Remember those amazing choose your own adventure books that were around when we were kids? They'd be like "Turn to page 5 to battle a blood sucking turtle monster or turn to page 42 to save an old lady from a purse snatcher" and if you were anything like me (fabulous) you'd always go for the blood sucking turtle monster. Sorry grandma, you just can't compete with the awesomeness of possibly defeating a turtle monster and saving the universe (insert girl flipping hair emoji here).
Well that's how I approach this whole inter-dietary dating dilemma. The question "So what are we doing for dinner?" would pop up and I'd immediately turn into a sweaty, stressed, mess of a human, crying on the floor as I cracked under the pressure. Okay, so that may be a little dramatic but I definitely hated that question. Until I learned to let it go, and get smart.
Tip #2: The only way to survive in the food world these days is to choose your own adventure. When it doubt make tacos or pizza.
Two of the easiest meals to tweak to fit any diet will always be tacos and pizza, they also happen to be my two favorite foods. Let's look at a basic taco: shell, protein, grain, veggies and condiment. Most of the time all you'll have to do is prepare two different proteins, and even then you can use the same spices, or marinade.
Try this marinade on tempeh or chicken and let us know what you think.
Basic Taco Protein Marinade:
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 jalapeno, minced
- 3-4 tbs. fresh cilantro leaves, finely chopped
- 2 limes, juiced
- 3 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 1 teaspoon chili powder
- 1/2 teaspoon cumin
- 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
- Dash cayenne or Sriracha
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- Few dashes liquid smoke (optional)
You can literally throw all of this into a little food processor and blend together or chop your little hearts out and mix together by hand, in a bowl.
- Lay the chopped chicken (about 1 lb) on a small baking dish and pour half of the marinade on top. Refrigerate and let sit for 1-2 hours.
- Preheat your skillet with a little bit of coconut or olive oil and remove the chicken from the marinade and add the chicken to the pan. Discard used marinade. Cook chicken until it's done. Don't eat raw meat, that's gross.
- Break your tempeh brick in half and steam for 10 min.
- Let it cool just a little bit and then break it into little crumbles, using either a pastry cutter or your hands and a fork.
- Heat your skillet on medium heat, add coconut oil or olive oil and toss in the tempeh. Cook and stir for 3-5 min. In the last 30 seconds of cooking, add in the rest of the marinade and just stir until the crumbles are coated and turn of the heat.
- FYI this taco is even more amazing if you add some butternut squash to the mix!
To make the tacos, warm up your tortillas for 30ish seconds and then add your filling of choice (about 4 oz.) to the center of the shell. Sprinkle with your favorite garnishes, cheese if you're into that kind of thing and salsa. Garnish with a little lime wedge and enjoy. I like to keep a few tbs. of the marinade aside to drizzle on top of the taco for a little extra citrus flavor kick.
Read more about the nutritional benefits of tempeh here.
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