Tapas are a growing trend on the restaurant scene in recent years and I can’t say that I’m disappointed. Small plates that are less expensive make it easier to try different dishes or have a light meal. These restaurants are lining our city streets here in Connecticut and you usually can find a taco on the menu. Because I love to eat out and explore the food world around me I am always trying to replicate the plates I like. Since I don’t have as much time to develop and build the flavors a chef and team do, I work to simplify the dish and bump up the nutrition. Basically, making it work for me.
The crunchy kale and mushroom taco idea came from Bodega Bar, a fun modern Mexican restaurant that feels like Southern California. The kale is perfectly crisp and the yellow mole sauce packs the heat! Here, I’ve swapped the mole sauce with a kicked up guacamole simply because I just don’t have the time with two little ones at home to make a homemade mole. But, I’ve added the good fat that avocados offer. Good timing too since it helps to trim belly fat and bikini season is just around the corner! We use sprouted grain tortillas to eliminate white flour but any tortilla will work. Pair this with the Skinny Cucumber Margarita and you’ve got yourself a nourished meal and beverage that your friends will be impressed with.
- 2 bunches kale ribs removed, chopped
- ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil plus 2 tablespoons
- 16 oz mixed mushrooms chopped
- small red onion finely diced
- 3 garlic cloves
- 2 ripe haas avocados
- 1 jalapeno pepper
- ½ cup cilantro plus handful for garnish
- 2 limes juiced
- pinch of salt
- ¼ cup pine nuts (optional)
- 8 small sprouted grain tortillas (4 large)
- Pre-heat the oven to °350.
- Rinse and dry the kale in a salad spinner if available. You want it to be as dry as possible so that it crisps in the oven. Cut the tough rib out of each leaf and chop the kale. It will shrink a bit, cut to bite size pieces. This will become chewy as opposed to crunchy. Spread evenly on two baking sheets (3 if you have 3 oven racks) and add the ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil divided among baking sheets. Rub on the leaves. Bake for 12 - 15 minutes. Check halfway through and gently flip if need be.
- Give the mushrooms a rough chop. Chop the red onion and garlic. Heat the remaining two tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil in a sautee pan (preferrably non-stick) and cook for three minutes. Add the red onion and the garlic and cook for another two minutes.
- Pit the avocados and toss in a food processor or large bowl. If you're using the food processor than you don't need to chop the jalapeno toss that in as well. Squeeze in the lime juice. Add the cilantro. Pinch of salt and blend until smooth.
- Put the pine nuts on a small baking dish or tin foil and toast in the oven the last 3 - 5 minutes of the kale's cook time.
- Take each tortilla spread a spoonful of the guacamole down the middle, add a spoonful of mushrooms and a small handful of crunch kale, top with pine nuts and cilantro.