Loaded Vegan Nacho Fries
Hi friends! We love great plant-based cheeses over here and one of our favorite brands, Daiya Foods, is launching a bunch of new, improved, and DELICIOUS products TODAY, March 10th, at Expo West! Expo is the biggest food show of the year and only the best products make an expo launch - so you KNOW they're gonna be great. How else can you trust that they're better than ever? Because (lucky me!) I got to taste-test all the new styles and flavors and I can promise you - they are SO good! They're still churning out delicious, dairy-free, soy-free, gluten-free plant-based alternatives, but are introducing a few new products this weekend as well - both the improved Daiya Shreds Cutting Board Collection and Cheeze Slices in several flavors. A noticeable improvement from the original version, Daiya is officially stepping up the plant-based cheese game with their new shreds and slices! The new cheeses are made with coconut oil but have the same incredible melt, stretch and taste as dairy-based cheese and can be enjoyed hot or cold. Plus, the cheeses do not contain any titanium dioxide OR carrageenan and are a great source of calcium!
I love that Daiya Foods is passionate about keeping their products plant-based for everyone - whether they’re dairy-intolerant, allergic, vegan, or simply living a healthy lifestyle. As someone with a lot of allergies and dietary restrictions, eating Daiya is a delightfully mindless indulgence. It's comfort food with a conscience! And it's available nearly everywhere these days! In over 22,000 grocery stores across the US and Canada, including Whole Foods, Kroger, Safeway and Publix.
Going to Expo West tomorrow? Or not and wondering what all the fuss is about? Check out our 2015 + 2016 blog posts to find out why EVERYONE in the vegan/ blogging/ health field will be there!
1 lb. frozen or fresh-cut french fries
1/4 cup enchilada sauce
1/2 cup Daiya Pepperjack Shreds - Cutting Board Collection
1 cup cooked black beans
1 medium tomato, chopped
1/2 medium red onion, finely chopped
1 jalapeno, thinly sliced
1/2 avocado, halved + thinly sliced
cilantro, finely chopped
lime wedges, for garnish
Bake the fries on a baking sheet according to directions or at about 350 degrees for about 40 minutes, flipping halfway through. When finished, move the cooked fries to an oven-safe pan or container (this will be where you assemble your nachos) and set the oven to 'broil' or to at least 450 degrees.
Drizzle the enchilada sauce over the fries evenly, then top with the Daiya Pepperjack Shreds. Place the dish in the oven until the cheese is melty, about 3-6 minutes depending on the temperature. Remove the dish from the oven and top the nacho fries evenly with the cooked black beans, chopped tomato and onion, jalapeño, avocado, cilantro + lime and enjoy immediately!
You could also sub in Daiya Shreds - Cutting Board Collection in Cheddar, if you prefer. We loved the extra kick of spicy that the pepper jack gave here!
Serves 2-4, depending on your appetites.
Keep an eye out for these updated packages on the shelves from Daiya soon! (And if you'll be at Expo today, come visit me at the Ozery Booth in Hall E before heading upstairs to Hall D to try Daiya's samples 😊) The Daiya Slices are the perfect addition to your favorite sandwiches. They are round in shape for convenience, and come in an updated, re-sealable package. Available in four crave-worthy flavors, including Cheddar Style, Swiss Style, Provolone Style, and the newest flavor - American Style. The new Daiya Shreds – Cutting Board Collection are perfect on pizza, cheesy pastas, your favorite Mexican dish (like our Nacho Fries above!), or in a simple grilled cheese sandwich. With a more dairy-like flavor and texture compared to Daiya Original Shreds, the Cutting Board Collection features the same amazing melt and stretch in Cheddar Style, Mozzarella Style and Pepperjack Style. You can find more on the new - and all of - Daiya Food's products here. See you all at Expo this weekend!
Party-Sized Jackfruit Nachos!
Whether you're into football or not, you probably know that the Super Bowl is this weekend. I've never been much of a football fan myself, but I'm always down for a party centered around eating! We're going to have some friends over the day before for a little get together and these nachos will absolutely be making an appearance. They're deceptively simple to make, big enough to share with a crowd, and so good your guests might not even believe you made them yourself! We start by smothering toasted tortilla chips with our spicy seasoned jackfruit, then pour on our homemade queso cheese and all the toppings you can imagine - plus we added guac!
