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Crispy, crunchy and satisfying, the taco bowl is new to my kitchen but won't be getting moved along anytime soon. It will be on high rotation throughout this Summer season, I can tell. 

Once you've done a taco bowl once you will realise the options for what else you can do with it are endless. No pumpkin on hand? Add sweet potato instead. Like fish tacos? You can make your very own fish taco bowl with the addition of some grilled or crumbed fish pieces. But for starters, try this combo. I promise you won't be disappointed. 

This meal is gluten-free and plant-based making it a wonderful addition to both meat-eater's and plant-eater's diets. The combination of beans and corn makes this meal a complete protein for the vegetarians and vegans. This means you will get all of the essential amino acids required for your body to do it's daily duties. If you are a vegan or vegetarian, getting all your amino acids can be an issue as plant-based proteins are incomplete meaning they do not contain all of the amino acids you require. This is where protein combining comes in very useful. To ensure you are getting a complete protein, look to combine your foods in the following ways

GRAINS + LEGUMES

GRAINS + NUTS + SEEDS 

NUTS + SEEDS + LEGUMES

CORN + LEGUMES

Beans should be a welcome addition to everyone's diet. There is no excuse not to eat them when they come pre-prepared in cans for you to just rinse and add to any of your dishes. Beans are therapeutically beneficial for your cardiovascular system and can help lower cholesterol. They also slow gastric emptying due to their fibre content meaning your blood sugar levels remain more stable. It is very important that you rinse them well if you are using them from a can as they can cause stomach upsets if they're not prepared correctly. Look for organic beans that are canned in BPA-free cans to ensure you are looking after yourself the best you can. 


INGREDIENTS

4 medium corn tortillas 

1/2 a jap pumpkin, cubed 

2 tbsp coconut oil

1 tspn cumin 

1 tspn smokey paprika 

1/2 tspn hot paprika

Salt and pepper

1 can black beans

1 cob of corn 

1 cup red cabbage, shredded

1 cup white cabbage, shredded 

1/2 cup coriander, stalk and leaves, roughly chopped 

1 shallot, chopped 

1 cup of greek yoghurt 

1 avocado, mashed 

1 lime, juiced 

1/4 cup olive oil 

Feta (optional) 

Mozzarella (optional) 

Hot sauce (optional) 

INSTRUCTIONS 

  1. Heat your oven to 200 degrees and line a baking tray with baking paper 
  2. Prepare the pumpkin by cutting into cubes (smaller for faster and larger for longer) and tossing it in the coconut oil, spices and seasoning with salt and pepper. Arrange on the baking tray and place it in the oven for around 45 minutes. 
  3. While the pumpkin is cooking, prepare your salad by cutting up the cabbages and coriander and placing them in a mixing bowl and adding the can of black beans (rinse well before using). 
  4. Quickly toast the outside of the corn cob by placing it over the direct flame of your stove for a couple of minutes until the outside is slightly charred. Cut off all the kernels and place them in the mixing bowl with the cabbage. Add the lime juice and olive oil and give your salad a good toss. Add the feta here too if you're using it. 
  5. Prepare the green sauce by quickly whizzing up the coriander, shallot and yoghurt in a food processor until smooth. Taste and season as needed. 
  6. When there is about 15 minutes left on the pumpkin, prepare your tortilla bowls. You can either use a muffin tray upside down (like this!) or place them inside oven proof bowls so they crisp up in a bowl shape. This is where you can sprinkle some mozzarella on the inside of the bowl to give yourself a cheesy lining. 
  7. When the taco bowls are crisp and golden and the pumpkin is looking well done, remove everything from the oven and get set for plating up. Put each bowl on a plate, fill it up with salad and top with the pumpkin. Pour over the yoghurt sauce and add a dollop of avocado and you're done! 

Notes 

  • If you are vegan, you can change the yoghurt sauce to a tahini-based sauce. You may need to add a touch of water or oil to loosen it up a bit more so you can pour it over the bowls properly. 
  • This salad is also delicious minus the bowl. If only 2 of you are eating, store the rest for your lunch the next day and don't worry about the bowl. I promise you will still enjoy it. 
  • Go to town on additional extras such as toasted pumpkin seeds, chilli flakes, quarters of limes....you name it, you can add it. As you can see in the photos, radish was added to the salad and it was a good choice. 
Spicy Pumpkin and Black Bean Taco Bowl

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Roberta is trained in clinical nutritional medicine and has a strong belief that food is the most powerful form of medicine and should be used first and foremost where possible. If you would like more information on nutrition and how you can get the most out of your diet, contact Roberta at roberta@naturomedico.com