Best D*** Tomatillo Salsa

Posted on Leave a commentPosted in Mexican, sauce, Tacos, Vegan, Vegetarian
Best Damn Tomatillo Salsa
Prep Time
5 mins
Cook Time
10 mins
Total Time
15 mins

This quick and easy tomatillo salsa is full of flavor and easy to make for all your salsa needs 

Course: Sauce
Cuisine: Mexican
  • 1 lb Tomatillos
  • 1/2 yellow onion
  • 1 jalapeno
  • cilantro
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 1 lime
  • 1/2 cup water
  • salt
  • pepper
  • olive oil
  1. Remove husk from tomatillos, rinse and slice them in half. Slice an onion in half and remove the husk. Store the other half of the onion. Remove stem from jalapeno and slice in half.

  2. In a large pan, drizzle olive oil and turn the stove on medium heat. Once the oil begins to sizzle, add tomatillos open face side down, jalapenos, and onions, cook for about 5 minutes on one side until tomatillos and onions begin to caramelize. After 5 minutes, turn the tomatillos to the opposite side and add the garlic. Cook for another 5 minutes and then remove from heat. 

  3. Using a blender, add tomatillos, onions, jalapenos, garlic, and cilantro. Pulse until well combined. Add water and lime juice and pulse for 2-3 seconds. 

  4. Pour salsa into a jar and salt and pepper to taste.

Cuban Inspired Vegan Tacos

Posted on Leave a commentPosted in All, Mexican, Tacos, Vegan, Vegetarian



There’s nothing that wins more hearts than Tacos.Tacos are easily versatile and are packed with flavor from many components. These tacos offer savory deep flavors from the black beans paired with sweet plantains and topped with a spicy tomatillo salsa that delivers just the right amount of heat.

Growing up, my mother made sure taco Tuesday was always in full swing. My parents always made fresh salsa, pico, beans, and rice to go with our tacos. We would sit at the table devouring tacos with every topping and then we would always save the left over salsa to go with the tortilla chips for our family game night.

Game night was almost always on a Friday night. We always played Dominoes, Phase Ten and the game I hate most of all… MONOPOLY.

I sucked, still suck at that god-awful, dehumanizing, scheming ass of a game.

Who makes a game about building and destroying neighborhoods? Then turn around and exploit innocent bypassers for money.

Terrible, terrible game but I digress.

Make these tacos and don’t play monopoly for a flavor fun night!

Let me know what your favorite games are for family game night!

Cuban Inspired Vegan Tacos
Prep Time
20 mins
Cook Time
20 mins
Total Time
40 mins

Sweet, spicy, savory and every thing nice. These Cuban inspired tacos are here to switch up your taco Tuesday nights.

Course: Main Course
Cuisine: cuban, Mexican
Servings: 4 people
  • 3 plantains
  • 2 russet potatoes, diced
  • 1 red bell pepper, sliced
  • 8 Corn tortillas
  • Tomatillo or green salsa
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil
Black Beans
  • 2 15oz cans of black beans
  • 1/2 cup water or vegetable broth
  • 1/2 red bell pepper, diced
  • 1/4 cup yellow onions, diced
  • 1/4 cup chopped cilantro
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1/2 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  1. Peel and slice plantains about 1/4 inch thick and set aside

  2. Drain 1 can of black beans. In a medium pot on medium heat, add black beans, water or broth, diced red bell pepper, onion, cilantro, cumin, paprika, oregano, onion powder, garlic powder, salt, black pepper. bring a pot to a boil and then cover and reduce to a simmer for 10 minutes and remove from heat.

  3. In a large non-stick pan over medium-high heat, add vegetable oil. Once the oil is hot. Add diced potatoes and cook for10 minutes or until potatoes are tender and golden brown. Remove potatoes from oil and set aside.

  4. In a medium non-stick pan on medium high heat, add olive oil. Add plantains to the pan and cook for 2 minutes on each side until golden brown and plantain no longer sticks to the pan.If you try to flip the plantain and its still stuck to pan it is not ready, 

  5. Add red bell peppers to the same pan once you have cooked your plantains. Cook peppers for 3-5 minutes until tender.

  6. Grill or warm tortillas. Build tacos starting with beans, potatoes, then red peppers, plantains and top with tomatillo salsa. 

Healthy Comfort, Quick and Easy Lentils

Posted on Leave a commentPosted in All, Healthy, Soup, Vegan, Vegetable, Vegetarian
Vegan Lentil potato soup


Does anyone else have an insane obsession with soup? I eat canned soup (I’m not ashamed.) store bought deli soup, Panera bread soups, the ultra amazing Zuppa Toscana from Olive Garden ( I’ll be sharing my homemade version shortly so stay tuned!) chilis, chowders, pho, ramen etc. I love anything with a broth base.

I love the way flavors develop the longer soup sits and I especially love how you can practically throw anything in it and call it a day. Soups are great for a quick and easy meal prep or when you need to make a few dollars stretch throughout the week.

As a kid, my favorite was my papa’s oxtail stew and my mothers chicken and dumplings.

Fost of my childhood, I was pretty confused about what an oxtail even was. Was it really an ox? Was it really the tail of an ox? I didn’t really care too much to seek out the answer. The only thing that mattered to me was how good it tasted every time I went back to visit my papa.

He always had this raggedy old pot where the handles had fallen off and the bottom was scratched beyond recognition. Was the inside of the pot supposed to be black or silver?

It sat on top of this stove where the where one burner didn’t work and the other got way too hot and would burn your food the minute you sneezed.

