Since moving to the Borderlands of South Texas, I’ve discovered that people here don’t understand vegetarianism. Not the moral or ethical underpinnings. Just what counts as meat and what doesn’t. And how I haven’t wasted away to nothing.
Last week, a waitress literally laughed in my face when I ordered “sin carne.” And not Rob Lowe in Parks and Rec literally. The actual “I can smell your breath, ma’am” literally.
I think she was like, “You poor, deprived child. Why would you want that avocado and bean salad without three pounds of beef on top?”
And when it arrived, they’d replaced the cooked-in-oil pinto beans that the menu listed with chunks-of-meat charros. Everyone else at the table got pinto. I can only assume the cook was trying to prevent my immediate, meat-deprived demise.
So when I returned home, I made these. I assure you, you won’t miss the carne. The taste is hearty and complex. The roasted garlic adds incredible flavor, but it’s not overpowering.
And ultimately, if you want to add some chicken/beef/fish, I’m sure these tacos can take that.
First, we roast our garlic. I used a toaster oven, because it’s too dang hot for the big oven, and also because tiny garlic roasting in a tiny oven is like woah-dang adorable.
Then we prep our delicious veggie toppings – matchstick cuts will make you feel more like you’re in a fancy restaurant.
Mushrooms cook in balsamic.
Assemble the spices – we don’t use many in this recipe. The garlic does the bulk of the work here.
Drain your beans and pop ’em in the food processor. You might need to add a half-cup of water to make all this deliciousness go ’round.
Add the garlic – make sure to pour any extra cooking oil in, too. You don’t want to waste that garlic-y goodness.
Serve on tortillas. We ate them with cilantro and goat cheese, and, really, what isn’t better with goat cheese?
5 Cloves Garlic
2 Tb. Olive Oil, divided
1 Small Yellow Squash
1 Small Cucumber
1/2 Tb. Cumin
1/2 Tb. Oregano
Salt, to taste
8 ounces mushrooms
1 Tb. Balsamic
2 (15 oz) cans black beans
1/2 Cup water or broth (optional)
Tortillas, to serve
Cheese, to serve
Cilantro, to serve
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Peel garlic and toss in 1/2 Tb. Olive Oil. Roast for 15-20 minutes. Mine were done right at 18!
While the garlic is roasting, chop the squash and cucumber into matchsticks and set in a bowl. Try to spread them out. Then toss with the juice of one lime. Let them set in the fridge while you assemble the rest of the ingredients.
Next, prep your mushrooms. Add 1/2 Tb. Olive oil and 1 Tb. balsamic dressing. Saute in a small skillet over medium heat for about 5 minutes, until mushrooms soften. Set in a bowl.
Once the garlic has roasted, combine black beans, garlic, remaining 1 Tb. olive oil, cumin, oregano, and salt in food processor. Pulse until it reaches an even consistency. If it’s too dry for your taste, add up to 1/2 cup of broth or water.
Serve black beans, matchstick vegetables, mushrooms, cilantro, and cheese on tortillas. These are, of course, vegan without the cheese and gluten free if you use GF tortillas (most store brand corn tortillas are GF!) With any luck, there’ll be leftovers!
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