Soy Chorizo Tacos with Jalapeño Yogurt Sauce and Homemade Corn Tortillas

21 Feb

Happy Taco Tuesday! Chris and I love going out for tacos as much as anyone. A local chain of restaurants celebrates both Taco Tuesday AND Taco Thursday, so we’re pretty spoiled – hard to beat cheap and tasty tacos, paired with $2 Mexican import draft beers! But, this can be rather unhealthy, which is why I also love making taco dinners at home.

The Recipe Redux challenge this month is to develop a healthy, creative take on the taco. It doesn’t get much healthier than making everything from scratch – right down to the tortillas!

Soy Chorizo Tacos with Jalapeño Yogurt Sauce and Homemade Corn Tortillas | xtinaluvspink.wordpress.com

If you’ve never made corn tortillas at home, don’t be afraid! They’re actually really easy and taste SO MUCH BETTER than store-bought corn tortillas which, let’s be honest, taste like nothing. Buy a bag of Masa Harina at almost any grocery store (it’s cheap) and make a fresh batch of tortillas to go with these tacos! If you’re tight on time, it’s fine to use store-bought, but you’ll be doing your taste buds a disservice.

The filling of these tacos is simple and just a bit spicy – soy chorizo is heated up with some frozen corn for a high-protein filling that tastes amazing. Finally, these tacos are drizzled with a charred jalapeño yogurt sauce for a creamy, cool element.

Tacos that are made from scratch, are high protein and taste amazing really do make for an amazing Taco Tuesday. But I won’t tell if you make these any other day of the week 🙂 Tell me – how do YOU taco?

Soy Chorizo Tacos with Jalapeño Yogurt Sauce and Homemade Corn Tortillas

Serves 4

  • 1 large jalapeño
  • 1 C plain Greek yogurt
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • 1-2/3 C Masa Harina
  • 2/3 hot water
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 1/2 lime, juiced
  • 1 package soy chorizo, thawed – I love Trader Joe’s brand
  • 3/4 C frozen corn kernels

To make the tortillas, mix the Masa Harina with the hot water, remaining sea salt and juice of one lime. Stir to combine completely. Turn out onto a clean work surface and knead with your hands until the dough is smooth and no longer sticky. Return dough to the bowl and cover with a towel. Set aside to rest while you make the yogurt sauce.

Wash the jalapeño and slide a fork into the top (stem side). Carefully hold the pepper over an open flame on your stovetop. Alternatively, you could use the broiler if you have an electric oven. Keep turning the pepper until it’s mostly blackened, making sure it doesn’t catch fire.

Turn off the flame and run the pepper under water, scraping off the blackened skin with the blade of a knife. Transfer to a cutting board and cut off the stem. Slice it in half lengthwise and remove the seeds and ribs. Put the charred pepper halves into a small food processor with the yogurt, 1/4 tsp sea salt and honey. Puree until smooth and creamy. Transfer to a jar or bowl and refrigerate until serving.

Soy Chorizo Tacos with Jalapeño Yogurt Sauce and Homemade Corn Tortillas | xtinaluvspink.wordpress.com

Now you can make the tortillas! Cut a freezer zip-top bag down the sides so it folds open. Heat a cast iron skillet over medium-high on the stove. Use your hands to roll the dough into balls the size of a ping pong ball. Place a ball of dough between the cut-open plastic bag and use a rolling pin to flatten the dough into a round tortilla. Place the tortilla into the hot skillet (no oil necessary) and cook for 1-2 minutes on each side, being careful not to let it burn. Remove with a fork and place on a plate beneath a warm, damp towel. Repeat this process of rolling out the dough and cooking it until all the tortillas have been made. (For more detailed instructions, check out The Kitchn.)

Soy Chorizo Tacos with Jalapeño Yogurt Sauce and Homemade Corn Tortillas | xtinaluvspink.wordpress.com

In the same hot skillet, cook the thawed chorizo with the corn, about 5 minutes.

To assemble the tacos, place three tortillas on each plate. Spoon the chorizo filling into the center of each tortilla. Spoon or drizzle on the jalapeño yogurt sauce. Enjoy with a refreshing drink!

Soy Chorizo Tacos with Jalapeño Yogurt Sauce and Homemade Corn Tortillas | xtinaluvspink.wordpress.com

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Vegetarian Cheeseburger Stuffed Peppers

20 Feb

How was your weekend? Ours was packed – Chris and I had date night on Friday at Odd Duck, one of our favorite restaurants in Milwaukee. The food was amazing, and the dessert was even better! We checked out two new breweries afterward for some tasty beer to cap off the night. Saturday was full of fitness and more beer – it’s unseasonably gorgeous outside (61 degrees in February in Wisconsin is unheard of), so I went for a run, followed by yoga at another local brewery, and a walk around the neighborhood with Chris. At night, we poured beer at Food & Froth, a beer festival/fundraiser for the Milwaukee Public Museum. So, all the housework and my long run was left for Sunday.

