Tortilla-less Sweet Potato Tacos

Sweet Potato Taco

So my hubs is going slow carb this month which means I had to get a little creative when I wanted some Mexican food. I had recently seen a recipe for Black Bean and Sweet Potato Tacos on my friends website but was trying to recreate without using the corn tortilla. Instead, I came up with the idea of using the sweet potato as the “taco shell” and putting the filling on the inside. It’s not a taco you’ll be eating with your hands but it was delicious nonetheless!

Tortilla-less Sweet Potato Tacos
 
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Serves: 2
Ingredients
  • 2-4 small or medium sized sweet potatoes, rinsed and ends cut off
  • Pinch of salt
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 1-2 bell peppers, diced (color is your choice)
  • 1 cup corn
  • Approximately 2 cups beans of choice, wither homemade or canned
  • 1 package taco seasoning (I prefer Trader Joes as it is all natural)
  • Any additional favorite taco toppings: cabbage, avocado, salsa, cheese, etc.
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 400. Bake sweet potatoes until tender, approximately 30-40 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool until you can handle. (This can be done ahead of time)
  2. Slice potato lengthwise and scoop out the center leaving about ¼ in of the potato on the skin. (You can save the extra potato for something else if you’d like)! Increase the heat of the oven to 450. Brush or rub grapeseed oil (or another high smoke point oil) over both sides of the potato skins. Sprinkle with salt. Place on a baking rack or in a roasting pan. Cook for 7-10 minutes on each side, until browned and slightly crispy.
  3. Meanwhile, heat olive oil in a pan and add onions, cooking until fragrant. Add bell peppers and corn and cook until peppers begin to soften. Add taco seasoning and beans and saute until cooked through.
  4. Place sweet potato “taco shells” on a plate, fill with vegetable mixture and top with you favorite taco toppings.

 

Kale and Roasted Vegetable Soup

Roasted Veggie and Kale Soup

It is definitely becoming soup weather here in SF. This is your rainy Sunday afternoon kind of soup as it is a bit time consuming but definitely worth every minute of it!!!

Kale and Roasted Vegetable Soup
 
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Serves: 6
Ingredients
  • 3 medium carrots, peeled and quartered lengthwise
  • 2 large tomatoes, quartered
  • 1 large onion, cut into 8 wedges or 4 or 5 slices
  • ½ small butternut squash, peeled, seeded, cut lengthwise into ½ inch thick wedges
  • 6 garlic cloves
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 6 cups or more of vegetable broth
  • 4 cups of finely chopped kale
  • 3 large fresh thyme sprigs
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 15 oz can of Great Northern white beans, drained or homemade beans!
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 400°F. Brush rimmed baking sheet with a thin coat of olive oil. Arrange carrots, squash, tomatoes, onion, and garlic on sheet. Drizzle with more olive oil. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Toss to coat. Roast vegetables until they are brown and tender, stirring occasionally, about 45 minutes.
  2. Cut squash and carrots into ½ inch pieces; set aside. Peel garlic cloves; place in food processor. Add tomatoes and onion; puree until almost smooth. Pour ½ cup broth onto the baking sheet; scrape up any browned bits. Transfer broth and vegetable puree to large pot. Add 5½ cups broth, kale, thyme and bay leaf to pot. Bring to boil. Reduce heat. Simmer uncovered until kale is tender, about 30 minutes.
  3. Add carrots, beans, and squash to soup. Simmer 8 minutes to blend flavors, adding more broth to thin soup if necessary. Season with salt and pepper. Discard thyme sprigs and bay leaf.

Photo Credit: Simply Recipes

Delicata Squash & Tofu Curry

Delicata Squash and Tofu Curry

I’ve found curry recipes to be a little hit and miss… and I will safely say this one was a hit! After my post about butternut squash, I realized there are so many winter squashes out there I have yet to try. I found this recipe on Eating Well and was determined to try out this new squash. If you cannot find delicata you can replace with pumpkin, butternut or kabocha squash.

