recipe by Rebecca Lavender
What’s for dinner tonight? No need to pick up a supermarket taco kit, you can make a tasty, healthy Tex-Mex meal from scratch in under an hour, here’s how…
For the Tacos:
- 1 pack of yellow corn tortillas, I use the Wahaca ones because they crisp nicely
- 2 cups cooked black turtle beans, I bulk buy the dried ones which need to be soaked the night before cooking BUT you can use tinned if you prefer
- 1 red onion, chopped
- 1/2 tsp cumin
- 1 tsp smoked paprika
- 1 cup cheddar cheese, plus another 1/2 if you like it extra cheesy
- Raw virgin coconut oil, for cooking
For the Chimichurri sauce:
- 1/2 cup red wine vinegar
- pinch of salt
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 shallot, sliced
- 1/2 red chili, deseeded and sliced
- 1/2 cup fresh coriander, roughly chopped
- 1/2 cup fresh flat-leaf parsley, roughly chopped
- a drizzle of olive oil
P.S you’ll never catch me asking you to finely chop something because I can’t quite do that myself! I much prefer the haphazard approach, to be honest.
For some simple guacamole:
- 1 avocado
- juice of half a lime
For a quick side salad:
- 1 head of gem lettuce
- a handful of cherry tomatoes
- juice of half a lime
PREP / 5 MINS / NIGHT BEFORE
Skip this if you’re using tinned beans. I use dried black beans because they will last longer. Sunday is the day that I usually cook up a batch of beans and pulses for the week, a little habit I picked up from the IQuitSugar program.
So, pour all of your beans into a bowl, fill with water so that the beans are covered, then place a kitchen towel over the top. Leave to soak overnight, somewhere they won’t be disturbed. I stick mine in the pantry. When you come to cook the beans, drain the water and make sure to rinse them thoroughly – you’ll know they’ve come up clean when the water runs clear, not black.
PREP / 10 MINS / DAY OF COOKING
- Drain the black beans from the water you soaked them in. Then rinse them in a colander until the water runs clear, not black. Fill a medium saucepan with 500ml boiling water, and poor in all of the beans. Simmer on a medium heat for 15 minutes, making sure to keep checking the beans with a form. You won’t be using all of the beans in the recipe, but I like to bulk cook like this; then you can separate them out into 1 -2 cup portions and freeze for convenience. When you come to use them again, all you’ll need to do is thaw the beans in boiling water and throw into whatever recipe you like. Tip: they’re great for bulking out stews
- For the chimichurri, chop the shallot and mince the garlic. Mix in a bowl with your red wine vinegar. Tip: pour liquid on gradually to get to a consistency you like, depending if you want a lighter or a runnier dressing. Leave the shallots and garlic to soak in the vinegar for 2 minutes and then add in chili and herbs. I actually use scissors to chop my herbs straight into the mix.
- Mix everything together and season to taste with salt and pepper. If at this point you think there is not enough liquid, add a small dash of oil. Set aside in the fridge for later.
- For the guacamole, slice open avocado and remove the stone. Remove filling from skin and mash with a fork. Juice half a lime and add to the mashed avocado. The quickest guacamole ever! Put in the fridge with the chimichurri. Tip: your avo needs to be nice a ripe for this, it should be slightly springy when you squeeze it and bright green on the inside. When scooping the flesh it should come away like ice-cream.
METHOD / 20-30 MINS
- add 2 tsp coconut oil (or preferred cooking oil) to a non-stick frying pan on a low heat. When melted add in chopped onions with cumin and paprika. Sweat for 5 minutes, making sure to stir until onions are soft. Do not allow to go brown. Remove from heat.
- Check on your black beans, they should be soft enough to mash with a fork. Drain beans and transfer 2 cups into to a mixing bowl (divide the remaining beans into bags or lunch boxes and freeze). Add onions and cheese, then combine. Season with a sprinkle of salt and pepper to taste – I usually do one twist of the salt and pepper mills. Set mixture aside and wipe pan clean.
- Add 1 tsp coconut back into the pan and place on medium heat. Make sure the oil covers the pan, then place in your first tortilla.
- It’s time to spoon the filling but be sure to only cover half of the tortilla with the bean mixture, and leave a little space towards the edges so that it doesn’t spill out. Fold the other half of the tortilla over the filling, so that it looks like a half moon, and press down with a spatula so that it starts to crisp. When it’s crispy on one side, flip and brown the other side.
- Repeat this step and make as many tacos as your like. This recipe will serve up yo 4 tacos for 2 people or 2/3 tacos for 3 to 4 people. It just depends on how hungry you are!
6. Very quickly chop up some lettuce and tomatoes, and mix together with lime juice for a simple and refreshing side salad.
Ok, now you’re ready to assemble your Tex-Mex feast! Layer up your tacos on a plate with salad, drizzle over your chimichurri dressing and add a side of guacamole. You can even throw on some sour cream for good measure!
This is also great in the lunch box. Tip: if you’re prepping the tacos for the next day then don’t cook them as crispy. To reheat, stick back in the pan for best results (but they’ll taste just as good heated in the microwave).
There you have it! So, looks like you’re having Tex-Mex tonight, right?