I realize it’s fall in most parts of the country, but in Santa Barbara, we are still sporting 75 plus degree days! So, while pumpkin pie, hearty stews and soups are on many people’s minds, I am still eating tacos! Besides, I live in a place where fresh tortillas are readily available–I know, I am spoiled… There’s nothing like a homemade, just-out-of-the-oven tortilla! We also have avocado trees growing all over town, so those are plentiful as well.
Here’s my taco rendition, vegetarian style! I’ve also included a recipe for my FRESH HABANERO HOT SALSA! You will love it!
Let’s get started!
INGREDIENTS FOR TACOS:
- Olive oil
- 1 cup of roughly chopped zucchini or summer squash (1-2 zucchini or squash, depending on the size)
- 1/2 medium onion, chopped
- 1 garlic clove, chopped
- 1 large fresh mild green chile (Anaheim or Hatch), seeds and stem discarded, chopped
- 1/2 fresh jalapeño chile pepper, seeds and stem discarded, minced (or more, if you desire more heat)
- Sea salt and pepper to taste
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 cup chopped kale
- 1 red bell pepper sliced or chopped
- 1/4 cup fresh chopped cilantro (save some sprigs to chop up for the tacos)
- 1 can organic black beans (heated)
- Finely sliced romaine lettuce or finely shredded green cabbage
- Package corn tortillas (if you’re frying these use canola oil, not olive oil–coconut oil is a great substitute too)
- 1/2 cup Mexican cheddar cheese or Mexican four cheeses
- 1/4 cup crumbled Mexican cotija cheese (a salty, crumbly cheese, you can substitute feta)
- 1 – 2 chopped (uncooked) tomatoes
LET’S GET COOKING!
In a frying skillet, heat olive oil and quickly saute the onion and garlic, then add the bell pepper and finally the chopped zucchini and kale. Add the seasonings and the 1/4 cup cilantro. DO NOT OVERCOOK. The veggies should be a little crunchy, unless, of course, you like them softer.
For the taco shells…
You have 2 choices. Warm them on a skillet rubbed with olive oil OR for if you want crunchy shells, you’ll need to put about 4 tablespoons of canola oil in a skillet and fry them until browned, or the consistency that you like them. Remove the fried tortillas and place on a plate lined with a paper towel to help soak up any excess grease. Salt the shells. Next, take about 2 tablespoons of black beans and place them in the shell, then add the veggie mixture and the romaine lettuce. Add the chopped cilantro, some tomatoes, the cheeses and your favorite salsa (for Vegan omit the cheese) Garnish with a lime wedge and avocado slices and VOILA!
BUT WAIT… for those of you who LOVE HOT salsa, here’s my Habanero Salsa Recipe that is just too good for words!
FRESH HABANERO HOT SALSA
Put the following ingredients in a food processor or blender:
4 medium size ripe tomatoes
2 cloves garlic
1/4 cup cilantro
1 small white onion
1 fresh serrano chili pepper
1/2 fresh habanero pepper (start with a half and adjust to your liking…this pepper is HOT)
Salt & pepper
Blend until fully chopped and serve with tacos or tortilla chips!
Brittany resides in beautiful Santa Barbara, California, and may be contacted for events, private parties, weddings, cooking classes, and craft and catering services via her website: