Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Green Burritos Or: How I Learned to Free Willy and Stop Fearing the Whale

I get it dude, I was there once too. I think I was like five or six, playing hide and go seek around the house. I snuck into my mom’s secret closet of goodies to hide. My brother, cheater as he is, saw where I went and immediately rushed to grab me. In doing so, he hit one of my mom’s tins. Green stuff splattered all over my face. I thought it was the ashes of my great-great-grandmother and started screaming to high heaven. Turns out those weren’t my great-great-grandmother’s ashes, just a container of my mom’s finest Spirulina. For years I attended therapy and avoided that green stuff because of the haunting memories it bestowed on me.

But when I found out Nuts.com (that’s where I ordered my last bag of boba from) was looking to make spirulina less intimidating, I knew it was just what I needed to cleanse those demons from my soul and free that Willy the Whale permanently. Perhaps, at the same time, I could help some of you with your whale releasing and soul cleansing ways.

Spirulina is a blue-green algae that has been dubbed a superfood because it is jammed packed with health benefits. For one, it is a complete protein, one that includes all nine essential amino acids. As any meat gouging human knows, protein is super important to vegans because they don’t get enough of it. According to Dr. Mike Roussel, Spirulina, by weight, is about 60% protein. That’s higher than beans, soy or MEAT (although not quite as high as eggs or milk)! *Vegans stand and do the cha-cha knowing the answer to the question where do you get your protein from is now even more confounding to meat eaters* Spirulina is also chock full of antioxidants, iron and calcium. It pretty much rules the roost when it comes to providing gamma linolenic acid. This omega-6 fatty acid is considered essential, meaning that it is necessary for human health (proper brain function, possible inflammation reduction), but the body can’t make it on its own. It has to be ingested.

Normally I put Spirulina to use in my smoothies. Pair it with some chocolate soy milk and you’ve got an almost Oreo cookie like treat. But tonight I wanted to try something different. I wanted to make green “taco meat” using walnuts, Spirulina and Edamame. I then wanted to shove that meat into a burrito filled with radishes, lettuce and avocado. I was quite impressed with how the whole process wound up playing out. The burritos were super tasty. The best part was that the only way JFur
knew there was Spirulina in the recipe is because she saw my blog post. You couldn’t taste it at all. Huge health benefits with very little taste? Sign me up for another round of that one.

Green Burritos
(printable version)

-olive oil for frying
-1/2 a large onion
-2 garlic cloves
-2 cups of walnuts
-2 cups of frozen edamame
-4 sun-dried tomatoes
-2 Tbs. soy sauce
-2 Tbs. olive oil
-1 tsp. Spirulina
-2 tsp. chili powder
-1 tsp. cumin
-1/2 tsp. coriander
-radishes, thinly sliced
-wheat tortillas

1. In a nonstick frying pan, warm the edamame. Add the walnuts and toast for about two minutes. Pour into a food processor along with the sundried tomatoes, olive oil, soy sauce, Spirulina and the spices. Pulse until the ingredients are well blended and have the same consistency as refried beans.

2. Heat the olive oil in a frying pan. Add the onion and cook until translucent and fragrant (we’re
looking about five minutes).

3. Warm the tortillas. Pile a layer of “meat” right down the middle. Top with slices of avocado, radish, salsa and crisp lettuce if you have any (mine froze so it was unusable for this recipe). Wrap the ingredients in the tortillas and serve burrito style.

What sounds go with this burrito? Try these on.