Birthday + Easter Weekend

Hey everyone! I hope you had a wonderful Easter weekend if you celebrate + just a beautiful weekend overall. The weather here in West Michigan was just gorgeous. I think that Spring is finally here. At least the flowers are showing signs of springs and brighten up the day.

My birthday happened to fall on Easter this year. This is the second time this has happened. I kept things pretty simple for the birthday. On Saturday Hector + I headed downtown and had brunch at Bartertown Diner. I went with the Breakfast Tacos & Hector got the Standard Breakfast. It was definitely a lot of food.

brunch at bartertown diner in Grand Rapids

After brunch, we headed to the Downtown Market. This market is one of my favorite things about Grand Rapids. I wanted to pick up some Vegan ice cream at Love’s Ice Cream. I had read that they usually have a few Vegan options. We tried a few samples and went with the Strawberry gelato. This was so good. We got a pint for Easter, but you can get a scoop and then check out the rest of the market.

Vegan Strawberry Ice Cream

On Sunday, I had my parents and our good friends over for a light lunch. I had no idea what to make and went back and forth numerous times. I ended up making the Devilish Potatoes from the PPK Blog for an appetizer.

devilish potatoes

Crackers and jicama slices for some snacking.

snacks

I also made a cold brown rice salad with kale, carrots, cilantro, green onions, and mixed everything with a lime dressing.

Cold Brown Rice Salad

Hector helped my make sopes, which turned out to be more work than I wanted for this meal. Oh well. I served them with refried beans and a avocado + tomatillo guacamole.

tomatillo guacamole

Easter + Birthday Meal

Phoebe was especially excited for our visitors. She loves all the attention. She also was very interested in opening the gifts. I think it was just for the paper. She is a big fan of all things paper.

birthday celebration

Phoebe helping

My dear friend Angie ordered a Vegan Carrot Cake from Marie Catribs. Carrot Cake is defeinetly my favorite dessert. This cake was delicious; perfect for a spring birthday.

Vegan Carrot Cake

vegan carrot cake

slice of birthday cake!

It was nice celebrating with some of my family. :-)

 

Soy Curl Fajitas

Soy Curl Fajitas | Vegan + Gluten-Free Option

Before getting to this recipe for Soy Curl Fajitas, let’s talk about how wonderful the month of April is going to be. First off, I am hoping that Spring is finally going to make its appearance and we will have lots of warm and sunny days. There are so many events happening in April and I am beyond excited! First off, my birthday is April 20th which is also Easter. Yes my birthday is 420. You have no idea how many times people have to told me they wished their birthday was 420. Crazyness. I am also hosting my first Easter at our apartment and I can’t wait!

There are also a few vegan related events this month that I am really excited about. The first is VegFest 2014 on Sunday April 13th at the Suburban Collection Showplace in Novi. This is one of my favorite events to attend. I wasn’t able to go last year because I was in Chicago. I think this year will be my 4th VegFest. I am excited for the venders and exhibitors and all the amazing vegan food! If you live in the area, I highly recommend this event. Even if you aren’t vegetarian, this is such an amazing event.

The second event that I am looking forward to is Wake Up Weekend here in Grand Rapids. I heard about this event earlier this year and it looks really interesting. Byrant Terry is going to be there for a book reception and signing. I am really hoping to meet him and get a copy of his new book  Afro-Vegan: Farm-Fresh African, Caribbean and Southern Flavors Remixed. There is also going to be a vegan chili cook-off which I hope to attend.

Soy Curl Fajitas | Thyme + Love

Now, let’s talk about this recipe for Soy Curl Fajitas. Have you had  Butler Soy Curls before? Hector {the husband} and I are big fans. You can order them online and I have found them in my local health food store. They are especially good when good in some sort of sauce like BBQ sauce or salsa, like this recipe.

