On my trip to the Farmer's Market this week, I got lots of yummy stuff, including something called "calabacita," which means "little squash" in Spanish. Well, mine were not so little. From what I could gather, calabacita might mean a different kind of squash in different communities. At my market, asking the various Mexican vendors for "calabacita" resulted in me being handed this:
They look like a fat, medium-sized zucchini, wider at one end, and much lighter in color. The vendor told me they are "wetter" and "sweeter" than zucchini. I paid $1 for my 3 calabacita.
I bought these particular squash for a reason. My friend Polly had told me that her mother taught her to make calabacita tacos. They sounded SO good that I just had to try them! And I have to say, they really are great. One of the benefits of making calabacita tacos is the added nutrition; another is that you can stretch your meat, saving money AND lowering the amount of fat you are eating in your taco! The flavor of this squash goes very well with the taco meat. I highly recommend giving this a try. Polly said there was no written recipe, so gave me guidelines which I followed, but I also did things to reduce the fat along the way. The result is a great comfort food that can be served in taco shells or on tortillas, or used in a taco salad. Thank you very much to Polly and to Polly's mother for this wonderful recipe!
Start with about a pound of the leanest ground beef you have. Throw it in the pan and brown it. (I always put the browned beef into a colander and rinse it with very hot water to get rid of most of the fat). Put the beef back into the pan. Chop 2 or 3 calabacita into cubes and add them to the meat. You can add a chopped onion and some garlic at this point, or just use some onion and garlic powder. Add a can of low salt diced tomatoes and their juices (I pulsed mine in the blender because my kids have a tomato-chunk aversion). Start that simmering, adding more liquid if needed to keep it from burning. Add your usual taco seasonings (chili powder, cumin or a packet of taco seasoning... watch the salt!). Cover and let it simmer until the calabacita is very tender. Mine took about a half hour. Stir every so often, taste for seasonings and add as needed. Then uncover it and cook it a little longer to evaporate some of the liquid out. When it is thick enough for your liking, you're done! Load it up on taco shells or tortillas, with some raw spinach or romaine, chopped tomatoes, salsa, grated 2% cheddar, and lite sour cream. YUM!!!
Enjoy!! And tomorrow, I will have a little update on ME! Hope to see you then!
Think Of It As Your Job
3 hours ago