mains + sides/ recipes/ season/ summer

Purple Cabbage Tacos w/ Tangy Chipotle Aioli

Purple Cabbage Tacos w/ Spicy Chipotle Aioli | Well and Full | #vegan #plantbased #recipe

Have any of you read the Divergent series and wondered what faction you would be in? (Abnegation, Amity, Candor, Dauntless, or Erudite) I always thought I’d be in Erudite because I believe knowledge = power, and I also have a disgustingly huge collection of books (we’re talking 500+). Quick backstory: I had a hard time socializing growing up, so I read books instead. The end. Plus, there’s also the fact that I want to know about EVERYTHING and wish I could be a college student as my career. Hence, Erudite for me.

However, reading the triology, I was fascinated by the Candor faction. Everyone said what they were thinking – the honest, raw truth – regardless of any sort of emotional impact. And while that can obviously be a disaster for many reasons, how much of a relief would it be to just be honest all the time? Now, before I talk about this any further, I want to distinguish the type of honesty I mean. I notice that oftentimes people will say something really mean/harsh under the guise of “honesty”, but the intention is to hurt the other person. I’ve definitely done that before, and I’m not proud of it. However, it is possible to be honest with someone and say things that are hard to hear, but in a respectful and genuine way. It’s definitely a fine line, but the distinction is there.

I was thinking about honesty when I read this post from a blog I’ve been following, A House in the Hills. The author, Sarah, is one of the most open bloggers I’ve read, and she doesn’t hold back from sharing her life with her readers. In a recent post, she shared a question she had received from a reader, asking her how she funds her lifestyle. A very personal question, to be sure. But still a valid one. Even as a blogger myself, I wonder how others in this field “fund” their work – whether it be designer clothes, expensive ingredients, what have you. But the question Sarah received was not just about money. She was also asked, in essence, “How are you so put-together? How do you make it all work?” Sarah gave a very genuine answer, but the question itself is what I want to address in this post.

Reading Sarah’s blog post made me question how I might seem to other people. If you only knew me from my blog, or from what I’ve posted on my personal Instagram, or from what I’ve posted on Facebook, I would venture to say that it would look like I had my sh!t together. And I feel very strongly that I should tell you today that it is not the case.

I supposed I have it “all together” in some ways – I have a job, I have a car, good family and friends, and I don’t really “want” for anything. However, I have doubt. I have uncertainty. I have a pile of dishes in the sink and a credit card payment that needs to be made. I have insecurity. I have fear for the future, uncertain of what’s to come. I have a stressful job in finance. And, above all, I have been sick for many months, dealing with an ambiguous digestive illness that has caused me a great deal of pain and isolation, triggering psychological repercussions that have affected every aspect of my life. So no, I don’t think I really have it together.

I’ve said that part of the inspiration for the creation of this blog was to aid in my journey back to health. But behind every colorful photo and cheerful comment, there has been a sleepless night curled up on the couch, doubled over in pain from my stomach… a missed happy hour with friends, afraid that I would get sick in front of them all… tearful nights, wondering why my medicine wasn’t working… and countless days of work missed, terrified that I would have gastrointestinal distress in front of my coworkers. I’m not writing all of this to elicit pity – that’s the last thing I want. But what I do want to convey is that appearances are deceivingIf I’ve ever come off as “having it all together”, I want to apologize for that, sincerely. My photos may be neat but my life is most certainly messy. AND THAT IS OKAY. To every single person in the world doubting themselves, including myself, I say to you:

Nobody has it all together.

