the taco diet

I eat tacos for breakfast every weekday. sometimes I buy them, but usually I just sort of throw together whatever’s in the fridge and hope it tastes good. lucky for me, it usually does! not always though. anyway, I strongly encourage you to make any of these tacos if you feel inspired, and to generally eat as many tacos as possible whenever you want. remember, every taco is a breakfast taco if you eat the taco for breakfast.

thursday, august 3, 2017: cold comfort tacos

the tacos

taco ingredients

cold grilled salmon, artichoke heart, bell pepper, onion and garlic yogurt sauce, fresh fennel


okay these tacos were deadass amazing, just to be clear. I grilled a mess of wild coho salmon last night (following this boss-ass-recipe, from Eater) and like, it was perfect. I am not a particularly skilled cooker of fish, but this… it was tender and sweet, just the right amount of rare, not at all fishy… for real, perfect. which was great last night, but a lil’ challenging today, cuz obviously I couldn’t reheat it or anything. it wouldn’t have been perfect anymore! fortunately cold salmon has a long history at the breakfast tables of my people. I almost did some kind of sautéd asparaguts thing, but it didn’t feel right. instead, I made kind of a tzatziki-esque sauce with yogurt, garlic, red onion, and olive oil, seared up a bell pepper that was starting to look sad, and was off to the races. oh also I threw in leftover grilled artichoke heart/stem cuz what else was I gonna do with it? that was made by vaguely following this recipe from Serious Eats but tbh I kinda fucked it up and they were just okay

next time

it's a taco alright!
the fennel I threw on at the end didn’t really add anything, but I think some kinda fresh herb, dill or mint or idk thyme maybe, would do a lot here. Totally meant to add arugula, too even had the bag on the counter, but just plum forgot. could have added a bit more salt to the sauce, too, and having actual cucumbers in there definitely wouldn’t have like, hurt anything. more onion too, actually. I coulda done better work with that sauce. I clearly have some regrets

the recipe

I am eating the heck out of this taco tbh

this is def better than last time. look you can see the fish!


ingredients

  • leftover grilled salmon
  • about a cup of greek yogurt? could be less, def not more
  • green bell pepper, cut into longish slices
  • fresh fennel (or literally any other herb)
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/3rd or more red onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 lemon
  • tortillas
  • salt, pepper, olive oil

instructions

  1. follow that salmon recipe up there the night before you wanna have these tacos for breakfast. or I mean you could do em warm and fresh, too, with salmon you just cooked. but yeah the recipe is linked above I am not gonna transcribe it here
  2. combine yogurt, garlic, red onion, and a generous glug of olive oil or two in a small bowl. add the juice of half your lemon, then whisk it all together. add salt and pepper to taste
  3. you could probably throw the lemon zest in there too, if you wanted. I bet that would be good
  4. heat olive oil in a small pan, then lay bell pepper slices, skin side down, in the oil. sprinkle liberally with salt – I don’t need to tell you to use kosher salt, right? that’s a thing everyone does now? – and cook until skin starts to blister, 3-5 minutes
  5. chop up whatever fresh herb you’re using, and quarter your lemons. for garnish
  6. oh I guess I didn’t mention the artichokes up in the ingredients section. I mean you could really leave them out, but I guess if you have half an artichoke stem laying around, quarter it? you can put two pieces in each taco
  7. taste the yogurt sauce to make sure the acids have mellowed out the garlic and onion enough. if they haven’t, wait a couple minutes. if they have, make and eat tacos

wednesday, august 2, 2017: nostalgic hangover tacos

the tacos

taco ingredients

scrambled eggs, tortillas, chicken apple sausage, omelette parlor inspired potatoes. avocado not pictured cuz it was uggggly


I had a job interview yesterday for a job that I would really like to get, and may have totally sabotaged myself, and as a result, was a little hungover this morning. and as a result of that I was both nostalgic and wanted greasy food. the potatoes in these tacos are the nostalgia part, an homage to the omelette parlor, a diner in colorado springs where I spent many mornings struggling to remember what it felt like to be a human. the trick is you cook them before you fry them, which isn’t much of a trick, but still does the trick, y’know? they end up like crispy pillows, sort of as if you wrapped kettle chips around a tater tot. the sausage is from whole foods and was a little funky, the eggs have goat milk in em, and the avocado was wretched asl but still tasted okay

next time?

