Mexican food is one of my favourite types of cuisine, however often times it’s tough to find a veggie option; especially when it comes to tacos. I was recently inspired to create a delicious vegan taco that packs some serious protein and nutrition. The mushrooms and lentils give this dish a meaty texture and delicious flavour. Gluten free, dairy free to boot!
Spicy Lentil Tacos
Lentil Taco Filling:
1/2 cup dry lentils (I used french lentils but you can also use brown or green lentils)
2 cups vegetable broth (I used 2 cups of water and one bouillon cube)
1 tbsp olive oil
6 mushrooms, diced into small cubes
1 jalapeno pepper , diced (use less if you don’t like too much heat)
1 small shallot or onion, diced
1 small tomato, diced
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
1 tbsp cumin*
1/2 tsp paprika
1 tsp dried oregano
*If you don’t have all of these spices, don’t fret. You can simply use cumin and it will still taste great.
1. Combine the lentils and vegetable broth in a pot on medium heat. Allow to boil for 20-30 minutes, adding more liquid if necessary. Cook until lentils are tender.
2. Meanwhile in another pan, saute shallots in olive oil for 3 minutes on medium heat until well cooked, then add mushrooms, jalapeno and diced tomato. Saute until all vegetables are well cooked, about 8 minutes. Add the spices.
3. Once the lentils are cooked (soft and starting to come apart) add them to the vegetable mixture and stir well. Allow taco mixture to simmer on the stove top for 5 minutes for flavours to meld, adding a bit of water if it starts to look dry.
To make this for dinner you’ll need:
Toppings, which can include:
red or yellow pepper, diced
fresh tomato, diced
avocado, mashed or sliced
lime (for squeezing on top)
Serve a spoonful of lentil taco filling on each tortilla and pile with toppings of your choice. Enjoy!
I recently paid a visit to a naturopath seeking a remedy for my digestive troubles. She hooked me up to an electrode machine thingy to test for food sensitivities. Wheat, tomatoes, onion, garlic, peanuts, MSG, dairy, eggs and oranges were among the many foods she listed and recommended I avoid for the next 2 months as part of the treatment process. At first I was seriously bummed by all of these limitations. After a few hours of sulking, I sucked it up and changed my outlook on the whole situation. Instead of a serious inconvenience I saw this as a fun culinary challenge and a chance to explore unusual ingredients. All week long I have been finding ways to adapt recipes to accommodate for my food limitations. This is a breakfast thats is super tasty, gluten, dairy and sugar free.
Despite it’s name buckwheat is actually a wheat-free grain, so it landed itself on my list of grains to experiment with. I’ve also been trying to incorporate variety in my diet, rather than eating the same thing each day, that means not eating oatmeal every single morning. This cold porridge is actually a really lovely way to start the day.
Raw Buckwheat Breakfast Bowl Inspired by one of my all time favourite food bloggers and role models Oh She Glows.
1/3 cup raw buckwheat groats
1 cup + 1 tbsp almond milk
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp honey or maple syrup
1 tbsp almond butter
Optional but recommended chopped banana
Optional toppings: hemp seeds, chia seeds
1. Let buckwheat groats soak in milk overnight or at least 1 hour. I usually put mine in a covered bowl in the fridge.
2. Put 3/4 of the soaked buckwheat and honey in a blender, food processor or magic bullet and puree until smooth. Pour 3/4 of the pureed mixture with the un-pureed buckwheat in a bowl. Note: You can choose to puree everything, but I like the crunchy texture of the buckwheat so I like to leave a bit un-pureed.
3. You should now have about 1/4 cup of pureed buckwheat in your blender. Add the almond butter and the tbsp of extra milk and blend until smooth.
4. Combine everything in one bowl and add the chopped banana and toppings as desired.
I’d love to know if anyone has any tips or tricks for gluten free cooking, naturopaths or digestive issues. If you do, please comment below or message me via the ivysmushbowl Facebook page.
Well folks, it’s officially autumn. But don’t let that stop you from enjoying salad. This evening I whipped up a nice warm salad that lets those autumn veggies shine though. I have recently rekindled my love for squash and I’m so excited about all the possibilities. So far I’m loving the buttercup squash which are beautiful form the inside out, but there are more varieties to be discovered!
Heart Warming Kale Autumn Salad (makes about 2 servings)
1 smallish to medium sized squash (I used buttercup squash but you can use any type)
4 cups roughly chopped kale (about 8-10 leaves)
1/2 cup dried green lentils
1 cup veggie stock
salt and pepper to taste
1. Preheat oven to 350F. Cut squash in half and place face down in a glass baking dish with about 1/2 inch of water. Bake for 40-50 minutes, until squash is tender and can be poked easily with a fork.
2. Meanwhile, prepare lentils by rinsing and placing them in a small pot over medium heat with the veggie stock. Cover and let simmer for 10 minutes or until lentils are not hard anymore.
3. Steam kale by placing in a pan over medium heat with a splash of water, stirring it around until leaves are dark green. About 3-4 minutes. When squash is finished, remove from oven and chop into bite sized chunks. Careful it’s very hot!
4. Assemble. Place kale in a bowl, layer on lentils, and finally top with squash.
Tip: Notice that this salad has no dressing. I wanted to keep the flavours simple so I opted for no dressing. But if you just can’t live without it I would suggest a light balsamic and olive oil dressing for this salad. You could also add more /different flavour by adding spices to the lentils such as rosemary.
Scones on a Sunday morning. One of my work mates pointed out to me this afternoon that I had “lived the dream” eating scones on a Sunday morning. Thinking about it now, I realize that, yes, I did live the a very stereotypical Sunday morning as I rolled out of bed and baked some fresh scones only to enjoy them later with a warm cup of tea. These scones are dairy-free, sugar free and use part whole wheat flour. A healthy and delicious way to start the morning out right. All I can say is they are tasty and I’m pretty sure my roommates liked them too.
Berry Vegan Breakfast Scones (recipe adapted from neverhomemaker)
Ingredients (makes 8 scones):
1 cup unbleached all purpose flour
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 cup large flake oats
1/8 cup crushed walnuts (I just mushed a bag of walnuts on the counter with my hand=gourmet right?)
1/4 cup honey
1/4 cup Virgin Cononut oil (the type that actually smells like coconut), you can also sub in real butter or any other non-dairy butter
pinch of salt
2 tablespoons ground flax seeds
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 cup + 2 tablespoons milk (you can use any milk)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup frozen berries
1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Lightly grease a cookie sheet with butter of your choice.
2. Place the flours, coconut oil, and honey in a bowl and blend well.
3. Then mix in the salt, flax, and baking soda.
4. Add the milk and vanilla extract; mix until just moistened. Do not over-mix.
5. Fold in the berries and walnuts. Let sit for a few minutes until chilled by the berries.
6. Scoop the dough onto a clean, well-floured work surface. Loosely shape into a circle and pat down.
7. Cut into wedges and then place on a cookie sheet. Note: you can also do drop scones by just scooping large spoonfuls of dough onto the baking sheet, but I think wedges look pretty.
8. Bake for 20-22 minutes, until deep golden brown color. Let cool before serving.