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Yam & Black Bean Tacos with Quick Pickled Cabbage

Yam & Black Bean Tacos
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I’m a sucker for tacos. I think it’s the handheld aspect of them that makes me want to stuff them full of different healthy ingredients and sink my teeth right in!  Tacos have a bad rep as a fatty, greasy meal but they don’t have to be bad for you. Substitute the beef for a lighter, equally filling and more heart-healthy black bean and you’re already off to a lower calorie, lower sodium start.  Add in some colorful red cabbage rather than iceberg lettuce and you’ve added some antioxidant goodness as well as a ton of Vitamin C.   If you like the creaminess of a sour cream topping, swap it out for some fat-free Greek yogurt.  You’ll get the same creamy tanginess without the extra fat.

Your younger Sous Chef can help stir the cabbage with her hands or stir the beans as they cook.   An older Sous Chef can do all that as well as help slice the cabbage and chop the onions.  (Just don’t forget that a chef’s most important tools are freshly washed hands.)

Yam & Black Bean Tacos with Quick Pickled Cabbage

Ingredients & Method (serves 6)

Yam & Black Bean Taco Ingredients

Heat the oven to 400°

For Quick Pickled Cabbage

  • 1 clove garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon pepper
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • ¼ cup white vinegar
  • ½ red cabbage, sliced into thin strips

Finely chop the garlic and, in a large bowl, mash it with the salt and pepper.  Mash in the sugar and whisk in the vinegar.  Add the cabbage and stir to coat.  Cover and set aside.

Yams

For the yams

  • 2 yams (around 2 lbs total), julienned into ¼-inch fries
  • Olive oil, salt and pepper, to taste

In a large bowl, toss the yam sticks with olive oil, salt and pepper.  Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and spread the yams out in an even layer.  Roast for 15 minutes. Remove them from the oven, shake them around a bit and sprinkle with more salt.  Roast for an additional 15 minutes, or until the yams are soft and tender.  Set aside.

For the beans

  • 1 medium yellow onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, smashed and peeled
  • 2 15-ounce cans black beans, rinsed and drained
  • Olive oil, salt, pepper and red pepper flakes, to taste
  • A few tablespoons room temperature water

Heat a medium saucepan over medium heat.  Add in around 1 tablespoon olive oil, the smashed garlic cloves and red pepper flakes.  Cook for around 30 seconds and add the onions and 2 pinches of salt.  Stir and sauté for 8-10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the onions begin to yellow and then brown.  As the onions begin to brown and caramelize, add in 1-2 tablespoons room temperature water and stir to scrape up the brown bits on the bottom of the pan.  Pour in the beans, another pinch of salt and stir through.  Let the mixture come to a simmer, cover and cook for around 10 minutes stirring occasionally. Remove the garlic cloves before serving.

To build the tacos

  • Small handful parsley, finely chopped
  • 2 limes, quartered
  • 6 ounces queso fresco, crumbledEliana enjoying her Taco
  • 24 soft corn tortillas, warmed

I like to layer two tortillas on top of each other so they don’t break.  Then add some yams, a small scoop of beans, cheese and cabbage.  Sprinkle some parsley on top and a squeeze of lime. Enjoy!

This Foodie Mama had a SUPER PROUD moment when my own teeny tiny foodie was able to hold her taco correctly and eat it. I built the taco for her and then instructed her to hold it closed and to keep one hand on the top and one on the bottom and tilt her head as she took bites.  Did the whole taco stay together as she ate it?  No, but she had a tasty time getting a little messy and eating it all up even if it is was little deconstructed by the end.

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