Friday, July 27, 2012

Oooo La La Mexico (Part 1)

Just 3 days ago my plane landed in LAX bringing me and the manfriend back home from an amazing adventured filled vacation in Mexico. And yes, I made it back in one whole piece. No run-ins with irate blood thirsty ninja drug trafficking cartel gangs (thanks Bro-In-Law for thinking there was slim to little chance I'd return with my head). It was a wonderful two weeks, making it next to impossible to return to the real world. 

While in Mexico we stayed in a town called Sayulita in Nayarit, and had the fantastic opportunity to cook in a kitchen preparing family style meals. (Enter my mental wheels spinning like mad to see if there is a way I can make that a full time job, lol!) The markets down there definitely cater to the "eat what is local" mindset! It was amazing shopping at the markets and seeing where each piece of produce came from, and being able to walk outside and pick mangos to munch on for snacks.

Hello Kitchen :)
I happened upon some Garam Masala spice in the kitchen, and had to play around with it. Enter Squash and Black Bean Tacos! These were so yummy there was no way not to share with you lovely people (you're welcome for the compliment). When I got back to LA I subbed out the squash used there for Butternut Squash, and am quite pleased. Maybe too pleased as my belly is looking a tad rotund... 

Butternut Squash and Black Bean Tacos
Serves 4-6
Gluten Free

1 butternut squash
6 to 8 corn tortillas
1 can black beans
5 stalks of kale
1 avocado
2 tablespoons of olive oil
1/2 teaspoon garam masala
Dash of salt for taste
Salsa (I suggest making your own, see previous post for an awesome recipe:

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Cut your butternut squash in half long way, and scoop out the seeds. Place your squash face down in a baking pan, and use 1 tablespoon of oil to rub the squash all over (skin and underside). Put in oven and bake for 40 minutes. 

While you are waiting on the squash throw together your salsa, wash and drain your can of beans, and wash and massage your kale. 

Once the squash is done take it out of the oven and let it cool. Once it is at a manageable heat peel the tough skin off and cube the squash. Place the cubed pieces in a large pan with the remaining oil and black beans. Cook on high heat, and stir in the garam masala and salt. Cook for around 5 minutes, or until the beans and squash are tender. Once they look done throw your kale on top of everything in the pan and cover with a lid. Turn the heat down and let the heat in the pan wilt your kale (about 2 minutes).

Assemble your tacos! I think the best way to get your tortilla ready is to light your stove (if gas) and toast the tortilla over the flame. **Please don't burn your fingers or light the tortilla on fire** If this method doesn't sound ideal you can toast the tortillas. Place tortilla on plate, put a handful of kale down, scoop a hearty amount of the squash and beans, and then top with salsa and avocado. Presto, from Mexico with love. :)

Sunset in Sayulita
Stayed tuned for part two... Its going to be a yummy Mexican Food treat :) Till then eat up! 

1 comment:

  1. Ooh, cool idea to use garam masala as a spice for a traditional south of the border dish -- an indian/mexican fusion thing going on! I'll need to try that out! Thanks for the post!