[As always, gluten-free, dairy-free, and refined-sugar-free!]
This weekend one of my brilliant friends planned an intimate dinner party to celebrate my law school graduation. Due to unfortunate events, there was a change of location and a change of chef.
Who cooks for their own celebration dinner? Well, this girl! Why not? I adore the kitchen and I want to show my friends a modicum of the love that they’ve shown me throughout these tumultuous three years!
In my mind, the celebration was for them…with no relation to law school, they have shown me unconditional love, despite my occasional dim spirit. Each remarkably unique and loving, they inspire and nurture me everyday. An evening of nurturing them gave me so much joy!
So, I decided on fun asian tacos and a sweet carrot cake.
These tacos do not require the tortillas. In fact, this recipe would be a fantastic filling for the collard green wraps.
NOTE: if you choose merely to look at the pictures, please do me the favor of making the sauce. It can go on fish, chicken, salads, etc., and may be the most delicious, drinkable sauce you’ve ever had. In disbelief? I’m up for the challenge.
shiitake and lentil asian tacos
6-7 small tacos
miso herb sauce
- 5 garlic cloves
- 4 Tbsp. white or yellow miso
- 2 Tbsp. honey or maple syrup
- 2 Tbsp. soy sauce
- pinch of red pepper flakes
- 6 Tbsp. orange juice
- 2/3 cup rice vinegar
- 3-4 packed cups basil leaves
- 2 packed cups cilantro
- 5-6 Tbsp. toasted sesame oil
- 1 1/2 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil, divided
- A yellow onion, diced
- 12 oz. shitake mushrooms (halve any large ones)
- 1 1/2 cups cooked lentils
- 4 tsp. apple cider vinegar
- sea salt + pepper
- small tortillas (gluten-free, sprouted grain, rice paper, or collard greens)
- 1-2 super ripe avocados
- 3/4 cup fresh grated carrots
- micro greens, for garnish
- For the sauce, pulse the garlic cloves, miso, honey or maple syrup, soy sauce, red pepper flakes, orange juice, and rice vinegar in a food processor to blend. Once mixed, add in the herbs and give a few more pulses to chop. You want it slightly textured. With the motor going, drizzle in the oil. Taste and adjust as you prefer. Cover and set aside.
- Heat 1/2 Tbsp. of the oil in a large saute pan. Add the diced onion and saute until just translucent. Add the mushrooms and a pinch of salt and just leave them to heat up and start to release moisture.
- Once the mushrooms have reduced in size, about 4 minutes, add the remaining oil and saute to mix.
- Add the lentils and another pinch of salt and pepper and saute to warm through. Lastly, add the vinegar and stir to scrape up any brown bits in the pan.
- For the assembly line of the tacos, heat the tortillas over a stove flame or broil in oven until toasted. Smash about a quarter of an avocado down the center. Top it with a few pinches of grated carrots, a portion of the mushroom mixture, a generous dose of the sauce (you will want more later!) and top with the micro greens. Enjoy warm.
[adapted from the sproutedkitchen.com]
and for dessert…
Prepare yourself for honey-sweet and healthy indulgence. If you’re in creamy mood, some type of coconut icing, like this, would also be divine.
honey-soaked, spiced carrot cake
- 3 cups blanched almond flour
- 2 tsp sea salt
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1 TBS cinnamon
- 1 tsp nutmeg
- 5 eggs
- 1/2 cup honey
- 1 1/2 cups coconut milk
- 1/4 cup grapeseed oil
- 3 cups carrots, grated
- 1 cup raisins
- 1 cup walnuts
- 1 cup coconut milk
- 1/2-1 cup honey (depending on how sweet you like it)
- 1/4 cup coconut oil
- Grease two, round 9 Inch cake pans. Preheat oven to 325°.
- In a large bowl, combine almond flour, salt, baking soda, cinnamon and nutmeg.
- In a separate bowl, mix together eggs, honey, coconut milk, and oil. Stir carrots, raisins and walnuts into wet ingredients. Stir wet ingredients into dry.
- Pour batter into the two pans. [May be a bit crumbly.] Bake for 35 minutes.
- While baking, heat the coconut milk and honey in a saucepan until hot and incorporated.
- Remove from heat and stir in the coconut oil until melted.
- Place mixture in a jar or bowl and place in the freezer for until cake is cool.
- Cool cake to room temperature. Spread honey mixture into one half of cake. Place the other half on top. Spread more honey sauce on top. Serve with the remaining sauce.
I wish you the deliciousness of this meal and the love of phenomenal friends to share it with!