Monday, April 16

Dinner for Two: Part 1

Hi, everybody.

I hope you all a great weekend.  I sure did!

Brian and I had a black tie event Saturday night for his law school.  We're fancy.

We had such a great time, but on Sunday we were in pretty serious need of some downtime.

I don't know about you, but when I have been over-served and am feeling less than perfect the next day, I crave really fresh, delicious, healthy food.  

Or french fries and beer.

But yesterday it was fresh Mexican that I was craving.

So, while Brian was napping, I ran to the grocery store and bought what we needed to make one of our favorite dinners...

Black Bean Tacos with Corn Salsa and Guacamole


I found the recipe for these Black Bean Tacos in this month's Self magazine.  

I was actually surprised to find 5 really good Vegan recipes in the back of the issue.  {And they don't have soy in them, which just means good, fresh, whole ingredients.}

You can find the original recipe here, but I made a few changes to it.

As I do with most Mexican recipes we love...I added guacamole.

I don't know if I've mentioned this yet, it's entirely possible that I have, but I make the BEST guacamole in the world.  

I googled a basic recipe some time back when I found some ripe avocados on sale and just tweaked it here and there.  

I tried to pay attention to measurements as I was making it last night so that I could give you a solid recipe, but I normally just toss it all together and taste-test until I get it right.  

So, here it is...

The BEST Guacamole in the World

For this recipe, I used 3 ripe avocados.

{It made enough for snacking on before dinner, adding it to our tacos, and we still had a lot leftover.}

I just slice the avocado up while it's still in the rind and then sort of squeeze it out into a bowl.  Depending on the ripeness of the avocado, you can slice it up more or less.  

I like to it to be on the chunky side, so once I've sliced it up at this stage, I only stir it as I add the other ingredients in, which blends it up well enough.

I know that I've mentioned to you how much I love watching The Food Network.  One of my favorite tips that I have picked up from watching has been how to easily dice an onion.

Brian isn't crazy about raw onion, but I am, so I compromise by dicing the onion pretty finely.  {relationship expert}

Start by slicing through the onion lengthwise.

I only used half of this large onion for this recipe.

Remove the outer layers and trim the top but leave the stem attached.  I guess that's a stem.  For this description, it's a stem.

Slice through, as shown below, but do not cut all the way through.  The stem is by my index finger in this picture, so you cut all the way through to the bottom but leave it all connected at the stem.  {wow, I thought this would be easier to explain...}

Then slice once through the middle, again do not go all the way through.

And then slice through as shown, {the pictures are doing a better job than my words are,} and, voila!, perfectly diced pieces.

When you get too close to your fingers to hold it safely you can turn it on its side and finish that way.  Brian won't watch me chop onions anymore, it makes him nervous.  

I may or may not have cut myself once or twice.  Don't worry, I still have all 10 fingers.

I used one large ripe-on-the-vine tomato for this recipe.

I seed the tomatoes to avoid the added moisture.  However, sometimes if I am working with avocados that are not as ripe I will add it in, which helps.  But these avocados were perfect!

So out it went.

So my favorite part of this recipe is probably the fresh-squeezed lime juice.  

I LOVE it.  It has such a fresh, delicious taste.  I use a lot.  For this batch I used a whole lime.  

I have a little contraption that is actually really great for getting all of the juice out, and it has a funny story attached to it about how Brian and I got 2 of them for free, but that's for another day.

And then fresh cilantro.  A small handful.  Or so.  

Chopping fresh herbs is not fun.  But this helps me get it done...

Bunch it up as small as you can in your fingers and then chop through it that way.  You may want to run your knife through it one or two more times.  All up to you.

{I actually just stumbled on this herb mill on Pinterest, has anyone ever used one before?  Might need to invest in one...aghem, Brian.}  

So that's about it.  Just keep stirring it together really well as you add in the ingredients.  And also add in:

1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon cumin, (optional, but I love cumin)
1 clove of garlic, minced

That's it!  Stick it in the refrigerator for a while so that it is nice and chilled.  

The leftovers keep pretty well, too.

I squeeze a little more lime juice on it before I put it away in a tupperware and that helps to keep it from turning too brown.  Just stir it up, should stay fresh for at least another day or two!

And that's it!

The BEST Guacamole in the World
{& one of my favorite new Anthropologie bowls}

This stuff is seriously addicting, so just don't say I didn't warn you.  

Brian also wanted me to be sure to let you know that he suggests using Mission Tortilla Chips for your guacamole.  They're the best.  

OR you could put it on some delicious Vegan black bean tacos...

But more on that tomorrow.

Until then, here's hoping that you had a lot of fun this weekend, and a lot of downtime on Sunday to recuperate.  

1 comment:

  1. LOVE everything about this post -- the photos, the recipe, the results (not to mention the cute bowl)! YUM, so glad the warm weather has finally come to Chicago so we can start enjoying meals outside again! I'll definitely be testing this recipe in my kitchen very soon. :)