Bean & Butternut Tacos with Green Salsa
Beans and roasted butternut squash make an outstanding vegetarian taco filling. For the best flavor, use fresh, good-quality chili powder and Mexican oregano. Look for both at Latin markets or in the bulk spice section at well-stocked natural-foods stores.
- 8 ounces tomatillos
- 2 cloves garlic, unpeeled
- 1 jalapeño pepper
- 1/4 cup sliced white onion
- 1/2 ripe avocado, diced
- 3 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- Freshly ground pepper to taste
- 4 cups diced (1/2-inch) peeled butternut squash
- 3-4 small dried red chiles
- 2 cloves garlic, unpeeled, smashed and left whole
- 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
- 3/4 teaspoon dried oregano, preferably Mexican, divided
- 1/2 teaspoon salt, divided
- 1/4 teaspoon cumin seeds, plus 1/2 teaspoon ground toasted cumin seeds (see Tip), divided
- 2 cups cooked pinto beans, drained (see Tip)
- 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
- Freshly ground pepper to taste
- 8 6-inch corn tortillas
- 1/2 cup fresh cilantro leaves
- 1/2 cup finely shredded and chopped red or green cabbage
- 8 teaspoons crumbled queso fresco (see Note), or feta cheese
- To prepare salsa: Bring a pot of water to a boil. Remove husks from tomatillos and rinse well. Cook the tomatillos in the boiling water until soft, 5 to 8 minutes. Drain and set aside.
- Toast garlic cloves, jalapeño and onion in a dry medium skillet over medium heat, turning occasionally, until browned, fragrant and soft, 5 to 7 minutes.
- When cool enough to handle, peel the garlic. Remove the jalapeño stem and remove seeds if desired. Combine the tomatillos, garlic, jalapeño, onion and avocado in a blender or food processor. Process until smooth. Stir in cilantro, salt and pepper. Set aside for topping the tacos.
- To prepare tacos: Preheat oven to 400°F.
- Put squash in a medium bowl and, using kitchen shears, finely snip chiles to taste into small pieces (seeds and all) into the bowl. Add garlic, oil, 1/2 teaspoon oregano, 1/4 teaspoon salt and whole cumin seeds; toss to coat. Arrange on a baking sheet in a single layer. Bake until soft and beginning to brown, 20 to 25 minutes. Peel and finely chop the garlic when cool enough to handle; stir into the squash.
- Meanwhile, combine beans in a small saucepan with the remaining 1/4 teaspoon oregano and 1/4 teaspoon salt, ground cumin, chili powder and pepper. Heat over medium-low heat for about 10 minutes.
- Warm tortillas one at a time in a dry large cast-iron (or similar heavy) skillet over medium heat until soft and pliable. Wrap in a clean towel to keep warm as you go. Spoon 1/4 cup of the warm beans into each tortilla; divide the roasted squash evenly among the tacos and top each with cilantro, cabbage, 1/2 cup of the salsa and cheese. (Refrigerate the remaining 1/2 cup salsa for up to 2 days.)
Tips & Notes
- Make Ahead Tip: The salsa can be prepared ahead (Step 1-3). Cover and refrigerate for up to 2 days.
- Tip: Toast cumin seeds in a small skillet over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until very fragrant, 2 to 5 minutes. Let cool. Grind into a powder in a spice mill or blender.
- Ingredient Note: Queso fresco, also known as queso blanco, is a soft, slightly salty fresh Mexican cheese. You can find it in Latin markets and many supermarkets.
- Tip: How to Cook a Pot of Beans
- 1. Pick over 1 pound dry beans to remove any pebbles or broken beans and rinse well under cold water. Place in a large bowl, cover with 3 inches of cold water and soak for 4 to 24 hours.
- 2. When you’re ready to cook the beans, heat 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add 1 small chopped onion, 2 to 3 chopped garlic cloves and 1 chopped celery stalk (optional). Cook, stirring, until the vegetables are beginning to soften, 3 to 4 minutes. Drain the beans and add to the pan. Add enough cold water to cover the beans by 1 inch. Bring to a boil and boil for 5 minutes. Lower the heat to a bare simmer, partially cover and cook, stirring occasionally, until tender, 20 minutes to 3 hours, depending on the freshness of the beans. If at any time the liquid level drops below the beans, add 1 cup hot water. When the beans are nearly soft, stir in 1 to 1 1/2 teaspoons salt. (Do not drain: beans are best stored in their cooking liquid and the liquid can be used in some recipes.)
- Makes about 6 cups.
Per serving: 406 calories; 9 g fat (2 g sat, 4 g mono); 3 mg cholesterol; 70 g carbohydrates; 0 g added sugars; 13 g protein; 13 g fiber; 517 mg sodium; 1006 mg potassium.
Nutrition Bonus: Vitamin A (254% daily value), Vitamin C (60% dv), Folate (49% dv), Potassium (28% dv), Magnesium (25% dv), Iron (20% dv), Calcium (16% dv).
Carbohydrate Servings: 4
Exchanges: 3 1/2 starch, 2 vegetable, 1 lean meat, 1 1/2 fat
More From EatingWell
In celebration of EatingWell's 10th anniversary we picked our...
These easy weeknight suppers are inspired by the bountiful...
Take advantage of summer's bounty of fresh produce with these...
Muffin tins are great for making more than just muffins,...
Use your charcoal grill or gas grill for more than just...
Potato salad is a favorite summer dish, but classic versions...
It’s no wonder that the Mediterranean diet is considered to...
Enjoy the world’s healthiest diet with these delicious...
Make your own pickles! Get the most out of summer’s bounty by...
Berries and fresh summer fruit star in our healthy homemade...
Pork tenderloin is an easy and healthy addition to your...
Our healthy pepper recipes, including recipes for bell...
Fresh, sun-ripened tomatoes not only taste wonderful, they...
For a quick and healthy dinner, make one of our easy stir-fry...
While nothing quite beats eating quickly boiled or grilled...
From healthy blueberry muffins and blueberry pancakes topped...
- Ease of Preparation
- Preparation/ Technique