babysitting · Beans · dinner · easy · gluten free · healthy · lunch · quick · squash · Tacos · vegan · Vegetables

Butternut Squash Tacos and Babysitting?

I babysat some kiddos this weekend. Can you believe it? Oh, wait… y’all probably don’t know this, but I’m not really a fan of kids. I mean, as a whole… there are several kids I know personally that I love to pieces. Still, I’m not one to babysit much. Mostly just because I’m not the first person any parent thinks of when they’re in need of someone to watch their children. They usually choose someone that is more “kid friendly.” I get it.

So I watched my friend’s kids while she was at a wedding reception last weekend. They are 1 1/2 and 6 years old. The 6-year-old is fucking awesome. Coolest kid around – likes to play with trains and snuggle. This kid is my fucking jam. The toddler is newish to me. We haven’t developed our rapport yet. She’s cute, sassy as fuck, and hates being contained, which I wholeheartedly respect. She’s also desperate to touch anything and everything that is dangerous or fragile and cries/screams when she doesn’t get her way. I have a healthy fear of her, and she has an unhealthy fear of nothing. I bet my mom is reading this right now with a smirk on her face. She’s thinking, “Finally! A taste of her own medicine.” I was not an “easy” child.

I spent most of my 4ish hours with them just trying to keep her from electrocuting herself (she loved sticking her baby fingers into the outlets) or from smashing her fingers in the closet doors. At one point I distracted her by building a blanket fort. The 6-year-old was all about it. The toddler loved it, too… but only because she wanted to run through it with her arms up, ripping down every blanket I put up while screech-giggling. Her brother patiently followed behind her, re-securing everything she ripped down. Eventually I had to break it to him, “Sorry, dude… I don’t think this is going to happen.” He was cool about it, clearly used to her antics.

As soon as I pulled all the blankets down, she went right back to aiming for the outlets. I’d pull her away and sit her down somewhere, which would prompt her to either get up to try again (like a toddler boomerang), or scream and cry. You know how some people give babies whatever they want because they can’t stand it when they’re sad? I am not one of those people. I am fucking immune to that shit. I just looked at her sobbing little face and said sarcastically, “Gee, I’m so sorry I won’t let you electrocute yourself tonight, but my one job is to keep you alive. Don’t make this harder than it needs to be.”

I swear to God, the look on her face said, “Fuck you, bitch. I own you.” Then she got up and headed back to the outlet.

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My AcroYoga group is putting together a little fundraiser dinner to raise money for one of the teachers to go to training this winter. We decided to make tacos, and I am in charge of the vegetarian option. I thought I better practice making this recipe at home before making it for a room full of people next month. Hence, this recipe. It’s a hodge-podge of recipes I found online, and I’m actually quite proud of it. It’s seasonal and delightful. I had a friend of mine taste-test it a few weeks ago, and they agreed that it is delicious. They also had the genius idea of adding an egg to the leftovers for breakfast tacos. DO IT.

Butternut Squash Tacos

1 medium sized butternut squash, peeled and cubed

1 can (15oz) black beans, drained and rinsed

10-12 corn tortillas

Olive oil

Salt and pepper

Paprika

Cumin

Garlic powder

1/2 purple cabbage, shredded

2 large handfuls of green onion, chopped

1 lime

Optional: Salsa, avocado, sour cream

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Toss the squash with a heavy drizzle of olive oil and a good sprinkling of salt, pepper, paprika, cumin, and garlic powder (there is no reason to measure any of this – I mean, honestly, just add as much as you fucking want). Spread the squash out in an even layer on a baking sheet. Bake for 40 minutes, stirring around once halfway through. Once there are about 5 minutes left, toss the beans in with the squash. Add a little extra seasoning and bake for the remaining 5 minutes.

While everything is baking, mix the cabbage and green onions in a large bowl. Cut the lime in half and squeeze over the cabbage. Add a heavy drizzle of olive oil (just fucking wing it) and some salt and pepper. Mix well.

Heat the tortillas over an open flame on the stove, slightly charring each side. Fill the tortillas with a scoop of the squash and beans, and top with the cabbage mixture (along with whatever else you like).

Shovel into your face hole.

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This is how it should look in real life: balanced on your knee while you search for something to watch on Netflix.

comfort food · dinner · easy · gluten free · healthy · lunch · quick · Rice · Tacos · vegan · vegetarian

Veggie Tacos and Drunken Tinder-ing

It happened. I caught the feelings. And my soul was crushed.

Again, I can be very dramatic. But that doesn’t make my feelings any less valid.

Went to Hannah’s house last night to drown my sorrows in wine and snuggle on the couch. Her husband made us pizza and we watched Netflix  (and Sherlock! OMG!) while I drunkenly looked for validation by feverishly swiping on Tinder (Spoiler: I didn’t find it).

