Welcome Home Tacos
I’m not sure why I love cooking Mexican food, but I do. Maybe it is because it doesn’t require precision or perfect presentation skills – neither of which are my cooking forte. Ryan went to Penn State this weekend with the boys where I suspect he mostly ate waffles, beer, pizza and ice cream for three days. Upon his return, I wanted to make us something fun for dinner so I decided on Taco Night. When I was younger, we never experienced the thrill of taco night unlike some other friends of mine. We did, however, have Texas Tommies (hot dogs with cheese and bacon) on more than one occassion and I suppose that was fairly exotic for my mother’s kitchen. And perhaps the reason I am now a vegetarian.
Over the past three years, I’ve made several variations of veggie tacos, but I think the version I developed below is my favorite. I added zucchini for a little more texture. Sometimes I add red peppers and mushrooms if I have them in stock. Obviously you can swap out the black beans and use red beans, ground beef or even shredded chicken depending on your protein preference. I love lots of flavor and this recipe delivers a hearty and spicy taco for Mexican food lovers like myself.
The recipe below serves four or in some cases one hungry husband. I made us two tacos each, had to give Ryan my second taco and then had to make three more. It was all worth it when he said “I think this is one of my favorite things you’ve ever cooked for us.” Or maybe he was just tired of ice cream and beer…
Black Bean Tacos
Note: I only had dried black beans in the pantry so I soaked them on Sunday morning. Click here to find out how to soak and cook dried beans.
Black Bean & Veggie Tacos
- 1 15-oz. can black beans, drained and rinsed (or dried black beans), cook accordingly
- 1 package of taco seasoning (or make your own with 6 tbs. chili powder, 2 tb. cumin, 4 tb. Paprika, 3 tb. onion powder, 1 tb. garlic powder and 1 tsp. cayenne pepper)3 tsp olive oil
- 2 TB lime juice
- ½ cup diced onions or scallions
- Fresh cilantro (as much as Ryan likes)
- 1 medium-sized zucchini, diced
- 1/2 cup homemade salsa (below)
- 8 corn or flour tortillas
- Vegan sour cream or low-fat sour cream or plan greek yogurt
- Chopped scallions
- Grated Monterey Jack cheese or vegan cheese or feta cheese
- Shredded lettuce or cabbage (cabbage goes great with a feta cheese topping!)
Saute diced zucchini and onion/scallions in pan with a little olive oil. Add cooked beans and seasonings to veggie mixture. Season with a little salt. Combine and heat for an additional minute or two. I mashed the beans into the veggie mixture with a potato masher for a more “refried bean” consistency.
Heat oven to 375 degrees. Place tortiallas on flat baking sheet and bake for 7-8 minutes or until as crispy as you like. Fill tacos with the bean/veggie mixture, top with salsa, sour cream or greek yogurt and add any other desired toppings and add salsa. Serves 4.
My Favorite Salsa
Salsa is my favorite condiment. This variation is great because you can use it as a taco topping, a salad dressing for a taco salad, or with a nice piece of tilapia.
- 2-3 ripe tomatoes
- 1 ripe avocado
- ½ red onion, diced
- Juice of one lime
- 1 tsp. garlic salt
- Handful of cilantro
- 1 tb. Olive oil
- 1 tsp. salt
- 1 jalapeno pepper
Dice the tomatoes and avocado. Add remaining ingredients. Mix and refrigerate for at least 20 minutes before serving.