Spicy Chickpea Tacos with Coriander Guacamole | Gluten Free | Vegan

Spicing up weekday meals is easy with these Spicy Chickpea Tacos. Filled with chickpeas, sundried tomatoes, capsicum and onion and finished with a lime and coriander spiked guacamole, these prove that everyday food can be super special too.Spicy Chickpea Tacos with Coriander Guacamole | Gluten Free | Vegan | Thoroughly Nourished LifeOur house is filled with half-stuffed boxes, Mum and Dad have more boxes ready for me at their house, I have lists upon lists in every conceivable place, and our keys are probably being cut right this moment! That’s right! We are almost on the move! Thank you all so much for listening to me get excited about the events of the next few weeks for the last eighteen months. Thank you for coming along for the ride, and all the encouragement you have given us along the way. There is always a spare seat at the table.Spicy Chickpea Tacos with Coriander Guacamole | Gluten Free | Vegan | Thoroughly Nourished LifeOf course, getting prepared to move – and filling in all the paper work – no one warned me about all the paperwork! And having marathon meeting days at the office leaves very little time for thinking about dinner. I am happy with salad most nights when I have been busy, but there are nights when I want my leaves wrapped in a corn taco, my chickpeas seasoned heavily with spices, and a big dollop of creamy, coriander and lime scented guacamole right on top. These tacos are essentially one of my favourite salads wrapped up in a gluten free corn taco for easy handheld convenience – no fork necessary, which is a good thing because I think they’re next on the packing list!Spicy Chickpea Tacos with Coriander Guacamole | Gluten Free | Vegan | Thoroughly Nourished LifeNot only are these tacos super easy to eat, they are a snap to prepare and super healthy! You can have these on the dinner table in under 30 minutes, which makes them perfect for quick weeknight meals. These gluten free, vegan tacos are packed with lean protein (chickpeas), heaps of veggies, and healthy fats (avocado) these are a healthy fast food option for when you want dinner on the pronto without sacrificing your healthy eating goals. Let’s review: easy to eat, easy to make, packed with healthy ingredients. Oh and what about flavour?Spicy Chickpea Tacos with Coriander Guacamole | Gluten Free | Vegan | Thoroughly Nourished LifeWe start with a plain corn taco. Not much to see here, but a great foundation for layering our flavours onto. Add some fresh, crispy lettuce. I used baby cos – bright, green, and crunchy! We sauté canned chickpeas with capsicum, spring onions, garlic, sundried tomatoes, chilli flakes, cumin, and paprika – this chickpea is filled with the best savoury and spicy flavours! And the crowning glory of this flavour creation: creamy avocados, whipped with garden fresh coriander and a squeeze of lime juice. These tacos might be simple, but they hit every flavour and texture note required for true satisfaction: crispy, creamy, salty, savoury, sweet. My Spicy Chickpea Tacos with Coriander Guacamole have it all!Spicy Chickpea Tacos with Coriander Guacamole | Gluten Free | Vegan | Thoroughly Nourished Life

Spicy Chickpea Tacos with Coriander Guacamole

Gluten Free | Vegan | Serves 2

Note: I served mine with some grated cheese. If you are vegan, leave this out or use your favourite ‘cheese’ product.

Ingredients

  • 1/2 tablespoon olive oil
  • 400 gram can chickpeas, rinsed thoroughly
  • 1/2 medium red capsicum, diced into small pieces
  • 2 spring onions, white and light green parts thinly sliced
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 1/4 cup sundried tomatoes, roughly chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • Pinch of chilli flakes (optional)
  • 1 medium avocado, peeled and diced
  • 1/3 cup (packed) coriander leaves
  • Juice 1 lime
  • 1/2 small red onion, peeled and chopped
  • Salt and black pepper

To serve

  • 4 small (6 inch) soft corn tacos, heated
  • 1 small baby cos (or other crispy green salad leaves)
  • Grated cheese (optional)

Method

  1. Heat olive oil in a medium frying pan over medium heat. Add capsicum and garlic and saute until capsicum is softened.
  2. Add chickpeas, spring onions, sundried tomatoes, paprika, cumin, and chilli flakes (if using). Cook, stirring, until chickpeas are warmed through.
  3. While chickpeas are cooking, make guacamole. Place avocado, coriander, lime juice, and onion into a small food processor and process until avocado is mostly smooth. I leave a few chunks for interesting texture. Salt and pepper to taste.
  4. To serve, place a taco on your plate, top with lettuce, chickpea mixture, guacamole, and cheese (if using).

