Day 172–Sharing the Kitchen and Spaghetti Tacos

I am, in general, a sharing person. There are lots of things I do share freely–laughing, bad puns, jam, pickles, and herbs from my garden. I find it difficult, though, to share my kitchen. First, my kitchen is small, which means that multiple people cannot be cooking at the same time without getting on each other’s nerves. Second, cooking is something I enjoy doing, but I can’t do it well and entertain people at the same time. So I like my alone time in the kitchen. But I also have an 11-year-old daughter who loves food and is very interested in cooking. And many of you who read this blog know that I despise the food industry’s focus on making cooking seem like drudgery to sell highly processed convenience foods. Cooking is a life skill. And, it is a wonderful creative outlet. So sharing my kitchen means giving my daughter a boost and letting her experiment with cooking dinner on weekends when she is with me. This weekend was her first dinner. Her choice? Spaghetti tacos.

To say I was reluctant about this meal is an understatement. For those of you who are uninitiated, the spaghetti taco phenomenon began with an episode of a tv show called iCarly. To say I hate this show would be an understatement. Overacting, highly dramatic teens who have no adult supervision and very few consequences is not my idea of entertainment. This show was banned from my house, but like a true video junkie, I know Ellie is still getting her fix elsewhere. Regardless, on one episode, the brother apparently created a dish called spaghetti tacos. From my Google search on the subject, this was actually intended to be a joke, but it has developed quite a following in the under 14 audience. So, this was Ellie’s suggestion. I only wish their joke dish had included quinoa and eggplant. THAT might redeem the horrible writing and acting for me.

So how are spaghetti tacos? Actually, they were pretty good! Ellie did a great job making the dish herself. I gave her suggestions and some input, but she did all the work. To try to eek some healthy benefits out of the dish, we added some fresh vegetables from the farmer’s market and we have some additional ideas (adding chicken Italian sausage) that could make it even better. Here is the recipe we used. Now, where is that cable channel blocker…

Here is Ellie’s recipe for the sauce (in her own words):

  • 1 teaspoon  of Hungarian paprika
  • 1 bell pepper(chop it up into squares)
  • 1/2 of an onion(chop into squares)
  • a pinch of Perfect Pinch Salt-Free Seasoning
  • a tablespoon of chile powder
  • a tablespoon of chopped dried Italian seasoning mix
  • a pinch of minced garlic
  • 1 fresh diced tomato
  • .all of a jar of tomato sauce

and boom the perfect sauce ever and I made this all listening to Pink Floyd (now she is a girl after my own heart!).

Spaghetti Tacos

  • Prepared taco shells (we used the corn shells from Trader Joes); 2-3 per person
  • Ellie’s sauce (above)
  • 8 oz. organic spaghetti, broken into thirds
  1. In a large pot, heat water for pasta.
  2. While water is heating, heat olive oil in a large saucepan. When oil is hot, add onion, green pepper and seasoning.
  3. When vegetables are soft, add the marinara sauce and heat through.
  4. Cook pasta according to package directions and heat taco shells according to directions.
  5. When pasta is done, drain (parents help here) and add pasta to sauce to coat.
  6. Assemble by filling taco shells with spaghetti. Eat up!