Roasted Garlic, Sweet Potato and Black Bean Tacos (Vegan, Gluten Free, DELICIOUS!)

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Happy Friday!!! What a couple of weeks it has been! We are now only 28 days away from our wedding celebration. I am soooooooo excited to see all of the details I have been working so hard on come into reality. Wedding Planning without hiring a professional planner is basically like having another job — I give major props to everyone in that profession. You have to be extremely detail oriented!

With all this warm weather I am constantly craving tacos and margs!!

T A C O S!!! Who doesn’t love them?

I am a sucker for some sweet potatoes and roasted garlic so I decided to roast them in the oven together to get a nice char on the potatoes and a creaminess from the roasted garlic. I seasoned them with a store bought organic fajita spice mix that I used for the beans and veggies as well. When you incorporate the spice throughout the meal, it really brings a unity to all the ingredients. This can be vegan or you can add cheese if you are a queso lover like me ❤

We topped this with a Pineapple and Mango salsa from Wegmans which was the bomb. When coupled with hot sauce, the flavors balanced out so well and the taste was INCREDIBLE!

These are so filling and hearty compared to most veggie tacos – I highly recommend. Let me know if you try them via social media with the hashtag: #jessicaashleyrecipes

Here’s to a healthy and happy you!!

What you need:

  • Tortillas (corn if you want to keep Gluten Free)
  • 2 Organic Green Peppers
  • 1 Small/Medium sized onion
  • 1 large Sweet Potato, cubed (I prefer to leave the skin on)
  • 1 Can or Package of Black Beans (BPA Free!)
  • 2 bulbs of Garlic (left in their natural covering for roasting)
  • Olive Oil
  • Organic Fajita Spice Packet
  • Lime Juice
  • Fresh Organic Cilantro

Directions:

  1. Heat Oven to 400 degree F
  2. Prepare Sweet Potato Cubes and Garlic Bulbs by tossing in olive oil and 1/4 of the spice packet. Add juice from 1 lime wedge.
  3. Roast in Oven for 35-40 minutes
  4. Meanwhile, chop onion and peppers julienne style and toss in olive oil, lime juice (1-2 wedges) and 1/2 of the spice packet.
  5. Rinse Black Beans and add in small pot. Season with 1/4 (rest of the spice packet). Lime zest, and 1/2 lime juice.
  6. Toss the onion and peppers in a large pan with 1/4 cup water, cover and reduce heat to medium.
  7. Continue stirring veggie mix every so often as to ensure it doesn’t stick to the pan.
  8. Once the veggies are soft they are finished, reduce heat to low to keep warm or turn off and cover.
  9. Heat Beans on medium heat and then reduce to low to keep warm.
  10. Once the sweet potato and garlic is ready remove from oven and squeeze the garlic out of its shell into bowl with potatoes.
  11. Heat Taco Shells.
  12. Build tacos with Beans, Veggies, Potatoes, Garlic, Cheese (optional), pineapple/Mango Salsa, fresh cilantro, hot sauce (optional).
  13. ENJOY!!!!!!!

“Like the bar” Veggie Wrap (Vegan, easy, delicious!)

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Happy Sunday, everyone! In Northern Virginia we experienced a high of 78 degrees last week. No joke I put on a bathing suit and was outside in FEBRUARY! Totally enjoying it and soaking it up of course, but then my mind is like…GLOBAL WARMING AHHHH!!! Now it is back to feeling like a crisp winter day.

So as a Vegetarian, eating out can be a bit challenging. One of my favorite meals to order out is a Grilled Veggie Wrap. But, in most cases, the ingredients aren’t organic and yet the price is pretty steep. We have owned a George Foreman grill for like, 5 years and have barely used it. But we just discovered using it as a panini press and it has been life changing!!! baha.

I made this vegan veggie wrap with veggies we had grilled the previous night and some fresh kale, cucumber and onion. I dipped it in Annie’s Balsamic Vinaigrette. IT WAS SO GOOD. The vegan shredded cheese is “Daiya” but you can make it non-vegan with regular cheese.

This is so easy to do, it does require knowing how to roll a burrito [just google it and you will figure it out pretty quickly 😉 ]

What you need:

  • Whole Wheat tortilla, option to use gluten free tortilla
  • Hummus (I used roasted garlic!)
  • Veggies of your choice-I chose:
    • Fresh Kale (I massaged)
    • Cucumber
    • Fresh Red Onion
    • Grilled Veggies (zucchini, yellow squash, onion)
  • Daiya Shredded Mozzarella Cheese
  • Jalapeños (I like the kick!) optional of course
  • Dressing of choice for dipping

Directions:

  1. Assemble the ingredients on tortilla
  2. Heat your panini press, George Foreman or pan
  3. Spray (pan/press/foreman) with olive oil or coconut oil
  4. Wrap tortilla with contents into a burrito
  5. Place wrap on heated surface and press down
  6. Wait a few minutes until outside is a little crispy and everything is heated on the inside
  7. Serve with dressing for dipping
  8. Enjoy!