Life advice from me to you: Do NOT use dating apps while drunk. It never ends well. Just don’t fucking do it.

Also: Tinder will never validate you.

I woke up this morning with a list of the most disappointing matches I’ve ever seen. And it just continued throughout the day as people continued to swipe right on me, reminding me of my drunken mistake(s). I’ve never done so much unmatching in my life. Not only that, but I gave out my phone number to a handful of people, and woke up to texts from them. I couldn’t remember who was who, and ended up just telling them all to delete my number. I vaguely remember interacting with them the night before as I looked over some of the texts. One of them was convinced I was some kind of spam bot, and told me to send him a selfie. I told him to stop being weird. At least I was in my right mind enough to not start sending drunken photos. Could’ve been worse (I mean, I could’ve gotten a bunch of dick pics or something- barf). I was also really fucking snarky with these guys. I’m so sick of messaging someone on Tinder, and getting no questions about me. They go on and on about themselves (which is good – I want to know about them!), but then they don’t ask me any follow up questions. Or the questions they ask are really lame… like, “What are you looking for on Tinder?” Okay, that’s an acceptable question, but also ask me something about myself! Fuck. Do you not want to know anything about me? Does that not fucking matter? OMG, also, not one fucking guy I’ve gone out with has asked to read my blog. NOT ONE. And almost none of them ask me about Acro, even though it’s mentioned in my profile, and I have photos. So last night I flat out said to one of them, “Interact with me! Ask me questions!” You know what he asked me?

“What are you looking for on Tinder?”

Fuuuuuuck.

What the fuck do you think I’m looking for?! Human connection, mostly. Preferably of the romantic variety, though that’s not required. Duh. Isn’t that what everyone is looking for to some extent?!

I can’t fucking stand this shit. I need a break. It is mentally exhausting to continually put myself out there. I can’t do it anymore. No dates this week. Just me, my amazing friends, and all the fucking yoga.

I have the best friends in the entire world. Seriously. How did I get so lucky to be constantly surrounded by such empathetic and insightful women? Fuck. I love you guys so much.

Thank you, Hannah, for taking care of me last night, for letting me be unapologetically myself (aka: a mess), and for doing drunken Acro with me. I’m sorry about your knee. I owe you some fucking veggie tacos for sure. Or a taco cake! Next week. I promise. ❤

Veggie tacos are a go-to meal in my house. Mostly because they’re so fucking easy, and I almost always have rice and/or beans in the fridge to go with ’em.

Veggie Tacos

1 onion, sliced

1 bell pepper, sliced

Corn tortillas

Olive oil

Taco seasonings (chili powder, cayenne, garlic, onion powder, cumin, red pepper flakes)

Salsa

Sour cream

Optional: thinly sliced radishes tossed with lemon juice and salt, lettuce, cheese, avocado, whatever the fuck else you want to top your taco with

Serve with rice and/or beans

Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Throw in the onion and pepper slices and generously sprinkle with the various taco seasonings (don’t over think it – just throw a few shakes of each seasoning in there!). Stir the veggies, making sure to coat everything in olive oil and seasoning. Let cook for a few minutes, stirring occasionally, until the onions are translucent and peppers have softened. Take however many tortillas you want, and char them over an open flame (or microwave them if you’re lame) on the stove top. This can also be done with an electric stove, but it takes longer and isn’t as fun. For directions on how to char the tortillas, check out the Taco Cake post. Fill your tortillas with a scoop of veggies, maybe some rice and beans, and any topping you want (I like salsa, sour cream, and radishes). Shovel that shit right into your mouth, along with 7 glasses of wine. Or beer. Whatthefuckever. But, whatever you do, do NOT drink and Tinder.

Beans · comfort food · dinner · easy · gluten free · healthy · lunch · quick · Tacos · vegetarian

Taco Cake

I finally met my neighbor across the hall. I’ve been living in the same building for 4 1/2 years, and I swear he’s only been there 2 years. Maybe. So I ran into him in the hall for the millionth time, and finally introduced myself. Turns out he’s been living there almost the entire time I’ve been here. I’m the worst. I actively go out of my way to not meet anyone in my building.

Cortney has this idea that I live in Stars Hollow (from Gilmore Girls). Keep in mind that I live right in the middle of Minneapolis. No, it’s not a giant city… but it’s not fucking Stars Hollow. She came to this conclusion when she found out that I know the names of the baristas at my local coffee shop. That’s not because I know everyone, that’s because I spend far too much time/money at the coffee shop next to my work. Seriously… out of control. And the only reason I really even learned their names is because Hannah is so fucking extroverted. She basically forced me to meet all of them (which is actually nice, they’re lovely). It was totally outside my comfort zone. I also work within 7 blocks of my apartment, and practice/teach yoga at the studio that is 1 block away. This, to Cortney, means I must know everyone, and spend all my time waving to my many friends/neighbors when walking down the street (when, in fact, the reality is me walking down the street alone with my head down, avoiding eye contact). Her response to me finally meeting my neighbor was, “OMG! It’s going to be just like Gilmore Girls!” I think she needs to take into consideration that it took me FOUR YEARS to meet said neighbor. She’s in for a rude awakening when she visits.

