Want tacos in under 15 minutes? Quick Vegan Tacos fits the bill. Good plant-based food doesn’t have to take hours to prepare. You can have a freshly made tacos on your plate in 15 minutes. Perfect for a busy Taco Tuesday or other busy nights that you fancy something tasty without doing delivery. Or frankly when you crave some tacos and you want them now.
While I love my salsa, this vegan taco recipe doesn’t include it. And that’s OK. You can get your crunch and tang from the pickled red onions as the topper on these black bean tomato tacos.
My pantry always has black beans, both taco and burrito-sized tortillas, cilantro, picked onions, an and regrown green onions. I usually have to purchase oyster mushrooms and cherry/grape tomatoes though I do try to have them handy as they are great in many different recipes. Oyster mushrooms are really meaty making it a great substitute for meat in a lot of recipes. When I get cherry/grape tomatoes, I like the multi-colored ones as they add a bit of contrast.
Regrown Green Onions
Speaking for regrown green onions, it is a great way to have a supply of green onions. I rarely use the white parts of the onions and even store brought has some roots left. Use the green parts of the onions keeping the white parts. Fill a glass up of water and put the white part of the onion with the roots. Keep the water changed regularly and a couple of weeks, you have more onion to sip for recipes.
Mexican Taco Pickles
While pickled onions are yummy, I thought how would Mexican Taco pickles would taste. Stay tuned as I’ll share a recipe for Mexican Taco Pickles which will knock your socks off if you like it spicy as it is made with jalapeños, carrots, and radishes.
I have adapted the recipe from the Irish The Happy Pear lads and feel free to check out their yummy recipes.
- 8 flour or wheat tortillas fajita-sized
- 150 g Oyster mushrooms, finely sliced into bite sized pieces
- 1 can, Black beans, drained and rinsed
- 10 Cherry/grape tomatoes, halved or quartered depending on size
- 2 tbsp tamari sauce
- 3 green onions chopped
- 1 Teaspoon minced garlic
- 1/2 Teaspoon black pepper
- 1/2 Teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1.5 Teaspoon ground cumin
- 1/2 lime, squeezed
- 1 cup plant-based sour cream or unflavored yogurt
- Handful fresh cilantro chopped
- Quick Pickled Red Onion:
- Small Red Onion, thinly sliced
- 50 ml apple cider vinegar
- 1. If you don’t have pickled red onions in your fridge, then you can make a quick pickled red onion. Sliced the red onions thinly placing them in a glass jar. Add the vinegar and water if needed to cover all the onion. Let that sit as you make everything else.
- 2. Mix the sour cream/soy yoghurt with half the diced cilantro and the juice of 1/2 lime and mix well.
- 3. Heat a nonstick pan on high heat. Add a little olive oil if you want.
- 4. Add the green onions, black beans, and tomatoes with a pinch of salt flying for a couple of minutes.
- 5. Add garlic to the pan.
- 6. Continue to fry to another 2-3 mins stirring regularly.
- 7. Add the spices and tamari and mix well and turn off the heat, taste and adjust the seasoning if needed.
- 8. Use a muffin tray to hold the tacos while you fill them.
- 9. Add the crema and a generous spoonful of the mushroom black bean mixture.
- 10. Top with some pickled red onion and some chopped coriander.
In Barcelona, Pan Con Tomate or Spanish Tomato Bread is on every menu. It is such a simple meal. It can be eaten for breakfast or lunch with wafer thin jambon or alone. Or as a tapas with other dishes at dinner.
I just have to say that Pan Con Tomate is addictive. It really is. It has become my go to quick lunch. And wait to you find out how easy it is to make. It will become your go to breakfast, lunch, or appetizer. All you need is crusty bread, a big round tomato, good olive oil, garlic clove, and salt. Boom. That’s it. Now you maybe thinking, this like Italian Bruschetta. Kinda, but no. Spanish Tomato Bread is lighter than Bruschetta.
