Updated: Apr 30, 2020
The majority of my day is spent thinking about food. Growing it. Cooking it. Eating it.
So don’t be surprised when the majority of my posts are about food. Real food.
We throw that phrase around a lot these days but what does it really mean?
Well, for me, it is about knowing that what I am eating started off as a real, live food and not created in a laboratory. When I am able I like to grow my own or buy organic, ethically sourced ingredients from farmers markets. But I am also a realist, and a mother of 2 hungry children – so I still purchase lots of things from the supermarket and fruit and veg shop! I simply try and make all of my purchases informed ones.
I am one of those people you see standing in the supermarket aisle reading the ingredient list and nutritional panel before products go into my trolley. It’s time consuming to start with, but boy, is it eye opening! Products that I thought were healthy options, were laced with sugars, seed oils, words that I couldn’t pronounce and numbers. Lots and lots of numbers. The more I learned about these ingredients the less I wanted my loved ones to consume them. So in turn, the more passionate I became about just eating real food.
Let’s kick off with one of my family favourites for summer – Lettuce Tacos. My spring veggie garden is looking amazing at the moment – all the herbs and lettuces are growing like mad – so this cheap and simple meal is often on our menu. It is easy to customise with your favourite herbs added into the salsa or the mince. I love it as people can eat as many of these as they wish and never feel guilty! I’ve included my recipes for the salsa, guacamole and taco seasoning at the end of the post so you can avoid having to purchase these at the supermarket
For a family of 4 all you need to make Lettuce Tacos is:
1-2 cos lettuces, leaves separated but kept whole Sour Cream Salsa Guacamole Grated Cheese 2-3 tbs mexican taco seasoning 500g mince – beef or chicken
In a frying pan over high heat, brown the mince. Add the mexican taco seasoning and a splash of water. Once cooked, set aside.
Place your lettuce cups on a serving plate.
Spoon some taco mince into the bottom of the lettuce cup, top with salsa, guacamole, sour cream and cheese.
Garnish with fresh herbs for extra zing. Enjoy!
These make a great finger food meal to either serve on a platter or simply put all the ingredients into the centre of the table and let people make as they eat.
For the salsa:
This recipe is very customisable to your own taste.
Simply dice 2-3 fresh tomatoes, finely chop half a red onion and combine together in a bowl.
In another bowl, combine the juice of 1-2 limes or 1 lemon with 1 minced garlic clove, 2tbs extra virgin olive oil, sea salt and pepper. Mix well. Pour over the tomato mixture.
Serve straight away or allow to sit for a few hours to let flavours develop.
Fresh herbs from the garden make lovely accent flavours in this delicious side. Some like to add fresh sweet corn to their salsa for a sweet bite and a bright splash of colour.
For the guacamole:
This is a rustic recipe and again is easily customisable to suit individual preferences.
Find 2 ripe avocados, destone and scoop out the flesh into a bowl.
Using a fork mash the avocado to your desired consistency – some like it smooth others chunky.
Season liberally with salt and a little pepper.
Add a large spoonful of sour cream or natural yoghurt, a splash of Tabasco sauce or some fresh chilli and a squeeze of lemon juice.
Add additional herbs or seasoning to taste. I love coriander in mine!
For the mexican taco seasoning:
In a high powered blender or coffee grinder blitz until fine consistency is achieved :
1 tbs oregano
1 tbs paprika
1 tbs ground cumin
1 tbs onion flakes
1 tbs marjoram
1 tsp salt
1 tsp peppercorns
1/2 tsp chilli powder (or more to taste)
Store in a clean, dry jar in a cool dry place. Use as required.