Mushroom Tacos de Carnitas

Mushroom Tacos de Carnitas

It’s been a while! Hello everyone! I hope you had a wonderful summer! Mine was spent exactly how I envisioned it! I had lots of time in the water, spending time with loved ones and living my lazy best life! That said, I am ready for autumn! While I love living a Jeff Spicoli summer, “All I need are some tasty waves, a cool buzz, and I’m fine,” around this time every summer, the wheels start coming off the bus. So now that the kids are heading back to school next week and Kevin is gone for the week, I will have the house all to myself for the first time in years. Years.

I am in a creative mood and hope to get the ball rolling on some new recipes. I am still working on some recipes for my cookbook and improving my food photography skills. I have just shy of 100 recipes written and photographed. It’s a pet project that I have been working on and want to finish by next Spring! I am pretty sure this Mushroom Carnitas recipe will be in the book!

The book is divided into sections and will be called “Vegan Around the World!” Recipes like Mushroom Empanadas, Sweet Potato Galette, Vegan Faux Gras, Chickpea Aloo Gobi, and Cajun Gumbo are sure to have a taste for every palate!

I have also dedicated several recipes to friends and family. One of my favorite vegan chefs is Joanne Lee Molinaro. I love her stories and how she weaves her culture into her recipes. I hope to share some of my philosophies regarding veganism, sustainability, and the science of health for not only us humans but also the health of the planet. I would also like to share some of my culinary instructions and advice. As someone who’s been in the culinary world in one form or another since the early 1990s, I can offer some easy substitutions and suggestions and maybe expand your culinary knowledge!

So, without further ado, let’s get to it! This Mushroom Carnitas recipe is nearly perfect. What does that mean exactly? Well, it has precisely 12 ingredients, it’s ready in under 30 minutes, and it is so good you will want to make enough for seconds. Promise!

I used two kinds of mushrooms for this recipe. There is a lot of flexibility in the mouthfeel for whatever type of mushroom you fancy. I used half king oyster mushrooms and portobellos, but you could also use shitakes, lions mane, really just about anything other than the small white button mushrooms. You want a nice “shreddable” mushroom. With a nice dusting of spices like cardamom, cumin, orange zest, and Mexican oregano, the carnitas are oven roasted for about 15 minutes.

I like to keep it simple. Much like the shredded pork variety, I used onions, jalapenos, garlic, and orange juice.  I also like the addition of the vegan Worcestershire sauce, and you could even use a tiny amount (1/8 tsp) of liquid smoke if you like.

The Violife vegan feta is an excellent substitution for Mexican Queso Fresco.  Highly recommend it!  Add some pickled red onions, avocado, and fresh cilantro, and call it a day, mis amigos!


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Mushroom Tacos de Carnitas

  • Author: Stephanie Bosch
  • Prep Time: 10
  • Cook Time: 15
  • Total Time: 25
  • Yield: 6 tacos 1x
  • Method: Saute, Bake
  • Diet: Vegan

Description

Yummy carnitas!  You can make tacos, nachos, or tostadas!


Ingredients

Scale
  • 5 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 large onion, chopped, plus finely chopped onion for garnish
  • 1 medium jalapeno, seeded and sliced into 1/4” rings
  • 1 ¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes (reduce, or omit, if you don’t like heat)
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon cardamom
  • 1 ½ teaspoon crushed dried oregano leaves, preferably Mexican
  • 1/2 teaspoon orange zest
  • 1/2 cup orange juice
  • 2 tablespoons vegan Worchestershire
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, evenly divided
  • Salt and fresh pepper to taste
  • 6 small corn tortillas, warmed, for serving
  • Chopped cilantro for garnish
  • Salsa for garnish
  • Vegan Feta

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 400°F. (220°C) Prepare a parchment-lined baking sheet.
  2. Clean and shred the mushrooms. Slice off the mushroom caps (if using oyster or portobello mushrooms) and gently pull them apart with your fingers. I like them approximately about 1/2 wide and 2 inches long. The important thing here is to ensure they’re all the same size. Add the mushrooms to a large mixing bowl and toss with the spices. Drizzle one tablespoon of olive oil and toss well.
  3.  Transfer the mushrooms to the prepared baking sheet and spread them out in an even layer.
  4. Bake mushrooms for approximately 15 minutes. Check the around the 12-minute mark. They are not heavily coated with oil and can burn if you’re not careful.
  5. While mushrooms are in the oven, cook onions and jalapeno. Warm a medium-size skillet over medium heat. When the pan is heated, add the remaining olive oil. When oil begins to shimmer, add onion and jalapeno. Saute for 7-8 minutes, or until vegetables start to soften. Add garlic and saute until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add salt and pepper to taste. Remove from heat.
  6. When mushrooms are done, add to the skillet with the onions and jalapeno. Mix well. Return pan to medium heat, and once warm, add orange juice, orange zest, and Worcestershire sauce. Saute until the liquid has almost evaporated, about 3-4 minutes.
  7. While the mushrooms are cooking, warm a well-oiled comal or cast iron skillet over medium-high heat. You can also lightly spray the tortillas with spray oil. Add tortillas and cook until lightly browned, about 2-3 minutes per side.
  8. While the mushrooms are done, remove them from heat.
  9. Fill each taco with carnitas, and garnish with your favorite salsa, onion, avocado, and vegan feta!
  10. Enjoy!

tables

Sweet Potato Coconut Curry with Mango Salsa

This recipe is an oldie but goodie!  It’s super easy and a perfect meal for summer.  I love the mango salsa just by itself!  Also, you can use butternut squash in place of the sweet potatoes, or papaya in place of the mango!  The options are endless!

