You had to do a double take, didn’t you? When you looked at BBQ you thought pulled pork, shredded carnitas, etc. But nope! And guess what, I am going to blow your mind with this recipe.
As you may guess from my other posts, it is confession time.
I can’t even count how many times I drive home and have what I dub “Dinner Strategy 101” on the phone with the hubs. And yes, I telepathically try to will him with my mind to say, “Oh yes let us forget this mindless kitchen talk and we can go out to dinner.” However, thank goodness for Mr. Willpower himself because otherwise my excuse-ridden mind would have us out every night. (And no money in our budget happy bank) AND Now you know why I meal plan, no excuses.
So I fell off the wagon and didn’t do my usual Sunday Meal Planning and this week have been paying for it. However, my Prince Charming arrived before Valentine’s Day and has pulled off THREE meals that we came up with together. The first was no-bun turkey burger sliders topped with wilted spinach, caramelized mushrooms and onions with siracha ketchup. Wow! The second was flounder fillets stuffed with spinach, mushroom and mozzarella cheese. Super Yum! And tonight was literally a luck of the draw…
I sat up last night realizing I had 1) not defrosted ANYTHING, 2) was lacking in major creativity, 3) hated being stuck in a no meal-plan zone. I pulled off my pantry inventory and looked for what we hadn’t used and what I could STAND to sub in…came up with the following requirements: must have ingredients, must be easy, and must taste good.
After googling “black beans” “quinoa” I ended up with all these beautiful salads, and casseroles, and pretty dishes. Yeah, pretty but not cutting the EASY. Plus, quinoa and I are pretty fickle. Sometimes I love it, sometimes I mock it. We’re adapting as we get to know each other better. And then I saw this Cookie and Kate recipe for Quinoa Black Bean Tacos Recipe. Oh joy, oh bliss – I had ALL the ingredients AND it was easy. Yes, I had a Judd Nelson fist pump moment right then, don’t judge.
After throwing it on the Husband’s Recipe Cheat Sheet (we’ll discuss that in another post, promise!), I wrapped up and went to bed knowing one more day was saved. Fast forward to the deep freeze in Georgia, a wrong start dead battery kind of morning, and a late night working at the office and we’re back in the car, on the phone with hubs, and trying to will him to say, “let’s go out to dinner!” But he doesn’t, no he is actually going to try it out.
And he succeeded, and it was GOOD! Now, I’ve included stock photos because in this family only one of us shamelessly photos food, me. So roll with the referenced recipe and my adapted one and we’ll just know yours is going to be GORGEOUS like mine – haha. Our dish ended up more like Burritos than tacos – bigger wraps and our mixture was not fluffy but more “bean burrito-ish” – eh, it was delicious so we went for it!
B.B.Q. Tacos (Black Bean, Beets, and Quinoa Tacos
Make the Filling
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 cup chopped red onion
2 large garlic cloves, pressed or minced
3 tablespoons tomato paste
Taco Seasoning Powder, to taste (b/c we got lazy and also couldn’t find the spices we needed)
½ cup uncooked quinoa, rinsed well in a fine mesh colander
1 cup vegetable broth
1 (14 ounce) can black beans or 1½ cups cooked black beans
Get the Taco Making Stuff Ready
6 to 8 soft tortillas – we were literally using up what we had leftover from wraps
1½ cups roughly chopped spinach – or whatever green you have
1/2 cup thinly sliced beets, trust me on this one (1 14 oz can beets, or roast/peel/slice fresh ones)
Cheese, Salsa, hot sauce, etc.
Now, Make it:
- Saute onions, garlic until soft, then add in tomato paste and taco seasoning and sauté for another minute, stirring constantly.
- Add in rinsed quinoa and 1 cup broth. Bring the mixture to a gentle boil, then cover the pot, reduce heat to a simmer and cook for 15 minutes. At this point we had to definitely cover it or we had tomato stains all over the stove.
- Remove and let it rest, still covered, for 5 minutes. We ended up stirring in the beans in their juice b/c our quinoa wasn’t fluffing. You may have this achieved but we’re good at confessions tonight so there you go. Cover and let beans warm up.
- Meanwhile, get the table set-up with the tortillas, garnishes, etc. AND THOSE SLICED BEETS. Sit down and assemble.
Wrap up burritos or make a taco salad, just love it and enjoy it. The beets give it a definite crunch and sweet taste to counteract the spicy.
5. I also began reading to the hubs all the amazing benefits of quinoa and beets and nutritional gain of spinach and black beans. That step is optional at your table, but I believe we both gained great intellect in our brains and stomachs after this meal. It is just EASY and GOOD. We loved it b/c technically we can serve this up during Lent (no meat), or our Meatless Mondays, or when we want to impress friends with our mad skills. Ok, not that last part but still hopeful.
So, living in the South = home of BBQ and I totally went all alternative on THAT definition, didn’t I? Don’t worry, I won’t go after the Chicken and Dumplings, that would just be sacrilege.