Cooking

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zucchinitacos

We eat tacos around here all of the time. We eat a lot of bean tacos, quite a few meat tacos, and a few egg tacos when the mood strikes. There is just no reason, in my opinion, not to eat tacos just about every day. I probably would have said that even before we moved to Texas.

Since I make tacos from whatever we happen to have around, summer squash seemed a good fit. We’ve got loads of it this time of year and our neighbors have dropped off a basket or two of their own. The problem is, not all of the children like it as much as Stewart and I do. But they do love tacos.

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So when I was shredding some up for zucchini bread the other day, I thought I’d just go ahead and shred a couple of extras and throw them into the meat mixture for lunch. The tacos were delicious, topped with avocado and radish. The best part was that my squash-loathing four-year-old didn’t even notice it and scarfed two big tacos before I even started on my own plate.

A word on fixings. While the taco filling itself is delicious and our favorite homemade corn tortillas from this masa could make any taco sing, fixings can also make or break a taco. We like something a little zippy in our taco, often in the form of a spicier sauerkraut. On this day Abram’s fermented carrots happened to be on the table and made a great crunchy, tangy addition alongside the radish and avocado.

But it’s hard to go wrong here.

Shredded Zucchini & Beef Tacos

Ingredients

  • 2 Tablespoons lard or coconut oil
  • 1 pound grass-fed ground beef
  • 1 small red onion, minced
  • 2 packed cups shredded zucchini or summer squash
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • salt and cayenne to taste
  • juice of one lime

Directions

Heat a skillet over medium heat and add the cooking fat and beef. Cook for approximately five minutes, breaking up the meat into small crumbles. Add the onion, zucchini, garlic, spices, and salt. Continue cooking for approximately ten more minutes or until the meat is thoroughly cooked and the zucchini has had most of its moisture cooked out.

Remove from heat and add lime juice. Stir and taste for seasoning. Add additional salt and cayenne as desired.

Serve with fresh tortillas and favorite taco toppings.

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We harvested the fava bean patch in its entirety in order to make way for 80-some sweet potato slips. We’ve eaten a few more meals off of those and the rest are in the solar dehydrator to become seed for this fall.

There are summer squash from the chicken field, summer squash from our neighbors, carrots from Abram’s garden, and garlic from the harvest. The first green beans were picked this week and so most meals look like a mess of all of these sauteed up with either a protein or a starch, with a salad from Abram’s garden or a jar of ferment on the side.

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That is precisely what this meal consisted of – noodles, home-canned sausage from the Siffords, fava beans thrown into the pasta water, and a bunch of squash and carrots and loads of garlic. Not pictured are the many jars of fermented squash, cucumber pickles, and kraut. And this week it looks like I may have to bust out the canner to get it all put up.

Back when we were suburban homesteaders, I used to spend all of May through October putting up all that I could find in our own garden and the farmers markets. In the nearly five years since we’ve lived here, this is probably the fullest our harvest baskets have been, the most rain a spring has brought, and the most familiar a June has felt.

And boy was it nice to cross any and all vegetables off the grocery list this week.