Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Vegan Walnut "Meat" Tacos in Lettuce Wraps with Cashew Cheese Sauce

Vegan Walnut "Meat" Tacos in Lettuce Wraps with Cashew Cheese Sauce

When my friend Heather recently posted in our Meat Free May Facebook group that she made some fantastic tacos using walnuts for the "meat", I will admit - I was a little skeptical.  I did some online searches and found that there are a ton on recipes for walnut "meat" filling, so I decided that if so many people have blogged about this, perhaps I should give it a try.  Not that I didn't believe Heather when she said these were amazing!  After all, her little boy has started stealing her green smoothies.  She must be creating some good stuff in her kitchen.  I digress...

I opted to make mine just a little differently, but they were still pretty similar.  I did not soak my walnuts and I used Bragg's Liquid Aminos.  If you don't know about this product, please go get a bottle and start using it right now!!  I use it almost daily whether in recipes or just on sautéed  kale.  It's loaded with amino acids and is free of preservatives and salt.

Taco filling:
1.5 cups raw walnuts
1 cup diced mushrooms
coconut oil
2T Trader Joe's taco seasoning
1/2 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1T Bragg's Liquid Aminos

Saute mushrooms in about a tablespoon of coconut oil until browned.  Remove from heat.  Add walnuts and seasonings to food processor and *pulse* until crumbly.  If you over-process, you'll end up with nut butter and that would be better for a sandwich.  When the walnuts are crumbly and the spices incorporated, add the mushrooms and stir until mixed.  Done - honestly, that's it.

I opted to serve mine in romaine boats with tomato, purple cabbage and "cashew cheeze" sauce which can be found at the bottom (under the pictures) of THIS blog post from last week.

Josh liked it too - and that's always a bonus!

Walnuts pulsed in food processor with spices

Close-up view of the walnuts

Cashew "Cheeze" Sauce

Sauteed mushrooms
Walnuts mixed with mushrooms

Simple - there's no need to have a dozen ingredients to make a taco!

And you can eat more with less guilt!

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Black Bean & Rice Veggie Enchiladas with Collard Wraps and Cashew Cheeze

Black Bean & Brown Rice Veggie Enchiladas with Collard Wraps, Cashew Cheeze and Tomatillo Avocado salsa

Vegan, Vegetarian, Meat-free, Plant Based, Gluten Free, Dairy Free

Black Bean, Rice & Veggie Enchilada with Collard Greens, Cashew Cheeze and Tomatillo Avocado Salsa

If my recent recipes haven't sparked your interest yet, please let this one be the one you try.  Holy YUM, this recipe was amazing!!  Because I cannot have gluten, I opted to use collard greens to wrap my enchiladas.  What an awesome way to get more greens into my meal...without missing the tortillas at all.  I used up a lot of veggies that I had on hand, but you can tweak this - as with any recipe - according to your liking and what you have at home.

I made the cashew cheeze sauce based on a recipe by Melissa Costello of Karma Chow.  If you don't have her cookbook The Karma Chow Ultimate Cookbook, please consider purchasing it.  I absolutely LOVE her recipes!  Having done her vegan cleanse in early 2011, I learned so many nutritional tips but I also connected with some pretty amazing people.  She's definitely one of the people who inspired me to adopt a healthier lifestyle.

Onto my recipe!!  Minus, the cashew cheeze, this is a Fit & Healthy Mommy original recipe so please link to my blog or Facebook page should you recreate or share my recipe.  As always, please comment here or post on my Facebook page to let me know if you make one of my recipes and what you thought about it.  Tag me on Instagram @FitHealthyMommy & #FitHealthyMommy and if you're doing my Meat Free May Challenge, tag #MeatFreeMay.  Thank you!!  

Ingredients for the enchiladas:
6-8 large collard green leaves
1 cup cooked brown rice
1 can salt free organic black beans, divided
1/2 cup diced yellow squash
1/2 cup diced zucchini
3/4 cup diced mushrooms
3-4 kale leaves, chopped small, stems removed
1 tsp Himalayan sea salt
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp garlic powder
3T chili sauce, divided
coconut oil
1 recipe cashew cheeze sauce (at the bottom of this page)

Ingredients for Tomatillo Avocado salsa:
3 tomatillos, diced
2 avocados, diced
1/3 cup red onion, diced
coconut oil
chili sauce to your liking

In deep, wide pan, boil a few cups of water.  While waiting for the water to boil, lay each collard leaf flat.  Take a sharp knife and slice the woody stem at an angle, gently, to flatten the leaf for easier rolling.  Lay the leaves flat in the pan of water for a minute to soften.  They will turn bright green.  I did 2 or 3 leaves at a time so they wouldn't stick together.  Place to the side and make the filling.  Pulse the cooked brown rice and 2/3 of the can of black beans, cumin, salt & garlic powder in food processor.  Place mixture into a large mixing bowl.  In saute pan, add coconut oil then add mushrooms, zucchini and squash.  Cook until slightly browned.  Add the veggies to the rice mixture.  Add in the kale and rest of the whole black beans that you reserved and mix until combined.

To make the salsa, simply add the diced tomatillos & red onion to a little bit of coconut oil in a small saute pan.  Cook for just a few minutes until veggies soften then add chili sauce.  I added about a tablespoon.  Place this mixture in a small bowl and add diced avocado.  Stir together.  That's it!

