Healthy and Cheesy Vegan Green Enchilada & Spicy Chili Pepper Mac & Cheese with Cauliflower

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All Photos © Christine Elise McCarthy 2016

To see images of my past posts & get links to the recipes – look on my Pinterest board – HERE.

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All my posts now have a VERY customizable PRINT & PDF option.  Create a PDF & save the recipe to your computer or just print it out.  It offers a “remove images” option & you can delete any part of the post you do not need before printing.  The button is below by the Twitter & Facebook links.

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So – I wanted to make a healthier mac & cheese – less cheese (even less vegan cheese) and less pasta.  I looked in the fridge & my pantry & found these potential ingredients.

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As it turned out – I used all but the vegan cream cheese & the Daiya cheddar shreds.    So – the only actual cheese (vegan cheese) in this recipe is the Field Roast Chao Tomato-Cayenne slices.  If you can’t find these or do not like them (I think the 3 Chao cheeses are the best grocery store vegan cheeses on the market so far) – then use Daiya or any other kind of vegan cheese – or even real cheese (if you are not vegan).

This is a very easy dish to make – though it does have a few steps.  The only special tool you need is a blender (or a food processor).  No need to soak cashews overnight.  And – most importantly – it is VERY convincing!  None of the over-powering flavor of nutritional yeast yet all the wet, creaminess of real mac & cheese.  I swear – non-vegans will not identify this as vegan.  It has the additional benefit of using two full heads of cauliflower – but they blend in and become virtually undetectable – so your veggie hating kiddies will likely eat this with little argument (though you might want to reduce the spiciness for tender palates).

My primary excitement about this recipe is the green enchilada roux.  Traditional roux is made with butter, flour & milk.  I definitely wanted to use the green enchilada sauce but I did not want the dish to be swimming in liquid – as I feared it might be if I made a roux with milk and also added the enchilada sauce.  Happy news!  The enchilada sauce blended & thickened with the butter & flour as easily as milk would have but added SO much more flavor.

Again – while there are a few steps (mainly, boiling & draining to heads of cauliflower & the pasta) – none are difficult & the resulting dish is supremely gratifying!   I hope you try it!

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Healthy and Cheesy Vegan Green Enchilada & Spicy Chili Pepper Mac & Cheese with Cauliflower

Serves at least 6

INGREDIENTS

2 heads cauliflower (I used one white & one yellow)

for the roux

4 TBS vegan butter

4 TBS flour

16 oz green enchilada sauce

7 oz vegan cheddar (sliced up or grated)

1/4 cup nutritional yeast (SUPER optional – I just had a little left over that I wanted to use up)

for the mac & cheese

1-2 jalapenos – one seeded & diced and one seeded & sliced (optional – depending on your taste for spice)

1 4oz can diced green chilies (I used hot but you could use mild)

2 ears corn – kernels cut from the cob (or about one 14 oz can of corn or 1 cup frozen corn)

1 lb pasta (shape of your choice)

1-2 cups breadcrumbs (I used panko)

Cooking spray

GARNISH: cilantro, avocado, diced tomato, hot sauces, additional fresh jalapeno or canned chilies

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DIRECTIONS

Heat the oven to 400 degrees.  Treat a 9×13 casserole pan with cooking spray.

Cook the pasta according to directions (maybe 1 minute less than suggested) – drain & set aside.

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If you are using 2 different colors of cauliflower – you might want to cut each into florets & then boil & drain them each separately.  Or not.  It doesn’t matter much but the yellow cauliflower purees & looks like a cheesier sauce than white cauliflower will.  Still – some cheddar cheeses are white – so – don’t sweat it, whatever you decide.  If you are just using 2 heads of the same color – boil until just tender (5-7 minutes) – drain & set aside.

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If you used one head of yellow cauliflower – put it (with about 1 cup of hot water) into a blender & puree until very smooth.  Only add just as much water as you need to accomplish this – which could be more or less than a cup of water – depending on the size of the head you used.

If you used to heads of the same color – just puree one head worth as described above.  Set aside.

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Melt the butter in a sauce pan & whisk in the flour.  It should thicken & brown a bit very quickly – maybe a minute.  Add the enchilada sauce incrementally – letting it thicken before adding more – until it is all incorporated & rater thick.

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Add the cheese & stir until it melts.

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Add the pureed cauliflower & nutritional yeast (if using), salt & pepper to taste, and then one diced jalapeno, canned chilies & the corn.

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Combine & adjust S&P – if necessary.

Put the sauce in a large bowl & then add the pasta and the remaining cauliflower florets.  Combine.

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Pour the mac & cheese into the casserole dish & top with breadcrumbs & maybe some sliced jalapeno.  Spray with cooking spray – as this helps the breadcrumbs brown (because vegan cheese does not have the animal fat of real cheese – which is what browns in traditional mac & cheese).

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Bake at 400 for about 30-45 minutes or until the breadcrumbs are browned a bit & the cheese sauce is bubbly.

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Let rest for about ten minutes & then serve.  Garnish with avocado, cilantro, diced tomatoes and/or anything else you like.

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Fiery Spicy Vegan Korean Gochujang Sticky Chicken with Thai Rice Berry (Riceberry – Black Jasmine Rice)

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All Photos © Christine Elise McCarthy 2016

To see images of my past posts & get links to the recipes – look on my Pinterest board – HERE.

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All my posts now have a VERY customizable PRINT & PDF option.  Create a PDF & save the recipe to your computer or just print it out.  It offers a “remove images” option & you can delete any part of the post you do not need before printing.  The button is below by the Twitter & Facebook links.

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Beyond-Meat1

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So – I saw this new rice at my favorite Thai grocery store – Bangluck.   $10 for 5 pounds – so I could not resist.  I looked it up online & found THIS:

Riceberry  Rice is the new variety of rice that has been bred in Thailand. The rice is deep purple in colour; this rich dark colour is typical of plants that yield high nutrition. Rice berry rice is cross pollination of three hardy and loved rice strains; they are:

  • Thai Hom Mali Race – also known as fragrant jasmine rice, the highest quality and most sort after rice in the world, after cooking it retains its structure but takes on a soft fluffy consistency.
  • Hom Nin Rice – has well known and documented antioxidant properties, but this grain can become a little chewy if it isn’t cooked through.
  • Khao Dawk Mali 105 – a hardy seed which will grow in a broad range of agricultural environments.

The cross-pollination of these three rice plants has resulted in Riceberry Rice, a new and exciting rice variety. Riceberry takes on the best attributes of each of the grains that were used in its inception. The light fluffy texture and flavour from Thai jasmine rice, high in minerals and antioxidants from Hom Nin rice and hardy and high yield characteristics of Khao Dawk Mali 105.

Riceberry Rice Nutrition Profile

Riceberry rice is rich in many antioxidant that help our immune system stay healthy. It contains significant levels of:

  • Beta-carotene
  • Gama Oryzanol
  • Vitamin E
  • Folic Acid
  • Tannin
  • Zinc
  • Fiber
  • Bran Oil

These antioxidants, vitamins and minerals give riceberry rice a nutrition profile that is relatively unique. The dark purple colour it matures signifies it high nutrition content and gives it a unique appearance when served.

The rice is also extremely high in fiber and bran oil, this natural aids digestion and helps keep the stomach free from disease.

Thai Rice Glycemic Index

Riceberry rice has been graded as low-medium in the glycemic index. The abundant fiber and bran oil which it contains helps to reduce the risks of diabetes by hindering the absorption of sugars into the blood through the stomach. It also helps the pancreas function better.

– See more at: http://www.thenaturalhealthmarket.co.uk/riceberry-organic#sthash.388tjdGM.dpuf

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As to the Fiery Vegan Korean Gochujang Sticky Chicken – this recipe is genuinely VERY spicy!  VERY.  If you do not like spice – maybe lose the serranos & the chili oil.    Once you have all the ingredients ready – it only takes about ten minutes to make.  Gochujang is a staple ingredient in Korean food & is sort of like a thick, spicy ketchup.   If your local or Asian markets do not carry it – look to Amazon.

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Fiery Spicy Vegan Korean Gochujang Sticky Chicken with Thai Rice Berry

Serves 2

INGREDIENTS

9-12 oz vegan chicken (I always use Beyond Meat – if it available) – cubed

1 TBS olive oil (or other oil)

1 small onion – diced

2 serrano chilies (optional – lose if you don’t like a LOT of spice) – diced & seeded (the seeds are hot – and I used them)

1/2 cup gochujang

5 garlic cloves (or 2-3 TBS garlic paste) – I used jarred, minced garlic

3 TBS ginger (I used jarred)

2 tsp chili oil (optional – lose it if you don’t like heat)

1/2 cup liquid aminos (or low sodium soy sauce or tamari)

1 TBS sesame oil

3 TBS agave nectar (or brown sugar)

GARNISH – cooked rice for two & sesame seeds

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DIRECTIONS

Cook the rice according to directions (typically a 1 cup rice – two cups water ratio).

