Black bean and broccoli tacos

Broccoli & black bean tacos

I worked a mothers’ day lunch shift yesterday, and I regret to say that it won. It beat me. It did me in. [Whiny rant alert!] Waitressing is really hard! You’re on your feet the whole shift (6 or 7 hours, usually for me). Literally on your feet – you don’t sit down! You don’t eat. You do drink lots of coffee, which might contribute to the post-work fatigue. You have to remember stuff! You have to be nice to people, and communicate with them in a way they understand!! And all for the princely sum of $2.13 an hour! So why do we do it? The glamor, I suppose. The prestige. Okay, whinge over.

Yesterday after work I was plenty tuckered out. I was stupid tired. So I wanted to make a quick and nourishing dinner. I fell back on my old standby – the soft taco. I make some basmati rice; I warm up some flour tortillas; I grate some sharp cheddar; I chop up some lettuce. That’s all the extras. And then I make a mess of beans and vegetables. This is where the creativity comes in. I like to make something saucy and spicy. Yesterday I did this with black beans, broccoli (which has a very nice texture for the inside of a taco, I think!), puréed roasted red pepper and tomato, chipotle, sage, oregano, cumin and smoked paprika. Easy & tasty!

Here’s Fugazi with I’m So Tired. I love this song!

1 can of black beans, rinsed and drained
2 cups broccoli florets
2 T olive oil
1 shallot – diced
1 garlic clove – minced
1/2 cup roasted red pepper
1 cup fire-roasted diced tomatoes
1 t smoked paprika
1 t oregano
1 t sage
1/2 t cumin
1 t chipotle purée (or to taste)
dash balsamic
salt & plenty of black pepper

Warm the olive oil in a large frying pan over medium heat. Add the shallots and cook till they’re just starting to brown. Add the garlic, sage, and oregano. When the garlic is starting to brown, add the black beans. Stir and coat and cook a minute or two. Purée the red pepper with 1/2 a cup of diced tomatoes. Add the cumin and smoked paprika to the beans, stir, and then add the tomato red pepper purée. (The spices will burn, so don’t leave them too long in the dry pan). Add the remaining half cup diced tomatoes. Add about 1/2 cup water. Stir and heat everything through. Add the broccoli florets and cover the pan. Cook till they’re bright green and as soft as you like them. Stir in plenty of pepper and a dash of balsamic.

Serve with rice, tortillas, grated cheese, lettuce. If you have chopped fresh tomatoes, cilantro, avacado, or any other side you think would be nice with them – set that out, too!!

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