Beet Tacos w. Chipotle Vinaigrette

Three Tacos

I have loved beets ever since I was little - fresh, out of a can, pickled, you name it - I love that bright purple-pink goodness in any form! I created this recipe a couple years ago as one of many in a meal plan for my sister; it started out just being a vegetarian option for her as she doesn’t have a lot of meat in her diet, but we made it one night for the rest of the family and it has become a part of our regular rotation when we all get together! The vinaigrette makes it - it is so so delicious! I love it as-is but the spice can be kicked up a notch with more chipotle if that’s how you roll. I roll a little tamer when it comes to spice! It’s also easy to make it vegan by omitting the cheese and crema, or substituting your favorite non-dairy counterparts.

BEET TACOS W. CHIPOTLE VINAIGRETTE // MAKES 16

Vinaigrette:

3 T honey or agave

¼ c balsamic vinegar

1 clove garlic, minced

1 T finely minced chipotle in adobo

1 T smoked paprika

1 tsp kosher salt

1 tsp white pepper

5 T Canola oil

Tacos:

4 large beets

kosher salt

16 corn tortillas

½ cup pepitas, toasted*

2 cups arugula

1 cup crumbled cotija or goat cheese

Chipotle vinaigrette (see below)

Cilantro, coarsely chopped

⅔ c crema or sour cream

Lime wedges for serving

*To toast pepitas Turn oven to 325 degrees. Toss raw, hulled pepitas with a little olive oil, just to coat. Spread on a single layer on a baking sheet and sprinkle with a little salt and ground coriander and cumin to taste. Toast in oven until color starts to turn 9-12 minutes, turning once and checking. Some ovens toast fast!

Increase oven to 425 degrees. Peel beets and chop into ½ inch cubes (wear gloves if you want to keep your hands their normal color!). Toss with a little oil, salt, and pepper and spread in an even layer on a baking sheet, being careful not to crowd them. Roast in oven for 15-20 minutes, until fork-tender. It may take a little longer, depending on your oven and how soft you want them. Wrap tortillas in foil and place them in the oven on the rack below the beets. Remove about halfway through, rotate tortillas in foil, then re-wrap and continue to warm in oven. Alternatively, you can quickly grill them over an open flame just before serving.

Meanwhile, blend honey, vinegar, garlic, chipotle, paprika, salt, and pepper together in a blender or food processor. With motor running, slowly add the oil, one tablespoon at a time, until blended and emulsified with the other ingredients.

To assemble tacos: place a little arugula on a tortilla, drizzle with vinaigrette, top with beets, cotija, pepitas, and crema. Sprinkle with a little chopped cilantro.

Tacos w. Limes

I think both cheeses are equally delicious in this dish - the cotija gives it a more authentic Mexican vibe, but if you can’t find it or won’t use it again, goat cheese is the way to go since many of us already have that in our fridge - goat cheese gives it a more hipster vibe. If you find yourself with leftover vinaigrette, you can serve it with other roast vegetables, or dress a salad with it, or drink it straight, it’s that good.

If you and your family are of the more carnivorous persuasion, toss in some shredded chicken or pork too, but I encourage you to keep the beets as they are pretty little purple jewels that are so good for you!

 

With a full heart and an empty plate,

Katie

Chipotle Chicken Tacos

Mexican food is my favorite type to eat and cook, and my husband loves it too, but the funny thing is he had never really had it until we started dating! Honestly. The closest thing they had to a Mexican restaurant where he grew up was Taco Bell so...yeah...I have had the extreme pleasure of expanding his palette ever since! We love a good ‘street style’ taco, so when I saw the mini corn tortillas in the store, I had to snatch them up and make some tacos happen. 

Chipotle Chicken Tacos

Chipotle Chicken Tacos // Serves 4-6

1 lb boneless, skinless chicken breast

1 chipotle pepper in adobo sauce*

Juice of half a lime

¼ c water

1 tsp cinnamon

1 ½ tsp cumin

2 large garlic cloves, roughly chopped

1 T Mexican oregano

2 tsp Spanish paprika

2 tsp smoked paprika

¾ tsp kosher salt

2 T vegetable oil

Corn tortillas

Pico de gallo, limes, & avocado to serve

*I never use more than 1 or 2 chipotle peppers at a time because I cannot handle any more than that in a recipe, so when I open a new can, I just freeze the rest and use as needed!

Cut chicken into 4 oz pieces and place in a large zip-top plastic bag with the top rolled open; set aside. In the bowl of your food processor, combine chipotle pepper, lime juice, water, cinnamon, garlic, oregano, paprika, salt, and oil, pulsing to combine. Pour marinade over chicken, seal bag, and turn to coat chicken completely; place in fridge and marinate at least one hour, and up to four hours.

Prepare pico de gallo while you wait - it’s so easy to make your own! Just dice tomatoes and onions, and combine with minced garlic, cilantro, serrano pepper, lime juice, and salt. I like a little more tomatoes than onions, then add the rest to taste. Slice avocados and limes for tacos.

Preheat indoor grill pan(or BBQ!) to medium-high heat and lightly coat with olive oil spray. Remove chicken from marinade and place on hot grill; discard remaining marinade. Cook chicken through, 4-5 minutes on each side, depending on thickness. Remove from grill and let rest while you heat up the tortillas - you can do them one by one in a pan, or wrap them up in the damp towel and microwave until nice and soft. Slice chicken and place on tortillas with avocado, pico de gallo, and serve with lime wedges.

Chipotle Chicken Tacos

To round out the meal, I served corn on the cob with cojita cheese, along with some corn chips to dip in the extra salsa! Tacos are a staple in our home, so I love putting new twists on them - try it for your family on the next ‘Taco Tuesday’, and if you’re worried about the spice, don’t be, I rarely make anything a 6-year old couldn’t handle since that’s pretty much what I can handle!

With a full heart and an empty plate,

Katie

 

Comment