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Heat the oil in a large saute pan.  dd the onions & serranos.  Cook until the onions soften & jut begin to brown.  Add everything else except the chicken & combine.  It should thicken very fast.  Add the chicken & heat through.

Serve over rice & sprinkle with sesame seeds.  See?  Easy!

Eat that awesome shit & breathe fire over the villagers!

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Beyond Meat Vegetarian Indian Curry with Beyond Chicken – Frozen Dinner – Part 4

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All Photos © Christine Elise McCarthy 2016

To see images of my past posts & get links to the recipes – look on my Pinterest board – HERE.

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All my posts now have a VERY customizable PRINT & PDF option.  Create a PDF & save the recipe to your computer or just print it out.  It offers a “remove images” option & you can delete any part of the post you do not need before printing.  The button is below by the Twitter & Facebook links.

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vromans back

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Ever have a bad day?  Cat peed on your favorite shoes?  Splashed at the street corner by a passing car driving through a puddle?  Dropped your phone in the toilet?  Smiled your toothiest & flirtiest smile at that cute guy at Starbucks only to later discover you have poppy seeds between several teeth? Someone cut you off in the parking lot & then gave YOU the finger?  Just found out your new boss is 25 years younger than you?  Asked for a cute bob but walked out looking more like Tom Petty than Taylor Swift?   Get spaghetti sauce on that white blouse you just splurged on?  Bought a 12x magnifying mirror – looked in it – and you are now convinced you can never leave the house again?  Trapped behind zombie walkers at Costco?  Sharted?  It happens.

Need a little comfort food to go with your box of wine but you can’t really cook or you are too exhausted, anyway?  Well…

Beyond Meat to the rescue!

Beyond Meat has done it again!  Very soon, 4 different, single-serving frozen meals will become available.  They might already be available at Whole Foods in the frozen meal aisle.  I was lucky enough to find one of each kind and I will talk about the Vegetarian Indian Curry here today.  The Korean BBQ & Vietnamese Lemongrass & Vegetarian Roasted Sweet Potato Chili were reviewed separately.

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Zaps in the microwave in between 3-6 minutes…and a low calorie count with only 300 calories!!!    I like my food spicy so I added a TBS or so of spicy chutney to this & it was delightful!  And for those concerned about protein intake – this has 21 grams!  This dish was filling for 300 calories & I bet meat eaters would never guess it is vegan.  I prefer my Indian food with more gravy – the wetter dishes – but despite the lack of a heavy sauce – this really was delicious.

Non-GMO & 100% vegan – this is a welcome new dish in the convenience food market.  I highly recommend it!  Vegan, non-GMO & right in the ballpark with Lean Cuisines (et al) with a very low calorie count but with the added benefit of exotic flavors and – I feel – a denser & more filling product.  Win-win-win-win-win!

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Beyond Meat Vegetarian Roasted Sweet Potato Chili with Beyond Beef – Frozen Dinner – Part 3

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All Photos © Christine Elise McCarthy 2016

To see images of my past posts & get links to the recipes – look on my Pinterest board – HERE.

images (1)download (1)

All my posts now have a VERY customizable PRINT & PDF option.  Create a PDF & save the recipe to your computer or just print it out.  It offers a “remove images” option & you can delete any part of the post you do not need before printing.  The button is below by the Twitter & Facebook links.

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vromans back

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Ever have a bad day?  Did your dog die?  Your woman left you for your best friend?  Your horse run off with that wild stallion?  Broke your last git-tar string?  Coffee run out?  Whiskey, too?   Dusty trail whipping sand in your face & tumblweeds frolicking ever-where – mocking your pain?  Ten gallon hat feeling 5 gallons flat?  Feeling slow on the draw?  Plum outta chaw?   That saloon whore left you feeling itchy in places nobody wants to be itchy?  Has your get up & go just got up & went?  Has one final-straw motherfucker used the phrase “assless chaps” – as if ASSLESS was not the fucking DEFINITION of chaps – otherwise they’d just be called fucking PANTS?

Need a little comfort food to go with your moonshine but you can’t really cook or you are too exhausted, anyway?  Well – giddy-up, cowboy!

Beyond Meat to the rescue!

