S.M.A.R.T : Tacos Week (Faylina’s Vegan Tacos)

So for this weeks SMART meal we were given the topic of tacos. YAY! I love eating tacos, they’re a great way to full up on healthy carbs and tons of fresh vegetables. Although these aren’t my typical tacos, I found they were still super tasty and amazing.
Best of all, this WHOLE meal (including the leftovers) only cost me… you ready for it?…: $11.00! Sure that seems like a lot, but you must figure I’ll get probably 6 meals out of this for my husband and myself so that breaks down to only $1.83 per meal. Not bad at all.
I used:
A homemade multi-grain flour tortilla – click HERE for my recipe
homemade re-fried pinto beans
romaine lettuce
green bell pepper
spring onions
guacamole
medium spicy salsa

For two of these tacos I calculated 1220 calories. That may seem like alot however I skipped lunch, oops!

How could I have improved them? Well, nothing beats fresh tomatoes on a taco, unfortunately since its the end of the month I already ate most of my produce, and what was left (2 romas) went bad to the point I couldn’t trim the bad bits so we had to toss them. Never-fear, this is why I keep salsa in the fridge. I also really like olives on my tacos, I’m not sure why It was just something I was raised with. I know that’s not traditional, but I still like them. I think next time I have tacos I’ll get some from the olive bar at Whole Foods. All in all, this meal was freaking amazing. I was so full after two tacos and the cron-o-meter showed I received almost 100% of my vitamins and minerals. Oh yeah, talk about healthy and delicious!

Better yet, I had left-overs for my husband’s lunch. I packaged the vegetables and salsa in a seperate container than the tortilla shells and pinto beans. That way he can warm up the beans without cooking the veggies, and the shells stay fresh and not soggy.
Don’t know what smart is? Click HERE for my explanation of it.

Sesame Soy Asian Inspired Vinaigrette

This is my go to dressing. This recipe can be vegan friendly if maple syrup or another liquid sweetener like agave is used. It can also be a raw dressing depending on your ingredients. If making this for someone with gluten issues, please insure you use gluten free tamari/soy sauce, AND gluten free vinegar.

Ingredients:

1 cup grape-seed oil or extra virgin olive oil
1/4 cup sesame seed oil*
2 1/2 tablespoons whole sesame seeds
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
1/4 cup soy sauce
1/2 – 1 teaspoon black pepper, freshly ground is best
2-4 tablespoons honey or liquid sweetener of choice**(see notes)
Ginger***(see notes)
Directions:

In a large bowl (high sided works best), add in your vinegar, soy sauce, and honey or other sweetener. Slowly whisk in 1/2 cup of oil. This should take 1-2 minutes of vigorous whisking. The trick is to make a dressing and not oily vinegar, there is a difference. Once you have 1/2 cup of oil in, try your sauce and if desired add the rest of the oil. At this point if you’re using it, whisk in the sesame oil as well. Once all your oil is whisked in, add your extra flavors or extra sweetener if desired. I used whole sesame seeds and black peppers. Stir in and you are done!

To store this dressing use a mason jar or repurposed glass jar with a tight fitting lid OR use a VERY well cleaned salad dressing bottle, I like the ones with the caps on the lid that restricts the amount that comes out at one time. In the fridge this will last for weeks, maybe a month or so I have never tried it that long. Before using, shake really well to re-emulsify and you’re ready to go.

*If you do not want to use or don’t have access to sesame oil, you can substitute it with regular oil or leave out entirely.

**If you are vegan or simply do not use honey, feel free to use maple syrup or agave. If neither appeal to you, try making a simple syrup by boiling 1/4 cup water with 2 tablespoons sugar. Whisk well to ensure no grainy texture. Once cooled, substitute this in for honey. Start with 1 tablespoon and try it from there as this changes the flavor.

***If you want to add a ginger flare to this dish, use a microplane or fine tooth grater and grate some ginger into the bowl. I would suggest 1/2 – 1 tablespoon. Whisk this in with the sesame seeds. Optionally you can add other flavors such as fresh garlic or chili flakes to change the flavor.

PLEASE TAKE NOTE: If you are making this and/or cooking for someone with gluten allergies or celiacs disease. Make sure to purchase ingredients that are certified gluten free, and clean your utensils very well. Better safe than sorry.

Nutritional information is per tablespoon, Thanks!

Grocery Haul Farmers Market 08/12/2012

So I’m a notorious insomniac and usually don’t go to bed until around the time the sun is going to come up! Lately I have been making a big effort to not do this anymore. I will talk about this more later, but I needed to share that so you would understand how amazing it was I was up at 8am on a Sunday morning! I admittedly haven’t gone to a farmers market lately due to various reasons, but I was so happy to go. I woke up my husband and we walked the 2 miles to the market. I was pleasantly surprised that more of my favorite vendors had started doing the Sunday market. I think I did very well with my purchases. I did “splurge” a little on things like the onions and peppers, however they were needed for recipe videos like Tofu Scramble and Pickled peppers mix! (videos coming soon, promises!)

Here is what I purchased with totals:

2 cans Dole pineapple juice (not from concentrate) $1.50 ea
1 free water bottle (BPA Free)
2 free packages Dill pickle canning mix
2 free package instant pectin
3.5kgs tomatoes, red/yellow mixed. $11.00 total
just over 1lb purple carrots, $2.75 total
1 bunch Italian parsley 99¢
6 HUGE cucumbers $2.00 total
4 yellow onions $2.00 total
3 sweet peppers $1.00 total
6 HUGE zucchini $2.00 total
2 eggplant $1.00 each
1 heavy red cabbage $2.00
mix of 10 hot peppers $1.00 total

Total: $29.74!!!

