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Back to Reality

Or, I Went to Greece for a Week and a Half and Now I’m Going to Talk About Tacos

So uh… yeah. I went to Greece for a bit with the Archaeologist and it was good times. Great times actually and I will hopefully have some pictures up later this week to at least talk about the food that I ate there. Which was spectacular. And now it’s back to things like work. I’d say grocery shopping and laundry but I did those in Greece. They were just better there because it was vacation chores. I hung out laundry to dry in view of mountains in Athens. It just rings of romantic tomfoolery! Of course it was better!

And here I am.  The laundry isn’t as romantic, the grocery shopping isn’t as exotic, I have to wake up and go to work and not drink beer in rooftop tavernas. This is an instance where really, the only thing to do is make tacos. If I am beyond cranky and hate life, tacos are my go-to comfort food. They keep me from laying on the floor and listening to soulful music and writing bad poetry.  Also, they’re easy and fast.

Tonight I did what I call “vegetarian mess” tacos. (Patent pending) Basically it’s just onions, peppers, sweet potato, black beans and garlic. If I’m feeling frisky I add zucchini. Or tomatoes, jalapenos, chipotle, whatever captures my fancy or looks good. The process for this is dead simple. Saute onions until translucent. Add peppers. Look at your sweet potato and try to decide how you want to cook it and realize that if you want to eat dinner tonight your only choice is to microwave it. If you possess something called “forethought” you could, obviously, bake it, roast it, boil it. Whatever gets it cooked so you can cube it up and toss it in with the rest of your cooked veggies and the black beans. Then add salt, chili powder (my favorite is Penzey’s Chili 3000. SO GOOD.) cayenne, cumin, pepper. Truthfully I cook a lot by feel with the spices, so start with small amounts of everything and taste and adjust until you’re happy. This is the part where you can really ramp up the heat if you want. Or not. It’s flexible.  Once it’s all cooked through and hot, turn that mess in to tacos.

Maybe this sounds obvious but if you want meat in there, you would add it at the beginning and brown it up before you started adding your veg.

But wait! Before you start slicing your onion for the tacos, make some rice to go with this. I’m not going to disown anyone if they decide to use a box and make “Spanish Rice” (If you do a box, get the Zatarains, it’s pretty good!). Honestly most of those take as much time as doing it “from scratch”, and sometimes they want you to add just as much stuff!! It’s onion, canned tomatoes – I use the ones with chiles because I like it a little spicier – rice, salt, chili powder, water. That’s it! Saute your onion in a little oil, throw in your rice and toast it for a few minutes, add everything else – tomatoes go in juice and all – and let it bubble away while you make your tacos. I find they’re usually done around the same time. Unless you use brown rice, so don’t do that. Ok, you can do that but it takes longer to cook.

Then, you know, eat it and feel better about life.

Mexican Rice Recipe

1 small onion, chopped

1 T oil

2/3 c. rice

1 can diced tomatoes

1/2 tsp. chili powder

1 tsp. salt

1 1/2 c. water

Saute onion in oil until translucent. Add rice and toast for 3-5 minutes. Add everything else and bring to a boil. Lower heat and simmer until water is absorbed and rice is cooked.

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