Taco Fries

Tonights dinner is one of our favourite here in this house. Homemade Taco Fries.

I love making homemade fries, and often used to use the deep fat fryer. Then in January I finally splashed out on a Tefal Actifry, after lusting after one for about 2 years! And I love it. I use it at least once or twice a week. It does take a good bit longer to cook the chips – but just means we have to be more organised!

The Taco spice mix is a blend that I found when doing Slimming World. I love the fact that Slimming World teaches people to cook from scratch using herbs and spices. I have always done most things from scratch but I used to use a taco spice mix that I bought. Now I always use this recipe.

What I did a few weeks ago was to mix a larger quantity – same proportions but just about 10 times as much so that I could have the spices premixed to make the prep even quicker. I now have that sitting up on my shelf in a jar and can just use a few spoons of that (to taste) when cooking the taco mince.

  • 1/2 tsp chilli powder
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp cumin
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne chilli powser
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp sweetner (I use sugar because I hate artificial sweetner)
  • 1 tsp dried oregano

I add the spice mix into the mince, and vegetable that are already cooked, along with two tins of tomatoes, and leave simmer for about 20 minutes. I use onions, garlic, peppers, celery (finely chopped) and mushrooms. You could add as much vegetables in here as you wanted. I am also going to try this with lentils and red kidney beans as a vegetarian version.

And then for serving we use a shop bought taco sauce and grated cheese.

Each of us in the house has a different way they want their taco fries served. I am traditional with the fries, mince, cheese, taco sauce. The hubby likes his taco sauce and mince mixed together first, and then put on his chips and doesn’t mind whether there’s any cheese or not. The boy is mince, then fries, cheese, taco sauce. Miss Q likes her mince topped with cheese and taco sauce on one side and fries on the other. And Little Miss Z likes her chips on a plate with some taco sauce to dip in – no mince or cheese!

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Lentil Curry

As part of our recent discussions into healthy eating and after watching the Forks Over Knives documentary a few weeks ago, we decided we would try to add some vegetarian meals into our diets.

About two weeks ago I decided to try a lentil curry because I had lentils, so I stuck it into Google and found a recipe I liked the look off. It was this one here from  Simple Vegan Blog

A really easy recipe to put together. I had all the ingredients. Simple. Well, it didn’t turn out well. And I found out why.

So on the evening I was making it, I was busy and rushing and grabbed down my jar of lentils…

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See them there – top left!

And popped them in water to cook. Now I didn’t have enough water in the pot and they boiled almost dry – so for a week I blamed the failure of the recipe on that. Because in my curry the lentils were hard and chalky, and not tasty at all.

It was only the other day I was digging around at the back of another shelf of jars – when I found the real reason my lentil curry didn’t work out. Can you see now why?

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Yep – my lentils weren’t lentils. They were split yellow peas. And because I was only paying half attention, I thought yes that’s them and threw them in. I found it very amusing when I realised, and had a good laugh at myself!

So now that I’d worked out the reason, I decided I wanted to try the lentil curry again. But this time I knew my kids wouldn’t humour me and eat it – because they’d already tried it and didn’t like it – so I decided to go a slight different route. Instead tonight I made a “Vegetable Curry” – I added extra onion and finely chopped celery and a yellow pepper to the curry mix and that camouflaged the lentils a bit. And they ate it. While they didn’t wolf it down and ask for more, they did clear their plates without complaint. So that’s a win in my books.

I’ve got to say that the mix of spices in this curry recipe are lovely, really very tasty, and very easy to have all the ingredients on hand. I have frozen portions of coconut milk in my freezer so I just throw a portion into the pot and it defrosts while its cooking. Definitely worth trying it out.

 

Happy Thanksgiving!

Even though it is not part of our traditions in Ireland, I love the idea of Thanksgiving. The name appeals to me – a day to give thanks.

So this year I have decided to attempt to bring a little USA Thanksgiving to our house. I’ve the kids all coming down, there’ll be 14 of us (4 of them under 10). I’ve already had a few disasters, like my apple pie falling to pieces in my hands, not being able to find cornmeal for my cornbread and it seems our sausage behaves differently to how the American recipes say it will!! But its an experience… and a great reason to get family together.

I’ll let you all know how it goes. Happy Thanksgiving to you, wherever you are in the world. I am so thankful for all I have, and I’m happy to give thanks and celebrate today.

Grilling Grapefruit

I came across a post somewhere recently saying that grapefruit (among other things) was great for boosting your metabolism and aiding weight loss. Now, I love grapefruit – but the post had some ideas for how to make grapefruit easier to eat – and this was one of the ideas.

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Very simple. Cut the grapefruit in half, sprinkle on some cinnamon and sugar, and grill. Its quite tasty.

Now my other half doesn’t really like grapefruit, and he didn’t think that this helped it at all. But I love it, and found it really nice.

Have you tried this before?