A taco was not part of my eating repertoire growing up. The only version of ‘Mexican’ I tried as a kid, was when my mum discovered the combination of taco shells and beef mince, sans seasoning. At the time, the only commercially available Mexican food, was from a very well known Perth restaurant that shall remain un-named, simply because it was so bad. It was the perfect place for a party but culinary delight it was not.
Thankfully for us all, wonderful quality Mexican food is now available in many places without requiring ten shot glasses of tequila to enjoy it.
While Mexican recipes may not be something that I am typically looking for, I am always looking at recipes. Last year I started following some fellow Dietitians in the US and really liked the dishes they were sharing. One in a particular has become a definite family favourite. In fact, The Real Food Dietitians have some super tasty recipes that my family love.
Recipes developed in the United States, often don’t work as well in Australian kitchens, as the ingredients are a little different and the quantities are usually in imperial units, so mistakes can abound.
For the recipe I share today, I made a few tweaks, increased the vegetable portions, removed the meat (although you could add if you wanted to, I don’t think this dish needs it) and arrived at the Hot Taco Dish. It doesn’t look like a taco. It does however, have all the delicious flavours of a taco in one dish, everyone loves it and it is packed full of veggies. My kids think it actually contains meat instead of the two cans of black beans hiding in there. I am just that sneaky.
If you are unsure how to get more legumes into your daily diet, Hot Taco Dish is an easy place to start. For other ideas on how to include them in your eating week, check out some of my tips here.
Hot Taco Dish
1 large onion, diced
1 large red capsicum, diced
2 x small zucchini, diced
3 x garlic gloves, minced
1 x packet of taco or burrito seasoning
2 x 440g tinned diced tomatoes
1/2 cup tomato paste
3 cups salt reduced beef stock
2 x corn cobs, cooked and kernels sliced off
2 x 440g cans black beans, drained
1 cup uncooked white rice (don’t use black, brown or other rice)
1.5 cups cheddar cheese, grated
Coriander, avocado, light sour cream or Greek natural yoghurt, shredded lettuce, diced tomato and cucumber and corn chips
Preheat the oven to 180 C. Spray a large rectangular baking dish and set aside.
Add onion and capsicum to a large frying pan with a little olive oil and cook until the vegetables are softened.
Add zucchini, garlic and taco seasoning. Stir and cook until the zucchini is just tender.
Transfer the veggie mixture to the greased baking dish.
Add the diced tomatoes, tomato paste,, stock, drained beans, corn, rice and 1/2 cup grated cheese to the baking dish and stir to combine.
Cover the baking dish with foil and bake for 50-65 minutes or until the rice is cooked. When the cooking time is up, check that the rice is cooked and if not leave the dish in for a little extra time. Remove the foil and sprinkle remaining cheese over the top and continue to bake for 5-10 minutes or until the cheese is melted and golden brown.
Allow the dish to stand for 5 minutes before serving with sides of choice.