Vegetarian Cheeseburger Stuffed Peppers | xtinaluvspink.wordpress.com

Left: Date night with Chris, including an amazing flourless chocolate cake with peanut butter mousse. Right: pouring beer at Food & Froth at the public museum – got to hang out with the Eskimos!

I’ve finally jumped on the Sunday food prep bandwagon. I’m not sure what’s taken me so long, as the routine of cooking and baking a bunch of food on the weekend is actually quite relaxing. It’s also satisfying to know that most of the week’s meals are ready to go.

Vegetarian Cheeseburger Stuffed Peppers | xtinaluvspink.wordpress.com

But you can’t forget a delicious Sunday dinner! Craving something naughty, but wanting something nutritious, I combined the best of both worlds. The flavors of a cheeseburger are packed into these stuffed bell peppers. Traditional stuffed peppers are made with rice, but to reduce the carbs and increase the veggie intake, I replaced rice with shredded zucchini and carrot. You can’t tell the difference and it is SO much better for you! You can’t forget the cheese, and these peppers use two kinds for a delicious meal you can feel good about. It’s high protein, low carb, vegetarian and gluten free; make this vegan with dairy-free cheese!

Vegetarian Cheeseburger Stuffed Peppers, adapted from Skinny Kitchen

Serves 4

  • 4 bell peppers, washed, tops sliced off and ribs removed – I used a variety of colors, but use whatever you prefer!
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 1 zucchini, shredded
  • 2 medium carrots, peeled and shredded
  • 10 oz Beefless Ground – tempeh would work if you crumble it up
  • 2 tbsp Worcestershire Sauce
  • 2 tbsp ketchup – such as True Made Foods, whose condiments are made with all veggies!
  • 1 tbsp mustard – any kind works – I used beer mustard
  • 1/3 C Bloody Mary mix or tomato juice
  • Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 3/4 C shredded mozzarella
  • 3 oz shredded aged cheddar – I prefer 5-year aged

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Wash the bell peppers and slice off the tops. Clean out the seeds and ribs. You may need to also slice just a bit off the bottom of the peppers, if they don’t stand up on their own. Place them in an 8×8″ or 9×9″ baking dish; set aside.

Vegetarian Cheeseburger Stuffed Peppers | xtinaluvspink.wordpress.com

In a cast iron skillet, heat olive oil and saute the onion with the shredded zucchini and carrot. Cook until everything is nicely browned and the water has cooked out from the veggies. Add the Beefless Ground and cook another 5 minutes, to brown.

Stir in the Worcestershire sauce, ketchup, mustard and Bloody Mary mix. Then, mix in the mozzarella.

Use a spoon to pack the cheeseburger mixture into each pepper. Pat down the filling and top each pepper with shredded cheddar cheese.

Carefully pour a cup of water into the base of the baking dish. Sounds weird, but this will help steam the peppers so they’re nice and tender! Bake at 400 for 40 minutes.

Gently remove the baking dish from the oven and use tongs to serve. These taste amazing with beer-soaked oven fries, which can conveniently bake at the exact same time!

Confessions of a Mother Runner

I’m linking up with Confessions of a Mother Runner and A Whisk and Two Wands for #MeatlessMonday!

Cheesy Roasted Vegetable Skillet Baked Pasta

2 Feb

I am totally obsessing over this high-protein pasta lately. Seems like if it’s not homemade, I gravitate toward the red lentil or black bean varieties. They’re just SO versatile and delicious! And no, I’m not getting paid to run on and on about these pastas.

Cheesy Roasted Vegetable Skillet Baked Pasta | xtinaluvspink.wordpress.com

This dish is loaded with flavor. Roasted vegetables, smoked gouda, tomato sauce, and the lightly-flavored red lentil pasta all come together to produce a hearty, savory dinner the whole family will enjoy.

What’s even better: the combination of red lentils and the cast iron skillet, in addition to the other vegetables, make this a wonderfully iron-rich dish. This is a total win-win-win (the third win is because it’s so darn cheesy!).

Cheesy Roasted Vegetable Skillet Baked Pasta

Serves 4

  • 12 oz red lentil rotini (or 8 oz of whole wheat pasta)
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 2 bell peppers, diced
  • 2 stalks celery, diced
  • Sea salt and black pepper, to taste
  • 1-1/4 C tomato pasta sauce
  • ¼ C vegetable stock
  • 5 oz smoked gouda, shredded
  • 1 oz fresh Parmesan, to serve

Place a cast iron skillet or other oven-safe skillet in the oven and preheat to 400.

Cook pasta according to package directions. Drain and set aside.

While the water boils to cook the pasta, dice the onion, bell peppers and celery. Remove the hot skillet from the oven and grease it with a bit of olive oil. Toss the veggies together into the skillet and drizzle with a tablespoon of olive oil. Season with sea salt and black pepper and roast in the oven for 20 minutes.

