Thursday, May 12, 2011

Chickpea and Spinach Vegetarian Tacos

These were the best accidental Cinco De Mayo tacos I ever could have imagined. You see, on Sunday I planned some meals for the week and made my usual grocery trips. It wasn't until mid-week that I realized I had planned to make Mexican food on Thursday, May 5. I tried to convince Joe I need to make margaritas to go with these delicious tacos, but for some reason he thought that was silly. No matter what you're drinking, though, these are some unique and delicious vegetarian tacos. The filling is healthy and flavorful, and the fancy toppings make these something special. I can guarantee this recipe will be gracing our kitchen multiple times this summer, and one day I'll finally see how well it pairs with a frosty lime beverage (apparently reserved for weekends!).

Chickpea and Spinach Tacos
from Epicurious

Serves 4

8 to 10 corn or flour tortillas

1 Tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon ground ancho chile (or chili powder)
4 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
3 small shallot lobe, thinly sliced
1 (15 oz) can crushed tomatoes in their juices
1 (15 oz) can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
2 to 2 1/2 cups lightly packed spinach leaves, stacked, rolled, and thinly sliced
Kosher or sea salt
Freshly ground black pepper

1 avocado, peeled, seeded, and cut into chunks
4 ounce feta cheese, crumbled
4 tablespoon roasted pumpkin seeds (pepitas)
Hot pepper sauce, such as Tabasco
1 lime


Warm the tortillas and wrap them in aluminum foil to keep warm.
Pour the oil into a medium skillet over medium heat. When the oil starts to shimmer, add the ground ancho, stir to combine, and cook until it sizzles and becomes very fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add the garlic and shallot and cook until the vegetables start to soften and slightly brown, 4 to 6 minutes.

Stir in the tomato and chickpeas and cook, stirring occasionally, until the tomato softens and starts to break down. Add the spinach and cook until the spinach wilts, 1 to 2 minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Lay the tortillas out on a plate and divide the chickpea-spinach mixture among them. Top with the avocado and feta and sprinkle with the pumpkin seeds. Dash a little Tabasco on each taco, squeeze the lime over them, and enjoy!


To roast the pumpkin seeds, warm one Tablespoon of oil in a saute pan. When warm, add the pumpkin seeds, and a sprinkle of salt. Stir the seeds until they start to smell fragrant, about 4 or 5 minutes. Careful, they will pop a little!    **Be sure to buy pepitas, which are just the green inside part of the pumpkin seed. Regular seeds from a carving pumpkin are way too rough and stringy!**


  1. um....would you care to fly to europe and cook this for me? i could prob. do it just fine but this way sounds better.