This is a dish you won't want to share - it is THAT good! Which is also why we supersized it, so maybe it'd make it juuuuust a little easier to share? No matter what team you're rooting for, you'll be glad you made these nachos to munch on...and so will your guests!
1 large bag of tortilla chips
1- 15 ounce can black beans, drained
2- 20 ounce cans of jackfruit (in brine), prepared and cooked to our Jack Asada recipe instructions
1-2 cups homemade queso cheese (or sub whatever dairy-free cheese you prefer), warmed
1/2 cup red onion, chopped small
1/2 cup black olives, sliced
1/4 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
the BEST guacamole, for serving
limes, for garnish
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper (or aluminum foil).
Spread the tortilla chips evenly over the baking sheet and scatter the drained black beans over the top. Layer the seasoned, cooked jackfruit evenly over the top, then place the baking sheet in the oven for 10 minutes heat the chips, beans and jackfruit together.
When finished, pull the baking sheet from the oven and immediately top with the queso cheese, chopped red onion, black olives, cilantro and guacamole. Serve immediately!
Save time by preparing the jackfruit and queso a day ahead, then just reheat as necessary!
If you use a different cheese (daiya, for example) we would recommend adding the cheese layer BEFORE baking so it melts while in the oven.
Add whatever other toppings you like! Some suggestions? Cabbage, salsa, hot sauce, green onions, jalapeños, tomatoes!
The BEST Guacamole
If you're into football you're probably getting ready for the big game next weekend! The Super Bowl, at least for my family, was always more about the food than the football. The focus was always on creating delicious, snack-able dishes to enjoy with our guests, but always included a TON of fried food. Ick.
Now that we're adults and can watch the game at our own place, we're more interested in making delicious dips and snacks that don't make us feel crummy or guilty about eating wayyyy too much. Because I inevitably will eat way too much. Luckily, we're gearing up some super delicious, healthier-for-you, gameday recipes to share with you all week...starting with our recipe for the BEST guacamole!
This guacamole is our absolute favorite. We''ve been making this version for a few years, and it's pretty similar to Chipotle's style, if you're familiar. There are a million different ways to make this green gold, but we like ours full of fresh lime juice, red onion and cilantro. We serve it up at every taco night, take it to parties, and munch it on gameday, too! It's going to become your NEW favorite guacamole. Let's get dippin'!
4 medium, ripe avocados
3 tablespoons red onion, finely chopped
1-2 tablespoons fresh cilantro, chopped
1-2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 small jalapéno pepper, seeded and finely diced OR 1/4 - 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper (optional, for spiciness)
Slice the avocados in half lengthwise, tossing the seed and scooping the green innards into a large mixing bowl. Mash the avocado with a fork or potato masher until it reaches your desired consistency; my recommendation is to keep it a little chunky.
Pour in the red onion, cilantro, lime juice, salt and peppers, if using. Stir to combine. Serve immediately with chips or as an accompaniment to tacos or fajitas!
Serves about 4.
DON'T go squeezing (and ruining for everyone else) all the avocados at the store! If it has a little give and the stem doesn't just fall off, you're good. If it is overly softened or the stem falls off easily, revealing a dark or black area underneath, skip it.
The best way I've found to save leftover guac without it turning too brown is to cover it with plastic wrap, but push the plastic wrap against the guac in the bowl, so no air can stay trapped between the two. Alternately, you can try one of the million tricks found on the internet. Again though, the plastic wrap trick works pretty well. So does scraping off the brown layer and eating the perfectly good guac underneath.
