Fifty shades of green and healthy tacos

Quick healthy tacosThis is the final of three recipes that I submitted for Kidspot 2014 Bloggers Competition. And it just had to be green, because green is so inspiringly lush and leafy and good for you! Also, it just so happens that my favorite things on this planet are green! I could breathe kale, bury myself completely in avocado, drink sprouts all day every day, hug all the herbs in my city, squeeze and sprinkle my way through falls of limes and pepitas. I dig green, I dream green, I smell green, my mouth waters at the sight of green, my world is made of shades of green.

This recipe is also many shades of green. Dark and leafy, soft and pale, crunchy and bright, zesty and sparkly and all the in betweens. Yes, these vibrant tacos are made of all the greens I love. They’re full of life, color and goodness.

taco05Dark leafy greens such as the mighty kale are some of the most nutrient dense foods we can get our hands on. Full of vitamins, minerals and phytonutrients they’re the bestest life insurance we can invest in. Seriously though, 1 cup of chopped kale gives us over 200% of our daily value of antioxidant vitamin A, over 100% of vitamin C and a staggering 684% of vitamin K! It also gives us copper, potassium, iron, manganese and phosphorous. Kale contains lutein, a carotenoid that supports healthy eyes and a healthy vision. Give it up for kale, antioxidant benefits and good bone health!taco04Avocadoes are my sworn love forever and ever. They’re a good source of fibre, potassium, and vitamins C, K, folate, and B6, not to mention they’re utterly delicious. Did you know that the healthy monounsaturated fats found in avocados help to better absorb antioxidants found in other veggies, such as lycopene (found in tomatoes, watermelon, pink and red grapefruit, apricots) and beta-carotene (found in carrots, sweet potatoes, winter squash, spinach, kale, orange)? So using avocados in this recipe is not only a matter of deliciousness, but also a matter of improved nutrient absorption. Genius.

And because sesame seeds are my next forever favorite ingredient, I served these tacos with a hearty dose of tahini creaminess and tangy limes. If you thought milk products are the only source of calcium out there, think again and think sesame seeds and tahini, an excellent source of plant based calcium and other vitamins. And if you want to get things even greener, sprinkle in a handful of crunchy pumpkin seeds and get glowing!

taco06Most often I make these tacos with quinoa because it’s a complete protein, with all the amino acids we need. That’s quite rare in plant kingdom so it is particularly good for vegetarians and vegans. But when I’m really pressed for time, when I need to get food in my tummy …yesterday, I go for wholemeal cous cous, a nifty trick for a quick, nutritious homemade meal. So even when we come back home really late, really hungry and it is oh so tempting to make that phone call for questionable takeaway, we should remember that cous cous is on this planet to make our lives easier and more wholesome.

Fifty shades of green and healthy tacos

Preparation time: 10 minutes

Makes: 2 taco bowls

Ingredients for cous cous:

  • ½ cup wholemeal cous cous
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 green onion, finely sliced
  • pinch sea salt

To assemble:

  • 1 kale leaf, finely chopped
  • ½ yellow capsicum, finely diced
  • ½ granny smith apple, finely julienned
  • handful of sprouts of your choice (I used snowpea and broccoli sprouts)
  • few basil leaves
  • 1 medium avocado
  • 2 purple cabbage leaves
  • lime
  • tahini
  • sesame seeds

Steps:

  1. To make the cous cous, simply pour 1 cup hot water over ½ cup cous cous. Add green onion and stir. Cover and let it sit for 5 minutes.
  2. While the cous cous is ‘cooking’, wash, chop and prepare all the veggies.
  3. When the cous cous absorbed all the water, plump it up with a fork.
  4. To assemble, scoop 2 tablespoons of cous cous, top with capsicum, apple, kale, sprouts, more cous cous, more capsicum, apple and kale, then more sprouts, basil leaves and top with avocado.
  5. Drizzle with tahini and sesame seeds, squeeze lime and enjoy!
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