show me yr taco face

I’ll try to figure out how to eat tacos in a way that lets you see what’s in em, promise


these potatoes, while delicious, do not actually make any sense in a taco. they’re just flat out too big, even though these were just lil goldies, not big ol’ OP russets like they shoulda been. the sausage was kind of weird too, which I knew when I bought it but somehow convinced myself to forget. eggs were perfect though. so I guess next time I’ll … do something totally different? or just eat the potatoes as a side

the recipe!

nostalgic hangover tacos
ingredients

  • sausages
  • 2 eggs
  • some kinda milk
  • potatoes
  • salt and pepper
  • butter and olive oil
  • white wine, maybe?
  • an avocado (ideally in better shape than mine)

instructions

  1. bring a pot of water to boil with the potatoes in it, and cook until you can poke em pretty good with a fork but they’re not like, all the way done. the real recipe I think you’re supposed to use russets and bake them, which would theoretically give you a drier, fluffier inside. but who has the time?
  2. while potatoes cook, heat olive oil in a pan over like, 1/3 heat and add sausages
  3. crack the eggs into a bowl and scramble em up. you can totally add milk here, which I did, which I almost always do, but I do not know what it does, really. Kenji probably has an idea ask him
  4. when sausages are browned on both sides but not yet cooked thru, add a large glug of wine, or water if you feel uncomfortable cooking with wine at breakfast, and cover. the booze cooks off so I think it’s harmless fun, but I do not know how your parents raised you or what your relationship is to alcohol. follow your heart, then cook for another 10 minutes or so, feeling free to cut a sausage open if you’re worried they’re not done. you’re choppin em up anyway, they don’t need to be pretty.
  5. once potatoes are mostly but not totally cooked, take em out of the water, let em cool, and then slice em into like 1/4 inch thick rounds
  6. melt a tablespoon of butter, definitely use butter, in a pan with some olive oil, over lets say 1/3 heat again. add potatoes carefully, flat side down, sprinkle liberally with salt and pepper, and cook until they’re cripsy, like maybe 5-7 minutes.
  7. flip the potatoes, and while they’re cooking make scrambled eggs. I am not going to tell you how to make scrambled eggs because I believe in you.
  8. your sausages should be done by now but if they’re not, chop em up and cook the individual pieces real fast. they’ll be even more delicious cuz of the extra caramelization
  9. when the eggs are scrambled and the potato crisp is most ideal, take everything off heat and make tacos
  10. add your favorite hot sauce too, probably. tjs stopped stocking my favorite hot sauce tho so this is just sriracha. if you have a favorite hot sauce that can become my new favorite hot sauce, please lmk

tuesday, august 1, 2017: gentrified breakfast tacos

the tacos

gentrified breakfast tacos
if you squint, this is a pretty conventional egg and potato breakfast taco. but the yellow eggy thing is actually leftover red lentils, and the potatoes are both sweet and grilled, which kind of throws things off. I had intended to add the mushrooms and peppers as a topping, but absentmindedly mixed them into the lentils instead, which ended up being the right move. it was a pretty fascinating interplay, with the sweet potato, lentil, bell pepper, mushroom, and spinach doing this five tastes megazord unification of flavors and textures that seemed totally sufficient, at least until the avocado came in like the green ranger with some cool creamy richness that took the whole thing to the next level. anyway I described the ingredients to a friend who said the tacos were way to gentrified, so there you go

next time?

I should want to change more things than I do, but these really were shockingly good. I seared the sweet potatoes to reheat them, but they ended up being mushier than I would have liked, and less caramelized? probably too much avocado, which I never thought I would say but tbqh idk if I needed the third slice. 100% worth doing again though, and doing better

the recipe!

ingredients

cooked red lentils (I just boiled em with turmeric and cumin and salt. easy)
sweet potatoes, halved longways and then grilled (they could realistically be baked or boiled, too)
diced red bell pepper
mushrooms, cut into quarters or thirds
spinach
sliced avocado
olive oil
butter
salt

instructions

  1. heat a mix of butter and olive oil in a pan, and add the mushrooms when butter melts
  2. cook for a couple minutes, then add bell pepper and a large pinch of salt
  3. when your peppers look soft-ish and the mushrooms are satisfyingly buttery, put em in a bowl with the lentils and mix to combine. I microwaved the lentils first so everything would be warm but that’s between you and your god really
  4. in the same pan, heat a dash more oil on a high heat, then add the sweet potatoes and cook for a minute or two on each side. you’re just looking for things to get a little crispy/sizzly/caramelized on the outside, so don’t overthink it. if the pan starts smoking, they’re definitely ready
  5. chunk the sweet potatoes into like 1.5in by .5in pieces, then use along with previously mentioned ingredients to make tacos. I went lentil mixture -> potatoes -> spinach -> avocado, but honestly this is purely your personal aesthetic choice.