I have modified this amazing recipe because I am doing a Candida/Bacterial overgrowth protocol, and there are a lot of things I can’t have.  However, this recipe came really close to checking off all the boxes and it is soooo good. But I must give all the credit to Food Faith Fitness for her mega talents in the kitchen!  I’ve made a few modifications (chives for onions, cream of coconut for the full-fat coconut milk, and cut back on the oil).

coconut-curry-image
Photo via Food Faith Fitness

Serving Size: 2

Coconut Curry:

  • ½ tablespoon coconut oil
  • 1 large carrot, peeled and sliced, about a heaping 1/2 cup
  • 1 small red bell pepper, sliced, about 1/2 cup
  • 1 cup broccoli, cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 1 teaspoon fresh ginger, minced
  • ½ tablespoon yellow curry powder
  • 2 tablespoons cream of coconut (I found it in the liquor section of the store)
  • 12 oz water
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 large sweet potato, spiraled

Mango Salsa:

  • 1 mango, large, diced, about 3/4 cup
  • 2 tablespoons chives
  • ½ teaspoon apple cider vinegar
  • 1 small jalapeno, minced
  • ½ teaspoon red pepper flakes, adjust to the preferred level of spiciness
  • ¼ cup fresh cilantro, plus additional for garnish
  • Pinch of salt

Directions

  1. Heat 1/2 Tbsp coconut oil on medium/high heat and cook the carrots for about 3 minutes, until they begin to soften.
  2. Turn the heat down to medium and add pepper, broccoli, onion and ginger. Cook until they begin to soften and brown, about 5 minutes.
  3. Add in the 1/2 Tbsp of yellow curry powder and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute.
  4. Add the cream of coconut and 12 oz water.
  5. Add spiraled sweet potatoes.
  6. Raise the heat to medium/high and bring the mixture to a boil. Once boiling, turn the heat down to medium/low heat and simmer for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the sauce begins to thicken.
  7. Meanwhile, toss diced mango, chives, jalapeno, red pepper flakes, apple cider vinegar and cilantro in a medium bowl. Season with a pinch of salt.
  8. Divide the noodles between two plates and top with the curry. Garnish with mango salsa and cilantro.

New Orleans Style Red Beans & Rice

New Orleans Style Red Beans & Rice

One of the first things I want to eat when I go to New Orleans is a steaming hot bowl of Red Beans & Rice. I also want an Abita Amber Ale out of Abita Springs, LA, the small town in St. Tammany parish, where my husband Kevin and I got married (we got engaged on the back of The Creole Queen paddle wheeler in the Bay of New Orleans).

Kevin’s family has been in New Orleans for five generations! His great-grandpa Michael D’Argonne was a college professor and the head of the Sociology department at Xavier University in the 1920’s/30’s.  His grandparents lived in Metairie, LA until their passing a few years ago.   Now, most of his family lives across Lake Ponchartrain on the Northshore. 

And so a year after getting engaged we got married at the Abita Quail Farm. It is THE most beautiful place! I am still indebted to Kevin’s Aunt Janice, for telling us 22 years ago…”I know where ya haf ta have ya weddin’!” It was a dream wedding with 100 of our closest friends and family. John, the owner of the farm is a good friend of her husband, Paul.  John surprised us with fireworks over the lake at the end of the night. The memory still brings tears!  

Our uncle, Paul La Rocca, on the Italian side of the family, is a local banker on the Northshore. The man knows everyone from Mandeville to Hammond and everywhere in between, including Abita Springs. We had our rehearsal dinner and after-wedding party at the Abita Brewpub per his suggestion (they graciously stayed open until 3:00 AM for us).  

And it was Paul’s uncle Anthony who taught me everything I know about New Orleans food and cooking.  He would call me and we would literally talk for hours about everything, but mostly food and cooking.  He had built a professional kitchen in his backyard off Milan Street in Midtown and sometimes he even cooked meals for the Arch Bishop of New Orleans! He was in his 80s when he died and he became one of my very good friends and favorite teachers. 

Needless to say, my heart and my stomach both live in Louisiana! This Red Beans & Rice recipe is a variation of my mother-in-law, Miss Cheryl’s recipe. I added a little heat, but the show stopper is the New Orleans Creole Cream Style “Blue Runner Brand” Kidney Beans. Now, most of us cannot find them locally, but Walmart has been known to carry them (and is the cheapest way to buy them online), and if you’re from St. Louis, I can bring you some next time I’m down there.

