Dear Taco Scientists: Can’t stop dealing with burrito cravings

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Dear Taco Scientists,

Lately I’ve been really struggling at work. My company hired a new manager and he’s one of those people that lashes out at people for his own mistakes and demeans the people he’s supposed to lead. I’ve been having such a rough time that I’ve been turning to burritos for solace. Last night, for example, I had everything I needed at my house to make amazing tacos, the components were all ready and I just needed to put them together. Instead, after learning one of my teammates had been bullied into resigning I stopped at a local burrito place and ate that instead. I felt disgusted with myself. I know eating tacos will make me feel better but I just can’t bring myself to make them.

Can you help?
Sad Employee Eating Burritos

Dear SEEB,

First let me say how sorry I am that you are going through this. It’s an unfortunate reality of our world that often the people that seek power are the very ones that shouldn’t have it.

From your letter I get the idea that you are using burritos for comfort. Think of a newborn baby swaddled in blankets and how similar that vision is to a burrito. Having a large tortilla wrapped around something wonderful and special can make you feel really peaceful and like someone is taking care of you. In the end though, you are going to have to grow up and take care of yourself. You can’t hide under your “blankets” forever.

The best way to move forward is to think about why we eat tacos. The are packed with many different flavors and textures all bursting out essentially saying “look at me”. Unlike a burrito a taco is a little bit dangerous, parts of it are probably going to fall out. If you are eating a crispy taco it could even break in half! But when that happens you pick up the pieces and start over in a newer better taco. That’s what you need to internalize because it’s also going to help you moving forward with your life. Look to the taco and its fundamental fearlessness. It’s time to embody¬†your own inner taco break free of this negative situation you’ve found yourself in. Good luck!


Have a question for the Taco Scientists? Send it to tacocleanse (at) gmail (dot) com with the subject line “Dear Taco Scientists.”

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Nooch Encrusted Sweet Potato Tacos with Black Beans, Kale, and Avocado

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Once you start to eat nooch (nutritional yeast) you start to crave it like plants crave the sun. It starts small, maybe sprinkling some on your popcorn or adding it to your tofu scramble, and then the next thing you know, you are adding it to everything you eat. Somehow, I hadn’t tried it with roasted potatoes until I came across a post by Kristy Turner on Keepin’ it Kind for a Cheesy Sweet Potato & Chickpea Bowl with Lemon Tahini Sauce. I made the bowl and I loved it, but then I ended up making the sweet potatoes three more times that week! Here I paired them with black beans and kale for a perfect easy delicious weeknight taco.

Nooch Encrusted Sweet Potatoes
1 giant or 2 normal sweet potatoes
1 tablespoon cooking oil
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons nutritional yeast

Preheat the oven to 425 and prepare a baking sheet with parchment or silpat. Peel and cube the sweet potatoes and put them in a pile on the baking sheet. Sprinkle on the oil and mix with your hands until the potatoes are mostly coated. Sprinkle the potatoes with the spices, salt, and 2 tablespoons of the nutritional yeast. Mix again with your hands and then sprinkle on the final tablespoon nooch and spread the potatoes out so they aren’t touching. Bake in the preheated oven about 10 minutes and then flip and bake another 10 minutes or until potatoes are softened and able to be pierced with a fork. Meanwhile, make the beans and get the garnishes ready.

Beans and Greens
1 teaspoon of cooking oil
1 small yellow onion, chopped
1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
Afew handfuls of greens like spinach, kale, or chard
1/4 cup white wine or broth.

Heat a cast iron skillet over high heat and add cooking oil. Swish it around and add the onions. Let them brown, turning every now and then, for about 5 minutes. Add the beans, greens, and white wine and stir until greens are wilted. Serve immediately.

For the Tacos
Corn or flour tortillas, heated
Asmall avocado, sliced
2 teaspoons of pepitas,
2 tablespoons cilantro, chopped (optional)
Juice from a small lime
2 teaspoons creamy chipotle sauce from the Taco Cleanse book or other hot sauce (optional)

Place a bit of the sweet potatoes on the tortilla followed by the beans, add the garnishes above or use whatever garnishes your body is calling for. Enjoy!

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Taco or Not a Taco

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Taco novices often have a hard time distinguishing a taco from the many other tortilla-wrapped taco-like-objects in the world. Take this quiz to see if you can spot the taco.

Hint: In the Taco Cleanse, a taco has exactly one fold.

taco or not a tacoTo read answers highlight the text below.

a. NOT A TACO. They’re flautas, which some refer to as rolled tacos. But it’s not a true taco according to Taco Cleanse rules.

b. TACO. It’s jackfruit brisket, and the recipe will be in the Taco Cleanse book.

c. NOT A TACO. Those are delicious Bomb Nachos from the Vegan Nom in Austin, TX.

d. NOT A TACO. That’s a taco salad. Again, despite the confusing name, it is not a true taco. It is, however, an excellent way to transition into or out of a Taco Cleanse.

e. TACO. A tofu-fish taco, to be exact. Find the recipe in our book.

f. NOT A TACO. These are enchiladas.

g. TACO. The lack of traditional tortilla may be confusing for some, but the ice cream taco is indeed a true taco.

h. NOT A TACO. You animal. That’s a burrito.

i. TACO. That’s the Westagram taco, of course.

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