monday, july 31, 2017: I did not make these tacos

the tacos

I know it is the same picture from Instagram but what do you want from me jeez
I went to an 8:00am town hall to hassle my CA assemblyman about single payer healthcare, so I didn’t really have time to make breakfast this morning. I mean it is possible I could have squeezed it in if I was determined, but I don’t move super fast in the AM. also the town hall was in sunnyvale, so I knew I could grab breakfast at taqueria latina afterwards. breakfast in this case was one fish taco, which was dope, and two chivo tacos, which were exceptional. they grill the fish, which is not tilapia, and then kinda break it up into lil’ chunkies before it hits the tortilla. it is, I think, an excellent way to serve a fish taco. the chivo honestly I have no idea how is made but I have been fascinated by the concept of bbq pulled goat since I quit eating pork, and there is something powerful speaking to my soul about this meat. gotta learn more

next time?

insanely hell yes there is going to be a next time but I don’t know when. contrary to recent events I am not in sunnyvale all that often. also it is unlikely my order will ever change again so it’s not that exciting sorry. maybe I’ll get some chips if I go back, or not eat them in a parking lot off the hood of my car

the recipe

chris v if you are reading this sorry and also thanks
see this is sort of a weird structure I am gonna have to figure out, because this is mostly a blog about cooking, but also sometimes just about eating? I am a fan of consistent formatting, so I kinda like riding with the style, but also I obvi don’t know the recipes beyond “go to taqueria latina in sunnyvale and give them money.” if you want to do that, here is a picture I stole from yelp so you can see what the place looks like, and also their address is 195 e maude ave, sunnyvale, ca 94085. I find it quite charming that they are on maude ave, btw. like who was this specific maude that became an avenue? I do not know that I have ever met any maudes at all.

friday, july 28th, 2017: weird pasta tacos

the tacos
I knew it would come to this eventually. my arbitrary decision to use leftovers in my tacos whenever possible made the pasta taco unavoidable. and honestly, it could have been a lot worse! I did kind of a fake carbonara thing (fake cuz no pork or really meat at all) and threw in the asparaguts cuz they were about to go bad. probably my eggs ended up closer to scrambled than would have been ideal but I needed things to hold together if they were gonna work as a taco, y’know? also threw in some spinach at the end so it wasn’t completely monochrome. the tomatoes and squash were in the original pasta dish

next time?
less pasta in the taco, for sure, cuz it spilled out everywhere. and more texture, somehow, but I don’t know where that should come from. all I can think of right now is crushed peanuts on top, but frankly that sounds horrible. something to experiment with if I ever do this again. which is possible, if I ever have pasta for dinner again.

the recipe!
please do not take me providing a recipe as a suggestion that you should make these tacos yourself. that is a deeply personal decision, and there is not a wrong choice, not really. but if you do want to, here is how I did it.

ingredients

leftover pasta (mine had squash and tomatoes and garlic, yours can have w/e)
tortillas, warmed on the burner of your stove
3 eggs
goat milk
goat cheese
asparaguts
baby spinach
olive oil
white wine
salt, pepper, and red chili flakes

instructions

  1. boil a pot of water
  2. chop up the asparaguts as you see fit, but probably into like 1 inch chunks
  3. throw said asparaguts into a pan with some olive oil and sauté about 3 minutes, or until you feel satisfied
  4. add a splash of white wine to the pan, and cover so asparaguts can steam. you can use any color of wine you want though, or even sake! live your best life
  5. while the ‘guts are steaming, roughly chop the leftover pasta. you’ll feel a little silly chopping pasta, but it is probably better than accidentally pulling out all of your taco filling cuz the noodles are tangled
  6. combine eggs, cheese, and milk in a metal bowl that can sit on top of your boiling water without touching the boiling water. do not feel like you have to use goat dairy; I impulse bought goat milk at trader joe’s and figured I had to use it for something
  7. when you feel good about how cooked your asparaguts are, add all the ingredients except the chili flakes to the egg mixture, and place on the boiling water pot
  8. we’re doing a double boiler thing!
  9. stir mixture until the eggy mixture begins to coat the noodles and everything seems less goopy. if it’s way too runny, add more eggs. if it is way not runny enough, add more milk
  10. spoon pasta onto tortillas, line with baby spinach, and sprinkle with red chili flakes
  11. figure out some way to add a crunch to this thing, seriously. maybe the ideal is green bell pepper? I have to believe we can solve this problem