Colorful Veggie Miso Slaw

We are serious about tacos. I know I’ve said it before, but I feel like I need to keep reiterating it. One of our favorite healthy vegan taco toppings is a veggie slaw, and this variation is one of our favorite slaws. It’s got something of an Asian flavor, so we like to use it with Asian spiced tacos. But you know what? You do you. Go nuts. If you want to use this in some Mexican tacos, who am I to stop you? If you want to pair it with some New England Clam Chowder, I will tip my cap to you. Shine on, you crazy diamond.

Ingredients:

1/2 head red cabbage (or 1/4 head green, 1/4 head red), shredded

1 bell pepper thinly sliced

2 carrots, julienned

1/4 cup white miso 

2 Tbsp rice vinegar 

2 Tbsp soy sauce

Juice of 1 lime

1 Tbsp sesame oil

Directions:

Just mix all of this stuff together with reckless abandon. When you finally regain your composure, before you will sit a delicious veggie slaw. Eat it. Eat it all.

Vegan Kid-Friendly Slow Cooker Chili

Fall is Jocelyn’s favorite season. She loves apple picking and sweaters and Thanksgiving. She’s so determined that fall arrive that every time the weather turns a little bit colder, she lights candles and sends our kids to day care dressed as pumpkins. She is serious about autumn.

One of our favorite autumn treats is healthy slow cooker meals. They’re so easy, and dinner is ready when we get home, its smell permeating the whole house. The other day when the weather got a little bit cold, Jocelyn leapt at the chance to make us a big batch of vegan slow cooker chili, and brother, it was great. She bumped up the veggie to protein ratio, and so not only was it delicious, it was even healthier than usual. We’ll be making this one a lot as the mercury drops.

Ingredients:

2 Tbsp olive oil
2 medium onion, diced

4 carrots, chopped

2 peppers, bell or cubanelle, diced

1 1/2 cups of vegan meatless crumbles

2 cups corn kernels 
3 lb tomato, diced
2 cups dried kidney beans, soaked
4 cups vegetable stock (or less, as needed)
1 Tbsp garlic powder
1 Tbsp ground cumin
Salt to taste

Directions:

Heat oil in a large, deep sauté pan on medium high heat. Once hot, add the onion, carrot, peppers, and veggie crumbles. Sauté, stirring frequently, until the onion and pepper are soft, about 10-15 minutes.

Add all ingredients to the slow cooker, making sure the vegetable stock doesn’t cause the pot to overflow. Stir everything up and cook on low for 8-10 hours. Enjoy topped with whatever you like! We like tortilla chips and avocados.

Veggie Breakfast Tacos

It’s lettuce week here at Our Chaotic Kitchen, thanks to the four heads of iceberg lettuce that came in our Hungry Harvest, so everything this week has been healthy lettuce wraps. We’ve been trying to do a reset on our diet and use tons of vegetables after getting off course a little, so these breakfast tacos are chock full of healthy vegetable goodness. I know we keep saying it, but these are surprisingly good! A dash of salt, a sprinkle of hot sauce, and you’ll be wearing a chef’s hat and gently kissing your fingertips, they’re so good.

Ingredients:

2 Tbsp olive oil

2 peppers, diced (we used Anaheim, but bell or jalapeño would work too)

1 package grape tomatoes, quartered

1 zucchini, sliced

1/2 package tofu, crumbled

1 15-oz can beans of your choice

2 Tbsp nutritional yeast

Salt to taste

Iceberg lettuce leaves

Directions:

Heat oil on medium high heat. Once hot, add peppers, tomatoes, and zucchini. Sauté about 5 minutes, then add tofu. Sauté another 5 minutes, then add beans, nutritional yeast, and salt. Sauté for another 5 minutes or so. Serve immediately with lettuce wraps, or transfer to fridge and eat it when you damn well please.

Vegan Mini Ricotta Cheesecake 

We like to dream up desserts that aren’t overly sweet, aren’t too big, and are still pretty healthy, but still satisfy our cravings for a little treat now and then. This mini cheesecake recipe definitely does the trick. It turned out even better than we could have imagined, and it definitely quieted our desire for a dessert that would have been way less healthy. Enjoy!

Ingredients:

1/2 cup pretzels

1/4 cup almond meal

1 Tbsp coconut oil

1 1/2 Tbsp maple syrup

1/4 cup almond milk ricotta

1/2 cup soaked raw cashews

Juice of 1/2 lemon

1 cup blueberries (fresh or frozen)

1 Tbsp coconut sugar 

1 Tbsp chia seeds

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350° F. Combine pretzels, almond meal, coconut oil, and 1/2 Tbsp maple syrup in food processor until the mix has the texture of bread crumbs. Press into the bottom of ramekins and bake for 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, place ricotta, cashews, lemon juice, and remaining 1 Tbsp maple syrup in the food processor and process until smooth. Once the crusts are done baking, scoop the ricotta mixture into crusts and bake 18 minutes.

While the cheesecakes bake, cook the blueberries and coconut sugar in a small saucepan until super liquidy and juicy, about 10 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in chia seeds. Let cool completely. The texture should be like really thick jam. Spread as much or as little as you like on the finished cheesecakes. Save any left over for kids to lick off of peanut butter sandwiches or for you to eat with a spoon. 

Feeding Three Impatient Kids

We have three kids, so parenting can sometimes be something of a challenge. Watson, our oldest, is three and a half. Vivian is two. Little Freddy is almost eight months old. They’ve all got different tastes and abilities when it comes to food, but we’ve been trying hard to expand all of their healthy horizons.

Tonight was breakfast for dinner, which is our go-to Wednesday dinner. I made scrambled eggs, vegan sausage, and heated some leftover waffles from the weekend. It’s not the most glamorous meal, but it’s healthy, and cooking anything on the stove while parenting three kids is pretty challenging, so I wasn’t shooting for glamour.

As was the case last week, Watson ate his eggs and little else.

Vivian ate half her waffle and little else.

Freddy, our powerhouse, ate a whole jar of organic apple cinnamon oatmeal, but he eyed up his brother and sister’s food jealously, and we think we can probably start him on eggs next week.

Over dinner I talk to the kids about what they did at school (today Watson and Vivi played soccer and learned about teamwork). Sometimes we listen to music (they’ve been very into the Bob’s Burgers music album lately). If they eat well, which tonight they didn’t, then they get to pick out a piece of candy from their Halloween buckets, which at this rate just might be empty by this Halloween.

We recently committed to feeding the kids mostly the healthy vegan food that we eat for dinner after taking a good, honest look at our alarming chicken nugget budget. They don’t always eat well, but they’re starting to understand that what we give them is what they get, and at least Watson usually tries a little bit of everything, though he always tries to negotiate the bite size I’ll be happy with (small becomes tiny, tiny becomes tiny tiny, etc.).

It’s not always easy to get all of the kids into position with healthy food on the table without some minor or major meltdowns, but it has been rewarding to know that we’re making the effort to give them good, healthy food and build up strong eating habits.

Next challenge: getting them to clean up after themselves.