Tacos are pretty much a staple in the Jacquesmas household (yes that is a mashup of D’s and my last names, not sorry). They feature at least once a week – if not more now that I’ve discovered The Cool Chile Co, corn tacos. Sometimes it’s the Thug Kitchen’s pinto bean and sweet potato
tacos, and sometimes it’s the black eyed pea and chard ones from Isa Does It; either way, there’s always plenty of guac and fresh pico de gallo.
So when I picked up a couple of squashes last weekend at Borough market, I immediately, almost instinctively thought: TACOS! I realise this is probably not the usual reaction – a quick search for squash recipes Google spits out a bunch of recipes for soup and pumpkin spiced BS.
Nope! Not around here.
So then I started to wonder about why I automatically went to taco. I mean, I grew up in Scotland on mac & cheese; I probably didn’t have a taco until I was in my early 20s. So why am I so into them?
Then it dawned on me – remember that 5 year period I lived in Texas?
Yeah. Texans effin’ LOVE their tacos. Like, they’re obsessed. As in, tacos 3-meals-a-day (breakfast tacos are a very serious business). They even invented the Taco cleanse. The TACO CLEANSE you guys! My kinda cleanse.
But it goes a bit deeper than that for me. I mean, obviously the taco is the perfect delivery system to get a sh*tton of delicious veggie and guac goodness in your face, that goes without saying, right? But tacos also remind me of my really good friend from grad school – they were kind of our thing. Every week, we’d get together at our favourite little Baja Mexican joint to gossip about boys and bitch about our professors over a of couple of margs. There would be an indecent amount of guac, and a couple of tacos. They’d always F my order up and I’d usually end up with Chicken in mine and have to send it back, because Texas. The place was a total dive, and the waitstaff were all dumb college kids we gave nicknames to, but it was our place – mostly because there are very few options in College Station, TX, but also because we secretly loved how shitty it was, and because the drinks were cheap. We usually needed someone to come take us home at the end of the night. So, this was the start of my love affair with tacos, and a really awesome friendship.
My friend is now a new mamma, (although I don’t think that stops her from getting into the margs), and is livin’ it up Cali style and I don’t get to see her all that often, but we’ll always have the taco times.
So, that explains why I try and turn everything into a taco. But what makes it sassy? Well, first of all, I used two different kinds of squash – kombucha and get this, onion squash. Yup it tastes like onion. Sorta. I also made up a little avocado coconut cream for the top. You can totally use whatever squash you want, or even sweet potato, or a combo. It’s up to you, this is more just to give you an idea. I also threw in some mushrooms and tempeh and a bunch of herbs from my garden. Here’s what I did.
- 3 cups of squash, peeled & cubed (I used onion and kombucha squash, but use whatever squash or sweet potato) (about 1 large squash or 2 small ones)
- 1 red onion, diced
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 tbsp. each of fresh sage and rosemary, finely chopped
- 1 tspn. smoked paprika
- 1 package of tempeh, cut into cubes
- 1 pack mushrooms (like cremini or baby portabella), sliced
- S&P to taste
- 1 tbsp. coconut oil, divided
- 1 avocado, cubed
- 1 can coconut milk
- 2 tbsp. lime juice
- S&P to taste
- Stack of corn tortillas & hot sauce, & pico de gallo and salad to serve
- Heat oven to 200C and put 2 teaspoons of coconut oil on a baking sheet. Pop it in the over for a minute to melt then take it out of the oven and add squash cubes. Sprinkle some S&P over the squash (a couple of turns each of your grinder) and then toss the squash so it gets covered in oil. Roast the squash for about 20 mins, or until it starts to get golden around the edges. You'll want to mix squash half way through so it cooks evenly.
- While the squash is cooking, get the rest of the ingredients ready. Heat some coconut oil in a big shallow pan (like a frying pan) and throw in the onions. Let them sizzle over a medium heat for around 5 mins until they turn translucent. Add in the garlic, herbs, paprika, and S&P to season, mix everything together to make sure the onions are coated and let sit for about a minute before adding in the tempeh. Let the tempeh brown for a few minutes before adding in the mushrooms. Turn the heat up a bit until the mushrooms and tempeh are cooked through - around 5-7 minutes, then add in the rest of the squash. The squash might be a little mushy, this is fine.
- In a blender, mix together the coconut, lime juice and avocado until it's completely smooth, season with S&P to taste.
- Warm your tortillas up in a dry pan (according to the package instructions), add a spoonful of squash mixture, some avocado cream, hot sauce and pico de gallo to serve
- I really like chipotle Cholula hot sauce for this and Cool Chile Co corn tortillas
I forgot to add the hot sauce to this pic, but this tastes really good with a big dollop of chipotle Cholula hot sauce which I got from Amazon. So good. The squash mixture is really good over some brown rice too if you can’t get your hands on corn tortillas.
Now, go get your taco on!