Transfer the drained pasta back to its cooking pot. Stir in the roasted vegetables, tomato sauce, vegetable stock and shredded gouda.

Grease your skillet with some more olive oil and pour the pasta mixture back into it, smoothing the top. Bake at 400 for 15 minutes.

Remove and let cool 5 minutes before serving with freshly grated Parmesan cheese.

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Wild Blueberry Avocado Protein Smoothie

30 Jan

By posting this recipe I am entering a recipe contest sponsored by the Wild Blueberry Association of North America and I am eligible to win prizes associated with the contest. I was not compensated for my time.

I dunno about where you live, but Milwaukee has been nothing but dreary and grey for at least a week now. Such a downer! Aside from working up a sweat, I know few better ways to combat the lousy weather than with a berry-packed smoothie.

Wild Blueberry Avocado Protein Smoothie | xtinaluvspink.wordpress.com

Sure, I could simply turn up the heat at home and lounge around with a cup of tea, but a nice, sweaty workout, followed by a healthy protein smoothie is soooo much better, and more rewarding!

This creamy dreamy smoothie is made with frozen wild blueberries, which are way more flavorful than and twice as rich in antioxidants as regular blueberries. Better yet, they’re frozen at harvest, ensuring the best quality berry every single time.

Wild Blueberry Avocado Protein Smoothie | xtinaluvspink.wordpress.com

Wild blueberries are called “Wild” because they are. Wild blueberries are not planted but occur naturally in barrens and fields in Maine and Eastern Canada that have been here for 10,000 years. They’re just waiting to be plucked and enjoyed!

And don’t freak out, they’re super easy to find – no trips to Maine or Canada necessary 🙂 Check the frozen foods section of your grocery store, and they should be near the other frozen fruits.

To learn more about wild blueberries, visit and follow these accounts: FacebookInstagramPinterestTwitter.

I paired these sweet and tart wild blueberries with creamy avocado and my favorite vegan vanilla protein powder for a smoothie that packs a punch in all the best ways.

Wild Blueberry Avocado Protein Smoothie | xtinaluvspink.wordpress.com

Wild Blueberry Avocado Protein Smoothie

Makes 1 smoothie

  • 1/4 C nondairy milk
  • 1 C cold water
  • 1/2 ripe avocado
  • 1/2 C frozen wild blueberries
  • 1 scoop vegan vanilla protein powder
  • Additional wild blueberries and hemp seeds, to garnish

Pour the liquids into your blender and add the avocado, wild blueberries and protein powder. Blend until absolutely smooth. Pour into your favorite glass and garnish with additional wild blueberries and hemp seeds.

 

Mini Caprese Cornbread Muffins

25 Jan

In the midst of January, when the days are gray and the nights are cold, I frequently catch my mind wandering to warmer climates, or even just a warmer time of the year! And yet, those sunny days, the abundance of fresh fruit and veggies, and the outdoor festivals are still months away.

Mini Caprese Cornbread Muffins (1).jpg

 

 

Luckily, winter meals can be comforting, hearty and delicious. Chris made a batch of his best ever vegan chili for the football game this past weekend, which inspired me to create something to dip into it! Lusting for summer, I combined a simple yet tasty cornbread muffin with flavors of my favorite summertime salad: Caprese! These little bites are packed with shredded Mozzarella and basil, and topped off with a halved cherry tomato. You could even drizzle on a bit of Balsamic glaze if you’re feeling it!

These muffins are great on their own or paired with your favorite chili (try Chris’s recipe, and I guarantee you’ll fool everyone into thinking it has meat!). They’re also made with whole wheat flour and coconut sugar, which is just a touch healthier than their overly-processed cousins.

Mini Caprese Cornbread Muffins, adapted from Food.com

Makes 30 mini muffins

  • 4 tbsp butter
  • 1 C whole wheat pastry flour
  • 1 C cornmeal
  • 1 tbsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp sea salt
  • ¼ C coconut sugar
  • 1 tbsp dried basil (or you could use fresh!)
  • 1 C milk (nondairy or otherwise)
  • 1 large egg
  • 1-1/4 C freshly grated Mozzarella cheese
  • 15 grape tomatoes, halved lengthwise

Preheat oven to 425. Grease mini muffin tins and set aside. No need to use muffin liners!

In a medium microwave-safe bowl, melt butter. Set aside to cool a bit.

In a large bowl, mix all dry ingredients together with a wooden spoon.

Into the cooled melted butter, mix the milk and beat in the egg. Pour this over the dry mixture and stir until just combined.

Fold in all of the shredded cheese, being careful not to overmix.

Use a cookie scoop to portion the batter into prepared muffin tins. Press a tomato half, cut side up, into each muffin.

Bake at 425 for 10 minutes, turning halfway through.

Remove and let cool 10 minutes before transferring the muffins to a bowl lined with a clean towel for serving. If you have leftovers, let cool completely and store in an airtight container in the fridge, up to a week.

Mini Caprese Cornbread Muffins | xtinaluvspink.wordpress.com

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