Spicy Chickpea Tacos with Coriander Guacamole | Gluten Free | Vegan | Thoroughly Nourished LifeSo, dear reader, any smart packing tips? Any favourite taco flavours?

 

Pumpkin, Black Bean and Avocado Tostadas with Roasted Poblano Sauce | Gluten Free | Vegan

Crunchy toasted tortillas filled with sweet roasted butternut pumpkin, hearty black beans, creamy avocado, and spicy coriander and roasted poblano sauce. This vegan, gluten free dish makes a great week night meal, or a memorable winter lunch with friends!

Pumpkin, Black Bean and Avocado Tostadas | Vegan | Gluten FreeGrowing up ‘Mexican-inspired food’ meant one of two meals: beef tacos, or taco spuds. I still love a good taco (now with beans) and taco spuds are one of the true pleasures in life, especially when piled high with cheese and really fluffy guacamole. Now, my definition of Mexican-inspired food has grown considerably, thanks to lots of American friends on the internet, and some time in California, spiritual home of the taco and tostada.

I love the ease of tostadas – just a really crunchy tortilla or soft taco really. You can top them with any combination of vegetables, beans (or meat), cheese, and sauce that you like, then fold and crunch your way through. Or, you know, be ladylike and eat them with a knife and fork. I prefer to eat these with my hands. It’s so much more fun that way!

Pumpkin, Black Bean and Avocado Tostadas | Vegan | Gluten FreeWhen I think of Mexican food I usually think first of bright red sauce, fresh tomatoes, and salsa. But there is so much more to explore in the fusion of Mexican and other cuisines, or taking inspiration from the seasons. Winter heralds the season of sweet, dewy butternut pumpkins and creamy plump avocados, both of which pair beautifully with smoky black beans, and my bright roasted poblano, coriander, and lime sauce. It’s not exactly authentic, but these vegan, gluten free tostadas celebrate winter’s seasonal produce and have all the elements that will have your taste buds craving for just another messy delicious bite.
Pumpkin, Black Bean and Avocado Tostadas | Vegan | Gluten FreeMy roasted poblano sauce is bright with fresh coriander and lots of lime juice. The roasted poblanos are a soft heat. If you want more spice, try dicing up a green chilli and adding it to the blender with the coriander. This sauce would also make a great addition to guacamole, or as a quick topping for grilled vegetables or meat. In these tostadas the sweet cubes of roasted butternut pumpkin combine with creamy chunks of avocado and spicy poblano sauce in every bite and assault your tastebuds from every angle.

Pumpkin, Black Bean and Avocado Tostadas | Vegan | Gluten FreeThese Pumpkin, Black Bean and Avocado Tostadas with Roasted Poblano Sauce do make a great week night meal, but add a few margaritas (or a sweet dry white wine), maybe some salsa and chips, and you have the perfect menu for a sunny winter lunch with friends.

There’s something endearing about this sort of get your hands dirty food. People have to drop pretensions and just come to the table just as they are. Dig your hands in, connect with your food and just have some fun. Connecting through food with the people you love, now that’s the most authentic dish no matter where you are.
Pumpkin, Black Bean and Avocado Tostadas | Vegan | Gluten Free

Pumpkin, Black Bean and Avocado Tostadas with Roasted Poblano Sauce

Serves 2-3 | Gluten Free | Vegan

Ingredients

For the sauce

  • 2 poblano chilies
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1/2 cup (packed) coriander leaves
  • Juice of 2 limes
  • Small onion
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper

To assemble

  • 500 grams butternut pumpkin
  • 6 small gluten free corn tortillas (I used these ones)
  • 400 gram can black beans
  • 1 small avocado

Method

  1. Preheat your oven to 200C (400F) and line two baking trays with baking paper.
  2. First, make the sauce. Place chilies onto one of the baking trays. Roast until the chili’s skin has softened and blackened. This will take about 30-40 minutes. Turn the chilies over every ten minutes. Once chilies are cooked allow to cool to room temperature.
  3. Place chilies into small food processor (or a blender) and add garlic, coriander, and lime juice. Process until combined but still a little chunky. Dice onion and stir through the sauce along with the salt and pepper. Set sauce aside until needed.
  4. Peel butternut pumpkin and cut into playing dice-sized pieces and place them on the baking tray. You can re-use the chili tray and paper (it makes for less clean up!).
  5. Roast until the pumpkin is soft to the centre, about 20 minutes. Keep warm until serving.
  6. Place corn tortillas in a single layer on the second baking tray. Bake for 5 minutes on one side, then flip over and bake for 5 minutes on the second side. This will crisp up the tortillas.
  7. While the tortillas bake, drain and rinse black beans. Place in a small sauce pan and warm gently over a low heat.
  8. Dice avocado in preparation.
  9. To assemble: place a tortilla on your plate, top with roasted pumpkin, warmed beans, and dice avocado. Drizzle roasted poblano sauce over the top. Dig in!

