This is one of my dinner go-to's. It's simple, satisfying and versatile, easily modified according to personal preferences or time of day. Packed with protein, veggies (fiber), healthy fats and clean carbohydrates, if you choose. Enjoy!
At Vukoo, you know that we strive to use the highest quality ingredients available, without compromising taste. In terms of ingredient quality in the “recipes,” er meal ideas that follow, do your best with what you can afford and with what’s available to you. If you can do organic, grass-fed, pasture-raised and/or local, great. If not, don’t let perfect be the enemy of good. If convenience options like pre-washed, pre-chopped veggies or rotisserie chickens work best for you, do that.
“Shell-less Taco Salad”
- 1 heart romaine, chopped
- 1 bell pepper*
- 1 small onion (~1/2 cup)*
- Handful fresh cilantro, chopped
- 5-6 oz. protein of choice (I like organic ground turkey, rotisserie chicken, grass-fed beef or bison)
- Spices (optional): sea salt, black pepper, chili pepper, cumin, red pepper flakes, garlic or onion powder
*I’ll often use a bag of Fire-Roasted Bell Peppers & Onions from the freezer section at Trader Joe’s for convenience.
- 2 tablespoons low-sodium salsa
- Juice of 1/2 a lime
- ~1/3 - 1/2 small avocado
- Sprinkle of nutritional yeast or almond cheese
- Wash/chop romaine, bell pepper and onion. Add romaine to large bowl. Set pepper and onion aside.
- In a large sauté pan, brown/cook meat to desired or appropriate doneness. Set aside.
- Add a bit of avocado oil or coconut oil/spray to the same pan, if needed, add onions and sauté until they brown and become translucent.
- Add chopped pepper and sauté an additional 1-2 minutes.
- Add meat back in, then season with spices according to taste.
- Top romaine with pepper, onion and meat mixture.
- Add salsa, lime juice and garnish of your choice.
NOTE: If you’re using leftover meat or rotisserie chicken, skip Step 2 and proceed with Step 3. If you’re using a frozen veggie mix, all you need to do is wash/chop the romaine. I usually steam the frozen veggies first, then add cooked meat, season and heat through.
If this is your post-workout meal, try one of the following modifications for a source of clean carbohydrate. In general, I try to keep fats in the first meal post-workout low, as dietary fat can slow the digestion and absorption of nutrients (e.g. carbs and protein) to the muscles, where they are needed for recovery.
But, do what works for YOU. Even if that means a little garnish of avocado or guacamole in your post-workout meal, or real food fuel in bar form when you find yourself busy, on-the-go and convenience trumps.
“Homemade Plantain or Sweet Potato Nachos”
- 1 medium sweet potato
- If I’m doing plantain nachos, I’ll usually buy Plantain Strips from Whole Foods, or Plantain Chips (not the “sweet” ones) from Trader Joe’s - just tougher, and time-consuming, to get these chip-like on your own. But, doable.
- Olive oil, to coat
- Sea salt, to taste
- Preheat oven to 400F.
- Wash sweet potato, then slice into chip-like circles. Place in a large bowl. *You don’t want them so thin that they’ll burn (i.e. not floppy), but not so thick that they won’t crisp up in a reasonable time-frame.
- Drizzle potatoes with high quality olive oil (I like Kasandrinos), then toss to coat. Season with coarse sea salt, to taste, then toss again.
- Lay potatoes flat on baking sheet. Bake at 400F for approximately 15-20 minutes then reduce heat to 200-225F, flip and continue to bake, checking every 5 minutes (or so) until potatoes are chip-like.
- Remove from oven and let cool.
- Top with any/all ingredients from above according to personal preferences.
NOTE: If you’re using ready-made plantain chips, start at Step 6.
“Soft Tacos with Gluten-, Grain- and Nut-Free Tortillas”
Courtesy of ForkandBeans.com; also on the back of Otto’s bag
- 3/4 cup Otto’s Naturals Cassava Flour
- 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1/3 cup warm water
- Whisk together the flour and salt. Add the oil and warm water and knead until the dough is nice and smooth. The dough should not be dry or too wet and sticky.
- Divide into 6 balls.
- Roll each dough ball between two pieces of parchment paper until thin. or use a tortilla press.
- Heat a dry skillet over medium high heat. Once properly heated, place tortilla on skillet. Wait for air bubbles to form (approx. 1 minutes) and then flip. Each side should be slightly browned.
- Place tortillas on a plate and cover with a towel to keep warm.
- Assemble with any/all ingredients from above according to personal preferences.
If you try any of the taco variations above, post a picture of your creation(s) to our Facebook page, or tag us on Instagram (@vukoobar) – we love hearing from you and we’re all always looking for new ideas that satisfy our JERF lifestyle!