Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Veggie Tacos and Refried Beans

Recently, I've been feeling like tacos. I've never made tacos before in my life, so I'm not sure exactly where the hell it came from. Anyway, after thinking about it, I decided just to make some straight-up veggie tacos. No tofu or fake meat or any of that junk. First of all, I needed to find a recipe for taco seasoning. I stopped buying pre-packaged seasonings because all that shit seems to have MSG in it. (MSG is so sneaky that it sometimes masquerades as "autolyzed yeast extract" on labels!). It didn't take me long to find this simple recipe on the web. I got the spices mixed and got to business. Here we go:

2 zucchini, diced
1 yellow summer-squash, diced
1 red bell pepper, diced
1 yellow onion, diced
1/2 of a jalepeno, seeded and minced
2 cloves of garlic, minced

Heat a bit of oil (maybe 1 TBS?) in a large saute pan. Add all of the above. Saute until just soft. Drain. Add taco seasoning. Eat. (I put mine in a traditional, hard taco shell. Then I sprinkled on a tad of Monterey Jack cheese, a bit of sour cream, and topped it all off with some spring mix greens.) YUM.

How's that for a recipe? Pretty simple, eh? As for the refried beans...If you make them from scratch, the kind in the can will forever gross you out. I buy lots of dried beans. Mostly black beans and pintos for now. (Lentils too, but I have a hard time thinking of them as beans). I always cook a lot at one time, then divide them up and freeze them in ziploc bags. Then, I just put a bag in the fridge the day before I need to use them. So, I diced up an onion and sauteed it in a tad of oil until it was nearly brown. Then, I dumped a bag of pinto beans in and started mashing with my potato masher. I've found that a bit of water should be added to aid in the mashing process and keep the beans from becoming too dry. So, just get them to the consistency you like, and add you seasonings. I add: salt, pepper, chili powder, cumin and a few drops of hot sauce. They are soooooooo good! Plus, you can make a shit-load of them and have them on hand for bean burritos the next day.

When I'm in the kitchen, I like to listen to music. Today's meal was prepared while listening to Weezer's self-titled, debut album. A timeless classic if I've ever heard one. That was followed by Mull Historical Society's (aka Colin McIntyre) "Loss". Colin is an extremely talented songwriter, performer and producer. He's one of my faves, for sure.


Jessica said...

If you'd like to expand your taco r'epertoire, check out my favorite fish tacos. Some people cringe at the idea of slaw and fish, but it really makes a great combination of flavors. I can't actually find the written recipe so here it is off the top of my head (adjust as needed).

Tilapia (or any other whitefish), about 4-5 small pieces, thawed.
1 lime
2 Tbs EVOO
1 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp chile powder or chipotle seasoning

mix the EVOO with the rind from the entire lime and then the juice and set aside.

combine the cumin, salt and chile powder in a separate bowl.

lay out your fish in a baking dish and rub some of the cumin mixture into each piece. Then brush on the lime mixture.

Either bake at 400 or grill until the fish is done. Then use a fork or your fingers to shred the fish into a bowl.

To serve, put the fish into a warmed hard taco shell and top with slaw. Some recipes also recommend topping that with a fruit salsa. Personally, I am not a fan of fruit salsas but it sounds like the flavors would blend well.

As for the slaw, I make it very light on the dressing. Shredded cabbage, carrots and onion with a little mayo, apple cider vinegar, sugar, salt and pepper works for me.


The Dalai Mama said...

Holy crap! I'm so all over that. I'll definitely be making it within the next couple weeks!

olives and more said...

i am loving this. just when i was thinking what to cook for dinner tomorrow, you have the ideas right here. penelope and olivia will love putting their own toppings on their tacos. and i'm lovin the music too.

Valyna said...

I would completely eat my weight in your veggie tacos. Looks and sounds amazing !! (I'm so hungry now)

The Dalai Mama said...

valyna: Come on over!

olives and more said...

so...I made these...well, remember when I said the girls would love putting toppings in their tacos??? I had all types of stuff: sour cream, b. olives, cheese, lettuce, avocado, tomatoes. I was trying to promote veggie eating. Well, I ate ALL of the actual cooked veggie filling. and Olivia went through 3 taco shells, having massive meltdowns with each first bite, because the shells kept breaking. I think she ended up eating only cheese and tomatoes.