Veggie Tacos from the Hairy Dieters is an absolute feast that even hardened meat eaters should try. My teenage son still thinks vegetables are from the devil, but thankfully loves all types of beans so he’ll happily demolish these tacos without protest. There is a fair amount of prep involved beforehand, but you should have some leftovers for the next day as this will serve 4 generously. And if it doesn’t, what are you doing? You’re supposed to be on a diet ;-).
Wondering what to do with the leftover produce? Use the kale to make cajun prawn and kale salad or scrambled cajun eggs with spinach and eggs. For butternut squash, try butternut squash pilaf, beef kofta curry (gorgeous!), curried butternut squash and apple soup or home-made butternut squash tortellini. Right, that should keep you busy! I’m off.
Recipe: Veggie Tacos
Calories: 370 per serving
Book: Hairy Dieters – Go Veggie
Prep time: Approx 35 minutes
Cooking time: Approx 40 minutes
For the refried beans
- 1 tsp vegetable oil
- 1 red onion (finely chopped)
- 2 garlic cloves (finely chopped)
- 1 tsp dried oregano
- 2 x 400g cans of black or pinto beans (drained)
- 250ml vegetable stock or water
- Sea salt
- Black pepper
For the veggie filling
- 1 tsp vegetable oil
- 100g sweetcorn
- 1 red pepper (deseeded and cut into strips)
- 1 red onion (cut into thin wedges)
- 200g butternut squash or pumpkin (diced)
- 1 tbsp tomato puree
- 1 tsp chipotle paste (or more, depending on how hot you like it)
- 100g kale, cavolo nero or chard (shredded)
For the avocado crema
- 1 avocado
- juice of 1 lime
- A few coriander leaves
- 2 tbsp half fat crème fraiche or soured cream
- 8 corn tortillas
- ½ red onion (finely chopped)
- A few coriander leaves and lime wedges
Cost per portion: Approx £1.72
First make the refried beans – heat the vegetable oil in a medium pan or a deep frying pan. Add the onion with a splash of water, cover the pan and saute until the onion has softened and turned golden brown.
Add the garlic and oregano and cook for another couple of minutes.
Add the beans and plenty of salt and pepper. Pour the stock or water into the pan, then mash the beans with a potato masher or the back of a wooden spoon until about half of them are broken up.
Simmer over a gentle heat, stirring to prevent the mixture catching on the bottom, until you have thick puree. Keep warm or reheat gently just before you serve the tacos.
For the filling, heat the oil in a large, lidded frying pan. Add the sweetcorn, red pepper, red onion and squash or pumpkin, then cook over a high heat, stirring infrequently so the vegetables build up a bit of colour on each side. The texture should be still al dente, with a light charring or browning around the edges.
Stir in the tomato puree and chipotle paste and season with salt and pepper. Add 200ml of water, then pile the greens on top. Cover and simmer for several minutes until the greens are cooked through, then stir everything together.
For the crema, mash the avocado with the lime juice and a generous pinch of salt. Put the avocado in a small food processor with the coriander and crème fraiche or soured cream and blitz until the mixture is smooth but still flecked.
To serve, heat the tortillas in a dry frying pan or a pancake pan until they’re very lightly browned on each side. Keep them warm – a basket lined with a tea towel to fold over the tortillas works very well.
To eat, spread some of the refried beans over the base of a tortilla, then top with some veggie filling, avocado crema, red onion, a few coriander leaves and a squeeze of lime.