Prepare a 9x13 baking pan.  I use nonstick foil for easy clean up.  Lay one collard leaf on a cutting board and spoon some of the rice & bean mixture onto the leaf.  Fold up the two sides then roll the leaf.  Please rolled leaf seam-side down in the baking dish.  Complete these steps with all of the leaves.

Pour the cashew cheeze sauce over the rolled enchiladas and top with the tomatillo avocado salsa.  Bake at 425 for about 25 minutes or until it's done.  These reheat very well when using leftovers.  Don't microwave them!!  Toss them back into a 425 oven for 10-15 minutes until heated through.

I used Eden Organic salt-free beans, and pre-cooked organic brown rice

Some of my faves!  I just found this Organicville gluten free chili sauce - SO GOOD!

Kale from my garden


Collard Green leaves, before adding to the boiling water

Chopped veggies & kale

Tomatillos &  red onion for the salsa

Zucchini, squash & mushrooms sauteing in coconut oil

Brown rice, beans & veggies


Tomatillo Avocado Salsa

Ready to make the enchiladas!

Fold the two sides, then roll up

Seam side down in the pan

Add cashew cheese sauce over top the rolled leaves then top with the salsa

Fresh from the oven - doesn't it look amazing??

So many veggies - this is definitely a clean, healthy meat-free meal!


Cashew Cheeze Sauce (based on Karma Chow's recipe)
approx 2 cups raw, unsalted cashews
juice of 1/2 lemon
1/4 cup nutritional yeast flakes
1/2 tsp smoked paprika
1 tsp chili sauce or powder
1 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp Himalayan sea salt

Soak cashews in water for 4+ hours.  I soaked mine for about 6 hours.  Drain and add to food processor with rest of the ingredients.  Add enough water to just cover the cashews.  Cover and pulse or run processor until smooth & creamy.  I used my Vitamix and it turned out AMAZING!  Watch the consistency and determine if you want to add more water to this out the sauce.  Also, taste it!!  You might find that you want more nutritional yeast or more spice.  It's all to you and your taste buds!

Cashew Cheeze Sauce after mixing in my Vitamix

Sunday, May 5, 2013

Red Beans & Rice Burgers - Meat Free May meal

Red Beans & Rice Burgers

Perfect for my #MeatFreeMay Challenge, this recipe is a Fit & Healthy Mommy original recipe!  There is no need to buy expensive Meatless burgers - especially those frozen ones.  Make them fresh, friends.  It's SO easy!!

This simple recipe can be tweaked in so many ways based on ingredients in your house.  It's one of those "let's just use a bunch of staples and make something yummy" kind of recipes.

Red Beans & Rice Burgers

Last night I was scrounging around for dinner - hungry but lacking the energy to be creative.  I didn't plan my weekly menu to include a Saturday night dinner.  After working during the day and doing LAX, then soccer with my biggest girl, I was exhausted and not looking to make anything fancy.

While rummaging in the pantry, I found a can of organic, salt-free  kidney beans and a package of portioned pre-cooked brown rice.  I built the recipe from there and created these awesome burgers.  I am totally making these again.  Soon.

Here's the thing - and some of you already know this.  When I make up stuff in the kitchen, I rarely measure.  A lot of the ingredients below have estimated amounts, so please eyeball yours as you go and tweak as needed.

1 - 15oz can organic, no salt kidney beans
1 cup cooked brown rice
1/3 cup yellow or white corn
3 or 4 baby carrots, diced
3T chopped red onion
1/2 cup chopped fresh spinach
1 tsp Trader Joe's Taco Seasoning
up to 1 cup gluten free breadcrumbs or panko
sprinkle of cumin
sprinkle of garlic sea salt
sprinkle of white pepper
coconut oil, for cooking

Rinse kidney beans very well under warm water.  In food processor, add kidney beans and cooked brown rice.  Add cumin, taco seasoning, garlic salt and pepper.  Pulse until crumbled and incorporated. Remove mixture from food processor and place in a large metal mixing bowl (I should have used a bigger one than the one pictured).  Add cooked corn, red onion, spinach and carrots (I left my carrots raw).  Remove any rings and mix with your hands.  Finally, add the bread crumbs starting with about half of a cup.  Mix well and add more if needed.  I didn't measure my bread crumbs, but I estimate it was close to one full cup.  Form mixture into patties.  I made three large patties, but you can probably make 4 medium patties depending on the measurements of your ingredients.

Heat a non-stick skillet over medium heat and add 1T coconut oil.  Add your patties and cook about 5 minutes on each side.  Because my patties were large, I placed them in the oven after pan-cooking in order to make sure they were heated through.  I cooked them in the oven for about ten minutes at 425.

These burgers can be served so many ways.  Use your imagination, or use what you have on hand.  I sauteed chard & spinach from my garden in coconut oil and added some baby bok choy.  I placed the burger on top of my cooked greens and added mashed avocado and a little Chipotle Veganaise (my FAVE two toppings!)

As always, if you make a recipe that you have found on my blog, even if it's not my original recipe, please comment and let me know how you made it, what you altered or changed, and what you thought about it.

Eden Organic Kidney Beans - No Salt Added
Precooked Brown Rice - Single Serve by Annie Chung

Rice, Beans & Spices before processing
Spinach, fresh picked from my garden - HUGE leaves!

Beans & Rice with veggies & spinach added
Gluten Free panko - it's becoming more easy to find in many stores

Three patties - before cooking

Pan-frying the patties in coconut oil

Burger served over cooked greens, with mashed avocado and Chipotle Vegenaise


Perfect texture & consistency

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