Saturday, August 12, 2023

A Raw Taco Filling, and More Books

Tacos, quesadillas, and enchiladas- or our versions of them, anyway- are staples in our dinner rotation, and I am always looking for variations to try. One recipe that I've come across often is a plant-based taco filling with walnuts. It sounded intriguing, and last week I had a big bag of walnuts on hand and decided to give it a try. 

This was the recipe I chose, based on the fact that it only calls for 5-6 ingredients, all of which I had on hand. It was shockingly easy. Everything went into a food processor and was pulsed for a few seconds into a coarse mixture. It smelled savory and delicious and I couldn't help sneaking a bite- wow! I've never enjoyed eating raw cauliflower florets but here it came all together so well. 

Then the recipe called for baking the mixture. I did that, and we enjoyed the filling in crispy taco shells with coleslaw. It tasted great but we thought it was a bit dry. 

I couldn't stop thinking of my bite of the taco mixture before I baked it. It was great just as a raw mixture and the oven seemed to dry it out. So I made it again, for a farewell party for dear friends who are moving away to another city, and left it unbaked, and served it as DIY raw tacos with romaine lettuce leaves and guacamole. It was a hit! 

Raw tacos: Romaine lettuce, guacamole, 
walnut-cauli-chipotle filling

Vegetarian taco filling (based on this recipe)

Pulse the following ingredients in a food processor until evenly ground:

  • Cauliflower florets, 3 cups (1/2 medium head)
  • 2 cups walnuts
  • 2 chipotle peppers in adobo sauce
  • 1 clove garlic
  • Juice of 1/2 lime
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon salt
I can see myself making a batch of this filling and using it in burritos, bowls and nachos- so many possibilities! 

* * *

Along with the raw tacos, I made summer rolls and peanut sauce for the party. These are fun to make and even more fun to eat, and colorful and refreshing on a hot summer day. 

Summer rolls with tofu, herbs, and veggies

* * * 

Here's what I have been reading in the last two weeks-

Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance by Angela Duckworth (2016): Much has been said about grit and the growth mindset in recent years, so when I spotted this book in a local Little Free Library, I picked it up. It was an interesting read and I did take away some messages, such as why effort trumps talent, why extracurricular activities (chosen by the child based on their interest) are important, and how any job can be crafted to be more purposeful. 

Jurassic Park by Michael Crichton (1990): The movie is a classic, of course, and the book is a really fun read as well, an engrossing dramatic adventure. Now I want to watch the movie again. 

A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness (2011): What a beautiful, deep, touching story this is. 13 year old Conor is facing huge challenges in his life, and a monster walks in to help him grapple with it. I highly recommend this slim novel. 

New babies of 2023:
Twin fawns are back in our yard

How is August going for you? What are you eating and reading and doing these days?