Lentil + Pineapple Salsa Tacos

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I said this time would be different.

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I wouldn’t fall into the same trap I end up in every few years.

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I’ve grown, I’ve changed, I’m strong.

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Then August 23rd came around and Taylor Swift dropped Lover and all my resolve went out the window. The album is killer, man. I was the first person to tell anyone I talked to about it that I felt like this would be her worst yet. I didn’t like the singles. I wasn’t feeling her ‘tude about the whole thing. I was OK with the idea of this being an off year for her. I listened to the whole thing once through and I was like dagnabit she done made me a liar! It’s so good. It gives me Red vibes which is unarguably her best album of all time and quite possibly won’t be topped. Even the singles I didn’t enjoy as they stood alone sound better when played with the rest of the songs. Why, oh why, is she so good at connecting with twenty-something upper middle class females?!?!?!

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Though I do need to have a talk with her about the v unnecessary Leo lyric in The Man.

 

 

Time: 1 hour (prep + cooking) | Serves: 6 tacos + extra salsa

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup of lentils
  • 1 pineapple, cut into cubes
  • 1 red pepper, diced
  • 1/2 a red onion, diced
  • 1 jalapeno
  • 1 tbsp. of olive oil
  • 1/4 cup of cilantro
  • Juice of 1 lime + the zest
  • 1 tbsp. of chili powder
  • 1 tsp. of cumin
  • 1 tsp. of smoked paprika
  • 1 tsp. of onion powder
  • 1 tsp. of garlic powder
  • 2 tbsp. of tomato paste
  • S+P, to taste
  • Warm tortillas, for serving

How to:

  • In a bowl, combine pineapple + red pepper + red onion + jalapeno + cilantro + olive oil + juice of 1/2 the lime+ S+P, mix well + refrigerate until ready to serve
  • Cook lentils according to package directions
  • Once lentils are just about cooked, mix in remaining lime juice + zest + chili powder + cumin + smoked paprika + onion powder + garlic powder + tomato paste + S+P, cook another 2-3 minutes until all liquid is absorbed
  • To serve, spread some lentils in a warm tortilla + top with salsa
  • Smear leftover lentils on face for a detoxifying mask + feed yourself chunks of pineapple

 

Adapted from here!

Green Soyrizo Quesadillas

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I started a book club!

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My mother and aunt are the only members. I am 95 years old and these are the types of things I find fun.

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They kicked off the club with stellar picks. Like, we were all gushing over the first two books.

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Then it’s Rachel’s turn to pick. Haven’t we all learned by now not to put me in charge of anything? I have like 12 books in my bedside table waiting to be devoured. So I, of course, want to choose one I already have vs. buying something new. I share a couple of options with them. Apparently Les Mis and Pride and Prejudice were not super attractive reads to them???? Idk. I didn’t want to go with something too dark and serious or anything set in freaky dystopian society because we were on kind of a light train. I was reading my audience! So I chose one by the same author we had just finished reading, thinking well we loved the first one, this will be a safe, crowd pleasing choice. Wrong-o. This sis must have taken some writing courses in between this book and the one we just read or something because this book is just not good. I was trying to convince myself and my fam otherwise with positive thoughts like, “Oh, it got so much better when I got to this part!” I get a text from my mom last night that reads, “I’m struggling with this and can’t wait until I finish it.”

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Fine, you people are getting Tolstoy next!

 

 

Time: 1 hour (prep + cooking) | Serves: 3 quesadillas

Ingredients:

  • 6 whole wheat soft taco tortillas
  • 1 package of soyrizo
  • 1 poblano, diced
  • 1 tomatillo, washed + diced
  • 1 can of green chiles
  • 1 onion, sliced thin
  • 1 red pepper, sliced thin
  • 1 green pepper, sliced thin
  • 2 avocados
  • 4 tbsp. of olive oil
  • Juice of 1/2 a lime
  • S+P, to taste

How to:

  • Heat skillet over medium heat
  • Add soyrizo, cook 3-4 minutes
  • Add poblano + tomatillo + green chiles, cook another 3-4 minutes or until done
  • Remove from the pan
  • Add 1 tbsp. of olive oil
  • Add onion + S+P, cook 4-5 minutes
  • Add peppers + S+P, cook another 4-5 minutes
  • Remove veggies
  • In a bowl, mash avocado + add lime juice + S+P
  • Turn heat down slightly in the pan + add a tbsp. of olive oil
  • Spread some avo on a tortilla + drop it in the pan
  • Top with soyrizo + onion + peppers
  • Spread more avo on another tortilla + place it avo side down on the toppings, cook about 2 minutes
  • Flip + cook another 3-4 minutes
  • Remove + repeat with remaining ingredients
  • Cut with a pizza cutter + serve warm
  • Like a game of tetris, twist mouth + quesadilla into various shapes until an entire dilla fits perfectly inside your pie hole

 

 

Vegan Tamales

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I am ill.

