Southwest-style Vegan Tacos

Tacos are a delicious, fun option for any get-together! Instead of worrying about serving guests something they dislike, let them choose what to put on their tacos! Plus it makes for a more interactive dinner, if that’s what you’re into.

This taco recipe is divided into a few different components. Feel free to substitute ingredients and try a bunch of different things, whatever you like!

Prep time: ~60 min
Serves: 4-6
Gluten-free (if using corn tortillas)

Ingredients:

  • Tortillas or tortilla chips.

Guacamole:

  • 2 ripe avocados, mashed.
  • 1 clove garlic, finely minced.
  • salt
  • pepper
  • lime juice

Mix everything together well.

Corn Salsa:

  • 2 cobs of corn, boiled and cooled, kernels cut off the cobs (defrosted frozen corn works fine too!).
  • 2 tomatoes, finely chopped.
  • 1 bunch cilantro, finely chopped.
  • 1 red onion, finely chopped.
  • 2 jalapenos, finely chopped.
  • salt
  • pepper

Mix everything together well.

Rice and beans:

  • 1 can black beans, rinsed well.
  • 2 cups cooked rice.
  • 1/2 tsp each cumin, coriander, garlic, and chili powder.
  • salt
  • pepper
  • olive oil

Fry the beans and rice lightly in the oil. Add in the spices and stir well, continuing to fry until just fragrant.

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Vegan Tartines (Open-faced Sandwiches)

Tartines are French style, open-faced sandwiches topped with all sorts of delicious ingredients. Perfect for brunch, if you want to show off a little to your friends, or if you just feel like having something delicious, healthy, and colourful all to yourself!

Here are just a few ideas of how to dress up a simple slice of bread:

  • Avocado, Roasted Corn, and Pico de Gallo Tartine
  • Oven-roasted Tomato, Arugula, and Asparagus Tartine
  • Hummus, Bell Pepper, and Watercress Tartine

You can also turn these into normal sandwiches if you need to take lunch on the go!

Prep Time: ~20 minutes, depending on the tartine.
Serves: 2 per tartine.

Ingredients:

For the Avocado and Corn Tartine:

  • 1 flatbread, cut in half and toasted.
  • 1 avocado, mashed.
  • 1 cob of corn, kernels cut off the cob (frozen corn is also fine, just let it thaw completely first!).
  • 2 large tomatoes, finely diced.
  • 1/4 red onion, finely diced.
  • 1 clove garlic, finely diced.
  • juice of 1 lime.
  • 1 tsp olive oil.
  • salt.
  • pepper.
  • 1 small handful cilantro, leaves plucked from the stems.

Preheat your oven to 400 F/200 C. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper, then place the corn kernels on it. Toss lightly with olive oil, salt, and pepper, then place in the oven for 10-15 minutes, until the corn is fully cooked and begins to blacken in a few areas.

In a bowl, mix together the tomatoes, red onion, garlic, most of the lime juice, olive oil, and season with salt and pepper. Set aside. Mix the remaining lime juice with the avocado.

To assemble: Spread a layer of avocado on the toast, then plenty of corn on top of that, and finish with the pico de gallo. Sprinkle a few coriander leaves on top for garnish, and voila!

For the Tomato and Asparagus Tartine:

  • 2 slices ciabatta bread, lightly toasted.
  • 1 large handful red cherry tomatoes, halved.
  • 1 large handful yellow cherry tomatoes, halved.
  • 1 small handful asparagus, woody parts of the stem removed, and cut into bite-sized pieces.
  • 2 cloves garlic.
  • olive oil.
  • salt.
  • pepper.
  • 2 handfuls baby arugula.

Preheat your oven to 400 F/200 C. Place the tomatoes and asparagus on a lined baking sheet. Grate the garlic cloves over the top. Drizzle with olive oil, then season well with salt and pepper. Toss to coat, then place in the oven for 5 to 10 minutes, until the skin on the tomatoes begins to shrivel and the asparagus is cooked.

To assemble: Drizzle a small amount of olive oil onto the bread, then add a generous amount of the roasted tomatoes and asparagus. Top with a handful of arugula, and enjoy!

For the Hummus and Bell Pepper Tartine:

  • 2 slices sourdough, lightly toasted.
  • 1 can chickpeas, drained (reserving the liquid) and rinsed.
  • 1 clove garlic.
  • 2 tsp tahini.
  • juice of 1/2 a lemon.
  • 2 tsp olive oil.
  • salt.
  • pepper.
  • paprika
  • 1 red bell pepper, cut into thin strips.
  • 1 yellow bell pepper, cut into thin strips.
  • 2 handfuls watercress.