You can also purée kidney beans with a little vegetable stock and saute them up with the “cajun trinity,” celery, bell pepper, and onions, and flavor ’em with a creole seasoning. It’s an extra step but it is a game-changer in a recipe that runs the risk of being a little on the dry side. You’ll thank me, I promise.

Anyway, here y’all go! And as always, let me know how ya like it!

Pase yon bon joune!

Steph


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New Orleans Style Red Beans & Rice

  • Author: Stephanie Bosch
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 25-30
  • Total Time: 55 minutes
  • Yield: 4-6 cups 1x
  • Cuisine: Creole
  • Diet: Vegan

Description

If ya can’t go to New Orleans, then bring New Orleans to you! If you can’t find Slap Ya Mama in the grocery store, Tony Chachere seasoning works just fine!  I also like the green tabasco with this recipe. It already carries a little bit of heat, and you don’t want to overshadow the flavor with too much heat.  I also used Impossible Meat’s Sausage because of its high-fat content.  It adds a sublime flavor to the beans! You can also skip the sausage if you want to!


Ingredients

Scale
  • 2 cans organic red kidney beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 can New Orleans Style Creole Cream Style Red Beans
  • 1 (15 oz) can low sodium diced tomatoes
  • 1 pack vegan sausage (I LOVE Impossible Sausage for this)
  • 2 tablespoons EVOO, or water
  • 1 green bell pepper, seeded and diced
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 cup celery, diced
  • 2 tablespoons cajun seasoning
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 cups of vegetable stock
  • Rice (I usually make brown basmati but feel free to use your favorite)
  • Hot Sauce (Optional, but highly recommended!)
  • Green onions, or pickled okra, sliced for garnish

 


Instructions

  1. Make rice according to package directions.
  2. Warm a dutch oven over medium heat.
  3. Add oil, (or 1/4 cup stock) to the pan and when oil begins to shimmer, add sausage.
  4. Saute until brown on one side and flip.
  5. Add onions, bell pepper, and celery, and saute until sausage has browned evenly and vegetables have begun to soften–about 6 minutes.
  6. Add garlic and saute until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add 2 tablespoons of stock if too dry, or if things begin to stick.
  7. Add seasoning and cook for an additional 2-3 minutes. (Be careful not to burn the spices, keep an eye on the temperature).
  8. Add vegetable stock and deglaze the bottom of the pan.
  9. Add tomatoes and beans.  Simmer uncovered for 20-25 minutes.
  10. Taste for seasonings. When finished, add rice to a bowl and top with red beans.
  11. Garnish with onions, or okra, and finish off with tabasco.
  12. Enjoy!

Keywords: red beans and rice, vegan, red beans, creole, cajun, New Orleans style,

 

Tarragon Chickpea Salad with Riced Broccoli and Cauliflower

Tarragon Chickpea Salad with Riced Broccoli and Cauliflower

A few years ago, I was fortunate enough to meet Dr. Michael Greger, MD, at a conference here in St. Louis. I had read his book, “How Not to Die,” and was delighted to hear him speak. One of the biggest takeaways was learning about a sulfur-rich compound called sulforaphane. Found in certain cruciferous vegetables like broccoli, Brussels sprouts, and cabbage, sulforaphane is a powerful antioxidant that cancels out free radicals in the body and protects your DNA. 

Plant-based Summit 2018

It has also been shown to reduce certain toxins, reduce inflammation, and provide protection from cancer, specifically breast cancer stem cells. It also protects against blood vessel damage in people with diabetes and lowers the levels of fat found in our blood. 

The thing about sulforaphane is that it must be developed before being eaten. The easiest way to do that is to cut up your broccoli and let it sit for at least a half-hour before eating.

Chopping and exposing broccoli to the air allows it to activate the enzyme to promote sulforaphane. And if you’re not used to getting a lot of fiber in your diet, cutting up the broccoli and cauliflower makes it a bit easier to digest!

This dish is best served cold. It can easily be made the day before and it holds up quite well!  It would also be a perfect dish for your Memorial Day weekend! As always tag me and let me know how you liked it!

XO,

Steph


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Tarragon Chickpea Salad with Riced Broccoli and Cauliflower

  • Author: Stephanie Bosch
  • Prep Time: 30
  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: 8 servings 1x

Description

Rich in antioxidants, fiber, and flavor, this salad is a delicious way to get all of your nutrients and would be the perfect item to bring to a summer gathering!