In my attempt to focus more of a vegan, plant based diet this is something I can definitely incorporate. It was tasty and filling!

Here’s to a healthy and happy you! xoxo

Yummy Cuban Bowl (easy, vegan, gluten free!)

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I am sooo surprised I have not made Cuban food before. It is SOOO yummy! This is going in our regular recipes for sure because the whole family liked it! Most of the ingredients can be made ahead of time and you can just reheat and add them all to the bowl. I hope you guys love it!!

What you will need:

  • 1 cup of uncooked rice (I chose wild brown rice)
  • 1 sweet potato cubed
  • 1 Super ripe (almost black) Plantain!! (not a banana)
  • 1 Can of organic Black Beans
  • 3 small tomatoes or 1 large
  • Cilantro
  • 1 jalapeno
  • 1/3 red onion (instead of the above 4 ingredients you can buy store bought pico de gallo!)
  • 1 lime
  • 1 avocado
  • cumin
  • pink salt
  • coconut oil
  • Cayenne Pepper

Directions:

  1. Cook rice from packaging directions.
  2. If you are making your own pico de gallo, add 1 cup of diced tomato, 1 large bunch of chopped cilantro, 1/3 of finely chopped red onion, deseed and devein the jalapeno and chopped into small pieces (be careful, do not touch your eyes or face), add salt!!
  3. Cube the sweet potato and then sauté in coconut oil over med high heat and season with cumin and salt, stirring frequently for 10+ min or so on each side until it is soft (taste before removing from heat).
  4. Place sweet potato in bowl and cover with foil to trap heat
  5. Peel the plantain by drawing a sharp knife along the ridges and removing the peel. Then chop into coins cutting on an angle and trying to get all at the same size so they cook the same time. I like mine thin!
  6. Heat 1 tablespoon of coconut oil or more in same pan and then add plantain, cooking on both sides until golden brown or crispy.
  7. Remove and cover with foil
  8. Add beans to same pan, season with cumin and some cayenne for an extra kick.
  9. Assemble the bowls with rice, beans, sweet potatoes, plantains, pico de gallo, avocado slices and a lime wedge for squeezing over top!

Here’s to a healthy and happy you, xo!

Caramelized Sweet Potato & Quinoa Salad (vegan, gluten-free, healthy!)

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Always my little helper!

Salad can be fun! I used to think restaurant salads were so much better than salads you made at home. While I was right on a certain level, mostly because they use tons of sugar to make you like their salads– I just didn’t understand you can think of a salad less traditionally. This WARM, toasty, CARAMELIZED sweet potato, quinoa salad with organic Arugula, Italian basil and white beans is by far one of my favorites. It’s a great dish for the fall but in a pinch, can be a quick cold lunch salad!

What you will need:

  • 1 Can of organic white beans
  • 1 Sweet Potato
  • Organic Arugula (or greens of your choice)
  • 1/2 onion, finely chopped
  • 1 cup of quinoa
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • Handful of Italian basil, ripped
  • Balsamic Vinegar
  • 1tbsp of Annie’s organic balsamic salad dressing
  • Balsamic Reduction
  • Olive oil
  • pink salt and pepper

Directions:

  1. Heat oven to 400 degree f
  2. Chop sweet potato into small cubes
  3. Prepare quinoa as directed, add salt to water it cooks in
  4. Place cubes of sweet potato on cookie sheet, drizzle with olive oil, salt and pepper
  5. Bake at 400 degrees for 17 min, for 3 minutes broil on high, remove from heat right away
  6. In a pan, saute onion, garlic and beans until onion is translucent
  7. Add cooked quinoa, sweet potatoes, basil, season with salt and pepper
  8. Wash and dry arugula or your choice of greens
  9. In a large bowl, place arugula and drizzle with olive oil, balsamic vinegar, salt and pepper
  10. Add Annie’s dressing and 1 tablespoon or more of balsamic vinegar, and olive oil to the hot pan with cooked arugula, beans etc…
  11. When it is all mixed, remove from heat and add directly to the arugula bowl
  12. Mix and drizzle with balsamic reduction, plate!

I hope you guys like this recipe, I came up with it last night in a pinch…Enjoy!

 

Here’s to a healthy and happy you! xo

Healthy Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Bars, oh em gee.

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One more mommy, pleeeeease!

