Best Ever Simple Margaritas (Not Paleo, but vegan and gluten free!)

Feliz Cinco de Mayo!

Apparently only people outside of Mexico celebrate Cinco de Mayo… pero cuando estamos en cuarentena, bebemos.

Hello, yes. It’s me. Sad to say I haven’t been cooking as much because I’ve been limiting my trips to the grocery store to as few as possible (and only the one closest store). I’m back, right in time for a festive reason to beber (drink)!

I hope everyone has been quarantining responsibly. I take a few days off every now and then just so I don’t turn into a bottle of wine, myself. Alcohol is not paleo…. but then again, COVID-19 doesn’t care about paleo. Stay safe.

This is a refreshing and light way to make a Margarita on the rocks, and as healthy as possible. I don’t like them too sweet, so I love that you can add as much or as little simple syrup when they’re made at home.

Let’s cut to the chase – here’s the recipe. The easiest way to remember… the 3-2-1-1 ratio.

 

Best Ever Simple Margaritas (Not Paleo, but vegan and gluten free!)

 

Prep time: 2 minutes

Cook time: none! It’s a drink

Makes 1 drink

 

Ingredients

  • 3 oz silver tequila
  • 2 oz fresh squeezed lime juice (about 3 limes)
  • 1 oz orange liqueur
  • 1 oz simple syrup (directions below if you don’t have any on hand)
  • salt or sugar, for the rim (optional)

For the Simple Syrup

  • 1 cup organic cane sugar
  • 1 cup water

 

  • additional cut lime, for garnish

 

 

Directions

  1. To make the simple sugar ahead of time, add the water and sugar into a small pot or sauce pan, over medium heat. Stir until sugar is melted and water starts to bubble – about 4-5 minutes. Remove from heat and allow to cool to room temperature before using. You can store it for up to a month in a container in the fridge.
  2. On a plate, sprinkle about 1-2 tsp of sugar or salt. Using a cut piece of lime, press around the rim of your class to wet the edges, then dip the rim into your sugar or salt. Set aside.
  3. In a shaker, add your ice – about 7-8 cubes. Then add your tequila, orange liqueur, lime juice and simple syrup.
  4. Shake, and pour into your glass, adding more ice if preferred. Add a wedge of lime for garnish, if preferred.

You can adjust the ratio to your preference, but this hits right every time 🙂

To make a larger batch, double, triple, etc the recipe.

Enjoy!

-S

Taco-Spiced Turkey Stuffed Poblano Peppers (Paleo!)

Ah, Mondays.

Not just any Monday – the Monday that I go back to work after having a week off. These are the worst kind of Mondays, but honestly… this one wasn’t so bad. I had so much fun at the beach, but I’m glad to be back. I didn’t get as tan as I had hoped, but I think it’s because I panicked when I would get overheated and spray SPF 70 all over myself. Note: overheating does not mean my skin is burning. Idk, there was a lot of wine involved.

Side note: I am wildly allergic to conventional sunscreen! It’s no fun. I had no idea until my late 20’s that the rash I’d get on my armpits, inside elbows, back of my knees and hips was not because “it was hot outside” – I am allergic to avobenzone and oxybenzone. These ingredients create chemical reactions on your skin that filter UVA rays and converting them to energy less harmful to your skin. (source)

Oddly enough, I have topical allergic reactions when using sunscreen that contains this, so I’ve experimented with mineral based sunscreen and I found one that doesn’t turn me into Casper while I still get a safer tan. One I don’t like? Alba Organics mineral sunscreen, in the green tube. If we’re being completely honest, that shit sucks.

Cue the angels! I stopped at the local surf shop on my way home from the beach and picked up my new favorite. It’s called Raw Elements Daily Lifestyle lotion, SPF 30. To be completely honest, I wish I found this sooner. The crappy thing about zinc sunscreen is that Casper hue, and if you rub this stuff in enough, you don’t get it. Plus, it stays on for a loooooong time, so if you’re like me and forget, you’re good. Plus PLUS, it does not harm the oceans, seas, rivers and lakes, so that’s my favorite part 🙂 Check it out here.

Back to food. Last week I decided to make some goodies, I have yet to post them. One of the glorious things were these peppers. These PEPPERS. You could absolutely make them vegan and sub in some crumbled tempeh or soy and a pinch more spices, and I think that would just be phenomenal. Enough with the talking, let’s dine.

Taco-Spiced Turkey Stuffed Poblano Peppers (Paleo!)

