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RECIPES: Try Vegetarian Tacos or Dessert Tacos for National Taco Day

By Emily Frost | October 2, 2015 9:05am | Updated on October 2, 2015 6:03pm

NEW YORK CITY — Los Angeles may own the distinction of having the best and widest variety of cheap tacos around, but that doesn't mean we New Yorkers should take a pass on celebrating National Taco Day.

This "holiday" is set for Sunday, Oct. 4 and in honor of the festivities, we're sharing two recipes from Dos Caminos, created by the restaurant's Executive Chef Ivy Stark. 

Tacos are typically filled with meat or fish, but Stark offers a lighter, healthier version: her refried white beans-based Vegetales Tacos, that come paired with a cucumber pico de gallo. 

And if you're feeling more indulgent, Stark also created a dessert taco made of churros, filled with ice cream and dusted with cinnamon and sugar.

Vegetales Tacos by Executive Chef Ivy stark

Serves 4

Ingredients:

12 handmade corn tortillas (store-bought may be substituted)
12 ounces refried white beans (see recipe)
12 spears grilled jumbo asparagus
2 ripe California Hass avocados, grilled and cut into twelve slices
12 teaspoons cucumber pico de gallo (see recipe)
12 teaspoons queso fresco

Refried White Beans

Ingredients:

1 cups dried cannellini beans
2 serrano chiles, split
1/2 gallons water
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 medium yellow onion, diced
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
2 teaspoons lemon olive oil
1 teaspoon salt

Method:

  1. Wash the cannellini beans in a colander under the sink.
  2. Spread the beans out on a sheet pan or counter and sort through and discard any stray dirt, stones, or shriveled beans.
  3. Bring the water to a boil in a medium stock pot. Add the beans and the serranos.
  4. Reduce to a simmer, cover, and cook, skimming foam from the top occasionally, approximately 1 hour and 45 minutes.
  5. To test for doneness, taste three or four of the smaller beans. They should be cooked through and creamy inside.
  6. Drain the beans, and reserve the liquid.
  7. Mash the beans, along with some of the bean cooking liquid, with a potato masher or the back of a wooden spoon until creamy but not completely mashed.
  8. Heat the olive oil in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Sauté the onion with the oregano and salt until golden brown, about 10 minutes.
  9. Add the mashed beans and cook, stirring occasionally. Cook until the liquid evaporates and the beans form a mass that pulls away from the sides and bottom of the pan, about 10 minutes.
  10. Puree in the blender, while adding the lemon olive oil in a steady stream.
  11. Season with salt as needed.

Cucumber Pico de Gallo

Ingredients:

2 kirby cucumbers, ends trimmed and then peeled
1 small red onion, finely diced
2 roma tomatoes, finely diced
1 jalapeno pepper, finely chopped
1 serrano chile, finely chopped
¼ cup freshly squeezed lime juice
2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon lemon olive oil
salt

Method:

  1. Finely dice the cucumbers, combine with the remaining ingredients and season with salt.
  2. Let stand 30 minutes before serving.

To Assemble Tacos:

  1. Warm the corn tortillas by placing them on a warm griddle for 30 seconds.
  2. Place 1 ounce white beans into each of the corn tortillas.
  3. Cut asparagus in half and place on top of white beans.
  4. Place 1 slice of grilled avocado in each tortilla.
  5. Top avocado with 1 teaspoons of cucumber pico in each taco.
  6. Sprinkle with queso fresco.

Churro Tacos by Executive Chef Ivy Stark

Ingredients:

pastry bag with tip for piping filling
1 cup water
2 ½ tbsp granulated sugar
½ tsp salt
1 tsp of ground cinnamon
2 tbsp soy oil
1 cup all purpose flour
2 quarts vegetable or soy oil for frying
2 scoops of your favorite ice cream for the filling
1 tablespoon of hot fudge

For Dusting:

½ cup granulated sugar
1tsp ground cinnamon

Method:

  1. In a small sauce pan over medium heat, combine water, 2 ½ tbsp of sugar, salt, tsp of ground cinnamon and 2 tbsp soy oil.  Bring to a boil and remove from heat.  Stir in flour until mixture forms a ball.
  2. Place mixture into pastry bag (or ziplock bag with a small cut in one corner) and pipe churros in a circular pattern. Be sure to pipe them so that each outer circle touches the inner. You are making churro disks.
  3. Heat oil for frying in deep skillet to 375 degrees. 
  4. Place churros in oil for a few seconds until they are warm and pliable. Using two mesh skimmers manipulate the churros to form a taco shape and continue to fry until golden brown. 
  5. Drain the oil and toss in the dusting cinnamon sugar.
  6. Scoop your ice cream into the churros taco and drizzle with hot fudge. 
  7. Enjoy!