I’ve been known to spend entire days in the kitchen, tinkering with recipes and creating temporary masterpieces. While I love doing that more than most things, there are still times when I’m all about convenience foods. I like to have things that are quick to make, easy to grab as I run out to an appointment, and budget-friendly so that I can save a little splurge money for pricier groceries like artisanal vegan cheeses and specialty produce like passion fruits and fiddlehead ferns. Continue reading
If you browse through Whirl‘s November issue with all of their best – prominently animal-based – dish picks, you wouldn’t think that it’s an event that a vegan would be interested in attending. Well this always curious vegan right here got all decked out in her Vaute Couture and headed to the Circuit Center and Ballroom in the South Side to check it out!
Raw corn is something to be celebrated. I can’t count the times that people wrinkled up their nose at me and said, “You eat corn raw?! Isn’t it hard to chew?” Nope. It’s super soft, and it’s sugary sweet due to the fact that it has yet to be cooked. It’s during the cooking process that the sugars are converted to starch. In the summer, and any time a recipe calls for boiled/steamed corn or even a bag of frozen corn, I usually use raw corn instead because it’s so delicious.
We were at the store picking up taco ingredients for dinner one night, and my partner had also picked up some of the fresh corn that’s begun to flood the markets. He mentioned having it with dinner, and after convincing him that raw corn kernels would be great on tacos (there was a quick taste test involved), I made these fiesta-worthy tacos.
Sweet Potato Black Bean Tacos with Pineapple Salsa
corn tortillas, 2-3 per person is plenty (or 4-6 if you like to double them up per taco)
1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 large sweet potato, cubed and steamed
1/2 onion, diced
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp oregano
1/4 tsp turmeric
1/2 tsp garlic powder
3/4 tsp smoked paprika
salt and pepper to taste
1/4 cup cilantro, chopped
1 cob of corn, kernels chopped, raw
1 jar of pineapple salsa
-Wash, cube, and steam the sweet potatoes in a steamer or a covered pan with a bit of water.
-Destem and chop a 1/4 cup of cilantro and set aside.
-Shuck 1 corn cob and slice off the kernels. Either 1) place flat on a cutting board and run the knife down the side of the cob. Rotate and repeat until you get all the way around, or 2) stand it with the point end straight up and cut down the cob. Rotate until you get all the way around. You may wish to place the cob in a bowl with this method as it can get messy.
-Meanwhile heat a skillet with a drizzle of oil on medium heat. Add the onions and saute until they become translucent. Then add the garlic and saute for 1-2 more minutes, stirring once or twice.
-Add black beans and spices into the skillet and stir. Let it cook for several minutes. If the sweet potatoes haven’t finished by this point, turn the burner off and cover the pan.
-When the sweet potatoes have finished, drain any water from them if need be, then add them to the skillet. Mash them slightly and cook them just long enough to get some color on them.
-Warm the corn tortillas and then place in filling and top with the raw corn, cilantro, and salsa.
Summer is the time for smoothie bowls. I love acai bowls, but other thick, smooth, ice-creamy bowls are also welcomed! I made this after not having a smoothie for several days, and I can’t tell you how amazing I felt after I finished it. It’s easy peasy and features my favorite fruit of all time, the humble nectarine, as well as one of my top 5 favorite fruits, a vibrant fruit with a most distinct personality, the passionfruit.
I can’t recall when I first heard of Victoria Moran, but I remember that her work really caught my attention when she started her Main Street Vegan Academy. I had been looking for a new path, a chance to start fresh, after healing from the worst stages of my chronic illness. I was looking at pursuing life as a health professional, but that was a bigger commitment (both in terms of energy and finance) than I was able to give at the time. The more I looked into the Academy, the more I was completely convinced that it was the perfect fit for me. It’s a 5-day intensive, and while it’s a monetary investment, it’s far more affordable than a masters degree. Most importantly, her style jibed with me. Her faculty was impressive and inspirational. The value was immeasurable in monetary terms.
After I was accepted, I read as many books of hers as I could to familiarize myself with her message. One of them, Main Street Vegan, was part of the curriculum, but another three of them I eagerly devoured for purely my own pleasure. Continue reading