Black Bean Tacos

Everyone likes tacos..I don't know a single person that doesn't like tacos.  What we have here are black bean tacos.  These little babies do NOT contain any meat.  They contain the deliciousness and protein power of BLACK BEANS.  Why don't more people eat more black beans?  Let's break down their nutritional value and health benefits:

Black beans are a great source of protein.  A 100 gram single serving of black beans has almost the same amount of protein from a 100 gram serving of 80% lean cooked, pan-brown beef. See the comparison below:

 Black beans are low in saturated fats, low in sodium and low on the glycemic index scale (meaning, when you eat this food item, your blood sugar will not spike).  I'll explain more about glycemic index scale in another post. 

What will you need for Black Bean Tacos?? Let's check out the ingredients:

2 Cans Organic Black Beans
1 Small Can of Corn
1 Clove of Garlic (pressed)
1 Small Yellow Onion (sometimes I use red onion, depending on how much onion taste I want)
1 1/2 tsp Cumin
1 table spoon Chili Powder
1 Cup Grated Cheese (your choice...I use Colbie Jack a lot)
A handful of Cilantro Leaves
Salt and Pepper
1-2 Spoonfuls of Coconut Oil
White Corn and/or Yellow Corn Tortillas
Lime Juice
Sour Cream
Saute Pan
Platter Screen
Cheese Grater
Something to smash the beans up

Let's get started!

Place the strainer in the kitchen sink.  Now open the cans of beans and dump into the strainer and rinse well.  We are rinsing the beans to wash off the sodium that the beans have been sitting in since they were canned...gross...Then toss them into a big mixing bowl.

Chop up the onion and cilantro, press the garlic and shred some cheese.

 Are you ready to smash?  Find a kitchen utensil that is capable of smashing the black beans.  I use a whisk or sometimes this little guy and it fails...miserably!  I should really buy a potato masher since I make these things once a week. After the beans are mashed to your liking, add the corn and other ingredients.  Mix all the ingredients together so that the mixed!

Before you heat up your pan, because the coconut oil is going to melt really fast really quick, prep your tacos.  Place a few tortillas onto a plate and spread the bean mixture (not too thick) onto HALF of the tortilla like so:

Now, fold the tortilla over the top of the mixture

I typically make 8.  So then, I would prep 8 tacos and THEN heat up the coconut oil.

Heat up your saute pan on medium heat for about a minute.  Now, add a heaping spoonful of coconut oil into the pan.  This stuff should melt right away!

Keep the heat on medium and SLIDE the first two, three or four tacos into the hot oil and then immediately place the splatter screen over the top of the pan:

The splatter screen you see is one that I picked up from the Dollar Store....yep!  The DOLLAR STORE!  You can find these splatter screens online for almost $20! I mean, don't get me wrong, I would love to have the matching Rachel Ray Splatter Screen to match the rest of the Rachel Ray cookware that I have!

As the tortillas cook, watch and listen carefully to the coconut oil.  Cook the first side of the tortilla for 3-4 minutes.  Cook the second side for a minute less than you cooked the first side.  Why?  Because, the majority of the oil has cooked into the tortilla's first side or has evaporated.  The second side is mainly cooking on a slightly oiled pan...which means that it will cook my experience.

After the tacos have cooked, serve them with a heaping spoonful of sour cream on top.

Let's talk about sour cream for a minute.  It's delicious, fatty and oh so yummy!  So, why are you buying the off brand that's only about .50 cheaper and contains about 10 more ingredients than REAL sour cream???  When shopping for sour cream, make sure that there is only ONE ingredient...Grade A Cultured Cream.  That's ALL that should be in that white container.  If the sour cream you are buying contains more than one ingredient, then it's not really sour cream.   


Clearly, for the purpose of this blog I only used a spoonful of sour cream.  But in real life, I totally just dunked my taco into the container of sour cream :)

Skillet Muffins

Skillet Muffins!!!  These protein and nutrient packed little muffins will give you that boost of energy in the morning, at 3pm or even on your drive home from work!  Eggs are truly incredible.  If you are a person that does not like the taste of eggs, you are going to love these, because they don't really taste like eggs.  They taste like AWESOME!  And everyone should get the opportunity to taste awesome!  These Skillet Muffins do NOT have flour in them which makes them Gluten-Free.  If you are confused about Gluten, then please watch this short clip on what it really is: 

