Raw Tacos

Recipe courtesy of Psychologies Magazine (September 2017)

Psychologies Nutrition Editor Eve Kalinik has written Be Good to Your Gut: The ultimate guide to gut health – with 80 delicious recipes to feed your body and mind

This taco recipe was inspired by Eve’s vegan friend who is obsessed with Mexican food but wanted an alternative to beef tacos.  To create the ‘mince’, walnuts with sun-dried tomatoes and spices have been used.  Walnuts are one of the best sources of polyphenols, and it’s good to be mindful of our meat consumption in general.  This is a great light lunch but possibly double or treble the quantities to entertain friends or family.

Serves:  2

Ingredients:

8 small romaine lettuce leaves
1 avocado, cut into 8 slices
Fresh limes, cut into wedges

For the Cashew Sour Cream

30g cashews, soaked for 2 hours
Juice of 1/2 lemon
Pinch of mineral-rich salt
50ml filtered water

For the Taco Filling

50g walnuts
40g sun-dried tomatoes in oil (drained weight)
1/4 tsp dried chilli flakes (chipotle recommended)
1/4 tsp paprika
1/4 tsp ground cumin
1/4 tsp garlic powder
Pinch of mineral-rich salt

Step one:  For the cashew cream, drain the nuts and rinse well.  Put all of the ingredients into a blender and pulse until smooth.  Transfer to a small bowl and place in the fridge.

Step Two:  To make the taco filling, place all of the ingredients in a food processor and pulse until they have a texture resembling minced meat.

Step Three:  Wash the lettuce leaves and pat dry.  Divide the avocado slices and the taco mix among the lettuce leaves and drizzle with the cashew cream.  Serve with fresh lime wedges.

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Sizzling Beef Fajitas with Salsa

Mexican food can be high in fat, but this dish uses extra-lean rump steak, half-fat creme fraiche and only a little oil. The tortillas aren’t brushed with an oil as is usual either.  You’ll notice the great taste, but you only been eating half the fat.

Serves: 4;  Cals per portion:  495;  Total fat per portion: 17g

Ingredients Salsa:  1 beef tomato, skinned, deseeded and finely chopped; 4cm (1 1/2in) piece of cucumber, finely chopped; 1 small red onion, finely chopped; 30ml (2tbsp) fresh chopped coriander; juice of 1 lime; freshly ground black pepper

Fajitas:  325g (12oz) extra-lean rump steak, cut into thin strips; 1-2 fresh red chillies, deseeded and chopped; 2 garlic cloves, peeled and chopped; juice of 1 lime; 30ml (2 tbsp) fresh chopped coriander; 325 (12oz) pack, 8 ready made wheat tortillas; 15ml (1 tbsp) corn oil; 1 medium spanish onion, halved and thinly sliced; 1 red pepper, deseeded and sliced; 1 green pepper, deseeded and sliced; 5ml (1tsp) taco seasoning; 100ml (3 1/2fl oz) half-fat creme fraiche

  • Mix all the salsa ingredients together and spoon into a serving bowl.  Cover and leave in the fridge.
  • Put the beef strips in a shall bowl with the chillies, garlic, line juice and coriander.  Mix well, cover and leave to marinate for 1 hour.
  • When you’re ready to cook the beef, wrap the tortillas in tin foil and put them in the oven at 170oC/375oF/Gas 3 to warm them through (or seal them in microwave ffilm and heat them in a microwave oven according to the packet instructions).
  • Remove the beef from the bowl, reserving the marinade.  Heat the oil in a non-stick frying pan and brown the beef over a high heat, turn once, for 1 min.  Remove with a slotted spoon and keep warm on a plate.
  • Stir-fry the onion and peppers over a high heat, until starting to char.  Return beef to the pan and add any reserved marinade.  Add taco seasoning and sizzle for 1-2 mins.  Serve with tortillas, salsa and the creme fraiche drizzled over each portion.

Mexican Kebabs

You can cook these spicy kebabs on the barbecue or grill – just turn them often to prevent burning.

Serves:  4;  Cals per portion:  250

Ingredients:  4 chicken breast fillets, skinned; 30ml (2 tbsp) olive oil; juice of 1 lime; 5ml (1 tsp) each ground black pepper, chilli powder and paprika; 10ml (2 tsp) dried oregano; 1 large onion, cut into pieces; 1/2 green pepper, cut into pieces; 8 small tomatoes; lime wedges and oregano to garnish.

  • Cut the chicken fillets into even-sized pieces and place in a sealable non-metallic container.  Mix together the oil, lime juice, spices and oregano, then pour over the chicken.  Leave to marinate for 2 hours at room temperature.
  • Thread the chicken on to 4 metal skewers with the onion and pepper pieces, placing a tomato at each end of a skewer.
  • Cook under a medium grill for 20-25 mins.  Turn occasionally until chicken is cooked through and slightly charred.
  • Garnish with lime wedges and fresh oregano, then serve with warmed tortilla pancakes, soured cream and salad.