Friday, November 8, 2013

Spaghetti Squash Tacos and a Dinner Victory

Should or shouldn't I make these tacos, was the question I kept asking myself the other day.  Not because I knew I wouldn't like squash tacos, but because the people that I live with seem to be more of the non-squash eating type.  I wasn't sure I was in the mood to hear the moans and groans at the dinner table that might accompany tortillas filled with spaghetti squash.  Eventually my want for the tacos won out over the possibility of any dinner table complaints.

Todd and Noah weren't quite home when I sat down to eat with Preston and Stella.  I made a taco for myself and both Preston and Stella and then I sat back and watched and listened for the reaction.  It didn't take long for Stella to tell me that she didn't like them, which wasn't surprising being that the only food I don't have to remind her to keep taking bites of is chocolate cake with ice cream.  Preston on the other hand said nothing until he finished and then asked for another one (sweet victory).  As Preston and I were finishing up, Todd and Noah walked in and sat down at the table.  I made Noah a taco and Todd made one for himself.  Besides, Stella, Noah would have been a sure bet to take one bite, set it down, eat the entire bowl of sliced pears sitting in the middle of the table (all in hopes of never having to touch or taste the squash taco again).  But, to my pleasant surprise, Noah ate the entire taco without one complaint and Todd ate two.  I was thrilled!  I will happily take four out of five and deem the spaghetti squash tacos a dinner victory! 

Spaghetti Squash Tacos

3 pound spaghetti squash
3 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice
3/4 teaspoon chili powder
3/4 teaspoon ancho chili powder (you can also use regular chili powder)
3/4 teaspoon ground cumin 
3/4 teaspoon ground coriander
3/4 teaspoon coarse salt
Sixteen 6-inch corn tortillas
One 15-ounce can black beans, rinsed and drained well
Crumbled queso fresco, feta, or Cotija cheese
Finely diced red onion
Chopped fresh cilantro
Hot sauce
Lime wedges

Cut squash in half lengthwise, scoop out the seeds, and roast the halves facedown on a oiled baking sheet for about 40 minutes in a 375 degree oven.

When the squash has finished cooking and has cooled slightly, working over a bowl, scrape the squash flesh with a fork, loosening and separating the strands as you remove it from the skin.  Discard the skin.  In a small bowl, whisk lime juice with chili powder, cumin, coriander, and salt.  Pour over the spaghetti squash strands, and gently toss together.  Taste the squash, and adjust seasonings if necessary.

Heat a dry, heavy skillet over medium-high heat.  Warm and slightly blister each tortilla.  Sprinkle each warm tortilla with black beans, squash mixture, cheese, diced red onion, cilantro and a couple of shakes of hot sauce.  Serve with lime wedges.

Recipe slightly adapted from The Smitten Kitchen Cookbook