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Guest Chef
May 2019

Mom’s Famous Tacos


Mom’s Tuesday Tacos
By Dennis Linden


Here’s a very tasty and versatile taco stuffing recipe just in time to include in your Cinco de Mayo celebrations this month, compliments of Lacy Garcia of the company’s Retail Marketing Team. What makes this recipe a keeper is Lacy’s inventive ingredient combination. For a base, she employees Melissa’s Soyrizo® as a flavor additive to ground turkey, rather than this product’s usual role as a meat substitute. It’s the best part of traditional chorizo without the artery-clogging sausage. To this unique mix Lacy tempers that distinctive ’orizo flavor with the company’s Steamed Red Kidney Beans and, wait for it, a few tablespoons of ketchup! That is the base, though Lacy says that she often adds in other veggies depending on what’s in the ‘frig.

“I enjoy cooking for my family, though it can sometimes be a chore as a busy working mom. Having a meal together as a family is important, so I follow a weekly schedule that is loosely based on Meatball Monday, Taco Tuesday, Waffle Wednesday (breakfast for dinner) and Take-Out Thursday,” Lacy explained. “This taco filling has evolved over time based on what my boys like, and don’t like, to eat. Meaning, the filling is also a great cover to slip in any finely diced vegetables that you want your kids to eat, like tomatoes, onions, squash, whatever! I’ve also served the filling in burritos as well as an enchilada casserole.”

And, after multiple tastings of this flexible filling in various forms, I very much concur! It was delish as a taco, with a few spoons of Hatch Chile Salsa added for good measure. The filling made for an even better burrito, slathered with smashed avocado. And for a quick and healthy breakfast this recipe shined adding in a few eggs, with a side of toast or warm tortillas! Best of all, for those on a busy work schedule who enjoy good food but have little time to indulge, this recipe can be whipped up in 15-20 minutes from first slice to first bite!

Lacy Garcia


Lacy Garcia has been a member of the Melissa’s family for three years, though it seems working for the company may have been fated when she toured the corporate facilities as a college student majoring in Agriculture, which she herself describes as being “many, many years ago”. Lacy grew up on a small farm and was in the local 4-H Club and Future Farmers of America all through childhood so the fresh produce industry was a natural.

“We mostly raised lambs, but I had pigs, cows and horses as well,” she recalled. “No doubt that guided me to choose a direction in agriculture in college. Though the business of wholesale produce and spending my days discussing marketing promotions with retail produce managers, I could never have been imagined.”

Lacy’s primary role at Melissa’s is as the merchandising manager exclusively to a 40-store retailer in Southern California. This is not a “desk job” as she spends most days traveling the region visiting every store manager and checking on the condition and movement of Melissa’s products. Once a week she also visits her account’s corporate offices to discuss those store visits with the retailer’s central produce buyers, as well presenting new items and seasonal promotional programs.

“The most interesting part of my job is that no two days look alike! I love how things are always fluid and changing. It’s the nature of the account that I work on and it definitely keeps me on my toes. I should also add that this ever-changing environment is also what makes my job challenging, as well. From a marketing point of view, the seasonality of fresh produce pushes me to be creative and forces me to think outside the box probably more than I’d prefer to, which is a good thing!”

Once Lacy parks her car after a day of SoCal freeways, her role must switch quickly to super-mom. Needless to say with two boys, aged 6 and 8, that transition takes maybe a half-second without the aid of phone booth and comes with chief cook & shuttle service duties no matter how her own work day has gone.

“There’s not much room for “me” time right now, although I do love to bake, even over cooking, with cupboards full of baking tools to play with whenever I can. Considering the boys’ ages, we always seem to be on the move, though. Shuffling to and from school, art class, karate class, etc. And then there is Disneyland! Living so close, I try to go to Disneyland as often as possible and now that the boys are a little older, I’m pushing them to try out every ride at least once. In fact, I have vowed to create more memories and experiences together this year rather than buying more “stuff”! Those memories will last a lot longer. As much as I’d love to recreate my childhood farm life for the kids, we only have one, very low maintenance reptilian pet--a bearded dragon named Vector. Perfect for our busy lifestyle, Vector enjoys laying in the sun, eating crickets, blueberries and kale.”

Kale and blueberries! Two of our best sellers! Sounds like the makings of a possible marketing program, Lacy! After all, Vector’s insurance agent cousin gecko is doing pretty well with an inedible product. Anyway, thanks for the many tastings, mom! Do I really have to wait until next Tuesday?

Mom’s Famous Tacos
Serves

Ingredients:  Mom’s Famous Tacos


1 lb. Ground turkey
Salt and pepper
2 tsp. garlic, minced
½ pkg. Melissa’s Soyrizo® (6 of 12 oz.)
1 pkg. Melissa’s Steamed Red Kidney Beans, drained & rinsed
1 tomato, diced
½ white onion, diced
2 tablespoons ketchup
Corn tortillas, fried into taco shells

A bowl of Melissa’s Hatch Chile Salsa [on the side]

Preparation:

Season ground turkey with salt and pepper. Cook ground turkey in pan with minced garlic. When turkey is nearly done, mix in soyrizo and cook for a few minutes.


Season ground turkey with salt and pepper. Cook ground turkey in pan with minced garlic. When turkey is nearly done, mix in soyrizo and cook for a few minutes.

Stir in kidney beans, onions, tomato and ketchup and warm through.


Stir in kidney beans, onions, tomato and ketchup and warm through.

Fry up corn tortillas to form taco shells. Fill with turkey mixture, adding favorites condiments like sliced tomato, shredded, lettuce, avocado, etc.


Fry up corn tortillas to form taco shells. Fill with turkey mixture, adding favorites condiments like sliced tomato, shredded, lettuce, avocado, etc.