Food Feed: Instagram, Reality and Greek Tacos
By Danny Bonvissuto
Here’s how a good idea goes bad: After receiving back-to-back notifications that subscriptions to my favorite food magazines had expired, I decided not to renew and follow more food outlets on Instagram instead.
As much as I love the weight of a magazine in my hands—and the sharp sound of paper tearing as I rip out the recipes—I hate the guilt I feel when food magazines stack up unread in my living room. In the rare event that I sit down at night to flip through one, the last thing I want think about is whether or not I should replicate Auntie Anne’s pretzels at home.
Almost instantly, my Instagram feed flooded with food porn: whole grain pecan blondies, a fresh fig galette, bacon-corn chowder with shrimp and more photos of avocado toast than one person should ever have to see.
It’s avocado. On toast. Enough already.
Instead of feeling inspired by beautiful pot of pasta puttanesca in a beautiful bowl on a beautiful table, I quickly felt overwhelmed and inadequate. Photo after photo showed elaborate meals I would love to make, if those pesky things like family and career commitments didn’t get in the way.
Just as I was about to unfollow everyone —especially the mom who posts daily photos of school lunches packed with dragon fruit, watermelon radishes and goat mozzarella—I came across a photo of Vegetarian Greek Tacos.
Now this I can do.
A fun take on Taco Tuesday, Michelle Braxton of the food blog Supper With Michelle created this genius mash-up between the pita and taco that’s full of fresh ingredients and nails four of my most important recipe rules:
1. Must be healthy. Or at least somewhere in the neighborhood of healthy.
2. Must be versatile enough to feed a carnivore, vegetarian and 5 year old with ever-changing tastes.
3. Must not be so involved that I never want to see it again by the time I’m done making it.
4. Must be something I can make once and eat twice.
My husband and I grilled a big batch of steak, eggplant, onions and red peppers on Sunday, ate them for dinner and used the leftovers in these tacos for lunch all week. And though I’m not brining my own olives, I felt like a rock star for making my own (ridiculously easy) tzatziki sauce.
The Greek tacos inspired me in more ways that one: Now I scroll right by those pretty pictures of soft serve mascarpone ice cream without guilt or shame. Meal planning with social media is really no different than the way I approach a cookbook: Make what you want and leave the rest.
Greek Tacos
Serves 4
8 soft flour or wheat tortillas
Cooking spray
Filling options:
1 cup hummus
1 cup romaine, chopped
½ medium cucumber, diced
¼ cup grilled steak, rotisserie chicken or roasted eggplant
1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
1 small red onion, thinly sliced
½ cup feta cheese
½ cup green olives, halved
½ cup Greek olives, halved
1/2 cup red bell pepper, thinly sliced
1 small banana pepper, thinly sliced
Sea salt and ground black pepper to taste
Tzatziki sauce:
2/3 cup Greek yogurt
½ medium cucumber
½ lemon, squeezed
1 tablespoon fresh dill
Sea salt and black pepper to taste
Blend all ingredients in a blender or food processor to desired level of smoothness or chunkiness.
Heat a large skillet to medium heat and coat with cooking spray. Add tortillas two at a time and let them brown a bit on each side.
Smear hummus in the middle of each tortilla to hold the rest of the ingredients in place and layer from there. Sprinkle with tzatziki and serve.