Butternut Squash and Black Bean Tacos

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I like incorporating squash into every meal while its so plentiful and this worked beautifully. The squash is very sweet, so I like to make sure my tortillas and kale are extra salty to off set the sweetness. I put cilantro on almost everything, it just adds a level of complexity and freshness to my meals. The vibrant orange of the squash, black beans, green kale and cilantro looked really beautiful. I ate these straight from the cast iron. This is the best when the house is cold as it keeps the food nice and hot (and you don’t have to get another plate dirty).

Butternut Squash and Black Bean Tacos

2 corn tortillas 1 small yellow onion sliced ¼ cup black beans 1-cup butternut squash cubed 1 handful kale Cilantro Raw cheddar Salt & pepper Greek yogurt or crème fraiche Olive oil Lemon juice

Method:

 Soak beans for 24 hours. I usually make a cup or two, and soak them in about 5 cups of water. After soaking, drain the water. Add new water and bring to a boil. Turn off burner once they boil, then let sit for a few hours. They’re ready when they feel soft.

Oven 400. Cut the skin off the butternut squash and cut into cubes. Drizzle these with olive oil, salt & pepper. Roast in the oven until tender, about 20 minutes or so. Meanwhile, sauté the onion in a cast iron, add the beans after a few minutes and cook on  medium-high for a few minutes. Remove the onion and beans from the pan and add more oil.

Place the tortillas in the oil and set a few slices of cheddar on them. Add the roasted butternut squash, the beans and onion, and finally rip up the kale and place it on top. Squeeze a little lemon juice on top, sprinkle with a drizzle of oil, salt and pepper. Roast the tacos at 400 for around 10 or 15 minutes, until the kale is crispy.

Garnish with plenty of cilantro and Greek yogurt.

Raw Peppermint Patties

p2In Maine my mom and I bought peppermint patties at one of the health food stores. After biting into the decadent dark chocolate and peppermint-honey middle, we hit ourselves for not buying more. I looked for them at all the other health food stores but never found them again. I’ve been dreaming of making them ever since my return a few weeks ago. My creation was such an experiment my measurements aren’t exact, and they are raw so the process is different than just melting chocolate and dipping.

Despite my inexperience creating raw peppermint patties, these came out so good that I might have to make a big batch every week and keep them in the freezer as a treat. Nothing pleases me more than a chocolate treat that is foremost delicious and secondly healthy.

Raw Peppermint Patties

Filling:
½ C Raw Honey
¼ C Coconut Oil
2-3 drops Peppermint Oil

Chocolate Coating:
½ C Raw Cacao Powder
2 Tbsp Coconut Palm Sugar
¼ C Coconut Oil
1 Tbsp Hemp Seed
1 Tbsp Chia Seed
5 Almonds
¼ C Coconut Water
Parchment Paper

 Method:

Mix the honey, coconut oil and peppermint oil with a spoon in a medium sized bowl until there are no chunks of coconut oil (If your honey or oil is solid, let it sit in the sun for a little while so it’s mixable). Go light handed on the peppermint oil, you want to get a good peppermint kick, but if you add too many drops your sinuses will clear up, but the mix will be overly strong.

With a small spoon scoop small balls of the mixture and, using your finger, push them onto the parchment paper. Make sure the parchment paper is on a flat surface, like a cutting board so they are easy to move and don’t deform when you move them. Scoop all of the mix into balls and place in the freezer.

Mix the chocolate coating ingredients in a vitamix (you really need a high powered blender for this). The mix should be smooth and very liquid (the chia seeds and coconut oil help the mix harden in the freezer). Pour the mix into a small bowl or measuring cup. Remove the honey-coconut oil-peppermint balls from the freezer in batches so you’re only working with about six or eight at a time.

Using a spatula, scrape the balls off the parchment paper and drop them into the chocolate mix. Make sure they are completely coated, and then remove them with a large spoon and return to the parchment paper. Do this, very carefully, with every ball and return them to the freezer for a few hours until the chocolate is hardened on the outside. When they are properly frozen store them in parchment lined tupperware in stacks.

Salmon Tacos with Fruit Salsa and Queso Fresco

Fish tacos are one of my favorite foods of all time. They are so easy, satisfying and fresh-the perfect dish to start summer with. The fruit salsa offsets the savory salmon and the spicy jalapeno is balanced by queso fresco. When I’m in Reno I get my salmon from the coop. It’s some of the best fish around and they don’t take the skin off. The skin is one of the best parts and it’s rich in all the best oils-omega 3s, Vitamins A & C, calcium and iron and all the other important nutrients that aren’t covered by nutritional science- don’t waste it!

Salmon Tacos with Fruit Salsa and Queso Fresco

Corn tortillas
Salmon filet
Queso Fresco
Salt & pepper
Lemon juice
Olive oil

Fruit Salsa
Avocado
Green onions, sliced
Oranges, diced
Jalapeno, about a tbsp, minced
Lemon juice
salt & pepper
cilantro

Method:

Mix the salsa ingredients together, you can add other fruits you have on hand, or shallots, whatever you want.

Season both sides of the salmon with salt, pepper and lemon juice. Add oil to your skillet and cook on medium high-heat, for just a few minutes on both sides. Make sure you don’t overcook the fish, or it will be dry and flavorless.

Heat the tortillas on the skillet until they are a little bit crispy. Spread the salmon and salsa on the tortillas and top with queso fresco. You can also add a bit of plain whole milk yogurt or creme fraiche if the salsa is too spicy.