The Best Thing I Ever Ate (Recently)

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Val at More Than Burnt Toast has a fun challenge going on through February 15 called The Best Thing I Ever Ate (Recently). She is asking bloggers to post about the best thing they ate this year.

I’ve always loved cooking new things. Sometimes I want to recreate something I had in a restaurant, sometimes I want to make a healthy version of something from my childhood, and sometimes I want to explore new cuisines. Whenever you stretch yourself, whether it’s in the kitchen or out, you are bound to make mistakes. Sometimes these mistakes become triumphs.

These tacos started with a mistake – a dish I should never have made. They became one of my family’s best-loved dishes and something I cook for guests frequently. I’ve even taken little bags of kasha and quinoa with me to cook at someone else’s house when I’m a guest.

Earlier this year, I was struggling to find ingredients for a cookbook I was testing. I blew off the recipe and decided on these tacos as a fall-back. Since I was still in an experimental mood, I came up with a homemade taco seasoning for them. And, since we had just had guacamole a couple of days before, I made a lime crema with some dairy-free sour cream instead.

Whether I have these with homemade taco seasoning or some from an envelope, or the lime crema or guacamole, these are always the best thing I ate recently. 

Three-grain Crispy Tacos

1/2 cup quinoa (I used red quinoa this time)
1/4 cup buckwheat
1-1/2 cups water
1 cup corn, canned, fresh or frozen
taco seasoning (recipe below)
1/2 cup water

18 taco shells
shredded lettuce
lime crema (recipe below)
salsa

In a medium saucepan with a tight-fitting lid, combine quinoa, buckwheat and 1-1/2 cups water. Bring to a low boil, reduce heat to a simmer, cover and cook 15 minutes.

When the water is absorbed, uncover and stir in corn, taco seasoning, and 1/2 cup water. Cook over medium heat, carefully stirring, until water is absorbed, 3 or 4 minutes.

Crisp taco shells according to package instructions.

Serve with lettuce, lime crema and salsa. Serves 4-6.

Leftover filling will freeze and makes a nice burrito filling.

Taco Seasoning

This substitutes for an envelope of store-bought taco seasoning. It’s fairly hot – you’ll end up with two-alarm tacos. Double the cayenne for four-alarm tacos (I dare ya!), or leave it out for false-alarm tacos.

1 tablespoon corn meal
1 tablespoon chili powder
2 teaspoons cumin
2 teaspoons vegetarian chicken or beef broth powder
1-1/2 teaspoons smoked paprika
1 teaspoon onion powder
1 teaspoon oregano
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper

Lime crema

2/3 cup sour cream (such as Tofutti Sour Supreme)
juice of 1 lime
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon salt

Whisk all ingredients together.

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3 Responses

  1. I really REALLY Love this idea! Can’t wait to make it. I love how little accidents create genius. Thanks for sharing!

  2. MMmmmmmmm, lovely Claire!

  3. These sound so delicious Claire and perfect for meatless days, which seem to be more and more frequent.

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