Beet & zucchini tacos with chipotle & queso blanco

Beet and zucchini tacos

Ever since the last time, I’ve been thinking of quotes to use this time. The last time, I chose the quotes at random, and was curious to see how they made connections with each other. This time, I’ve chosen quotes that have been stuck in my head one way or another over the years. And one from the book I’m currently reading. And one from Isaac, which he said while I was typing this up. Do you have quotes that get stuck in your head, and surface at the strangest times?

Mom, make your hand a fist and pretend it’s the world.”- Isaac.

He ain’t God, man.” – Chili Davis, on Dwight Gooden

Hwaet thu ece God !” – King Alfred

Now, on a Sunday morning, most of the windows
were occupied, men in their shirtsleeves leant out smoking, or carefully
and gently held small children on the sills.
” – Franz Kafka, The Trial

One good thing about music, when it hits you feel no pain.” – Bob Marley

What’s Hecuba to him, or he to Hecuba,
That he should weep for her
?” – Shakespeare, Hamlet

It took me like three hours to finish the shading on your upper lip. It’s probably the best drawing I’ve ever done.” – Napoleon Dynamite

The more stupid one is, the closer one is to reality. The more stupid one is, the clearer one is. Stupidity is brief and artless, while intelligence squirms and hides itself. Intelligence is unprincipled, but stupidity is honest and straightforward.”
― Fyodor Dostoyevsky, The Brothers Karamazov

Educated no, stupid yes,
And when I say stupid I mean stupid fresh
” – The Beastie Boys

And here are some tacos to use up some of the beets and zucchini you got from your CSA/garden!” – Claire
I was excited all day about making (and eating!) this. I bought some queso blanco at the grocery store. It’s something I’ve wanted to try for ages, but it’s a bit of a splurge. It wasn’t universally popular in my family. I like it – it’s mild, and salty. If you have feta, that would work well, too (it goes nicely with the earthy sweetness of the beets.) And, actually, grated jack or sharp cheddar would be tasty in this as well! I thought this turned out really pretty – the beets go so nicely with the dark kidney beans, and they color everything around them, but there are flashes of green here and there to set them off. The flavors were nice – smoky, spicy, sweet. The recipe calls for cooked rice. I definitely recommend basmati or something else with distinct grains – anything else would make the mixture too sticky. Wild rice or black rice might be even better! I just made a big pot of basmati, mixed some in, and left some separate for the boys, who like a higher rice to bean ratio. I think tacos are the most fun to eat! And the quickest and easiest to cook! I have some leftover beet/zuke/bean mixture, and I think it would make a nice bisque, if puréed with some good broth. Will I try it? I don’t know! It’s very hot, still!

Here’s Trenchtown Rock, from Bob Marley. There was a train bridge in New Brunswick, back in the day. A beautiful old train bridge. And somebody had painted in large white letters, “One good thing about music, when it hits you feel no pain.” I mother flippin love that bridge, that quote, that song…

1 large beet – peeled and grated
1 medium-sized zucchini – grated
1 can kidney beans, rinsed and drained
2 T olive oil
1 shallot – minced
1 plump clove garlic – minced
1 t nigella seeds
1 t chipotle purée (or to taste)
1 t marjoram
1 t oregano
1 t dried sage, or 5 fresh sage leaves, chopped
1 t smoked paprika
1 t cumin
dash balsamic (as much as you like!)
1 handful fresh basil and cilantro, chopped
1 cup (+/-) cooked basmati rice
salt and plenty of freshly ground pepper

To serve:

Warm tortillas
Chopped tomatoes mixed with basil and a bit of olive oil
diced queso blanco or feta or grated sharp cheddar
Lettuce leaves
avocado, chopped
basmati rice
hot sauce

Warm the olive oil in a large frying pan. Add the shallots and garlic, the nigella seeds, marjoram, sage, and oregano. When the garlic starts to brown, add the beets and stir and fry them for a few minutes. Then add the zucchini. Continue to stir and fry for a few minutes, until the pan starts to dry out. Add the kidney beans. Stir and fry till everything is coated.

Add the chipotle purée, the paprika, and the cumin. Stir in the balsamic. Add a little water if the pan is getting too dry.

Season well with salt and pepper. (I thought it needed a lot of salt!) Stir in as much rice as you like to have a good texture, and stir in the basil and cilantro.

Serve with warm tortillas, and whatever you like with tacos – suggestions above!!


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