Vegan Tempeh Tacos

If we’re being totally honest, I think we’ve eaten Mexican food every single for the past week. Once the house is stocked with limes, cilantro, and avocado… it’s hard to convince me to eat anything else. So we’ve had everything from this spicy Mexican street corn salad to these black bean enchiladas. Alex and I both enjoy Mexican food, so neither of us will complain if it’s on repeat.

tempeh-tacos

Yesterday I decided to do something a little different and use tempeh as the main event. If you’re not familiar with tempeh, it’s a soy based product, sort of like tofu. It doesn’t have much flavor on its own but it does a great job of absorbing flavor and sauces. Personally, I think the texture is much better than tofu. It’s hearty, chewy, and is a great vegetarian substitute for meat. Plus a 3oz serving of tempeh has 15g of protein and only 170 calories. My personal favorite is Lightlife Three Grain Tempeh because I think it has the best texture. Alright, now on to these vegan tempeh tacos.

tempeh-tacos-recipe

4.9 from 10 reviews
Vegan Tempeh Tacos
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
This makes 6 tacos which could easily serve 2 hungry people.
Author:
Recipe type: Dinner
Cuisine: Mexican
Serves: 2
Ingredients
  • ¼ cup soy sauce (or tamari or liquid aminos)
  • 1 tbsp maple syrup
  • 1 tbsp liquid smoke (you can leave this out if you can't find it, but it adds a great smoky flavor)
  • 8 oz tempeh
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 6 taco shells (flour or corn)
  • ½ avocado
  • ½ cup black beans
  • Salsa, cabbage, cilantro, cheese, etc. (optional toppings)
Instructions
  1. Combine the soy sauce, maple syrup, and liquid smoke in a shallow dish.
  2. Slice the tempeh into ½" slices and spread in a single layer into the sauce and let it marinate for at least 20 minutes. If you can marinate it overnight or for a few hours, that's even better.
  3. In a large skillet, heat 1 tsp oil over medium heat for 1 minute.
  4. Add the tempeh to the pan in a single layer.
  5. Cook for 8 minutes or until it begins to brown, then flip over and continue cooking.
  6. You want both sides to be a little bit charred.
  7. While the tempeh cooks, dice the avocado and heat up the black beans.
  8. Once the tempeh is done, assemble your tacos and add any toppings you like.
  9. Serve immediately.

tempeh-taco-open

Alex added a little sharp cheddar on top of tempeh tacos. I kept mine vegan and just added a little extra salsa. The cabbage adds a nice crunch but you can skip it if you don’t have any. Also, I know you might not already have liquid smoke in your pantry, but you can usually find it near the barbecue sauce and it is so good. I love adding a little bit in a pot of chili for that earthy, smokey flavor. It’s definitely worth finding!

This made enough tacos for both of us, with just a little bit of tempeh left over. If you added in a side dish, you could feed three. The best part is that the tempeh really keeps you full! These might be my new favorite tacos.

These vegan tempeh tacos are perfect for taco Tuesday! Tempeh is full of vegetarian protein and these tacos will satisfy vegans and meat eaters alike!

What’s your favorite taco topping?

Spicy Mexican Street Corn Salad

On Wednesday night, our small group from church came over for dinner. Although “small” might not be the right term because we had 12 people, which was the perfect crowd for taco Tuesday. We had an amazing spread of taco toppings and I decided to make something a little bit different. I made a spicy Mexican street corn salad.

mexican-street-corn-salad

I don’t remember the first time I had street corn, but I remember thinking… this is worth the mayonnaise. I’m usually a mayo-hater but I have to admit that a little mayonnaise is really what makes this recipe. I know, I know. Who am I? But after our friends had this “salad” (and trust me, I know this isn’t a salad by any stretch of the imagination) they asked for the recipe so I figured I better share it! The great thing about Mexican street corn in salad form is that it’s much easier to eat, so you’re less likely to end up with cheese on your chin. You’re welcome.

