Terrific Tempeh Tacos

Tempeh tacos make a terrific meal for Meatless Monday! They are nutritious and delicious, as well as a fast and easy recipe to prepare. They are also a great introduction into the use of tempeh in vegan and vegetarian recipes. They are also gluten free (check the label on your tempeh, not all of them are gluten free).

Fast, easy and delicious vegan Tempeh Tacos. They are also gluten free..

For me, tempeh was an acquired taste. It took me a while to learn how to prepare it properly, but when I did, I finally came to appreciate its subtle flavor, as well as its versatility.

Tempeh is a fermented soy product that has a chewy texture and somewhat nutty flavor. It is very nutritious and contains many health promoting phytochemicals such as isoflavones. The fermentation process produces natural antibiotic agents but leaves the desirable soy isoflavones intact.

Tempeh is a complete protein food that contains all the essential amino acids. Isoflavones have many health benefits: they strengthen our bones, help to ease menopausal symptoms, reduce risk of coronary hearth disease and some cancers. Tempeh has all the fiber of the soybeans and even has some digestive benefits from the enzymes formed during the fermentation process.

Terrific Tempeh Tacos

This recipe is very easy and fast. It takes only about 30 minutes and then you’ll be enjoying these delicious tempeh tacos.

5.0 from 1 reviews
Terrific Tempeh Tacos
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
  • 1 package tempeh, crumbled. Note: For gluten free, check ingredients. Some tempeh is not gluten free.
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 small onion, chopped and divided
  • 2 tablespoon tamari
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • ½ teaspoon chili powder
  • ¼ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ¼ teaspoon onion powder
  • ¼ cup water
  • corn tortillas
  • Taco Filling: lettuce, tomatoes, onions, cilantro, salsa, jalapenos, avocado, lime juice...
  1. Remove the tempeh from the package and crumble into small pieces.
  2. Combine the cumin, coriander, chili powder, garlic powder, and onion powder.
  3. Heat the oil over medium heat. Add half the onion (reserve the other half for taco filling), and cook until soft (about 5 minutes). Add the tempeh and cook for about two more minutes. Stir in the tamari and the spice mixture. Add about ¼ cup of water. Cook until heated through, the water has evaporated, and the tempeh is slightly browned.
  4. Heat your tortillas. Place a couple spoonfuls of tempeh on each tortilla. Top with the fillings of your choice.




My weekly linkups! Please stop by and check out all of the great recipes, workouts, and information that all these awesome bloggers share every week!

Meatless Monday with Tina and Deborah
Meatless Monday with Annmarie 
Bonnie, the Pin Junkie
Tip Tuesday with Debbie in Shape
Wednesday Wisdom with Nanna’s Wisdom
That Friday Blog Hop with xoxo Rebecca
The Blog Booster Party with Kathleen

Have you tried tempeh before? What did you think?

Banana Walnut Bread Recipe Gluten Free and Vegan

I’ve been spending some time experimenting with the fabulous aquafaba, including baking another batch of my vegan, gluten free chocolate chip cookies. I’m not sure if it’s my imagination, but they taste a little better each time a make them!

Vegan and gluten free banana walnut bread

Banana Walnut Bread Gluten Free and Vegan

I also spent some time making vegan Banana Walnut Bread! It’s gluten free too, and the final version is slightly lower in sugar and oil. Oh, it’s pretty delicious.

I used aquafaba again as the egg replacer. It’s so easy, basically three tablespoons equals one egg. In case you missed last week’s post, aquafaba is simply bean brine. You know, that juice you usually drain off and throw away. This weekend was the first time ever that I opened a can of beans just to get the juice (I did save the beans, though, I’ll probably toss them on a salad or something.). I used chickpeas again for my aquafaba, though you really can use the brine from any type of bean, canned or freshly made.

By the way, last week’s post was Aquafabulous Vegan and Gluten Free Chocolate Chip Cookies. Just sayin’.

Vegan and gluten free Banana Walnut Bread.

