Sunday, June 6, 2010

Soy Curls and Double Decker Chikn' Tacos

It is the absolute truth that Mexican food is my favorite. I remember the first time I had taco bell as a kid (have I mentioned that?) and how it was my favorite fast food restaurant growing up. Taco bell even released some food-kits in the grocery store where you could recreate certain items on the menu and I loved those as well.

One thing that really stuck with me from the Taco Bell days were Double Decker tacos. I like to believe they invited them but I don't know if there is any truth to that.

Essentially you take a tortilla, coat it with refried beans and wrap it around a hard shell taco. MMMMMM!

Vegan boyfriend and I will typically fill the hard shell tacos with boca ground beef but this time we worked with Soy Curls. When I first heard about SC I chalked it up as a vegan food I would never be interested in trying. I had the chance to taste it though at Native Bowl food cart and OMG soooooooooo good! They sell them now at Blossoming Lotus too and even there they are good. So I figured WTH I'll give them a whirl.

SC are very easy to make. You heat up some water and soak them for 10 minutes. Cook them on your stovetop with oil and seasonings and you're good to go. (Hint - use lots of flavor since these have none). They remind me a lot of those morningstar strips that came out once upon a time but much less expensive and far less ingredients.

Go make some tacos!

Arroz y Habichuelas

This is one of my favorite recipes from the "Dining with Friends" cookbook. It's so simple and satisfying. I find this to be true of Priscilla's other recipes too and I go back to them again and again.

I prefer canned beans to dried and this recipe calls for the later though I use the former. :) This time around I wasn't thinking and added the salt intended for dry beans into my sofrito...3 teaspoons!! It was soooooo salty and completely inedible. I had to double the recipe by adding a can of tomato sauce and black beans to mellow out the taste. The aftermath was still salty but this time it was in fact edible.

I hope to never make that mistake again!


Okay, honestly, how long can a girl who LOVES breakfast go without buying a Waffle Iron? I caved in about a week ago and when I took my treasure home I learned my new toy was busted. I had to postpone my waffle making glory to the week following when I returned/upgraded my iron and voila - success!

I am trying to figure out if there is a difference between waffle and pancake mixes...does anyone have the answer to that? It seems that the products in the grocery store are interchangeable as they're often marked "pancake/waffle mix." I was leery of screwing up my first attempt so I googled some recipes and came to the following link.

I changed nothing of the recipe and only added some blueberries. It seemed to cook pretty well in the iron though the cooking part initially took FOREVER. Eventually I had to turn the dial to the max so I could get the damn thing to brown.

It made a pretty waffle (see?!?).

Vegan boyfriend ended up being the taste-tester and we had the following dialogue:

VB - "It tastes like an ice cream cone"
Me - "Oh, you mean a waffle cone?"
VB - " the regular cheap tastes like those things they give out in church"

Ok, great. So when I got around to mind, I could see his point. It wasn't bad though; it held together and with butter, maple syrup and fruit, it wasn't a big loss. We'll just go for a different recipe next time.

Italian Food in the Great Outdoors

I was totally stoked to find a cute bistro set that was 1. small enough for my tiny patio and 2. within my tiny budget. I fell in love with this at Home Depot and couldn't stop thinking about it. When I went back a week later to make my purchase it had gone on sale - $40 off!! ZING!

Isn't it lovely?

Vegan boyfriend made a tasty Italian dinner and it ended up being exactly what the doctor ordered. yummy?