5.0 from 2 reviews
Spicy Mexican Street Corn Salad
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
This makes enough for a large party, so feel free to half the recipe if you don't need as much!
Author:
Recipe type: Side Dish
Cuisine: Mexican
Serves: 12
Ingredients
  • 2 14 oz bags of frozen corn
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • ¼ cup mayonnaise
  • 8 oz feta cheese
  • ½ jalapeno, diced (remove the seeds for less heat)
  • ½ cup chopped cilantro
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 1 lime
  • ½ tsp chipotle sea salt (or ¼ tsp chili powder + ½ tsp sea salt)
  • Pinch of red pepper flakes
Instructions
  1. In a large skillet, cook the corn in the olive oil over medium heat for 10-12 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  2. You want to lightly toast the corn kernels.
  3. In a large bowl, combine the mayo and feta until mixed.
  4. Stir in the diced jalapeno and cilantro.
  5. Using a garlic press, crush the garlic and stir in. (If you don't have a garlic press, just finely mince it then stir in.)
  6. Slice the lime in half and use a fork to juice each half. Add the juice into the bowl.
  7. Add in the corn into the cheese mixture and stir until well coated.
  8. Sprinkle with chipotle sea salt, and red pepper flakes, then mix, and serve!

mexican-street-corn-1

Side note, my mother in law got me a set of mixing bowls for Christmas and she had an artist friend paint my blog name on there. Isn’t that cute? I love them!

This spicy Mexican street corn salad is the perfect side dish for tacos, burritos, or enchiladas!

One of the things I love about this dish is that you can make it ahead of time and then just pop it in the fridge for a couple of hours. (Make sure you don’t leave it out for too long since the mayonnaise could go bad!) This recipe makes a huge batch and almost all of it got eaten. I think that’s a pretty good sign!

This spicy Mexican street corn salad is the perfect side dish for tacos, burritos, or enchiladas!

Between this salad and these black bean enchiladas, my New Year’s Resolution might just be “eat more Mexican food”…. 😉

What have you been eating lately?

5 Ingredient Black Bean Enchiladas

Richmond got a whole bunch of snow on Saturday morning which was awesome. We hadn’t gotten any snow yet this year so it felt sort of special. It was also the perfect excuse to spend a little time in the kitchen. I was craving Mexican food and I decided to whip up some enchiladas. When I got out all the things I needed, I realized how easy these were going to be. Even in a snow storm, I had all the ingredient I needed for these black bean enchiladas!

enchilada-ingredients

This recipe made 10 enchiladas, plenty for Alex and I to eat for lunch plus a few to have for leftovers. Don’t you love having leftovers?

enchilada-verde

5.0 from 9 reviews
5 Ingredient Black Bean Enchiladas
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Author:
Recipe type: Dinner
Cuisine: Mexican
Serves: 10
Ingredients
  • 10 corn tortillas
  • 1 15oz can black beans
  • 8 oz shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1 avocado
  • 1 cup salsa verde or green enchilada sauce
  • Salsa, sour cream, or cilantro (optional)
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 400.
  2. Wrap the corn tortillas in plastic wrap and microwave them for 30 seconds. This will lightly steam them so you can roll them without them cracking.
  3. Fill each tortilla with a few tablespoons of black beans and two tablespoons of cheese. Don't fill them too full or you won't be able to roll them up. You should end up using about ⅔ of the cheese as filling.
  4. Roll them and place them in a baking dish, seam side down. It helps if you have a baking dish that is the width of the tortillas so they stay snug.
  5. Keep lining them up until you reach the edge of the pan. I made one larger pan and one smaller pan since all of mine didn't fit in one pan.
  6. Pour the salsa verde over the wrapped tortillas.
  7. Sprinkle with remaining cheese.
  8. Bake in the oven for 15 minutes or until the cheese has completely melted.
  9. Top with avocado and serve immediately.

These 5 ingredient black bean enchiladas only take a few minutes to assemble so they're a perfect vegetarian weeknight recipe!

These are gluten free and vegetarian but they were quite filling thanks to all the beans! Don’t you love quick and easy recipes? I’ll definitely be making these again soon!

two-taquitos-1

Looking for another easy Mexican recipe? Try these 5 ingredient baked taquitos!

These 5 ingredient black bean enchiladas only take a few minutes to assemble so they're a perfect vegetarian weeknight recipe!

What’s your favorite easy dinner recipe?

How to Beat Sugar Cravings

A couple of years ago, Alex and I watched the documentary Fed Up, which highlights the negative effects that sugar has on our bodies. You know sugar isn’t exactly a superfood and that donuts are the healthiest breakfast, but you might not know that sugar is hiding in nearly everything. We gave up sugar for a month and as a result, we learned a lot about the sweet stuff, the places it hides, and how to deal with sugar cravings. So here are a few tips, in case you’re trying to get off the sugar train.

Wondering how to quit sugar? Here are a few tips to help you beat your sugar cravings!

Find where sugar is hiding

The first thing you have to do is find where sugar is hiding in your diet. You might not realize that there is added sugar in your pasta sauce or in your canned green beans, so the first step is knowing where it’s coming from. Things like yogurt and granola bars might be obvious ones but salad dressings and soups might have more sugar than you think. If you’re trying to cut out sugar completely, you have to check the labels carefully!

