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Wrap

Butternut, Black Bean & Goat Cheese Tacos

Butternut, Black Bean & Goat Cheese Tacos

The taco — is there anything greater? Aside from avocado on everything and the invention of Sriracha, I think not. Good thing those two items pair incredibly well inside a tortilla.

You don’t need to be an Iron Chef to create a mind-blowing taco. What you do need: quality, warm tortillas, beans, cumin, garlic and/or onion (preferably both) and salsa. Bonus points if you’ve got a ripe avocado, unless making the recipe you see here. From there, the rest is really up to you — sautéed veggies, cheese, herbs, coriander, other forms of protein, etc.

It’s not rocket science. Yet there’s nothing greater! Except avocado. And maybe Sriracha. Which are both beside the point…

Butternut, Black Bean & Goat Cheese Tacos

…Let’s get to the point. It was a long week. Which means I’m bringing you a recipe that anyone can make. I don’t care if you pronounce “milk” like “melk”. I don’t care if you’re Einstein. You can make this recipe, no matter how smart you are or where your skill level of cooking lays. You can make this after a really long day of work (if you can wait the 40 minutes of oven time). YOU can make this. Did I mention you can make this even if you insist on pronouncing “milk” as “melk”?

Yeah. It’s been a long week. But aside from all that nonsense written above, trust in me that these tacos are awesome. And not just because they’re tacos. Rather because buttery winter squash roasts so well with caramelized onions, and thrown together with goat cheese and cilantro, I’d have to say they’re hard to beat — especially given how easy they come together. Not even by avocado, which I didn’t bother to add to this. Why? Because these tacos don’t even need it. Although, as I said, nothing’s greater than avocado on everything, so if you’re heart’s set on it, go ahead and throw a few cubes of avo. in here too.

Oh…and I don’t think you’re dumb if you say “melk”. I have a few friends who insist on it, no matter how many times I correct them. I have faith that they too can make this recipe.

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Collard Wraps with Carrot Hummus and Quinoa

Collard Wraps with Carrot Hummus and Quinoa

I was overwhelmingly swooned by the carrot-tahini combination in last week’s soup (kind of like when I stumble across cute, solo boys picking up veg at the farmer’s market). Ever since, I’ve been dreaming up ways to give the duo another go. It seemed almost obvious that I turn to hummus.

Tahini’s never been shy of chickpeas, but the flavors that resulted from this weren’t forecasted to me at all. It’s incredible what a little roasting can do to draw out taste, and what a simple addition to a classic recipe can do to entirely reinvent it.

Hence, I bring you Carrot Hummus.

Roasted carrots

I should’ve known from the soup, but if you haven’t caught my gist yet, this creation surpassed my expectations. Even more so after I wrapped it up in an almighty collard leaf and threw in a lemony quinoa tabbouleh. If I were to ever open a cafe, this is the kind of lunch I would offer.

Healthy, complex and portable.

Collard Wraps with Carrot Hummus and Quinoa

The lemon quinoa bestows a pleasant dichotomy between the sweet roasted garlic and carrots of the hummus. It adds a little crunch, too, but don’t worry, some toasted walnuts carry that idea out to its completion.

Wrap in aluminum foil if taking these on the go, or if you’re like me (a spill-food-all-over-my-white [insert article of clothing] kind of person) and simply want a less messy lunch to handle.

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Collard Wraps with Tempeh Sweet Potato Hash

Collard Wraps with Tempeh Sweet Potato Hash

A few days ago, I ran across a Whole Foods tweet touting collards are the new kale. Intrigued, I of course clicked the link directing me to a blog post in which its author wrote “growing up in Louisiana, collards greens were standard fare”. Spending my childhood in Pennsylvania with two green-obsessed parents, collards have always been a regular part of my diet too.

Collard Wraps with Tempeh Sweet Potato Hash

Of course, rotating on the dinner table was also Lacinato, Red Russian and other leafy varietals long before the whole kale craze ever  took off. And at the time, my little kid self didn’t care much for them. Apparently neither did anyone else.

