Crispy blue corn shells filled with black beans, savory spaghetti squash, cotija cheese and plenty of hot sauce. Vegetarian tacos never looked so good.
My mom and I got together yesterday for the beginning of our annual holiday baking extravaganza. Like always, we ended up skipping lunch in lieu of tasting cookie dough and nibbling on our finished cookies and treats all afternoon. As she finished dipping her homemade peppermint patties (oh, yes she did) I moved on from baking cookies to the ever important taco making. When I finished photographing the tacos, we literally stood at the counter and inhaled them. When you sample sugar all day, you’ve never really feel hungry but since we hadn’t had any real food all day our body was telling us otherwise.
Whenever I make a vegetarian dinner, my husband likes to joke (after finishing his plate, mind you) “What’s for dinner?” I’m happy, happier even, with no meat on my plate. I love make veggies my main meal and have no problem coming up with interesting ways to switch things up. Over the years, he’s gotten used to my vegetarian dinners and is more and more on board with the idea. And the reality is, he’ll eat just about anything I put in front of him. I’m lucky that way!
As much as I’d like full credit for these tacos, the idea goes to the incomparable Deb from Smitten Kitchen. She has a similar recipe in her cookbook. It’s been in the back of my head to try for awhile now and I’m so glad I did. I put my own spin on them using different pantry spices, crispy blue corn tortilla and then baking them for 20 minutes so they get extra crispy and the cheese gets melty and bubbly. Total winner here, folks!
Hope everyone is having a great day! Stay warm! xo
- 1- 2lb spaghetti squash (if you go bigger, increase spices accordingly)
- 2 tablespoons melted butter
- juice of 1 lime (about 2 tablespoons)
- 1 teaspoon chili powder
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 14oz can black beans, thoroughly rinsed
- 8-10 crispy blue corn tortillas
- crumbled cojita cheese
- hot sauce (optional)
- Preheat oven to 400F degrees.
- Cut spaghetti squash in half lengthwise, scoop out the seeds, throw about 1 teaspoon olive oil on each half and roast both halves face down on a rimmed baking sheet. Roast the squash halves in the pre-heated oven until tender and easily pierced with a fork, 45-60 minutes. (Alternately, you can microwave the squash if you're short on time.)
- Meanwhile, combine melted butter, lime juice, chili powder, salt, cumin and garlic powder in a small bowl.
- When spaghetti squash is done remove from oven and let cool a few minutes until you can handle it easily. Working over a large bowl, gently scrape out the flesh with a fork. Add butter mixture to the squash and toss well to combine.
- In the bottom of each corn tortilla, spread out a small handful (about 2 tablespoons) of black beans. Top with some spaghetti squash (about 1/4 cup). Top again with crumbled cojita cheese.
- Line the tacos in a 9x13 baking dish or similar and bake in a preheated oven for 20 minutes.
- To serve, top with fresh cilantro and hot sauce if desired.