For some, picking a career is the results of many painstakingly calculated choices, which may, possibly bring you one step closer to doing something you might enjoy. For others, it sometimes seems that life’s swirls, softly and elegantly navigated eventually gently push you towards your purpose. Discussing food and life choices with Maia from MaiasGreenMedicine.com instantaneously gives you a sense that all resistance is futile and that, to uncover your true calling, all you need to do is pause, listen, and adjust your sail towards its intended destination.
This graduate from the Institute for Integrative Nutrition in New York, is also a recent entrepreneur and a self-proclaimed “passionate cook, mother, dreamer and doer”.
I feel giddy as I hear part of her job is to invent recipes for a living. She laughs and explains: ” It’s much more than matching ingredients into a recipe! I truly enjoy taking different people lifestyle and needs and turn them into more holistic ways to fit into to their busy life”. While we assemble the ingredients for the tacos, she develops her coaching approach in which food is only one component of her holistic approach; as part of her workshops she also tackles essential well-being cornerstones such as sports, career, love, relationship and stress levels.
” Most of my recipes are low on gluten, dairy products and refined sugar, with less meat at the center to shift the focus on plant-based dishes, using natural and ecological produce whenever possible.”
… And it shows! The cabbage shine a bright purple, glistening only thanks to the soft touch of the apple cider vinegar. The black beans paste is placed generously on the griddled tortilla, a creamy cradle for the crunch of the sweet corn, onion & cilantro salad. From where I stand, there seems to have infinite ways to combine the side dishes into yet another delightful mouthful!
We may have arrived frozen, an hour late, carrying photography equipment by foot due to a relentless snowstorm, but we leave Maia’s home warmed-up, and deliciously inspired by yet another food hero of Helsinki!
Maia’s warming Vegan bean tacos – (4 persons)
This recipe requires some preping in advance, you can cut corner by buying already cooked beans*, but if at all possible do try the recipe from scratch on a lazy sunday, as the result is well worth it! To find the corn tortillas featured on this post check the frozen section in your supermarket for those handmade smaller and more authentic version. If you are feeling courageous you can also do prepare them using Daniele’s Recipe
*If using dried beans, soak them overnight and boil until tender (about 45 minutes to one hour). You can cook a big batch at once and freeze in portions sizes to have at hand for fast weeknight dinners.
- 7 dl cooked black (or other) beans
- 1 big yellow onion
- 2-3 cloves of garlic
- 2-3 tsp ground coriander
- 2-3 tsp Cumin (also known as Jeera or juustokumina in Finland)
- 2 tsp smoked paprika
- salt according to taste (use a salt with smoke flavor if you have one at hand)
- 5-6 tbsp. olive oil for frying
- Chop the onion and add to a big frying pan together with a good amount of olive oil.
- Fry the onions gently on medium heat for about 10 minutes.
- Chop the garlic and add to the onion & add your spices. Make sure you have enough oil in the pan so it doesn’t dry out from the spices.
- Then add you beans along with 200-300 ml of the cooking liquid or water and stir everything together.
- Roughly Smash the beans with potato smasher, a fork or use a hand mixer to make it into a paste. Add more liquid if needed until you reach your desired consistency.
Sweet corn with red onion and cilantro
- 4 dl cooked sweet corn
- ½ red onion
- 2-3 tbsp. chopped cilantro
- the juice of 1/2 lime
- a splash (or two) of apple cider vinegar (1-2 tbsp.)
- 1 tbsp. olive oil
- salt and pepper to taste
- Cook the corn and drain well. (you can also get organic corns from a can)
- Finely chop the red onion and place in a bowl.
- Sprinkle with lime juice and apple cider vinegar and toss to take the edge off the onion.
- Chop the cilantro (include finely chopped stalks as well to intensify favor), place in the bowl with the onion together with the sweet corn.
- Season with salt, pepper and olive oil and mix well.
- 200 ml oat fraiche
- as many chipotle chilies as you can bare OR chipotle chili hot sauce
- Put the chipotles and oat fraiche in a bowl and mix with a hand mixer.
- Taste and add more chili to your liking.
- If using hot sauce, simply mix the desired quantity with the oat fraiche.
Shredded red cabbage
- About 2 cups shredded cabbage
- ½ tsp sea salt
- pepper to taste
- 2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
- 2 tsp honey (or maple syrup for a vegan version)
- Finely slice the cabbage with a sharp knife or use a cheese slicer.
- Place in a bowl and sprinkle with salt, pepper and apple cider vinegar.
- Add the honey or maple syrup and massage the sauce into the cabbage using your hand(s).
- You’ll feel the cabbage start to soften after a little while which will intensify the favors and nicely soften the texture of the cabbage.
Assemble & Serve the Tacos:
- Corn tortillas
- 1 Lime
- 1 – 2 avocados Chopped in wedges
- chopped cilantro to taste
- Assemble the tacos right before serving;
- Heat the tortillas on a griddle or in a frying pan.
- Keep them warm inside a clean kitchen towel.
- Add all the ingredients to a tortilla, sprinkle with lime juice, avocado wedges and chopped cilantro and enjoy!