5.0 from 2 reviews
Banana Walnut Bread: Gluten Free and Vegan
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Serves: 1 loaf
  • 1½ cups gluten free flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ cup walnuts or other nuts, chopped (optional)
  • 6 tablespoons aquafaba
  • ½ cup sunflower seed oil
  • ½ cup vanilla vegan yogurt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ½ cup sugar
  • ¼ cup brown sugar
  • 3 very ripe bananas, mashed
  1. Preheat oven to 350
  2. Combine flour, baking soda, baking powder, and walnuts in a bowl. Stir gently until well blended
  3. In another bowl, combine aquafaba, oil, yogurt, vanilla extract, sugar, and brown sugar. Mix until blended.
  4. Add the mashed bananas and blend.
  5. Slowly mix in the flour mixture.
  6. Pour mixture into a greased loaf pan.
  7. Bake until golden brown and check that a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean (about an hour).
  8. Allow to sit in the pan for about 10 minutes, then turn out onto a rack to cool.
I skipped the salt in this recipe because there was salt in the beans. If you use salt free bean brine you can add a ½ teaspoon sea salt if you'd like.

Banana Walnut Bread. Vegan, gluten free, made with aquafaba.I made my first batch on Saturday. I followed an old recipe I used to make in my pre-vegan days, just changing up the ingredients as needed. I used rice flour to make it gluten free, the aquafaba to replace the eggs, and almond milk instead of the real thing. Other than that I followed the original recipe. It tasted really good, maybe a little too sweet, but it took a long time to bake, about an hour and a half, and was still quite dense and almost gooey (if that’s the right word).

Vegan and gluten free banana walnut bread made with aquafaba.For the second batch, I needed to buy more flour, so I picked up some Bob’s Red Mill Gluten Free Baking Flour (basically because that’s what they had at the grocery store). It is a blend of white and brown rice flour, potato starch, and a few other ingredients, designed to replace regular flour one to one.

I also cut the sugar in half, replaced some of the oil and the almond milk with Silk vanilla soy yogurt (you can always use coconut yogurt if you prefer soy-free), and I used walnuts (I skipped any nuts in the first version). And as I mentioned in the notes, I didn’t use any salt because the bean brine did have salt. If you use salt-free beans, you may want to add 1/2 teaspoon of salt.

This time it only took an hour to cook and the texture was much better. It was still plenty sweet.

Banana Walnut Bread vegan and gluten freeI’m linking up with Tina and Deborah for Meatless Monday, and with Annmarie, for another Meatless Monday! Hop on over to their blogs to check out all the delicious meat-free food they’re sharing. I’m also linking with Bonnie, the Pin Junkie!

So on the way to the movies on Sunday, Alan and I played cloud pictures. We’re both quite good at finding shapes in the clouds, and we usually see what the other person points out. Kind of like a fluffy Rorschach test.

CloudsI see an alligator about to eat a fox. How about you?

Clouds 2I see Snoopy riding a pig. How about you?

So, how was your holiday weekend? I hope you had lot’s of fun with family, races, and other adventures that I hope you’ll share. And what do you see in the clouds?

This post contains affiliate links.

Aquafabulous Chocolate Chip Cookies. Vegan and Gluten Free

I am not a baker. I don’t pretend to be. So it may seem a little odd that I’m going to share a cookie recipe with you. So let me tell you how this all came about.

These Aquafabulous Chocolate Chip Cookies are vegan and gluten free. They are made using aquafaba as an egg replacement.

A couple weeks ago, Lindsay shared a cookie recipe on her blog. They were gluten free, dairy free, Maple Chocolate Chip cookies. They sounded delicious, and I commented saying so, and shared them on Twitter. They did contain eggs, and Lindsay knows that I’m vegan, so when she replied to my tweet…well, just read it yourself:

That led to a conversation between Lindsay, Beth Miller (@millerbeT) and myself about what on earth chickpeas had to do with vegan cookies. And that led to my learning about aquafaba.


