This is a copy cat recipe that I stole from my sister. Two of my sisters are vegetarian, and all of them are amazing cooks, I kind of won the jack pot in that regard. And I never skip on an opportunity for one of them to make me food. 😉 My little sister Camilla made this up randomly one night while I was hanging out with her. She took a bunch of banana squash at my Mom’s house and made us tacos out of it. I was SO surprised with how awesome it was and immediately went home and tinkered with it, until I my husband begged me to stop, but he does love this recipe. Just maybe not every day for 2 weeks…
Two ingredients NOT to skip. Smoked paprika, and the sweetener. Making a really healthy meal and then putting in 2 T. of sugar just goes against the grain, doesn’t it? But I promise you that this recipe NEEDS the balance of the sugar with the lime juice, and it also caramelizes the squash in a truly glorious way. SO use maple syrup, or organic local honey, or whatever floats your boat, but don’t just leave it out completely. Last tip, don’t skimp on toppings. This squash is fantastic, but if you want your family to get the truly “taco” experience with squash, my advice is chop up some lettuce, bust out the sour cream or greek yogurt, get some good salsa, or make some pico de gallo (tomatoes, chopped onion, cilantro and lime juice, it’s awesome), and guacamole etc. It will make them feel right at home with this meal.
1 Butternut Squash or 1 large acorn squash or 3-4 C. banana squash
1-2 C. water
2 T. olive oil
2 bell peppers of your choice
1 yellow or white onion
2 tsp. minced garlic
1-2 T. sugar to taste (or honey or maple syrup)
1-2 T. chili powder
2T. smoked paprika
Juice from one lime
Peel and chop your squash and place it in a covered pot on medium-high heat with the water and a tsp. of salt. Let it steam until the squash is very tender
In a large sauce pan, heat your olive oil over medium heat. Add your onions, peppers, garlic and saute until nice and soft and lightly charred (think fajitas).
When the squash is well steamed, place in a blender or use a stick blender to pulse until smooth. Then add it to your onion and pepper mixture, and mix in all the remaining ingredients.
When you’re about done it should look like this, be brave you’re trying new things!
Taste and adjust seasonings as needed, you will probably need a little more salt and pepper at this point. And remember that chili powder gets spicier in oil and as it heats up in your pan, so wait until the end to add additional seasonings and adjust to your families taste.
Prepare the tortillas of your choice and top with all of your favorite taco trimmings.
The Four year old prefers hers on nachos with sour cream, and she loves it. 🙂