Saturday, July 3, 2010

Taco Time: vegetarian style!

Ever since I watched Food, Inc. last winter, I've avoided eating meats that aren't sustainably and responsibly raised. It was surprisingly easy, even in Des Moines. At many restaurants it means sticking to vegetarian and seafood menu items, but a surprising number of great local restaurants use locally sourced, small farm producers like Niman Ranch.

Since Danny and I cook a lot, he's had to put up with my picky eating, and has actually done pretty well embracing it. I think it was the vegan chili with Morningstar ground "beef" that won him over. It was delicious.

We found another use for it the other day - tacos! The meal couldn't have been easier.

The fake beef comes in frozen crumbles, so there's no need to defrost. Just measure out what you want, toss it in a skillet and brown it. I forgot to get taco seasonings, so for extra flavor I threw in some diced tomatoes, chili pepper, red pepper flakes, a dash of creole seasonings and a pinch of cinnamon.

We also had a single link of sustainably raised Italian sausage leftover from a pasta dish that we needed to use soon, so I sliced and browned it too.

Then, I chopped up some white onion and tomato, tore up some lettuce and cilantro, shredded together cheddar and Gran Queso (from Danny's home state of Wisconsin) and sliced up an avocado. Nuked the tortillas for 30 seconds or so and we had ourselves a tasty, nutritious and meat-free dinner.

And for dessert...strawberry banana smoothies! Also super easy - just blend together frozen strawberries, strawberry yogurt and a banana. (A tip, if you pay the extra 20 cents for organic or soy yogurt, you won't be eating gelatin made from ground up animal teeth and bones.) Yum!


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