Corn & Zucchini Tacos with Chickpea & Walnut 'Meat'

This is one of the best weeknight meals around, vegan or otherwise! These tacos are super fast, healthy, there’s very little prep, everyone loves them, the tacos are customizable to tastes, and they leave little cleanup. A giant win in my book!

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These aren’t much to look at, but I guarantee you that everyone is going to love them! Quite possibly one of Todd and my favorite meals, these tacos are so quick and easy to whip up. Perfect for a busy weeknight. Oliver really enjoyed putting the lettuce on the tacos too, so kid-friendly! Yay!

Have you watched the Tidying Up with Marie Kondo show on Netflix? I read her book several years ago and still fold my clothes in her very particular way, even though I found the book to be slightly absurd. We watched the show a couple weeks ago and pretty much turned our house upside-down. I don’t know what it was about actually watching her go through with people and help them ‘tidy up’ but it really made an impact on us. If you haven’t seen it, it’s definitely worth the watch! Okay, PSA over. Now it’s taco-time!!

Corn & Zucchini Tacos with Chickpea & Walnut 'Meat' - Produce On Parade - This is one of the best weeknight meals around, vegan or otherwise! These tacos are super fast, healthy, there’s very little prep, everyone loves them, the tacos are customizable to tastes, and they leave little cleanup. A giant win in my book!

Corn & Zucchini Tacos with Chickpea & Walnut 'Meat'


Corn & Zucchini Tacos with Chickpea & Walnut 'Meat'
By

This is one of the best weeknight meals around, vegan or otherwise! These tacos are super fast, healthy, there’s very little prep, everyone loves them, the tacos are customizable to tastes, and they leave little cleanup. A giant win in my book!

Ingredients
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 15 oz can of sweet corn, drained well
  • 2-3 small zucchinis, diced small
  • 1 15 oz can of chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 1 ¼ cup whole raw walnuts
  • 2 ½ tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp ground cumin
  • 2 tsp chili powder
  • 2 tsp garlic powder
  • ½ small head of romaine lettuce, chopped
  • 20 cherry tomatoes, halved
  • ⅓ cup fresh cilantro, chopped
  • 8-10 taco-size flour tortillas
  • Sprinkle of shredded vegan mozzarella
  • Spoonful of salsa, to taste
Ingredients
  1. Over medium, heat the oil in a large frying pan. Once hot, saute the corn and zucchini for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until they begin to brown. Remove from heat and set aside.
  2. While the veggies fry, place the chickpeas through the garlic powder into a food processor. Pulse several times, until the mixture resembles taco meat. There should be small chunky bits of walnuts and chickpeas, and the spices should be well blended. Transfer to a microwave safe bowl.
  3. Prep the veggies. Microwave the taco meat for about 1-2 minutes, until warm. Heat the stack of tortillas in the microwave for about 15-30 seconds, to heat.
  4. To assemble the tacos, place lettuce on one taco, followed by taco meat and pan-fried veggies and then the remaining veggies. Top with a sprinkle of shredded vegan mozzarella and a spoonful of salsa, to taste, on each taco. Divide the fillings evenly between all the tortillas. Serve hot.

Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Yield: 8-10 tacos
Corn & Zucchini Tacos with Chickpea & Walnut 'Meat' - Produce On Parade - This is one of the best weeknight meals around, vegan or otherwise! These tacos are super fast, healthy, there’s very little prep, everyone loves them, the tacos are customizable to tastes, and they leave little cleanup. A giant win in my book!

Walnut Crusted Pear-Ginger Tart

If you're like me, you just got a legion of pears in your produce box.

It was quite a thrilling experience though, I must say. This go-around, they were red pears! Huzzah! Growing up in Alaska, I've never seen red pears before (I don't want your pity.) They were the most beautiful pears I'd ever laid my eyes upon and I knew they had to go towards something special. 

Everyone is poaching pears it seems, but I don't know think that's my thing. It seems a bit too stuffy of a dish. So very bovaristic. Besides, I don't like the name. I find them intimidating. And I wouldn't go as far to say that poached pears creep me out, buuut...yes. That is what I am saying. They're weird and make me want to run away. All naked and strange. There is no logic for this, I am fully aware. 

Produce On Parade - Walnut Crusted Pear-Ginger Tart - An inspiring vacation from the apple and pumpkin pies of the season. Fresh ginger and juicy pears lay abed a sweet walnut crust.
If you want to find happiness, find gratitude.
— Steve Maraboli

Anyways, moving on. This tart. It's an inspiring departure from the apple and pumpkin pies of the season. Such narcissists, don't you think? Share the spotlight a little won't you?Fresh ginger and juicy pear lay abed this sweet walnut and date crust. A novel dessert for this Thanksgiving. Just push aside the other desserts for later.