Ingredients

Scale

Ingredients

Salad:

  • 12 ounces small broccoli florets (about 5 cups)
  • 6 ounces cauliflower florets
  • 2 (14 oz.) cans chickpeas, drained & rinsed
  • 1/2 cup soaked cashews, drained or rinsed (or boiled for 10 minutes and rinsed) See Note
  • 1 large yellow bell pepper, diced
  • 1 large tomato, seeded and diced
  • 1 zucchini, diced
  • 2 green onions, thinly sliced
  • 1 ripe avocado, diced
  • 3 tablespoons hemp seeds
  • 1/4 cup sunflower seeds
  • 3 large fresh tarragon leaves, minced 
  • 1/2 cup cilantro, minced

Dressing

  • 1 ripe avocado, seeded and chopped
  • 2 tablespoons fresh tarragon
  • 1/2 zucchini, diced
  • 1/4 cup cilantro, chopped
  • 1 shallot, minced
  • 1/2 cup full fat coconut milk
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 tablespoon hemp seeds
  • 1/2 tsp dried tarragon (optional, but recommended)
  • 1 tsp salt and pepper 

Instructions

Dressing:

  1. Make the dressing first and refrigerate. 
  2. Soak cashews overnight or boil for 10 minutes to soften. Drain and rinse.
  3. Add all ingredients, including cashews, to a blender and mix well. If the dressing is too thick, you can add about 2 tablespoons of water at a time until it thins to your preference.   Taste for seasoning and adjust if needed.

Salad:

  1. Divide broccoli in half, and pulse each half until broccoli resembles small rice grains. Note –  you do not want to pulse it all at once because you risk turning some of your broccoli into a paste.
  2. Repeat with cauliflower.
  3. In a large mixing bowl, add broccoli, cauliflower, and tarragon.  Mix well. Add remaining ingredients and stir well.   Add dressing, mixing well—taste for seasoning. Adjust if necessary.   

This dish is best served cold. The dressing or the entire salad can easily be made the day before.  Don’t worry about the vegetables softening. It holds up quite nicely!  


Notes

Cashews need to be softened.  You can either soak them overnight or boil them on the stovetop for about 10 minutes or until cashews float to the top of the water.


Nutrition

  • Serving Size: 1 cup

 

 

BBQ Tofu Bowl

BBQ Tofu Bowl

This bowl is a family favorite! I love the tofu cutlets, and the BBQ makes it sooooo good! Feel free to use whatever veggies you have on hand. The great thing about a bowl is that there is no wrong way to make it! I love the Southwest flair this dish has, and it makes a perfect weeknight dish!

You can make the cilantro lime rice ahead of time, and it helps when you have several things cooking at once. I used a smoky-sweet Kansas City-style BBQ sauce, but again, it’s your preference! This dish would also be great with coleslaw instead of rice! You could also go Korean style with some Gochujang, black rice, and baked cauliflower! The possibilities are endless!

As always, tag me if you make it and let me know how you liked it!  

XOXO,

Steph 


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BBQ Tofu Bowl

  • Author: Stephanie Bosch

Ingredients

Scale

Marinade:

  • 1/3 cup soy sauce
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1/3 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup Worcestershire Sauce
  • 2 Tbsp Montreal Spice Mix

Tofu:

  • 1 package of extra firm tofu, drained and pressed
  • 2 cups of cilantro lime rice
  • 1 1/2 cups BBQ Sauce 

Beans:

  • 1 (15 oz) can Pinto beans, drained and rinsed well
  • 1/2 cup vegetable stock
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1/2 tsp salt and pepper

Broccoli:

  • 1 head of organic broccoli
  • 3 Tbsp water
  • Pinch of red pepper flakes
  • Pinch of sea salt

 


Instructions

Marinade: 

 

  1.  Place the soy sauce, olive oil, lemon juice, Worcestershire sauce, and Montreal Seasoning in a blender. 
  2.  Blend at high speed for 30 seconds until thoroughly mixed.

Bowl:

  1. Preheat oven to 350° F.
  2.  When tofu is pressed, pat dry and lay flat. Cut tofu in half widthwise. Cut each piece in half again, and repeat once more until you have eight rectangles. 
  3.  Place tofu in a non-reactive, preferably glass pan or bowl with a lid. Add marinade and coat well.
  4. Refrigerate. 
  5. Allow tofu to marinate for at least 30 minutes, (up to 4 hours). 
  6. While tofu is marinating, make your Rice. * (See note) 
  7. When rice is done, warm a medium-size skillet over medium-high heat. When the pan is warm, add 2 tsp of olive oil. 
  8. When oil is shimming, add tofu and any marinade that is left over. Pan sear tofu until browned on each side. About 2-3 minutes per side. 
  9. When browned, remove the tofu and add to a parchment-lined baking sheet. Brush one side of the tofu with BBQ sauce and bake for 3-4 minutes. Remove from oven, flip tofu, brush the other side. Return to oven for 3-4 more minutes. 
  10. While tofu is in the oven, in a medium-size saucepan, add drained and rinsed pinto beans, 1/2 tsp salt and pepper each, 1/2 cup vegetable stock, and 1 tsp of cumin. Cook over medium heat until warmed through. 
  11. While beans are simmering, add broccoli to the same skillet you used to cook the tofu. Do not clean the pan first.  You want the brown bits on the bottom of the pan.  Cook broccoli with 3 Tbsp of water, a pinch of red pepper flakes, and sea salt, over medium-high heat for 4-5 minutes until bright and lightly browned.  
  12. Remove tofu from the oven and lightly brush each side with more BBQ Sauce.
  13. Assemble bowl, Rice first, Broccoli, Beans, and add Tofu to Rice. Season with salt and pepper to taste. 

