Monday, May 16, 2011

Allergy Free Tex Mex

One day a week I take the extra time to cook a pot of beans, make some homemade tortillas, and prepare all the fixings for burritos.  It's time well spent that feeds my family for dinner and well into the next day.  If we're having company, it's even better, because there are options for all - gluten free, vegan, grain free, etc.


I swore off canned beans when I learned that most canned goods contain the chemical BPA - a chemical  suspected of causing a number of health problems.  Besides, cooking beans is simple and extremely cost effective.  All you need to do is rinse them, soak them overnight and then bring them to a gentle boil until they are the right texture, one to two hours depending on which variety you use.  If you forget to soak them, all is not lost.  Rinse them, place them in a pot with the water, and bring to a boil.   For every cup of beans add three cups of water.  Turn the heat off and let them sit for an hour and then cook them as usual.   Black beans lend a smoky flavor to burritos, but pinto beans also work well.  Add salt at the end of the cooking process.

Taco Meat

There are so many choices when it comes to using meat for tacos and burritos.  Ground pork, turkey, beef and bison would all work well with this recipe.


1 lb ground meat
1 tsp chili powder
1 tsp paprika
1 tsp mineral or sea salt
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp onion powder
1/2 tsp cumin
1/8 tsp cayenne
2 tsp sweet rice flour (or arrowroot for grain free)
1/3 to 1/2 cup water


Place meat in a skillet over medium to medium high heat.  While it cooks place the 8 dry ingredients in a small bowl, add 1/3 cup water and mix well.  Once meat is cooked through, add the spice mixture and simmer for a minute or two until thickened.  Add up to 2 more tablespoons water if mixture is too dry.  Remove from heat and serve.  Serves 4.  Source:


You can make your own gluten free tortillas with this recipe.  Alternatively, Sonoma Teff Wraps are gluten free and do not crack like typical gluten free rice based tortillas.  Also consider gluten free corn taco shells, corn tortillas, or skip the tortillas altogether and layer everything in a bowl.


If cow's milk is out of the question, consider raw goat cheddar or monterey jack.  Raw goat milk is sometimes tolerated by those who have a sensitivity to cow's milk.  You can find raw goat cheese in some natural food stores or a local farm (go to Real Milk or Eat Wild).  Another alternative that is both dairy and soy free is Daiya cheese, however, it is a highly processed product that contains yeast, a problem ingredient for some.


Homemade salsa adds loads of flavor to this meal if you have the time.   I love making mango salsa and recently came up with this recipe for watermelon salsa to cut down on our phenol intake.  Tomatoes are high in a salicylates, a type of phenol, that is hard for some people to process.


2 cups watermelon, seeded and diced
1/4 cup fresh cilantro leaves*
1/4 cup purple onion, diced
1 tbsp lime juice
1 tsp jalapeno or chili pepper, diced*
salt to taste
*NOT low in phenols


Chop cilantro.  Toss everything in a bowl and serve.  Serves 2 to 3.  Source:

 My favorite store bought salsa is by Emerald Valley which happens to contain no lime.


Guacamole can really add a lot to this meal, especially if cheese is not an option.  I use a few avocados as a base, and add a clove or two of garlic, fresh cilantro, diced onion, lime juice, jalapeno pepper and salt to taste.  Make it without the lime juice by adding 1/2 tsp vitamin C crystals mixed with 1/4 cup water.

This post has been shared with Slightly Indulgent Tuesday.


  1. I love how you made a watermelon salsa! It looks fantastic! My husband is not a fruit with meat fan, but I might try and make it anyways and it won't be a hardship if I have to eat it all myself.

    I must be a dried beans dunce or something. Every time I have tried to soak and cook dried beans, it's taken FOREVER, even when I soak them overnight. Any suggestions?

  2. Thanks Bean! I can't believe that you could be a dunce with all of those mouthwatering recipes you've created on your site! My mouth is still watering over those cranberry mango nut bars. But, since you ask, here are my tips: (1) make sure to keep the beans covered in plenty of water - you don't want any peeking above the water line, and (2) keep them at a steady boil, a little stronger than a simmer.

  3. looks like we're having Mexican at our house this week thanks to your awesome ideas! I've even made ground lamb tacos before, big hit! I've never made a fruit salsa though, you've definitely got me thinking with the your watermelon one.

  4. Thanks! I appreciate it! Hope it turns out well.


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