Spaghetti Squash and Black Bean Tacos with Queso Fresco

DSC00796Last Saturday I made my way around the capitol square for the final outdoor farmers’ market of the season. It was a beautiful sunny fall day, and I savored every moment. Many of my favorite vendors will move over to the winter farmers’ market at the Monona Terrace, which runs through the end of the year. So thankfully I didn’t have to say too many goodbyes. But nothing beats the outdoor market, and April seems like an eternity from now.

I had a few recipes picked out and loaded up on ingredients at the market. Last night I made squash tacos with several of those ingredients using a recipe from The Smitten Kitchen Cookbook. It’s the first time in a while I’ve found the time to really cook—not that this recipe was all that difficult. I love how spaghetti squash takes the place of pulled pork, a fresh and veg-friendly take on a classic taco. Even the seeds from the spaghetti squash are turned into a delicious snack.

Spaghetti Squash and Black Bean Tacos with Queso Fresco (from The Smitten Kitchen Cookbook; makes sixteen 6-inch tacos)

3 pounds spaghetti squash (either 1 large or 2 small)
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice (1 lime)
1 teaspoon chili powder
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
1/2 teaspoon coarse salt
Sixteen 6-inch corn tortillas
One 15-once can black beans, rinsed and drained very well
4 ounces crumbled queso fresco, feta, or Cotija cheese
1/4 cup finely diced red or white onion
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro leaves

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Cut the squash in half lengthwise, scoop out the seeds, and roast the halves in an oiled baking pan for about 40 minutes.DSC00789

When the squash has finished cooking and cooled slightly, scrape the flesh from the skin with a fork into a bowl. In a small bowl, whisk the lime juice with the chili powder, cumin, coriander and salt. Pour over the squash strands and gently toss together.

Heat a dry skillet over medium-high heat and warm each tortilla, about 30 seconds per side. Transfer to a plate and load each tortilla with black beans, spiced squash, crumbled cheese, and a bit of onion and cilantro. Serve with lime wedges and hot sauce if you wish.DSC00785

You can use the seeds from the spaghetti squash to make a tasty snack. Rinse the seeds and spread them on an oiled baking sheet. Sprinkle with chili powder and fine salt. Roast at 375 degrees for 7 to 10 minutes, tossing them halfway through.

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