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Happy Monday! We left the DC area on Friday night and drove 14 hours straight to Florida (yes, it was soooo long.) Despite the drive I love coming down here to see family! I made these pumpkin bars before we left and brought them down with us for my parents and sister to enjoy. These were so yummy and easy to make. Definitely not overly sweet, more of a breakfast bar. I recommend drizzling almond butter over yours. I adapted a recipe I found at The Ambitious Kitchen…hope you all enjoy!

What you will need:

  • 3 cups gluten free oats
  • 1 cup organic canned pumpkin
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 small ripe banana
  • Shredded coconut for topping
  • 1/4 cup dark brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tablespoon melted coconut oil
  • 1/3 cup mini vegan chocolate chips plus 2 tbsp for sprinkling on top (my little helper is a chocolate chip thief!)
  • 1/4 tsp pink salt
  • 1 1/2 tsp of pumpkin pie spice

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Spray 8×11 or 9 inch baking pan with nonstick cooking spray.
  2. Prepare oat flour by putting oatmeal in blender or food processor and blend for a few minutes until all oats have been blended and mixture resembles flour.
  3. Measure 2 1/2 cups of the oat flour and place in a medium bowl. Whisk in baking powder, baking soda, salt and pumpkin pie spice; set aside.
  4. In a separate large bowl, whisk together pumpkin, brown sugar, vanilla extract, oil, and banana and maple syrup for 1-2 minutes until the consistency is smooth and creamy. Slowly add in oat flour mixture and mix until just combined.
  5. Gently fold in mini chocolate chips. Pour batter into prepared pan and sprinkle remaining 2 tablespoons of chocolate chips on top.
  6. Bake for 15-20 minutes and let cool briefly before slicing into squares
  7. Top with shredded coconut and serve as is or drizzle melted almond butter on top!

TIP: These bars can be frozen and reheated in conventional toaster or microwave…!

Perfect breakfast bar for fall! Hope you enjoy!

Here’s to a healthy and happy you, xo

 

Creamy, Spicy Thai Coconut Curry Butternut Squash Soup (say that 3x fast)

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My little helper ❤

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FALL is SOUP season. This Thai Butternut squash soup is so freaking yummy. I am sharing the vegetarian version, but you can easily add shrimp or chicken to this if you want! Sofia gets so excited to cook and bake with mommy, I always find a job for her to do in every recipe- it’s such a joy to share this with her. She’s also the best taste tester! What I love about this recipe is that it can be made as spicy as you’d like depending on the amount of curry paste you add- the flavors balance so nicely and it warms your whole body from the inside. The flavors also marinate well overnight so you can enjoy the next day or freeze (OMG YES) and save for later!!

What you will need:

  • 1 Can of Organic Coconut Milk (save a little for topping soup after!)
  • 4 cups of cubed butternut squash
  • 2 Cups of Organic Veggie Stock
  • 1/2 large yellow onion
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 1 teaspoon fresh ginger (this seriously makes the dish imo!)
  • 1 tablespoon red curry chili paste (or more if you’re up for it!)
  • 1 Tablespoon coconut oil
  • Pink Salt, Pepper
  • Cilantro
  • Sriracha (for topping if you’d like it spicy)
  • A blender

Directions:

  1. Prepare the butternut squash (I LOVE to buy the one that’s already chopped up but in case you want to start from scratch).
    • Cut off each end of the squash
    • Peel the squash (Thank you Kiril for doing this part, it wasn’t that easy!!)
    • Cut and Cube, done! woo.
    • I found this video from The Kitchn here for additional help!
  2. Mince garlic, grate ginger, dice onion.
  3. Put tablespoon of coconut oil in large soup pot over medium heat.
  4. Place garlic and onion in pot, stirring frequently for about 3 minutes until onion is translucent and the smell is very fragrant! Season with pink salt and pepper.
  5. Add ginger and red curry paste (careful here, you can always add more later on after you taste test!)
  6. After another 3 minutes of continuous stirring add the cubes of butternut squash.
  7. Pour veggie stock directly over (it’s okay if it doesn’t cover all of the squash)
  8. Keep an eye on it until it starts to boil.
  9. Then cover and reduce heat to simmer for 20 minutes, until squash is very tender.
  10. The tricky part here is to take the mixture in 2 batches, and blend in a blender. The consistency will be more like a puree.
  11. I like to pour the first blended batch into a bowl and then blend the second batch and pour both directly back into the soup pot.
  12. Once the contents are back in the pot, pour most of coconut milk in and mix together. Reserve the rest of the coconut milk for plating.
  13. Taste test and season with salt and pepper accordingly!
  14. Plate and top with Sriracha, coconut milk and cilantro!

This pairs really well with naan bread or coconut rice. Enjoy!!

Here’s to a healthy and happy you! xo