Why I Am Posting These Recipes

I believe that it is healthier for an individual and for the planet to reduce the consumption of animal products in the human diet. However, I love to eat all kinds of delicious food, and find it really, really difficult to go totally vegetarian. Also, my family protests if I serve too many vegetarian meals in a row. So I am committed to making an effort to move towards a vegetarian diet without wholly doing so. I will post recipes several times a week that represent my philosophy of eating well, eating healthy, eating local. Most recipes will be easy to prepare, as I have a busy life. So I expect my followers to be people who love to cook and eat well, want to try to help the planet through their eating (by eating local foods and trying to reduce the use of meat in our diets), and have many other things to do each day besides cook.

Tuesday, April 28, 2020

It's Taco Tuesday! Zucchini, Black Bean and Sweet Potato Tacos

It's Taco Tuesday again! Tacos are an easy meal that most people like.  The problem for me was always that the traditional recipe called for browning ground beef and mixing it with that taco seasoning packet.  Green Planet Eating calls for trying to reduce the impact of our food requirements on the environment.  The ground beef that is mass-produced, so easy to pick up at the supermarket and throw into a frying pan with that taco seasoning, contributes to carbon emissions much more than vegetables grown in the soil. If you use vegetables instead of meat, you can visualize a reduction in methane that is a destructive by-product of industrial animal farms.  The methane contributes to global climate change.  

These are some of my favorite tacos: roasted sweet potatoes combined with a spicy vegetable and black bean mixture.  The sweetness and texture of the sweet potatoes contrasts nicely with the flavors and textures of the zucchini, black beans, onions and tomatoes. 
2-3 small sweet potatoes, peeled and diced
Olive oil
2-3 TBS Grapeseed oil
1 zucchini, diced
Handful of cherry tomatoes (about 7 or 8), halved
2 cups cooked black beans (or a can of black beans)
1/2 large onion, diced
Taco seasoning
Shredded cheddar cheese
about 8 Taco Shells

Start by peeling and dicing the sweet potatoes, then toss them with olive oil and salt. Spread them out on a baking sheet. I cover a cookie sheet with aluminum foil for easy cleanup:

Roast potatoes in an oven that has been preheated to 425 degrees F., or 400 degrees with a “convection roast” setting. Roast for about 30 minutes, tossing once or twice during roasting time, until it looks like this:


Meanwhile, heat grapeseed oil (or another cooking oil) in a frying pan over medium heat.  Add diced onion and stir to coat with oil.  Saute for a couple minutes, stirring, until onions begin to become translucent.  Add zucchini and continue to saute, stirring occassionally, for about 10 minutes. Stir in cherry tomatoes, cook for a few minutes, then add black beans and stir everything together in the pan.  Sprinkle taco seasoning to taste over all. I used about 1/4 packet of Trader Joe’s taco seasoning, but the amount you use will depend on the brand you use as well as your personal taste.  Stir and continue to cook.  Reduce heat to low, cover and cook for about 15 minutes, until zucchini is very tender.

Heat taco shells according to package directions.

To serve, spoon sweet potatoes and black bean mixture into heated taco shells. Add shredded cheese. Serves 2, about 8 tacos.

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