How Do YOU Taco on a #TacoMonday? [Recipe]

Taco Tuesday? NAAAAAH! Tacos are really for EVERYDAY, but to get your week off right, you gotta taco on a Monday! For the next 5 Mondays, we’re going to post a #TacoMonday recipe. It’s our way to celebrate what’s become our favorite, most versatile of comfort foods. 

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We’ve got to give a nod to our Taco Scientist pals of The Taco Cleanse fame for the inspiration. We’re planning on sharing recipes that fun, outrageous and YUM! I mean, how can a word that’s an anagram for COAT be so delicious? EASY PEASY, LEMON SQUEAZY! Honestly, you can’t really screw them up.

With that said, we’re going to share the most boring of our #TacoMonday recipes, Smokey Beany Brussel Sprout Tacos. It’s also one of the tastiest. You have a meal in takes less than 10 minutes!

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Thanks to Trader Joe’s, we start with some FAT-FREE (Say what???) Refried Beans (Less than $1) that have the “V” symbol for VEGAN on the can. We then amp things up with a little liquid smoke and chili powder. Pile on the veggies. Break out the lime juice hot sauce. Fold up the tacos and EAT! Don’t you wish all recipes were that simple? 

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Well, give this one a try. Let us know what you think. Tell us in the comments how you taco on a Monday or tweet at us (@thefoodduo) with hashtag #TacoMonday

Smokey Beany Brussels Sprout Tacos
Serves 2
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Prep Time
5 min
Cook Time
5 min
Total Time
10 min
Prep Time
5 min
Cook Time
5 min
Total Time
10 min
Ingredients
  1. 6-8 corn tortillas
  2. 16oz. can refried beans
  3. 1 Tbsp. chili powder
  4. 2-3 splashes liquid smoke
  5. 1 c. shaved Brussels sprouts
  6. 1/4 c. shredded carrots
  7. 1 tomato, diced
  8. 1/2 avocado, cubed or sliced
  9. 1/2 c. salsa
  10. 1 lime
  11. Your favorite hot sauce, optional
Instructions
  1. In a skillet over medium heat, heat the refried beans, stirring in chili powder and liquid smoke
  2. In a cast iron pan over medium heat, warm corn tortillas for 1-2 minutes on each side until soft and slightly pliable
  3. Evenly distribute cooked beans onto each tortilla.
  4. Layer each with Brussels sprouts, carrots, diced tomatoes and avocado
  5. Squeeze lime juice and add hot sauce over your tacos
  6. Fold in half and eat
The Food Duo http://thefoodduo.com/

For the Love of Za’atar! We Made Spinach Pie! [Recipe]

za'atar spinach pie vegan

We love Mediterranean food. It’s what we each grew up eating A LOT. Being 1.5 Italian, there’s always a mix of Southern Italian, Sicilian and Middle Eastern flavors happening. So, we have to have essential ingredients on hand.

One of our favorite places to shop is Fattal’s in Paterson, New Jersey. It’s a Syrian grocery store, where we get some of our favorite spices, seeds, and treats. We also can grab a quick bite at their luncheonette for falafel and spinach pies. Of course, when we can’t make it out to Fattal’s, we have to recreate these dishes at home. 

One of the things we love about the food is that it’s REAL FOOD! None of that fancy-shmancy inflated stuff. You get the real deal with simple dishes, full of flavor, culture and za’atar! Za’atar is one of the best spice blends on the planet. 

What’s za’atar? It’s a combination of ground dried oregano, thyme, marjoram, sumac, sesame seeds and sea salt. Some add fennel seed or coriander to it. 

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Za’atar is amazing on plain flatbread with olive oil or on a spinach pie, which is made with spinach, shallots, spices and lemon juice on top of a delicious flatbread! While we make our own flatbread on a rare occasion, you can simply use store-bought, like Trader Joe’s pizza crust (which is more flatbread than pizza crust, if you ask us)

So, here’s our recipe for Spinach Za’atar Pie. Please give it a try and let us know what you think in the comments!

