Meatless Meals for the Nine Days with a Global Twist

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When people think of the nine days they tend to panic. After all it’s hard to be creative and come up with meal ideas when chicken and meat are off the menu. I like to look at the nine days as an excuse to bring exotic flavors in my kitchen and experiment a little bit. There are so many wonderful cuisines that lend themselves especially well to vegetarian and dairy options.

I happen to love Latin inspired food and flavors, and of course tacos. It’s a great go to meal when you have kids and any ground meat can work. But Tacos are great without the meat as well. I recently started making tacos with black beans and corn, along with ½ an envelope of taco seasoning and a can of tomato sauce and they are delish. Garnished with some creamy avocado and chives or green onions this a healthy and tasty dinner. Serve it with Gazpacho for an authentic mexican feast.


black bean and corn tacos



Corn and Black Bean Tacos

  • 1 bag frozen corn
  • 1 can black beans
  • ½ an envelope taco seasoning (less if you’re sensitive to spice)
  • 1 small can tomato sauce (12 ounces)
  • 4-6 taco shells
  • sliced avocado or guacamole, hot sauce, diced tomatoes, chives, and green onions for garnish.


Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Rinse beans and put all ingredients into saute pan/skillet, heat through. Toast corn tacos for 2-3 minutes until crisped. Fill tacos with bean and corn mixture, top avocado, chives, tomatoes, green onions or any topping of your choice.

 

Another easy Mexican inspired recipe is my Rice and Bean Bake. A one pot meal that’s delicious and so easy to make. Everything get’s thrown together, put in the oven, and baked until the cheese on top is bubbling. Serve with a fresh corn, tomato and basil salad.



Rice and Bean Bake

  • 2 cups cooked brown rice
  • 1 can kidney beans
  • 1 jar salsa
  • shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1 can roasted chili peppers (optional)


Rinse Kidney beans then combine with rice and salsa, spoon into a greased casserole and sprinkle with shredded cheddar and jalapenos if you like spice. Bake for ½ hour till cheese is bubbly, place under broiler for 5 minutes if you like the top browned.

Ingredients

1-2 cups cooked rice (preferably jasmine or basmati brown)

1 small can crushed pineapple

¼ cup soy sauce

1 Tbsp ketchup

1 Tbsp brown sugar

1 tsp sesame oil

1 cube frozen chopped garlic or 2 tsp fresh chopped garlic

1 tsp corn starch dissolved in 1 Tbsp cold water to form a slurry.

1 tsp canola oil

Directions

Strain the pineapple from the juice set aside.

Heat the canola oil in a skillet on medium heat. Saute garlic until fragrant and translucent, about 2 minutes. Add the strained pineapple juice, soy sauce, ketchup, brown sugar and sesame oil and bring to a gentle boil to reduce slightly.

Add the corn starch slurry and stir until mixture thickens. Add in crushed pineapple and pour over rice, tossing to combine thoroughly.