Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Home grown

We had a fun-filled, game playin', drink drinkin' weekend topped off with some great food, amazing weather, and even better friends. Our friend Whitney invited us over for a cook-out at her and Nate's house on Saturday night, and we went with her to the farmer's market (well, two) to pick up some supplies. We stopped by the East Lake Farmer's market and picked up some amazing looking kale and chard. We got two huge bags full for $8. The guy we bought it from said he leases a plot of land a few blocks away from the market site and grows all sorts of delicious things. There were various vendors there selling all sorts of home-grown things. 

Friday, March 23, 2012

Accidentally Vegan Tacos

This past Tuesday, it officially became spring. It came complete with a yellow-ish coating and sweet, sweet summertime temps. Despite the pollen, we’re loving everything about the season change, including but not limited to:

·      Essie’s “Turquoise and Caicos” & “Tart Deco"
·      Headbands like these:
Lime Sorbet Margaritas
·      Strappy Sandals like these for Chris, or these for me
·      Royal blue, like this bandeau swim top
·      Mint, like this t from Madewell
·      Cut-out dresses
·      And finally, the most amazing vegan (by accident) tacos below.

Psst, check out nnything and everything we've been pinning recently. Here & Here.

So since we’re spending more money on fun, springtime goodies like those things, we’ve been extra frugal with our meals. But frugal doesn’t have to mean bland, boring, or junk…it’s spring, which is close to summer, which means swim suit time. We wanna look good, so healthy is also even more of a top priority.

Ok fine, we’ve been couponing, and yeah, its fun. And addicting! We’ve been using e-coupons through Kroger’s Plus card program. Chris figured it out one day a few weeks ago, and we’ve been doing it ever since. It’s super easy; all you have to do is register your card online, then you can upload coupons to your card, and they are automatically redeemed when you scan your card at the store. Another cool thing is that you can store coupons for future use.  Just this week, I saved $6.21 on my whole order. And as always, we’ve been keeping up with the regular weekly sale paper.

Last week, we were making our meal planning Google doc, and decided we wanted Mexican one night (typical). Well, after looking at our “What we have” column, we determined we were just going to throw together some of our favorite Mexican night accouterments that we either already had, or were on sale (duh).

We had pretty low expectations for this meal, to be honest. No meat, no fuss, just random stuff. I’m happy to say that this meal is a new favorite in our house, along with Red Beans & Rice. It’s colorful and spring-y, healthy, and of course, easy and cheap. It was so good last week that we HAD to do it again this week (with a few ingredient change-ups).

We have plenty of vegetarian nights, but this meal, come to find out, is also vegan!
So we’re excited to share our amazing gluten-free, vegetarian, vegan tacos. We want to continue to play with them and come up with other variations depending on what produce is in season.

Accidentally Vegan Tacos


·      EVOO
·      1 tablespoon Taco Seasoning (leftover from Mexican Lasagna)
·      Soft Corn tortillas (thanks Thomson)
·      1 can of store-brand Black Beans
·      1 small can of whole-kernel corn
·      1 can Ro-tel diced tomatoes
·      ½ yellow onion, chopped
·      1 handful of chopped spinach

The 2nd time, we threw in:
·      3 small red potatoes (chopped)
·      A handful of fresh kale

Preheat oven to 375°.

Start by adding a circle of EVOO to a medium sized skillet. Turn stove to medium heat. Add the chopped onions, potatoes, and taco seasoning. Sautee them until they begin to get soft. Next, add the kale and the thawed, dried spinach. Cook for about 2-3 minutes. 

Then, add the drained black beans, corn, and tomatoes. 

Mix well, and turn heat down to low. Simmer and stir occasionally for 10 minutes

Meanwhile, lightly coat as many tortillas as you’d like with EVOO. Place them directly on the oven racks so that they are in between grates. As they bake, they will fall and create taco shells. (Thank you yet again, Pinterest.) Bake for about 10 minutes or until lightly brown.

Carefully use tongs to take the taco shells out of the oven. Let them cool for a little while, and then fill the shells with the veggie mixture.

We ate on our festive plates, our nails were painted, and we watched some Grey’s. Homemade taco shells seem like kind of a pain, but they were so much better! Chris enjoyed crushing her taco shells and eating them like chips and salsa.

I think I love this meal so much because it combines various flavors and textures in all the right ways. It’s pretty to look at, and yummy to eat.

The next day, we took the leftover taco fillings and ate them cold with some tortilla chips we got on sale for 2/$4.00. 

No meat, no problem. This meal is more filling that it looks or sounds, so we were happy and healthy. Yay, Spring!