Today, however, things have changed. I adore kale, and it’s become so apparently obvious, I am not alone.

Toasted cashews

What initially struck me as surprising was not that kale finally soared into stardom, but rather that collards were left behind. My parents had always grew equal amounts in the garden, and had served up equal amounts onto our plates. To me, the two went hand in hand. To an extent, they were almost interchangeable.

Collard Wraps with Tempeh Sweet Potato Hash

I find it no surprise, then, that Whole Foods thinks collard are to become the next kale. Though, I’m still amazed it took so long.

Like kale and the explosion of raw salads, I think collards will really begin to shine in their uncooked element. In the south, collards have always been common, and are traditionally known to be cooked to death with salted pork/fatback, and served as a side. Maybe this is why they didn’t take off right away. The result of that is not a pretty green sight.

Use them in their raw form as a substitute for tortillas, however, and they become one stunning way to bundle up a bunch of goodness. I did not grow up with collard wraps, but can fully say I’m excited to add more of them to my diet. Sturdy yet light, they feel like such a nourishing way to wrap up a lunch. Pack them in aluminum foil, and they also become an easy on-the-go snack.

These are stuffed with a flavorful curried tempeh, slightly sweetened with everyone’s favorite orange potatoes. I like to mash the sweet potatoes slightly into the tempeh to really blend all the flavors. Note: If whipping this up for dinner, make extra. These are great for a make-ahead lunch, served either warm or cold.

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Roasted Asparagus Feta Wrap

The only challenging part I find about being a vegetarian is that I often run out of sandwich ideas I can make to quickly pack for my lunch.  I do a lot of hummus and bean dips, obvious from my numerous bean puree-related posts.  But sometimes a girl can only eat so much hummus.  So that leaves me wtih…PB&J? Eh, maybe occasionally, but I ate too many of those in grade school to make them a staple in my life again.

Since I can’t rely on lunch meats, (and really, why would I want to…I always found the stuff slimy and gross even during the periods where I did consume meat), I’m left looking for inventive lunch alternatives.  Which can be quite fun.  The one pictured above turned out to be a pleasant surprise.  Who knew asparagus could taste so good in a wrap?

Paired with a seasonal crunch from the radishes and a soft punch of flavor from the feta, asparagus does quite well in a sandwich wrap.  Roast the asparagus the night before for a quick wrap up the next morning.

And stay tuned for my next post, which will feature another one of my vegetarian sandwich favorites.

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Vegan Sausage Breakfast Wrap

Nothing hits the spot like a good breakfast. Laying in bed one night struggling to get to sleep, my grumbling stomach had me thinking up recipes for tomorrow’s breakfast. (Does this ever happen to you?) My mind had me wandering to some savory vegan sausage I’d been storing in the freezer. I was thinking breakfast sandwich, which transformed into an extra satisfying, simple breakfast wrap the next day. I added some Daiya, along with a little Vegenaise/ketchup combo. to create a creamy, dreamy filling. Spinach and scallions sealed the deal to create a wrap suitable for anytime of day.

Vegan Sausage Breakfast Wrap

(Makes one wrap)

-2 vegan sausages
-1/4 cup spinach
-2 Tbsp. sauerkraut
-1 Tbsp. ketchup
-1 Tbsp.Vegenaise
-1/4 cup cheddar Daiya
-1 scallion, diced
-1 whole wheat wrap
-Freshly ground pepper

Prepare sausage according to directions.

Meanwhile, whisk together ketchup and Vegenaise. Spread spinach across bottom of wrap. Top with sauerkraut. Spread ketchup mixture alongside sauerkraut. Lay cooked sausage on top. Sprinkle Daiya across top. Leave open and cook in toaster oven until cheese is melted, 3-6 minutes. Top with scallions and freshly ground pepper. Fold wrap, and eat.