Loaded Veggie Tacos

Inspired by the colorful sights and tastes of Mexcio, Loaded Veggie Tacos are an explosion flavor! Ándele, it’s taco time!

¡Hola amigos! In case you haven’t seen or heard my endless rambling about our trip to Mexico, let me fill you in. Two weeks ago, my parents, John, and I set out for Tulum, a small town about 80 miles south of Cancun. We rented a condo for 8 days and enjoyed one of the best vacations of my life. I’m hoping to write a post about it soon, but couldn’t wait to share my new favorite tacos!

Loaded Veggie Tacos | AreYouKitchenMe.com

While we were planning our trip, I was a little worried that vegan options would be hard to come by in Mexico. I was thrilled to learn that Tulum is packed full of eco-resorts, yoga retreats, and just generally a lot of crunchy, healthy people. And while the tourist part offered a wealth of raw kombucha and Buddha bowls, the local fare was just as incredible. And plant-friendly!

Loaded Veggie Tacos | AreYouKitchenMe.com

Of all the places we ate, the authentic spots tucked into the back roads of downtown Tulum (where more locals reside) were my favorite. Being on the coast meant that they all served incredibly fresh seafood, which my family devoured. But the veggie tacos were like nothing I’ve ever had in my life.

Loaded Veggie Tacos | AreYouKitchenMe.com

If you’ve ever eaten vegan for a period of time, you’ve probably had some form of veggie tacos or fajitas at an American Mexican restaurant that involved little more than sautéed peppers and onions and mediocre flour tortillas. Tacos in Mexico are a far cry from those steaming plates of sadness. I mean, these things were packed!! Everywhere we went, I got three or four double-shelled fresh corn tortillas packed to the gills with a variety of veggies. Broccoli, zucchini, carrots, onions, a literal cornucopia of plants. And on the side, beans, guac, rice, plantains, chips, salsa… Whew! I need to unbutton my pants just thinking about it.

Loaded Veggie Tacos | AreYouKitchenMe.com

Clearly, the tacos in Mexico were memorable. I couldn’t get them out of my brain so naturally, I had to recreate them at home. The key to getting lightly charred and perfectly cooked veg is super high heat. I crank my cast iron to 8 out of 10 and make sure to avoid over crowding in the pan. This means cooking in batches but is worth the extra time, I promise. If you prep all of your veggies the day before, you can get everything done in about a half hour.

What I’m saying is you’re just 30 minutes away from closing your eyes, taking a bite, and being transported to the warm beach and endless guacamole…

Loaded Veggie Tacos

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 30 minutes

Yield: a LOT of tacos

Serving Size: however many tacos you're hungry for

Inspired by the colorful sights and tastes of Mexcio, Loaded Veggie Tacos are an explosion flavor! Ándele, it’s taco time!

Ingredients

    Veggie Filling:
  • 3 sweet bell peppers, sliced into 1” pieces
  • 1 poblano chili (or green pepper), sliced into 1” pieces
  • 2 carrots, sliced into rounds
  • 2 cups mushroom slices
  • 1½ cups small broccoli florets
  • 1½ cups small cauliflower florets
  • 1 small zucchini, halved lengthwise then sliced
  • 1 small onion, sliced into 1” pieces
  • 2 tsp. salt, divided
  • 1 tsp. dried oregano
  • ½ tsp. black pepper
  • 3 or more Tbs. avocado or other high-heat oil
  • Tacos:
  • 8-12 small tortillas
  • 1 can refried beans
  • 1 large avocado
  • Green salsa
  • Limes

Instructions

  1. Heat a large cast iron to high heat (8/10) and add a few teaspoons of oil. Cook each vegetable one at a time, until charred and crisp. Once one vegetable is done, remove them to a large bowl. Add more oil between each vegetable and season with salt and pepper at each step. Timelines for vegetables: Peppers: 3-4 minutes. Zucchini: 3-4 minutes. Mushrooms: 4-5 minutes. Onions: 5-6 minutes. Carrots, Broccoli, Cauliflower: 5-6 minutes each (add water and cover to help soften).
  2. While vegetables are cooking, gather assembly ingredients. If you would like, lightly char the tortillas on the hot pan or stovetop and warm the beans in a pot or microwave.
  3. Once all of the vegetables are cooked, toss them together in the bowl and add the oregano, additional salt to taste, and pepper.
  4. To serve, spread a tortilla with beans, pile on vegetables, and top with salsa, avocado, and a squeeze of lime. Best enjoyed with a large margarita. 😉

