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Sunday, February 13, 2011

5 Star Veggie Tacos

No no no, don't get confused - this ain't no tofu taco recipe where I tell you to go out and buy some firm little square pieces of fermented soybeans so you can slap it on a corn shell and call it a taco.  No way.  This recipe actually stems from a breakfast that Mandy and I currently enjoy of quinoa, millet, and amaranth grains done up just like grits or oatmeal...but so much better, but there's more...these three grains are three of the only ones consistently listed as alkalizing on many of the "alkalizing foods" lists that you can find in books, on the internet, wherever you can find acid/alkaline balance information on foods.  Yeah, I told you that I was on an alkalizing kick, and now I will be for life...not because of all of the breathtaking evidence for it, but for the way I feel - I've never been better.  I didn't tell you that I have started letting my former enemy (grains) slip back up and make their way back in to my digestive tract.  Well, in this case, we had a little talk over breakfast one morning, and while I was telling them how disgusted I was with the sorry excuse for food that they were, the quinoa, millet, and amaranth leapt out of the cabinet and just so happened to fall in to my mouth - along with a little bit of butter...and some salt...OK OK, I shouldn't have to make excuses - so if you're going to get some whole grains in your diet, here are two excellent and perfectly tasty ways to do it.  It all started with breakfast when Mandy noticed the unique texture of the quinoa.  That is when she said "You know what?  This stuff would make awesome tacos if you seasoned it up like chili!"  That was that, and after tonight - I don't think we ever have to worry about not having a freakin' awesome taco again - here they are. (Look, don't give me a hard time about the corn - everyone deserves a real taco every now and then...or maybe once a week or so.)

For the tacos you will need:
Organic taco shells (Trader Joe's - be sure they are corn only)
1/3 cup whole quinoa
1/3 cup whole amaranth
1/3 cup whole millet
1.5 cups veggie broth
1.5 cups water
1 white onion chopped
4 garlic cloves chopped fine
1 tbsp cumin
2 tbsp chili powder
1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
1/2 teaspoon turmeric
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper (leave it out if you don't like the kick)
Iceberg lettuce (Mandy said so)
Sour cream
1 can diced tomatos
2 tbsp raw unfiltered apple cider vinegar
1 tsp cilantro fresh (dried parsley works too)
And the usual extra virgin olive oil and some sea salt

Alright, sorry...I didn't realize that the list was so long - stay with me cause it's so worth it.  You can do this part way ahead of time, it's just the salsa.  It's tough to find a salsa made with apple cider vinegar (let alone raw unfiltered), so I just improvised my own that turned out pretty good.  Just saute half of your white onion with about 2 cloves garlic until soft, pour the tomatoes over that and add the apple cider vinegar and cilantro - let it get hot and bubbly and then take it off the heat and chill it in the fridge - that'll make a decent salsa for topping the tacos or with chips.  Now we can start on the "chili".  Start by sauteing the rest of the onion and garlic in olive oil until soft.  Then add the veggie stock, water, cumin, chili powder, cayenne, paprika, turmeric, a few good pinches of salt, and all the grains.  Stir it all up, bring it to a boil and then put a lid on it and turn it on low heat to simmer until the grains take up all of the liquid and spices - about 20-25 minutes.  While the chili is going, get your lettuce chopped up, get the taco shells toasty in the oven, and get a couple spoons out for sour cream and salsa.  When your chili is finished, slap some in a shell, put down a nice portion of sour cream on that, layer on the lettuce, and drizzle on the salsa.  What you have there is the best veggie taco can thank Mandy.

OK, so really quickly - if you like your whole grains in the morning, take that 1 cup mixture of whole grains from above and just do 2 cups water for 1 cup grains, bring it to a boil and then put a lid on it and turn the heat down and let it simmer for about 15 minutes.  This makes an awesome replacement for corn grits or oatmeal.  Just stir in some butter and salt, maybe some milk, maybe some honey - hell, whatever you put in your grits and oatmeal.  It's organic unsalted butter and some sea salt for me...perfect.  Enjoy!!

As always, gluten free  (that's breakfast up there)

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