Veg*n Cooking and Other Random Musings: Black Bean and Cilantro Lime Rice Tacos

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Black Bean and Cilantro Lime Rice Tacos

I don't think it had, but it seemed like it had been awhile since Brett and I had a taco night, and when looking through the cabinets to inventory anything that needed to be used up, I found some blue corn taco shells. With that discovery, a taco night was in order - this time, rather than creating something completely novel (at least to us), I decided to try (again) to recreate cilantro-lime rice.

I know Chipotle has cilantro-lime rice, but the first place I had it was at a Mexican restaurant when Brett and I visited Washington, D.C. a couple of years ago. Not long after our trip, I tried to recreate it, and it was horrible. Well since then, I've had cilantro-lime rice a couple more times, and decided to try again. This time the rice turned out great and our taco night was a huge hit.

I've been avoiding buying fresh limes unless they are grown within the US (and even then doing it sparingly). After some thinking, I decided that using bottled lime juice might be the best way to go in terms of food miles (not sure if this is faulty logic or not, but until it is pointed out that this is the case, I am going to roll with this logic). So we bought a bottle of organic lime juice awhile back and I finally decided to break into it. I decided to make this meal a really special treat, so we got an organic avocado (from California) and made guacamole to go with our tacos. Since we had so many tomatoes lying around, I decided to chop up one of the small ones and throw it in there as well.

Now that I know how to make cilantro-lime rice, my head is spinning with all sorts of complimentary burrito and taco salad fillings to pair with it. Don't you just love when you make something and then realize how versatile it is? I still feel that way about the Green Chile Taco Sauce - I think calling it a "taco sauce" was a bit of a misnomer, as the sauce can be used for much more than that.

Note: I had to buy the cilantro for this from the "regular" store. With the farmer's market season quickly coming to an end here in Mid-Missouri, the market last week was pretty short on vendors, including the one who normally has plenty of cilantro. So we bought some organic cilantro from the store that appears to have been grown in California. The COOL labels (country of origin labels) now required on most fresh produce in the US (and some other items) are not always the easiest things to comprehend.

A side note about the COOL labels: When Brett and I were at the "regular" grocery store the other day, we scoped out the first of the clementines we've seen for the year, to see if they were from California, and thus within our self-imposed winter eating local guidlines, and the package listed the USA and Canada as the country of origin. I doubt that clementines are grown in Canada, unless in a greenhouse, but because of the confusion, we decided to pass on the clementines until we could find some that were more clear about where they came from. Argh. Is it too much to ask to be able to know where our food comes from? It's hard to claim that this is a free country sometimes, especially when something so basic as where our food comes from is treated in such a secretive and "need to know" manner.

Anywho, rant over. On to the food!

The local booty legend (aka revealing my sources):
no asterisk = grocery store
+ = The Root Cellar
++ = The Peace Nook
* = farmer's market
** = CSA
*** = Container or Community Garden
**** = the non-profit buying club, Blue Planet or Purcell Mountain Farms

Cilantro-Lime Rice:
1/2 cup raw long grain brown rice, rinsed ****
1 cup water
pinch of salt for water
1/4 cup fresh cilantro, chopped finely
1 tbsp lime juice
more salt, to taste

Combine rice, water, and salt. Bring water to a boil.

Simmer on low for 40 minutes, or until all water is absorbed.

While rice is still warm stir in cilantro and lime. Taste. Add more salt if necessary.

2 cups of black beans, cooked ****
1 small red bell pepper, seeded and minced *
1/2 red onion, minced +
2 cloves of garlic, minced +
adobo seasoning (we use Goya brand with cumin)

Heat a few tablespoons of water in a small skillet.

Add the pepper, onion, and garlic and cook for 10-15 minutes or until veggies are soft. Drain any excess water.

In a small bowl, combine veggies, beans, and adobo seasoning to taste.

blue corn taco shells
2 medium tomatoes, chopped ***
simple guacamole (with a small chopped tomato stirred in for an extra treat) (garlic in guacamole = +; tomato = ***)
local salsa (though not necessary) *

Layer rice and bean mixture in warmed taco shells. Serve with fresh tomatoes and guacamole.


We ate these while we watched the New York Giants and Philadelphia Eagles game on Sunday Night Football. Wahoo and WAHOO. Sadly it looks like we got whipped in our fantasy football game this weekend.

'Til next time!


VeggieGirl said...

Hooray for the return of Taco Night!! :-D

SusanB said...

Here in Eagles country, Sunday night was sad.

jessy said...

oh goodness - those are some gloriously stuffed tacos of deliciousness! glad the cilantro lime rice turned out to be super tasty! it looks great! lime juice is a great idea, Jennifer! i have a hard time finding limes grown in the US, too! i think i may have to follow your lead with the bottle o' lime juice. thanks!

i need to keep my eyes open for blue corn taco shells - they look so pretty! i love 'em! :)

Anonymous said...

Wow--those are beautiful! I love the colors in your photo :o)

Sorry about the vague labeling on the clementines...that would be seriously annoying. I hope you can find some US grown one soon!


Lisa (Show Me Vegan) said...

too bad about the label confusion, that is frustrating. But the tacos sound delicious!

T said...

Woah, this looks awesome! But then, every recipe I make of yours is sooo good!!! Shouldn't be surprised anymore!

spelled with a K said...

I'm in the mood for something with lime, that sounds delicious.

Jennifer (of Veg*n Cooking) said...

Veggie Girl - Hooray is right!

SusanB - :-( Well I was rooting for the Giants as I have Plaxico Burress on my fantasy football team, but I do like the Eagles too. I would have been happy either way with the outcome - though Brett tells me (jokingly) that I cannot like two teams from the same division. I don't really have a "team" there are teams I like and don't like, but I don't have a solid preference for any one team really.

Jessy - Thanks! Me too. Thank you, I thought my logic might be a little faulty on that one, but it really does make sense to me. It is hard to find limes grown in the US sometimes, so I thought it would be less frustrating, and the food miles would probably be lower, if I just bought a bottle.

They are gorgeous and so, so tasty.

Courney - Thank you, I love how sometimes the dishes turn out all pretty and colorful, on accident!

Hey, it's not your fault, but it is annoying. All I want to know is where they came from. I think I am going to take your lead this year though and only buy 3-4 containers full of them. They aren't local so I should be sparing. You rock for giving me the motivation to do more.

Lisa - It is, but what can you do. I got spoiled going to the farmer's market because the farmer's are so open and honest when it comes to questions about their produce.

T - Hahaha, you are far too kind, but thank you.

Spelled with a K - Now I'm in the mood for something with lime again too. :-) Thank you.