Delicata Squash & Tofu Curry
 
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Serves: 4
Ingredients
  • 1 Tbsp curry powder
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ¼ tsp freshly ground pepper
  • 1 package (140z) extra-firm or firm water-packed tofu
  • 4 tsp olive oil, divided
  • 1 large delicata squash (about 1 pound), halved, seeded and cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 1 medium onion, halved and sliced
  • 2 tsp grated fresh ginger
  • 1 14oz can “lite” coconut milk
  • 8 cups coarsely chopped kale or chard, tough stems removed
  • 1 Tbsp lime juice, plus more to taste
Instructions
  1. Combine curry powder, salt and pepper in a small bowl. Blot tofu dry with a paper towel and cut into 1-inch cubes; toss the tofu in a medium bowl with 1 teaspoon of the spice mixture.
  2. Heat ½ the oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add the tofu and cook, stirring every 2 minutes, until browned, 6 to 8 minutes total. Transfer to a plate.
  3. Heat the remaining 2 teaspoons oil over medium-high heat. Add squash, onion, ginger and the remaining spice mixture; cook, stirring, until the vegetables are lightly browned, 4 to 5 minutes. Add coconut milk; bring to a boil. Add half the kale (or chard) and cook, stirring, until slightly wilted, about 1 minute. Stir in the rest of the greens and cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Return the tofu to the pan, cover and cook, stirring once or twice, until the squash and greens are tender, 3 to 5 minutes more.
  4. Remove from the heat and stir in lime juice.

Serving suggestion: Serve over grain of choice

Squash, Chickpea and Kidney Bean Soup

Red Lentil and Squash Soup

It’s getting to be that time of year where nothing is more satisfying than a nice warm bowl of soup. I love this recipe because it is loaded with vegetables but also packed with protein because of the two types of beans. I enjoy this soup with some kale chips on top! Photo and recipe courtesy of Eating Well.

Squash, Chickpea and Kidney Bean Soup
 
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Serves: 8
Ingredients
  • 1 can (15oz) chickpeas, or ¾ cup dried and overnight or quick soaked
  • 2½ lbs butternut squash, cut into 1 in cubes
  • 2 large carrots, peeled and cut into ½-inch pieces
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 1 can (15oz) red kidney beans, or ¾ cup dried and overnight or quick soaked
  • 4 cups vegetable broth
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 tablespoon minced peeled fresh ginger
  • 1½ teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 Tbsp hot paprika
  • ¼ teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • ¼ cup lime juice
  • ½ cup chopped roasted unsalted peanuts
  • ¼ cup packed fresh cilantro leaves, chopped
Instructions
  1. Combine the chickpeas, squash, carrots, onion, red beans, broth, tomato paste, ginger, cumin, salt, paprika and pepper in a slow cooker.
  2. Put on the lid and cook on low until the chickpeas are tender and the beans have begun to break down, 5 to 6½ hours.
  3. Put about half of the cooked soup into a food processor and pulse until beans are mashed. Add this mixture back into the soup and mix well.
  4. Stir in lime juice. Serve sprinkled with peanuts and cilantro.

 

Easy Overnight White Beans

White Beans

So what’s the deal with using dried beans rather than the canned kind? I had asked that question for a long time before actually doing it because I thought it was too time consuming and didn’t really make that much of a difference, boy was I wrong! Here are just a few reasons why dried beans are much better than canned:

1. Price. Buying dried beans in incredibly inexpensive. 1 can beans = Almost 2 cups and costs on average $1.00. 1lb dried beans = Almost 8 cups and costs on average $1.00. You do the math.

2. Sodium. Canned food is loaded with sodium where as you can determine how much salt you use when making your own.

3. Taste. I eat a lot of beans and there is no doubt that dried beans taste far better and more fresh than the canned variety.

4. Environment. Using dried beans is much better for Mother Earth than the processing it takes to can, ship, distribute, etc. canned beans.

5. Ease. Most people think it is so much easier to just buy canned beans, well sorry guys but with this recipe you can no longer use that excuse. Two steps, go to sleep and you wake up with delicious meal!