What is aquafaba? Well, simply put, it is bean juice. Seriously, you know that liquid that you usually pour out when you open a can of beans? It turns out that it makes an amazing egg replacement. How amazing? Well, you can actually make meringue, whipped “cream,” waffles, macarons, mousse, cookies, cakes, and more. It even has its own Facebook page where people share their meringue recipes.

The best part (well aside from it being virtually free), is how simple it is to use as an egg substitute. One egg = Three tablespoons aquafaba. That’s so easy even I could do it.


To keep it extra simple, I decided to use an old standard cookie recipe and see if I could make it vegan using aquafaba. I decided on veganizing Toll House Cookies, because that recipe is easy to find, pretty basic, and definitely not vegan. I decided to also make the cookies gluten free, in honor of Lindsay who inspired them.

Aquafabulous Chocolate Chip Cookies. Vegan and Gluten Free

Vegan and gluten free chocolate chip cookies with aquafaba, the leftover juice from garbanzo beans!

5.0 from 2 reviews
Aquafab-ulous Chocolate Chip Cookies. Vegan and Gluten Free
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Recipe type: Cookies
Serves: 2-3 doz
  • 2¼ cups rice flour
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup sugar
  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • ½ cup maple syrup
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ½ cup non-dairy butter (I used Melt which is made from coconut oil)
  • ½ cup safflower oil
  • 6 tablespoons aquafaba
  • 1 package (10 or 12 ounces) non-dairy chocolate chips
  1. PREHEAT oven to 375° F.
  2. COMBINE flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt in small bowl. Beat non-dairy butter, sunflower oil, granulated sugar, brown sugar, maple sugar, aquafaba, and vanilla extract in large mixer bowl until creamy Gradually beat in flour mixture. Stir in chocolate chips. Drop by rounded tablespoon onto ungreased baking sheets.
  3. BAKE for 9 to 11 minutes or until golden brown. Cool on baking sheets for 2 minutes; remove to wire racks to cool completely.

These cookies don’t make any pretense to being anything but delicious. Yes, they may have too much sugar and oils to be considered healthy, but they’re cookies. Enjoy a couple, share a lot. And while most people use the brine from garbanzo or white northern beans, black or other beans can be used too. And yes, you can make your own when you cook beans.


I’m linking with Tina and Deborah for Meatless Monday. Hop on over to their blogs and find some more fabulous recipes.

Have you heard of aquafaba? Are you as excited as I am? Just think of the possibilities!

Jackfruit: The Perfect Whole-Food Meat Substitute + a Recipe!

I want to start off by thanking you so much for your kind words of support on Friday’s post. Your reminders that I was working for a school system helped remind me that this was political and bureaucratic, not personal. They may have tried, but couldn’t take away the fact that I am a coach and will always be one.

Today I want to tell you about an all natural, whole-food meat substitute that has no fat, very few calories, and can be used to replace chicken or pork in a variety of recipes. It’s called jackfruit, and while I’m really not sure if it is considered a fruit or a vegetable, I do know that it is completely plant based, contains so gluten, soy, chemicals, preservatives, artificial colors, or sugars. That’s because it grows on trees!


I’m linking up with Tina and Deborah for Meatless Monday! I’m also linking with Annmarie for her Meatless Monday party! Be sure to check out all of their yummy recipes! I have a few jackfruit recipes to share with you too.

I’ve written about the amazing jackfruit before, but in case you’re new, here’s the scoop on this amazing “vegetable meat.”

The jackfruit grows in tropical locales on tall, evergreen trees. Pricky and green in its unripened state, which is when it is perfect to use as a meat substitute (it is yellow and sweet when ripe). It is cultivated in India, Ceylon, southern China, Thailand, and other countries with hot, humid climates.

But, how does it taste? The unripened jackfruit has a taste and consistency similar to chicken when it is cooked. It can be shredded or cut into chunks, and can be slow cooked for extra flavor. Because of its cultivation in Asian countries, it is frequently used in curries.

The jackfruit is nutrient rich, especially in vitamins C and B complex. It has small amounts of vitamin A, plus potassium, magnesium, manganese, and iron. It is also high in dietary fiber.