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Speaking of which… she comes to visit in TWO WEEKS! And she’s staying for two weeks! It’s going to be fucking magical. We’re going to visit Duluth, go horseback riding, have high tea, go hiking, and take yoga and Acro together! She even gets to attend one of my yoga classes. Seriously – fucking magic. I’m so excited about this.

And I’m going to cook her delicious food! Maybe even this fucking awesome taco cake (minus the sour cream)!

I’ve made this “cake” for two birthdays at work this year. It was a fucking hit. It’s super messy to eat, though… FYI.

Taco Cake

6-10 Corn tortillas, heated on the stove (see photo)

1 bell pepper, thinly sliced

1 onion, thinly sliced

1 avocado, sliced

Lettuce/mixed greens

1 jar salsa

Sour cream

1 can refried beans, heated according to can instructions

Olive oil

Taco seasoning (cumin, paprika, salt, pepper, cayenne)

Saute onions and peppers in a few tablespoons of olive oil over medium-high heat. Sprinkle with taco seasoning and cook until onions are slightly translucent, stirring frequently. I like to let ’em brown a little bit, too. Do what you want. Char the tortillas on the stove, over an open flame, and get to layering! Lay down a tortilla, and cover with a layer of beans, onions/peppers, salsa, sour cream, then add another tortilla. Top the second tortilla with one or all of the fillings. There’s no wrong way to do this… just keep layering until it’s the right height for you. I like to top the whole thing with some salsa, a big dollop of sour cream, and some sliced avocado to make it pretty. If you’re being dainty, you can cut slices out of this, like cake. Otherwise, you could pick the whole thing up in your hands, and just take huge, sloppy bites out it, like a weird/giant sandwich. Do what feels true to you.

breakfast · brunch · comfort food · dinner · easy · gluten free · healthy · quick · Sauces · snacks · Tacos · vegan · vegetarian

Traditional Mexican Salsa

I’ve been going through some life changes recently. While I know everything will work itself out, it’s been kind of rough. Sometimes, when things are rough, I feel overwhelmed by everything around me. This salsa, for example, was a triumph for me. I wasn’t sure I’d be able to make it on my own, and for some reason that was important to me (in the way that seemingly insignificant things can take over my mind when I’m feeling upended). My mind kept telling me, “If you can do this one little thing, everything is going to be fine.”

I fucking nailed it.

I am irrationally proud of this.

Does this happen to anyone else? Like, everything is a fucking disaster, but as soon as I made this salsa, I felt like I could do anything.

Some people are into chunky salsa with lots of ingredients. Those people should find another recipe. This is a traditional Mexican salsa, minus the cilantro. I will say it again – Cilantro is NOT food. I don’t care if you want to eat it, but keep it away from me.

Traditional Mexican Salsa

10-12 Roma tomatoes

3-5 Jalapeños

2 cloves garlic, minced

Salt and Pepper

Red pepper flakes (if it’s not spicy enough at the end)

Throw the tomatoes and peppers into a large pot of water, and bring to a boil. Let simmer for a few minutes, until the skin on the tomatoes starts to crack and peel. With a slotted spoon, scoop tomatoes into a large bowl of ice water, then remove the skins and toss tomatoes into a blender or food processor. Cut the tops off the peppers, and throw them (the peppers, not their tops) in the blender, too. Add garlic, plus salt and pepper. Blend well. Pour salsa into a large pot. Bring to a boil, then simmer until thickened (it will reduce quite a bit). Taste test, and add more salt (and red pepper flakes if it’s not spicy enough for you). Don’t burn yourself. This makes about 3 pints. I like to do several batches and can them during tomato season. To can them, add 1 tablespoon of lemon juice per pint jar, then follow traditional canning instructions.

Pour that shit on everything. Seriously. Tacos, eggs, sandwiches, stir-fry, etc.

OR!

Wait for it to cool, then drink it straight out of the jar.

 

avocado · Beans · breakfast · brunch · comfort food · dinner · easy · eggs · gluten free · healthy · lunch · quick · Tacos · vegetarian

Breakfast Tacos

So I’ve been feeling really great about my body lately. I know – that’s not what women are supposed to say. We’re supposed to go on and on about how fat we are, desperately hoping for a compliment. Fuck that shit. I feel great. I mean, mostly. I backtracked today a little bit, when I weighed myself for the first time in 6 months. I’ve gained a little weight. It happens. What scared me was that I immediately went into this crazy, calorie counting mode. That’s how I deal with it – I obsessively count calories. It takes over my life, and is all around horrible. After mentioning this to my best friend, Cortney, she responded with this lovely thought…

“Girl, I totally understand what you are going through. I’m living that as well. I know how frustrating it is to want to restrict yourself after you gain weight, but don’t do it!! Don’t do that calorie counting shit–it’s so hurtful to your frame of mind and ruins the whole point of knowing and loving, and honoring your body’s needs.”

