Thursday, May 8, 2014

Cinco de Mayo

Doesn't this look like a fiesta? This lime slaw was a wonderful, crunchy alternative to the lettuce that many use in their tacos. Yes, I said tacos -- one of the big favorites around here since everyone has different tastes and they can each pick and choose. The Slaw was simply raw kale massaged with lime juice and olive oil until softened, mixed with raw purple cabbage and sliced scallions. A couple tablespoons of veganaise and another squeeze of lime finished it.

I had been dragging my feet about adding chicken to my diet. I had never liked chicken very much pre-vegan and never missed it as a vegan. During the vegan years, my months dabbling in macrobiotics and learning about the energies of food convinced me that chickens carry a nervous, frenetic, frightened energy. So preparing and eating chicken tacos for my family was a new mental shift.

Why eat it if you don't want it, you may ask. Well, I'm still out of my comfort zone with this new diet, and still tracking this new way of eating and how it affects my health hour by hour. Fish is my favorite animal flesh and eggs seem nutritious, but neither imparts the grounded strength of steak or liver. On the other hand, fish and eggs do not burden my system and sap my energy the way the heavier meats do. I want the strength and the regenerative neurological benefits of the meats, but I miss feeling light and fresh and energetic. One important side note is that my veggie intake has drastically dropped since adding meat. I am just too full. I have a hard time forcing myself to eat what my body doesn't want. I am still trying to find a balance and am not entirely happy with the diet just yet. So maybe it's worthwhile giving organic chicken another chance.

Back to the tacos . . . I marinated the raw, boneless breasts in nothing but freshly squeezed lemon juice for two hours. By the time I was ready to cook the chicken it had opaquely whitened like a ceviche! I realized that the lemon must have "pre-digested" the meat. I quickly sauteed the chicken in coconut and olive oils and it was the most flavorful, tender chicken I think I've ever had. I loved it, and it helped me to feel well -- strong yet energetic --  for a whole 24 hour period. I will be eating more chicken now.

Along with the chicken and slaw, I also offered hard corn taco shells and soft flour tortillas (I had one of the corn ones), cumin roasted chick peas, chopped tomatoes, sauteed red bell peppers and onions, avocado slices, radish slices, salsa, sour cream and cheese.

Back to my choices, briefly, I have been CRAVING chick peas, but not other beans. During this in-between phase of my eating-to-heal diet, I'm going to listen to cravings, and watch the aftermath. I loved the chick peas and I felt great eating them. I didn't have any dairy or flour -- didn't want it.

For the cumin peas, I mixed canned chick peas with olive oil, salt and cumin and roasted them for 15 minutes at 400 degrees, stirring once to dry the peas out evenly. The result was easy, delicious and addictive!

I wish I had a photo of the tacos. It was a veritable feeding frenzy once I served everything buffet style, so I missed snapping the tacos in the midst of my scramble to stuff a shell. Here's my round-two though:

One taco shell was more than enough for this health-seeker, so I had my second helping in the form of a taco salad. Delicious!

I enjoy vibrant colors, so I just want to share the rinse water from the cabbage with you. Isn't it lovely?

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