So you don’t have a jackfruit tree in your backyard? No worries. In this country, jackfruit is most frequently available in cans and is sold at Asian and Caribbean markets.  There are a few online sources, including Amazon.com (note: that’s an affiliate link, but it is much cheaper if you can find it in a local market. Like about $20 cheaper!) Make sure to look for green unripe (or young) jackfruit in brine or water.

In fact, the only nutritional downside to jackfruit is, that since it is so low in calories, it is also pretty low in protein. So to offset that deficit, be sure to prepare or serve your jackfruit with foods that are higher in protein. Beans work great, either to thicken a sauce or to serve as a side dish with many jackfruit recipes.

So, have I piqued your interest in jackfruit? Here is my favorite recipe (originally posted in September 2013), plus a few links to others.

Curried Jackfruit with Avocado - vegan and gluten free recipe

Curried Jackfruit with Avocado

Curried Jackfruit - vegan recipe

This curried jackfruit is served hot, over rice and avocado, but it would taste great chilled too.

curried jackfruit - vegan

Curried Jackfruit with Avocado. Vegan
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Recipe type: Main
Cuisine: Curry
Serves: 4
  • 1 can jackfruit, green, in water or brine, rinsed and drained
  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • ½ cup onion, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon curry powder
  • 1 teaspoon asafetida (if you don't have this, don't worry. Add a teaspoon more curry powder)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon flour (for gluten free simply use a thickener of your choice)
  • 1 can garbanzo beans, rinsed and drained
  • 8 ounces coconut milk (from a can)
  • 8 ounces vegetable broth
  • 1-2 avocados, scooped out with a spoon
  1. In a small bowl, use a fork to shred the jackfruit,
  2. Heat the coconut oil over medium heat. Cook the onions and garlic until soft (about 5 minutes).
  3. Add the jackfruit and cook, stirring occasionally, until the jackfruit's moisture has evaporated. If necessary, use the fork to break up the jackruit a little more.
  4. Add the curry powder, asafetida, and salt and stir to combine.
  5. Sprinkle the flour over the jackfruit mixture, add the beans, and stir to combine.
  6. Slowly pour in the coconut milk, mixing it in as you go.
  7. Increase the heat and stir in the broth. Bring to a low boil, then reduce heat and simmer, stirring occasionally, until the sauce thickens. You can add more seasonings to taste if you'd like.
  8. Heat the avocado halves (30 seconds in the microwave or 5 minutes in a 350 oven).
  9. Serve on rice, spooning a scoop of the curried jackfruit on each avocado half (you can quarter the avocado for a lighter meal if you'd like).

curried jackfruit - veganI called that my favorite, but in fact, I love all of the dishes I’ve created with jackfruit. Here are a few more. Remember, they are all vegan and gluten free (except the tortilla on the burrito, easily fixable if you need or prefer gluten free).

Jackfruit “Tuna” Salad with Avocado and Quinoa

Jackfruit Tuna 4Jackfruit Chili

Jackfruit ChiliJackfruit Burritos

Jackfruit Burrito veganAvocado Stuffed with Jackfruit Salad

Jackfruit Salad - vegan recipeI hope you enjoy trying out this perfect meat substitute. If you’ve tried it before, I’d love to see links to your own recipes. I have two cans sitting in my cupboard right now!

Perfect Pasta Salad for #MeatlessMonday

The Perfect Pasta Salad: Gluten free, vegan, and delicious. It has a great combo of sweet and tart flavors with apple, grapefruit, and raisins.

Weekend Snapshots

Let’s play a little catch up before the recipe, shall we? I’ve been laid off for over a week now. Ask me how much I’ve accomplished. Go ahead, ask. The answer is, sadly, in spite of big plans to use this time to take some of the tips I learned at Bloggy Boot Camp, set up regular work hours, and really work on improving this little ol’ blog, I haven’t even started. Which is why I’m sitting down at 5:30 on a Sunday evening to write my Monday post.