Purple Cabbage Tacos w/ Spicy Chipotle Aioli | Well and Full | #vegan #plantbased #recipe

Purple Cabbage Tacos w/ Tangy Chipotle Aioli

Crunchy and refreshing, these cabbage tacos are light on calories but big on flavor!
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes


Oven-Baked Zucchini

  • 2 Medium Zucchini sliced into thin rounds
  • Drizzle of Extra Virgin Olive Oil for baking
  • Sprinkle of Salt + Pepper

Chipotle Aioli

  • 1/3 Cup Cashews soaked
  • 1 Adobo Chile in sauce
  • 1/2 Tbsp Dijon Mustard
  • 2 Tbsp Almond Milk
  • 2 Tbsp Water
  • 3 Tsp Apple Cider Vinegar
  • 1/2 Tsp Salt
  • Pinch Turmeric optional

Cabbage Tacos

  • 1 Head Purple Cabbage
  • Raw Hemp Seeds for garnish
  • Arugula


Oven-Baked Zucchini

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
  2. Wash and dry zucchini. Using a mandoline (or by hand), slice zucchini into thin rounds, about 1/2 inch thick.
  3. Lay zucchini rounds on a baking sheet and drizzle evenly with extra virgin olive oil. Sprinkle with a pinch of salt and pepper.
  4. Bake in oven for about 30 minutes, or until brown. Be sure to check often so you don't burn your zucchini!

Tangy Chipotle Aioli

  1. Prep the cashews by soaking for at least two hours or overnight.
  2. Combine all aioli ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth.

Putting It All Together

  1. To assemble the tacos, separate the leaves from the purple cabbage. It helps if you cut off the bottom where the leaves all come together!
  2. Line cabbage leaves with a handful of arugula, and add zucchini on top.
  3. Drizzle with the chipotle aioli, and top with crunchy hemp seeds.
  4. Enjoy!

Purple Cabbage Tacos w/ Spicy Chipotle Aioli | Well and Full | #vegan #plantbased #recipe

I leave you all with a quote:

Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle. 

Song of the Day:

Worrywart – Radiohead


  • Reply
    Sophie | The Green Life
    August 11, 2015 at 12:23 am

    This is so true. Life portrayed through social media and blogs always seems flawless. And we so easily get caught up into wishing we had other people’s lives, possessions, successes or number of followers. But there’s no such thing as a perfect life and behind every single one of these beautiful facades lies a human being, with his flaws, struggles and fights. Thank you for this heartfelt, honest post. Sending some healing vibes your way!

    • Reply
      August 11, 2015 at 8:35 am

      Thank you so much Sophie, I really appreciate your note :) I love the way you put it – behind every beautiful facade is a human being.

  • Reply
    genevieve @ gratitude & greens
    August 11, 2015 at 8:49 am

    YES. So much yes. I was having this exact same conversation with my cousin in the car the other day, when we were talking about the difficult road to success. She’s an entrepreneur and someone I would call successful, and we talked about how all we ever see or hear about are the success stories or the “end product”. We never actually see the tough challenges people have to face in order to get where they are and the bad days that they, like everyone else, must experience. With blogging and social media, you only see the more put-together side of people that they choose to share. Whenever I feel down about where I am in my career or life in general I just remind myself that nobody has it all together and that there are other people in the same position as me, or were, at some point. I hope you feel better soon, digestive system wise! That sounds painful, difficult, and terrifying. On a happier note, I was also a huge reader when I was a kid. I still am! I have a dangerous habit of buying more books than I can read. I have never read the Divergent series but my sister is obsessed with them- I think they are the only books she has read more than once, and I know she’s seen the movie at least 5 times!

    • Reply
      August 11, 2015 at 10:10 am

      There’s this quote I really like that I heard somewhere… “On social media, you see the highlight reel, not the outtakes.” I think that really gets right to the heart of it. Even the people who seem super successful could (and probably do) have things going on in the background that we just don’t ever see. It’s really hard to keep that in mind when you see that person – like a blog that has 8,000 shares to pinterest, or a small business owner that has a successful company. Even those people have their own personal struggles.
      And thank you so much for your kind words about my health, it’s been a rough time but I think I’m getting on the upswing :)

  • Reply
    Ilona @ Ilona's Passion
    August 11, 2015 at 11:32 am

    I love baked zucchini! Such a delicious dinner. Pinning:)

    • Reply
      August 11, 2015 at 1:56 pm

      Thanks girl! :)