Notes

*To save time, make rice ahead of time.   

Smoky Poblano Corn Dip

Smoky Poblano Corn Dip

Are you looking for an easy Easter appetizer? Well, who doesn’t love a good dip? Admittedly, it’s one of my guilty pleasures! And this recipe is the first to come to mind! I love all things dip, hummus, queso, cream cheese, my vegan peppercorn ranch, but I especially love this Smoky Poblano Corn Dip! It’s delicious, gorgeous, and will be a hit even among your non-vegan friends and family.

I like to set it out and watch people gobble it up. They will often ask who made the corn dip and when they find out it was me, they are always amazed that it is 100% vegan!

I typically use poblano peppers for mine, but you can use anaheim or hatch peppers. And for reasons of sustainability, I also use Follow Your Heart because it contains no palm oil. I use R.W. Garcia chips because they are yummy, the family has a great story, their products are organic/non-GMO, and they are a sustainable climate pledge-friendly company.

As always, tag me and let me know how you like it!

XO,

Steph


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Smoky Poblano Corn Dip

  • Author: Stephanie Bosch
  • Prep Time: 10
  • Cook Time: 12
  • Total Time: 22 minutes

Description

A super yummy appetizer that will leave you wanting more!  You can easily use frozen organic corn in place of corn cobs.  I don’t recommend canned corn because it’s usually very high in sodium, it has a metallic taste, and it’s not fresh! Trust me on this one!


Ingredients

Scale
  • 4 poblano, Anaheim, or hatch peppers
  • 4 ears of corn, husks removed cut in half (about 2 cups)
  • 5 scallions, green part only, thinly sliced on the bias (reserve 2 tablespoons)
  • 3 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon lime juice
  • 1 teaspoon chili lime seasoning
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 3 tablespoons hot sauce (I use Frank’s Redhot)
  • 8 ounces of vegan sour cream* (I use Follow Your Heart)
  • 8 ounces of vegan cream cheese (I like Kite Hill’s Garden Veggie)
  • ¼ teaspoon salt & pepper
  • ¼ cup minced organic cilantro, garnish
  • Organic corn chips for serving

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to broil.
  1. On a prepared baking sheet, add the poblano peppers and roast for about 5 minutes, occasionally rotating until all sides are charred. Immediately place them in a medium bowl and cover them tightly with plastic wrap.
  2. Warm a medium-size non-stick skillet over medium-high heat. When ready, add corn. Toast the corn cobs for about 10 minutes (2 1/2 minutes per side), allowing half of the kernels to get charred. Allow them to cool enough to handle, then cut the kernels off the cob with a sharp knife, place them in a large mixing bowl. (In a separate small bowl, reserve 1 tablespoon of corn for garnish)
  3. Preheat oven to 450°F degrees.
  4. When the poblanos have cooled, remove the stems, skin, seeds, and veins.   Then chop them into ¼ inch pieces—Reserve 2 tablespoons of peppers for garnish and mince. Add to the small bowl of corn garnish. Then add the remaining peppers to the large mixing bowl of corn.
  5. To the corn pepper mixture, add scallions, garlic, lime juice, chili lime seasoning, paprika, hot sauce, sour cream, softened cream cheese, and salt and pepper, mix well.
  6. Transfer the mixture to a 10-inch cast-iron skillet or a 2-quart baking dish, and bake at 450 degrees for 12 minutes. Remove when it is hot and bubbling around the edges of the pan.
  7. Top with additional scallions, cilantro, corn poblano garnish, and a dash or two of smoked paprika. Serve with corn chips.
  8. Enjoy!

Notes

*I use “Follow Your Heart” because it contains no palm oil.

 

Vegan Crab Cakes with Creole Ravigote

Vegan Crab Cakes with Creole Ravigote
Do you know what it means to miss New Orleans? I certainly do. It’s one of my favorite places on earth. It is the only place that I know of in the US with its own unique music, dialect, food, and cultural traditions like Mardi Gras that define the city. In fact, I wish I were in New Orleans for Mardi Gras this year.
 
It’s also a town that I happily eat my way through. Before becoming a vegan, I had a list of places to go and food to eat. Commander’s, Tujague’s, Antoine’s, Cafe Maspero, anywhere for a little Jambalaya, Crawfish Pie, and a Filé Gumbo!   I’ve been able to replicate many of my favorite dishes except for one.
 
The last time I was there I had the best vegan crab cakes!  Made from Heart of Palm instead of crab meat they were absolutely delectable!  They were flakey, moist, and full of flavor. 
 