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That’s not a metaphor for anything, I’m just a big, pitiful, sick baby.

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I have not been sick since going vegan. I don’t share that to sound like the annoying vegan I aspire never to be, I share to give you a frame of reference. It’s been a long time, I simply don’t remember how to conduct myself.

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I woke up Saturday unable to breath and had a scratchy throat and a dizzy head. I convinced myself hot yoga would release the sickly toxins, and boy was I wrong. I spent the entire class in child’s pose trying not to puke on my neighbors. It was totally zen. Then, I proceeded to spend the entire day wrapped in two blankets and a hoodie, practically drooling on myself from all the mouth breathing I was forced to do. Garr was a doll baby, though. He did the grocery shopping all by himself, and despite buying the wrong oatmeal and off-brand everything, he managed to surprise me with pumpkins and mums and cheer me up slightly. He also expressed minimal complaints during my Gilmore Girls marathon and put on my socks for me when my feet got cold. Oh, and the soup. The man made me soup. Though, he did seriously ask, “Do you want it heated up or out of the can?” Like.

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Now I will retreat back to my hole, I’m dripping snot on the keyboard.

 

Time: 4 hours (prep + cooking) | Serves: 3-4 dozen

Ingredients:

  • 1 package of dried corn husks
  • 6 cups of masa harina
  • 1 tsp. of baking powder
  • 6 cups of water
  • 1 cup of olive oil
  • 2 cans of vegan refried beans
  • 1 yellow pepper, chopped in squares
  • 1 red pepper, chopped in squares
  • 1 orange pepper, chopped in squares
  • 1 green pepper, chopped in squares
  • 1 yellow onion, sliced thin
  • 1/4 cup of salsa, + more for serving
  • A couple of slices of vegan pepperjack
  • S+P, to taste
  • Avocado, for serving
  • Cilantro, for serving

How to:

  • Preheat oven to 400
  • Arrange peppers + onion in an even layer on a couple of lined baking sheets
  • Drizzle evenly with 1/4 cup of olive oil + sprinkle with S+P, roast 20-25 minutes, tossing once
  • Place your husks in a large pot + cover with warm water, soak for 30 minutes, moving them around a lil about 15 minutes in
  • In a large bowl or stand mixer, combine masa harina + baking powder + 2 tsp. of salt, combine well
  • Add 3/4 cup of the olive oil, + mix on low with your stand mixer or hand mixer
  • Gradually add water, continue mixing on low until all water is added
  • Turn up to medium, beat for 10 minutes
  • Once you have a fluffy mixture, cover with a wet paper towel until you’re ready to use
  • Once your peppers + onion are done, add to a bowl + combine with salsa
  • To prepare, lay out a husk
  • Using a lil cookie scoop, add a lil masa to the center + spread into a thin rectangle, length-wise, in the middle of the husk
  • Add a lil scoop of beans + peppers to the middle of the masa + top with a lil corner of cheese – you don’t need much
  • Fold the husk in half vertically, so the masa covers all of the filling – this is tricky, took me few tries
  • Now wrap it like a lil burrito + fold one end in + wrap it in a bow with a lil piece of husk or cooking string, you can leave one end of the tamale unfolded or fold & try to wrap it all up – again, it can be tough, I am no master
  • Repeat with ALL them lil guys
  • Add water to the bottom of a large stock pot + top with a strainer
  • Add a handful of tamales – about a dozen or so at a time – to the strainer + steam for about 35 minutes, repeat with the remaining tamales
  • Serve a few warm with salsa + avocado + cilantro, freeze the rest – you’ll have tamales foreverrrrrr
  • Put a tamale in each hand + sing, “I got tamales, I got tamales, I got tamales, hey, hey, hey, hey”

 

Recipe + method from here!