Thursday, October 4, 2012

Kitchen Gadget # 3: Taco Shell Mold. ::It's National Taco Day!::

Hello there readers, welcome to all you new readers. I loved your comments on my last two blogs. Keep them coming. They bring a smile!

Today is National Taco Day. I admit, I did not know this fact until recently, so I didn't plan on tacos for dinner this evening. Instead I had them for breakfast. Dinner for breakfast! What's wrong with that?

I have these fancy dancy taco shell molds that I don't use often (I forget I have them tucked back behind the pots and pans) but work well for taco salads. A little spin on National Taco Day. Taco salad.

Taco Salad Molds
These little star shaped molds are super easy to use. I placed my tortillas inside and pressed a bit to get them into the "shape." I sprayed with a bit of olive oil and baked at 350º for 15 minutes. They came out toasty and perfect. When making be sure to check frequently to be sure they don't burn.

Fillings for tacos can be anything you have around the house.

Fake meats (spiced with taco seasoning)
Taco Style Chickpeas
Toppings, various types and amounts

Tuesday is salad night in this house full of health. We always make a rather large salad. Enough for dinner that evening and lunches the rest of the week. I also use this night to experiment, if time warrants, anything I feel like cooking up. This past Tuesday I had a little extra time so I got the pressure cooker out and made up a quick soup (so yummy!). As it sat these past two days it become more of a stew but still so good.

I decided that since my soup (recipe below) was spicy, had beans, corn and all the yumminess tacos deserve it would be a great filling!

I always have black olives on hand (the little one loves them) edamame as well. I make a large batch on Sundays for the week. Cut up some kale and romaine, lemons, cilantro and added some store bought salsa. Breakfast was so good!!

Tacos are so simple. So tasty. So filling. Add what you have. That's the beauty of it all.

My Bean and Rice Soup that I used as my filling is a great soup the evening you make it. As a leftover use it for taco salad. It's even better.

Mexican Bean & Rice Soup

1/2 cup dried black beans, rinsed and drained
1/2 cup dried pinto beans, rinsed and drained
1 cup red lentils, rinsed and drained
1/3 cup short grain brown rice
4 carrots, small dice
3 stalks celery, small dice
4-5 cloves garlic, pressed
1/2 onion, minced
8 cups water
1 15 oz can diced tomatoes
1 15 oz can corn
1 chili in adobo sauce, chopped
1/2-1 teaspoon adobo sauce (optional, this will make it spicy!)
1/2 tablespoon chili powder
1 teaspoon coriander
1 rounded teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon oregano
1/2 teaspoon garam masala
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
Salt and extra pepper to taste

**I'm never prepared enough to soak beans over night. If you find this is the case for you follow the instructions below. If you do soak your beans, which greatly cuts down on the time, reduce initial cook time to 20-25 minutes.

Place beans, lentils, rice, onion, garlic, chili, adobo sauce, and seasonings into an electric pressure cooker. Seal. Cook on high for 38 minutes. Release pressure, quick method (follow your pressure cooker manual). Add the carrots, celery and corn. Bring to high pressure, again, for 1-2 minutes depending on how "done" you want your vegetables. Season to taste and enjoy.

Then enjoy again as a taco salad!

Taco Salad

2 small flour tortillas
1/2-1 cup leftover Mexican Bean & Rice soup (if still watery, drain a bit)
1 cup, mixed, kale and romaine
1/4 cup black olives
1/2 cup salsa
Lemon, juiced, add to taste

Place the tortillas in your salad mold. Preheat oven 350º. Spray tortillas with a little oil (optional). Cook, watching carefully, for 10-15 minutes or until crisp and starting to brown.
Fill with all your yummy fillings. Enjoy!

On the side I used some leftover topping ingredients (I seem to always cut more than needed) and made a salad. Kale, romain, black olives, edamame (I had some left in the fridge) with lemon juice and a little salt.

I haven't done a playlist in awhile. So, here's a treat! A playlist from the writing of this blog. So fun!

Scorch the Ground - Seabound
Monster:Murder:Kill - Combichrist
So Cruel - U2
Escapist - CTRL
Amsterdam - Coldplay
God is God - Juno Reactor
Relict - Accessory
Push - Madonna

Cheers and happy eating!

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