Sunday, May 2, 2010


One of the favorite nights in the Addesi household is taco night! Bean tacos for me and meat tacos for Dom. This time it is pinto bean tacos for me and chicken tacos for Dom. I have to start out by saying that I appreciate the American cooks that gave us shortcuts to meals but when trying to eat healthy and trying to control fat, salt, and not using msg, really limits my use of shortcuts. Most everyone I know browns their meat, adds a packet of taco seasoning and water and then voila, instant tacos. I’m not saying that this is a bad thing, but since we love tacos, I don’t want us to have to put all of the sodium and other additives in our bodies. I even tried switching to natural packets, but they still contain some weird ingredients. It is so easy to make your own seasonings at home that I rarely use a seasoning from a packet or bottle unless it’s Omaha because Dom loves it.

Anyway, earlier in the week I picked up a rotisserie chicken for Dom at the grocery store, which is a good meal itself and I can use the chicken for different meals all week long. Chicken tacos are a good way to use up the dark meat for households that don’t like it, because the chicken picks up the flavor of the spices.

Chicken Tacos

4 tsp chili powder
1/2 tsp cayenne (I would use less if you don’t like it spicy)
1/2 tsp marjoram (can use oregano)
½ tsp paprika
1 ½ tsp of cumin (can use coriander too)
Also if you do not have fresh onion or garlic use ½ tsp of garlic and onion powder.

½ a shredded rotisserie chicken white and dark meat
½ the seasoning (add more or less depending on the desired spice level)
Some of the juice from the rotisserie chicken
¼-1/2 cup of water or chicken stock
A few tbs of grated onion probably a ¼ of an onion grated
3 cloves of garlic (this added a lot of spice)
S & P

First shred your chicken, this will take a while if you are doing it from a whole rotisserie chicken. Then add your chicken, the seasoning, grated onion, grated garlic, chicken juice, and S&P. For the onion I like to use a box grater on a fine setting to get a sort of onion mush. This adds a lot of moisture to the chicken. I used a microplane to grate the garlic right over the chicken. If you do not have time for this step, add onion powder and garlic powder to the seasoning mixture. You will also need to add a bit of water with to the pan, just enough for the chicken to moisten and absorb the seasoning. I added a ¼ cup but then I had to add more because the chicken and spices absorbed the water. You do not want this mixture to be soupy but you also don’t want dry chicken because that’s never good. Cook this until the onions and garlic are cooked and the seasoning is absorbed.

Bean Tacos

1 can of your favorite beans (I used pinto)
¼ of the seasoning mixture (I made a lot less beans than I did chicken)
¼ cup of water
About 2 tbs of grated onion
1 clove of garlic

Simmer your beans with the onion, garlic, seasoning, S&P, and water.

For both tacos:
Chop up fresh tomatoes, romaine lettuce or your favorite lettuce, and cilantro (if you have it). I also shred my own cheese because it’s fresher than buying bagged cheese and its melts so beautifully if you shred it right over the hot meat or beans using a microplane. You can add any of your favorite toppings: sour cream, guacamole, hot sauce, salsa or anything you like to these tacos.

To assemble, warm your tortillas either on the stovetop or in the microwave, or if you are using crunchy corn tortillas skip this step. Add your guac or sour cream which almost acts like glue, then your meat or beans, then cheese so the warm meat/beans will melt the cheese, then lettuce and tomatoes. Top with your favorite topping. If you do not have tomatoes a good organic salsa, a fresh salsa, or Pico de gallo will work perfectly. If using salsa or Pico I would cut down the amount of onion and garlic in the meat/bean mixture.

If you are making these for 2, you will definitely have leftovers but tacos are great left over! You can even turn them into a taco salad the next night.

Tacos are the perfect way to get creative. You can use any of your favorite meats, cheese, veggies and toppings to create your perfect taco!

Here is a list of my favorite tortillas:

Food for Life Ezekial 4:9 Flourless sprouted grain tortillas (found in the freezer section)
Food for Life sprouted corn tortillas (found in the freezer section)
Food for Life hard corn tortillas (I’ve only found these in wegmans)
Whole foods organic traditional tortillas

For these tacos I used Food for Life sprouted corn tortillas.

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