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hi there! i'm celina.

i enjoy sharing yummy, gluten free, plant based creations.  

Taco Salad

Taco Salad

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Want a salad that will bring the party? Well I've got you covered with this recipe - it's essentially a fiesta in a bowl. Packed with plant proteins and vibrant colors, this salad will be sure to satisfy your taco cravings! I mean, when you top it off with crumbled tortilla chips and cashew nacho cheese, how could it not? ;) This recipe can serve 5+!

INGREDIENTS
Salad:
• ½ can black beans, drained and rinsed (no salt preferred)
• 1 avocado, chopped
• ½ orange bell pepper, chopped
• ½ yellow bell pepper, chopped
• 14 cherry tomatoes, halved
• ½ cup red onion, diced
• 4-5 hearts of romaine, roughly chopped
• ¼ cup cilantro, roughly chopped
• 2 cups purple cabbage, shredded
•  about 10 tortilla chips, crumpled (optional)

Blacked tempeh:
• ⅓ package plain tempeh (I use Lightlife's original)
• 1 teaspoon cumin
• ½ teaspoon smoked paprika
• ¼ teaspoon chile powder
• 1 teaspoon garlic powder
• ¼ teaspoon onion powder
• ½ tsp dried thyme
• ¼ tsp dried oregano
• ¼ tsp dried basil
• 1 teaspoon liquid smoke (optional)
• ½ cup veggie broth
• ½ teaspoon liquid aminos (can also sub tamari)
• black pepper to taste

Nacho cashew cheese sauce:
• 1 cup raw cashews, soaked in water overnight and drained
• 1 cup water (add more/less for desired consistency - I usually use a little more) 
• 1 clove garlic
• ¼ cup nutritional yeast
• ½ teaspoon salt
• 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
• ½ teaspoon onion powder
• ½ teaspoon cumin
• 1 teaspoon hot sauce (I love these - 1 2 3)

DIRECTIONS
1.
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Set aside.

2. Crumble tempeh with fingers (or chop into ¼ inch chunks, depending on preference), then transfer to a medium mixing bowl. Add ¼ cup veggie broth, liquid aminos, liquid smoke, and all the spices. Mix until tempeh is coated in seasonings, then pour onto parchment paper and bake for 25-30 minutes. Tempeh will be browned and crispy when it's ready!

3. Add baked tempeh into the same mixing bowl as used before, and toss in the black beans. Mix briefly, then transfer to a skillet, adding ¼ cup remaining veggie broth. Heat on medium high for a couple minutes, until veggie broth is absorbed. Take skillet off of the stovetop and let cool while you make the rest of the salad. 

4. For the cashew cheese sauce, add cashews + water to a food processor. Pulse until cashews are fully broken down into a creamy consistency. Next add in nutritional yeast, followed by the garlic clove and remaining spices. Depending on your spice tolerance, you can add a little more hot sauce in if you're feelin dangerous. You may need to use a bit more water to if you want a thinner sauce.
**Also, this will make a lot of cheese sauce, so you can definitely save a good amount for later. Works great on veggie bowls/burgers, as a dip, etc. I use about ½ cup on the salad then save the rest to use throughout the week!

5. Now that the hard stuff is done, add all the salad ingredients into a large bowl and toss well. Add tempeh + black bean mixture next, then drizzle as much of the cashew cheese sauce as your heart desires. Finally, top with as many crumbled tortilla chips as your heart desires (and maybe some extra hot sauce) and enjoy!

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