I’m not really worried about it, though. I have, unfortunately, plenty of time until the weather cools down and my clients return. And I (we) did accomplish a few things. Like this:

DishwasherWe purchased a new dishwasher and garbage disposal and installed them ourselves (with plenty of help from our pack). It took a good part of the day, and we questioned our choice a few times, but we did it and we now have an operating dishwasher for the first time is a long time. When we ran it last night for the first time I kept checking for leaks every time the water ran. It’s been that that long since I’ve heard one!

We took a break about halfway through to pick up a couple of parts that we needed and somehow ended up at Dick’s Sporting Goods where I let Alan reward me with this:

Love these really cute shorts from Calia by Carrie. Find them at Fred's Sportting Goods!I adore these running shorts by Calia by Carrie. They’re very flattering, fit nicely, and I love the tropical pattern. And I’m loving the tropical right now because:

That's us, finishing my first ever marathon, the Honolulu Marathon. So exciting to be going back for my 37th marathon in December!Alan had my 30th Annual Honolulu Marathon watch fixed! That was from 2002, the last year we were there. As you know, it was also my first marathon in 1996. And now, on December 13, it will be my 37th (and will be celebrating its 43rd year)!

Almost as exciting as the watch was this:

Airline Tickets

We purchases our tickets to Hawaii! Now it’s real. We also made arrangements for a house on Kauai for the week after the race. We always stay in Hanalei, one of my favorite places in the world. This is one of those times that I’m happy that time flies because I can’t wait!

I’ve also been running. In fact I’ve had to remind myself that just because I’m off work right now doesn’t mean I should run every day!


So what picture do you think looks better?

Jump CollageI love this picture because it looks like I’m jumping so high, but I didn’t like the truck in the background. So I decided to eliminate it! I did this using PicMonkey. I think it looks okay. Not as good as Photoshop of course, but I’m a little challenged in that department.

Let’s get down to talking about some vegan food, shall we? First off, I found two new products this week that I’d never heard of:

Daiya MacThese Daiya Mac and Cheeze products were at Ralphs (Krogers to you east-coasters). We tried the Alfredo style. I added a little vegan chicken to it and it was good. Not great, but good. I’m looking forward to trying the other one (very soon). By the way, both pastas are gluten and soy free too.

GardeinI saw these little pocket sandwiches while shopping today and I just had to have them! I haven’t tried them, but I’ve been assured on Instagram (<—follow me!) that they were really good. They are not gluten free, but they are vegan (even though the label just says vegetarian). Lunch tomorrow, I think.

Tempeh SaladOn Saturday, during our dishwasher installation break, Alan and I had lunch at Luscious Lorraine’s, a little lunch counter inside a health food store in Palm Desert. This is a tempeh sandwich and it was really good. It also gave me an idea for a tempeh salad, which I hope to work on this week. Stay tuned.

I’m linking up with Her Heartland Soul for Weekend Snapshots.

Meatless Monday

Still with me? On to the recipe! I’m also linking up with Tina and Deborah for Meatless Monday. Hop on over to their blogs to see what fabulous recipes they and the other bloggers have planned for you.

Meatless Monday

The Perfect Pasta Salad: Vegan and Gluten Free

Why is this the perfect pasta salad? Well, for one thing, it’s full of flavorful vegetables and fruits. For another, it is vegan and gluten free. And for another, I needed to call it something because to call it rotini with onions, olives, raisins, apples, etc., seemed a little long. Seriously, I love the different tastes and textures in this salad, from the sweet apples and raisins, to the tart grapefruit, from the crunch of the radishes to the creamy white beans.

The Perfect Pasta Salad, it has a tasty combination of sweet and tart, with apples, grapefruit, raisins, and onions. Great for a BBQ!It’s also one those salads that you can add or take away ingredients. Don’t like black olives? Skip them or use green. Have some corn or celery you’d like to use? Go ahead and toss them in. I do suggest keeping the apples, raisins, and grapefruit, because those are the flavors that make this salad so good perfect.