Beyond Meat has done it again!  Very soon, 4 different, single-serving frozen meals will become available.  They might already be available at Whole Foods in the frozen meal aisle.  I was lucky enough to find one of each kind and I will talk about the Vegetarian Roasted Sweet Potato Chili here today.

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Zaps in the microwave in between 3-6 minutes.  And an even lower calorie count (compared to the Korean BBQ & Vietnamese Lemongrass) – with only 270 calories!!!    I like my food spicy so I added a squirt (or ten) of Crystal hot sauce to this & it was perfect!  And for those concerned about protein intake – this has 21 grams!  This dish was hearty for 270 calories & I bet meat eaters would never guess it is vegan.  Tough to cook on a campfire but you are probably glamping, anyway.  So far – Beyond Meat has hit it out of the park with the three I’ve tried.  My review of the fourth coming soon!

Non-GMO & 100% vegan – this is a welcome new dish in the convenience food market.  I highly recommend it!  Vegan, non-GMO & right in the ballpark with Lean Cuisines (et al) with a very low calorie count.  Win-win-win!

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Beyond Meat Vegetarian Vietnamese Lemongrass with Beyond Chicken – Frozen Dinner – Part 2

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All Photos © Christine Elise McCarthy 2016

To see images of my past posts & get links to the recipes – look on my Pinterest board – HERE.

images (1)download (1)

All my posts now have a VERY customizable PRINT & PDF option.  Create a PDF & save the recipe to your computer or just print it out.  It offers a “remove images” option & you can delete any part of the post you do not need before printing.  The button is below by the Twitter & Facebook links.

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BathingandthesinglegirlCover

vromans back

4-5-16 (18)

Ever have a bad day? Just found out you need a root canal? Someone blurted out a spoiler for your favorite show? Donated all your “skinny clothes” because you finally accepted that they will never fit again (or even ever come back into fashion)? Somebody put a big dent in your car & didn’t leave a note? Huge zit appeared the day before a blind date? Saw an old photo of yourself that you used to HATE & now you wish you still looked half that good?  Tried to twerk & threw your back out?

Need a little comfort food to go with your box of wine but you can’t really cook or you are too exhausted, anyway?

Beyond Meat to the rescue!

Beyond Meat has done it again!  Very soon, 4 different, single-serving frozen meals will become available.  They might already be available at Whole Foods in the frozen meal aisle.  I was lucky enough to find one of each kind and I will talk about the Vegetarian Vietnamese Lemongrass here today.

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Zaps in the microwave in between 3-6 minutes.  Despite the slightly higher calorie count (compared to the Korean BBQ) – but still only 350 calories – it was lighter than the BBQ dish.  I like my food spicy so I added a TBS or two of sambal oelek to this & it was perfect!  And for those concerned about protein intake – this has 20 grams!

Non-GMO & 100% vegan – this is a welcome new dish in the convenience food market.  I highly recommend it!  Vegan, non-GMO & right in the ballpark with Lean Cuisines (et al) with a very low calorie count.  Win-win-win!

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Beyond Meat Korean BBQ with Beyond Chicken – Frozen Dinner – Part 1

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All Photos © Christine Elise McCarthy 2016

To see images of my past posts & get links to the recipes – look on my Pinterest board – HERE.

images (1)download (1)

All my posts now have a VERY customizable PRINT & PDF option.  Create a PDF & save the recipe to your computer or just print it out.  It offers a “remove images” option & you can delete any part of the post you do not need before printing.  The button is below by the Twitter & Facebook links.

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vromans back

4-5-16 (18)

Ever have a bad day?  Flat tire on a rainy night?  Take the blame for someone else’s error at work?  Not get that job you really wanted?  Stuck in traffic for hours?  Diet all week & step on the scale only to discover you have gained two pounds?  Spend the day trying on bathing suits & now you feel like jumping off a bridge?  Run into an ex with their amazing new “other half” and you haven’t showered in two days?   Need a little comfort food to go with your box of wine but you can’t really cook or you are too exhausted, anyway?

Beyond Meat to the rescue!

Beyond Meat has done it again!  Very soon, 4 different, single-serving frozen meals will become available.  They might already be available at Whole Foods in the frozen meal aisle.  I was lucky enough to find one of each kind and I will talk about the Korean BBQ here today.

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Zaps in the microwave in between 3-6 minutes.  It has just the right level of sweet meets mildly spicy & loaded with chunks of Beyond Chicken, rice, edamame & kimchi.   Only 320 calories & it is easy, quick & delicious!  And for those concerned about protein intake – this has 21 grams!   And it is surprisingly filling for such a low calorie count.

