Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Black Bean & Squash Tacos

I can't quite figure out when "Taco Tuesday" became a thing, and I don't know if it is a nationwide phenomenon, but here in the Bay Area, everyone I know seems to participate in "Taco Tuesday".  So, since it's Tuesday, dinner at the Munoz's is of course Tacos.  Although, these aren't your standard tacos.  As much as I love the old seasoned meat, cheese, tomato & lettuce in a crispy corn shell combination, I've eaten enough of those in my lifetime where it just seems so boring.  These tacos, with smoky black beans and spicy roasted squash have a ton of flavor, can be made in no time flat, and combine 2 of my favorite ingredients- black beans & butternut squash.

Today is also Election Tuesday, and all I will say on this subject is Go Vote.  I could say a lot more, but I don't think I want to use this blog to jump up on a political soap box.  I could go on about how I am a die-hard democrat.  About how I believe in universal health care, in social security & medicare & even welfare, although I do feel that the current welfare system needs a really good tune-up.  About how I have liberal social views- I firmly believe in gay marriage, women rights, abortion rights, a strong separation of Church & State.  About how I am pro-military, I believe choosing to serve your country in the armed forces is one of the greatest things someone can choose to do, or about how I believe we need to stop the current tax & spend system and learn to live within our national budget.  Or about how I believe in a persons right to bear arms, although, why someone needs a machine gun to defend their home or practice their sharpshooting skills escapes me.  I could go on about all these things, but instead of getting into a political debate on a blog, I went to the polls and voted for the candidates that best supported my ideals.  And whatever you believe in, whether you agree or disagree with me, you too can go to the polls and vote for the person that you feel best represents your ideals.  That's how it works in this democracy and it's just one of the things that make our country great.

Anyway, enough of that, I am stepping down from the political soap box I had no intention of stepping up on and getting back to something that everyone can agree on- the awesomeness of tacos.    And these tacos, while far from traditional, are seriously, seriously delicious.  No matter if you are a Democrat, a Republican, a Libertarian or even a sign carrying member of that wacky Tea Party, I guarantee you will agree.

Black Bean & Roasted Butternut Squash Tacos

1/2 cup 2% plain greek yogurt*
Lime juice
fresh cilantro
Chili powder
1 small yellow onion, diced
3 or 4 cloves of garlic, minced
1 can seasoned black beans (I like Bush's)
1 cup fresh or frozen sweet corn
1/2 can of Mexican style stewed tomatoes
1 small Jalapeño, seeded & diced
2 1/2 tsp Cumin
1 tsp Chipotle powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
Spicy roasted squash cubes (I used the extra's I made from last night's Squash & Sausage Risotto)
Cotija Cheese*, crumbled
Corn Tortillas

*You can use sour cream instead of the Greek Yogurt, but the yogurt really gives the sauce a great flavor and is much healthier than sour cream.  Cotija cheese is basically the Mexican version of Feta so if you can't find Cotija you can substitute with Feta.
  1. Make the Cilantro Lime Sauce.  In a small bowl mix together the yogurt, lime juice, some finely chopped fresh cilantro and a little chili powder in a small bowl.  Season with some salt & pepper.  How much cilantro, lime juice and chili powder you use is really up to you.  I like a lot of lime (the juice from 1/2 of a big lime), not a lot of cilantro and just enough chili powder to give it a small kick.  Keep the sauce refrigerated until ready to use. 
  2. Prepare the Beans.  In a saute pan cook the onions in a little olive oil, over medium heat, for about 5 minutes.  Add the minced garlic and cook for another minute.  Add in the corn & jalapeno and cook for about 2 minutes.  Add the can of seasoned black beans (undrained) and the stewed tomatoes.  Add the chipotle powder, cumin, salt & pepper and cook over medium heat for about 5 minutes.
  3. Heat up the squash.  If you are using previously prepared roasted squash, pop them in the microwave for a minute or so to heat up
  4. Assemble the Tacos.  Warm up the soft corn tortillas and fill with the black beans and the squash.  Top with the cilantro lime sauce and a little bit of cotija cheese.
  5. Serve!  I usually make some Spanish rice to go along with the tacos, and to drink, some cold Mexican beer, Negra Modelo or Pacifico are always good.

In the interest of full disclosure, I do have one confession to make.  While this is a vegetarian dinner, my husband thinks that a dinner without cooked animal meat is an abomination.  To satisfy him, I just brown a package of ground turkey with a packet of store bought taco seasoning.  When I assemble the tacos I put a layer of the Turkey in the bottom of his taco.  He's happy and I can have my vegetarian variety.  

Bon Appetit!

1 comment:

  1. Yum! I never would have thought about putting the squash in a taco, but these look excellent. And my apologies to Pancho, but you so don't need the meat in these!