You maybe asking how does she know about Pan Con Tomate as when most people talk about Spanish food as Paella. I spent a week in Barcelona for work. Honestly, it was a city I did not know I wanted to visit. And now I want to go back to explore and experience Barcelona more. The vibe of the city is young forward facing with a deep understanding of the past. Coming from an island with an active harbor and beaches, I really could relate to the relaxed atmosphere. My kind of place.
Barcelona is in Catalonia which is a Spanish autonomous community where Spanish and Catalan are spoken. Tomato bread in Catalan is “pa amb tomàquet.” The Catalans are very proud of their culture and food. From grand restaurants to small mom and pop cafes maybe seating 10, food is everywhere you go. Lucky for me, my colleagues are foodies. We all live and breathe food so I ate well for my week in Barcelona.
My first night my colleague and I went looking for somewhere good and local near our hotel as both of us had just arrived from opposite ends of the world. The front desk sent us to Restaurant “Raco de la Vila” which serves up traditional Spanish and Catalan dishes. That’s where I first had Pan Con Tomate and I didn’t even know what it was. After that I had it for breakfast at the hotel and at almost every dinner once my colleagues told what it was.
Back to Pan Con Tomate
When I say it is so simple, but yet fabulous, I am serious. Really, all you need is crusty bread, a big round tomato, good olive oil, garlic clove, and salt to make it, that’s it. And of course a grater. The secret to this dish is that you grate the tomato. That’s what makes it so great and I have no answer to why. It just does and I’ve never thought to grate a tomato before. But it is works.
All you do is toast or grill your crusty bread, rub a garlic clove, drizzle some olive oil, spoon the grated tomatoes on the bread, drizzle some more oil and sprinkle sea or kosher salt. One tomato per slice of bread. And a garlic clove could do a couple slices depending on how many garlic you fancy. Me, I rub it lightly for a hint of garlic.
What I love about this dish is that it tastes just as good at my house as it did in Barcelona. I get to return to Barcelona whenever I make it and enjoy the good times I had with my lovely colleagues.
Check out more of my travel tales.
Barcelona Pan Con Tomate or Spanish Tomato Bread
- 1 slice of crusty bread, toasted
- 1 garlic clove
- Olive Oil
- 1 large tomato (not Roma)
- Kosher or Flake Sea Salt
- 1. As the bread is toasting, cut tomato in half and grate it.
- 2. Rub toast with garlic clove.
- 3. Drizzle olive oil and spoon grated tomato on toast.
- 4. Top with a drizzle of olive oil and sea salt.
Vegan Thai Noodles is a simple and quick meal. This is not traditional Pad Thai, but something just as nice. It is not a fussy meal, but you can say it is a comfort food. It was for me.
From start to finish,Vegan Thai Noodles can be from ready in less than 30 minutes. It is perfect of busy days when you want a home-made dinner quickly. There are a lot of flexibility with this dish. And short cuts.
I use bottled minced garlic and ginger. You can chopped them yourself, but minced bottled is a good short cut and it stays fresh for a while. For the noodles I am all about keeping it simple and what is easily available at the local grocery store. I use what is in my pantry which is wheat spaghetti or linguine. Mushrooms are the “meat” of the dish. Since this is a quick cooking meal, it is key to chop the veg very small and not dense. Peppers and snap peas work well in this dish. Shredded carrots, broccoli, peas, and shredded Napa cabbage could be also be used.
Feel free to play around with this recipe. Vegan Thai Noodles can be your recipe and I would like to hear about the additions you have made to it.
Looking for other Asian-inspired dishes? Have a look here for both vegan and carnivore recipes.
- 14 oz package firm tofu, pressed, drained, and cubed small
- 1/2 box of whole wheat noodles
- 1 bunch green onions, chopped small
- 1 tablespoon minced garlic
- 1 tablespone minced ginger
- Pinch crushed red pepper
- 10 oz Oyster mushrooms, chopped small
- 1 red pepper, chopped small
- 1 can black beans raised and drained
- 1 can coconut milk
- Handful sugar snap peas, snapped in half
- 3 tbsp tamari
- Bunch coriander
- 1. Cook noodles per instructions on the back of package. Once they are cooked, drain and rinse them.
