If you are looking to add more plant based meals into your diet, these Lentil, Roasted Butternut Squash and Black Bean Tacos are the way to go. Just omit the bacon!
Who doesn’t love a good taco. In recent years tacos have become all the rage here in Calgary, maybe even Canada, as taquerias, pop ups and restaurants featuring tacos keep popping up everywhere.
Tacos come in all shapes and sizes to satisfy any appetite. But have you ever wondered where tacos come from? I certainly have and so I decided to find out.
The origin of tacos is more or less unknown and potentially dates back to the 18th century and the silver mines in Mexico. According to, a historian writer at the Smithsonian, in those Mexican sliver mines the word “taco” referred to the little charges they would use to excavate the ore. These were pieces of paper that they would wrap around gunpowder and insert into the holes they carved in the rock face. The first references to the taco in any sort of archive or dictionary didn’t come about until the end of the 19th century. And one of the first types of tacos described is called a miner’s tacos.
Childhood memories of tacos for me involved using an Old El Paso Taco Kit. While these taco kits are still available for those who prefer to keep it simple, more adventurous palates delve into beef tongue, lamb neck and octopus tacos available right here in Calgary.
Having had my fair share of meat tacos, we are changing it up and making an almost vegetarian variation.
- Omit the bacon and sour cream crema if you are looking for a vegan variation
- If you use the bacon, cook the beans in the bacon fat for extra flavour
- Canned lentils are a quick and easy alternative to cooking your lentils
- 3 cups butternut squash cut into small cubes (3/4 inch)
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 tsp cumin
- 1 tbsp chili powder
- salt and black pepper
- ½ cup bacon chopped small
- ½ onion diced
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- 1 540 ml can black beans drained
- 1 tsp cumin
- ½ cup stock
- ½ cup green lentils cooked
- ¾ cup sour cream
- 1 tbsp chipotle in adobe chopped fine
- 2 tsp lime juice
- cilantro sprigs
- 10 flour tortillas warmed
- 1 lime cut into wedges
- Preheat your oven to 400F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. In a bowl mix together squash olive oil, cumin, chili powder, and a good pinch of salt and pepper. Spread onto baking sheet and roast until browned around the edges about 30 minutes. Stir half way through. Remove and set aside.
- Add your bacon to a pot and saute until browned. Remove with slotted spoon leaving fat in pan. Add onion and cook until translucent. Add garlic, cumin and a pinch of salt and pepper cooking for 2 minutes. Pour in beans and broth. Bring to a boil and drop to a low simmer. Cook about 15 minutes. Season as needed. Set aside.
- To make chipotle sauce, add sour cream, chipotle, lime juice and a pinch of salt to a bowl. Stir until blended. Set aside in fridge until ready to use.
- Heat a sauce pan over high heat. Using tongs add one flour tortilla at a time flipping after 30 seconds. This will heat and blister your tortillas. Continue until all done.
- To assemble tacos: fill tortillas with a couple small sprigs of cilantro, roasted squash, beans and a sprinkle of cooked lentils. Sprinkle on a little bacon, drizzle on chipotle sauce, a squeeze of lime juice and serve.
Substitute spinach or flat leaf parsley if you do not like the taste of cilantro.
Follow instructions on your dried lentils bag to cook them and have them ready to go.