Wheatless Wednesday – Black Bean, Corn & Butternut Squash Tacos with Chile Lime Sauce

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Now we’re talking!  I’m loving my yummy Mexican food without the extra calories.  I guess you could call these ‘Skinny Tacos’. Black beans and butternut squash are two of my favorite ingredients, especially when the squash is roasted into a rich and tender little bites.  Throw in sweet summer corn, cumin and jalapenos and you’ve got the start of some delicious tacos (or quesadillas-scroll down for more on that).  So what is the skinny part besides the fact that these are vegetarian?  I have a long standing love affair with cheese but for a multitude of reasons (one of them being the calories), I’m trying to cut down.  The nice thing about this flavor combination is that it doesn’t need piles of cheese to make it yummy. Instead of cheese,  I opted to make a creamy yogurt dressing made with green chilis, herbs and jalapenos, which makes it cool but spicy.  Yes, I know, those are contradictory terms but that is what makes the sauce so much fun and the perfect complement for the earthy squash, corn and bean combination.

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Want to make them even skinnier?  Ditch the tortillas and use romaine lettuce leaves and you’ve got “Mexican Lettuce Boats” for a lighter, low-carb option.

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I also happened to have some sweet mini peppers which are delightful when roasted.  They get even sweeter and can be eaten whole, seeds and all, except for maybe the stem (actually, you can probably eat that too if you really want to).  They take virtually no preparation.  Just place them whole on an oiled baking sheet and roast in a hot oven for about 20 minutes, turning once, until charred and blistered on both sides.  Let cool and chop and use in salads or other dishes. You could even add them to this taco filling if you like.  They are great on an antipasti platter and their bright colors also make them a cheerful garnish.

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The black bean, corn and butternut squash filling is fairly loose and well suited for tacos but it also makes for tasty quesadillas if you add some gooey cheese to keep it together.  An alternative would be to mash up some of the beans and squash to give it a stickier consistency.  Regardless of how you serve them, these veggies taste great together and add oodles of fiber, vitamins and minerals to your diet!  Just make sure you buy organic, non GMO corn tortillas to keep your meal healthy.

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BLACK BEAN, CORN & BUTTERNUT SQUASH TACOS WITH CHILI LIME SAUCE

2 cups butternut squash (about one half squash)
1 can black beans
1-2 ears fresh corn kernels (or 1 cup frozen)
1/2 onion, chopped
1 jalapeno, finely diced (optional)
4 cloves garlic
1 Tbsn cilantro, chopped
1 dozen corn tortillas

CHILI LIME SAUCE (Optional)

1/2 cup full fat plain yogurt (vegan or regular)
2 Tbsn canned fire roasted chopped green chilis
1 jalapeno
1/4 cup cilantro
1 Tbsn fresh lime juice
1 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp salt

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  • Process green chilis, jalapeno and cilantro in food processor or blender until finely minced.  Add yogurt, lime juice, cumin and salt.  Pulse until smooth.  Pour into a small serving bowl and let chill in the refrigerator. (It will thicken as it chills)

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  • Peel and dice butternut squash into a half inch dice.  Spread in a single layer in an oiled baking sheet. Slice garlic cloves in half and arrange around the squash. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.  Stir to coat with oil and roast at 450 degrees for about 20 minutes, or until soft and slightly browned on the edges.  Garlic may be brown.

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  • If you are roasting mini peppers, place them whole on an oiled baking dish and stir to coat both sides with oil.  Bake for about 20 minutes, turning once to blacken both sides. I used the same pan as the squash but kept them as separate as possible.

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  • Saute onion and jalapeno for several minutes until starting to soften, then add corn and cook several more minutes.

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  • Add black beans and cook another minute or two.

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  • Lower heat and add butternut squash and carefully stir to combine. Don’t overcook as squash will get too soft.

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  • To heat corn tortillas:
    • In the oven – Wrap stacks of five or so tortillas in aluminum foil and heat them for about 15 minutes in a 350° oven.
    • On the stovetop:  Cook them one at a time in a dry heavy pan and stack them as they are warmed.  For crispy shells, fry them in a good oil (like avocado oil) on one side for 1 or 2 minutes, turn using tongs and fold it in half to crisp then turn to the other side.  Drain on papertowels.
    • In the microwave: Wrap tortillas in barely damp papertowels and microwave in 30-second increments until they are warmed through.20150901_105412
  • Scoop filling into taco shells and top with chili lime sauce.  Serve with more sauce and fresh herbs on the side.

Black Bean, Corn and Butternut Squash Tacos with Chili Lime Sauce

  • Servings: 4-6
  • Time: 30 minutes
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

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2 cups butternut squash (about one half squash)
1 can black beans
1-2 ears fresh corn kernels (or 1 cup frozen)
1/2 onion, chopped
1 jalapeno, finely diced (optional)
4 cloves garlic
1 Tbsn cilantro, chopped
1 dozen corn tortillas

CHILI LIME SAUCE (Optional)

1/2 cup full fat plain yogurt (vegan or regular)
2 Tbsn canned fire roasted chopped green chilis
1 jalapeno
1/4 cup cilantro
1 Tbsn fresh lime juice
1 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp salt

    • Process green chilis, jalapeno and cilantro in food processor or blender until finely minced.  Add yogurt, lime juice, cumin and salt.  Pulse until smooth.  Pour into a small serving bowl and let chill in the refrigerator. (It will thicken as it chills)
    • Peel and dice butternut squash into a half inch dice.  Spread in a single layer in an oiled baking sheet. Slice garlic cloves in half and arrange around the squash. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.  Stir to coat with oil and roast at 450 degrees for about 20 minutes, or until soft and slightly browned on the edges.  Garlic may be brown.
    • If you are roasting mini peppers, place them whole on an oiled baking dish and stir to coat both sides with oil.  Bake for about 20 minutes, turning once to blacken both sides.
    • Saute onion and jalapeno for several minutes until starting to soften, then add corn and cook several more minutes.
    • Add black beans and cook another minute or two.
    • Lower heat and add butternut squash and carefully stir to combine. Don’t overcook as squash will get too soft.
    • To heat corn tortillas:
      • In the oven – Wrap stacks of five or so tortillas in aluminum foil and heat them for about 15 minutes in a 350° oven.
      • On the stovetop:  Cook them one at a time in a dry heavy pan and stack them as they are warmed.  For crispy shells, fry them in a good oil (like avocado oil) on one side for 1 or 2 minutes, turn using tongs and fold it in half to crisp then turn to the other side.  Drain on papertowels.
      • In the microwave: Wrap tortillas in barely damp papertowels and microwave in 30-second increments until they are warmed through.
    • Scoop filling into taco shells and top with chili lime sauce.  Serve with more sauce and fresh herbs on the side.

 

 

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