Know the other names for sugar

When you’re scouring an ingredients list, you probably won’t see “sugar” listed. But you might see things like high-fructose corn syrup, sucrose, barley malt, dextrose, maltose and rice syrup, and others. There are over 60 different names for sugar! Keep an eye out for the sugar code names!

Get plenty of sleep

When you’re lacking sleep, you’re more likely to reach for sugar. Initially, you’ll get some energy from that candy bar, but an hour later you’re going to crash hard. That means you’ll be craving more sugar.  (See how easy it is to get caught up in this cycle?) If you’re well rested, you’re more likely to resist temptation.

Sprinkle on the spices

Cinnamon, cardamom, and nutmeg can all sweeten your food naturally and they help balance your blood sugar. This reduces your craving for sugar. Skip the sugar in your coffee and try a sprinkle of cinnamon instead!

Reduce your stress

I know, I know, reducing stress is easier said than done, but often times we crave sugar when we’re stressed. Try taking a walk, talking with a friend, or even just taking a few deep breaths. Less stress = less cravings. If you just can’t resist some comfort food, go for a creamy piece of cheese or

Drink plenty of fluids

When you’re dehydrated, you’re more likely to reach for a sugary snack. Instead, keep a water bottle with you so you’re never thirsty. Add a little lemon in your water for flavor or sip on unsweetened green tea.

For more tips on reducing your sugar intake, check out my sugar-free grocery list recommendations!

sugar free foods

How do you beat your sugar cravings?

5 Tips to Help You Keep Your Healthy Resolutions

If you’re like most people, you’re probably starting 2017 with a few goals to be a little healthier. Whether it’s eating clean(er) or squeezing in a bit more exercise, here are a few of my favorite tips to help you achieve those goals!

5-tips-that-will-actually-help-you-keep-those-healthy-new-years-resolutions

Get into a running routine

4 Tips for New Runners

I don’t think running has ever or will ever come easily to me, but I keep doing it because I know it’s good for me. My friend Hollie shared these 4 tips for new runners (and to be honest, they’re also helpful if you just feel like a newbie) so check these out if you’re working on pounding the pavement this year. I just signed up for a 10K in April so I can keep myself motivated to run even when it’s cold outside.

Make meal prep easier

how to make fluffy quinoa in a rice cooker

Whether you are meal prepping for the week or just trying to get dinner on the table, making quinoa in my rice cooker is one of my favorite ways to save time. I also love ordering groceries online, stocking up on freezer meals, and making double batches of recipes so I have leftovers.

Eat a little less meat

tips for eating less meat

From Meatless Mondays to new sources of protein, here are my tips for eating a little less meat. You don’t have to be 100% vegetarian to get the benefits of a plant based meal! It’s easier than you think. Here are my tips if you’re trying to eat a little less meat.

Multitask while exercising

DIY cheap treadmill desk

Ok, ok, you don’t have to have a treadmill desk in order to multitask but I do love mine! (Here’s how to make your own desk for a treadmill for about $10.) Other ways to multitask? Rather than meeting a friend for coffee, invite them to take a walk while you chat. Read a book while pedaling on a stationary bike.

Get a better night’s sleep

Can't sleep? Try these tips for a better night sleep!

Rest is so important. When you’re well rested you’re more likely to exercise, less likely to crave sugar, and hello you’ll feel like a total rockstar when you’ve gotten a great night of shut eye. I used to be a terrible sleeper but over the years I’ve learned a few tricks that have helped a lot. If your goal is to sleep more (or better) then try these tips.

What are your goals this year?

Currently: Holiday Edition

I hope you’re all enjoying the holiday season! I thought I’d pop in and share what I’ve been up to lately.

Currently Reading

804-cookbook

I just got the second volume of the 804ork Cookbook, a collection of recipes and stories from local restaurants here in Richmond. If you’ve ever wished you could try the delicious food here, then grab one of these cookbooks! It’s been fun flipping through it and reading more about the stories behind some of my favorite restaurants.

Currently Drinking

My parents also got us a Sodastream for Christmas and I love it. I don’t know why I like soda water so much but I do! I’ve mostly weaned myself off Diet Coke but sometimes I just want something bubbly. Rather than buying more boxes of La Croix, I can just make it at home! It’ll also be fun to try the different flavors!

Current Eating

This healthy baked macaroni and cheese will satisfy your cheesy cravings without all the calories and fat of traditional macaroni and cheese. It's a perfect side dish or vegetarian main dish!

