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Saturday, January 15, 2011

Taco Night

My husband came home from a week’s stay in the hospital. He is recovering from a partial foot amputation and infection. During his incarceration, I was free to munch on carrots for breakfast, make fruit smoothies for dinner, and order a veggie omelet at the hospital cafeteria. Now he is back home, I face the daily grind of making two different meals three times per day. At times it is overwhelming. Yet I have found that my friends that make one major meal at dinner time for their families face the same dilemma—what do we fix today?

Moose is on a BRAC diet mostly. That is a diet consisting of bananas, rice, apples/applesauce, and chicken. This mix helps his digestive track which is totally messed up by the twenty-eight different medications he takes three times per day. We deviate a little but keeping in mind that too much of anything makes him very ill. His system cannot tolerate salt, sugar, or animal fats. I cook with none of the three and only have extra virgin olive oil in the cupboard.

A typical day for us.
Mine
  • Breakfast: Water, 1 Slice--Organic sprouted wheat toast, soy butter, honey with 1 cup ½ caff coffee with rice milk
  • Snack: Water, Fruit or nuts or combination
  • Lunch: Water, Salad with raw blue cheese or tofu or raw Ahi tuna
  • Snack: Water, Spoonful peanut or almond butter
  • Dinner: Water, Steamed seasonal veggies sometimes with chicken slices sometimes not
  • Dessert: Water, Fruit or Fruit Smoothie
His
  • Breakfast: 1 container Lite fruit yogurt, glass of juice, ¼ cup caff coffee with milk
  • Lunch: ½ sandwich with turkey luncheon meat, cheese, and deli mustard, Ice tea
  • Snack: ½ banana or apple or pear
  • Dinner: BBQ chicken, 1 cup steam rice, applesauce, Ice tea
  • Dessert: Glass of Port, biscuit or International Decaf Coffee and sugar free cookies
You can see that we do not eat much of the same things. Once in a while I try to combine foods that will accommodate both of our diets. Moose’s favorite is taco night which happens once a month.

Taco Night Recipe
The taco meat:
  • 1 pound ground turkey meat
  • Chile powder
  • Cayenne pepper
  • ¼ cup diced onions (yellow, white, or green)
  • 2 cloves of garlic smashed and chopped
  • Olive oil wiped on a nonstick pan
The taco makings:
  • Taco shells
  • 3 or 4 washed dried lettuce leaves the size of your hand
  • Black olive slices
  • Homemade no-salt guacamole or sliced avocados
  • Non-fat plain yogurt
  • Salsa Verde or Rojas (I make my salsa fresh)
  • Grated cheese (I use Trader Joes Raw Cheddar Cheese)
First add oil, onion, and ground turkey into the frying pan. Cook on medium high heat until the meat is browning. Add garlic and spices to taste. Add a little at a time until you get a flavor that you like. Remember Cayenne pepper is hot and Chile powder is not. Mix while cooking until the meat is browned and coated with flavor. If the mixture looks a little dry add some water and stir.

Serve with the taco makings. My husband fills the taco shells for his meal while I fill the lettuce leaves for mine. The leaves are crunchy like the taco shells with almost no calories. The meat makes it warm and satisfying. If you are not eating meat substitute the turkey with a soy based taco filling in the produce section of your market. Or you can eat the veggies without any meat at all. The salsa will give the south-of-the-border flavor.

You should have enough leftovers for a tasty lunch or taco salad.