I’m in grad school. I think I’ve established that with you all already. But what that means, if you haven’t done it before, can seem like “Oh, so you read every now and then,” right?
Skip down to if you’re just here for the tacos
Let me tell you what my day looked like today: Alarm goes off at 6. I always turn it off instead of pressing snooze and let my body decide if it needs more rest or if we can jump into the day. I dozed back off and woke up at 6:15 – time to get up. That means I got all my rest (I’ve been waking up this way about a year now, and it really eases the morning tension I see so many folks walk around with. I do, I should also mention, aim to get to bed before 11; actually, 11 is pushing it way “late” for me, so the 6 a.m. isn’t such an issue. I admire the 4 a.m.ers that talk about how much they can get accomplished that early. Nah. I’m good. 6 works for me haha!) so I stretch in the bed before my feet hit the floor, then after brushing teeth and washing face I set out for a jog. The air was a little crispy this morning, so that served as my morning coffee – because I don’t drink coffee. I did 25 minutes in a walk/job mix. When I get home I take Champ out for his walk, because dogs need exercise too (but I can’t get my heart rate up with him stopping at every bush and hydrant). When we get back, Champ eats and I set out to transform myself into a working adult – shower, lotion, dress, mascara, you know, nothing fancy. Typical. I whip up my morning smoothie. Today was 2 scoops of almond protein powder, 8 ounces of almond milk, a tablespoon of chia seeds, half a banana and a dash of cinnamon. I may have thrown 2 or 3 ice cubes in there since warm smoothies make me want to url. I pack my lunch and head off to work. The drive in this morning wasn’t bad. When I left my place the car clock read 8:11; I parked at 8:28. Then catch up on emails, break for a little Facebook interaction, water, tea, emails, reports, audits, answer questions, voicemail catch-up, water, water, socialize with colleagues, water, emails, lunch, water, audit review, more socializing, more emails, meeting with faculty, answer questions, before I know it, it’s 5:15. I’m home by 5:40ish, walk Champ. It’s Wednesday night, which means I have class, back up at the university I’d just left, at 7:15. I’m so hungry I could eat a baby. Thanks to all the water I had countless bathroom visits, and I’m on E. Insert: ten-minute tacos! I whipped up those bad boys, changed my clothes and dashed out the door a little past 7. Ugh. Always running late for this class! Class is over at 8:30. Then I’m off to Vertical Joe’s to take a 9 p.m. cardio class, “ATL Bounce,” which uses the new trendy kangoo jump boots. Except, I lied. Tonight I didn’t make it to Bounce. I came straight home. And I’m drinking a glass of wine. Whatever Don’t judge me! But usually, yes, that’s what I do. I actually needed to prepare lunch for tomorrow and getting home at 10:30 to do that didn’t feel like a good idea. And since I’m trying to limit how much I eat out, missing Bounce for once wasn’t going to break me.
Ok. The tacos. When I tell you they’re easy, listen. I mean, you just don’t get easier than this.
What helped was I had a container of pre-cooked quinoa in the fridge. Quinoa is an excellent source of fiber and protein. Get you some! I make a big batch of it, with no seasonings so it’s versatile, throw some in an airtight container for the fridge then freeze the rest. That’s really the only part you have to prep with these things.
The rest is cutting up produce. The sauteed kale and spinach was in a pack I got from a foodstand next to my job. But you can use whatever greens you have on hand. If it’s just kale, or only spinach, or even mustard greens, I mean really it can be whatever. But try to incorporate some greens in every meal. Your body will thank you.
After chopping up everything, while the greens were sauteeing I just threw everything into a taco. When I took the greens off heat, that’s when I added the cooked quinoa. There’s no reason to recook it. What I love about quinoa is it adapts to whatever you flavor it with. Since the greens had flavor, I tossed the quinoa around in the greens so the grains could soak up all the juices – Voila!
What I love about these tacos is there is plenty of superfood goodness to keep you fueled and full. The quinoa and avocado make it filling; the sauteed greens get you your fiber, and the fresh tomatoes and mango were a pleasant delight and contrast with the greens. Yum! And fast.
No lie. I turned on the eye on the stove at 6:31; I was eating by 6:42 – that includes adding it to the plate.
Of course, as far as flavor goes, I didn’t have much time so I kept it basic. But that doesn’t mean they were bland! I’m a garlic lover. For me, onions and garlic are the staple to any savory meal. You just can’t go wrong with them. It was a no-brainer for me. Had I more time, I would have added some bell pepper, maybe squash and zucchini mix, or asparagus. Really, any greens you’d like to add you can plop in those tacos! And for seasonings, I like to play with mixes. I have a smoked chipotle rub that probably would’ve set those tacos off! It really depends on what kind of flavor you’re going for, but in tacos you usually can’t go wrong with chilli powder, salt and pepper, and a topping of fresh cilantro.
So, here you go! Enjoy!
1 cup cooked quinoa
2 whole wheat tortillas
2 handfuls of spinach/kale mix (or preferred greens)
1 T olive oil
1/4 C yellow onion
2 garlic cloves
1 Roma tomato
Dash of salt and pepper to taste
In a medium skillet set to medium heat and add your olive oil. Add the onion and garlic cloves until the onions are transparent. Layer the kale/spinach mix on top of the onion garlic mix and stir to combine. Lower heat slightly so your greens don’t scorch. You want them soft but not wilted – the more you cook, the more nutrients you lose!
While the greens are cooking dice your Roma tomato, avocado, and mango into pieces.
When greens are ready (about 2-3 minutes), remove from heat and toss in the quinoa and stir until it combines with the juices from the green mixture.
Heat the wheat tortillas on one side to make the torillas soft and bendy (about 30 seconds on medium heat – any longer and you’re going to have chips!) Then load those babies up! Greens/quinoa on first, then avocado, tomatoes, and mango – Serve!
You will notice I did not add seasonings to this recipe. You may add salt and pepper to taste (I recommend sprinkling a tiny bit to the greens once you remove them from heat), but I was actually content with the natural flavors not to have to do this.
You will also likely enjoy some salsa on the side. I downed these boys right before class so I didn’t have time for another plate, but I looooove salsa. And guacamole! YES! But, these are ten-minute tacos for a reason!
That’s all folks.
So, here it is 10 o’clock and it’s time to go to bed. Except my internet won’t let me be great because I’ve been trying to send a picture of these tacos from my phone to this laptop for.. oh, about 30 minutes now. Guess who won’t be getting out the bed at 6:15 tomorrow morning!
If you try these out, I’d love to hear how they went for ya. What did you like, what did you do differently, what did you omit/add? Thanks for checking in!