  • Reply
    August 11, 2015 at 2:19 pm

    Oh girl, I wish I could give you a giant hug and make your illness go away!! The tiny toe-in-the-water exposure I’ve had to food issues gives me oceans of sympathy for you. I hope you find a solution soon!! Also, your photos are GORGEOUS. Like so so stunning. They’re giving me a very Oh Ladycakes kind of vibe! (And I love her, so that’s a huge compliment). I can’t wait to read Sarah’s post–I’ve been falling behind in my blog reading but I do love her blog and I have a feeling I will totally relate to her post the way you did. Thanks for the wonderful, thoughtful post! <3

    • Reply
      August 11, 2015 at 3:43 pm

      I am a HUGE fan of Ashlae over at Oh Ladycakes, so this was pretty much the biggest compliment ever <3 <3 Thank you so much for your kind words, Erika! :)

  • Reply
    Jessie Snyder | Faring Well
    August 11, 2015 at 3:22 pm

    YES to books being our friends! I was the same ;). And if you ever find out how to be a professional student SIGN ME UP. That would be HEAVEN! As for all your tummy issues and “not having it together” oh girl do I hear you. Actually going to be talking about that a bit tomorrow. Big time hugs to you for writing this, plus the gorgeous recipe (!!!)

    • Reply
      August 11, 2015 at 3:43 pm

      I’ll keep on the lookout for your post tomorrow girl! It’s always the first thing I check in my inbox Wednesday mornings :)

  • Reply
    August 11, 2015 at 3:58 pm

    Bravo, bravo! Just gorgeous. *insert clappy hands emoji :D

    • Reply
      August 11, 2015 at 6:11 pm

      Aww thanks Dana!! :)

  • Reply
    Kathryn @ The Scratch Artist
    August 11, 2015 at 4:25 pm

    Wow Sarah,

    There is so much to respond to in this post. Much of what you said resonates with me.

    When I feel the urge to tell something bluntly or share what I think will be a challenging truth to hear, I ask myself what my intent is. Is it to contribute to the person in front of me? Or, do I have an axe to grind that has nothing to do with them and everything to do with me and what I need to resolve within myself? When I hear myself up on my high-horse, (in my own head) I really try to focus more on telling a truth about myself rather than trying to get someone else to see a truth about themselves.

    Second, I applaud your endeavor to show what is real. This is absolutely my intent in life and of course with my blog. The people who have been the biggest contribution to me in my life have been those who have shown me who they are, really. Not a polished version of who they think I want to see, but really who they are. That is inspiring to me and it is precisely why I am committed to being real with others.

    I think a mistake that most of us make at one point or another (or maybe lots of points, as was very true for me when I was a bit younger), is that we compare our inner world (what we think and feel) to everyone else’s outer world. Not a fair comparison! And it is not surprising that we always find ourselves falling short. We see our whole picture and only a piece of the picture with respect to others, and even then we only see the pieces that they choose to show or reveal.

    I imagine there is nothing I can say that will be helpful regarding your digestive issues. I’ve been in that situation and I know how challenging, frustrating, and demoralizing it can be to not know what is causing the distress. I hope things improve soon. All of your food certainly looks digestively soothing.

    • Reply
      August 11, 2015 at 9:07 pm

      Thank you so much for your thoughtful note, Kathryn! I truly believe that comparison is the thief of joy, but it’s so easy to get caught up in what others are achieving – especially when you’re only seeing the highlights, not the effort and hardship that went into creating that success. So when people reveal their true selves to others – good and bad – I really respect the honesty in that gesture.