5.0 from 1 reviews
Perfect Pasta Salad. Gluten Free and Vegan
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Recipe type: Main
Cuisine: Salad
Serves: 6-8
  • 12 ounces gluten free/vegan rotini
  • ½ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • ⅛ cup white wine vinegar
  • ⅛ cup grapefruit juice (about the juice of one half grapefruit)
  • ¼-1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 teaspoon salt (optional)
  • ½ cup raisins
  • 1 6 ounce can sliced black olives, drained
  • ½ cup radishes, chopped
  • ½ cup cherry or grape tomatoes, halved if they're large
  • ½ cup red onion, thinly sliced
  • 2 apples, peeled and chopped (squeeze a little grapefruit juice on them to keep from discoloring)
  • 1 can white beans, rinsed and drained
  • ¼ cup parsley, chopped
  1. In a measuring cup, combine olive oil, vinegar, grapefruit juice, pepper, and salt. Allow some pulp when you're squeezing the grapefruit. Set aside.
  2. Cook the pasta according to package directions. When it's done, rinse under cold water.
  3. Combine pasta, raisins, olives, radishes, tomatoes, onions, apples, and beans.
  4. Add the olive oil mixture and toss lightly.
  5. Add the parsley and toss again to combine.
  6. Add more pepper to taste.

This gluten free and vegan pasta salad has a great flavor combination of sweet and tart with grapefruit, apples, and raisins. Perfect as a one-dish-meal or for a BBQ side dish.

That’s it! It takes only about a half hour and you have a perfect pasta salad that will work for a main dish or that you can bring along to that Independence Day barbecue.

Have you ever installed a dishwasher or garbage disposal? Would you do it again?


A Plant Based Memorial Day and Remembering a Friend

I’m afraid I don’t have a new recipe to share today, but check below for a few links to last minute grill-worthy dishes. Sadly I was sidetracked by the death of a friend and co-worker that has shocked and saddened me. It seems appropriate on this Memorial Day, dedicated to remembrance of those lost in the service of our country, to take a few moments to remember a woman who was dedicated to teaching and coaching the youth of our country. Convoluted sentence, but that’s pretty much how my brain is working today.

Becky 2

I first heard the news about Becky Baker, the cross country and track and field coach at Indio High School for 23 years, early last week. Technically she was our competition, but that never mattered to Becky. What was important to her was the kids. All of them, her team, our team, her non-running students. I was told that she’d had a stroke last Saturday (later determined to be a brain aneurysm). I was shocked. Becky was close to my age, fit, active, and always full of energy! I could hardly believe it.

She ran a Facebook page for the high school cross country and track team, so I headed over there to see what was happening. Sure enough, the page was filled with her current and former athletes and students sending their prayers and wishes for a quick recovery. Sadly, they weren’t enough. She passed away early Saturday morning.


After Alan told me, I headed back to Facebook. It was almost overwhelmingly sad and touching to see the comments. Hundred of students, not just posting a quick note, but eloquently describing the difference that Coach Baker had made in their lives. Many past students stated that they would never have graduated without her help. Many of her team said that they considered themselves runners because of her dedication and belief in them. So many pictures and memories that brought me to tears because of their heartfelt sincerity.

Becky Quote

I will always remember Becky, in red, white, and blue, the school colors, running around the cross country course, always with a camera in hand, coaching her girls, taking pictures, and cheering on all of the runners. She was the one who kept our league organized, kept up with rule changes, and got the coaches together each year so that we could be on the same page with our league business. She was the one I’d call if I had a question about anything related to cross country.

They are holding a Celebration of Life at the high school gym next week. I have a feeling it will be standing room only. Becky was only 60 years old. She will be missed.

Memorial Day

If you’re planning a barbecue or picnic for the holiday, here are a few last minute ideas.


Tempeh Burgers

BBQ Kidney Bean and Quinoa Burgers

Southwest Salad with Black Beans, Avocado, and Quinoa

Potato Salad

I’m linking up with Tina and Deborah for Meatless Monday. Let’s make it a plant based and cruelty free Memorial Day! Stop by and check out their posts!


Have a wonderful Memorial Day. Comments are closed today. Get out and enjoy the holiday.