Black Bean Fiesta #1
I love tacos. Always have, probably always will. I like all the variations on them, and I love how simple they are to make. The best tacos I ever had, I ate in Puerto Vallarta. They were called “The Green Tacos of Peanut.” I have no idea what, besides peanuts and corn tortillas, were in them, but I can still taste their salty, sweet flavor when I close my eyes and concentrate. God, they were amazing.
But rather than reminisce about tacos I won’t be eating any time soon, I’d like to talk about the tacos that Keith and I have made together for nearly ten years. Over the years, these have evolved from chicken in a prebought sauce to turkey flavored by cumin and chili pepper, to finally this vegetarian version. I saved the leftover guacamole and black beans and used them in the dish you’ll meet in Black Bean Fiesta #2, Black Bean Quesadillas.
(8 WW points per serving)
1 avocado, mashed
1 tablespoon cilantro, chopped
1/4 cup red onion, chopped
1/2 jalapeno, chopped
salt and pepper to taste
6 taco shells (I use Ortega. I used to use fancy blue ones from health food stores, but they were always breaking. Sometimes ya gotta go corporate.)
1 can black beans
1 bell pepper (any color)
1 tsp canola oil
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp chili pepper
1/2 cup shredded cheese (cheddar or pepper jack)
For guacamole: Mash ripe avocado with fork, then add cilantro, red onion and jalapeno and mix together. Squeeze juice of 1/2 lime and stir. Add salt and pepper to taste and set aside. (My rule of thumb on this recipe: 1/2 avocado and 1/2 lime to each person you’re serving. Everything else can be adjusted to taste.)
For tacos: Preheat oven to 425. Put taco shells on cookie sheet and heat until golden, about 5 minutes. Drain and rinse black beans and add to pan. Add one bell pepper, chopped. In winter, I use red, yellow and green peppers as they’re most readily available. In the summer, I use peppers from my CSA and the farmers’ market; my favorite is purple and white. Add 1 tsp of oil and the spices, and stir together as you cook over high heat. Cook the bean mixture until the peppers are tender, about five-seven minutes. Remove from heat. Spoon mixture into heated taco shells. Cover with guacamole and cheese.
Now, you may notice you have some leftover black beans and guacamole. Whatever will you do with them? Tomorrow, we’ll turn the leftovers into Black Bean Fiesta #2: Quesadillas! Put your leftover bean mixture and leftover guacamole into freezer-safe bags. If you want to make the new meal in the next three days, put them in the refrigerator. If you’re not sure when you’ll be pimping your leftovers, but you know it’s not in the next three days, freeze them. (In fact, freezing guacamole is a sure-fire way to preserve its green color and it is a pretty easy defrost.)