Taco night. It can be a serious calorie buster that can give you a hangover the next morning without even drinking a margarita! However, I love taco night (and I’m assuming that most of you do too because you happen to be my kind of foodies). So, what to do? Continue to make tacos with beef, “taco seasoning,” fried tortillas, refried beans, and all the fixings to just deal with the fried food and salt hangover the next day OR make taco night delicious and satisfying so that you can wake up the next day with pep in your step. Yea… I went with the second option.
So, here we are. Now, I know this may not be a traditional taco, but hey, it’s delicious and believe me I’m totally into that juicy beef taco once in a while. But sometimes, I really just want the rice, beans, lots of veggies, and a tortilla. I mean, is that so bad?
No, it’s not. At least in my opinion. So what am I making here? How about a rice, bean, avocado, and swiss chard taco? Oh yea! I made this for the first time after visiting my local farmer’s market in late August. If it happens to be late fall when you’re putting this together why not try some butternut squash or take some fresh asparagus and beans in the spring. In the winter, just use up your leftover produce – I promise it’s so good.
Oh and because no taco night is complete without a margarita, stay tuned in the next couple of days for my husband’s margarita recipe. It’s fresh, easy, and will take you to that Mexican mindset no matter where you are in the world.
Pep in Your Step Swiss Chard Tacos
1 can black beans, rinsed – half smashed
1 cup rice (I used Basmati just because I happened to have it on hand)
1 ripe avocado
1 bunch swiss chard, cleaned and chopped into bite sized pieces
1 jalapeno (take the seeds and stems out if you want to dial down the heat)
3 Husks of Corn, corn kernels removed
1 red onion
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 tablespoon Aji Amarillo pepper
1 tablespoon cumin
salt and pepper to taste
1 cup grape tomatoes
1 handful cilantro
1 lime, zest and juice
1 lime, juice
1 ½ cups vegetable broth and/or water
First make the rice. In a pan, heat 1 tablespoon oil. Add the Aji Amarillo pepper, cumin, and cayenne pepper. Add the rice and let toast until you can smell the spices opening up. Add 1 ½ cups of vegetable broth or a combination of broth and water. Cook according to package directions (usually about 30 minutes).
In a separate bowl, toss the halved grape tomatoes, half of the cilantro, juice and zest of one lime, salt and pepper to taste, and half the jalapeno in a bowl. Reserve.
In a pan over low to medium heat, add 1 tablespoon oil with the chopped red onion. Let cook until translucent, about 10 minutes. Crank up the heat to medium and add the stems of the swiss chard, reserving the leaves, the corn, and the other half of the jalapeno. Add 1 teaspoon cumin, salt and pepper. Let cook for 5 minutes then add the leaves. Stir until wilted and cooked through, about 10 minutes.
In another pan over medium heat, combine half of the can of black beans with 1 tablespoon olive oil over low heat. Mash the beans and then at the end add the rest of the can. (I added additional cumin and cayenne pepper here, but just a teaspoon for additional kick – totally optional!) Take off heat after 5-10 minutes (until a little brown and warmed up).
Over a low flame (if you have gas – if you have electric put in a skillet), add the corn tortillas. Cook about a minute on each side (just be careful you don’t burn them! It’s super easy to do!)
Now it’s time to make the taco! Take the corn tortilla, add a tablespoon of rice, beans, and two tablespoons of the swiss chard mixture. Top with the salsa and some piece of the avocado. Squirt some lime juice over top and there you go! A vegetarian and healthy taco night that will stand up to a beef taco any day!
My mouth is watering just writing this…