The salsa uses a combination of dried chiles and tomatillos. I added in some tomato paste in place of tomatoes which aren’t in season yet. The chiles are toasted, then boiled with the tomatillos. Everything gets blended together until smooth and then cooked for another 10-15 minutes.

Dried Chile + Tomatillo Salsa

Soy curls need to be rehydrated before cooking. In a bowl, add the soy curls and cover with water. After 15 minutes of soaking drain the soy curls and squeeze out all the water. Set aside until ready to use.

Butler Soy Curls hydrating for Fajitas!

The soy curls are cooked with sliced onions and poblano peppers. The poblano peppers remain a little crunchy; I like the crunchy texture paired with the softer soy curls. If you like your peppers on the softer side, then I suggest roasting them, and then removing the skins and seeds before slicing. Serve with flour tortillas or corn tortillas to keep these fajitas gluten-free, some of the extra salsa, avocado slices, maybe some lime wedges or chopped cilantro.

Soy Curl Fajitas | Vegan + Gluten-Free Option

Soy Curl Fajitas
Author: 
Recipe type: Entree
Serves: 3-4
 
Ingredients
For the Salsa:
  • 2 dried Guajillo Chiles, stemmed and seeds removed
  • 2 dried Ancho Chiles, stemmed and seeds removed
  • 6-8 Medium Tomatillos, husks removed and throughly washed
  • ¼ White Onion
  • 2 Garlic Cloves chopped
  • 1 Tablespoon Tomato Paste
  • ½ Tsp Salt
  • ½ Cup Water
  • 1 Tablespoon Olive Oil
For the Fajitas:
  • 2 Cups Soy Curls
  • Water
  • 1½ Tablespoons Olive Oil
  • ½ White Onion, thinly sliced
  • 2 Poblano Peppers, seeded and sliced lengthwise into strips
  • 1 Garlic Clove, minced
  • 1½ cups Salsa
  • ½-3/4 Tsp Salt, or to taste
  • Flour Tortillas or Corn tortillas for a gluten-free option
  • Optional garnishes: avocado slices, lime wedges, chopped cilantro
Instructions
For the Salsa:
  1. Heat a dry skillet or comal over medium heat. Toast the chiles 10-15 seconds per side. Transfer to a large saucepan. Add the tomatillos and cover with water. Bring to a boil and reduce heat to a simmer. Cook 10-15 minutes, or until the tomatillos have darken in color and the chiles are soft. Drain and transfer to a blender jar.
  2. Add the onion, garlic, tomato paste, salt, and water to the blender. Blend until smooth.
  3. In a saucepan over medium heat add the oil. Pour the salsa into the oil and cook for 10-15 minutes, or until the salsa has thickened up a little.
  4. Set aside until ready to use. This can be made ahead of time and store in the fridge for 2-3 days before making the fajitas. This makes a little more salsa than need for the fajitas.
For the fajitas:
  1. In a medium sized bowl add the soy curls. Cover with water and soak for 15 minutes. Drain and squeeze out and excess water. Set aside.
  2. In a large skillet heat the oil over medium heat. Add the onion and poblano pepper. Season with a pinch of salt. Cook until the onions have completely softened, about 7-10 minutes. Add in the garlic and cook for 30 seconds. Add in the soy curls and cook for 10 minutes, or until they have started to brown. The soy curls tend to stick. If this happens add a splash of water or a little bit more oil.
  3. Pour in 1½ cups of the salsa and salt to taste. Reduce to a simmer and cook for 10-15 minutes more. Taste and adjust seasonings.
  4. Heat a dry skillet or comal over medium to medium high heat. Warm the tortillas about 30 seconds on each side.
  5. Serve the soy curl fajitas with the warmed tortillas, avocado slices, and maybe some lime wedges and chopped cilantro.

 

Soy Curl Fajitas Served with Flour Tortillas | Thyme + Love

I hope you enjoy these fajitas.
Do you have a favorite recipe for soy curls? I am always looking for new ideas!

Jeni