Vegan Tacos

We have found that one of the most versatile meals are vegan tacos. There are endless possibilities. Hard shell versus soft shell. Lentil, cauliflower, Gardein seven grain crispy tenders or ultimate beefless crumbles, or Beyond beef crumbles filling. Veggies and sauces. So many choices!! Our family has truly enjoyed making our taco filling with cooked green lentils and finely chopped walnuts. See recipe below. The flavor profile can be adjusted to the amount of spice you and your family enjoys. We tend to keep it on the more mild side. When we are out of lentils we will use the Gardein crispy tenders. I like to air fry them for ~ 18 minutes on 405F (shaking often). Then I will chop them into bite size pieces and toss them stovetop with hot sauce and chiptole seasoning. You can also use a taco seasoning. Again, adjusting the spice level to your comfort zone.

Lentil Walnut Taco Filling:

2 cups cooked green lentils

1/2 cup walnuts finely chopped in food processor

2 tbsp chili powder

1 tsp ground cumin

1/2- 1 tsp hot sauce

1 tbsp minced garlic

1 tsp dried oregano

1/2 tsp smoked paprika

1/2 cup water

Heat all ingredients on stovetop until thoroughly combined and warm. Serve immediately.

Taco toppings! So many options. One way to add crunch to your taco is to prepare red cabbage slaw. Simply shred fresh red cabbage and coat with 2 Tbsp of lemon juice and apple cider vinegar. Done! Delicious red cabbage slaw to compliment any taco. Don’t have cabbage on hand? No problem, slice up a bell pepper for that added crunch. Fresh guacamole is another favorite. I make gauc a lot! My recipe is to mash a couple avocados, squirt a bit of lime juice, add minced garlic, fresh or dried cilantro, and stir in a spoonful of salsa. Yum!

Taco shells: Hard or Soft? Do you have a favorite? We tend to enjoy the hard corn shells most. Our favorite is the organic blue corn taco shells by Garden of Eatin. They only takes a few minutes to bake and have a great flavor.

Raising Vegan Tip- When shopping for tortilla shells hard or soft, corn or flour, be sure to check the ingredients. Some may be made with animal products such as lard. A simple way to quickly scan is to look at the cholesterol. It should be “0” if free of animal products. Most flour or corn tortillas are plant-based. Another ingredient to stay away from is palm oil. While terrible for our health, palm oil is also extremely bad for the planet. Palm harvesting is the number one cause of habitat loss for the already endargered orangutans. Please be kind avoid this ingredient.

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Vegan, clean ingredients, and sustainable packaging all in one skincare line can be a tall order. I was ecstatic when I found a product that checked all of the boxes. A dear frient introduced me to Youth To The People. YTTP. Their motto is Skincare for ALL and they stay true to that, which is apparent on their website. This company does a fantastic job in keeping their ingredients safe for the planet, as they are all biodegradable and plant-based. Their products are also vegan and cruelty-free. I appreciate their extended efforts to minimize plastic use by packagining in glass bottles. They offer refill size bottles for several products to keep the waste even less. The packaging is sourced locally in the States from the company Neenah. The Neenah papers used have been Green-e certified, meaning the paper is manufactured with 100% renewable green electricity. The post consumer recycled paper are free from chlorine and come from sustainable raw materials.

Raising Vegan Tip- Quit face cleansing and makeup remover wipes for good! Have an abundance of washable nursing pads you no longer need? These make for excellent makeup remover or face cleansing pads. The softness feels great on the skin. After use, throw them into the washer in a mesh bag to wash with your towels. Dry the same way, and now you have reuseable face wipes.

My MUST-HAVE is their Superfood Cleanser. I use this cleanser with my Clarisonic and it lathers so nicely. The freshness it unmatched by all of the other products I have tried in the past. This cleanser is a mood changer! If I am feeling exhausted, I will wash my face with this Superfood and it brings me back to life. Currently priced at $36 for 8 oz (237 ml) bottle. This product is offered in a refill size $64 for 16 oz (473 ml) bottle.

Next I apply the Kombucha + 11% AHA Exfoliation Power toner to my T-zone and trouble areas. This toner has done wonders to balance my skin. I tend to have both dry and oily patches, but the toner has been amazing to even it out. The 4 oz bottle typically lasts me about 6 months. Currently, the 4 oz, (118ml) bottle is $38.

Right now, with the summer heat and humidity where we live, I use the Superfood Air-whip Moisture Cream. It has a lightness that is perfect for hot, sweaty days and it soaks into my skin beautifully. A the time of posting this the 2 oz. (59ml) jar is priced at $48. I use it once to twice a day and it lasts me typically 2 to 3 months. The glass jar I then repurpose for storing small craft materials for the kids or small screws/bolts etc. The lid is plastic but the glass could easily be recycled.

In the winter months, when it is dry and cool, I switch to the Adaptogen Deep Moisture Cream. It is heavier and perfect for night use, but if you have low humidity in your area, this may be needed for day use as well. This is currently priced at $58 for 2 oz. (59 ml) jar.

The Superclay Purify + Clear Mask is a part of my self-care routine. Combine this mask with a bubble bath, book, and a glass of wine. Ah, the relaxation! This mask feels wonderfully refreshing and leaves my skin feeling soft and renewed. Priced at $36 for 2 oz. (59ml) jar.

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If you are already a fan of YTTP, I’d love to hear which products are your favorites in the comments below.