I love her so much.

What’s ridiculous is that before I knew the number on the scale, I felt great. Honestly, I still feel pretty great when I don’t think about the number. What the fuck does that number mean anyway? It’s always going to be higher than the average person, because I have crazy curves. And that’s awesome! Anyone who thinks otherwise can fuck right off.

I do think it’s important to nourish your body with healthy and delicious food, regardless of weight. So I will try to cut back on the desserts, and increase the veggies – but I will not count my calories. This is an important public service announcement. Seriously. I know my shit.

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You know what’s healthy and delicious? Tacos.

You know what’s better than regular tacos? Fucking breakfast tacos.

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Breakfast Tacos

1 or 2 corn tortillas (If you use flour tortillas, please never tell me. It will break my heart.)

1 or 2 eggs

Pinto beans

Brown rice

Salsa

Avocado

Optional toppings: Sour cream, green onion, sliced radishes tossed with lemon, whatever you like!

Heat the tortillas over an open flame on a gas stove, until slightly charred. Scramble the egg(s), scoop warm rice and beans onto a plate, and assemble tacos! Top with lots of salsa. Eat as many as you want – preferably while in your underwear, feeling great about your body.

avocado · Chicken · comfort food · dinner · easy · gluten free · lunch · quick · snacks · Tacos

Chicken Tacos and Vacation

I’ve been a little frazzled lately. Things in my life have been hectic, so I haven’t been able to blog. I’m hoping in the coming weeks that will change. Part of the problem was that I went on a luxurious vacation in Arizona with one of my girlfriends. It was full of delicious food, yoga, massages, and champagne. And amazing cacti.

 

I know. Poor me. Seriously, though, things have been chaotic mostly. I finally have things slightly under control, and am feeling more balanced. For the last month I was staying with friends, and didn’t have control over a kitchen of my own. Therefore, blogging was difficult. I did cook one meal worthy of a blog post while I crashed with my amazing friend, Hollee. Tacos are one of my go-to easy meals. I routinely make veggie tacos, especially if I’m too lazy to defrost meat (always). It’s super easy to make, and it can feel sort of fancy if you do it right (I’ll teach you). I like to add a little side salad with my tacos, or some beans and rice, depending on what I have on hand.

BTW, I know that yoga pose in the photo above is technically incorrect. Fuck off. I felt amazing doing yoga at the Grand Canyon!

Chicken Tacos

1 pound chicken breast or thigh, sliced

1 bell pepper, sliced

1 onion, sliced

Mixed greens

Green onion, chopped

Radishes, sliced very thin

Olive oil

Lemon

Soft corn tortillas (if you use flour tortillas, don’t ever speak to me again)

Avocado

Salsa

Sour cream

Taco spices: chili powder, cumin, paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, red pepper flakes, salt, and pepper (I don’t have real measurements for this… it’s like 6 shakes of chili powder, then 3 shakes for all the others. Taste as you go! Omit red pepper flakes if you don’t like things spicy.)

Saute chicken in a large skillet over medium-high heat, with a little olive oil. Season while it’s cooking. Once the chicken looks about halfway cooked(you’ll still see some pink), add the peppers and onions, plus more seasoning. Continue cooking until the veggies soften, and the chicken is cooked through. Taste and adjust seasonings as needed. Trust me, you can’t fuck it up. You don’t need exact measurements. Also, I almost never have onion powder or garlic powder on hand, so I just leave ’em out. It’s still fucking delicious.

While the chicken is cooking, prepare the radishes. Toss them with some salt and lemon juice (from one wedge of lemon) in a small bowl. Set aside.

For the tortillas – heating them over an open flame on a gas stove top is the best case scenario. Hollee only had an electric stove, so I made do. It worked surprisingly well, actually! You want to char the tortillas just a little on each size (I do them on my gas stove over high heat and turn them with metal tongs after about 30 seconds on each side). Don’t microwave them, or I will punch you right in the face.

Fill tortillas with the chicken and veggies, then top with any variation of the following: mixed greens, green onion, radish slices, avocado, salsa, and sour cream. Some people like to add cheese, but I find it unnecessary. If you’re having rice and beans, I like to add a little of that to the tortillas, as well. My tacos are usually over-filled, but I give no fucks. It’s messy and delicious.

Stuff as many tacos into your face as physically possible.

Side note: Do not add cilantro to this. Cilantro is not food. It’s disgusting.