Vegetarian Bean Tacos

On my 6th birthday I was spending the day with my Aunt. She told me I could pick a restaurant and pick a present. At the end of the day after weighing all my options thoroughly I ended up choosing Taco Bell and a pair of fuzzy dice. Not entirely sure where my brain was at that point in my life. I mean fuzzy dice? I have no idea why that was my present of choosing but my love of tacos came deep rooted.

In my family taco night was a happy night. I was a soft taco kind of girl and my sister preferred the hard tacos. We could fill them however we wanted which was always a source of entertainment for me. I was clearly easily amused. It was an easy meal to make especially back in the day when I had simple tastes. Cheese, ground beef, sour cream, lettuce, and salsa, done. Later in life when I discovered avocado and guacamole, taco night became for real. When I was placed on the gluten free diet, tacos remained a consistently easy option so family gatherings usually meant taco night. Obviously totally fine with me.

Now-a-days I like to mix it up when I make tacos at home. Instead of sticking to the same old boring ingredients I treasured in the past I try to find more creative and healthy alternatives. So this weekend when I got to catch up with teammate and friend, Anna Weber who has several food allergies, I wanted to make something she could enjoy. I know she is having a rough week so hopefully tacos will at least bring a smile to her face.

Last month I joined a group called the Marinate which is a food blogging community meant for collaboration, inspiration, innovation and education. Since food blogging is still very new to me I figured I might as well give it a try. Therefore, for the month of November I will be participating in food challenges, like chopped, where I have 3 ingredients to use to create a creative recipe that will be voted on by you! This week I was tasked with using bean soup mix, Maple Water from DRINKmaple, and red chili peppers and the result was these Vegetarian Bean Tacos that are very easily Anna Weber approved (leave out the garlic powder add more of the other spices)!

For these tacos I used homemade quinoa tortillas and topped my beans with a sweet and spicy sauce, chopped kale, and a spoonful of greek yogurt. The beans were from a bean soup mix that contained navy, black, pinto, garbanzo, kidney, lima beans, black-eyed, yellow split and green split peas, and brown and red lentils. Beans are a great meat alternative. They are a good source of lean protein and dietary fiber. Soy is often used as an alternative protein source for vegetarians but the way it has been genetically modified and its widespread use have resulted in an increase in the number of people who don’t tolerate it well. Moderation is key in healthy eating so mixing up the protein sources so that you are not relying on any specific ingredient is optimal. The maple water by DRINKmaple is also powerhouse ingredient and sure to be a staple for my hydration needs. Rich in manganese which helps with thyroid health and blood sugar control. It is also vitamin rich with electrolytes, antioxidants, polyphenols, and prebiotics while being completely natural and low in sugar. To take it a step further, the company places an emphasis on giving back with their organization More Than Sport. Now that is something I can get behind. 

I took these beans soaked them overnight, boiled them in vegetable stock and water, strained them, and then added them to a saute pan with chopped onions. I added a variety of savory spices and stirred everything around. I let the beans sit in a pan on low allowing the flavors to come together. Then, in a separate pot, I combined the maple water with a tbsp. of maple syrup and a few of the dried chili peppers. I let the mixture come to a boil over medium heat allowing the chili peppers to infuse the water. After about 7-10 minutes I removed the chili peppers and reduced the heat. I stirred in a few more spices and tomato paste to create a spicy and sweet chili sauce to balance the savory flavor of the beans. Then instead of using the traditional shredded lettuce I used chopped kale to add a healthy crunch and greek yogurt instead of sour cream.

The result was a flavorful taco, reminiscent of my taco night with the family but with healthy more wholesome ingredients that is acceptable for multiple different food allergies and diets. You can just as easily use corn tortillas, flour tortillas or whatever you prefer but if corn is an issue you can try this Quinoa Tortilla Recipe by Jen of Bakerette. I split the recipe in half and modified it slightly. See my modified ingredients list below! (click the link for the cooking instructions). I used wax paper and a rolling pin to flatten out the tortillas since I didn’t have a tortilla press.

Quinoa Tortillas:
•    2 cups Quinoa flour
•    ¼ + 2 tbsp brown rice flour
•    ½ tsp salt
•    1 tbsp olive oil
•    ½ cup + 2 tbsp hot water – Additional ¼ if too dry.  

That is all so! Try out this recipe at your next taco night and if you are a fan here is how to vote:

1.    Go to @progressivenectar & follow
2.    Find my photo, “like” and comment on it.
3.    If I win the recipe competition Progressive Nectar will randomly pick one of the commenters on my post & reward them with a prize too!


Voting Starts Tomorrow!

Vegetarian Bean Tacos

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 cup bean soup mix  (soaked overnight)
  • 1 cup vegetable stock 
  • 1 cup of water
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp olive oil 
  • 1/2 cup of chopped onion
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 3/4 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1/2 tsp cumin 
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper

SAUCE:

  • 1 bottle DRINKmaple maple water
  • 8 dried red chili peppers
  • 1 tbsp. maple syrup
  • 1 5oz can tomato paste
  • 1/4 tsp chili powder
  • Optional: Red Pepper Flakes for extra spice
  • 8 tortillas
  • Suggested Toppings: Chopped Kale & Plain Greek Yogurt

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. Strain the soaked beans and then add them to a medium sized pot with 1 cup of vegetable stock, 1 cup of water, and 1/2 tsp of salt. Bring to a boil and then reduce the heat to low, cover and simmer for 20-30 minutes. (Check if done after 20 min).
  2. Meanwhile, prepare the sauce. In a small pot over medium heat combine the maple water, maple syrup and dried chili peppers. Bring to a boil and stir. Reduce the heat and let sit for about 7-10 minutes to allow the chilies to infuse the maple water and reduce. Stir occasionally. 
  3. Remove the chilies and add the tomato paste chili powder and optional red pepper flakes if needed to add a bit more heat.
  4. Stir the sauce and leave on low. 
  5. Once the beans are done heat the olive oil in a medium saute pan over medium heat. Add the onion, salt and pepper and stir. Saute until lightly browned
  6. Strain the beans and add them to the onions with the rest of the spices. Mix  everything together and cook for about 5 minutes so that the flavors come together. 
  7. Once the beans are done fill your tacos and enjoy! 

Click here for the printable version!