Produce On Parade - Walnut Crusted Pear-Ginger Tart - An inspiring vacation from the apple and pumpkin pies of the season. Fresh ginger and juicy pears lay abed a sweet walnut crust.
Produce On Parade - Walnut Crusted Pear-Ginger Tart - An inspiring vacation from the apple and pumpkin pies of the season. Fresh ginger and juicy pears lay abed a sweet walnut crust.
Produce On Parade - Walnut Crusted Pear-Ginger Tart - An inspiring vacation from the apple and pumpkin pies of the season. Fresh ginger and juicy pears lay abed a sweet walnut crust.

This ginger, I had just bought from the store and whoa doggy...it was spicy as hell!! I had to scrape off the ginger bits because I didn't mince them as well as I intended. Doh! Use your brain and use a grater...unlike me. 

Produce On Parade - Walnut Crusted Pear-Ginger Tart - An inspiring vacation from the apple and pumpkin pies of the season. Fresh ginger and juicy pears lay abed a sweet walnut crust.
Produce On Parade - Walnut Crusted Pear-Ginger Tart - An inspiring vacation from the apple and pumpkin pies of the season. Fresh ginger and juicy pears lay abed a sweet walnut crust.
Produce On Parade - Walnut Crusted Pear-Ginger Tart - An inspiring vacation from the apple and pumpkin pies of the season. Fresh ginger and juicy pears lay abed a sweet walnut crust.

Walnut Crusted Pear-Ginger Tart

An inspiring vacation from the apple and pumpkin pies of the season. Fresh ginger and juicy pears lay abed a sweet walnut crust. NOTES: Be sure to use grated fresh ginger, or a fresh ginger paste, or mince it into eternity. You don't want a spicy little bite of ginger! Make sure to lay the tart pan on foil, it will boil over.

Yield: 10 slices (1 8" tart)

Ingredients

  • -- Crust--
  • 1 cup whole walnuts
  • 5 medjool dates, pitted
  • 2 Tbsp. all-purpose flour
  • 1 Tbsp. whole flax seed
  • ¼ tsp. pumpkin pie spice
  • splash of maple syrup
  • pinch of kosher salt
  • -- Pears --
  • 3 large ripe (but not super ripe) pears, sliced into about 1/8 inch slices
  • 2 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice (half a lemon)
  • 2 Tbsp. vegan white sugar
  • 1 Tbsp. grated fresh ginger
  • 2 Tbsp. brown sugar

Cooking Directions

  1. In a food processor, process all the crust ingredients for a few minutes until it about forms a ball.
  2. Press into a tart pan. Preheat oven to 350 F.
  3. Place the sliced pears and remaining ingredients, excluding the brown sugar in a medium bowl and toss well to coat.
  4. Arrange in the tart pan over the uncooked crust. Top with the brown sugar.
  5. Place the tart on a foil-lined baking sheet (don’t skip this!!) in the oven for about 40 minutes until the tops of the pears are slightly browned.
  6. Remove and allow to cool completely before removing from the tart pan.
  7. Serve warm, or chilled.
Produce On Parade - Walnut Crusted Pear-Ginger Tart - An inspiring vacation from the apple and pumpkin pies of the season. Fresh ginger and juicy pears lay abed a sweet walnut crust.
Produce On Parade - Walnut Crusted Pear-Ginger Tart - An inspiring vacation from the apple and pumpkin pies of the season. Fresh ginger and juicy pears lay abed a sweet walnut crust.

Dutch Word of The Day

Snow --> Sneeuw (snee-eww)

Good Deed of The Day

So...the insane amount of snow that blanketed Buffalo, fell just short of the disputed one-day snowfall record set in Valdez, Alaska in 1963. I have no words for this, and it's not really related to the Good Deed of The Day, but...WHATISHAPPENING?! I still have no snow...in ALASKA! Now you know. Go tell your friends of your brilliant trivia. See the full story in our local Alaskan paper

Chickweed Pesto

Regardless of anyone’s dietary motivations, the healthiest lifestyle is the one that’s most compassionate.
— Steve-O

The truthest of truths from none other than Steve-O. Yep, you read that right. Anyway, another truth? Whoever came up with pesto is a god. This is a fact. Whoever first decided to make it with chickweed...also a god.  

