That's why I decided to embark upon a New Year Taco Cleanse! I think that regular me is pretty rad, belly fat and all, but life can always be improved by more tacos. I want to show people that cleansing can be about fun rather than about restricting fun.
In 2016 I also intend to continue being relentlessly body positive as I explore the world - even when visiting countries where I can't fit into 99.9% of the clothes and even on days when my brain is trying to sabotage my radical self love ideals.
As I'm travelling right now I just did a mild cleanse that lasted a day. I knew that any of the levels above that one would be too ambitious and Thailand is (sadly) not a land full of abundant taco opportunities. I managed to get Nick on board with my plans too, I promised him delicious food not glowing skin. I know what he likes! It didn't take a whole lot of convincing although there was one big hurdle. The moment that we found out that pizza cannot be a taco sent us reeling. A day where you rule out the possibility of pizza sounded awful. We wondered if this was really the cleanse for us? Thankfully we soon realised that pizza cannot be the taco but it can go inside the taco - these are the kind of rules that I'm so glad the Taco Scientists are around to explain to me. Eventually Nick agreed to come on board saying "I trust them. They've done science".
The first thing on the agenda was to make a taco shopping list, we knew that finding tortillas would be challenging and the closest we came were Old El Paso wraps that are available in almost every supermarket in Bangkok that sells imported goods - think Gourmet Market not 7/eleven. For each recipe our first step was to cut them into appropriate taco sizes. A taco needs to be something that can be eaten with one hand and we didn't want to accidentally stray into burrito territory so we cut around a bowl to make our wraps taco sized.
Next we took a look over the recipes together and decided that whilst they looked both delicious and simple that they were, for the most part, not going to be realistic, we're saying in a place with a kitchen with no herbs, no spices and minimal equipment after all. Thankfully Jessica, one of the esteemed Taco Scientists, has tips scattered throughout the book for those of us who do not love to or do not have the ability to cook. Thanks Jessica!
One recipe that we were easily able to get on board with was the Accelerated Breakfast Taco. It's a simple but totally genius combo of Peanut Butter, cereal and fruit. I went with smooth PB, Krispies and a banana and hot damn was this a great start to my day. It contains all of the great food groups, carbs, protein, fat and sugar all in one handy, easy to eat, tortilla. Breakfast perfection.
I was also very pleased to hear that the Taco Scientists believe in microwaving plant foods (never yourself or an animal!) because the humble microwave was one of the few tools at my disposal. I'm currently in a Bangkok Air B&B and only have two electric burners, one pan, a tiny toaster oven and a microwave to play with. Don't feel sorry for me though there's also a rooftop pool, a gym and movie theatres, shops and pizza by the slice within walking distance. Pizza by the slice is seriously one of my favourite things ever! One of things I found at a grocery store nearby was the inspiration for this next taco, Amy's rice macaroni and cheese! It's made with Daiya, cooks in 5 minutes, is almost unbelievably delicious and contains enough mac and cheese to adequately fill two tortillas.
Mac and cheese tacos are a beautiful thing and after eating them I didn't feel hungry any more! I felt happy and ready to power through the afternoon.
Quite often my hunger appears in the form of cravings - I find that it's best to listen to my body in these situations and to give it whatever the hell it wants. Fries for dessert? Sure! Hummus for breakfast? Go for it! That night I fancied my favourite salad from May Veggie Home in Bangkok. It's full of layers of crunchy veggies like carrots, cabbage and beetroot, and topped with deep fried vegan shrimp. It's also served with an amazing thousand island dressing which I could slather on pretty much anything and call it dinner. Nick was in the market for the Duck Teriyaki from their menu so a plan was born, we'd get takeout and then taco it up whilst watching a movie.
You'll have to excuse the terrible photo - I was hungry and in no mood for messing around. We piled one taco high with crisp salad, faux fish and thousand island dressing and the other with steamed rice, mock duck and teriyaki sauce. This was fusion food as it's (lazy) best.
Despite not actually making many of the recipes from the book I know that they'll be amazing, partly because they sound delicious and partly because taco scientist Stephanie has cooked for me in the past and it was indeed amazing. The Taco Cleanse team were happy for me to share one of the recipes from the book with y'all and I chose the Inspiring Churro-Waffle Tacos because it's up there with one of the first recipes I'd have made from the book if I was settled somewhere and also because I know that I have at least one reader who likes to waffle unusual things and who will probably enjoy this recipe!
Inspiring Churro-Waffle Tacos
- Makes 3 churro-waffle tacos
We at Taco Headquarters have a fondness for churros, but there are inherent issues preventing churro consumption on a Taco Cleanse. Deep-fryer temperatures can be finicky and splattering oil can be painful. Most relevant to our concerns, a churro is not a taco. The crunchy fritters emerge from the hot oil as a star-shaped extrusion, void of taco benefits. We have reformulated the batter to work in a waffle iron, allowing the finished churro to be folded in half. Fill your cinnamon-kissed churro taco with a banana and agave nectar to maintain peak levels.
- ½ cup (106 g) sugar
- ½ teaspoon cinnamon
- 2 teaspoons cornstarch
- 1 cup (120 g) all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 1 cup (240 ml) water
- ¼ cup (60 ml) canola oil
- ¼ cup (60 ml) agave nectar
- 3 bananas, sliced in half lengthwise
- Agave nectar
- On a shallow plate, whisk together ¼ cup (53 g) sugar and ¼ teaspoon cinnamon and set aside. Whisk together the cornstarch, flour, baking powder, salt, remaining ¼ cup sugar, and ¼ teaspoon cinnamon in a large bowl. Add the water and oil to the bowl and stir until just combined. Follow your waffle iron’s directions to cook the waffles, using 2/3 cup (160 ml) of the batter for each. Press one side of each waffle into the plate of cinnamon sugar while still warm. With the sugar side up, lay 2 banana halves side by side on one half of the waffle. Drizzle with agave nectar and fold waffle in half to cradle the bananas.
The Taco Cleanse team have also been generous enough to let me run a giveaway today! Can I get a hell yeah?!
If you live in the UK or Ireland you can get your paws on a copy of The Taco Cleanse cookbook and lifestyle guide by leaving a comment below telling me what you'd put in a taco if I was passing you a warm flour tortilla right now. Make sure you leave some contact info in your comment, it can be your blog, E-mail address, Twitter or Instagram, whatever's most likely to grab your attention so that I can get in touch, get your deet's and pass them on to the publishers so that you can get on with making epic tacos and improving your life ASAP. The giveaway will close on Tuesday January 12th at 8am GMT and the winner will be selected at random. If I don't hear from my chosen winner within 24 hours I'll select a new one so pay attention! The competition is now closed. The winner is Joey! Yay!