A good friend of mine asked me recently, “What do you eat?”
Since going gluten-free over a year ago, and vegetarian for the past several months, it is a question I am asked frequently. And truthfully, it is a hard question for me to answer. Not because I have not been cooking and eating some pretty amazing food, but because I am a complete free spirit in the kitchen, and I seldom make the same thing twice.
For years my husband has urged me to write my recipes down, but it is really hard to write down what totally happens on the fly and is never measured. I have decided to make a concerted effort to start sharing some of my favorite recipes here, not only because it will help me to answer the “What do you eat?” question, but also because I will actually be able to come back and read them when I need inspiration or want to recreate the dish. Such a novel concept!
Before I share the simple and delicious Quinoa Tacos I made this evening, I want to emphasize once again how much I have benefited from a gluten-free diet. The daily aches and pains in my hands have completely disappeared. The awful head and neck aches I never associated with food are much improved. My brain fog and fatigue are also reduced and some days nonexistent. Within 3 days of eliminating gluten from my diet I knew it was a lifestyle choice I needed to commit to for my health. I continue to reap the benefits of eliminating this inflammatory protein from my diet.
Being gluten-free is a challenge in itself, but eliminating meat from my diet has really tested my culinary creativity! And that is how we arrived at Quinoa Tacos.
Quinoa is grain-like crop and is an excellent source of protein. It cooks up just like rice and is a very versatile food. So versatile in fact that tonight it served as a substitute for ground meat in our tacos.
So here I go, my first attempt at documenting a recipe. Follow along as best you can!
First I cooked one cup of quinoa (2 parts water to 1 part quinoa). Once cooked, I transfered the quinoa to a saute pan heated on medium heat with a small amount of olive oil. I then treated the quinoa just like ground meat and added the following seasonings:
Chili Powder – palmful
Cumin – half to full palmful
Paprika – palmful
Cayenne Pepper – quarter palmful
Garlic Powder – half palmful
Salt – pinch of kosher
Pepper – 10-12 twists of the grinder
Gluten-free Worcheshire Sauce – three shakes
It would be pretty great if I could tell you exactly how much of each wouldn’t it? The above amounts are my best guess, but really, truly, I think all seasoning should be done to taste.
Once seasoned, I cooked the quinoa for 5 minutes, and then I added a can of tomato sauce and cooked for 5 minutes longer. AND IT TURNED OUT AMAZING!
To complete the tacos, I added sauteed onions and red bell peppers, sliced avocados, grated cotija cheese, a dab or greek yogurt, and fresh cilantro. And of course I used corn tortillas. What would we gluten-free foodies do without corn tortillas?
Healthy and incredibly satisfying! So much better than the greasy, heavy tacos I used to make. No food coma here! Now if only I had thought to take a picture…
Next time, I promise…
And if you liked this taco recipe, just wait until I share my mashed potatoes and asparagus tacos recipe!
Anita Meade says
These sound completely yummy Dannette. I love quinoa! Look forward to more of your recipes in the future. I’m really trying to make some changes to my diet to include more whole foods and less processed stuff. Always looking for inspiration, so you recipes are much appreciated. Thanks for sharing. x
Thanks Anita! I commend you for your commitment to changing your diet. It is one of the kindest things you will do for yourself. Everyday I notice changes in how my body looks and feels – and all for the better. Good luck to you on your journey of recovering wellness. Just remember to take baby steps in order to avoid the painful leaps.
It is a pity quinoa costs so much to buy (in Australia) otherwise I’d have a go at it. Keep up the good work.
That is a pity Judy. Is it an import issue do you know? I read recently that the popularity of quinoa is making it more expensive in the areas it is grown, which is really a shame, and actually gives me pause when I think my purchasing of it contributes to the disparity.
Thank you for posting this recipe – it sounds amazing! I have to admit that I’ve never tried quinoa – I always thought of it as an accompaniment, much like an expensive rice and it’s interesting to read that it can be used in place of meat as in these tacos. I read, too that it is considered a complete protein with all eight essential amino acids present. Well, I’ve got all the fixings with the exception of the quinoa, tortillas and cilantro, so guess what I’m having for supper?!
Yay Pamela! Quinoa Tacos for dinner. So happy to share my culinary experiments. I hope you enjoy them as much as we did. I don’t know if it was from eating a perfect protein, but it was one of those meals that left me satisfied and energized for hours after. I love when food sustains and does not deplete. Enjoy!
The Husband says
Let me tell everyone, the quinoa tacos were awesome. I’m looking forward to the leftovers already.
I’m also glad to see my wonderful wife start to share her creativity and prowess in the kitchen. I’m going to hold her to your promise, and make sure she records her creations. I’ll help!
Well, you do benefit the most from me finally documenting my “recipes.” Thanks for encouraging me to be such a free spirit in the kitchen and always trying whatever I come up with. We both know that it is not always blog-worthy! 🙂
Fibro Chick says
These quinoa tacos sound awesome! I recently went GF and have discovered Quinoa. I have got to make these!
I hope you do! They were very good. Actually, I think it is time for me to make them again. 🙂 Going GF has been great for me. I hope you have the same results.
Just came across your recipe and I’m going to try it this weekend. I LOVE quinoa. As you know, all four of us eat a veggie diet, but Alex and Leo are still unadventurous. I’m thinking about trying GF too; I have a lot of joint pain, esp. in my hands in the morning. I’ll let you know how it goes. We miss having dinner with you guys!
We miss having dinner with you too! Going gluten-free has made a huge difference in my joint pain June. I was pretty certain I had arthritis in my hands, but after going gf, the pain diminished in just days, and went away completely in a couple of weeks. Of course if I get contaminated, which sometimes happens, the pain in my hands starts right back up again. If you try, let me know how it goes.