Produce On Parade - Chickweed Pesto
Produce On Parade - Chickweed Pesto

Forget everything you know about pesto. You don't know jack unless you've made pesto with chickweed pulled from the earth yourself. It sounds harsh, but this is absolute. When I'm picking the chickweed, Basil comes crawling over like, "What about me? You're forgetting me!" and I'm all, "Get outta the way, Basil, geesh. I don't need you! I don't want you." You might be asking, "Why chickweed?" That's so weird, it's...a weed! Yes I know, but I will seriously be cultivating it henceforth my friends. Here's Bob, cultivating chickweed with me. Or maybe he's just laying there watching me...

Produce On Parade - Chickweed Pesto

Chickweed pesto is the best thing I've ever had in my entire life. This is not a joke or an over inflation. It would absolutely be my last meal on Earth. I dreamt about it last night. I've been in complete distress about what to do when winter hits and I no longer have access to the weedy greens. Is there a chickweed farm somewhere on this planet? Can I buy it and have it shipped to me? These are questions that surely need answering if I am to calm myself of my pesto craze before the snow flies. 

I made it again the other night and literally hid the evidence so my brother wouldn't find out and eat it all. He's a man obsessed too. It's all he talks about now. Unfortunately, he asked what I had for dinner and I couldn't lie because you know I am the world's worst liar. You guys, the boy flung off his shoes and ran to the kitchen...where he proceeded to eat my beloved chickweed pesto.

Produce On Parade - Chickweed Pesto

There is something so incredibly earthy about this pesto. Here's the best way I can describe it. Okay, so you know when you buy the seriously horrendous pre-ground nutmeg in those little spice bottles at the supermarket? Make it the value brand too. Okay, now remember the first time you tried freshly ground nutmeg? From an actual little nutmeg pod (who knew right)? All other pestos = value brand pre-ground nutmeg. Chickweed pesto = nutmeg freshly ground by the divine hands of Santa Marta (patron saint of cooks). Yep, that's about all you need to know. Also, if you've never had freshly ground nutmeg....OH MY GOD, stop buying the pre-ground stuff already. I know, I know, I've totally been there but if there's one spice you must, must, must grind yourself surely it is nutmeg. Everyone knows that, I'm not just being bossy. I swear. Okay, maybe a little bit. Sorry.

So gracefully make your way, nay, run outside and gather up all the goddamn chickweed you can people! You'll need less than you think. Four cups is essentially four handfuls. Find it wherever you can. Your neighbors will love your for weeding their garden, no need to even ask. It likes to grow in moist soil and/or shady areas, especially places that have been tilled, like gardens (according to my Dad). I harvest it from a part of my yard that was tore up by tire tracks this spring (not by me). 

Produce On Parade - Chickweed Pesto

And now, because I feel I must...please make sure you know what you are harvesting. If you're unsure, don't be a dolt and eat it (like me). Here's a link to all things chickweed. Also, be sure to wash it real good...erm...especially if you have furry animals around. 

Full disclosure: You may hate this. Wait, wait! Only if you're pretty indifferent to pesto to begin with (like Todd). Then don't even go here, this is some hardcore pesto. Todd told me it tasted like a freshly cut lawn and he's weirded out by the fact that I got it from the yard. He's wrong though, don't listen to his lies. It's heaven on Earth. 

Pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, and walnuts lend a softer richness than the usual pinenuts. Plus, you won't go broke making this pesto. Miso and soy sauce are added for complexity and really bring this pesto to the next level with a boost of umami flavor! 

Chickweed Pesto

Makes about 4 cups

Notes: This makes a lot of pesto so if you feel so inclined, cut the recipe in half. But I recommend just freezing the leftovers for use later. Feel free to use whatever combination of nuts you like here. 

Ingredients

  • 4 cups chickweed, washed
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1/2 cup pumpkin seeds (pepitas)
  • 1/4 cup sunflower seeds
  • 1/4 cup walnuts
  • 1/4 cup + 2 Tbsp. nutritional yeast
  • 3 fresh garlic cloves, peeled 
  • 1 Tbsp. miso paste
  • 1 Tbsp. liquid amino acids (or soy sauce)
  • 1/2 Tbsp. lemon juice
  • dash of ground black pepper

Instructions

Combine everything in a food processor and process a few minutes, until smooth. Mix into hot, cooked pasta! Or stir into quinoa, millet, couscous or stuff it into mushrooms! 

Produce On Parade - Chickweed Pesto
Produce On Parade - Chickweed Pesto

German Word of The Day

Chickweed --> Vogelmiere (fogel-meer) - Vogel means bird! 

Good Deed of The Day

Did you there's a tiger named Tony who's been enslaved as a truck stop attraction for the past 10 years, where he's confined to a 3,200 square foot cage? WTF, right?! Let's try and not be the armpit stubble of the world and allow this to continue.