In 2010, I read the book The End of Overeating: Taking Control of the Insatiable American Appetite by Dr. David A. Kessler.
This book opened my eyes to the way that manufactured food has become the unhealthy standard of American eating.
We are addicted to a trio of sugar, fat, and salt.
Dr. Kessler discusses how the food industry feeds that addiction with conditioned hyper-eating. Kessler then offers a theory of treatment and a food rehab to break the food addiction cycle and get us eating healthy again.
After reading this book, I dedicated myself to eating fresher, whole, non-processed foods. I did this for myself and for my family. This means I purchase ingredients—such as milled wheat, just-picked vegetables, and local, farm-fresh meats—and then I make whatever I want to eat.
That’s the catch—the “making” part of the endeavor. As long as I make it from scratch, at home, with my own two hands, I can eat whatever I please.
Think of your favorite indulgent food—there is a recipe for making that indulgence at home.
Some things I used to purchase, such as burgers and fries shoved through my car window in a greasy paper bag, are no longer an option. We still eat burgers, just not fries. I make buns from scratch, and we grill burgers with garden-fresh lettuce and tomato on top. Oven-roasted potato wedges with olive oil and sea salt substitute for the commercial French fries.
I adored Mexican cuisine and used to eat it at a restaurant at least twice a week. I still love Mexican food, but I wanted to make it with fresh ingredients in my home kitchen. I taught myself to make tortillas—both corn and flour—from scratch.
Below is my vegan recipe for flour tortillas. Mexican flour tortillas traditionally are made with lard, which is rendered animal fat. I have substituted coconut oil, which makes for a more flavorful and friendly tortilla.
These are great to have on hand and keep well at room temperature for about a week. Make a breakfast wrap with tofu scramble, a lunch wrap with fresh veggies and hummus, a dessert wrap with nut butter and fresh fruit, or use them with taco or fajita filling for a traditional Mexican meal.
Equipment needed: rolling pin and flat griddle (or large pan)
Time: one hour total, with two resting periods of 40 minutes
Makes: 10 large tortillas
>> 1 and 1/2 cups flour (I use organic unbleached white flour.)
>> 1 tsp baking powder (Look for non-aluminum baking powder.)
>> 1/2 tsp sea salt
>> 1/3 cup solid coconut oil (Do not melt it first!)
>> 1/2 cup super-hot tap water
1. In a medium bowl, measure the flour, baking powder, and salt. Mix together to blend.
2. Add the solid coconut oil.
3. Rub the coconut into the flour mixture with your fingers (or a fork) until you have pea-sized bits. Pour the super-hot water over the entire flour/oil surface. Mix together with your fingers (or a fork) to form a soft dough. Gently pull the dough together into a ball, cover with a towel, and let rest for 20 minutes.
4. After the rest, divide the dough into golf-ball sized chunks (40 grams if you are scaling the dough). Roll each chunk into a ball, cover again with the towel, and let rest for 20 minutes.
5. Toward the end of the second rest, heat a flat griddle or large pan over medium-high heat.
6. Working with one dough ball at a time, leaving the rest covered with the towel; roll out the dough ball to the thinnest you possibly can. It will be about nine inches in diameter.
7. Place the rolled dough onto the preheated griddle. Cook until it’s puffing up and has a few dark golden-brown spots. Flip and cook on the other side until puffing up and with a few dark golden-brown spots. Remove to a towel-lined plate to keep warm.
8. Continue until all the tortilla balls are rolled and cooked.
Tip: While a tortilla is cooking, roll the next dough ball. You will fall into a rhythm of rolling and cooking.
Note: The tortillas will crisp up when cooled. Warm them a bit on a griddle, and they will become pliable again.
Author: Cindy Karnitz
Image: Author’s own
Editor: Yoli Ramazzina
Copy editor: Catherine Monkman
Social editor: Cat Monkman