Prep time: 20 min

Cook time: 40 min

Serves: 3-4

Ingredients

  • 1 lb ground turkey
  • 1 medium yellow onion, diced
  • 2 large tomatoes, diced; or one 15oz can of diced tomatoes with chilies
  • 1 ½ tbsp taco seasoning
  • 4 poblano peppers, tops sliced off, ribs and seeds removed
  • 1 container of sliced cremini mushrooms, chopped
  • ¼ cup of fresh cilantro, chopped (for garnish)
  • optional for non-paleo eaters – cheese and sour cream, for serving

Directions

  1. in a large skillet, add 1 tbsp of your preferred fat and sauté your onions over medium heat until translucent, about 5-6 minutes. Add your mushrooms and continue to cook until the moisture has evaporated, another 2-3 minutes.
  2. Add your turkey and sauté until fully cooked, another 6-7 minutes. Add your tomatoes, juice and all, and continue to cook.
  3. While there’s still moisture in the pan, add your taco seasoning and stir, covering the contents of the pan. Set aside to cool.
  4. Preheat your oven to 375 degrees. While it heats up, stuff your peppers with your turkey mixture, ensuring they’re full by pressing the turkey mixture into the pepper with a spoon or fork.
  5. Place in a greased baking dish and bake for about 35-40 minutes, until pepper has wilted and turkey has browned.
  6. Garnish with your preferred toppings (cilantro, and sour cream/cheese, if using). I squeezed some lime over the top of mine before eating 🙂

Enjoy!

-S

I wanna taco ’bout Mexican Food… Paleo Beef Enchiladas

Hola muchachos y muchachas! How are y’all livin? There’s something about Tuesdays that really makes me love Mexican food…. I just can’t quite put my finger on why I would love, say… a taco, on a Tuesday.

My hometown is so rich with Latino culture, it’s amazing. I feel like a lot of people take it for granted. From living here I was able to learn fluent Spanish, bust out some mean pico de gallo salsa, and appreciate some good ol’ Reggaeton music. The mushroom industry is huge here and it employs a lot of the Mexican population, and they are some of the hardest working people who are so loyal to their family and their faith. Let me tell you, there’s nothing that beats their FOOD, though. Mexican restaurants are always within walking distance, and their homemade tortillas, sauces and spices… just so good.

One interesting thing about Mexican culture is how transparent they are in fusing their faith in their daily lives. To be religious is pretty casual but still very important; they hold their faith in high regard. While they aren’t common here around my hometown, there are curanderos in Mexico, or spiritual healers, who serve vital roles in people’s spiritual and medical lives.

The practice of curandurismo, or holistic healing, combines, psychic healing, prayer and herbal remedies as modalities to cure illness. They can incorporate Catholic elements into their healing, such as holy water of pictures of Saints, but most remedies involve natural elements, or even adding herbs to your food to help nourish yourself or cure any ailments.

This is why Cumin became such an important staple to Latino cuisine, and shares roots with other deeply spiritual cultures in the Middle East. It has been known to be used in a poultice, a diuretic and can even help settle your stomach. I love the delicious spicy smell to it – which is why I had to make an amazing paleo alternative to one of my favorite dishes at my favorite Mexican restaurant….I hope you enjoy it as much as I do 🙂

 

Paleo Beef Enchiladas

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Prep time: 30 min

Cook time: 30 min 

Ingredients

  • 1 lb lean ground beef. If you feel fancy, you can use a nicer cut of beef and chop it.
  • 1 medium yellow onion, minced
  • 1 cup cremini mushrooms, minced
  • 1 can of petite diced tomatoes with green chiles
  • 1 can of no-salt-added black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 6 brown rice tortillas
  • 1 8oz can of Refried beans
  • 2 tsp taco seasoning, more to taste
  • 1 tsp salt, more to taste
  • 1 tsp pepper

 

Enchilada sauce*:

  • 3 tbsp ghee or coconut oil
  • 2 tbsp arrowroot powder
  • 3 tbsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ½ tsp onion powder
  • 1 8 oz can of  tomato paste
  • 2 cups chicken or vegetable stock

*Note: leftover enchilada sauce can be stored in a jar in the fridge for up to a week.

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
  2. In a saucepan, melt the ghee or coconut oil over medium heat. Add tomato paste and chicken stock and whisk until combined, allowing mixture to bubble. Continue to whisk, adding chili pepper, garlic, cumin, oregano, salt, onion powder.
  3. Cook for approximately 5-6 minutes, and then turn to low heat. Add arrowroot powder, and whisk to ensure the right consistency. Once mixed, set aside on low/simmer, stirring occasionally to prevent it from cooling down and getting too thick.
  4. In a larger frying pan, add ground beef and minced onion. No need for any oil – the beef should have enough fat to keep the pan contents from sticking. Stir occasionally, ensuring beef is thoroughly cooked and browned.
  5. Once cooked, add beans, mushroom, taco seasoning, salt and pepper. Continue to stir and cook on medium high heat for another 4-5 minutes until the mushroom is cooked and remove from heat.
  6. Using a clean workspace, spread refried bean mixture across top of tortilla, covering the entire thing. Add scoop of beef mixture, and tightly roll the enchilada up. You want to work quickly, as the rice tortillas can dry out more so than a corn or flour one.
  7. Add a large spoonful of enchilada sauce to the bottom of a greased baking dish. Arrange the enchiladas side by side. My baking dish fit 4 across and 2 perpendicular next to them, so you can get creative with how you arrange them if they come out bigger than expected.
  8. Add enchilada sauce, using enough to cover all of the tortillas and bottom of the pan. Drizzle over edges of enchiladas to prevent them from burning. Cover with foil and bake for 15 min, removing foil for last 5 min until edges are golden. It’s alright if the tortillas don’t remain intact — they’re still tasty 🙂

Best served with a nice side of rice, or a side salad.

Enjoy!

-S