I made a batch of this broccoli macaroni and cheese for our Christmas dinner and I ended up eating the leftovers the next day. So I guess I’m kind of cheating with this one because I’m not eating it right this minute.

Currently Wearing


Alex got me this sweatshirt and I love it. It’s so soft and obviously, I’m a sucker for a good vegetable pun.

Currently Planning


The next Tone It Up challenge starts January 1st so I’m excited to get back into a regular workout routine. I’ve been battling a cold since before Thanksgiving so workouts have been pretty low key around here while I let my body rest. Now that I’m feeling better, I’m excited to hit the ground running (literally) in January!

What are you currently doing?

What I Ate: Tacky Light Edition

I’m a little late on this because I didn’t have time to share last week’s but better late than never, right? Last Saturday was such a fun day packed with some great Richmond adventures so I couldn’t resist sharing! Let’s dive into the food:

I woke up early on Saturday morning because I was speaking on a panel at a small business conference led by Sharvette Mitchell. Sharvette and I met a few years ago speaking on a panel together, so it was fun to get to catch up again! Before the conference, I had a bowl of blackberries.

berries (2)

Lately, I’ve just been eating fruit for breakfast. I’m not sure where my regular breakfast cravings have gone but I’m just going with it. I spent the morning hanging out with these lovely ladies!

panel members

Photo via Kimie James

After a very inspiring morning, I stopped by my grandma’s place to say hi and then came home to have lunch. I was super hungry and was thrilled to remember that I had leftovers in the fridge.

leftover pasta

Alex and I had gone to The Mill at MacArthur on Friday and I couldn’t finish my mountain of pasta so I was excited to have some left. P.S. The Mill has tons of awesome vegetarian options and the service was fantastic. We’re both excited to go back again soon.

I finished up a few Christmas errands and then got bundled up for the Tacky Light Race.

I basically snapchatted the entire race so if you’re following me (Username: HeartVegetables) then you probably saw that the race was so much fun. All of the lights distracted me so the race went by really fast! Afterward, my friend Carin and I stopped at Zoe’s Kitchen for dinner.

zoes kitchen

I was still freezing from the race so I knew I needed soup and I can’t miss out on the basil pesto hummus. (I do have a basil pesto hummus copycat recipe if you want to make your own!) I love Zoe’s Kitchen, if you can’t tell.

Once I got home, I took a nice hot bath. We recently renovated our bathroom so it felt extra luxurious. A bunch of you have asked for “after” photos of the bathroom renovation so here’s a shot of the new tub, subway tile, and floor! (As you can tell, we’re not totally done with the floor- we need to make a threshold!)

bathroom

And that’s a wrap! It was a delicious day!

What have you been eating lately?

Linking up for What I Ate Wednesday!

5 Ingredient Granola Bars

I’m a snacker. I always have been. Maybe it’s because I love food and I’m too impatient to wait until mealtime but whatever the reason, snacks are essential in this house. Back in my high school days, I pretend that granola bars were a “healthy” snack when they were really just a few oats crammed into a chocolate covered bar held together with high fructose corn syrup. Whoops. But now I know better and now I enjoy bars that are made with real, wholesome ingredients. There are plenty of great options out there on the market but the natural ones can be a little pricey so making your own is a nice way to keep your grocery costs down! I know almond meal can be a little expensive so if you don’t want to buy it, you can replace the almond meal with more oats. Now let’s get into the recipe for these 5 ingredient granola bars!

5 ingredient granola bars

5 Ingredient Granola Bars
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Author:
Recipe type: Snack
Serves: 8
Ingredients
  • ⅓ cup agave (or honey if not vegan)
  • ½ cup natural crunchy peanut butter
  • ½ cup rolled oats
  • ½ cup almond meal (ground almonds)
  • ½ cup sliced almonds
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 350.
  2. Spray a 9x4 inch loaf pan with non-stick spray.
  3. Combine the agave and peanut butter in a mixing bowl.
  4. Stir in the oats, almond meal, and sliced almonds until combined.
  5. Press into the bottom of the loaf plan.
  6. Bake for 12-15 minutes until the edges just begin to brown. It might still be a little soft but the bars will firm up when cool.
  7. Make sure you let them cool completely before you slice.
  8. Store in an airtight container.

5 ingredient granola bars

I love the texture of these granola bars because they’re chewy and crunchy all at the same time! They also just happen to be gluten free & vegan. If you don’t have peanut butter, sub in almond butter. If you don’t have sliced almonds, sub in more oats. The great thing about these granola bars is you can really make them with whatever you have in your pantry.

