Thursday, January 26, 2012

GASP! You Said The "V" Word!

Veggie Tacos.  I, for one, think it sounds "mah-veloos"!  I love me some homemade guacamole with fresh avocados, vine-ripened tomatoes, fresh cilantro.....grglgrrrrlll.  Sorry, had a Homer Simpson moment! 

I was actually excited about this meal and I hoped my enthusiasm was contagious.  It paid off.  According to my husband, "Well, nothing will ever replace a REAL taco but these were good".  That translates to a normal person's "wow, these are great!". 

I did take some liberties with the recipe though.  Am I possibly getting creative in the kitchen?  Don't celebrate just yet.  I make tacos and guacamole a lot so I felt comfortable varying the theme. Instead of canned pinto beans, I used dry black beans (I prefer the flavor).  I also left out the bell pepper (and cayenne) because, by this time, I have found my family really aren't fans of the colorful veggies. In addition, I added WAY more cilantro than called for.  Let's face it, there's little better than fresh cilantro! You, of course, may do with it what you desire!

Veggie Tacos with Fresh Guacamole
     For guacamole                                                    For beans             
       3 ripe avocados, peeled and pitted                      1 15oz can pinto beans drained and rinsed
       1/4 medium onion finely chopped                         1/2 tsp cumin 
       1 clove garlic, minced or pressed
       1 lime juiced
       1/2 tsp kosher salt
       1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
       1/2 tsp black pepper
       1 roma tomato chopped
       2 Tbs (or more) chopped fresh cilantro

     For Veggie Filling                                                  For tortillas and assembly
       1 Tbs olive oil                                                        1 Tbs olive oil
       1/4 medium yellow onion chopped                          8 corn tortillas (6")
       1 red bell pepper, roughly chopped                         1 cup raw cheddar cheese, shredded
       1/2 tsp kosher salt
       1/4 tsp black pepper
       1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
       2 medium zucchini squash, thinly sliced (or chopped)
       2 cups baby spinach, chopped

For Guacamole
1. Mash avocados in a medium bowl until chunky.
2. With a fork, mix in onion, garlic, lime juice, salt, cayenne pepper, and black pepper.
3. Fold in tomatoes. Taste and adjust seasonings as needed.
4. Top with fresh cilantro (or just blend those babies in!!!)

For Beans
1. Mash beans with a fork
2. Toss with cumin.
3. Heat on stove until warm.

 For Veggie Filling:
1. Heat olive oil over medium heat.
2. Saute onion for 3-4 minutes
3. Add bell pepper and cook for 2 minutes more
4. Mix in seasonings
5. Add zucchini and spinach, stir and remove from heat

For tortillas and assembly:
1. lightly brush tortillas with olive oil on both sides.
2. Heat dry pan over medium heat and warm tortillas once at a time for a few seconds on each side to soften.
3. Build tacos according to taste.  A suggestion is a layer of beans, followed by a sprinkle of cheese, a large scoop of vegetable mix and a dollop of guacamole.


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