Category Archives: NaBloPoMo

Vegan Friday: Gorgeous little tacos

Gorgeous, yes?
Gorgeous, yes?

I don’t know whether this is the best Vegan Friday recipe I’ve ever posted, but it’s got to be in the top five, and it’s definitely the prettiest.

The idea of using savory seasonings on sweet potatoes never occurred to me (y’all know how I feel about keeping my sweet foods and my salty foods separate) until I had some vegetarian tacos at a place in Tulsa called Elote.

They were awesome. I don’t mean pretty-good-for-vegan-food awesome. I mean they were just flat awesome, and not the sort of thing I’d ever think up on my own.

I miss Elote.

Fortunately, while I was looking for vegan inspiration on Pinterest recently, I found several pictures of things that looked awfully similar to those gorgeous little tacos from Elote, and after looking at several recipes, I came up with something similar. These aren’t a precise replica, but they’re pretty great, and Ron — who is generally not a fan of any vegan food that is not a PBJ or a bowl of chips and guacamole — liked them enough to look disappointed when I only put two of them on his plate. (He brightened up when he learned he could have more once he finished the first helping.)

Three tacos apiece were enough to fill both of us up, and the amount of fiber, protein and “good” fat in this recipe ensured we didn’t get hungry again an hour later. WIN.

Ingredients:
2 small sweet potatoes, peeled and diced
1 packet of taco seasoning (or 1 T. homemade; I’ll post a recipe for homemade seasonings soon)
2 T. olive oil
2 small limes
1 can of black beans, drained and rinsed
1/2 c. salsa (preferably homemade, but if you have to use storebought, buy something respectable, and add a teaspoon each of cumin and chili powder and a squeeze of lime to dress it up)
1/2 c. chopped fresh cilantro
1 T. chopped red onion
1 avocado
12 small corn tortillas

My taco seasoning looks dark because it contains cocoa and chipotle powder.
My taco seasoning looks dark because it contains cocoa and chipotle powder.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Coat the bottom of a smallish baking dish with 1 T. of the olive oil. Toss sweet potatoes with taco seasoning, the rest of the olive oil and the juice from one of the limes. Roast until sweet potatoes are tender. (This took about 30 minutes in my oven, but your mileage may vary.)

While potatoes cook, heat beans and salsa together.

I don't really have words for how good sweet potatoes are when you dice them and roast them with taco seasoning.
I don’t really have words for how good sweet potatoes are when you dice them and roast them with taco seasoning.

When potatoes are done, nuke tortillas between two paper towels for 30 seconds.

Arrange tortillas in stacks of two. Dice the avocado and cut the remaining lime into wedges. Top each tortilla stack with a spoonful each of sweet potatoes and black beans; some cilantro; a little onion; and a few pieces of diced avocado. Garnish plates with cilantro and lime wedges.

Sit back and enjoy the sound of people telling you how awesome you are. Because they will.

Makes six tacos, plus enough leftover beans to make a small burrito or a couple of black-bean tacos for lunch tomorrow.

Emily

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Vegan Friday: Blackeyed peas

I had a picture of the finished product, but my phone ate it. The picture, I mean. Not the food.
I had a picture of the finished product, but my phone ate it. The picture, I mean. Not the food.

This is slightly belated because I actually made my Vegan Friday recipe for dinner on Friday instead of doing it in advance. It’s a good one, though — quick, easy, cheap and very good for you.

Blackeyed Peas
1/2 green pepper, diced
1/2 onion, chopped
1 hot pepper, sliced (I used cayenne because I had some on hand)
Grapeseed or olive oil
1 can blackeyed peas, drained and rinsed
1 can diced tomatoes

Fresh cayenne. My peppers are producing like crazy in the garden.
Fresh cayenne. My peppers are producing like crazy in the garden.

Saute the first two ingredients in grapeseed or olive oil until pepper softens. Add hot pepper (if using) and saute gently for a few minutes. Stir vegetable mixture, blackeyed peas and diced tomatoes together in a saucepan and cook until heated through. Makes two dinner-sized servings.

This is particularly nice on a cool fall evening. It’s also good over green chile cornbread.

Emily

NaBloPoMo

November is traditionally National Blog Posting Month, but BlogHer offers the option of jumping on during any month. Two months into my Facebook boycott, I’m still not blogging as much as I’d intended, so I went ahead and signed up. I figured that’d keep me honest, and I might score a few new readers as well. My traffic went straight to hell with my posting habits, and efforts to bring it back have yielded less than stellar results.

The theme for this month, as assigned by BlogHer, is “CRUNCH.” Today’s prompt: “Tell us about your favourite autumnal sound.”

James Earl Jones’ voice has to be my favorite autumnal sound.

Stay with me.

I generally loathe fall. It’s the end of summer, the end of my garden and the end of baseball season. That’s basically the trifecta of suck.

I get through the long, painful slog between the World Series and the first day of spring training by watching baseball movies. I basically spend the entire winter watching baseball movies. And there is not a single baseball movie I love more than Field of Dreams, which I used to watch with my sophomore English students. I will never get tired of hearing James Earl Jones deliver that speech about baseball being the one constant. It sustains me.

When I can’t deal with one more minute of dismal weather, I break out my DVD collection and let Kevin Costner and James Earl Jones pull me through.

Baseball has marked the time.

Emily