I’ve always loved tacos. When I was younger and my brother and I’d see the dinner table set with bowls of cheese, sour cream, pico de gallo, peppers & onions, chipotles, lettuce & tomatoes, grilled chicken, steak and warm corn tortillas we’d rush to the table for the occasional colorful fiesta where we’d get to create our own delicious meal! My mom considered this a simple meal to make on those busy school nights, but if you must know we savored that taco meal more than the ones that took her hours to prepare.
Safe to say, when I took that life changing flight from NY to LA a few years back to attend FIDM, my brain had to maximize it’s storage to create enough space for everything exciting and new I learned about tacos. Living in Los Angeles, my love for tacos soon turned into an obsession!
No doubt, this was largely due to the variety of authentic Mexican cuisine available in Southern California. Forget about cardboard-like crunchy Taco Tuesdays from my Catholic school elementary days, try TacoAnyday at any one of the local taquerias nearby!
Since I was in school at the time, I would often be up late studying, designing a project, or preparing a presentation. Tacos quickly became a staple in my late night college lifestyle filled with a myriad of academics, social happenings, internships, and work crunched into an hour, day, month, semester, or calendar. Relate? I thought so.
Soon enough, tacos became synonymous with Life and I can’t think back to those days without tasting all the fresh and authentic ingredients and dishes that migrated to America a little over a century ago. Thank you Mexico!
As much as I loved tacos as a more inexpensive, easy, and quick way to fill up my belly while on a budget and crunching deadlines, they rarely made me feel on top of my game. This is especially true if I ordered them from a quick takeout spot that probably wasn’t using healthy oils, organic veggies, or grass fed meat.
What’s a girl to do when she’s infatuated with a handsome bad boy taco that she knows isn’t going to make her happy in the long run?
Don’t worry, this story has a happy ending as my love for tacos is undying!
Spoiler alert. It involves consuming tacos on a regular occurrence and evolving your taco mindset!
The key to making tacos that fuel ya and keep you happy and healthy for many years?! Using quality ingredients that you know your body can thrive on.
For some, authentic corn tortillas are a great grain-free alternative to the Americanized flour ones. For me, corn products are a slippery slope. When I’m eating them regularly I notice my skin breaks out and I get some stomach bloating. This is likely because corn is an inflammatory food and probably doesn’t digest well in my body.
See and use what works for you. For taste, I’d take homemade corn tortillas over store-bought flour ones any day! Life’s about choices and sometimes I do choose to suffer the possible side effects of eating corn when I can’t resist the urge to make corn tortillas for taco night. I wouldn’t suggest this for anyone with more severe side effects.
Other great tortilla options include ones made from almond or coconut flour. They’re higher in protein and healthy fats so they wont spike your glycemic index. If you’re not into taking out your food processor to whip up your own almond or coconut flour tortillas, I suggest trying ones made by Siete Foods.
Today, I’m sharing my new favorite tortilla and taco obsession! It requires you to unlearn everything you know about tacos and to embrace change.
Drumroll please. Plantain tortillas!
I know, I know, it probably doesn’t sound as exciting a a deep-fried OREO tortilla, but I promise the taste and consistency will delightfully surprise you and you’ll be hooked after the first bite!
Did I mention, plantains are packed with potassium, fiber, Vitamin C, B6, Magnesium, Calcium, Beta-Carotene, and Tryptophan?! Explore the possibility of how plantains can help your digestion issues, diabetes, skin, bones, teeth, gums, arthritis, gout and even your mood. Eat these plantain tortillas and you’ll also reap the benefits of it’s other ingredient, organic coconut oil!
The idea to make these healthy and delicious plantain tortillas came to me when I started the Institute of Integrative Nutrition Health Coach Training program this month. (You can read more about the program here).
The best part about plantain tortillas is that they’re far less labor intensive than traditional tortillas. Plus, they are affordable and only have two ingredients….major score! I wish my Cali roommate Gina and I had known about these when were trying to figure out what to eat during that thing called “Life.”
For fillings, the possibilities are endless! I’m dying to try these with grilled fish or carne asada!
Today, I veered off the taco ancestry path to create a plant-based filling that will surprisingly excite all of your taste buds with the combination of ingredients and spices I’ve chosen to use for this taco dish. Oh, and you don’t need to have major chef skills as this recipe could’t be easier to make!
For protein and healthy carbs, I threw together some spicy quinoa. It’s as simple as boiling water, cooking the quinoa, and stirring in some harissa paste. Do you see a trend here?
Then, for some veggie luvin and fiber I roasted up some baby zucchini. Just a drizzle of coconut oil, salt + pepper, a few minutes in the oven, and Bam!
While the zucchini is cooking, you can put together my deconstructed guacamole. FYI, that’s just a fancy way of saying that you don’t have to mash it. All the flavors and feelings of guac combine for a creamy and satisfying taco topping.
Together, all of these elements come together as one delicious and balanced meal.
These plantain vegan tacos cover all of the bases. They’ve got healthy carbs, protein, tons of fiber, and healthy fats to leave you feeling full, and most importantly, will Enchant Your Palate. Insert air five here!
Oh, and did I mention how affordable they are?! I made this whole recipe for under $15 and it serves four people! And some say that eating healthy has to be hella expensive?! No way Josè!!
When I know I’m getting a craving for plantain tacos, my favorite thing to do is to quadruple the recipe and invite my friends over for a festive taco night. It’s an easy meal you can create together so that you can spend more of your time giggling and catching up!
And trust me.
Once you makes this recipe, you’ll drop your taqueria habit like a bad boyfriend. Boy bye!!
Well, maybe not totally. We need to keep this humble street food turned gran fare of the most trending big city restaurants, alive! It’s the same for every culture, food that was once considered peasant food has become the most savory, delightful, sought after, and artfully prepared dishes. We need to honor the roots and live a fun, healthy, and balanced life. Provecho!
Do you have any healthy taco recipes that I need to try? Or just have a question or suggestion about mine? Leave me a message below!http://www.smithsonianmag.com/arts-culture/where-did-the-taco-come-from-81228162/https://roguepriest.net/2014/05/21/how-are-authentic-mexican-tacos-different-from-american-tacos/ https://thegr8wall.wordpress.com/2012/08/21/provecho-the-mexican-bon-appetit/ http://www.livestrong.com/article/373890-what-are-the-health-benefits-of-a-plantain/ http://www.micfood.com/