Notes

If you have a grill, this recipe time can be cut significantly. Cook the peppers, onions, zucchini, and mushrooms whole on the flame and then cut them once they've cooled slightly. I'd recommend still cooking the carrots, broccoli, and cauliflower in a pan with some water.

https://www.areyoukitchenme.com/loaded-veggie-tacos/

Creamy Black Eyed Pea Soup

As the temperature plummets, the need for warm and soulful comfort food rises! Creamy Black Eyed Pea Soup is rich, filling, and comes together in less than 30 minutes- a winter wonder!

One Sunday, after tragically overcooking a batch of black eyed peas in my pressure cooker, I had an epiphany. Ok, maybe epiphany is an exaggeration, but let’s just say I had an idea…

Creamy Black Eyed Pea Soup | www.AreYouKitchenMe.com

One of the biggest lessons I’ve learned through my years of cooking is that there really are no failures. Take my pumpkin-pie-turned-charcoal-briquettes from last week. They looked absolutely horrendous and the crust was totally ruined but even then, the inside filling was caramelized and delightful. See that? Silver lining.

Creamy Black Eyed Pea Soup | www.AreYouKitchenMe.com

The same happened with my mushy, falling-apart, nearly-disintegrated black eyed peas. I had planned to freeze them for salads and stews but their lack of structural integrity rendered that plan inoperative. What does one do with six cups of soggy bean mush…? Soup, of course.

Creamy Black Eyed Pea Soup | www.AreYouKitchenMe.com

I leaned into some Caribbean flavors for this soup with allspice, thyme, and coconut milk. I think a few chunks of pineapple or some exotic dried fruit would take this soup to a truly tropical level. And if you can take the heat, a drizzle of Sriracha is divine.

Creamy Black Eyed Pea Soup | www.AreYouKitchenMe.com

Learning to cook has taught me to fail. Again and again and again you fail. Your cookies fall apart and your sauce separates and your cake falls flat and your greens turn out tough and inedible. But you learn. The phrase “no use crying over spilt milk” has become somewhat of a motto in my kitchen. Less and less these days do I find myself a crying mess on the kitchen floor after the pancakes I wanted for breakfast looked more like piles of burnt scrambled oatmeal. Instead, I just eat oatmeal.

I guess this is a lesson in resilience. Things don’t always go the way we planned, but at the end of the day you can have a pot of soggy mush or bowl of delicious soup. Up to you.

Creamy Black Eyed Pea Soup

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 30 minutes

Yield: 8 servings

As the temperature plummets, the need for warm and soulful comfort food rises! Creamy Black Eyed Pea Soup is rich, filling, and comes together in less than 30 minutes- a winter wonder!

Ingredients

  • 8 oz. sliced mushrooms
  • 1 large yellow onion, finely diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp. olive oil
  • 1 tsp. allspice
  • 1 tsp. dried thyme
  • Pinch cayenne
  • 1 bay leaf?
  • 2-4 cups vegetable stock
  • 2 cans blacks eyed peas (or 4 cups cooked- or overcooked!)
  • ½ lb. kale, washed and chopped
  • 1 cup canned coconut milk (I prefer full fat)

Instructions

  1. Heat a medium stockpot over medium-high heat and add oil. Add onions and sauté for 5 minutes. Add in mushrooms and sauté another 8-10 minutes, until most of their liquid has cooked out. Add garlic, allspice, thyme and cayenne for an additional 2 minutes.
  2. Add the black eye peas and stock and bring to a low boil. Simmer for 15 minutes.
  3. Add kale and coconut milk and return to a simmer. Stir until kale has wilted, about 2 minutes.
https://www.areyoukitchenme.com/creamy-black-eyed-pea-soup/

Creamy Black Eyed Pea Soup | www.AreYouKitchenMe.com

Autumn Vegetable Sheet Pan Dinner

Everything fall, all in one place! Autumn Vegetable Sheet Pan Dinner is the comforting, easy dinner you’ll want all season!

