I'm weird about food. I've been on an odd journey with it for quite a few years.
I first became vegetarian when I was seventeen - it lasted about six months. Which isn't too bad, except that I mostly ate french fries (lots of them), candy, and other processed foods/junk. Afterward, I went right back to eating the way I always had - a pretty standard American diet (how coincidental that the acronym for that is SAD).
Then, when I was twenty, I started getting a little more health conscious. From there, I started hearing and reading more about plant-based diets - eating real and whole foods. The word "vegan" started popping up a lot more. One night I decided to watch Forks Over Knives, and that did it for me. I started researching more, I built up a repertoire of vegan blog subscriptions for recipes and information (like Kris Carr, Tess Masters - The Blender Girl, and VegNews) - and, suddenly, I was vegan. And I was a healthy one! I was doing yoga 5-7 days a week for 15 minutes to an hour a day, as well as HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) 4-6 days a week with some body weight training following each session of HIIT. I was in the best shape and health of my life, up to that point. I felt amazing.
This lasted for about a year and a half until my pregnancy with my second baby. I was so excited to be vegan through a whole pregnancy! But, my aversions happened. See, I have this really annoying pregnancy symptom that happens in my first trimester - dreadful food aversions. So, all of a sudden all of the foods that I was used to eating completely deterred me. I didn't want it! I felt like I literally could not eat any of it. What I did want to eat was the crap that I hadn't eaten for, really, closer to two years; because I started being aware of my health and what I was eating for some time before I was fully vegan. What I wanted was fast food - and I ate it, as much as I hate to admit that. I did try to get through my aversions, but when I found that I'd lost four pounds, and when I was seconds away from collapsing at work one day, I knew it was time to just get some food into my body. Something was better than nothing. I also hadn't had soda in over two and a half years, but I took to sprite to help with the nausea that I got in the first trimester. Thankfully these symptoms only stick around for that first third of my pregnancies - at about 13 or 14 weeks I've been in the clear, both times. The bad thing, the way I was eating had already become habit again. I did make sure to eat healthy foods, but I succumbed to my cravings often. I kept drinking soda, I kept eating out more than I should. I was so disappointed in myself, but I just didn't have the willpower to do anything about it.
Since that pregnancy I've been working to get my eating back on track - food addictions can be so hard to break, though! It's been interesting because it felt like such a swift and easy transition the last time, and this time it's been a much rougher.
Now, it's been almost two years since that last birth, and I am actually working on transitioning to raw/mostly raw plant-based eating. I don't restrict myself to the title of vegan, because I'm honestly not as strict as I was when I was vegan before - yet. I will get there, but I'm still in the process.
Anyway, the other night I decided that I wanted tacos. Super healthy and delicious tacos. And I decided that they should be raw - which got a little bit thwarted when I chose to top them with Tofutti dairy-free/vegan sour cream, but I don't regret it. These tacos were delightful AND filling. I hope you will enjoy them, as well!
(Almost) Raw Red Bell Pepper, Corn & Mango Tacos
Enough romaine or collard leaves for your tacos
A few limes, to squeeze on top!
1 cup walnuts
1/2 cup pine nuts (you could also use sunflower seeds)
1 1/4 teaspoon turmeric
1 1/4 teaspoon cumin
1/4-1/2 teaspoon chili powder (depending on personal preference)
1 1/2 tablespoon tahini
1 red bell pepper, diced
2 cobs of corn, with kernels removed
1 mango, diced
1 tablespoon coconut oil, in liquid form
1/4-1/2 teaspoon chili powder
salt and pepper to taste, optional
Optional topping: Tofutti Sour Cream
I also realized (too late!) that these would have been really great with fresh avocado on top - so, if you are so inclined to try it that way I think it would make these even better!
For the nut meat, finely chop the nuts. Once chopped, add them into a bowl with the spices - mix - then, add the tahini and stir it in.
The taco filling I cooked very briefly on a very low setting. I added everything and just stirred it around until the bell peppers, corn, and mango were slightly softer.
Then, grab your leaves, add your taco meat, your fillings, whatever toppings you like, and ENJOY!