<Need a healthy snack idea? Try these 5 ingredient granola bars! They're vegan and gluten free but they're packed with protein!

I’m thinking these would also be great with chocolate chips or coconut flakes!

chewy-granola-bars

What’s your favorite snack recipe?

15 Mouthwatering Waffle Recipes

Why are waffles so much better than pancakes? Is it the crispy exterior matched with the fluffy interior? Is it the perfectly proportioned pockets that scoop up syrup and toppings? I don’t know the answer but I do know that I love waffles. Whether you’re looking for a quick Monday morning breakfast or a fancy Saturday morning brunch, there’s a recipe for every waffle situation. Here are 15 mouthwatering waffle recipes you need to try:

download

These fluffy caramel almond waffles from Home and Plate would be amazing on their own but topped with an apple cinnamon syrup, you might want to eat breakfast for every meal.

Pumpkin pie isn’t just for Thanksgiving dinner. These pumpkin pie waffles with cream cheese drizzle from Love, Pasta, Toolbelt would be perfect for breakfast or dessert.

Waffle-2

Speaking of pumpkin, how about a pumpkin cornbread waffle for a little sweet & savory twist? The Balanced Berry has you covered.

Need a holiday waffle idea? It doesn’t get more festive than this eggnog waffle casserole from Finding Zest.

Throw some veggies into your waffles with these overnight sweet potato Belgian waffles from Syrup and Biscuits!

If you really feel like getting in your veggies, try a batch of zucchini and carrot waffles from My Life Cookbook.

MKL-SavouryWaffles-0146

These savory Mexican Waffles from My Kitchen Love are just screaming to be featured as breakfast for dinner.

A batch of savory cornmeal and chive waffles from The Gingered Whisk would be a welcomed addition to any brunch spread.

For the low-carb or paleo eaters, you can still participate in the waffle festivities with these flourless almond butter waffles from Wholesome Yum.

Or you can go low-carb and nut-free with these coconut flour waffles from Low Carb Yum.

avocado-tomato-paleo-waffle-mpk

Move over avocado toast, these avocado paleo waffles from My PCOS Kitchen are stealing the spotlight.

Skip the muffins and satisfy your lemon poppyseed desires with these lemon poppyseed waffles from Spabettie.

Breakfast? Dessert? I’m not sure but these dark chocolate waffles from The Worktop would be delicious for both occasions.

Speaking of dessert, these whole wheat gingerbread waffles from Living Lou would make an amazing holiday brunch dish or dessert!

Yogurt-Waffles-1

These whole wheat yogurt waffles from The Lean Green Bean are freezer friendly so you can have breakfast ready at any time!

Chocolate chips make anything better so these gluten free almond chocolate chip waffles from Nourished, the blog, might be at the top of my list!

Put your blender to work with these sweet potato waffles and blueberry sauce from Emilie Eats.

Hungry yet? Dig in!

sunday waffles

From easy breakfast ideas to creative brunch recipes, these waffle recipes are perfect for every occasion!

What’s your favorite waffle recipe? Share in the comments below!

Blackberry Ricotta Toast

I don’t know what kind of magic I stumbled into yesterday but I found fresh blackberries at the grocery store for $1 per 1/2 pint. WHAT. Obviously, I had to stock up and I found myself with heaps of blackberries in the kitchen. This is a lovely problem to have because I’m pretty sure I could eat a few pounds of blackberries on my own without a problem. But instead of just stuffing my cheeks full of berries, I decided to try a little twist on toast. Lately, I’ve been switching up my breakfast and deviating from my usual yogurt parfaits and smoothie bowls. So here’s what I made yesterday.

blacberry ricotta toast

It’s so simple you barely need a recipe but here you go!

4.8 from 5 reviews
Blackberry Ricotta Toast
 
Prep time
Total time
 
Author:
Recipe type: Breakfast
Serves: 1
Ingredients
  • 2 slices of whole wheat bread
  • ¼ cup ricotta cheese (you can get away with part skim)
  • Handful of fresh blackberries
  • 1 tsp honey
  • Fresh basil or mint (optional)
Instructions
  1. Toast your bread until it's lightly browned (or however you prefer your toast)
  2. Then simply spread the ricotta, top with blackberries, drizzle with honey, and add a little basil or mint if you like.

blackberry ricotta toast

Breakfast is served!

Blackberries and ricotta are the perfect toast toppings! Tart, sweet, and creamy all in one healthy breakfast!

In the mood for more toast? Try this almond butter and peach combo!

peach toast

Next up on my list of things to do with these blackberries? Single serving cheesecake. Wish me luck!

What’s your favorite thing to do with blackberries?