Garlic Potato & Chipotle Black Bean Tacos

If I had to pick only one genre of food to eat for the rest of my life it’d probably be…Mexican. My husband and I have spent many days in Mexico working at a church our home church in California is affiliated with. One of the highlights of our trip, other than serving the people, would be the food! Is there anything better than an authentic street taco? Sadly, I’m sensitive to gluten and dairy (I know, lucky me). My food problems can keep me from enjoying some of my favorite, so I’m happy when I can create a Mexican inspired dish that doesn’t make me sick.

Chipotle and garlic don’t normally go hand in hand in my mind, but in these tacos they compliment each other perfectly. These tacos are healthy, juicy, and muy rico!

Start by washing, skinning, and chopping three russet potatoes and place in a separate bowl. I try to chop potatoes into smaller bite size pieces. Once in a bowl, top with salt to taste and three cloves of minced garlic. (After this step, I let the bowl sit on the counter for one hour because I wasn’t ready to bake. Consequently, some pieces turned brown. This was okay because it was just a product of the potatoes being exposed to oxygen).

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Place potatoes on a cookie sheet covered with path net paper and bake at 400 degrees Fahrenheit for about an hour. Check occasionally to assure potatoes don’t get overcooked.

While your beautiful garlic potatoes are going from ivory to golden brown, take a break until your timer reads 15-20 minutes left.

Now that your potatoes are nearing their end in the oven, turn your attention to the stove. Place a large skillet over medium heat and dump bag of spinach. Turn spinach with a utensil until spinach becomes soft. Once soft, empty one can of drained black beans into pan and mix together. Once warmed pour 8 ounces of your favorite chipotle sauce over the beans and spinach and mix together. Keep skillet over low heat for about ten minutes to let the flavors marinate!

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Your yummy juicy, crunchy tacos are now ready to be served. On a corn tortilla fill with potatoes and top with chipotle mixture. Tacos are tasty as is or topped with Perfect Guacamole. Go eat and enjoy!

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Ingredients

  • 3 Russet potatoes chopped into bite size cubes
  • 3 cloves of garlic
  • salt to taste
  • 1 can black beans
  • 1 bag of spinach
  • Favorite Chipotle sauce (I use Frontera)
  • Corn tortillas

How To

Wash and peel potatoes then chop into cubes. Place all potato cubes into bowl, add minced garlic, salt and stir together. Place potatoes on top of parchment paper on a cookie sheet and bake at 400 degrees Fahrenheit for about an hour. Check potatoes occasionally to make sure they reach desired level of crispness. Depending on size of cubes might need more or less than an hour.

In a skillet, heat spinach and drained beans over medium heat. Once spinach softens add chipotle sauce and let simmer for approximatly ten minutes. Your tacos are now ready to eat. Place cooked potatoes in warm tortilla and top with chipotle mix. Serve with Perfect Guacamole! Enjoy!

Prep: 15 minutes

Cook: 1 hour, 20 minutes 

Enjoyers: 4

Elderberry, The Sniffle Cure?

Not sure about you, but for me it seems recently that everyone I know is under the weather. Their symptoms are congestion, headaches, runny noses, sore throats, coughing, etc. I’m sure you’ve tried to steer clear of these people but, what happens when you can’t? What happens when, even though you take vitamin C and use hand sanitizer, someone sneezes near you? Will the germ still wins? Is there more one can do to help speed up the road to recovery? There might be!

Elderberry is a flowering shrub that grows well in the United States and Canada. It has been used for centuries to help cure those with colds. According to an article in the Journal of Dietary Supplements, research revealed that patients who had exhibited influenza (flu) symptoms found relief from their illness in less than half the time. That sounds pretty great to me! The power to promote healing in elderberry juice comes from Bioflavnoids and other proteins which inhibit the illness from infecting the host.

This berry has a strong power which promotes our immune system and is even being used for treatments beyond the cold and flu. According to Herbwisdom.com it is used in treatment for cancer and HIV patients. As a bonus, this berry can go beyond strengthening our immune system; research also supports that this plant has promise in lowering cholesterol and improving vision!
As you can see this wonderful berry has many strong health benefits and can be helpful with these pesky winter germs.