Easy Overnight White Beans
 
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Serves: 6-8 cups
Ingredients
  • 1lb bag of any kind of bean (for this recipe I prefer white beans i.e. cannelini, great northerns, etc. I use a slightly different recipe for pinto, black, etc.)
  • 6-8 cups of water
  • ½ cup white onion, diced
  • ½ cup celery, diced
  • ½ cup carrot, diced *Note: Trader Joes has a soup starter that has these three ingredients already diced for you for an even easier option.
  • 1 head of garlic, peeled and cloves kept whole
  • 32oz vegetable broth + more water if needed
  • Salt and pepper to taste
Instructions
  1. Soak 1lb dried beans in 6-8 cups of water for about 8 hours. Helpful hint: Place beans in a bowl of water right before you are about to leave for work or if you are doing the quick soak method do this about an 1.5 hours before going to bed.
  2. Remove and beans or shells that float to the top. Drain and rinse soaked beans.
  3. Combine vegetables, vegetable broth (and extra water if needed), garlic and rinsed beans in a crock pot and cook on low for 8-10 hours. Helpful hint: Just turn it on right before you head off to bed.
  4. After about 8 hours, check beans and season with salt pepper and any other spice of choice. I like to add some hot paprika to mine! Cook until beans are the texture you want them.

Serving suggestion: Serve as a soup or drain and use on top of salads, as a side dish or in other recipes.

Black Bean, Chile and Quinoa Veggie Burger

Veggie Burger

I had made an attempt at veggie burgers in the past and ended up with a crumbly mess. These ones turned out quite different. They were a hit among both vegetarians and non vegetarians. The chilies give it some good flavor while the beans and quinoa make it nice and hearty.

Black Bean, Chile and Quinoa Veggie Burger
 
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Serves: 8
Ingredients
  • ¼ cup quinoa
  • ½ cup vegetable broth
  • 2 cans (14 oz) black beans, rinsed and drained
  • ½ onion, diced
  • ½ cup roasted red peppers
  • 1 can (7 oz) diced green chilies
  • ⅓ cup cooked corn
  • ¼ cup cilantro
  • 1 tsp salt
  • ½ cup panko breadcrumbs, plus extra
  • 2 eggs/egg whites (only needed if burgers do not seem to be staying together)
Instructions
  1. Combine the quinoa and broth in a saucepan, bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer covered until the quinoa is tender.
  2. In a bowl, slightly mash the black beans. Mix with remaining ingredients except eggs. Chill the mixture. I chilled for about 5 hours to let the flavors absorb.
  3. Just before cooking, mix the eggs into the mixture and stir evenly. Shape mixture into patties and brown and heat in a frying pan with a little oil.
  4. Serve on a bun with your favorite toppings.

 

Easy Weeknight Paella

Paella

Both my husband and I have spent quite a bit of time in Spain. And there isn’t anything that brings you back there quite like a good paella. Everyone knows we love Spanish food, so for our wedding we received everything from paella pans to bags of traditional spanish rice to saffron. I figured it was about time to give a homemade paella a try, so we turned on some Spanish guitar music and enjoyed this delicious meal. This is an incredibly easy dish, that is not too hands on so its the perfect crowd pleaser that allows you to chat with your guests while making the dish. Buen provecho!

Easy Weeknight Paella
 
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Serves: 6
Ingredients
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 1 large yellow onion, chopped
  • 5 cloves garlic, minced
  • 4 cups (32 oz) vegetable broth
  • 2 cups valencia/paella rice (if you cannot find, you can use arborio)
  • 1 red bell pepper, cut into strips
  • 1 yellow bell pepper, cut into strips
  • 1 orange bell pepper, cut into strips
  • 2 cans (15oz) diced tomatoes
  • 1 Tbsp spicy paprika
  • 1 cup frozen peas, defrosted
  • 2 cups artichoke hearts, quartered
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 lemon sliced
Instructions
  1. Heat oil in a paella pan and saute the onion and garlic until the onion is tender and translucent. At the same time, heat the broth in a separate saucepan until simmering.
  2. Pour the rice into the paella pan and saute for about 3 minutes. Add the bell peppers, tomatoes and paprika and cook for a further 3 minutes. Add the simmering vegetable broth and cook over medium heat for 20-25 minutes or until almost tender and almost all the liquid has been absorbed.
  3. Stir in the peas and artichoke hearts. Salt and pepper to taste and continue cooking until the liquid has been absorbed and the rice is tender.
  4. Garnish with lemon wedges and serve.

 

Crock Pot Jambalaya

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This is one of my favorite crock pot dishes. Very little prep time and you come home to an absolutely delicious meal!

For updated recipes and photos check out The Simple Kitchen!