But what came out of that raggedy old pot was second to none. Hearty oxtails that fell off the bone into a flavorful broth with tomatoes, okra and potatoes. It doesn’t get any more southern than okra and potatoes, right?

In my adult life, I have tried to replicate both my mother’s and papa’s recipes though I come close, it just doesn’t quite taste the same as theirs.

This soup is full of pantry staples. If you’re a plant based enthusiast like me, then the only thing you may actually need is the lentils. For my bonafide vegans, well  I am sure you have a bag or two of lentils just waiting.

Lentils have actually grown to be one of my favorite legumes and it beats the flavor of quinoa on any day. Lentils are tender, versatile and absorb flavor so well. you can check out my  BBQ lentil loaf recipe here

Lentil and Potato Soup
Prep Time
10 mins
Cook Time
40 mins
Total Time
50 mins

Make this quick and easy lentil dish with the  fridge staples you already have

Course: Main Course, Soup
Cuisine: American
Servings: 6 people
  • 1 1/2 cups lentils
  • 8 cups vegetable stock
  • 1 yellow onion, diced
  • 2 tsp minced garlic
  • 1 carrot, diced
  • 1 celery stalk, diced
  • 2 cups chopped collard greens
  • 4 yukon gold potatoes, diced
  • 1 tbsp onion powwder
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • olive oil
  1. In a large pot on medium heat, drizzle olive oil. Add onions and garlic and simmer until translucent.

  2. Pour vegetable stock into the pot and turn the heat on high. Bring stock to a boil and add lentils, carrots, and celery. Reduce to medium heat and cook lentils for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the potatoes, onion powder, garlic powder, turmeric, and  cayenne pepper. Continue to cook on medium heat until the potatoes are tender.

  3. Add your collard greens to the pot and simmer for 10 minutes.

  4. Reduce to low heat. Salt and pepper to taste and enjoy!

Get Ready to Lick Your Fingers, It's that good!
The Game Day Wings You Will Be Eating All Season
Lentil Meatless Loaf

Lentil Meatless Loaf

Posted on Leave a commentPosted in All, Bake, Vegan, Vegetarian


There is nothing that says my childhood more than meatloaf. I understand that for a lot of people, meatloaf is a symbol for mushy, flavorless loaf of anxiety and despair paired with a cry for help to the family dog.

Coated in either ketchup or gravy,  Meatloaf was a Sunday dinner staple that always had to be paired with creamy buttery mashed potatoes.

My mother has meatloaf down to a science. Her meatloaf is never mushy, nor dry. Her bell peppers and onions were never too big. My mother’s meatloaf was always full of flavor and had the just the right amount of sauce.

In fact, her meatloaf was so good, she often made two of them. Neither of them ever accidentally ended up on the floor.

So imagine the phone call between me and my mother when I told her instead of making her world class meatloaf I was instead making a meatless version using lentils.

My mother holds her tongue for no one so the conversation went a little like this,

*I call my mother Ma. Something I think I picked up from re-watching every season of the Golden Girls a million times. Don’t you just love the relationship between Sophia and Dorothy?

Anyways, here is how our conversation went.

Ma: Hello.. What?

Me: What are you doing?

Ma: Nothing. Watching this show.

Me: What did you cook today?

Ma: Some Enchiladas with beans and rice salad. It was good.

Me: Hmm that sounds soo gooood.

Ma: What are you cooking?

Me: a lentil loaf

Ma: a WHAT??


Ma: What the hell is a lentil loaf?

Me: It’s like a meatloaf. Instead of using meat you use mashed lentils.

Ma: Hmm….bet you wouldn’t be making no lentil loaf if you were back in Texas.

So you can see how this conversation carried out. My mother attributes every healthy meal I make to living in California and how it has brainwashed me. Eating meat and watching football is practically a religion in Texas so in her eyes, I have pretty much denounced my faith.

This recipe, however, would make the most Texan carnivore a believer that meatless Mondays are life.

This lentil loaf is quick, moist and full of flavor.

give this recipe a try and let me know what you think.

Simple Lentil Meatless Loaf
Prep Time
10 mins
Cook Time
1 hrs 20 mins
Total Time
1 hrs 30 mins

This veggie meatloaf is perfect for the bonafide vegetarian or the curious meatless Monday Enthusiast. Pair it with your favorite green vegetables and herb roasted potatoes.

Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Author: Ariana Lawrence
  • 2 cups lentils
  • 1/4 cup diced yellow onions
  • 1/4 cup chopped mushrooms
  • 1 celery stalk finely diced
  • 3 cups vegetable broth or water
  • 1/4 cup masa harina
  • 2 tbsp chopped parsley
  • 1 tsp dried thyme
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 3 tbsp barbecue sauce
  • 1 tbsp ketchup
  • olive oil
  1. Add lentils and stock to a medium pot and soak for 10 minutes. 

  2. Place the pot on the stove and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 40-50 minutes.

  3. In a small saute pan, drizzle olive oil and bring to medium heat. Add onions, mushrooms, and celery to the pan. saute vegetables until translucent and remove from heat.

  4. Remove lentils from the stove and pour cooked lentils into a medium bowl.

  5. Add Vegetables, thyme, parsley, onion, powder, garlic powder, and masa harina to lentils. Using your hands or a masher, mash lentil mix together leaving some texture.

  6. line a loaf pan with parchment paper and pour lentil loaf mix into a pan.

  7. Press your mix into the pan and smooth out the top and corners.

  8. Spread you glaze over your loaf and bake in the oven for 40 minutes.

  9. Remove from oven and serve with veggie, potatoes and enjoy!

  1. Mix your barbecue sauce and ketchup together in a small bowl.