D.I.Y. Cinco de Mayo

Today is May 5th, Cinco de Mayo in Spanish.  If you go to the SEARCH box on my Home Page and type in Cinco de Mayo, you will come up with several postings, which I don’t wish to repeat, so I thought I would do a little Cooking with the Strings of Your Apron idea and give you options to make your own tortilla/taco/ wrap.

First, choose an organic grain free or corn wrap. I like the SIETA brand of grain free wraps, either almond (supposedly no bee-killing pesticides from their supplier, which I will double check) or Cassava (pictures) or an organic corn flour. If you choose (whole) wheat, make sure it is organic.

Next, choose your ingredients. They do not need to be what I chose, but I am posting the photo and list for you to consider and then add or subtract items of your choosing. For example, traditional tortillas and tacos are made with rice but I decided to use organic, sprouted quinoa because I forgot to put up the rice before I started assembling my ingredients, and quinoa takes only about 15 minutes. The tri-colors also makes the dish visually attractive. I also used a fresh, chopped organic salsa with multiple ingredients from Mom’s Organic, rather than a jar of salsa that is mostly tomatoes.

Below are my choice of ingredients:


On the cutting board are scallions, (non-dairy) cheese slivers, wraps and Castle-Vetrano ripe green olives. (My favorite!)

Next from left to right: yellow bowl of sprouts, orange bowl of artichoke hearts, organic salsa (middle bowl), black beans* and quinoa (Organic and Sprouted) in the two bowls below the olives. *I have tried to sprout black beans with little success, so I do use organic canned beans or organic boxed beans.

The last two larger bowls are mashed organic avocado (with a little lemon juice to prevent oxidation) and organic lettuce.  I assembled the ingredients onto the warmed tortilla wrap like this:

1. First, I spread some mashed avocado on the wrap.

2. Then I placed a leaf of lettuce.

3. Next I added some cooked black beans and quinoa, topping the tortilla with sprouts and scallions. (I placed the olives and artichoke hearts on the side.

4. Then I folded my concoction and enjoyed eating it, with some beans and quinoa falling out of the tortilla because I piled on too much!

(Feel free to add salt, pepper and/or cayenne to your taste. I decided not to use the non-dairy cheese slices and just munched on these.)

Here’s a photo of my lunch, with the (unwrapped) tortilla on the upper left.






I also cooked an artichoke (upper right), pulling off the leaves and dipping them in the leftover, mashed avocado, and I combined the quinoa with the black beans (lower right hand foto) for another dose of Cinco de Mayo tomorrow.

Happy, healthy eating for this May holiday!

May: Mother Nature’s Magic: Flowers, Trees, Healthy Bones and Mind and more!

Despite the social distancing, the masks, and all the other “inconveniences” of COVID, when May comes along, I cannot help but feel optimistic. The flowers, the fresh air, the rain and sun are all part of May and Mother Nature’s Magic. While October is my favorite month, May is a very close second. I love how the flowers blossom in rotation: first the crocuses, forsythia and daffodils, then the tulips and new green leaves on trees, and now the amazing azaleas. Let’s be optimistic while dealing with climate change and all the other issues that seem to be related.



May is also the time to celebrate Cinco de Mayo,  which many consider a Mexican Holiday. But this is what the Internet reveals:

“… Cinco de Mayo is not an official Mexican holiday. It is celebrated more actively in some parts of the U.S. than in many parts of Mexico. The U.S. celebration of the holiday began in California in 1863 as an expression of solidarity with Mexico against the French.”

For me, this is an opportunity to share ideas for tortillas or tacos and to add color to your kitchen table. So in the next day or two I will post my ideas for this year’s Cinco de Mayo.

May is also National Osteoporosis Month and Mental Health Month, and I will be doing my ZOOM cooking class on these two topics on Friday, May 21st at 10:30 am est. I will post a link soon so you can join if you wish and will also post information from Save our Bones excellent website (www.saveourbones.com) and food & mental health information from the National Alliance on Mental Illness (https://www.nami.org/About-Mental-Illness).

I am also adding a new category: P.I.C.: Product Information Corner, where I will introduce items that I use that I consider sustainable (like those I have posted on Back to the Future), including foods, cleaning products, personal body products, etc.

So May is a busy month, a transition from the winds of winter to the balmier days of spring into summer. I will still be wearing my mask and being careful to keep my body boosted with good foods, good sleep, and good connections. Make your May healthy & magical in your own way.  ellensue


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