babysitting · Beans · dinner · easy · gluten free · healthy · lunch · quick · squash · Tacos · vegan · Vegetables

Butternut Squash Tacos and Babysitting?

I babysat some kiddos this weekend. Can you believe it? Oh, wait… y’all probably don’t know this, but I’m not really a fan of kids. I mean, as a whole… there are several kids I know personally that I love to pieces. Still, I’m not one to babysit much. Mostly just because I’m not the first person any parent thinks of when they’re in need of someone to watch their children. They usually choose someone that is more “kid friendly.” I get it.

So I watched my friend’s kids while she was at a wedding reception last weekend. They are 1 1/2 and 6 years old. The 6-year-old is fucking awesome. Coolest kid around – likes to play with trains and snuggle. This kid is my fucking jam. The toddler is newish to me. We haven’t developed our rapport yet. She’s cute, sassy as fuck, and hates being contained, which I wholeheartedly respect. She’s also desperate to touch anything and everything that is dangerous or fragile and cries/screams when she doesn’t get her way. I have a healthy fear of her, and she has an unhealthy fear of nothing. I bet my mom is reading this right now with a smirk on her face. She’s thinking, “Finally! A taste of her own medicine.” I was not an “easy” child.

I spent most of my 4ish hours with them just trying to keep her from electrocuting herself (she loved sticking her baby fingers into the outlets) or from smashing her fingers in the closet doors. At one point I distracted her by building a blanket fort. The 6-year-old was all about it. The toddler loved it, too… but only because she wanted to run through it with her arms up, ripping down every blanket I put up while screech-giggling. Her brother patiently followed behind her, re-securing everything she ripped down. Eventually I had to break it to him, “Sorry, dude… I don’t think this is going to happen.” He was cool about it, clearly used to her antics.

As soon as I pulled all the blankets down, she went right back to aiming for the outlets. I’d pull her away and sit her down somewhere, which would prompt her to either get up to try again (like a toddler boomerang), or scream and cry. You know how some people give babies whatever they want because they can’t stand it when they’re sad? I am not one of those people. I am fucking immune to that shit. I just looked at her sobbing little face and said sarcastically, “Gee, I’m so sorry I won’t let you electrocute yourself tonight, but my one job is to keep you alive. Don’t make this harder than it needs to be.”

I swear to God, the look on her face said, “Fuck you, bitch. I own you.” Then she got up and headed back to the outlet.

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My AcroYoga group is putting together a little fundraiser dinner to raise money for one of the teachers to go to training this winter. We decided to make tacos, and I am in charge of the vegetarian option. I thought I better practice making this recipe at home before making it for a room full of people next month. Hence, this recipe. It’s a hodge-podge of recipes I found online, and I’m actually quite proud of it. It’s seasonal and delightful. I had a friend of mine taste-test it a few weeks ago, and they agreed that it is delicious. They also had the genius idea of adding an egg to the leftovers for breakfast tacos. DO IT.

Butternut Squash Tacos

1 medium sized butternut squash, peeled and cubed

1 can (15oz) black beans, drained and rinsed

10-12 corn tortillas

Olive oil

Salt and pepper

Paprika

Cumin

Garlic powder

1/2 purple cabbage, shredded

2 large handfuls of green onion, chopped

1 lime

Optional: Salsa, avocado, sour cream

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Toss the squash with a heavy drizzle of olive oil and a good sprinkling of salt, pepper, paprika, cumin, and garlic powder (there is no reason to measure any of this – I mean, honestly, just add as much as you fucking want). Spread the squash out in an even layer on a baking sheet. Bake for 40 minutes, stirring around once halfway through. Once there are about 5 minutes left, toss the beans in with the squash. Add a little extra seasoning and bake for the remaining 5 minutes.

While everything is baking, mix the cabbage and green onions in a large bowl. Cut the lime in half and squeeze over the cabbage. Add a heavy drizzle of olive oil (just fucking wing it) and some salt and pepper. Mix well.

Heat the tortillas over an open flame on the stove, slightly charring each side. Fill the tortillas with a scoop of the squash and beans, and top with the cabbage mixture (along with whatever else you like).

Shovel into your face hole.

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This is how it should look in real life: balanced on your knee while you search for something to watch on Netflix.

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