Spinach Za'atar Pie
Serves 2
Inspired by the spinach pie made at Fattal's Syrian Grocery in Paterson, NJ
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Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
20 min
Total Time
30 min
Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
20 min
Total Time
30 min
Ingredients
  1. 1 10 “-12” pizza crust
  2. 2 T. extra virgin olive oil
  3. 1 clove garlic, thinly sliced
  4. 2 shallots, thinly sliced
  5. 1 lb. of fresh spinach
  6. Pinch of red pepper flakes
  7. 1 lemon, cut in half
  8. 1 T. za’atar spice blend
  9. Salt and pepper to taste
  10. 1 T. flour (for dusting)
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven 450 degrees
  2. Place olive oil in a skillet on medium heat. Add garlic and shallots in the skillet and cook until fragrant (about 1-2 minutes)
  3. Place the spinach in skillet. Add red pepper flakes, the juice of ½ lemon, salt, pepper, and cook until reduced (about 5 minutes)
  4. Remove spinach and place in a strainer. Squeeze out as much water out as possible
  5. Lightly dust a baking sheet and place the pizza crust on top
  6. Brush pizza crust with 1 T. of olive oil. Spoon the spinach on the crust making sure to leave about 1" edge for the crust. Evenly sprinkle the za’atar spice evenly on the pie
  7. Place pie in oven and cook until the crust is golden brown (about 12-15 minutes). Remove from oven and squeeze ½ of lemon juice over pie
  8. Enjoy
Notes
  1. You can use homemade pizza dough. You can also use your favorite flatbread.
  2. Looking for store-bought? Trader Joe’s frozen crust is a good option.
The Food Duo http://thefoodduo.com/

 

S’mores Jingle Balls [Holiday Recipe]

Ever try a recipe you found online and have it go wrong? We’ve all been there, right? One of the greatest feats in the kitchen is trying to salvage any part of that dish into something everyone will enjoy.

Certainly, my most recent “fail” in the “Don’t Try This at Home” recipe category was with S’mores Pinwheels. I was attempting to veganize the version I had seen online, but it just didn’t work for me. The proportions seemed rather “off,” with WAY too much cereal and not enough chocolate. 

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I couldn’t just toss it. As much I was would have loved to eat an entire jelly roll of this rice cereal, chocolate and marshmallow, that wasn’t going to happen either, even sharing with Carlo. Since it was Christmas Eve, I decided to switch things up and play around with the idea of a pulled “bread,” but made with the rice cereal instead. 

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And that’s how the S’mores Jingle Balls were born!

S'mores Jingle Balls
Serves 8
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Prep Time
10 min
Total Time
30 min
Prep Time
10 min
Total Time
30 min
For Jingle Balls
  1. 10oz. bag of mini marshmallows*
  2. 1/4 c. vegan butter
  3. 1/4 tsp. pinch of sea salt
  4. 4 c. rice cereal**
  5. 1 c. graham cracker crumbs***
  6. 1/2 c. chocolate chips
For Chocolate Drizzle
  1. 1/4 c. chocolate chips
  2. 1 T. vegan butter
  3. Zest of 1/2 orange
Instructions
  1. In a medium microwave-safe bowl, add marshmallows, vegan butter and sea salt. Heat for 90 seconds to 2 minutes until the butter has melted
  2. In a large bowl, add cereal, graham cracker crumbs and fold in marshmallow mixture until well combined, using a greased spatula. Fold in the chocolate chips until all is well combined
  3. Using a greased 2T ice cream scoop, form the mixture into balls.
  4. Add the balls to a non-stick start pan or a 8x8 or 9x9 baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Set them close together, touching.
  5. Make the chocolate drizzle: Add chocolate and butter in a medium microwave-safe bowl. Melt for 60-90 seconds. Mix well, adding the orange zest. Using a fork, drizzle the chocolate over the balls
  6. Chill in the refrigerator for 20 minutes
Notes
  1. *For this recipe, we used Dandies marshmallows
  2. **For this recipe, you can use Kellogg's Rice Krispies or Nature's Path Organic Crispy Rice cereal
  3. ***For this recipe, you can use Nabisco Grahams (pink box, honey-free), Mary's Gone Crackers or Sweet 'n Sara
The Food Duo http://thefoodduo.com/

S’mores Holiday Nog “Frostie” [Recipe]

Hey friends! We hope you’ve been enjoying this holiday season, no matter what you celebrate!