Place the chickpeas, garlic, and tahini in a food processor and mix on low. Slowly add in the lemon juice and olive oil, blending until smooth. If the mixture is still too chunky, add a little of the chickpea water from the can and blend again, until the desired consistency is reached. Season well with salt and pepper.

To assemble: spoon a good amount of the hummus onto the bread, and sprinkle a light dusting of paprika over the top. Add plenty of bell peppers on top of that, and finish with a handful of watercress. Enjoy!

Pea and Corn Croquettes

Exactly what it sounds like. Peas and corn mixed with mashed potatoes, rolled in breadcrumbs, and then fried to give them a lovely crispy outside. This is a great way to use up leftover mashed potatoes, and it’s also a delicious side dish or snack!

Serves: 6.
Prep time: ~1 hour

Ingredients:

  • 6-8 potatoes, peeled and roughly chopped.
  • 1 onion, peeled and roughly chopped.
  • 2 tbsp oil.
  • salt.
  • pepper.
  • 1 tbsp flour, plus more to coat the croquettes.
  • 1-2 cups breadcrumbs (preferable panko), depending on how many croquettes you make.
  • 1/2 cup peas, defrosted if frozen.
  • 1/2 corn kernels, defrosted if frozen.
  • vegetable oil – enough to fill a deep frying pan halfway, plus a little extra in a small bowl.

Cooking Instructions:

Place the potatoes and onion in a large pot of cold water, then bring to a boil for 16-18 minutes, until the potatoes are tender. Drain the potatoes and mash them well with the oil, then season generously with salt and pepper.

Cool the potatoes down until they’re cool enough for you to handle, either by spreading them out on a baking sheet or popping them in the fridge for a few minutes.

Once the potatoes are cooled down, begin heating your oil on the stove. You want it to be hot enough that a breadcrumb will start bubbling when you drop it in, but doesn’t go brown right away. If you have a deep fryer, use that instead!

Mix the corn, peas, and flour into the mashed potatoes. Set up 3 separate bowls: 1 with flour, one with a bit of oil, and one with the breadcrumbs. Scoop up about 2 tablespoons of your potato mix and form into either a small patty or a cylinder. Patties are easier to flip, but cylinders look cuter.

Roll the croquette in the flour, then in the oil, then in breadcrumbs. If it’s looking a little bare, dip it back in the oil and then back in the breadcrumbs, patting it on all sides.

Fry them in batches to prevent the oil from cooling down too much. The croquettes should take a couple minutes on each side, until they’re lovely and golden brown all over. Serve piping hot.

These go really nicely with a Japanese-style curry (which I’ll probably be posting soon!), or with a nice pureed soup, anything you can dip them in!

Shepherd’s Pie

Delicious and filling, this stuff is real comfort food. This dish uses a base of lentils, carrots, corn, and tomatoes, and is topped with delicious, fluffy mashed potatoes. Finish it off in the oven for a little bit of crunch on the top, and you’ve got yourself a super yummy dinner!

Shepherd’s pie is great fresh, but is just as good (if not better) after a night in the fridge, when all the flavors have had a chance to meld together nicely.

Prep time: ~60 minutes
Gluten-free
Serves 6

Ingredients:

  • 1 large onion, diced.
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced or crushed.
  • 2 cups brown or green lentils, cooked.
  • 2 cans whole tomatoes, tomatoes sliced, with the juice reserved.
  • 2 cups frozen sweet corn.
  • 2 tbsp olive oil.
  • 1 tsp each dried thyme and dried rosemary.
  • 6-8 cups chopped potatoes, peeled if desired.
  • 1-2 tbsp mild oil.
  • Salt and pepper, to taste.

Preheat your oven to 425°F (220°C). Meanwhile, get your potatoes boiling in a large pot. (for more tips on making great mashed potatoes, see my post on Mashed Potatoes!).

While your potatoes are cooking, get another pot heating up on the stove on medium heat. Add in your olive oil, and when hot, toss in your onions and garlic. Cook until soft and fragrant, then add in your corn and dried herbs. Stir well, allowing the corn to thaw, and then add in your tomatoes with their juice. Stir until combined, and then add in the lentils, stirring them in as well. Cook for at least 15 minutes, until the mixture is nice and thick. Season with salt and pepper.

Once your potatoes are ready, mash them, adding in the oil and seasoning them as you go.

Prepare a large, deep baking dish by greasing it lightly with oil. Next, pour in your lentil mixture, leaving plenty of room at the top for your potatoes. Then spread the potatoes over the top in a nice, thick, even layer.

Place a baking sheet in the oven underneath the dish the shepherd’s pie is in, to catch any overflow or spills (learned this one the hard way). Cook for about 10-15 minutes, or until the potatoes are lightly browned and crispy on the top. Serve piping hot.