Mexican Wheat Berry Salad
Sometimes you want something a little spicy, sometimes you don't. If you don't, thats okay. If you do, this dish is for you! We used our flavor-packed, low-fat Cauliflower Queso Cheeze recipe to coat one of our favorite and underused pantry staples, wheat berries, and added plenty of fresh veggies and cilantro to kick it up to party-worthy appetizer level! We fell in love with wheat berries a few years ago at a friends wedding where they served a lovely vegetarian salad (that I literally picked the cheese out of) and have been incorporating them into our diets more and more ever since. Wheat berries are the entire kernel of wheat, including the bran, germ, and endosperm. This means that they are the purest, whole, unprocessed form of wheat. When ground, they make whole wheat flour! Wheat berries are high in fiber and rich in vitamins B1 and B3, plus magnesium, phosphorous, copper, manganese and selenium. And since they're so hearty and full of fiber, a 1/2 cup serving of cooked wheat berries does a great job of filling you up and keeping you fuller, longer. We love this salad as an appetizer or side dish alongside our Jackfruit Asada Street Tacos. Its a crowd pleaser and requires very minimal work on your part, plus is easily made ahead for parties. Let's eat!
3/4 cup hard wheat berries
3 cups water
1/2 cup Queso Cheeze
1-2 tablespoons jalapéno, chopped
1/2 cup tomatoes, diced (we used yellow tomatoes from the garden!)
1/2 cup green onion, sliced
2-3 tablespoons chopped cilantro
juice of 1 lime
chips for scooping (optional)
In a medium sized pot, boil wheat berries in water for about an hour, until the berries become soft enough to eat. Drain the water, and set the wheat berries aside to cool.
If you haven't prepped the queso cheese, go ahead and do that. If you have, move on to the next step.
Prep jalapeños, tomatoes, green onion, and cilantro.
When wheat berries have cooled, mix in queso cheeze, jalapeños, tomatoes, green onion (save a little for garnish, if you like), chopped cilantro, and the juice squeezed from 1 lime. Mix with a wooden spoon to combine, garnish with remaining green onion, and serve with chips! Makes about 2 cups, serves 4. This dish will save well in the fridge for up to a week. Enjoy!
'California Burrito' Tacos
If you're from anywhere else in the US and you think you know what good Mexican food is, I can tell you straight up: YOU'RE WRONG. Only in Southern California can you get authentic, traditional, spicy Mexican dishes made with love. And of course in California, we like to mix things up. Do it our way, you know? Thats probably why San Diego has become famous for putting its own twist on traditional carne asada burritos and adding french fries. Maybe it was the surfers who did it first, maybe we'll never know, but ordering a California Burrito anywhere in So Cal means that you're getting a stuffed burrito - including french fries. And it is DAMN delicious. The french fries add a bit of crunch and flavor to the burrito and help balance out the spiciness from the 'meat' and must-have hot sauce. Because we're such big Beyond Meat fans we used their beefy crumbles as our meat substitute and loved it. You can make your own french fries or buy your favorite frozen ones and bake 'em up, but either way this is a MUST TRY. In this recipe we made the traditional burritos into tacos for two reasons; first, we love tacos (who doesn't?), and second we have a hard time finding big flour tortillas that don't contain a bunch of sketchy ingredients. Tortillas should just be flour, water, salt and lime. Anything else, especially gross preservatives, and you can count me out. Instead we bought small organic corn tortillas and doubled 'em up, traditional style, and then put all our fillings (including a heart handful of french fries) inside. Add a squeeze of lime, a sprinkle of cilantro and hot sauce, and if you want - although traditionally not included- a little vegan cheese, and you've got a taco party on your hands. Let's eat!
3 medium russet potatoes, cut into french fries OR about 3 cups of your fave frozen french fries
1 tablespoon coconut oil (only if making your own fries)
salt to taste
2 cups Beyond Meat Beefy Crumbles (or faux meat of choice- like in our jackfruit asada tacos!)
1 tablespoon coconut oil
1 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
1/4 teaspoon chili powder
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 lime, quartered
1 avocado, pitted and sliced
1/4 cup chopped onions
1/4 chopped cilantro
hot sauce + salsa, to taste
vegan cheese for sprinkling (optional)
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. If you're making fries from scratch, wash your potatoes well and slice into into fries about 1/4 inch thick. Coat a baking sheet in the 1 tablespoon of coconut oil, then spread your potatoes or frozen fries onto a baking sheet and bakes until golden and crispy, about 30 minutes, flipping halfway through. Set aside.