Let's start with the ingredients that are in these:
1/2 Small Onion (white or yellow): yellow onions are sweeter than white onions
1 Small Clove of Garlic
8 Cherry Tomatoes
1 Half Bunch of Asparagus
1/4 Cup of Parsley
1/2 of a Red Pepper
7 Nitrate-Free Sausage Links
8 Organic Cage Free Extra Large Brown Eggs
1/2 Cup Organic Whole Milk (Vitamin D)
1 Cup Colbie Jack Cheese
Salt & Pepper 

This is what you will need to make Skillet Muffins:
Non-Stick Muffin Pan
Glass Bowl
Prepware Measuring Cup (You know...a measuring bowl that you can pour liquids out of without spilling all over the counter?)
Cutting Board
Chef's Knife
Cheese Grater
Small Saute Pan
Kitchen Tongs
(Optional) Cooling Rack
Zip Top Bags
2 Paper Towels
Oven Mitt


Start by preheating the oven to 350

While the oven is preheating, grab the cutting board, veggies and Chef's knife and start chopping the veggies:

Beautiful!  Now, take the muffin pan and line the inside of the cups with the veggie mixture, so the veggies cover the bottom of the cups.

Great!  Next, crack open 8 eggs and put them in the bowl.  To avoid getting shells in the bowl, crack open the egg on a flat surface.  I usually crack open eggs on the cutting board; doing it this way reduces the risk of raw egg getting on the kitchen counter....which drives me crazy!! GERMS!!  After the eggs are in the bowl, pour in 1/2 cup of milk and whisk until blended.  Add a sprinkle of salt and pepper to the mixture.

Oven is probably still preheating. Let's move onto the sausage links.  Open the package of sausage links and cook half the package, or 7 links.

I added a little bit of EVOO into the pan, because these links were not getting those yummy brown marks on them.

 One the sausages are cooked, place them on a paper towel, so that some of the grease is soaked up.

Instead of burning the heck out of your fingers (like I did), wait until the links have cooled and then chop them up.  

Bust open the brick of colbie jack cheese and grate about a cup of it off.  Clearly, from the picture below, that is less than a cup of cheese.  Why are we grating cheese?  Why can't we just buy that bag of sprinkle cheese in the store that is already grated and always on sale?  I'll tell you.  I haven't found one single brand of pre-shredded bagged cheese that doesn't contain ingredients that are not only harmful and not digestible by the human body, but actually cause the cheese to not melt as well.  Preservatives...gross.  Cellulose is one ingredient that is derived from wood pulp and/or cotton.  Humans cannot digest this.  Cellulose is added to shredded cheese to keep the strands from sicking together.  If you notice when you grate cheese, the cheese sticks together.  You WANT that.  That is real cheese.  I have found this ingredient even in Organic Shredded Bagged Cheese. A tip for buying cheese that has CHEESE as the first ingredient.  Pasteurized Milk, Cheese Culture, Sale and Enzymes are ok as well.  

By now, the oven is probably preheated.  Pour the egg and milk mixture from the bowl into a prepware measuring bowl.  Now pour the mixture into each of the muffin cups.  Leave about a half and inch to an inch from the top, because your Skillet Muffins will magically rise a bit!  Top each of the muffin cup mixture with the grated cheese and place on the bottom rack in the oven:

Cook for 15-20 minutes.  I can tell you that 20 minutes cooks these skillet muffins to the point where there is a little bit of browning on the bottom.  I would maybe cook them for 17 minutes next time.  But, each oven is different.

Put on your fancy oven mit and take the muffin pan out of the oven and place on top of the stove:

Take your kitchen tongs and press lightly on one side of a muffin.  The muffin should slide up.

Now, grab the muffin lightly with the kitchen tongs and place onto the cooling rack:

This is the bottom of the Skillet Muffin after cooked for 20 minutes at 350.

Cut open one and EAT IT!

Wait until the Skillet Muffins are completely cool before completing the bagging and storage step below.  If you bag these when they are still hot, the steam inside the bag will cook them more and you will end up with rubbery Skillet Muffins.  No like.

Depending on how many you want to eat at a time, put that many in a zip top bag and store in the fridge for one week.  My 15 month old will eat one with his 2nd breakfast. Yeah, he is a bottomless pit.  I will typically eat one in the car on the way to work...sometimes two depending on if I got the opportunity to eat dinner the night before or not.

To reheat: Place the zip top bag OPEN in the microwave for 20 seconds and cool for 30 seconds.  DELIGHTFUL!

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