My cat decided to come outside and inspect my haul after we finished the video. I don’t share enough cat photos, so you’re welcome! ^.^& before anyone gets stupid, no I wasn’t choking her, its just looked like that because I was holding her under her arms.

Quick pizza or pasta sauce from scratch

Ingredients:

2 lbs Roma tomatoes, cored and seeded
1 tablespoon olive oil or grape-seed oil
1 tablespoon Italian seasoning mix
1 1/2 tablespoons oregano
1 heavy pinch red pepper flakes (optional)
1/2 teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper
1 1/2 tablespoons minced garlic
pinch salt or to taste
optionally to thicken: 1 – 2 tablespoons ground flax seeds or half that amount in psyllium husk or ground chia seeds

Directions:

To start out you need to prep your tomatoes by coring them. The best way to do this is to use an apple corer or you can cut the tomatoes in half and use a V cut to remove the core. Then you need to scrape the seeds out using your fingers. While not required, it helps to remove extra liquid and makes the cooking time faster. (don’t throw the liquid and core out, I ate it with a little tabasco as a virgin bloody Mary shot (lol) however you can add this to a salad dressing for extra nutrition or in your morning juice)

In a larger sized skillet add 1 tablespoon grape-seed or olive oil and swirl it coat. Heat on medium high until hot. You can test the heat by adding a few pieces and waiting for them to sizzle. Once hot, slowly add all your tomatoes in as to not splash the oil. Now add your seasoning. I prefer Italian seasoning blend, freshly ground black pepper, and extra oregano with a pinch of hot pepper flakes however you can change these to your specific tastes. Optionally you can add 1 1/2 tablespoons garlic, mined finely. I used a pre-minced version although 5-6 garlic cloves will equal the same amount. Now carefully stir the seasoning. Cover with a lid and cook for 5 minutes, still on medium high, without opening the lid.

After 5-6 minutes remove the lid and stir. At this point your tomatoes should be basically falling apart and super tender. If you have a stick blender you can whizz this up in a pan otherwise transfer to a blender container. Pulse blend for literally 5-10 seconds. Now optionally you can add a thickener like I chose to. I did this so the sauce would “feel” better on the pizza. Add 1-2 tablespoons flax meal to the blender WHILE RUNNING. If you just add this while not running you could just end up with a large ball of thickener. This is also the time to add any salt if desired. If you want you can use psyllium seed or ground chia seeds, however, I would half the amount of thickener as they set foods up faster.

At this point your sauce is ready for use on pasta, a sauce to dip your bread sticks into, or spread onto your pizza crust for amazing homemade pizza!

*Note* the thickener is not required however I find you get a better sauce with it added as most store bought sauces have some form of thickening agent. If you choose not to use it, you will need to cook for 2-3 times as long to get the same consistency OR your sauce is just thinner. It’s your choice, ENJOY! ^.^

Nutritional information is for 1 cup serving. Full recipe makes about 4 1/2 cups:

Spelt & Wheat pizza crust. No Fat Added + Vegan


Spelt & Wheat pizza crust. No Fat Added + Vegan
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
For the original version of this recipe, click HERE. The process is the same.
Author:
Serves: 1 large crust
Ingredients
  • 1 cup spelt flour (or any other glutenous flour)
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1 tablespoon yeast
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • ¾ cup warm water (between body temp and 110 degrees Fahrenheit)
  • extra flour for rolling
  • 1 tsp cornmeal for dusting *optional but suggested!*
Instructions
  1. In a food process, add your flours, yeast, and sugar. Pulse a few times to combine the flours. Now take off the insert cover and with the food processor running add the water in a little bit at a time. The trick is to just add the proper amount of flour so that it is neither too hard nor soft. You will know you have the perfect amount of water when the dough starts to ball up. It will hold it’s shape and if you poke the dough it will “hold” the hole. When you get to this stage, let the food processor run for 2 minutes to activate the gluten.
  2. After two minutes, you may notice your dough got really tacky. This is from using whole grain flours or thicker milled flours like what I used. Don’t be alarmed if this happens. Scrape the dough out of your food processor container and you have a couple choices. Either take your dough and place it into a bowl covered with a damped warm cloth and place in your oven for at least 1 hour until doubled in size OR scrape the dough out of your food processor, remove the S blade and replace the dough back into the food processor container. Replace the lid and let set covered for 1 hour or until doubled.
  3. After the dough has doubled in size, scrape it out onto a floured work surface and start to roll it into your desired shape. Rub on extra flour as needed to prevent the dough from sticking to the works surface or the rolling pin.
  4. Once you get your desired shape, rub some extra-fine ground cornmeal into the top of your dough. When you go to add toppings, flip the dough over. This small bit of cornmeal is the trick to nonstick pizza. Congratulations, you have now made a basic pizza crust!
Notes
This dough does not need to be pre-baked, so top it with sauce, veggies, and cheese and bake it. I suggest 425 for 18 minutes.

Calories are for the whole crust. Divide accordingly!
Nutrition Information
Serving size: 1 crust Calories: 1069 Fat: 8 Saturated fat: 1 Trans fat: 0 Carbohydrates: 222 Sugar: 21 Sodium: 23 Fiber: 25 Protein: 49 Cholesterol: 0