Pour meaty crumbles and coconut oil into a cast iron pan over medium heat. Add in cumin, cayenne pepper, smoked paprika, chili powder and salt. Stir well to evenly coat the crumbles in spices, and cook over medium heat until the crumbles are heated through and smelling delicious.
While the meaty crumbles + fries cook, prepare the rest of your ingredients; Slice the lime, avocado, and onion and chop the cilantro. Heat a separate cast iron pan, or pop the tortillas in the oven for a few minutes to heat warm them. When they're ready assemble the tacos starting with 2 layered corn tortillas, then top with beefy crumbles, fries, avocado, onions, cilantro and as much lime + hot sauce or salsa (or both) as you like. If you're adding a sprinkle of cheese, toss that on too. Leftovers can be refrigerated up to a week, but the corn tortillas should be heated fresh for each meal (duh). Enjoy! Makes 4-6 tacos.
Easy Chickpeasy Breakfast Burritos
We love grab-and-go breakfasts around here. Alex and I both work early most days, so a lot of time a kiss on the way out the door is all you've got time for- let alone a full fledged balanced breakfast. In our attempt to whip us some easy breakfast burritos, Alex had a brilliant idea. Why not use the AMAZING, fluffy, egg-white-like properties of aquafaba to help keep our breakfast light + similar to the 'potato tacos' so popular here in So Cal? So we did it! And they were a hit. Plus, they're perfect for making ahead and freezing, so you can just grab one on your way out the door and heat it up later. The aquafaba keeps the texture of the chickpeas 'egg like' and you cook 'em up just like you would a pan of scrambled eggs. You can toss in any chopped veggies you like, but we liked them slathered in avocado, hot sauce, and cilantro. They have a slightly hummus-y flavor and they're packed with protein. And even though we've been enjoying them in the mornings, they're great ANY time of the day. They whip up in under 15 minutes, so let's eat!
1 teaspoon coconut oil
1- 15 oz. can chickpeas NOT DRAINED
1 clove garlic
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
1/2 teaspoon each salt + pepper
1 lime, quartered
avocado, halved and sliced
hot sauce, to taste (opt.)
cilantro, roughly chopped (opt.)
Heat a teaspoon of coconut oil in a medium skillet over medium heat.
Pour entire can of chickpeas INCLUDING the brine, or ‘aquafaba’, into a blender or food processor. Toss in garlic and spices and blend until mixture becomes mostly smooth, but pourable.
Pour mixture into the heated pan, using a spatula to move mixture around as it begins to cook, letting it get slightly browned before flipping mixture onto itself (like scrambled eggs). Continue cooking mixture until it has thickened and browned slightly, becoming almost mashed potato in texture. Lay a tortilla flat, scooping about half of the chickpea mixture on top. Top with slices avocado, hot sauce, cilantro, and a squeeze of fresh lime. Fold tortilla around mixture and enjoy!
To make freezer burritos, simply fold the tortilla around the chickpea mixture and wrap the whole burrito tightly in tin foil. Freeze indefinitely. When ready to reheat, remove and bake at 350 degrees until the inner mixture is heated through and tortilla begins to brown. Add avocado and condiments + eat ‘em up. Makes 2 burritos.
Jackfruit Asada Street Tacos
Here in Southern California, it's all about the food. We're surrounded by great local restaurants and tons of farmers markets. We're lucky to live a place where fresh produce, great weather, and a melting pot of diversity has also attracted some amazing chefs- its a culinary adventure living out here. That being said, there is almost no better food I've ever eaten here than a traditional Mexican street taco. There's an art to the simple street taco: the meat has so much great flavor cooked into it you don't need much for toppings- a sprinkle of onions, cilantro, and a squeeze of lime. Avocado, cabbage (if you have it), and salsa are great additions, too. And tomorrow, street tacos will be in high demand...that and margaritas, of course- it's Cinco de Mayo! Since we've gone vegan, we eat a lot less (okay, no) traditional street tacos (you know- the whole meat thing), but we really love the traditional carne asada- grilled meat- flavor, so we've just started making our own. Turns out, a kitchen taco can be just as good as street taco. Who knew?! The jackfruit makes a great substitute for carne asada because of it's meat-like texture when shredded and ability to take on the flavor of whatever it's seasoned with. You can find jackfruit at your local Asian market or online. These babies whip up quick and are easy to make in bulk for Cinco de Mayo parties or for Taco Tuesdays any week of the year. Let's eat!
