On a trip to visit my brother when he lived in central California, I covered over 200 miles of coastal cities stretching from Long Beach to Pismo Beach enjoying the laid-back energy only found on the Pacific Coast. When we weren’t trying to find Neverland ranch (never did!), driving on the beaches or looking at windmills we were eating tacos. I instantly fell in love with the immense variety of tacos and burritos found in every town. Each one seemed to explain a little bit about the town or simply what was in season and available at the time. Outside of the vessel it was served in, they were each unique; stretching from chorizo and potatoes, steak and avocado/pineapple salsa or (my personal favorite) wasabi cabbage and fish. I was absolutely fascinated and have never looked at a taco the same. The shell is simply a container, the filling is what you want it to be!
So… I don’t plan to go crazy with this recipe… please keep reading. The point of me sharing the variety story is to provide evidence that the taco can be changed, either through planning or on a whim, to fit your style. Taco night at our house = happy family. We have a table full of options where each person can create to their liking. I try to keep with the seasons, serving fresh local or at least US ingredients. If fresh is not available, I’ll head to the frozen section. Call me crazy – but I don’t buy/serve a yellow pepper shipped from Israel in late January. If I can help it – the environmental impact our meal is small and shouldn’t involve a containership crossing the Atlantic.
2 cups of chopped greens (spinach, iceberg or romaine lettuce, cabbage)
½ cup of frozen corn
1 cup (or 1 can) black beans (2 if your making this a meat free meal)
1 lb ground turkey
2 ripe avocados
½ red onion chopped, separated
1 bunch of cilantro, separated
1 tomato chopped
1 tsp oregano
1 tsp ground cumin
½ tsp turmeric
½ tsp chipotle powder
1 bay leaf
1 tsp apple cider vinegar (Braggs is our favorite!)
1 Tbsp oil (we prefer Coconut but Canola, or Olive is sufficient/ fine)
salt and pepper to taste
box of hard shelled corn tacos
1 cup of cooked rice (we use a homemade Brown rice and Black Quinoa)
Cook rice according to package directions. After finished, season the rice 1 tablespoon of butter alternative, ¼ teaspoon of salt and handful of chopped cilantro. We’ve made a brown basmati and black quinoa mix from the bulk section at the grocery, but any kind will work.
Begin by warming a skillet with 1 Tbsp of coconut oil on medium/low (6-8 minutes). Add in ¼ cup of the chopped onion and ground turkey. Cook till brown, stirring occasionally. Do not drain – Add in 1 tsp oregano, 1 tsp ground cumin, ½ tsp turmeric, salt and pepper to taste and ¼ cup of water. Stir well and continue cooking till water is reduced and turkey is cooked.
Drain and rinse black beans (if using canned). In a small sauce pan, warm black beans on medium with 1 bay leaf, salt and pepper to taste and ¼ cup of water. Cook for 8 – 10 minutes.
Cut open avocado by slicing in half and remove the pit. Scoop avocado out into a bowl using a spoon. Add apple cider vinegar, pinch of fresh cilantro, salt and pepper to taste. Mush and stir with the back side of a fork.
Cook corn according to package directions. Small pinch of salt with a dab of butter alternative.
Warm hard shell tacos in a 350° oven for 5 minutes.
Set your table with the turkey, black beans, greens, chopped onion, chopped tomato, avocado,
corn, salsa and rice. Fix your taco as you wish and EAT!