Disclaimer: You should never eat elderberries in any form other than food grade supplements that can be found on a grocery store shelf. When not prepared properly berries can be poisonous. Buy from a reliable source.

 

Sources

Perfect Guacamole

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One of my all time favorite lunches! Yep you heard it, I sometimes make guacamole as my main dish for lunch. I will also make it in the morning, for an afternoon snack, late night snack, side with dinner… You get the picture.

Having ready to eat avocados in our home is a must! You can make guac in many different ways and some of them are are not so good. I can tell you from experience it’s a bad day when things go south. But, thankfully, I’ve mastered a guac recipe that I’m excited to share with the world. It’s simple, yet perfect!

Ingredients

2 ripe organic avocados

one half of a lime (lemon will do as well)

1-2 cloves of minced garlic (3 if small)

about seven cherry tomatoes

salt to taste (I use aproximately 2-3 tsp of Himalayan pink salt)

How to 

To start, peel avocados rather than cut, this way you don’t lose some of the greener part of the avocado that is sometimes hard to get when you scoop with a spoon. The greenest part of the avocado has the most antioxidants, let’s make sure to eat it!

Once avocados are peeled and placed in bowl- mash, mash, mash. Once mashed add lime, garlic, tomatoes, and salt.

Scoop with favorite chips and enjoy!

prep time: 5 minutes 

Enjoyers: 2-4 

Slower Cooker Spaghetti Sauce

I have to admit, I used to be a canned pasta sauce person. It’s easy and relatively cheap. It wasn’t until I started trying to eat less sugar and oil that I started making my own. I’ve definitely had a few trial and errors. Shout out to my husband for roughing it through too sweet and then too spicy pasta….but we are now in the clear! image Once you taste this slower cooked sauce you’ll become a believer as well. It’s easy and only takes few minutes of prep. And after an hour of warming in the crock pot your house will smell like an Italian restaurant. Look at that…pasta perfection! image

Ingredients

  • 1 24 oz of canned strained tomatoes
  • 1 Tbs coconut sugar (or more if you like your sauce sweet. I prefer the dominant spices to be salt and garlic)
  • 1 Tbs oregano
  • 1 Tbs basil
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 Tbs salt
  • 3-5 cloves of garlic minced (depending on your love for garlic)
  • 1/4 Tbs sea kelp delight (for nutrition)
  • (A splash of red wine if you’re so inclined)

How to

Place canned strained tomato sauce and all spices in crock pot. Stir and cover. Turn crock pot to low and let cook for two hours, stirring occasionally. You’re yummy spaghetti sauce is now ready to top your favorite noodles. Just remove bay leaves and serve. Enjoy!

Prep time: 5 minutes 

Cook time: 2 hours 

Enjoyers: 4 

Warm Quinoa and Veggies

Quinoa is one of my all time favorite foods. I love it, I mean, I really love it!  Quinoa is fast, filling, and super yummy! Quinoa is also a complete protein, meaning it contains all 20 amino acids found in animal meats. Since I don’t eat a lot of meat, quinoa helps me get adequate protein in my diet. This recipe is simple, it’s basically a bowl of a few of my favorite foods. I’ve sent my husband to work with this dish countless times. It’s still great after being reheated.

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Ingredients

2 cups of rinsed uncooked quinoa (any color)

1 Tbsp coconut oil

1 cup broccoli cut

1 cup zucchini cut

1 cup greens (spinach, kale or both)

1-2 clove’s of garlic

Salt and pepper to taste

Instructions 

In a large sauce pan cook quinoa according to package directions. Once cooked add coconut oil to warm quinoa and stir until oil is completely melted. The coconut oil gives the quinoa a soft texture, I almost never serve quinoa without it.

Once quinoa is cooked and has been graced with coconut oil, mix in all chopped veggies and garlic. Let sit over low heat stirring frequently for 5-10 minutes until veggies are softened. Your beautiful quinoa is ready to be served. Add salt, pepper, and enjoy!

Prep time: 25 minutes 

Serves: 4