On my recent holidays I was able to go to the physical stores of two of my favourite online places to buy food. Living in a smallish, rural town means that for a lot of recipes I want to make I either have to substitute or buy ingredients online. When it comes to perishable items substitution is, really, the only why to go but for non-perishables I have found a large number of Australian online stores from which to get my various
wants. Two of my favourites are Essential Ingredients Online
, which has physical stores in Coffs Harbour and Port Macquarie, and Kombu Wholefoods
, whose physical store is in Bellingen. After trawling these websites on countless numbers of occasions and having placed a number of orders I was pleased to be able to spend time in the actual stores. I wasn't disappointed with either of them and will make a point to head to both of them again any time I am in the area.
Amongst the numerous items that I bought from the above stores were red quinoa and turtle beans (or black beans depending on where you live). I had a few ideas on what I wanted to do with them but also googled and food blog searched
to see what I could make with them. I came up with a number of recipes for each separately but I decided to make something using both of them. I had a bit of a hankering for some tacos and remembering that when I was a kid mum used to make tacos with lentils and kidney beans I decided to see if I could make a taco filling using red quinoa and turtle beans. To add a bit of bulk to it I threw in some carrot, capsicum and as I had some mushrooms slowly dying a slow death in the crisper I chopped them and and threw them in too. I used some of my homemade taco seasoning, although you could use one of those packets from the supermarket, and canned tomatoes. It made an amazing filling. I felt so satisfied after eating the tacos. They really hit the spot so I think I will be making these regularly. The first night I used some warmed tortillas and just had soft tacos. For lunch the next day I draped a tortilla over a mould and put it in the oven and formed a bowl. I really enjoyed it that way, kind of a combinations between a taco and nachos. I have also had some with some rice with a bit tomato juice added in when re-heating for a kind of faux chilli.
Red Quinoa, Turtle Bean & Carrot Tacos
- 1/2 c dried black turtle beans (soaked for at least 6 hours)
- 1/2 c red quinoa (soaked for 30 minutes and drained thoroughly)
- 1 tbsp grapeseed oil (any neutral oil will be fine)
- 1 onion, finely chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, crushed
- 2 medium carrots, grated
- 1 capsicum, finely diced
- 250 g mushrooms, finely diced
- 1 packet taco seasoning, or homemade mix to taste (see recipe below)
- 400 g can diced tomatoes
- 1/2 can water
- salt & pepper to taste
- Drain beans and place in a saucepan with clean water. Bring to the boil and then simmer for 20 - 30 minutes or until they still have a bit of bite. Try not to cook until too soft as they will be cooking further later on. Drain and set aside.
- Heat oil in a pan over a medium heat. Add onion and cook until softened but not browned. Add garlic and cook for a further minute.
- Add carrot, capsicum and mushrooms and cook, stirring, for 5 minutes then add quinoa and beans.
- Add taco seasoning and stir to coat everything.
- Add tomatoes & water, bring to a boil then reduce heat to simmer. Cover and cook until liquid has been absorbed and quinoa and beans are cooked adding more water if necessary.
- Taste, adjust seasonings and serve with warmed tortillas, shredded lettuce, sliced tomato, grated cheese, guacamole and sour cream (or yoghurt).
- 6 tsp Chilli Powder
- 5 tsp Paprika
- 4 ½ tsp Cumin
- 3 tsp Onion Powder
- 2 ½ tsp Garlic Powder
- 1/8 tsp Cayenne Pepper
In storage container with tight-fitting lid, combine all ingredients and mix well. Seal tightly. Store in cool, dry place for up to 6 months.
Seven teaspoons of mix equal a pkg of purchased taco seasoning mix. (This will vary depending on the heat rating of you chilli powder so I suggest starting out with less and adding more if needed)