1 tablespoon coconut oil, for frying
1- 20 ounce can (10 ounces, drained) Jackfruit in brine or water (NOT syrup), seeds removed
1 orange, juiced (about 1/3 cup juice)
1 lime, juice (about 2-3 tablespoons juice)
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons melted coconut oil
2 teaspoons soy sauce
1 teaspoon liquid smoke
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1/2 teaspoons salt
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
organic corn tortillas
1-2 avocados, pitted and thinly sliced
1/2 cup red onions, diced
1/4 cup cilantro, roughly chopped
lime slices, for garnish
In a medium cast-iron skillet, heat 1 tablespoon coconut oil. Place jackfruit into a mixing bowl and use two forks or your fingers to shred it. Add orange and lime juice, garlic, coconut oil, soy sauce, liquid smoke, cumin, smoked paprika, salt and cayenne pepper. Mix until jackfruit is well coated, then pour the whole mixture into the heated skillet. Cook over medium heat about 10-15 minutes, until juices thicken and reduce and jackfruit begins to slightly brown in pan.
While jackfruit cooks, prepare the avocados, red onions, cilantro, and lime. Heat a large flat skillet over medium heat and warm tortillas on the skillet until warm, flipping once.
When the jackfruit asada is ready, pile some into a (or double) warmed corn tortillas, then top with a few avocado slices, onions, cilantro, and a squeeze of lime. Enjoy! Makes 4-6 tacos.
Looking for more Cinco de Mayo inspired recipes? Check out our Caulifower Queso Cheeze, Baked Jalapeño Poppers with Cilantro Lime Mayo, and Mexican Chickpea Scramble!
Field Roast Fiesta Burger!
We've been fans of Field Roast for a few years now and have always loved incorporating their flavorful grain-based sausages in jambalaya, soups, and on their own in a bun and slathered in mustard and onions. At Expo West this year, we FINALLY tried the long-awaited and AMAZING Chao cheeses in all three flavors - tomato cayenne, creamy original, and coconut herb. They're super realistic in flavor + texture to what I remember munching on a kid and they are the perfect filling for an ooey-gooey grilled cheese. Alex is big on finding the PERFECT veggie burger- and as far as texture and flavor goes, Field Roast's Hand-Formed is his first choice. Is it the most realistic looking burger to a meat patty we've seen yet- especially pre-cooked. You could convince any meat eater that whats in the plastic is a turkey burger for sure...if you trash the label, of course. The burger base is a blend of whole barley, carrots, garlic, onions, and celery- and of course, a secret blend of spices! They're high in protein and non-GMO, and are hand-made in small batches, by hand, in Seattle.
When we were sent a few extra samples after the Expo, we decided to create (what we're calling) a Fiesta Burger smothered in Firecracker Sauce, Roasted Poblano Peppers, and Cilantro Lime Cabbage Slaw...and its fucking delicious. So, let's just pretend we're celebrating Cinco de Mayo three weeks early, grab a margarita, and get cooking. Olé!
2 Field Roast Hand-Formed Burgers
2 slices of Field Roast Chao Tomato Cayenne Cheese
2 focaccia buns, sliced
1 large or 1 medium poblano peppers
2 cups shredded purple cabbage
1/4 cup chopped cilantro
1/4 cup freshly squeezed lime juice
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup vegan mayo
1-2 tablespoons hot sauce
1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
1 avocado, pitted and sliced
Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Roast washed, halved, and seeded peppers on a lined baking sheet for 15-25 minutes, until skin gets bubbly and brown. Remove from oven, let cool, and peel off bubbly skin so you're left with just the meaty part of the pepper. Set aside.
Cilantro Lime Cabbage Slaw:
In a large mixing bowl toss together cabbage, cilantro, lime juice, and salt. Set aside.
In a small bowl combine mayo, hot sauce, and paprika. Stir well to combine.