The problem with hearts of palm.

Harvesting the “heart of palm” kills most palms. So wild harvesting can be very damaging if done on a widespread basis. The hearts of palm that I buy is the “Native Forest” brand. Here is a quote from their website—”Here we rely upon the Euterpe precatoria, or huasaí palm tree, which grows profusely throughout this vast Amazonian rainforest.

Long-term leases secure approximately 240,000 acres of pristine native forest for the wild hearts of palm ecological project, thereby protecting the land from any rain forest-destructive development. In addition to preserving the region’s ecology, this project brings needed employment to those who live deep in the Amazon basin, providing them the opportunity to work closer to their families and their ancestral homes.”

But not all brands are as conscientious as Native Forest, and it’s best to check. The  Environmental Working Group’s page is an excellent resource for studying everything from sustainability to child labor and products that contain pesticides, GMOs, etc.

So back to the recipe! The hearts of palm are a perfect replacement for crab meat. These little gems are crispy on the outside and flaky and moist inside. My mother-in-law (who is not vegan) was utterly blown away! You can pan-fry, air fry or oven fry them, whatever your preference. Just be sure to heat your oven to the lowest setting and add them to the range to keep them warm.  Serve with a side of corn maque choux and enjoy! 


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Vegan Crab Cakes with Creole Ravigote

  • Author: Stephanie Bosch

Ingredients

Scale

CRAB CAKES

  • 1 14-oz can chickpeas (reserve bean juice, aka aquafaba)
  • 1 14-oz cans hearts of palm, chopped into large pieces
  • 2 jalapenos, seeded and minced
  • 2 stalks celery, finely chopped
  • ½ sizeable red bell pepper, finely chopped
  • 3 scallions, sliced thin
  • ½ cup vegan mayonnaise
  • 2 tablespoon Old Bay seasoning
  • 1 tablespoon Creole (can also use spicy brown) mustard
  • ½ cup panko bread crumbs + ½ cup more for coating
  • Salt and pepper

CREOLE RAVIGOTE

  • 3 tablespoons of Dijon mustard
  • 3 tablespoons of white wine vinegar
  • 2/3 cup vegan mayonnaise
  • 1 tablespoon of capers, chopped
  • 1 cup of fresh parsley
  • 1 teaspoon each of dried parsley, chervil, and tarragon 
  • 1 tablespoon Creole mustard or coarse ground spicy brown mustard
  • 1 tablespoon prepared horseradish
  • 1 tablespoon of shallots, finely chopped
  • salt
  • pepper

Instructions

  1. Place the chickpeas in a food processor and pulse. Don’t over process just enough to break them down.  Remove from food processor and set aside.
  2. Repeat process with hearts of palm. You want a crab-like texture. Do not over-process.  Remove and set aside.
  3. Dice jalapenos.
  4. Add chickpeas, hearts of palm, and jalapeños to a large bowl.  Add celery, bell pepper, and scallions.  Mix well to combine.
  5. In a separate bowl, whisk 1/4 cup of the reserved chickpea liquid until foaming – this will take a few minutes. Add all remaining ingredients except bread crumbs. Stir well to combine.
  6. Add liquid mixture to crab cake mixture and mix well. You may need to use your hands.  Add breadcrumbs and season with salt and pepper. 
  7. On a lined baking sheet, form the mixture into 2” balls and flatten with a spatula or your hand.
  8. Chill cakes, uncovered, for ½ hour to help set.
  9. Place the remaining ½ cup of panko in a shallow dish.
  10. Coat each cake with the remaining panko.  Lightly brush with remaining aquafaba. 
  11. Heat an oil-coated skillet on medium-high heat.
  12. Lightly pan fry for 3 minutes on each side. (You can also air fry for 10 minutes at 400°).
  13. Do this with the remaining mixture. I usually fit 4-5 patties on the skillet at a time. When they are cooked, transfer them to a plate covered with a paper towel.
  14. Serve with a dollop of the Ravigote. lemon wedge, and fresh greens.

CREOLE RAVIGOTE

  1. Add all ingredients to a blender and mix until smooth.
  2. If you’re like me and you like your Ravigote sauce extra spicy, you can add cayenne pepper to taste.

Notes

Makes 10-12 medium size crab cakes. 

 

Blue Corn Tortillas

Blue Corn Tortillas

This is a super easy recipe for making corn tortillas! I like the blue corn masa harina because it contains 20% more protein than its white corn counterparts. It is also gluten-free and has less starch and a lower glycemic index (GI) than white or yellow corn. Like blueberries, blue corn contains naturally occurring anthocyanin. Anthocyanin is the pigment that makes a plant or grain blue, red, purple, or black. These richly colored foods are high in antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties!

Once you make homemade tortillas, I promise you’ll never want to use storebought tortillas again! You can use masa harina for making tortillas, tamales, gorditas, corn chips, enchiladas and sopes! You don’t need a tortilla press, but they are super handy, especially if you’re like me and use a lot of tortillas. You will want to buy one.

