Taco Pizza 2

Do you ever have one of those days where you just need a few more hours to get everything done? Lately I’ve been feeling like that about entire weeks and months; it seems I always need more time to do this or that and more time to actually get some rest in between all the chores!

Though I don’t necessarily *feel* super stressed out (I am not gritting my teeth and clenching my fists…yet), I’m quite frazzled these days. Between work, wedding planning, blogging, creative projects and my everyday chores, by day’s end I feel tattered and worn. I realise this isn’t a problem specific to me, and there are plenty of people in the world with far greater issues than these. But as they say it’s all relative and lately I am feeling the strain of it all, which is typically made worse by the bi-polar Irish weather and all its resulting irritants (dampness, pollen, crazy traffic – ARGH!).

Clare Taco Hair

There are the necessary chores like grocery shopping and cooking, which I usually enjoy greatly. Last Sunday I spent hours in the kitchen making our usual baked oatmeal, baked ham (for Mountaineering Man’s sambos) and veggie curry with quinoa (for my lunches) plus a gluten-free brownie cake for my coeliac co-worker (just for fun) and a batch of vegan banana ice cream (just for fun). But on top of all the regular cooking the extras proved far too much work, and I didn’t enjoy it like I normally would. Because MM takes on most of the cleaning and laundry duties, I always assume I have enough time to do those pleasurable cooking projects – but somehow take on more than I can handle!

Taco 2As well, I seem to have about a billion things floating around my brain lately that I need to remember. A typical dialogue in my head goes something like:

Three out of five workouts done for the week, two more left…oh but tomorrow the doctor’s appointment is in the morning, so then when? Friday and Saturday. Ugh I wish I could sleep in on Saturday. REMEMBER TO CALL THE US STATE DEPARTMENT ABOUT THE NEW BIRTH CERTIFICATE FOR MARRIAGE LICENSE. I think the Diet Coke meeting is on Thursday…remember to ask Joanne about that tomorrow at work. Did I take the salmon out of the freezer? Do that now. Oh email Anne about the cost of the wedding bands. Did I pin that baked falafel recipe on Pinterest the other day, I meant to save it. Oh sh*t!? I forgot to Skype with Dana yesterday, ARGH. Better email her. I wonder how Grandpa is doing. Do I need an umbrella tomorrow? Crap, I have no change for the toll later…I hate tolls. Did MM say he was working the late shift this week or next? It’s June already??!*&£*%!!!

Sometimes all of this incessant reminding makes me just want to shut down, plop down on the couch and watch mindless telly for hours on end. But right now I really don’t have the time for that.

So for now, I’ll just have to learn to cut back where I can and try and balance life a bit better. And perhaps in a few weeks I’ll use the precious couple of holiday days I have left (saving most for wedding/honeymoon) and do something super indulgent and pamper-y like a spa day.

Taco Pizza

Mexican Pizza

Part of cutting back means not trying to make absolutely everything from scratch. While I generally stay away from packaged and processed foods, there are some exceptions. Being from California, I loooooove Mexican food, but until recently it’s been hard to find the right ingredients to make up a quick, Mexican meal. Thankfully my friend Lily recently launched My Mexican Shop online, and is also selling her goods at the Honest2Goodness market in Glasnevin every Wednesday and Saturday. I adore the tinned authentic refried beans, pickled jalapenos, spices, corn tortillas and bottled salsas she sells, and they make it so easy to whip up a Mexican feast in no time. With our busy schedules, we’ve been having Mexican dinners at least twice a week – but they are SO good you’d never know it took only minutes to prepare! I always keep our press stocked with many of her products.

2 teaspoons olive oil

½ lb. minced turkey

2 teaspoons Mexican oregano

4 tablespoons Red Salsa Taquera

1 teaspoon sea salt

2 prepared pizza crusts (I get Biona Spelt Pizza bases at Nolan’s in Clontarf)

1 tin La Sierra Brown Refried Beans with Chipotle (or you can get the plain variety)

3 chillies from a tin of La Costena Pickled Whole Serrano chillies, sliced and de-seeded

To garnish (you can choose whatever you like but here are some suggestions!):

1 tin sweet corn

2 red ripe tomatoes, chopped

Handful torn fresh coriander

Crumbled feta cheese

Sliced avocado

Bottle of Salsa Verde

Preheat the oven to 200C.

In a medium sauté pan, heat the oil over medium heat and then add the turkey. Cook until the meat browns inside and out, about 7-9 minutes. Make sure to use your spatula to make the mince crumbly while you cook. Add in the oregano, Red Salsa Taquera and salt and cook for another 2 minutes.

To assemble the pizza:

Spoon a good amount of the brown refried beans onto each base – I typically use about 6 tablespoons per pizza as I like a lot of beans on mine. You’ll have some beans leftover; they’ll keep for a couple of days in an airtight container in the fridge. Now top with the turkey mixture and a few slices of the Serrano chillies.

Place in the oven (I put it straight onto the rack as the Biona Spelt bases are nice and sturdy) and bake for 15 minutes. Remove, slice and top with sweet corn, chopped tomato, fresh coriander, feta cheese, avocado and lots of Salsa Verde. Enjoy!