How do I live without cheese? Well, I don’t, exactly. It’s taken nearly ten years of analyzed food consumption and varying dietary extremes to develop my approach to food. While I expect my views to continue to evolve, the following is how I came to eat the way I do today.
Açaí bowls are more than internet photo fodder, they’re healthful and delicious. Because I eat vegetarian (erring on the side of vegan) I often start my days with one. Cooking has become a bit of a love language for me, so on a recent trip home I racked my brain trying to think of something to accommodate both my dietary ideals and my parents who eat paleo. Açaí bowls are adaptable and are the only vegan / paleo crossover meal I’ve managed so far. They also, you know, look nice.
1 t coconut oil
2 T unsweetened coconut flakes
1 4 oz pack frozen unsweetened açaí
2 T coconut milk*
1 Medjool date, pitted*
1 T peanut butter*
1 T chia seeds
2 T granola
1 T dried goji berries
1 T cacao nibs
small handfuls of strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, and blackberries
*Other types of milk, dates, and nut butters can be used. Almond butter works great for paleo folks.
- Melt coconut oil over medium-low heat. Add coconut flakes and toast until lightly browned, 2-3 minutes.
- Blend açaí, banana, coconut milk, date, and peanut butter until smooth.
- Pour into bowl and top with toasted coconut, fresh fruit, chia seeds, dried goji berries, cacao nibs, and granola.
Toppings can be edited to fit tastes. Since berries have such a precarious shelf life, often I do not have all four kinds on hand so I just use what’s around. Sliced kiwi is a delicious topping, too.
Recipe adapted from It’s All Easy: Delicious Weekday Recipes for the Super-Busy Home Cook by Gwyneth Paltrow.
On Cinco de Mayo, I made Rick’s favorite enchilada recipe in celebration of Mexico and the incredible contributions Mexican people have made to the United States.
Enchiladas are my all time favorite food, so naturally I’ve collected recipes for several iterations. A great enchilada is hard to find, and, as a Texan, I’m an especially tough crowd.
This recipe is a crowd pleaser.
1 sweet potato, diced into 1/2″pieces
1 russet potato, diced into 1/2″pieces
1/4 c plus 2 T olive oil
1 1/2 t sea salt
1/2 t fresh ground black pepper
1 yellow onion, diced
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 jalepeño, seeded and diced
1 T chili powder
1 t cumin
pinch of red pepper flakes
1 t paprika
1/2 t oregano
1/2 t cane sugar
1 28 oz can diced tomatoes
1 15 oz can black beans, rinsed
8 corn tortillas
1 1/2 c shredded cheese*
*Can be replaced with vegan cheese. I recommend Daiya.
- Preheat oven to 350º.
- Toss the potatoes in 1/4 c olive oil, 1 t of sea salt, and a few turns of black pepper. Distribute evenly on a baking sheet and roast until tender, about 50 minutes.
- In a large saucepan, heat the remaining 2 T of olive oil over medium heat. Cook onion until soft and translucent, about six minutes.
- Add the garlic, jalapeño, chili powder, cumin, red pepper flakes, paprika, oregano, sugar, remaining sea salt, and pepper, stirring for one minute.
- Stir in the tomatoes and remove from heat.
- Blend tomato mixture in a food processor or blender until smooth. Return mixture to heat and simmer for 20 minutes.
- Place tortillas on a heat-safe plate and then place the plate on the stove. The heat rising up from the oven will make the tortillas more malleable for enchilada construction.
- In a large bowl, combine the roasted potatoes, beans, one cup of sauce, and one cup of shredded cheese.
- Spread a thin layer of sauce on the bottom of a 9 X 13″ baking dish.
- Dip each side of tortilla into the enchilada sauce. Using a 1/2 c measuring cup, scoop the potato mixture onto each tortilla. Roll tortilla up and line up in the baking dish, seam down. Repeat until baking dish is filled.
- On top of the enchiladas, spread remaining sauce and then sprinkle 1/2 c of cheese.
- Bake uncovered 20 minutes, until enchiladas are hot and the cheese is melted.
- Serve warm with optional toppings: sour cream (can be replaced with vegan option, I recommend Tofutti), cilantro, jalapeños, lime wedges, avocado, or green onions.
Adapted from Bean and Potato Vegan Enchiladas.
1 1/2 T olive oil
1 small yellow onion, diced
1 t fresh ginger, minced
4 garlic cloves, minced
2 russet potatoes, cubed
4 carrots, sliced**
1 jalepeño, seeded and sliced
3 T ground cashews
1/2 c (4 oz) tomato sauce**
2 t sea salt
1 1/2 T curry powder
1 c green peas
1/2 yellow bell pepper, diced
1/2 red bell pepper, diced
1 c coconut milk
1 bunch fresh cilantro
The oil in this recipe can be coconut, olive, canola, or vegetable, the onion can be white or yellow, the potatoes can be almost any type, the bell peppers can be any combo of colors, and the milk can also be any kind, including canned coconut milk for a full-bodied flavor.
**I used leftover red enchilada sauce in lieu of straight tomato sauce because it’s what I had on hand, and it turned out great! For the same reason, I used baby carrots instead of four full carrots. I hate to waste food (and money), so I try to be resourceful and use up what I have around before opening or buying something new.
I used a coffee grinder for the cashews but you can also use a blender or food processor.
- Heat the oil in a skillet over medium heat.
- Stir in the onion, cooking until tender.
- Mix in ginger and garlic and continue cooking for one minute.
- Mix in potatoes, carrots, jalapeño, cashews, tomato sauce, sea salt, and curry powder. Cook about ten minutes until potatoes are tender, stirring occasionally.
- Stir peas, bell pepper, and milk into the skillet. Reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer ten minutes.
- Garnish with cilantro to serve.
- Optional: serve with naan or over basmati rice.
Simple, flavorful, delicious.
This recipe was adapted from Vegetarian Korma.