Is there a picky eater in your family? A vegetarian? A vegan? Everyone can be happy at dinner on taco night! Start off by sautÃ©ing some veggies””use fresh favorites or take this opportunity to “clean out” your refrigerator’s produce drawer. From here, you can go meatless or brown up some beef or buffalo meat””your choice. Serve with seasoned brown rice and toppings your troop loves! I like to lay out whole wheat tortillas, local raw goat cheese, avocado, shredded cabbage and chopped tomato.
Family Taco Night
1 onion, diced
1 sweet potato, diced
2 handfuls chopped spinach
Extra-firm tofu, cubed (optional)
Chopped veggies of choice: zucchini, mushrooms, peppers, etc.
Cooked brown rice
1 can (15 oz.) organic black beans, rinsed
Olive oil or vegetable broth
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 tsp. cumin
2 Tbsp. chili powder
1 tsp. coriander
1 tsp. paprika
Fresh ginger, chopped
Salt and pepper (optional)
1/2 to 1 pound ground buffalo or beef (if you use a lot of veggies, ½ pound will do)
Whole wheat tortillas
Toppings of choice: local raw goat cheese, avocado, shredded cabbage or kraut, chopped tomato
1. In large frying pan, saute onion, sweet potato and other veggies in olive oil or vegetable broth. Season with salt and pepper if desired.
2. Add spinach or other greens of choice, 1/3 cup vegetable broth or water and garlic, cumin, chili powder, coriander and paprika. (Note: Add a hotter type of pepper if you like!) Let simmer for 10 minutes over low heat.
3. For vegetarian tacos, remove half of mixture and set aside. Add ginger, 1/2 to 1 cup of black beans and cubed tofu; stir to combine and let simmer several minutes. Transfer to serving dish.
4. In same pan, add meat and brown, stirring often. Just before fully browned, add remaining veggies and a small amount of water and let simmer several minutes. Transfer to serving dish.
5. To season rice, add ½ cup vegetable broth, remaining black beans and ½ tsp. of all seasonings except chili powder, except chili powder””add 1 Tbsp. chili powder. You can also add chopped fresh tomatoes or corn””add whatever your family likes!
6. Serve with whole wheat tortillas and toppings of choice.
Tips and Variations
- Short on time–or spices in your spice rack? Use Simply Organic Southwest Taco Seasoning Mix instead of individual spices listed above.
- Got leftovers? Make a breakfast taco! For a vegan version, I sautÃ© about a half pound of extra firm tofu, mashed with a potato masher, in a pan over medium heat. Then I add fresh or ground turmeric, ginger and cumin to taste. For a non-vegan breakfast burrito, scramble some eggs and add leftover veggie/meat mixture to the pan, heating until warm. Serve on a whole wheat tortilla with salsa.
- Use leftovers to make nachos. Melt cheese on top and serve with chips.
Dana Zucker is a home cook that likes to do it her way! She gets creative with nutritious ingredients to keep her active family””teenage twins and a vegan, triathlete husband””healthy and happy. Cooking with organic, local and whole food ingredients is key, whether she’s whipping up an early-morning breakfast, prepping afterschool snacks or getting dinner on the table at 10 p.m. Dana says, “We do eat out sometimes, and even cheat with some pre-made foods. But I try to balance making delicious foods with the reality of a busy schedule.” Dana’s recipes are a great starting point to find a style of cooking that works for your family. Her advice? Keep it real””and keep it easy!