Non-GMO & 100% vegan – this is a welcome new dish in the convenience food market.  I highly recommend it!

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Cinco de Mayo Chef’d & Beyond Meat Feisty Tacos DISCOUNT!

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All Photos © Christine Elise McCarthy 2015

To see images of my past posts & get links to the recipes – look on my Pinterest board – HERE.

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Chef’d is having a Cinco de Mayo SALE on their amazing Beyond Meat Feisty Taco Cinco de Mayo party plan!  Save 15% by using the code TACOS when you order!

The cost for two servings will be $19, the cost for four servings will be $29. Pre-sale will start 4/22 and will end 5/1 at 11a. Boxes will be delivered 5/3 and 5/4 to ensure that all customers have their meal in hand before 5/5. Just as a reminder, they ship EVERYWHERE in the continental US.  Please note that the offer will not be available to order after 5/1.  Order by Sunday, May 1st at 11am PST and your Cinco de Mayo Party Box will be delivered on Tuesday, 5/3 or Wednesday 5/4 depending on your location.
Click HERE to order.

Planning a Cinco de Mayo fiesta?

Chef’d has just what you’re looking for to get into the celebratory spirit.

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Not a meat eater? No problem!  Our BEYOND BEEF® FEISTY TACOS with Black Beans are a perfect choice, and might even convert a carnivore or two.

All Cinco de Mayo Party Boxes come with Garden Fresh Gourmet Chips & Salsa and two miniature maracas. The Beyond Beef® Feisty Tacos come with Chili-Lime Mango to finish the meal.

Order by Sunday, May 1st at 11am PST and your Cinco de Mayo Party Box will be delivered on Tuesday, 5/3 or Wednesday 5/4 depending on your location.  Save 15% by using the code TACOS when you order!

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Chef’d  – no subscription – meaning order what you want & when you want it. Get the same thing every day for two weeks – or just get one thing – different things – a few times a month. Here is how they work:

Choose from Famous Recipes

Browse through hundreds of recipes from your favorite chefs, and cook them in the comfort of your own home!

From Our Kitchen to Yours

Fresh pre-portioned Ingredients delivered to your door. Reorder what you like, when you like. No subscriptions!

Cook, Love, Live

Enrich your life by creating memorable delicious experiences of love through our hand-cultivated recipes.

And look at the various tastes & lifestyles they accommodate

Shop Meals

LIFESTYLES:

FAMILY FRIENDLY
GOURMET
VEGETARIAN
GLUTEN FREE

PROTEINS:

BEEF
CHICKEN
SEAFOOD
LAMB
PORK
TURKEY
VEGAN
HERE is the list of the famous chefs contributing recipes. And HERE are the vegan & vegetarian meals currently offered (impressive – no?). I was given the opportunity to try the service & jumped at the chance. I am a long-time fan of Beyond Meat & the pairing of these two companies is exciting to me. I got the Beast Burger & Tacos & will post about the tacos here – the burgers are in THIS post.
Here is what showed up (for the tacos – enough to feed 4):
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As with the Beast Burgers – I am very familiar with Beyond Meat‘s Feisty crumbles & I am already a fan.  This meal came together quickly & easily & everything tasted fresh & delicious.  In this case – there was a lot of extra vegan cheese (I am not complaining!) and more than enough chipotle Vegenaise (again – not complaining – especially as it came in the tiny condiment jars I am so fond of).
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The recipe called for guacamole with crushed red pepper in it.  I am a guacamole purist (just avocado, lime & salt, please) – so – I opted just to slice the avocado & use it naked and I added all the crushed red pepper supplied (enough for 4 tacos) into the beefy crumbles meant for two (I like spice).
The black beans come together in 5 minutes & the lime & cilantro make them taste light & fresh & clean – not lard-heavy or mushy.
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And the feisty beef crumbles also only took about 5 minutes.  Because I added lots of crushed red pepper – they were also very spicy.  I forgot to add the chipotle Vegenaise until after I had taken most of the pictures but it was a nice flavor layered in with the tortillas, crumbles, lettuce & avocado.
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This meal was flavorful, robust, filling and SO EASY to make!  What a great pair of options for any vegan or vegetarian – especially a newby not sure where to start – and for anyone looking to cut back on meat but not on flavor or protein.
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taco