Heat a teaspoon of oil over medium heat in a large cast-iron pan. Fry Field Roast patties until crisp and browning on one side. Flip burgers, toss on a slice of tomato cayenne cheese, and let burgers cook until equally crisp and browning on the bottom side.
While the burgers cook, slather bottom patties with about 2 tablespoons each of the Firecracker Sauce. Top with the cooked burger and melty cheese, then layer on the roasted poblano peppers, Cilantro Lime Cabbage Slaw, and sliced avocado. Spread a bit more Firecracker Sauce on the top bun, add it to the pile, and enjoy! Serves 2. Leftover slaw + firecracker sauce can be refrigerated for up to a week.
Chick'n Tortilla Soup
One of the first recipes I ever made when I decided to try being a vegan was a tortilla soup from 'How It All Vegan'. Its a super simple combo of canned tomatoes, veggie broth, onions, spices and a hearty sprinkle of tortilla chips- very user friendly for a new vegan. Alex loved it. It may just have been the thing that convinced him that this whole 'no meat' thing wasn't so bad after all- he jumped on the vegan train just a few months after I did. And having a vegan partner makes life in our house very harmonious and very delicious. Especially when you get to sit down and enjoy a meal like this with your ridiculously good looking boyfriend after!
This soup is a step-up from the stuff I was making way back then for sure, and takes less than an hour from start to finish. I added lots of onions, bell peppers, and fresh lime juice, plus the new Chick Seitan from Upton's Naturals. This stuff is amazing! It looks like chicken, it tastes like chicken (I mean I think- I haven't eaten chicken in years), and the texture would be great fried up and served with mashed potatoes or baked into pot pies- but also in this tortilla soup! It adds a great meaty texture and flavor to the soup and really makes it a meal. It's delicious! You can find the Upton's Chick Seitan anywhere their products are sold or you can order it online. But if you're avoiding gluten, ditch the faux meat and just enjoy a delicious, veggie-loaded tortilla soup. Let's do this!
1 tablespoon oil
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 large onion, diced
1 large bell pepper, diced
2 medium tomatoes, diced
4 cups vegetable broth
2 limes, freshly juiced (about 1/3 cup juice)
1 bay leaf
1 teaspoon chili powder
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon cayenne
1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
1/2 package (4 ounces) of Upton's Chick Seitan
tortilla chips + cilantro, for garnish
In a large pot heat oil over medium heat. Sauté garlic, onion, and peppers until softened. Add in tomatoes, veggie broth, lime juice, bay leaf, spices, and Chick Seitan and simmer, stirring occasionally, for 30-40 minutes. When ready, serve with tortilla chips and freshly chopped cilantro. Makes 4-6 servings, and keeps about a week in the fridge. Enjoy!
Zesty Jicama Salad with Avocado, Cilantro & Lime
Sometimes, it's Valentines Day and you eat your weight in chocolate + pizza. And sometimes, you wake up the net day feeling like a groggy slob monster with a tummy ache and a face full of oil. The cure? A healthy, raw salad to wake up your insides and get you back on the right track. Being in love is magical and sweet...until it starts messing' with your gut! This easy-to-make salad will do just the trick! Jicama is packed with inulin- a fiber that promotes good bacteria in the intestines and helps create a healthy colon and strong immune system. Plus, just a one cup serving provides half of the daily recommended amount of vitamin C and is low-glycemic & a great option for diabetics or those on an anti-candida diet. Let's get your tummy back on track so you can get back to snugglin' with your main squeeze, shall we?
1 lb. Jicama (about 3 cups), peeled & cut into matchsticks
1 small red onion, diced
2 avocados, halved & cubed
1/4 cup cilantro, chopped
2 limes, juiced
salt & pepper to taste
Peel the jicama, chop into matchsticks, and place into a large mixing bowl. Add diced onions, avocado, cilantro, lime juice, salt and pepper. Use tongs to toss ingredients together, being careful not to mash the avocado too much. Serve on its own or with tortilla chips. Saves in the fridge in an air-tight container about 3 days before the avocado will brown. Makes about 4 cups. Enjoy!