Ask any classroom full of children, “Who likes tacos?” and you will probably get about a 90% approval rating. Then ask for the children to list some of the common ingredients found in tacos. You will probably hear, “beef”, “chicken”, “cheese”, “meat”, or “lettuce” as some of the options mentioned.
One of the pieces of information we like to share with our SEED Project students is that it takes approximately 1,800 gallons of water to produce one pound of beef. That’s a lot of water! Check out more interesting water facts in this Huffington Post article about the water footprint of our favorite foods. We decided it was time to change the status quo on our dining room tables so we came up with the following meatless taco lettuce wrap recipe.
We here at Heal the Planet believe that our daily choices matter both to our personal health and the health of the planet. We strive to teach children that by becoming more aware of the impact of their choices they can make informed decisions that can heal the planet and influence what is being produced for consumption. That’s why we decided to take a common favorite like tacos and make them a little healthier for both humans and the world we live on.
By using kidney beans instead of ground beef or chicken we reduce our water footprint and give our bodies a break from the acidifying effects of animal protein. Half a cup of kidney beans provides approximately nine grams of protein, 23 grams of complex carbohydrates, and only half a gram of fat, not to mention all of the vitamins and minerals as well. And they taste just like the flavorings you add to them!
In our recipe we added the spices turmeric, black pepper, coriander, and cumin for their anti-inflammatory properties; herbs mint, cilantro, and parsley for their anti-bacterial properties, anti-oxidants, and lively flavors; lime juice for a touch of tartness along with a healthy dose of vitamin C; and some raw, local, honey that helps to fight allergies and adds a touch of sweetness. Try out our meatless taco lettuce wrap recipe and let us know what you think!
4 organic romaine lettuce or collard green leaves
2 avocados, diced
1/4 onion, grated or minced
1/2 red pepper, diced
2 tomatoes, diced
1 tablespoon fresh cilantro, chopped
1 tablespoon fresh mint, chopped
1 tablespoon fresh parsley, chopped
4 cups of cooked kidney beans (can use seeds or bean of your choice)
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 teaspoon turmeric
1/4 teaspoon coriander
1 teaspoon raw honey
2 tablespoons lime juice
dash of chili powder (to taste)
**Choose organic ingredients whenever possible.
Mix all salad ingredients in a bowl.
Mash beans with spices, honey, and lime juice in a large mixing bowl.
Place taco filling on top of leafy greens and top with salad filling to enjoy a tasty healthy “lettuce wrap.”
Antioxidants + Vitamins + Minerals + Fiber = Whole Nutritious Real Foods = Sustainable Energy!