Vegan Crockpot Tacos

Since I’m currently 36 weeks + 3 days pregnant I’m in major nesting mode between cleaning, organizing and cooking I’m trying to do everything I can to get ready for baby.  This includes some make ahead meals.  Now I certainly do not intend for these to last another month, but it does means I will be testing recipes that are quick, easy and can be made ahead prior to baby’s arrival.  It also means finding very simple recipes that my hubby can easily re-produce while I’m in resting, healing and taking care of baby mode.

So in an attempt to find a few more creative ideas I went to Pinterest and found a really tasty looking mexican quinoa crockpot recipe and thought I would give it a try. I stumbled across this really fantastic blog, Chelsea’s Messy Apron.  I wanted to give her tacos a try but of course add my own spin on them but it was a great base and thought starter for me.  She also has beautiful food pics which I always appreciate!

Super easy just throw everything in the crockpot.  PRep time is minimal and really easy.

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 cups quinoa
  • 1 cup vegetable stock
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 tomatoes diced
  • 1 can organic corn
  • 1 tbsp Spiceologist Chili Margarita Lime Seasoning
  • 1 tsp avocado oil
  • 1 tbsp taco seasoning
  • 2 tbsp sriracha
  • 1/2 can enchilada sauce
  • 1 chopped jalapeno pepper (with seeds removed to take out the spice)
  • 1 fresh squeezed lime (1/2 for crockpot mixture and 1/2 for garnish when serving)

Instructions:

  1. In a large crockpot add the all the ingredients above. Make sure to rinse the beans, corn and quinoa prior to adding to the crockpot.
  2. Stir. Cover and cook on high for 2.5 – 3 hours.  Make sure to check this as all crockpots cook at different speed and temps.  You may want to add more time if needed.
  3. When quinoa is fully cooked serve on tortillas or alone.  I made paleo tortillas the other day and they are a huge hit with my hubby and I so we will probably use these rather than buying tortillas.  Link to the recipe here
  4. Lasty, garnish with your favorite toppings.   I love garnishing with avocado and fresh squeezed lime.

IMG_2406.JPG

Chocolate PB Protein Bars

I love making protein balls, bars and any make ahead forms of food that I can carry on the go.  These are great because they are all natural, don’t have all the sugar and have a sufficient amount of protein without all the chemicals.

My husband and I also have a side business where we make and sell all natural GF protein balls for on the go on HighLinePure.com but these were some fun ones I wanted to share and pass along the recipe!

Overall they take about 30 minutes to make if you count to time it takes to freeze and set them but really are no hassle at all.  Without adding in a bunch of commentary I like to get to the point.  If you want to watch more commentary or watch videos on how to make some of these things follow me on Instagram @angiehart1 to see more.

Ingredients:

  • 2 Cups organic rice puffs
  • 1 cup organic oats
  • 1/2 cup all natural peanut butter
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 1/2 cup cocoa powder
  • 1 tbsp vanilla
  • 1 scoop of vanilla plant protein powder (I use Vega One or Plant Fusion)
  • 1/3 cup coconut oil
  • 1/2 cup warm water

Drizzle:

  • 1/2 cup PB
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • 1 tbsp coconut oil

Directions:

In a large microwave safe bowl, combine peanut butter, coconut oil and honey.  Place in micro and heat on high for 30 seconds.  Stir and add back in for 30 seconds to melt completely.

Add in the cocoa powder and protein powder and mix well.  Mixture should be thick but still wet.  If it appears too thick add more melted coconut oil and warm water until you get a smooth mixture that is thick and wet.  Add the vanilla, oats and rice puffs.  Mix well until mixture is completely coated.

Pour the mixture into a 8×8 pan and press gently to set the bars into place.  Place in the freezer for 15 minutes.  When bars are set cut up into 1″x 3″ bars and place on a baking sheet with parchment paper.

Mix the other PB drizzle mixture and melt in the micro for about 30 seconds.  Stir and make sure mixture is smooth.  Once you have a smooth consistency drizzle over top of the bar and along the sides.  Once you have finished the drizzle, set pan in freezer to cool for about 15 minutes.

IMG_2188

Slow Cooker Paleo Salsa Verde Chicken Tacos

One thing I try to keep in mind when shopping or preparing food is the number of ingredients and what type of ingredients are listed on the items I purchase at the store.  I have really tried in the past 7 years to simplify my food and really focus on simple ingredients and the most natural possible.  Most of this blog is vegan and vegetarian and I’ve really had to try to incorporate more paleo recipes as my husband is very gracious and eats vegan and vegetarian with me at times but really prefers a chicken or meat dish of some sort.  Its really been fun trying to find recipes he also enjoys as his palette is a bit different than mine.