- 2. Finely chop the green onions, the mushrooms and the red pepper.
- 3. Drain and rinse the black beans.
- 4. Put a non-stick wide bottom pan on a high heat then once hot, reduce the heat to medium.
- 5. Brown tofu on all sides.
- 6. Add 1 tablespoon tamari.
- 7. Add the chopped scallions, garlic, ginger, and crushed red pepper flakes cooking for 2 minutes stirring regularly.
- 8. Add the chopped mushrooms and pepper and cook for 3 minutes.
- 9. Add the rest of the tamari.
- 10. Add the black beans, half the can of coconut milk and the cooked noodles.
- 11. Cook for another couple of minutes stirring to incorporate it all and turn off the heat.
- 12. Season with 1 teaspoon of salt.
- 13. Finely chop the coriander and the sugar snap peas and add to serve.
- NOTE: If anything starts to stick add 2-3 tablespoons of water and ‘deglaze’ the pan.
Life is busy these days for us so quick meals are essential. Kale tofu chickpea curry is a quick and easy weekday dinner. From start to finish, it can be on the table within 15 mins. Really. It is that quick.
Especially if you have a rice cooker that you can make rice in the morning. I resisted buy one for the longest time as I felt I didn’t need another kitchen gadget, but as I moved towards plant-based I was cooking a lot of rice. Worth an investment as a rice cooker can make oatmeal and other grains. Helpful if you are plant-based. When I made the decision I went with the Zojirushi NS-LGC05XB Micom Rice Cooker & Warmer, 3-Cups after tons of research. A good rice cooker is pricey, but well worth it.
My guys aren’t fans of kale so that fact they like this curry says something. I like to get Lacinato Kale, but I think any type of kale will do. I like to visit my local farmers market or natural grocery stores. I’ve used frozen chopped kale, too, when I’m in a rush and don’t have fresh kale on hand.
The other ingredients that make up this dish are chickpeas, diced tomatoes, coconut milk, squeezable ginger, firm tofu, tamari, and curry powder. For the longest time, it get the water out of the tofu I used a Dutch Oven on top of the tofu and it worked, but I was always afraid it was going to tumble off. So I gave in and got a tofu press. I know, I know, another kitchen gadget, but it really makes a difference in how well the tofu turns out.
This recipe is adapted from one of my favorite vegan authors from The Happy Pear. Love this kale tofu chickpea curry? Try these curries.
- 1 can chickpeas drained and rinsed
- 1 can diced tomatoes
- 1 can coconut milk
- 1 bunch of scallions
- 2 tsp squeezable ginger
- 2 tbsp oil
- 1/2 tsp salt
- Block Firm tofu
- 2 tbsp of tamari
- Bunch of Kale
- 2 Tbsp Curry powder
- Pinch of chili flake – optional leave out if you prefer less heat
- - Drain and dry the tofu to remove any moisture, chop tofu into bite size pieces.
- - De-stalk the kale and roughly chop the leaves and the scallions.
- - Heat a little oil on a high heat, when hot add the tofu and cook for 2-3 minutes until browned then add 2 tbsp of tamari to the pan along with the scallions, kale and ginger and 1/2 tsp of salt, reduce the heat a little and cook for 1-2 minutes, until the kale starts to wilt
- - Add the curry powder and chili flake, stirring to coat all the tofu and veg.
- - Add the coconut milk, diced tomatoes and chickpeas bringing to a boil and reduce to a simmer for a few minutes.
Recently I’ve noticed poke bowls on menus. And I became intrigued. Traditionally, a poke bowl is raw marinated fish that been cubed and layered with rice and pickles. Its origin is from Hawaiian where fishermen would season the cut-offs from their daily catch eating it on their boats. Poke is considered their national dish. On a days it is such a diet staple that it is freshly made in most convenience stores.