Average Time: 10 minutes prep, 4-8 hours cook time

Serves: 6

Ingredients

1 onion, diced

3 cloves garlic, minced

2 stalks celery, diced

2 carrots, diced

2 red bell peppers, chopped

1 can (15 oz) diced tomatoes (I used fire roasted with green chilies)

1 can (15 oz) garbanzo beans, drained

1 cup long grain brown rice

1 Tbsp hot sauce

2 tbsp fresh thyme, minced (or 2 tsp dried)

1 tsp sea salt

1/2 tsp ground black pepper

1 Tbsp spicy paprika

2 C water

3 tbsp fresh parsley, minced

Directions

1. Place onion, garlic, celery, carrots, peppers, tomatoes, rice, and beans in the crockpot in that order.

2. Add hot sauce, thyme, salt, pepper, paprika and water.

3. Cover and cook on low for 8 to 9 hours or on high for 4-6 hours.

4. Once it’s finished cooking, toss in parsley and stir until well combined.

Serving suggestion: Serve with brussel sprouts or vegetable of choice. To make a non veggie version of this, add in sausage during step one and/or throw in shrimp and hour before it is done cooking.

Photo Credit: Aine Carlin

Vegetarian Tortilla Soup

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This one is a little more time consuming but well worth it! I got this recipe from EatingWell.com

Ingredients

3 large dried pasilla, ancho or new mexico chilis

1 can (15 oz) diced tomatoes, preferably fire roasted

2 Tbsp + 2 tsp olive oil

1 white onion, diced

3 cloves garlic, peeled and diced

4 cups vegetable broth

2 cups water

1 package (14 oz) extra firm tofu

4 cups chopped chard, spinach or kale

1/2 tsp sea salt

1 ripe avocado, cubed

2 cups homemade tortilla chips

Directions

1. Holding the chiles one at a time with metal tongs, quickly toast them by turning them an inch or two above an open flame for a few seconds until the aroma fills the kitchen. (Alternatively, toast chiles in a dry pan over medium heat, pressing them flat for a few seconds then flipping them over and pressing again.)

2. When cool enough to handle, stem and seed the chiles, break them into pieces and put them in a blender along with tomatoes and their juice. (A food processor will work, though it won’t completely puree the chiles.)

3. Heat 2 tablespoons oil in a Dutch oven over medium heat. Add onion and garlic and cook, stirring frequently, until golden, 6 to 9 minutes. Scoop up the onion and garlic with a slotted spoon and transfer to the blender with the tomato mixture. Process until smooth.

4. Return the pot to medium heat. When quite hot, add the puree and stir nearly constantly until thickened to the consistency of tomato paste, about 6 minutes. Add broth and water. Bring to a boil, then adjust heat to maintain a simmer.

5. Drain tofu, rinse and pat dry and cut into 1/2- to 3/4-inch cubes. Heat the remaining 2 teaspoons oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add the tofu and cook in a single layer, stirring every 2 to 3 minutes, until beginning to brown, 6 to 8 minutes total. Add the tofu to the soup and simmer for 30 minutes.

6. Add chard (or spinach or kale) to the soup and season with salt to taste, depending on the saltiness of the broth. Cook, stirring, until the greens are wilted, about 2 minutes, depending on the type of greens.

7. Ladle the soup into 8 soup bowls. Divide avocado, tortilla chips and cheese (if using) among the bowls. Serve warm.

Vegetarian Chili

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There is that time of year each fall where chili seems a distant memory and I get so excited about making it! And I love a good slow cooker recipe. I have tried several chili’s and this one has always been a tried and true good choice.

Ingredients

1 large onion, peeled and diced

1 can (15 oz) kidney beans, drained

1 can (15 oz) pinto beans, drained

3 bell peppers, seeded and diced (I prefer yellow, red and orange over green but any will do)

1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and diced

4 stalks celery, diced

1 can (15 oz) diced tomatoes

2 carrots, diced

1 1/2 Tbsp chili powder

2 tsp ground cumin

1 1/2 tsp sea salt

1 tsp dried oregano

Cheddar Cheese, chives, avocado (optional)

Directions

1. Combine all ingredients in a crockpot.

2. Cook on high for 4-6 hours or low for 8-10 hours.

3. Serve in individual bowls, topping with cheese, chives or avocado.

Serving Suggestion: Serve over sweet potatoes or with corn bread.

Photo Credit: Cooking Light