Chana Masala Tacos

Through Twitter, I stumbled upon Peas and Thank You and her absoultely delicious recipes. I had seen quite a few comments in regards to her chickpea tacos, so I figured I had to check them out for myself. When thinking about it, I wasn’t really sure how chickpeas stuffed inside a taco shell would taste. But then I had remembered making those West Indian Chana Masala Wraps, and was quickly persuaded.

When I remembered making those, I got to thinking. Of course, I was planning on going with a Southwestern/Mexican styled seasoning, as what the Peas and Thank You recipe calls for. However, I decided to do something different, and instead made a Channa Masala Taco of sorts with curry, cumin, chili powder, and garam masala. I used your typical hard corn taco shells, and they actually worked well with the flavors. I wasn’t totally confident in my decision to make “Indian tacos” but my fiancé reassured me I was making a good choice. Thankfully, after trying them, I agreed.

Chana Masala Tacos
– Makes 4 tacos –

4 hard corn taco shells
1 can chickpeas, drained
1 medium baking potato, cubed
1/2 zucchini, diced
1 small onion, diced
2 tsp olive oil
2 tsp curry powder
2 tsp garam masala
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp chili powder
plain yogurt
shredded lettuce

1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
2. In a medium bowl, combine cubed potatoes with 1 tsp curry powder, 1 tsp garam masala, 1/2 tsp cumin, 1/2 tsp of chili powder, and 1 tsp of olive oil. Using a spoon, make sure the spices coat the potatoes.
3. Spread the potatoes onto a well greased baking sheet, and bake for 10 minutes.
4. Meanwhile, combine chickpeas, zucchini, and onion with the remaining spices (1 tsp curry powder, 1 tsp garam masala, 1/2 tsp cumin, 1/2 tsp chili powder, 1 tsp olive oil), and again mix to coat and combine.
5. Once the potatoes have cooked for 10 minutes, you can either add the chickpea mixture to that baking sheet, or place it on another well greased baking sheet. Have both the potatoes and the chickpea mixture bake for 10 minutes (so the potatoes will have cooked for a total of 20 minutes).
6. Fill each taco shell with some shredded lettuce, the chickpea and potato mixture, and a dollop of yogurt.

Taco Tuesday

There have been quite a few taco recipes in my queue lately, so I decided to make some this week. First up was my variation of a recipe I saw posted on SeriousEats a few weeks ago, for roasted corn and zucchini tacos. I found the combination of just corn and zucchini interesting, so I decided to give it a whirl.

I did things a little differently, though, and I roased the zucchini and corn kernels on a baking sheet in the oven, along with some red onion. Before putting them in the oven, though, I tossed them in some seasoning to give them exta flavor. I also topped the tacos with some cheese, salsa verde, and avocado. It was quick and easy, which was just what we needed, since we recently aquired a new kitten!

Trying to get a new kitten acclimated to our house, while also conditioning our cat to be tolerant of the kitten, training for a marathon, and finishing up wedding planning and getting married should leave us quite busy this summer. At least I have some ideas for quick and easy dinners to fall back on!

Roasted Zucchini, Corn, and Onion Tacos inspired by this SeriousEats recipe
– Makes 6 tacos –

6 corn or flour tortillas (I used flour)
1 1/2 cups frozen corn kernels

1 zucchini, sliced into quarter moons
1/2 red onion, cut into chunks
1 Tbsp olive oil
1 tsp chili powder
1/2 tsp cumin
1/4 tsp Adobo
1/4 tsp taco seasoning (I used chipotle flavored)
1/2 avocado, diced
2 Tbsp salsa of your choice (I used verde)
1/4 cup shredded cheese

1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees
2. In a medium bowl, combine zucchini, corn, and onion. Drizzle olive oil and spices over vegetables, and use a spoon to mix, making sure everything is evenly coated
3. Spread the vegetables onto a greased baking sheet, and roast for about 25 minutes
4. Top each tortilla with about a spoonful of the veggie mixture, followed by some cheese, salsa, and avocado

Open Faced Tacos

In a perfect world, there would be more hours in the day available for me to do the things I enjoy: run, cook, read, SLEEP!, etc. However, as we all know this world is far from perfect, and most of my day consists of driving in New Jersey traffic to and from work, sitting in a cube for 9 hours, and then trying to create a delicious meal as quickly as possible to leave enough time to do homework, getting in a workout, and somehow having a little time to relax and plan a wedding. Boy oh boy, life is going to be so fun when I throw kids into the mix!

But I digress… Monday night’s dinner was a nice twist on our regular burrito, with a little less work. I actually had a little more time available, because it’s been rainy and I finally got back to running over the weekend. I was able to complete a mile on Saturday before stopping because the uncomfortable feeling in my ankle/heels started to become a little more painful. Then on Sunday I tackled two miles, and immediately came home and threw my entire foot in a bowl of ice water. I probably could have done another mile, but I didn’t want to push it and I also felt terribly out of shape. I struggled to keep myself going slowly enough not to make things worse, but by the end of that second mile, I was glad I stuck to a 9:30 minute mile pace. Tuesday’s 3 miler was back to an 8:40ish pace, but it definitely hurt afterwards. I’m slated to run a 5k October 9th so I’m hoping I’ll be up to 3.1 miles somewhat comfortably. As of right now, I’m not sure if I’ll pull out of the race or not. We’ll see what the next week and a half has in store.

Dinner was pretty straight forward – some taco sized tortilla shells, refried beans, cheese, ground beef with taco seasoning, and salsa. From there you can really make it your own, depending on toppings (of course you can swap the ground beef for soy crumbles, or nothing at all). I decided to dice up and sauté a few pieces of yellow onion, and a habanero pepper to add some heat. I mixed it into the ground beef that had been cooked with some taco seasoning, chili powder, and adobo. Other than that, I just had to slather the taco shells with refried beans (Old El Paso has a fat-free spicy version – yum!), throw the toppings on the shells, and bake. I suppose this open faced taco is similar to a tostada, however I didn’t use actual tostada shells. My parents have them, though, and they’re awesome.

They were definitely like mini Mexican pizzas, which I was more than okay with. Combine Mexican food and pizza? I’m sold. Next time, though, I’ll probably switch up the toppings and do something a little out of the box. But I encourage you to give these a try!

Open Faced Tacos
– Serves 2-

1/2 lb. lean ground beef
1/2 yellow onion – diced
1 hot pepper – diced (jalapeno, habanero, etc.)
taco seasoning and other spices to taste
4 taco sized torilla shells
1/2 can refried beans
1 cup shredded cheese blend (“taco” or “Mexican” will work)
1/4 cup salsa
(sour cream, guacamole, and other fixin’s are optional – and delicious!)

1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees
2. Grease baking sheet(s) and place torilla shells on them
3. In a skillet, brown ground beef with onion, pepper, and seasoning until completely cooked
4. While skillet mixture is cooking, spread the refried beans evenly on the taco shells
5. Drain the meat, and evenly distribute on top of taco shells, finishing it off with an even coating of cheese
6. Bake for 10 minutes, or until taco shells have a slight brown crisp
7. Top with salsa and enjoy!