Sauteed Tart Kale

Tart kale using citrus instead of vinegar to make it yeast-free

Tart kale using citrus instead of vinegar to make it yeast-free

I was used to finishing off greens with a little vinegar at the end of a saute or braise. I had to rethink this when I had to pull vinegar out of my repertoire because of the yeast allergy. Removing vinegar was probably the hardest thing this go-round because I adore vinegar. I attribute it to the Filipino in me that adores ginger and garlic more than most people.

Two weeks after my treatment for the yeast allergy and I’m still tolerating foods with yeast. It doesn’t mean that I won’t be making this Sauteed Tart Kale again. We need variety on our plates

You can use lemon instead of lime if you want. Just use half a lemon instead of a whole. No matter how you fix it, kale and onions are a good boost for your immune system. I fixed a lot of greens with anything from the allum family (onions, garlic, leeks, etc.) last Winter when I was battling so many infections because adrenal fatigue drained my immune system.

Sauteed Tart Kale

Olive oil

1 bunch kale, chopped (I prefer Lacinto, but you can use any variety)

1 yellow onion, chopped

salt

pepper

1/2 teaspoon ground coriander

Juice of 1 lime

Heat a large skillet/saute pan over medium heat. Add enough olive oil to coat the bottom of the pan. Add kale and onions. Season with salt and pepper to taste and saute until the the onions are translucent and the kale is wilted but still has a bright green color. Add coriander and stir. Add the lime juice and stir well to incorporate into your kale and to deglaze the pan. Serve warm.

This post is linked to Whole Food Fridays at Allergy-Free Alaska and Wellness Weekends at Diet, Dessert and Dogs. 

Taco Salad

Taco Salad

Taco salad is one of my favorite things.  Probably because I love tacos and taco salad is like having tacos on a grander scale.  Tacos are my measurement of a good Mexican restaurant.  Something sadly lacking in the Mid-West (and the upper part of the South).  For me, taco meat should be well seasoned.  And by seasoned I mean full of spices.  Bland taco meat is unforgivable.  Much like the unforgivable curses in the world of Harry Potter.

If I’m unhappy with the tacos I get, I usually say to Chaz, “I make it better.”  He’ll usually nod in agreement.  I think that’s just to placate me though.  I can get pretty opinionated about the Mexican restaurants out here.  Can you blame me?  I lived in North County, Southern California for a few years.  Authentic Mexican food is everywhere.  Visits back to see my best friend would always include Mexican food at some point.  I believe there were a few places she took me where I just sat back and rolled my eyes from sheer joy.   Or maybe I exaggerate.

I used to serve these with tortilla chips, normally made by myself.  I went through the evolution of frying them myself to baking them.  Baking is definitely faster and easier on the feet.  I don’t do tortilla chips much anymore and I didn’t make any this last time.

Since this is one of my first original creations from way back, it has been made many different ways with many different proteins.  Ground beef, ground turkey, ground chicken, chopped chicken, tofu, beans.  So, whatever your preference for your protein, it is doable.  Just note that when using chicken, turkey, beans, or tofu, you will also need to add the step of oiling your pan.   You can also do a half and half of meat and beans if you want to cut back on your meat budget for the week.

Taco Salad – serves 4 -6

1 pound ground beef (or protein of your choice)

1 onion, chopped and divided in half.

1 tablespoon, cumin

1 tablespoon, chili powder

1/8 – 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper

salt

1 head lettuce (I used red leaf for the picture), chopped

tomatoes, chopped

avocado, chopped

black olives, sliced (I buy the pre-sliced ones, it saves me time and from eating half the can while slicing them)

Heat a skillet over medium.  Add ground beef and brown.  If you are using other proteins as mentioned above, remember to oil your pan first.   Add salt to taste and then add half the onions.  Stir.  Add in the cumin, chili powder, and cayenne.  Stir occasionally until meat is cooked through.  Remove from heat.  To plate, cover bottom of the plate with lettuce and top with ground beef.  Sprinkle with tomatoes, onions, and black olives.  Add avocado around the edges of your salad.

If you are able to eat cheese or if you are dairy-free and use dairy-free cheeses, you can add it after your ground beef.  In my dairy days, I would used shredded colby jack.  I am not fond of the dairy-free cheese so I don’t bother with it.  I just add more avocado so I get the similar texture from the avocados.

Black Bean Breakfast Tacos

Using up some leftover slaw to top off the tacos.

I was intrigued by Mario Batali making tacos for breakfast on The Chew a few weeks back during his food stamp budget challenge.  I decided this was something I needed to try in order to bring more variety to breakfast.  I tried to find the original recipe for you readers, but The Chew’s recipe search isn’t always the brightest tool on the site.

I was in love from day one.   I seriously kicked myself for not thinking of this before.  The tacos have so much versatility that you can top it with whatever you want once you have the black bean mix on the tortillas.   You can also use lettuce leaves instead of corn tortillas to make this grain-free.  Want to use another type of bean?  Go for it!  Hate mushrooms?  Leave them out!  Want cheese?  Add it!  Can’t have eggs?  Use more beans and mushrooms!

I initially made it the way I’m giving you.  But I played around with it and used things like leftover coleslaw as the vegetable topping.  I have to say, the coleslaw gave it a nice crunch and a bit of an acidic bite that was refreshing for the morning hours.  It was a vinegar based coleslaw that Chaz made for dinner one night, but my Lemony Slaw would work, too.

Without further ado…

Black Bean Breakfast Tacos – makes 3-4 tacos

grapeseed oil or your choice of oil

3-4 corn tortillas (use lettuce leaves for a grain-free option)

1/4 cup cooked black beans (I cooked 1 cup of dried beans ahead of time and had them in the fridge ready to measure out throughout the week)

1 mushroom, diced (or sliced and torn into small bites)

2 tablespoons diced onion

1 egg, scrambled (omit for vegan option)

1/8 teaspoon ancho chili powder

1/8 teaspoon cumin

healthy pinch cayenne pepper

salt, to taste

1/2 avocado, diced

1/2 tomato, diced

fresh cilantro for garnish

(or instead of avocado and tomato, use any combination of veggies you want)

Heat 2 large pans over medium heat.  Add oil to one pan, enough to coat the bottom well.  In the other pan, add the tortillas and toast lightly (or to your preference on each side).  Remove from the pan when done and lay out on a plate.  Add the onions and mushroom once the oil is warm.  Allow the onions and mushrooms to carmelize and then add the beans and the chili powder, cumin, and cayenne.  Stir well.  Add the scrambled egg and then salt.  Keep stirring to get the eggs cooked through.  Once the eggs are done, divide among the tortillas.  If you are not using eggs, just cook the mixture until the beans are warmed through.  Top with your choice of vegetables and serve with a side of fruit.