Autumn Vegetable Sheet Pan Dinner | AreYouKitchenMe.com

Remember that time I ate my Chocolate Cherry Beet Smoothie for like, ten months straight?? Or when I ate pizza every day for a week…? Basically, when I find something I like, I eat it constantly for far longer than socially acceptable until I’m completely burnt out on it and never want to eat it again.

Autumn Vegetable Sheet Pan Dinner | AreYouKitchenMe.com

Let’s just say, I’ve had this Autumn Vegetable Sheet Pan Dinner for lunch (ironic?) every workday for the last month. She’s at it again, folks! I’m just a major fan of the “if it ain’t broke don’t fix it” mindset. And there ain’t nothing broke about this meal.

Autumn Vegetable Sheet Pan Dinner | AreYouKitchenMe.com

As many things in my life do, this recipe stemmed from my constant drive for perfect efficiency. What could be more efficient than a whole meal on one (ok, two) cookie sheet(s)?! It certainly makes cleanup easy and means I’m only one pan away from stuffing my face with the best fall has to offer.

Autumn Vegetable Sheet Pan Dinner | AreYouKitchenMe.com

Speaking of the best of fall… Delicata squash is perhaps my most favorite of all the fall squashes. And that’s saying something because I’ve been a butternut addict for years. But I just love the ease (sensing a theme here?!) of not having to peel the skin or fight with the massive body. They’re sweet and soft like acorn but without being stringy or dry. I most often roast them but you can also steam and stuff them, which I may have to try before they disappear from the farmer’s market.

Autumn Vegetable Sheet Pan Dinner | AreYouKitchenMe.com

Another of my favorite farmer’s market finds featured in this dish are apples. We went apple-picking at Branstool Orchards a few weeks ago and have been making a dent in our massive haul of fruit ever since. They bring a wonderful sweetness to this savory dish, but be on the lookout for some sweet recipes coming your way soon!

Autumn Vegetable Sheet Pan Dinner | AreYouKitchenMe.com

Ok friends, I’m out the door with lunches packed full of fall for the week! Make it a good one! Pro tip: double the sauce recipe to dip or drizzle and thank me later.

Autumn Vegetable Sheet Pan Dinner

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 45 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour

Yield: 4-5 entree-sized servings

Everything fall, all in one place! Autumn Vegetable Sheet Pan Dinner is the comforting, easy dinner you’ll want all season!

Ingredients

  • 1 delicata squash, halved, seeds removed, and sliced
  • 1 sweet potato, chopped into 1” cubes
  • 1 russet or Yukon gold potato, chopped into 1” cubes
  • 1 lb. Brussels sprouts, trimmed and halved
  • 1 small firm apple, chopped into 1” pieces
  • ½ red onion, chopped into 1” pieces
  • 1 can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
  • ½ cup Dijon mustard
  • ¼ cup maple syrup
  • 2 Tbs. olive oil (optional)
  • 1 head kale, washed and torn into pieces (optional)

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 425F and prepare two large rimmed baking sheets with silicone mats or foil. (Grease lightly if using foil.)
  2. Prepare all vegetables except kale, apple, and chickpeas as instructed above and toss together in a large bowl.
  3. Add Dijon, maple, and olive oil to a jar and shake well to combine.
  4. Pour half of the dressing over the vegetables and toss well to combine. Add to baking sheet and cook for 45-50 minutes, tossing once halfway through.
  5. While the other vegetables cook, massage the rest of the dressing in the kale until softened.
  6. To serve, plate the kale then add the roasted vegetables. For extra flavor, double the dressing recipe to drizzle on top.
https://www.areyoukitchenme.com/autumn-vegetable-sheet-pan-dinner/

Autumn Vegetable Sheet Pan Dinner | AreYouKitchenMe.com

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