It is essential to follow these directions implicitly. While the ingredients are simple, the process is precise. A few things to note– do not press the tortilla too hard, or it will smear. And remove the parchment from the tortilla and not the tortilla from the parchment. This prevents the tortilla from tearing. I typically remove the top sheet of parchment, place the dough side down on the comal, and carefully remove the second sheet. If the dough sticks to the parchment, spray with a tiny bit of oil.

Enjoy!


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Blue Corn Tortillas

  • Author: Stephanie Bosch
  • Prep Time: 5
  • Cook Time: 10
  • Total Time: 15 minutes
  • Yield: 8 tortillas

Ingredients


Instructions

  1. Warm a cast-iron skillet or a comal over medium heat. Prepare a clean kitchen towel to wrap tortillas to keep them warm and cut 2 10×10-inch sheets of parchment paper.
  2. Add masa to a medium-size bowl and, using your fingers, add just enough water until well combined.*  (See note).
  3. Knead the dough well (about 5 minutes) and roll into a large ball. Cut it in half lengthwise. Cut each dough half in half lengthwise once more. Finally, cut each half in half widthwise a final time, so you have 8 small pieces of dough.
  4. Roll each piece of dough into a ball, place it on a plate, and cover with a clean towel to prevent drying.
  5. Place each ball between the two sheets of parchment and press into a flat disk. Using either a tortilla press or a heavy baking dish, press dough into a 6″ tortilla.
  6. Gently remove parchment from each side of the tortilla, place it carefully on the hot skillet/comal, cook for about 40-45 seconds, then flip it up and cook for another 45 seconds.
  7. Flip tortilla again and cook for another 15-20 seconds or until it begins to puff. ** (See note).
  8. Place tortilla between a kitchen towel to keep it warm. Repeat the steps with the remaining dough.

Notes

*If the dough is too sticky, add just a little masa until it no longer sticks to your fingers.  If it is too crumbly, add just enough water to form a solid dough so that it sticks together when firmly pressed.

** If the tortillas do not rise, you have not kneaded the dough well enough.

Keywords: Blue corn tortillas, masa, blue masa, tortillas

 

Smoked Cauliflower & Oyster Mushroom Tacos

I love tacos. And I’m pretty confident before I die, I will have made them in every possible way. Honestly, I could eat a taco variety every day and never be tired of them. And these tacos are my new favorite. I recently discovered the versatility of oyster mushrooms and decided that they would make an excellent filling choice for my next taco venture.

The word taco comes from the Nahuatl (Aztec) word ‘tlahco,’ which means “half or in the middle,” referring to how it is formed. It is believed that the origin of the taco started in Mexican silver mines in the late 19th century. To mine the silver, Miners added gunpowder to paper which was then folded in half and inserted into rocks before detonation. Taco de minero literally translates into “miner’s tacos.” The tacos then were very different from tacos today. Typically they were made using a soft corn tortilla filled with fish or organ meat. Nowadays, there are dozens and dozens of taco varieties.

I used smoked paprika and an ancho chili powder to get a smoky cauliflower taste without pulling out the smoker. I thought the ancho chili powder would pair well with its daddy, the poblano. Made from dried poblano chilies, ancho chili powder is quite different from regular chili powder, usually, some form of a dried chili cut with cumin, oregano, and paprika. You could also obtain the same smokiness by using chipotle powder, but because it packs some heat, you need to cut the ingredient amount by half.

I have included the recipe for my blue corn tortillas. The only thing that I love more than a taco is a good tortilla. If you’ve never made them before, fear not. They couldn’t be easier to make! Only two ingredients, the key is a good masa flour, and to use only enough water to create a dough. I have a tortilla press because I generally always make my tortillas. But you don’t need a press. You only need something heavy to press them with, like a heavy baking dish.  I promise once you start making your own tortillas you’ll never go back to store-bought again.

As always, tag me and let me know how you like them!

XO,

Steph


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Smoked Cauliflower & Oyster Mushroom Tacos

  • Author: Stephanie Bosch
  • Prep Time: 10
  • Cook Time: 25
  • Total Time: 35 minutes
  • Yield: 6-8 Tacos 1x
  • Cuisine: Mexican
  • Diet: Vegan

Ingredients

Scale
  • 12 oz cauliflower, cut into small florets
  • 68 ounces oyster mushrooms, thinly sliced (I pull mine apart)
  • 1 large or two small poblano peppers, thinly sliced
  • 1 small sweet onion, thinly sliced
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/4 cup vegetable broth or water
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons ancho chili powder
  • 1 tablespoon smoked paprika
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • Pinch of red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt & pepper
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 teaspoons freshly squeezed lime juice
  • 8 (6-inch) crisp corn tortillas
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro for garnish
  • Corn Tortillas
  • Vegan cojita cheese (Violife’s feta works too!)
  • Green onions, for garnish
  • Salsa verde

