Looks good! Tasted good too!
The grade is less than stellar, though: this, I feel, earns a D. But in theory, it could very well get an A.
- Tortillas: store-bought*
- Refried beans: canned
- Almond milk to thin the beans: carton-packed
- Nopales: bought in a ziploc baggie from farmer’s market
- Avocado: ZW
- Labneh/sour cream: Almost ZW (the jar for the yogurt it’s made from is glass)
- Salsa: plastic container (see note for above)
Like I said, pretty terrible. But theoretically, this entire meal could be made without a single bit of waste:
- Tortillas could be hand-made with bulk ingredients.
- Refried beans could be made entirely from bulk if you had a slow cooker, about 8 hours to spare, and some serious abuelita cooking skills.
- Almond milk could be made, I guess, or you could always use cow milk from a returnable glass bottle.
- The labneh, if you’re going to get serious about it, could be made with home-made yogurt from a starter culture that you got from someone else.
- And, of course, the salsa could be made from scratch pretty easily. Not necessarily the one I used this evening, this one requires whole roasted chiles, but a basic one.
As for the meal itself… again, it was good! But I don’t think I’m digging nopales served this way. I’ve had them in veggie burritos before and in ensaladas, but it was with other vegetables that had similar textures, like sauteed onions and bell peppers, or overshadowed by lettuce. Their snappy, rubbery-ness was pretty front and center amid all the other mushy ingredients I had going on, which is probably a reason I’m not going to be using them this way again. And personally, I’m pretty darn happy with just beans being the main ingredient anyways.
In the future, I think I’ll probably have some kind of “veggie taco filling” on hand in the fridge made from farmer’s market stuff. Like a pico de gallo with avocado and maybe radish, ready to be served with whatever protein I feel like–or just munched on with some chips or thrown on a salad–and topped with a good dollop of creamy labneh. And Tapatio. I can’t give up my precious Tapatio.
It’s interesting– remember how I said that you’d have to pry the store-bought tortillas from my cold, dead, hands? Well, learning that I could very easily go without thanks to handmade tortillas was an interesting lesson. This food item that I’d always assumed would be a staple suddenly wasn’t anymore. It was a pleasant surprise, but I want to emphasize just how much I’d been caught off-guard by the discovery.
I guess, with ZW, don’t be too quick to declare something off-limits.
*Honestly, half my diet is damage-control from my grandmother’s compulsive grocery store runs and take-out orders. Most of what she buys would go to waste without me, and she doesn’t seem to care for her own leftovers. So if it’s not covered in salt or too greasy, I swallow my pride and eat it because there’s nothing that grinds my gears more than wasted food.