As a kid, I grew up absolutely hating the idea of egg nog during the holidays. Eggs in a drink? NOPE! While I hated it, I couldn’t drink it anyway, because my mom would make it with brandy or rum for our family holiday gathering. Nevertheless, the idea of egg nog was gross to me.

Even as an adult, I couldn’t fathom the thought of it. I remembered how my mom made it with milk, sugar and eggs warmed up to make it “safe” and then added the booze. NOPE, not for me. Yes, the alcohol was tempting, but NOT that tempting. My aunt even tried to serve me an “egg-free” version which was just spiked milk, sugar, vanilla with spices. It was “okay.”

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Isn’t it odd that I would love nog as a vegan? Well, I’m an odd person. Without the eggs and dairy, vegan nogs made me feel “safe.” Nog is now something I could enjoy during the holidays and enjoy however I wish.

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With veganism on the rise, the number of vegan holiday nogs are the market have grown: Soy, coconut, almond, etc. You can also make your own, which I haven’t attempted to do…yet…there’s always next year right?

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While I try to work out making my own nog, I played around with the idea of a yummy take on it, using store-bought nog and a bit of inspiration of having all the ingredients to make S’mores at home.

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May I present to you the S’mores Holiday Nog “Frostie.” It’s a semi-frozen treat to drink with a straw or eat with a spoon! Give it a try and let us know what you think!

S'mores Nog "Frostie"
Serves 1
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Prep Time
5 min
Total Time
5 min
Prep Time
5 min
Total Time
5 min
Ingredients
  1. "Frostie:"
  2. 1 c. vegan nog*
  3. 2 graham cracker squares**
  4. 1/4 c. vegan chocolate chips
  5. 2 Tbsp. vegan marshmallow fluff or mini marshmallows
  6. 1/4 c. spiced rum (optional)***
  7. 1-1/2 to 2 c. crushed ice
S'mores Garnish
  1. 1 graham cracker square
  2. 6 mini marshmallows
  3. 10 vegan chocolate chips
Other garnish options
  1. Graham cracker crumbs
  2. Fresh grated nutmeg
  3. Fresh grated cinnamon
  4. Chocolate sauce
  5. Soy/rice whipped creme
Instructions
  1. To make the "Frostie:"
  2. In a blender, add all "Frostie" ingredients. Set on high and blend until smooth (about 30-45 seconds)
  3. Pour mixture into mason jar (or 2 if you want to share)
To make the S'mores garnish
  1. Break the squares in half. Each square will become a mini S'more
  2. On two of the halves, lay down 5 chocolate chips. Set in the microwave for 20-30 seconds. Remove from the microwave
  3. On a skewer, thread your mini marshmallows, and set aflame until they become somewhat browned and gooey
  4. Set 3 marshmallows on each of the chocolate chip-covered halves. Place the remaining halves on top of each set of marshmallows
  5. Press down slightly before placing the S'mores on top of the drinks
  6. Feel free to add any of the other garnishes as you like
Notes
  1. *For this recipe, we used Califia's Holiday Nog, made with almond milk. Want to make this nut-free? Try Silk's Soy Nog or So Delicious' Coconut Milk Nogs
  2. **For this recipe, we used Nabisco Grahams (dark pink box). You can also use Sweet 'n Sara's grahams. Want to try this gluten-free, Mary's Gone Crackers may be a good option for you!
  3. ***Not into rum? Give this a try with bourbon. Not into alcohol? Replace the booze with an additional 1/4 c. of nog!
The Food Duo http://thefoodduo.com/