Watermelon Margaritas and Grilled Veggie Tacos with Lime & Jalapeño-spiked Black Beans (gluten-free, vegan)
I am so excited to share this late summer celebration of a dinner. These smokey, charred vegetables snuggle in tight with lime and jalapeño-spiked black beans, guacamole, and fresh tomatoes in the crunchy leaves of red cabbage to make little “boats” full of yumminess. Is that a word? Serve them up with these watermelon margaritas and you have a party! Just in time for the unofficial end of summer weekend, before school starts back up (even if you are no longer a student, and don’t even have children of your own, something about September always feels like the beginning of a new school year).
Also these margaritas! I am the first to say that I am no bartender and usually, my libation creations aren’t spectacular but these watermelon margaritas are so, so good! The watermelon juice doesn’t require any special equipment (no juicer required, just any old blender and a sieve). Please make these! I have been imagining the tacos and margaritas in my head all week, and I am SO happy with how they turned out. Send out summer with this delicious meal. Yum!
Grilled Veggie Tacos with Lime & Jalapeño-spiked Black Beans (gluten-free, vegan, nut-free, grain-free)
Serves 2-3, multiple as needed
Smokey Grilled Vegetables
2 tbsp grapeseed or avocado oil
½ tsp sea salt
¼ tsp smoked paprika (mild)
1 medium sweet potato
1 red pepper
½ each (or just 1 whole) of green zucchini and yellow summer squash
½ a small red onion
Slice sweet potatoes into rounds, about ½” thick. Place in a steamer over simmering water for about 20 minutes, until tender (but not mushy!). Set aside.
Cut zucchini and/or summer squash into thirds, and then halve each piece. Cut the halved pieces into 4 (so you end up with fat matchsticks, about 2-3” long). Place in a medium-sized bowl. Cut the onion into 4 pieces, and add to bowl. Seed the pepper, and cut in half. Slice each half into 6-8 pieces, and add to the bowl. Add oil, salt, and smoked paprika and toss to coat. Remove coated vegetables from the bowl (leaving remaining oil in the bottom), and place on a barbecue grill sheet (this just makes grilling vegetables on the grill easier, as there are small holes so nothing falls through – if you don’t have one, you can carefully grill the vegetables directly on the grill, just being careful not to lose any between the grates!). Gently add the steamed sweet potatoes to the bowl and carefully toss with the remaining oil. Add the sweet potatoes to the grill sheet. Grill over medium heat for 5-10 minutes, until char marks appear and vegetables are cooked (but peppers and onions maintain a bit of a bite). Remove from heat. Note: if your barbecue runs on the hot side, like ours, use the upper grill shelf.
Lime & Jalapeño-spiked Black Beans
1 small can (15 oz) black beans (I use a BPA-free variety), drained and rinsed well
a sprinkle of sea salt
1 tsp olive oil
juice of ½ a lime
1 tbsp minced red onion
1” jalapeño, minced (use more if you like things spicy)
Stir together all ingredients. Taste and adjust if needed (more salt? more lime?). Set aside.
1 ripe avocado
2 tbsp chopped cilantro
2 tbsp freshly-juiced lime
a good pinch of sea salt
Mash all ingredients together. Add more lime or salt if needed.
A small red cabbage (alternatively, you could use chard leaves for a softer shell, or your favourite (gluten-free if needed) tortilla)
salsa, for serving
1 small tomato, diced
green onion, finely chopped
Gently remove as many red cabbage leaves as you need, being careful not to rip them. Trim the thick stalk with a paring knife (not cutting through, just slicing 1-2” off the end of the stalk). Wash and dry.
Spoon some guacamole into each cabbage leaf. Top with a couple spoonfuls of Lime & Jalapeño-spiked Black Beans. Add a few of each vegetable, followed by salsa, extra guacamole, cilantro, tomatoes and green onions.
Cabbage leaves are pretty sturdy, but they can be a little messy. Serve with napkins and margaritas!
Serves 4. You could keep these alcohol-free if you prefer, the watermelon and lime juices make a delicious combination!
2 limes, juiced
1-2 tsp agave or raw honey
1 small watermelon
sea salt, for rims
extra limes, cut into wedges, for serving
100% agave tequila (I used Don Julio Blanco Tequila)
Chop watermelon into 1-2” cubes. Put 10 cubes into the freezer (to use as icecubes for serving - optional) and add about 8 cups to a blender. Blend until completely pureed. Using a fine mesh sieve set over a bowl, slowly pour watermelon puree through the sieve, discarding the foamy pulp that remains. Do this two more times, so that your juice is free of pulp. This makes approximately 4 cups of watermelon juice.
Whisk agave or raw honey into the juice from two limes. Taste – it should be tart but just slightly sweet.
Swipe the rim of each glass with lime wedge, and lightly roll rim in sea salt to cover. For each margarita, put 2 ice cubes and 2-3 frozen watermelon cubs in each prepared glass. Add 1 oz tequila, 3 tbsp sweetened lime juice mixture, and top with watermelon juice. Serve!