Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Real - vegan or meat chorizo tacos for Taco Tuesday

meat or veggie based ingredients

REAL Chorizo

Frying - with onion, giner and garlic

Veggie based chorizo (no loss of flavor)
Not high sodium/high fat processed cheese

American stye of taco (someone can't even wait for this photo to be taken)

Taco Tuesday is becoming an American institution. I see facebook status updates on Taco Tuesday activities.  Of course many people opt for a local eatery for all you can eat tacos.  Typically this involves ground beef and American style toppings along with some taco shells.  But it’s best if one doesn’t start thinking about what’s really in the cheap deals.  It’s cheap for a reason.  Whether you like vegan tacos or meat tacos, making healthy tacos is not that difficult.  A vegan chorizo or meat chorizo taco recipe is simple.   You can easily set up a taco bar at home and have people prepare the tacos either American style of the authentic Mexican style (which is a filling of your choice, onions and cilantro…no cheese, no lettuce or tomatoes).  Like any dish, a little conscious eating goes a long way. So what constitutes a healthier, yet tasty taco?
Mexican style-cilantro and onion with filling


Vegan chorizo
Meat chorizo from the butcher  (I get mine at Whole Foods)

This is a personal choice.  I am not a vegan (but I wish I was as we all know the benefits of being one), so I try to vary it.  Mostly I like making the vegan version, but my son still has a strong taste for meat.  So the real chorizo is another alternative.  This is not the sodium nitrate laden version you get from the grocery store for $3.  Instead it is real sausage chorizo and it doesn’t have infinite shelf life.  A lot of the additives of the processed food  are added to prolong shelf life.  As a consumer, you don’t need long shelf life.  You can freeze things.

With respect to price, the two are about evenly priced.  The real chorizo (from Whole Foods or a good butcher) will cost you about the same as two vegan packages.  There is no way around this.   The Yves veggie chorizo is not cross contaminated with my son’s allergens and it’s very clearly labeled, so we use this one (I buy it at Whole Foods).  It does not have GMO ingredients.  Even vegan food can be processed.  So read the label.

For frying – I like to add chopped ginger.  To me it adds a refreshing quality to the filling.  Ginger is also great for digestion. I also add garlic-again great taste.

Taco Shells:

As far as the taco shells- use a quality brand that is not made from hydrogenated products. I use Garden of Eden Taco shells.  They are made from organic blue corn and expeller pressed oil.  My son likes crunchy tacos.  I don’t buy the over processed soft tortillas you find in grocery stores.  Many of the hard shell tacos contain hydrogenated ingredients and processed genetically modified (GMO) corn.

Vegetables, etc.:

I never add sour cream….I think it’s simply gross and takes away from the fresh flavor (personal taste).  If I feel like adding some sort of creamier filling, then avocado/guacamole is the best option (again homemade, not the processed envelope variety-guacamole is very easy to make). 
I actually prefer just onions and cilantro.  When the chorizo (either one) filling is fried with ginger, onions and garlic, it already is well flavored.

My son of course loves the cheese.  Since he is allergic to dairy (and over processed shredded cheese is not good anyways, high in fat and sodium), I use Daiya ‘cheese.’  This is not a soy-based product, so even people allergic to soy can consume it.  Even if there was no dairy allergy, I would still use this product instead of the unhealthy processed shredded cheese you find in the supermarket. 

The technique is fairly simple-here are some key points for this chorizo taco recipe:

Vegan chorizo filling:
·      Since it’s already cooked, pan fry ginger and onion (until translucent) and add a little crushed or chopped garlic for the last few minutes.  Add the chorizo and heat through.

Meat chorizo filling recipe:
·      fry the meat on medium high heat in a tiny amount of expeller pressed canola oil and drain most of the juices it renders. 
·      Add onion and fry for about 5 minutes more; add garlic. 

Typically chorizo is already well flavored so you don’t need to add spices.  But you can add cumin or some other spice if you prefer the flavor.  You can also add chopped cilantro for the last minute (if you eat the Mexican style then just add cilantro straight to the taco).

Heat the taco shells for about 5 minutes at 350.

This is very simple and healthy.  One of the easiest dinners I make.

Lay out the ingredients on the counter (much like restaurants do…except you won’t have gross spoon handles that everyone touched falling into the food)

Let your guests/family prepare the tacos as they choose. You can add your own salsa or an organic brand (I don’t).

In addition to the health benefits of making tacos at home, you may get to know your family/children/friends better.  With hectic schedules and eating out, dinner conversations are becoming extinct.  Yes, meals  and conversation are still critical to developing and maintaining relationships.

With respect to costs, it will not cost more than having a taco dinner in a restaurant.  And the quality of the food will be radically better.  As much as I love to eat out, I know that I don’t control the quality of the ingredients or the hygiene when I eat out.  Would it be great to go to a restaurant that serves this quality of taco?  Yes, but the restaurant would have to charge a lot more than its lower quality competitors and unfortunately people would not be willing to pay more.  So making a higher quality dinner at home is a better option.

Contents are protected by the U.S. Copyright act and may not be duplicated or redistributed.  All contents are owned by BlogToTheNextOne ©2011 

No comments:

Post a Comment