You have to be creative and when you have a spouse or a family and you really have to try to incorporate so many different food preferences into one meal but also not over complicate as nobody has time for that.  Although I do not eat chicken I do buy hormone free, organic chicken and beef no matter what.  I gave up chicken and meat over 15 years ago because I just couldn’t stand  the amount of hormones that were pumped into meat and they way it was processed.  That being said, its a personal choice and by no means do I expect everyone to live by those same rules and extremes.  Hence why I accommodate my hubby since he is very tolerate and very accommodating of what I eat.  Don’t get me wrong, in no way is he demanding I make him meat.  If I make a vegan/vegetarian dish and he wants meat he will make his own if he feels he needs it.  We are a team and both want each other to eat what is filling and desired.  We do both however eat very healthy.  He and I both don’t eat processed foods and we limit our carb and sugar intake.  We only eat whole grain carbs if any, never refined.  I do really enjoy making paleo carb substitutions and now in 2017 there are SO many ways to get creative with all natural paleo ingredients.

Today I made these Salsa Verde Chicken tacos, which I’ve made in the past from a recipe that I found on Pinterest.  I’ve tailored this to have my own creative flare and also made the taco shells from scratch, paleo of course and hubby likes it so much he had a couple servings!  That’s when I know the meal has passed the test!

When I have time, I really prefer to use a crock pot and this recipe is one that is so much better after simmering in a crock pot for 4-5 hours.  The juices just marinate and the taste is so much more flavorful.

Ingredients:

Salsa Verde Chicken Taco Meat

  • 3-4 large chicken breasts
  • 1 cup organic salsa verde
  • 2 tbsp coconut oil
  • 1/3 cup honey
  • 1/2 cup lime juice
  • 2 tsp chili powder
  • 2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 2 tsp Spiceologist Chili Margarita seasoning
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • *Hot sauce and cayenne pepper to add a bit more spice!

Coconut Flour Tortillas:

  • 1/2 cup coconut flour
  • 1/16 baking powder
  • 3 egg whites + 2 eggs
  • 1 tbsp coconut oil or olive oil
  • 1/2 cup almond milk
  • 1 cup warm water (stir to make sure consistency is not chunky and a bit runny to ensure you can spread in the pan)  Add more warm water if you feel its still too thick.

Directions:

Step 1:

place 4 chicken breasts at bottom of slow cooker.  Add all ingredients from above (except for hot sauce and cayenne) and cook on high for 3-4 hours.  If you want it to simmer a bit longer you can add another hour.  I actually left these on high for about 5 hours.  Otherwise, you can cook on low for 6-8 hours.

Step 2:

After chicken has simmered for 3-4 hours take two large forks and begin to shred the chicken while in the crock pot.  Once its thoroughly shredded mix and make sure its marinating well in the juices.  Add in your hot sauce or additional spices if preferred.  I added in more chili powder and cayenne pepper because my hubby likes it really spicy.  Let simmer for another hour or two if you have the time.

Step 3:

While waiting on that final hour for the chicken to marinate you can prepare your tortillas or have them prepared ahead of time.  Keep in mind these take time to cool so you want to start them at least 30-45 min before you are ready to serve to also leave room for error.  These tortillas took some perfecting so give yourself time!

Start by mixing all the above ingredients for the tortillas into a bowl.  Use a whisk to ensure the mixture is smooth and not lumpy.  Heat a pan on the stove top on medium and use grapeseed/olive or coconut oil to ensure the tortilla doesn’t stick and also helps to form the edges.

Pour in about 1/4 cup of the mixture and immediately pick up the pan and circle the pan so the mixture smooths out over the surface of the pan.  Set back on the stove and let simmer for about 1-2 minutes or until the top starts to form bubbles.  Start by edging the tortilla with a flat spatula.  Once it isn’t sticking and edges start to come up place the spatula directly underneath the tortilla and flip very quickly!  I try to use the pan to quickly flip but it may take a few trials to get it!

Let the opposite side saute for about 1 minute and take the pan off the heat and very carefully slide the tortilla out of the pan on to parchment paper to cool.  Let cool for at least 15-20 minutes before serving.

 

Once you have the cooled tortillas take approx 1/3 cup of the shredded taco meat and serve on each individual shell.  Top with your favorite toppings.

Recipe makes approx 6-10 tacos depending on the serving size.

Finished tacos