possessed by other people. Somehow this particular trait missed me from the start. I even decided to make an entrance into the world early. Virgo wouldn’t have suited me, so I resolved that Leo would be a more appropriate sign. Therefore a month early it was. My mother tells me I wanted to escape much earlier which destined her to about 6 months of bed rest to ensure I’d cook all the way (no pun intended). Thank you, mom.

And while I’m terribly bad at waiting for things, the thrill is almost always in the anticipation, isn’t it? I made these jerk shrimp and chicken tacos last month for a dinner we hosted. It was my first time experimenting with jerk seasoning and I decided, if I was doing this, I was doing this all the way. I wanted flavor explosions. Not necessarily spice, but depth. And depth is what I got. The chicken and shrimp were marinated for over 8 hours and the flavors married beautifully, creating some kind of magic.

I can’t take the credit for the seasoning as I did purchase an already made one. Sure, I probably could have made my own but by some divine intervention, I found this one which had no heat but all the flavor. While I love some heat, this mixture turned out an impressive marinade and jerk mayo to pour over the tacos. Adults and children were equally satisfied. If you want something a little more spicy, a 1/4 tsp of cayenne pepper will provide ample amounts if that’s what you’re after.

While there is some patience required for the chicken and shrimp to marinate, the grilling is merely a few minutes. And while I was already working on this patience thing, I decided to make my own tortillas as well with cassava flour. If corn doesn’t bother you, go for the already made ones but if you’re strictly paleo, I’ve included the recipe for them. Kind of a two in one if you will. I hope you enjoy these as much as I did!

paleo jerk shrimp and chicken tacos
paleo jerk shrimp and chicken tacos
paleo jerk shrimp and chicken tacos
paleo jerk shrimp and chicken tacos
paleo jerk shrimp and chicken tacos

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paleo jerk chicken and shrimp tacos

  • prep time: 10 minutes

  • marinating time: 6-8 hours

  • cooking time: 10 minutes

  • makes: 6 servings

Ingredients:

For jerk chicken and shrimp

  • 5 tsp spicely organics jerk seasoning mix divided

  • 1 tsp salt divided

  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil divided

  • 1.5 lbs thinly cut chicken

  • 1 lb large shrimp, peeled and deveined

  • 1/2 cup mayo

  • optional toppings: sliced cabbage

  • optional toppings: radish

  • optional toppings: greens

  • optional toppings: avocado


For cassava tortillas


Equipment:

  • large mixing bowl

  • 2 containers with lids or ziplock bags

  • small mixing bowl

  • small skillet

  • grill or grill pan

  • wax paper

  • rolling pin


Directions:

For chicken and shrimp:

In bag or air-tight container combine 1/4 cup olive oil, 2 tsp spice mix, 1/2 tsp salt and chicken and mix well. Repeat process for shrimp. Massage oil and spice mix well into chicken and shrimp. Place in refrigerator and let marinate for 6-8 hours.

Preheat grill on medium low and grill shrimp and chicken for 4-6 minutes per side until cooked through.

Cut chicken into long strips and serve along with shrimp and your favorite toppings.

If you’re making your own tortillas, follow the instructions below:

For cassava tortillas:

Combine all ingredients under cassava flour tortillas and mix by well by hand.

Roll out dough into long tube and cut into 10 equal pieces. Roll each into a ball and coat with a sprinkling of cassava flour and even add some to the wax paper to prevent from sticking. Place each ball between pieces of wax paper and roll out until you have the desired thickness.

Preheat a dry (preferably cast iron) skillet on medium heat. Gently remove wax paper from tortilla add to pan and cook until it starts to bubble - about 2-3 minutes for each. Repeat until all tortillas are cooked.


If you’re looking to spice up your dinner, try these jerk chicken and shrimp tacos! They’re sure to add a burst of flavor to your dinner. If you’re strictly paleo, you can also find a speedy recipe for making your own cassava tortillas! Click to read on! #cassavatortillas, #shrimptacos, #chickentacos, #jerkchickentacos, #jerkshrimptacos, #jerkseasoning, #jamaicanjerk, #calmeats, #paleotacos, #whole30tacos, #whole30, #paleo, #cassavareceipes


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chicken tikka masala

chicken tikka masala
chicken tikka masala
chicken tikka masala in bowl

I paused, the feverish clicking of keys coming to a halt. I listened closely, almost in disbelief. It was the second morning I heard its song; a lonely bird chirping outside the window. Only a few chirps and it was gone. I waited for more but was satisfied to have gotten even a prelude. We’re still in the dead of January and yet its spring song made my heart flutter.

