I got the inspiration to make these easy little tacos last week because my boyfriend was gone for the week and I didn't feel like spending a lot on groceries just for myself. We tend to spend more in the summer because we cook a lot more (esp with people visiting us in Newport), go out more, etc. I figured it wound be fun to really raid my kitchen and see what I could make with what I had. (The things that excite me...haha)
My other inspiration for this plant-based recipe came from watching "What The Health" on Netflix. But please take what I just said with caution. (Btw - have you seen it? Would love to hear your thoughts!) I by no means believe that eating meat is "bad" or is the leading cause of diabetes or anything like that. Actually, I know this is simply not true. Here are my (brief) two cents on the documentary:
When Cowspiracy, came out last year, I was all over it. I liked the message that the excessive amount of animal products that we eat causes more harm to the environment than all of the other things we do that we deem "bad": Like taking long showers and driving to work instead of biking. I truly believe that a major part of leading a healthy lifestyle is being mindful about the food you are eating, where it comes from and how it made it's way to your plate. (The docu-series "Cooked" on Netflix based on Michael Pollan's book covers this and it is AMAZING!)
I didn't feel the same about "What The Health". The movie starts out immediately making drastic and fearmongering claims against the consumption of animal products and how it is essentially killing you as you eat it. It claims that sugar is not the culprit but saturated fat from animal products is. In my opinion, no one thing is a true "culprit" when it comes to poor health. There are a variety of factors that play a role there).
Anyway, I think that a separate blog post is warranted to talk more about this. If you would like me to provide a full review, let me know! But my takeaway from both Cowspiracy and What The Health as well as my education in nutrition is this: Eating animal products is not BAD. But eating MORE PLANTS is definitely beneficial and we could all use a little bit more plant goodness. Plants provide essential vitamins, nutrients and fiber. The average person needs around 25-30 grams of fiber per day and according to USDA data, the average American only consumes about half of that. Fiber is essential for satisfaction after a meal, keeping you regular in the bathroom (yep this is what I talk about most of the day), and feeds your healthy gut bacteria.
After Kevin and I watched this and got over being annoyed at the beginning of the movie, we both agreed we can make a little more effort to replace meat with more plant-based protein. Not only does this save us money each week, but it means that meat products can be enjoyed when it is truly worth it for us. I don't believe that diet labels like vegetarian, vegan, Paleo, etc are necessary. It doesn't define health because you can still be vegan and eat chips and sugar-loaded vegan cookies all day. Instead, I am focusing on pairing complete proteins together (rice and beans!), eating a well-balanced diet including all foods that I enjoy, and saving money along the way. It doesn't hurt that having a more plant-based diet is much more sustainable for the environment - it requires much less water, land and resources, not to mention less methane gas into the air!
Again, don't get me wrong. I fully respect anybody's dietary choices if it makes you feel best. But if you were my patient, I would definitely aim to make sure you were meeting all of your nutrition needs - regardless of what type of diet you are following.
And with that, here are those chickpea tacos! Super simple and can be thrown together in about 15 minutes! My best friend Mary introduced me to this seasoning and I am never looking back. It is so good! For the slaw - I choose to buy pre-made broccoli slaw. I like the crunch in the tacos! Most tacos typically use shredded cabbage but the little Stop&Shop near place doesn't sell it :(. I know from past experience that I would not use a whole head of cabbage before it went bad, but feel free to try with cabbage if you prefer! Enjoy :)
Recipe: Chile Lime Chickpea Tacos
Makes: Approx 8 tacos
8 corn tortillas
1 can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1/2 cup broccoli slaw
1 ripe avocado
1 small jalapeño, chopped
1/4 cup cilantro, chopped
Avocado oil/Olive oil
Chile Lime Seasoning (From Trader Joe's)
For the guacamole:
1. Simply mash the avocado in a small bowl with juice from 1/2 a lime, a pinch of salt, pepper, and garlic powder.
For the broccoli slaw:
1. Simply squeeze 1 whole lime over slaw in a small bowl, add a pinch of salt and pepper and let sit in the fridge for at least 30 minutes.
For the tacos:
1. Placed drained and rinsed chickpeas in a medium-sized bowl and drizzle with around 2 tbsp of olive or avocado oil. Then season with 2-3 tbsp of Chile Lime seasoning. Toss with a spoon.
2. Spray a skillet with cooking spray, turn on medium heat and sauté chickpeas for approx. 5 minutes. Be careful because sometimes they pop up from the pan!
3. Prepare the tortillas. If you have a gas burner, I like to place the tortillas individually above the flame for about 15 seconds on each side. If you don't have a gas burner, you can either do this on a grill or simply in a skillet.
4. Assemble the tacos: Add a dollop of guac, about a small handful of the broccoli slaw. Add the chickpeas, top with a pinch of jalapeños and cilantro. Squeeze more lime juice onto the ingredients for additional limey-goodness :) Enjoy!
Also - Where did July go?! My next "Monthly Favorites" post will be featuring things from both July and August. They're basically the same month anyway, right?