Monday, November 5, 2012

Right-to-Know Calabacitas Tacos

“Pardon me,” he said. “But what exactly are calabacitas? If I’m going to eat them, I have a right to know.”

Calabacitas or ‘little squash’ is a stew-ish dish with zucchini, corn, tomatoes and green chilis," I said. 

“I see,” he said. “Is the sweet corn in your stew-ish dish non-GMO?”

“Does Monsanto like million dollar bills?” I said with duh on my face.

"Is the masa harina in your handcrafted tacos non-GMO corn?"

“You talkin' to me?" I said. “You talkin' to me?"

"What about the zucchini? Some squash seeds are genetically modified too," he said.

“Boyfriend, my seeds are cleaner than a virgin’s panty drawer.

"Wow, that's clean!" he said. "It's TMI, but clean."

"Well with all those pesticides, GMO “food” isn't clean. And without labeling, it’s not enough information

"Damn right!" he said with uppity exuberance.

“Here, try one of these righteous calabacitas tacos,” I said.

"Mmmm. These are righteous! Do I have a right to read the recipe?"

Like I said before, I’m all about transparency.”


4 medium organic zucchinis, sliced
2 medium organic tomatoes, chopped
1 ear organic corn, shucked
1 small onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
1 roasted poblano chile (Anaheim or Hatch is fine)
1 – 2 tsp olive oil
½ tsp coriander seeds, crushed
½ tsp cumin seeds
¼ tsp cumin powder
¼ tsp salt (add more to taste)
pepper to taste
chopped cilantro
crumbled cotija or feta cheese (optional)

Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat and sauté the onion for 5 minutes with the cumin and coriander seeds; then add the garlic for another minute. Add the zucchini, tomatoes, corn and cumin powder and cook for about 15 - 20 minutes over medium heat. Then add the roasted chile, salt and pepper and cook until soft for about 10 more minutes.

Serve in tacos with chopped cilantro and crumbled cheese.

Homemade Tacos
1 package of Bob's Red Mill Masa Harina (see package for recipe)

Lentil’s Breakdown

  • About 85% of corn produced in the U.S. is genetically modified with a built-in pesticide. An inserted gene from soil bacteria called Bt (Bacillus thuringiensis) secretes the insect-killing Bt toxin so that a bug’s stomach will explode when it eats it.
  • A new peer-reviewed study links GMO corn to mammary tumors, kidney and liver damage and other serious illnesses.
  • Avoid buying sweet corn (on the cob) at Walmart since they agreed to sell Monsanto's Bt sweet corn that is not labeled; Whole Foods and Trader Joe's pledged not to sell or use it.
  • Over 24,000 acres of zucchini and crookneck squash are genetically modified in the U.S. to resist a plant virus. Certified organic seed varieties by definition are GMO-free. The Organic Seed Alliance maintains a list of organic seed companies.
  • Most masa harina that you’ll find in Latin markets like Maseca is genetically modified, but Bob's Red Mill does not use GMOs in their corn products (I wrote them an email to verify, and they kindly responded back). 
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  1. Thanks for the heads-up on the masa harina. I was going to buy some this week and now I'm forewarned. Beautiful photos.

  2. I bet Bob's is thrilled that the GMO bill failed. Less competition for them. Kidding, but it is good to know there are brands available to the GMO FREE voter. GREG

  3. I enjoyeed reading your post