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The following post, recipes and photography were provided by Barrington Illinois resident Lori Young and were originally published at 365Barrington.com.
My plant-based food journey began 25 years ago and is still going strong, even during these days of Illinois’ stay-at-home order. That’s thanks, in part, to Heinen’s Grocery Store. These days, we order all of the groceries we need online from Heinen’s and it feels like a holiday when they’re delivered to our doorstep!
From the front porch to our kitchen counter, homemade plant-based cooking is easier than ever.
During a philosophy class that I took when pursuing a degree in economics, I was randomly assigned to study the topic of speciesism for the semester. That’s when I decided that a plant-based diet was, not a phase, but the right choice for me.
As a vegan chef and mother of two, my goal is to teach people how easy and fun vegan cooking can be. Have you been thinking about adding a few more healthy choices to your family’s table? As a mom, I know how challenging that can be. I have so many tips, tricks and shortcuts to make easy vegan meals that your family will benefit from and, more importantly, love to eat.
So, what is my first choice of vegan meals? That’s easy: tacos! To make my tacos vegan, I sub meat for seasoned cauliflower and it is so delicious! With Cinco de Mayo coming up, the timing is perfect to give these a try. Bring on my “Happy Vegan Tacos” with Grilled Romaine Side Salad, Cabbage Slaw, Onions, Peppers & Mushrooms.
Here’s a tip. Let your family help! It’s always fun to give your husband a job. Mine runs a painting business, but his veggie chopping skills are pretty solid, too!
Put your kids in charge of dessert to get them in on the action, too. A few simple ingredients make Vegan Oreo Bites a snap and a fun task for all ages.
I purchased all the ingredients for our simple vegan meal from Heinen’s and you can, too. Enjoy!
Vegan Cauliflower Tacos
- 3 cups of cauliflower
- 1 Tbsp. of nutritional yeast
- 3 tsp. salt
- 3 tsp. pepper
- 1 tsp. spoon of cumin
- 1 tbsp. spoon of garlic powder
- 2 Tbsp. spoon of chili powder
- Taco shells
- Refried beans
- Cabbage slaw (recipe below)
- Seasoned onions, peppers and mushrooms (recipe below)
- Optional Toppings: green chilies, chopped tomatoes and avocado
- Chop the cauliflower and add it to a pan.
- Add spices ( or taco seasoning packet if you have one on hand).
- Add nutritional yeast.
- Add 2 cups of water to the pan. Bring to a boil and simmer for 10 minutes.
- Strain water from the cauliflower mixture.
- Add refried beans to a pan with 1/2 cup of water. Cook over low heat, stirring often, until warm.
- Place the cooked and seasoned cauliflower into taco shells.
- Top with refried beans, cabbage slaw and seasoned onions, peppers and mushrooms.
- If desired, add green chilies, chopped tomatoes and avocado.
- 3 cups of purple cabbage, finely chopped
- 2 Tbsp. vegan mayo
- 2 Tbsp. spoon of chili powder
- 1/2 Tbsp. salt
- 1 tsp. of cayenne pepper
- Rinse and finely chop the cabbage and add to a bowl.
- Add mayo, chili powder and cayenne pepper and mix to combine.
- Chill for 2 hours, if possible.
Seasoned Onions, Peppers and Mushrooms
- 2 cups of baby bella mushrooms
- 1 red pepper
- 1 green pepper
- ½ white onion
- 1 tsp. of cumin
- 1 tsp. on garlic powder
- 2 Tbsp. of chili powder
- 2 tsp. of salt
- 2 tsp. of pepper
- Chop onion, red and green peppers and mushrooms and add to a bowl,
- Add cumin, garlic powder, chili powder, salt and pepper. Toss to combine.
- Add a small amount of cooking to oil to pan and place over medium-high heat. Add seasoned vegetables to the pan and cook for 8-10 minutes.
Note: If you have a taco seasoning packet on hand, you can substitute 1/2 of the packet for the spices listed above.
Grilled Romaine Side Salad
- 1 small bunch of romaine lettuce
- Frozen pack of corn
- 1 small container of Heinen’s Pico De Gallo
- Optional: Chipotle Bitchin’ Sauce
- Cut the romaine in half lengthwise and rise. Try to ensure that the leaves do not dry completely as this will help them steam.
- Lightly rub the lettuce with oil on both sides.
- On a very hot grill, place the lettuce, cut-side-down, and grill for 2-3 minutes. Flip and grill for another 2-3 minutes on the other side.
- Place grilled romaine on a serving fish and add 1/2 cup of pico de gallo to each romaine half.
- Warm the frozen corn and add on top of the pico.
- Add Chipotle Bitchin’ Sauce, found in Heinen’s produce department, if desired.
Vegan Oreo Bites
- 10 oz. bag of Dandles Marshmallows
- 1 package of Oreos
- 2 Tbsp. of vegan stick butter
- 2 Tbsp. of coconut
- In a microwave-safe bowl, combine marshmallows, butter and coconut oil.
- Microwave marshmallows in 30 second intervals, stirring between each, until the marshmallows are fully melted.
- Crush Oreos and stir into the melted marshmallows until fully combined.
- Roll the marshmallow cookie mixture into small balls.
- Top with powdered sugar and enjoy.