Winter is long where I live. Not as long as in other parts of the country but too long for my liking. Everything is grey, silent and rather sleepy. It’s not a bad thing per se but I find myself yearning for more light and warmth. But I know my wanting and the reality of winter are two very different things.

As we’re on the cusp of temperatures in the single digits and perhaps even as low as 0 Fahrenheit, I can’t help but want to curl up in a blanket and hibernate for the remainder of this season. But as that’s neither feasible or physically possible, I’ll do the next best thing, which is cook comfort food - in the form of curry. Warming, satisfying, hearty curry.

This curry is one I’ve taken through more testing than perhaps any other recipe. I wanted to get it just right. I was hung up on the textures and consistency of the sauce (because after all, it’s the sauce that’s everything). I would like to say that I hoped for it to taste as authentic as possible - whatever that may mean.

Chicken Tikka Masala is a surprisingly easy recipe to make, filled with loads of spices and flavors, with Garam Masala being the star of them all. I put a little spin on this curry by making it even heartier and adding carrots and potatoes. You can eat it on its own, serve it with rice or cauliflower rice.

chicken tikka masala in bowl
chicken tikka masala in bowl
chicken tikka masala
limes
chicken tikka masala

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chicken tikka masala

  • prep time: 10 minutes

  • marinating time: 1-12 hours

  • cooking time: 1 hour and 10 minutes

  • makes: 6-8 servings

Ingredients:

For marinade

For curry

  • 1 tbsp ghee or extra virgin olive oil

  • 1 large sweet or yellow onion, chopped

  • 3 coves garlic, minced

  • 1” knob ginger

  • 1/2 marinade spice mix (see above)

  • 2 tsp garam masala

  • 1/2 tsp paprika

  • 1 tbsp tomato paste

  • 1 can coconut milk

  • 2 cups tomato puree

  • 2 tbsp coconut palm sugar (skip if whole 30)

  • squeeze of lime

  • 1/2 tsp salt

  • 1/4 tsp pepper

  • 4 medium carrots peeled and sliced

  • 1 large russet potato peeled and chopped into cubes

  • 1 rounded tbsp freshly chopped cilantro

Equipment:

  • large dutch oven or other heavy large pot

  • large soup pot

  • ziplock bag or container with lid

  • small mixing bowl

Directions:

In small mixing bowl, mix all spices under marinade. Reserve half and add half to ziplock bag or container. Add olive oil and mix well. Add chicken and let marinate for at least 1 hour or up to 12 in the refrigerator.

Heat dutch oven over medium high heat. Add oil or ghee and chicken and brown chicken for 5 minutes on each side. Set aside on plate.

In same pan, add onion and salt, and cook for 8 minutes until translucent. Next add garlic, ginger, reserved spice mixture, garam masala, pepper, paprika and cook for 30 seconds.

Add in coconut milk, tomato puree, tomato sauce, coconut sugar, chicken and let simmer on low heat for 40 minutes with lid on. Stir occasionally.

Meanwhile, add cut potato and carrot to soup bowl and cover with enough water to submerge. Bring to a boil and cook for about 8-10 minutes until vegetables are tender but still have a bite. Drain and set aside.

When sauce has thickened and chicken is cooked through, add cilantro, squeeze of lime vegetables and simmer for another 5 minutes.

Serve over rice or cauliflower rice with additional cilantro if desired.


How to make a classic chicken tikka masala dish, paleo and whole 30? Coconut milk, of course. Check out this delicious and hearty recipe that’s full of vegetables and tender chicken. It’s warming, comforting and loaded with anti-inflammatory spices. #paleofood #curry #paleocurry #paleochickencurry #chickentikkamasala #calmeats #whole30curry #dinner #chicken #whole30recipes #paleorecipes #howtomakecurry #easycurry #chikenrecipes