I love spaghetti squash. Sure, it tastes great, but my inner five-year-old also really enjoys the way the cooked squash turns into shreds when you scrape it with a fork. So weird. So cool.
Squash in tacos might sound a little weird, but variations on the theme are pretty common, as most squash takes very well to spicy Mexican flavors. This recipe in The Smitten Kitchen Cookbook is the first I've seen to use spaghetti squash, but while unexpected, it works really well. Spaghetti squash retains a little bit of crunch, adding nice texture to the tacos. Beans, queso fresco, and onions round things out, but the spiced squash is the star here.
It was a rough week for photography in the c&b kitchen this week. The lighting in my current cooking space? It totally sucks. The kitchen faces east, which is terrible for photographing dinner. Add to this the rapidly shortening days, and it's hard to get decent light. I'm working on a better set-up, but of course, space is also at a premium. Oh yeah, and iOS7 seems to be really great at producing blurry photos (thanks, Apple). So sorry if the next few posts don't look quite as pretty.
spaghetti squash and black bean tacos
adapted from The Smitten Kitchen Cookbook
Notes and stuff: So this was supposed to have fresh cilantro on top. It would have been even better with cilantro on top, but that would have required possessing fresh cilantro. Oops. But you should totally include it.
1 large spaghetti squash, about 3lbs
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime (from 1-2 limes)
1 teaspoon chili powder
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
1/2 teaspoon salt
Sixteen 6-inch corn tortillas
1 15-oz can black beans, drained and rinsed thoroughly
4 ounces crumbled queso fresco or feta cheese
1/4 cup finely diced red onion
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
Cook the squash! You can use the microwave if you're in a hurry; Smitten Kitchen has directions here. If you are cold or don't have a microwave or just don't like the idea of your microwave running for 16 minutes, do what I did and preheat your oven to 375 degrees. Cut the squash in half using a big, sharp knife while avoiding your fingers. Scoop out the seeds. Place the squash cut side down on an oiled baking sheet. Bake for 40-45 minutes or until you can pierce the skin easily with a fork. Once the squash is done, remove from the oven and allow to cool enough to handle safely. Shred the flesh with a fork into a bowl.
In a small bowl, whisk together the lime juice and spices (chili powder through salt). Add to the squash and toss to coat.
Heat the tortillas in a hot, dry pan. Keep warm in between kitchen towels.
Top tortillas with black beans, squash, and then cheese. Sprinkle with onion and cilantro, and serve.