Saturday, May 26, 2012

Tacos and Smoothies

I've been thinking lately, and I might want to start another blog dedicated entirely to taco and smoothie recipes. Every morning I make a smoothie for breakfast and, I must say, I make some pretty kickass smoothies. I'm also thoroughly obsessed with tacos. No, I don't mean cheap-ass disgusting Taco Bell "tacos" (in quotation marks because they're really not tacos at all), I mean homemade, fresh, healthy, AWESOME tacos. Shrimp tacos, chicken tacos, fish tacos, veggie tacos, black bean/sweet potato tacos, tacos with mango salsa, tacos with roasted red peppers and habanero sauce... (whisper) tacos...
 Last night's dinner was spinach and wild shrimp in corn tortillas (admittedly store bought, I haven't made my own tortillas yet)- scrumptious. Not exactly a taco, but pretty much a taco. It was inspired by the spinach shrimp- umm- platter? from Rancho Viejo, my favorite of their meal options (madre's too). They serve it with refried beans, fancy rice, and warm tortillas. We served our version with black beans and oven-warmed tortillas. It is important to warm your tortillas or they're just fally-aparty and not good. The best and easiest way is to just stick 'em on a dry pan on the stove right before serving. Next time, I think it would be really good served with wild rice and quinoa with "Spanish rice" sort of seasoning. And some mushrooms because my all-time favorite combination is spinach, shrimp, and mushrooms. So, so good.
My smoothie this morning consisted of an avocado (it was kind of old, sad face), mango, kale (don't make that face), orange juice, coconut milk, almond milk, a few blueberries, two strawberries, and half an over-ripe banana, with a handful of ice. All blended up and wondrous. Let's pretend my smoothie looked like this (it didn't).
Last night before bed I stuck a cinnamon stick in a glass of hazelnut milk, coconut milk, and almond milk, with a bit of ground nutmeg, ginger, and cloves. So this afternoon, I decided to blend THAT up with the remaining half a banana and some ice. It was like a banana-horchata milkshake. Yum:) This pic is from another blog, the recipe is similar, so I thought I'd use it as a visual aid. If you want a real recipe, click on the pic. It's not exactly like my recipe, though. I soaked a cinnamon stick which makes me awesome. And more authentic. But, hey...

Back to tacos. I am so obnoxiously in love with Mexican food. If you've read this post of mine, you may already have an idea. I would marry Mexican food if I could. And then I'd cheat on it... with more Mexican food. And it's the healthy, refreshing, light-tasting, easy-to-digest, spicy as HELL Mexican food I love the best. Real, authentic, tomato-and-pepper-filled South-of-the-border tastiness. I'm not such a big fan of Americanized Mexican food. But I do love my tacos to be a little bit out there, overstepping the bounds of the classic taco (which, don't get me wrong, I love as well). I would LOVE to dedicate some time this summer to taco experiments. Maybe I will. I could make different tacos every day. See what I come up with. But I am trying to reduce the amount of corn in my diet, so I'm going to make quinoa tortillas
 I'll make some extra and bake them in wedges to make quinoa tortilla chips (this link explains how to bake your own chips from regular corn tortillas, if you want to make it with quinoa tortillas it's the same process. This recipe calls for canola oil, but I'd urge you to use olive oil instead as it's infinitely healthier) to feed my salsa addiction while I avoid corn. Corn makes up more than 60% of the standard American diet. Can you believe that?? That's so much corn! They add it to everything and feed it to cows and chickens and whatnot, so even when you're not eating it directly... odds are you're still eating it. I try to eat everything from scratch, so my corn intake should be just fine, but it's a good idea to take a little break sometimes.Anyway, wouldn't it be awesome to make your own cilantro-lime flavored tortilla chips from scratch? It would just be so much more satisfying!
Here's the REAL Mexican rice horchata recipe I use (totally different from my cheater banana horchata- which isn't really much like horchata at all. It may seem a little daunting- soaking, blending, and draining the rice- but it's not that hard and WELL worth the effort). And here's a Spanish horchata de chufas recipe. Horchata de coco, almond horchata (with strawberries). Cantaloupe-basil agua fresca, honeydew-berry agua fresca, mango agua fresca. Agua Fresca is like a Central American fruit punch, but it's refreshing and healthy and exciting!

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