Sunday, February 12, 2012

vegan tacos, a.k.a. Fiesta Fantastica

Okay, here is the promised picture blog on "vegan tacos", a.k.a. Fiesta Fantastica from the Complete Idiot's Guide to Plant Nutrition:

Chop one medium yellow onion.  Saute in a medium sauce pan with 1/4 cup vegetable broth and 2 medium cloves garlic, crushed.  (I actually just have a jar of minced garlic that I spoon out of, to tell the truth.)
When the onions are clear (about 5 minutes in), add 1 tsp each of cumin, turmeric, and chili powder.  (Ain't they purty?)  Note the turmeric stains  the bamboo spoon from the last turmeric recipe.  I now have this utensil reserved as "the one" to use with any turmeric-included recipe.  I had never even heard of turmeric before the vegan book - what about you?

(Blogger is losing its mind at spacing 19 pictures, so if the text isn't perfectly beside the right picture, that's why.)  

Add 2 3/4 cups vegetable broth, and 2 cups green lentils, dried and rinsed.  And oops I almost forgot the 1 tsp freshly ground black pepper.  Simmer for 40-50 minutes or until all liquid is absorbed (picture shows it at 10 minutes left to go.) 

 Okay now it's time to make the "Sweet Pea Guacamole."  Peel 3 avocados and remove pits.  Mash with a fork until less lumpy.

Add 1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice (confession:  I used juice from my little plastic squeezy lemon) as well as 1 tsp chili powder and 1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper.  Mash with fork until creamy.

Put 1 cup thawed sweet peas and 1 (15-oz) can no-salt-added cannellini beans, rinsed and drained (those are white kidney beans from the health food section, in case you are like me and never heard of them before) and 2 medium cloves garlic all into the blender or food processor.  Process or blend for 10 seconds or only until mixed well but still grainy.  I had to stir and poke it a lot to get all the beans blended.

 Add 1/2 cup salsa (I chose Newman's Own, cuz I love that all profits go to charity - I was so busy choosing medium heat and chunkiness that I neglected to note that it was pineapple salsa.  Oh well!) and the avocado mixture to the batch and blend just long enough to evenly combine (20 seconds or less, with maybe some scraping down the sides halfway through.)
 This was our lovely feast!  The tortillas were whole wheat and I heated them in the microwave.  The 2 bowls of red stuff are tomatoes and red bell pepper.  The huge red bowl is full of chopped mixed greens - baby spinach, red and green baby swiss chard, and baby collards.  And of course you see the big bowl of lentils and the bread pan full of guacamole.  I put out the rest of that pineapple salsa AND the Tabasco sauce, cuz we LOVES us some Tabasco sauce on our tacos.  The bowl of white stuff is my one non-vegan "cheat" - unsweetened, nonfat plain Greek yogurt, which I find to be a fantastic sour cream replacement (there was a vegan sour cream recipe, but I just don't care.)

The little bowls on the sides of our plates are cold rice pudding and kiwi slices lightly sprinkled with sugar and frozen (a delectable treat taught to me by a JPUSA friend.)  The green drinks were all-natural kiwi lemonade that I picked up in the health food section of my grocery store. 

 Here is Mr. Caleb Swank, the son of awesomeness, just stopping by on the way home from his drill weekend.  I told him he really MUST star in this one, since he's been a major catalyst and encourager for my healthier food and exercise choices.  And he's one of the few people I can be confident will happily eat a vegan/vegetarian meal with me and not be freaked out by it. 

Here is his best smart-assed smile.  He ate 8 tacos, so I'm thinking he wasn't just being nice when he said they were great.  

I liked them.  The sweet pea guacamole is different - between the peas and my accidental pineapple salsa, it was pretty sweet.  I wouldn't want that EVERY time, but it was a fun change of pace. 

Overall, I'd call this vegetarian feast a success!

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