Thursday, March 17, 2011

Taco "meat"

 I'm playing a bit of catch up since I'm on a streak of night shifts...working 6 out of 8 nights can make you tight on time and low on sleep!
 I can't complain too much, I love my job and am adjusting so well to night shift that it should be a crime! Amazing what having a job you actually love can do to your whole outlook on life. I shall do a one-year-anniversary re-cap post when I've been here a year (coming up soon, can't believe it!) but until then...

 We made the most amazing taco "meat"! You won't believe whats in it!

chili powder
cayenne pepper
and sundried tomatoes!

 I have seen this on some other blogs and always wanted to try it in lettuce wraps or tacos, or in lasagna, or on top of nachos. The possibilities are only as limited as your imagination.

We put 1/3 cup of walnuts with 1/3 cup of sundried tomatoes in the food processor:

Sprinkled some seasonings on and pulsed it a few times. I didn't want to blend or puree it, I wanted it to be chunky and have some texture. So I pulsed it probably about 10-15 times.

The result was really amazing. I can't really describe how it tasted because the texture and appearance of it made you think you were eating taco meat. But the flavor of iron, that burst of red blood cells in your mouth that happens when you eat red meat, never happened. If you eat red meat all the time you are probably accustomed to this taste I talk about.
 The first time I gave up red meat, I didn't have a bite of it for over a year. My tastebuds lost the taste for it. One night The Boyfriend made hamburger helper and for some reason I wanted to try a bite. He no sooner put the fork in my mouth than I was trying to get it out. I spit the meat into the sink and exclaimed, "Don't eat it! It has gone bad! The meat has gone bad!" He quickly tried it and said, "No, that's how it's supposed to taste."
  I can only describe it as tasting like sucking on a penny, or biting your tongue and having to swallow the blood. Red meat is not a taste we are born liking. That is why so many young children do not naturally like meat, especially red. They are conditioned and raised to eat it, and they become used to it; it is an acquired taste. If you stop eating it, you will lose the taste for it, and you probably won't like it should you try it again.
 Over the holidays, The Boyfriend and I ventured back up north to visit with family. For dinner one night, his parents made a lasagna with red meat in it. His mom was thoughtful and kind enough to make us a vegetable lasagna so we didn't have to eat the red meat lasagna. At the end of the night we were in the kitchen together alone cleaning up, and as we put away the lasagna I dared him to have a bite of the red-meat lasagna. I wanted to see just how vegan he really is, so to speak. I wanted to see if he had grown un-accustomed to meat as well, or if he could just flip back and eat red meat again. He took me up on the dare and ate a bite, and the same thing happened as it had to me. He didn't spit it out immediately but rather he rolled it around in his mouth like he didn't know what to do with it, making a gross sound, then he spit it in the garbage disposal and wiped his tongue off with a paper towel.  We just kind of stood there staring at each other, probably thinking, "Well. No going back now I guess." When I asked him what it tasted like, he said blood. He wasn't just repeating what I said about the hamburger helper (I had kept that to myself and had never described it like that to him).  So there you have it. Meat is a conditioning and you can un-condition yourself if you wish!
 So off my soap box, back to the walnut meat:

 We promptly made them into tacos with homemade guacamole on top:

  We had soft taco shells too, which The Boyfriend had the brilliant idea of making into quesadillas:

We were simply amazed at how delicious this was. Have to run to work now! Have a great night everyone!

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