From dirty to clean, adventures of a clean eating mom.

Save Some Money: Black Bean and Butternut Squash Tacos September 2, 2011

Taco night is a kid-friendly staple. My 5-year-old (almost)  Wesley LOVES taco night because he gets to “make” his own food. I let him put whatever he wants on them. Sometimes this consists of 5 beans, a ton of lettuce, and a ton of cheese. Other times he eats a decent ratio of everything. Either way, it is a healthy meal, so I don’t care how he takes his tacos.

For me tacos are a relatively inexpensive meal and another way I can reduce our grocery bill (and meat consumption) and still serve a healthy meal.

When I was researching vegan recipes I came across an awesome website called FatFree Vegan Recipes, this website has tons of great ideas for recipes. One of them is the black bean and butternut squash tacos.

This combination offers a TON of nutrients.

In addition to packing in 15 grams of protein and fiber, each serving of black beans contain 64% of your daily folate requirement, and their dark skin contain at least 8 different flavonoids, color-producing phytonutrients pigments that have great anti-oxidant potential. They work together with vitamins to help the body avoid oxygen-related damage.

Butternut squash provides another 10% of your folate requirement,  457% of your vitamin A (beta carotene) , and 52% of your vitamin C.

Despite being so good for you, this is a delicious dish.

I did adapt the recipe a bit. Here is my version:

What You Need:

1.5 cups of black beans, rinsed and drained

juice of 1 lime

2 garlic cloves, finely minced

1/2 of a butternut squash finely diced

1 tsp olive oil

salt and pepper

1 tsp chili powder

1/2 tsp cumin

1/2  tsp salt

taco shells, hard or soft

variety of condiments: sour cream, lettuce, tomato, guacamole, cheese, salsa, olives, onions, scallions)


Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Toss the butternut squash in the olive oil, and season with salt and pepper. Lightly spray a cookie sheet and place the butternut squash in a single layer. Roast the squash until lightly browned, about 20 minutes.

Then, warm the beans in a large skillet, and mash some of them with the back of a fork, or a pastry blender (this is what I use to mash beans), add the lime juice and garlic. Cook until warmed through and garlic is soft, then add the chili powder, cumin, and salt. Stir to combine. Then add the butternut squash, and stir. The squash will likely get all mashed and mixed in with the beans.

Heat your taco shells according to package directions and serve.

I love the flavor that the roasted squash adds to the beans. It is very much like having caramelized onions on your taco but without the extra fat! I usually roast the whole squash because Owen (OK, me too!) eats half of it before I can mix it in with the beans.

Save some money and try this dish!


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