I’ll be honest, but the idea of raw fish is not appealing to me and my guys. And that these days being mostly plant-based, I’m not eating a lot of fish. But you can still have a plant-based poke bowl. It is a lovely way to pack in amazing flavors and textures. And a poke bowl is all about different textures in every bite. It isn’t a boring meal.
To make a plant-based poke bowl is easy and quick. Swap out the fish for tofu or tempeh, You can use white or brown rice though I like the nuttiness of brown. Pickled items are important so adding picked red onions and sauerkraut. I always have picked red onions on hand, but I’ll share a 5-min pickled recipe that you can do while making this dish. Instead of using white cabbage, I prefer to use red cabbage beet carrot sauerkraut as it add a nice flavor and a burst of color. To bring a different sense of texture, add a sliced cucumber, cherry tomatoes, micro greens, and cilantro. Adding a can of kidney beans gives it more nutrition. The sauce for this dish is sweet chili sauce and tamari. The tofu or tempeh and beans are cooked in the sauce with garlic and ginger.
This recipe is based on The Happy Pear’s “Easy poke for weight loss in 5 min” recipe. I encourage you to check out the recipes.
- 1 cup cooked brown rice
- 1/2 cup Sauerkraut
- Block of Tempeh or Tofu - If using tofu then drain well
- 12 tbsp sweet chili sauce
- 4 tbsp tamari
- 1/2 tsp ginger paste
- 1 tsp minced garlic
- Small red onion
- 50 ml rice vinegar
- Handful cherry tomatoes
- 1 can kidney beans, drained and rinsed
- - Prepare brown rice. You can use pre-cooked or make it in rice cooker like I do.
- Picked Red Onion
- - Slice red onion thinly placing in glass jar then add the rice vinegar and water if need to make sure the onions are covered.
- Tempeh or Tofu
- - Slice up tempeh or tofu
- - Head pan on medium high.
- - Add tempeh or tofu until it browns
- - Add garlic and ginger then the sweet chili/tamari sauce mixture coating
- - Remove onto plate then add the kidney beans coating them until they are warm
- Ensemble the bowl with all the goodies.
The Quintessential French Summer Dish
Ratatouille is the quintessential French summer dish using the garden’s harvest. Up until recently I never made ratatouille before. Shocking I know. No clue why I haven’t. Glad that changed.
Simple Dish, Complex Favors
I came across “Ratatouille Reimagined: 8 Ways to Enjoy” in Forks Over Knives, Summer 2021 magazine. They had the basic recipe then 8 additional ways to serve it. I had all of the ingredients so I made it. There are two ways to make it. The traditional way is to slice then arrange veg in a dish and bake. Since it was hot and I was lazy, I took the slow cooker option which is basically chop, dump, stir, then forget until dinnertime. While it doesn’t look as fancy, it tastes delicious.
Ratatouille makes a diverse base where you can build a bunch of different meals. Good idea to make a big batch where you can handle it out. Over the week, I made it with pasta by adding canned white beans topped with fresh basil, and nutritional yeast and then to finish it off, Provencal chili by canned dark kidney beans and corn over brown rice and topped with avocado and cilantro. Both tasty and filling meals. I used canned diced tomatoes and Newport Sea Salt’s Herbes de Provence.
Looking for recipes for eggplant that can be served at room temp or cold? Try Turkish Eggplant Tomato Casserole.
- 1 pound tomatoes, peeled and chopped, or 15-oz can diced tomatoes undrained
- 1 pound zucchini, halved and thickly sliced
- 1 medium eggplant cut into chunks
- 1 medium onion, thinly sliced
- 1 red or yellow bell pepper, chopped chunky
- 2 cloves garlic minced or 1 tablespoon minced jarred garlic
- 1 tablespoon herbes de Provence
- 1 bay leaf
- 1. Prepare all veg and place in slow cooker.
- 2. Set on high for 4 hours stirring halfway if you remember.