I’ve got a thing for Mexican food. I love the spectrum of flavors, from the spicy peppers to the citrusy lime…and everything in between. The “in between” here, involves salty, creamy cheese, herby cilantro and smokey chipotle. Something like this taco can cover all of my tastebuds’ demands!
This is a meal I usually make in a giant skillet on the stove top (see Notes below). But, it’s summer…and I’m sneaky! Grilling the veggies gets me that great charred flavor that I love, but it also gets my husband out on the deck, basically cooking the whole dinner, while I act really busy in the kitchen with a Frozen Pineapple Margarita! I really hope he doesn’t read this post or my days of slacking are over.
Chipotle Grilled Vegetable Tacos
3 – 4 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 teaspoon chipotle powder
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1/8 teaspoon cumin
dash of cayenne pepper
1 clove garlic, minced
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
2 medium zucchinis, sliced lengthwise into slices
2 medium yellow squash, sliced lengthwise into slices
2 portabella mushrooms, de-stemmed and wiped clean with a damp towel
1 large red pepper
1 large Vidalia or other sweet onion, peeled and sliced into thick rings
12 flour tortillas, taco size
4 ounces non-fat or light sour cream
1 avocado, sliced
4 ounces queso blanco, crumbled
Your favorite salsa or taco sauce
a few sprigs of cilantro
Preheat your grill to high heat.
Combine the olive oil, chipotle powder, paprika, cumin, cayenne, garlic, salt and pepper in a small bowl. Using a pastry brush, brush all of the veggies with the olive oil mixture and place them all on a large platter.
The onions and portabella mushrooms should go on the grill first, as they take longer to cook. Then grill the zucchini, squash and red pepper. Once all of the veggies are done, put them on a platter and warm up the tortillas on the grill. This just takes seconds on each side. Stack them up on a plate to keep each other warm.
You’ll need to slice the mushrooms and the red pepper for serving. Cut the mushrooms first to allow the pepper to cool down. Slice them fairly thin. Then remove the charred skin from the pepper. It should come off really easily. Discard the core and stem and slice the pepper into thin strips.
To assemble the tacos, spread a bit of sour cream on the taco, add some veggies, top with some avocado slices, crumbled queso blanco, some salsa, a squeeze of lime and a sprinkle of cilantro.
- Use this recipe as a guide. You don’t have to use these exact veggies. Use what you have on hand or what you like best. Same goes for the toppings.
- If you don’t have chipotle powder, use chili powder. The chipotle adds a nice smokey flavor and a little kick of heat. You can play around with the spices to make it your own.
- I grill the portabellas and the red pepper whole to retain moisture and because chasing little bits around on a grill can be challenging! If you have a grill pan, you can go ahead and slice them up and cook them in that.
- Be generous with your cooking time for the portabellas. They get “meatier” as they cook and less watery. If they are undercooked, you may end up with a watery taco.
- To make these tacos vegan, omit the sour cream and either omit the cheese altogether or use either a vegan cheese or a bit of nutritional yeast. As for the tortilla, I’ve heard that Mission brand is made with no animal products. If you know of other vegan tortillas, let me know!
- To prepare this on a stovetop, slice all of the veggies, add the mushrooms to a pan with the olive oil first and get them nice and brown. Add the remaining veggies, and sauté until somewhat softened. I like the veggies to have a bite to them, but cook them longer if you’d like. Then add the spices and toss to coat before serving.