  • Reply
    Jessie @ Chasing Belle
    August 11, 2015 at 9:10 pm

    First time on your blog and I am so happy that this is the recipe I got greeted with. Beyond beautiful and looks tasty too :)

    • Reply
      August 11, 2015 at 9:52 pm

      Thank you so much for stopping by, Jessie! :)

  • Reply
    Danielle + Rooting The Sun
    August 12, 2015 at 10:21 pm

    Hi Sarah. Very beautiful recipe – visually stunning and the components are an approximation of health and satisfaction. I’d also like to say thanks for giving forth a solid point of honesty and question. It’s interesting to think about how much time we spend polishing ourselves for publication on the internet. Social media is all encompassing and has the ability to strip away from our core – but truly it’s our core that we are offering forth. The underlying issues and imperfections generate us as a whole – we wouldn’t be able to stand up tall without them. We don’t know one another but I send you much love, xo. .

    • Reply
      August 13, 2015 at 7:58 am

      Thank you so much for your thoughtful note, Danielle! I really like the way you put it – we spend so much time “polishing” ourselves for publication. That is true. And whenever we look around we see the others who have done likewise. It’s a vicious cycle.
      Sending you love as well XO

  • Reply
    Meg @ Noming thru Life
    August 13, 2015 at 1:47 am

    Ohhhhh do these look gooooooooood. Also…
    1) I echo you on the college student lifer desire.
    2) I don’t think anyone has their shit together (also I wrote number 2 before your final line in your post, so I guess I don’t have to tell you lol). I think we are all on this journey that most of the time has us lost, in a daze or questioning.
    3) I’m sorry for your pain. So many people are suffering on so many different levels and the worst but sometimes comforting part is that the world keeps turning. It’s the worst because no one really knows, and you feel so alone. Comforting (at times) because with time can come cures, peace of mind, forgiveness and acceptance. I hope you are able to find what you need with time. I so often have wanted to be rash on my blog but fear the cruelty that some seem to not be able to live without, and how that cruelty directed towards me and my honesty could having negative implications on myself. So for now I’ve yet to lay it all out. I applaud you for your honesty.
    4) HUGS!

    • Reply
      August 13, 2015 at 8:17 am

      Aww thank you Meg!! Sending you a huge hug right back!

  • Reply
    Amanda - RunToTheFinish
    August 13, 2015 at 4:39 pm

    oh my gosh these are like the most beautiful tacos ever!!! yeah for showing people how wonderful plant based meals are!!

    • Reply
      August 13, 2015 at 8:41 pm

      Aww thank you Amanda!! :)

  • Reply
    Heather @ Cook It Up Paleo
    August 13, 2015 at 9:02 pm

    Oh yum! These look amazing and your photography is awesome, too!

    • Reply
      August 14, 2015 at 8:14 am

      Thank you so much Heather!! :)

  • Reply
    Pang {circahappy}
    August 13, 2015 at 9:51 pm

    Recipe & photos are gorgeous, Sarah. Though I am sending you big hugs from SF and hope that you feel better soon. Oh and btw, I am also want to be a professional student. It would be so great to learn whatever we want and don’t need to worry about earning a living. :)

    • Reply
      August 14, 2015 at 8:15 am

      Thank you so much, Pang! Sending you a big hug right back :)

  • Reply
    Audrey @ Unconventional Baker
    August 14, 2015 at 3:26 am

    WOW, that tangi chipotle aioli sounds amazing! And love that purple cabbage — colorful foods make me happy :)

    • Reply
      August 14, 2015 at 8:15 am

      Colorful foods make me happy too! :D And I’m not going to lie, the chipotle aioli was pretty bangin’ ;)

  • Reply
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    Karissa @ Vegan A La Mode
    August 16, 2015 at 2:22 pm

    Wow Sarah these photos are gorgeous! I love the purple lettuce paired with the green zucchini and vibrant aioli! I love lettuce tacos, these look so yummy!

    • Reply
      August 17, 2015 at 9:32 am

      Thanks Karissa! :)

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  • Reply
    July 2, 2016 at 5:56 pm

    Hi Sarah I found your blog today thanks to MNBR, I loved this post, so open and heartfelt ! and the recipe too! <3

    • Reply
      July 3, 2016 at 10:48 am

      Thank you so much for your kind note, Alejandra! I’m glad you liked the recipe!! :D

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