Pumpkin, Black Bean and Avocado Tostadas | Vegan | Gluten Free

Balsamic-Glazed Onion Tacos Two Ways

Let’s get back to some regularly scheduled eating now, shall we?

Relationships, like dinners, are about compromise.

I don’t see compromise as a negative experience – at dinner or in a relationship. In fact it’s usually an essential ingredient for true satisfaction in both endeavours. I believe that when two people come to the table (literal or figurative) with open hearts and minds in the absence of malice or greed then they can together forge a third option that is more fulfilling than either one’s idea alone.

Chris and I often come to a middle way when we decide what’s on the menu:

  • He wants chicken, I want chickpeas: we have stuffed capsicums suited to our individual tastes.
  • He craves bacon, I crave poached eggs: we top our vegetable fritters with our protein of choice.
  • His tastebuds seek deep fried satisfaction, my skinny jeans demand a slimmer option: we get takeaway. Fish and chips for him, vegetarian sushi for her.

See relationships – compromise – dinner.

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Luckily, when it comes to tacos we are on an even playing field. We both love them. We also both love balsamic-glazed onions on just about anything. Anything.

Compromise: steak for him, mushrooms for me. Happy tummies all round.

You need to make these tacos (in either or both incarnations) very soon. They fulfilled every nook and cranny of our taco craving. The sweet vinegary onions that almost melted together into a gravy, the grilled meat/mushrooms with a savoury perfumed edge from the thyme, the soft crunch of the butter lettuce, topped with salty cheese and wrapped into one easily eaten parcel inside a soft corn tortilla. Perfection.

 Despite the scarily long list of things to do, these come together very quickly, and if you aren’t greedy with the onions they make an excellent addition to a cold sandwich or salad the day after.

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Balsamic Glazed Onion Tacos – two ways (gluten free)

Serves two. One omnivore, one vegetarian.

Easily multiplied to serve more. If making for vegetarians only leave out the meat and double the mushrooms to serve two plentifully. If only serving omnivores increase the steak to 400 grams and still make the mushrooms as they are a delightful addition to a steak filled taco.

Ingredients

For the onions:

  • 2 medium red onions
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons raw sugar
  • Pinch each of salt and pepper

For the steak:

  • 200 grams rib fillet steak
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme leaves
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil

For the mushrooms:

  • Two large field mushrooms
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme leaves
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • Pinch each salt and pepper

To serve:

  • 4-6, 6-inch corn tortillas (check package to ensure gluten free if required)
  • 2 cups torn butter lettuce leaves
  • ½ cup shredded cheddar (feta would also be enchanting here)
  • Optional: sliced avocado or sour cream

Method:

  1. Prepare your onions first. Peel and slice the two medium red onions into medium-thick half moons. Place them into a small saucepan with the balsamic vinegar, olive oil, salt and pepper. Cook with lid on over low heat for about 10 minutes or until the onions are softened. Remove the lid and continue to cook for another 15 minutes or until most of the liquid has evaporated.
  2. Meanwhile, cook the steak. Mix together thyme, salt, pepper, and olive oil on a small plate. Coat both sides of the rib fillet in this mixture. Heat a heavy-based non-stick pan to medium-high heat and sear the steak for one minute. Turn over to sear the other side. Cook to your preferred level. This article from Taste.com.au is very useful for those of us who are a little nervous when it comes to cooking steak. Once the steak is cooked to your preference, remove and allow to rest before slicing into strips.
  3. While your steak is cooking, slice the mushrooms thickly. Heat a non-stick pan to medium-high and warm the oil. Add mushrooms, thyme, salt and pepper and stir-fry until well cooked.
  4. Once onions, steak, and mushrooms are cooked, heat your tortillas and serve.

I layered mine thus: tortilla, lettuce, mushrooms, onion, and cheese. Chris added some steak into his.

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