I used to live in Southern California and now that I’m living in Germany I constantly have a hankering for Mexican food. Not just your standard corner dive serving up plain ol’ burritos and tacos, but authentically delicious slow cooked, make me lick my fingers it’s so good, Mexican food.
Of course your standard German supermarket doesn’t have the same authentic ingredients (not even your standard soft shell corn tortillas!) as let’s say Jon’s, but I don’t mind because it forces me to be creative. Since my main man is a vegetarian, this means I actually have to be really creative because honestly, how many bean tacos can one household consume? Too many.
So as I was making up the menu for this week I had what turns out to be a pretty brilliant idea. I decided to put together some seasonal vegs because, unlike back in the U.S., you can’t get every fruit and vegetable your heart desires year round. So I had a few different things in mind and make the final decision as I perused the aisles of Kaufland.
I was thinking butternut squash would be interesting but I knew it was a longshot to find it since I’m still in my ‘American grocery shopper’ mindset. But luckily enough I found a suitable replacement, along with some fragrant offerings that I was eager to try.
On a side note if you don’t eat me, root vegetables are flavorful and satisfying so your hunger is satisfied without subsisting solely on pasta and soy products.
It went over like gangbusters with both of us, but if you can’t fathom a taco sans meat then you might need a bit more coaxing!
Instead of using that super salty store-bought taco seasoning I prefer to make my own using cumin, lime zest
Servings: Makes 8 tacos or 2-3 servings.
1 Carnival squash, chopped
2 tomatoes, diced or rough chopped
1 onion, chopped
1 scallion, thinly sliced
2 limes, 1 tsp. zest
1 tsp. dry mint
1 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
1 tsp. parsley (or cilantro)
1 parsnip, peeled & chopped
3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
Salt & Pepper
1 ½ tsp. cumin
1 ½ tsp. chili powder
1 tsp. cayenne pepper (optional)
6 hard shell tacos
1/3 cup water or broth
½ cup shredded cheese (light)
1. Combine remaining garlic clove, scallion, parsley, mint, tomatoes, salt, pepper and lemon juice in a small bowl and stir until well blended.
2. Let salsa sit while you work on the rest of dinner.
For taco filling
3. Heat olive oil over medium high heat in a skillet.
4. Add in onions, squash and parsnip, season with salt & pepper and cook 5 to 7 minutes, until tender.
5. Add in 2 garlic cloves and cook 2 more minutes.
6. When vegetables are tender add in cumin, cayenne, lime zest and chili powder and stir until blended.
7. Stir in water and simmer until sauce is thickened, about 4 minutes.
8. Meanwhile, preheat oven to 350° F and place shells in for 2 to 4 minutes.
9. Assemble your tacos and enjoy!