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 425°F.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, toss the cauliflower with 2 tablespoons of olive oil, chili powder, smoked paprika, cumin, red pepper flakes, and a generous pinch of salt. Spread the cauliflower on a lined baking sheet, and bake for 25 minutes, or until crispy.
  3. While cauliflower is roasting, warm a large skillet over medium heat and add onion, poblanos, and broth. Sauté until onions and peppers are tender and lightly golden, about 15 minutes. Add the garlic and sauté for 30 seconds, or until the garlic is fragrant.
  4. Add 1/2 cup salsa verde to mushroom/pepper mix and cook for an additional 1-2 minutes. Remove mixture from the heat and add lime juice. Adjust the seasonings as desired.
  5. While mushrooms are cooking, warm a comal or skillet over medium-high heat. Cook each tortilla until lightly browned on each side. (To keep warm, cover cooked tortillas with a clean dishcloth)
  6. To build each taco, add mushroom mixture, and top with roasted cauliflower to a tortilla.  Garnish with cilantro, salsa verde, green onions, and vegan cojita.
  7. Enjoy!

Keywords: Vegan tacos, mushroom tacos

 

 

Beet & Tahini Superfood Dressing

Beet & Tahini Superfood Dressing

With the dull grey skies of winter abound, what better way to color your world than with vibrant, nourishing superfoods! I love winter for many reasons. I love hiking, skiing, running, and eating hearty winter soups, stews, and salads. Yes! Raw salads loaded with bright, delicious, vibrant vegetables, fresh herbs, seeds, nuts, and sprouts! I love shaved Brussels sprouts and purple cabbage. Bite-sized crowns of golden and purple broccoli, multicolored carrots, mixed with a variety of dark leafy greens…does it get any better? Add some fermented vegetables and hemp seeds, and baby I’m yours!

But a big salad needs a big dressing. I wanted it to pack a punch and be as colorful and nutritious! After working out a few recipes, I finally decided on this Beet and Tahini dressing! This match made in heaven dressing is an instant love connection and the perfect accompaniment for my winter “veg fest” salad! Suffering from a little seasonal affected disorder?  Adding some dark leafy greens like kale or rainbow chard to your diet has been shown to decrease the winter blues!

I always keep Cleveland Kitchen’s Beet Red Raw Gut Saurkraut on hand. It is delicious, and I use it on salads, tacos, Buddha bowls, and sometimes I eat it directly out of the bag! It also makes the best salad dressing. It is so good for you with fermented red cabbage, beets, and carrots! Did you know that eating fermented foods can also boost beneficial gut bacteria and improve digestion?

No worries, if you don’t have the kraut, add some shredded carrots, a little red wine vinegar, and a roasted beet to the blender and blend away! I also added a tablespoon of beet juice powder. Again, no worries if you don’t have it. I love it for so many reasons (it’s a great food coloring) but mostly because I wanted the added nutrition! Beet Roots Juice is a highly concentrated powder that boosts brainpower, improves athletic performance, fights inflammation, and supports liver health…the list goes on and on!

 

I also added ashwagandha to my dressing because, well, I add it to everything! If you don’t know it, ashwagandha is an evergreen shrub in the Solanaceae or nightshade family that grows in India, the Middle East, and parts of Africa. It is used for improving blood sugar, reducing inflammation, boosting mood, improving memory, and reducing stress and anxiety!

It keeps well in the fridge, and it works quite well over roasted vegetables and white beans, too! You can even add a little stock and make soup out of it, or add some chickpeas and turn it into hummus! If you make it let me know!
Stay warm,
XO-
Steph

 


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Beet & Tahin Superfood Dressing

  • Author: Stephanie Bosch
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 30 minutes (if cooking beets)
  • Total Time: 35
  • Yield: 8 servings 1x

Description

I love this recipe!  It’s nutritionally dense and gut healthy! You can double the recipe and freeze the half you don’t use!


Ingredients

Scale
  • 1/2 cup of shredded red beet slaw or 1 medium beet, washed, peeled, roasted, and shredded, and 1/3 cup shredded carrots
  • 1 tablespoon of beet juice powder (optional)
  • 2 tablespoons tahini
  • 1/2 teaspoon ashwagandha, (optional)
  • 2 tablespoons agave syrup
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons fresh minced herbs (I used chervil and oregano)
  • 1 small shallot, finely diced
  • 1 teaspoon garlic, minced
  • 1/2 cup water (add more depending on consistency)

Instructions

  1. If using a whole beet instead of the fermented slaw, wash and trim the beet. Rub in olive oil and sprinkle with a pinch of sea salt. Place in aluminum foil and roast at 425°F for 45 minutes, or boil on the stovetop until fork-tender, about 25 minutes.
  2. Let cool and add 1/3 cup shredded carrots and a teaspoon of red wine vinegar.
  3. Add all ingredients to blender and blitz well until blended.
  4. Taste for seasoning.
  5. Store in an air-tight container for up two 7 days in the refrigerator.