I am trying to cook (and post) more vegetarian recipes; it is good for me and The Boyfriend to eat less meat and I’d also like to accommodate vegetarian readers. I think it is fair to expect at least 1 vegetarian (or vegetarian-friendly) recipe per week.
I’m sure you know (or can guess) that eating less meat is beneficial to you health but I didn’t know just how beneficial adopting one meat-free day a week could be! According to Greenjoyment, foregoing meat just one day a week can:
- Reduce your consumption of saturated fat by 15 percent, lowering risk of diseases such as heart attacks, strokes and cancer.
- Lower your body fat, help curb obesity, and, according to a recent study from Imperial College London, prevent long-term weight gain.
- If you are eating less meat, it stands to reason that you are eating more vegetables. And by eating veggies, fruits, grains, and legumes on a regular basis, it can:
- Increase their disease-fighting benefits.
- Help you lower your intake of saturated fat and total fat by increasing your intake of fiber, protein, zinc, iron and magnesium.
In addition to all of the wonderful health benefits, Meatless Mondays are also great for the planet! By not eating meat just once a week, you:
- Reduce your carbon footprint!
- Use less water! Livestock requires far more water than vegetables or grains (1,800-2,500 gallons of water go into a single pound of beef vs. 220 gallons of water per pound of tofu).
- Reduce use of fossil fuels! On average, about 40 calories of fossil fuel energy go into every calorie of feed lot beef in the U.S, compared to the 2.2 calories of fossil fuel energy needed to produce one calorie of plant-based protein.
- Reduce ammonia emission and carbon dioxide emissions since almost 2/3s of the human related ammonia emissions and 9% of human activity related carbon dioxide emissions are due to livestock.
- Protect wildlife environment: 30% of the Earth’s land that used to be occupied by wildlife is now occupied by livestock.
So many benefits for such a small lifestyle change, right? Without further ado, the recipe:
Crispy Potato Tacos
Adapted from a recipe at Shop, cook, make
- 3 Yukon-gold potatoes
- ½ white onion
- 4 garlic cloves
- 1 red pepper
- 2 tbsp olive oil OR 1 tbsp olive oil + 1 tbsp bacon grease
- 2 tbsp cilantro, chopped
- 1 tsp red pepper flakes
- 1 tsp ground cumin
- 1 tsp Spanish paprika
- 1 tsp brown sugar
- 1 tsp Badia Complete Seasoning
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- Optional: 1.5-2 oz tequila
- Small tortillas
- Toppings for tacos (avocado, more cilantro, tomatoes, lettuce, etc)
1) Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
2) Peel the potatoes and cut into small cubes.
3) Chop the pepper, onion and garlic; add to chopped potatoes in a bowl.
4) Add the oil(s) and all spices to bowl of ingredients; mix until potatoes/onions/peppers are all evenly covered in oil and spices.
5) Add cilantro and tequila (if using) to mixture; mix again.
6) Cook for 20-25 minutes; turn oven to broil and cook an additional 5-7 until brown and crispy.
So much tasty
Close-up on the crispy potato goodness
I created a toppings station with all of the extras for the tacos:
The Boyfriend added chopped pickled jalapeno and chopped avocado to his tacos; I added lettuce, tomato, and chopped avocado to mine. We also both used a little bit of cilantro, a twist of lemon, and Chalula hot sauce on the tacos. To keep these tacos healthy, neither of us used cheese or sour cream; however we both used a little bit of ranch dressing (well, I used about a teaspoon for both tacos; The Boyfriend used closer to a tablespoon). The combination of the Chalula with the ranch dressing was really great: spicy and creamy, over the smoky flavor and chewy texture of the potatoes. Yum!
The great thing about this dish (besides the flavor) is how versatile it is. These potatoes can be a side dish, served with a fried egg on top for breakfast, or used for a filling in tacos, burritos, or enchiladas. I know this wasn’t strictly vegetarian thanks to the addition of bacon grease but it’s an easy swap to make it friendly for the non-meat eaters. I added the bacon grease mostly because I had it lying around and I’ve been itching to use it for weeks; but if you’ve got it (and feel favorable towards bacon), I recommend it because it really adds a nice smokiness. I also highly recommend the tequila; it was a nice touch. Mmm…
This was The Boyfriend’s favorite recipe this week! Since he is a self-proclaimed carnivore, seeing him rave over the tacos was a pleasant surprise.
Although maybe the reason that The Boyfriend enjoyed this meal also had to do with the margaritas we made…
For 2 margaritas
- 2 shots (3 oz) tequila
- 2 oz triple sec
- 2 oz lemon juice
- 2 oz simple syrup
- 6 oz beer
- Salt, for rim
1) Add all ingredients except beer to shake; add ice to shaker and shake until cold.
2) Salt the rim of two martini glasses; divide mixture equally between the two glasses.
3) Fill to the top with beer and enjoy!
We may have had more than one a-piece, haha. They are just so darn tasty! We used the super economical (and relatively tasty) Genessee Cream Ale for the beer. I think Corona, Modelo or Dos Equis would have been better but Genessee worked out fine. Baxically you want a light beer that is complimented by lemon or lime. I also recommend making a lot of simple syrup ahead of time (equal parts sugar and boiling water) and just keeping it around for future use in cocktails or sweet tea.
I need some vegetarian recommendations; do you have a favorite vegetarian recipe you can share with me?
PS Did I mention that The Boyfriend brought me flowers? They really brightened my day and my dining room!