It might be one of our favourite meals but it does come with a warning – it will require the use of a few pots and pans and serving bowls – so forewarn (or don’t) whoever is on washing up. The preparation isn’t too involved but because there are a few components to it, I would recommend serving it up on a weekend or a night when you’re not under time pressure to get dinner on the table, and enlist the help of the kids in the kitchen too – there’s a carrot to grate, some lettuce to shred and guacamole to mix, and research shows that children who are involved in the preparation of foods – especially vegetables – develop more positive attitudes towards, and preferences for, those foods.
Meals like this that allow everybody to serve themselves are a great way to encourage kids to try a wider variety of foods, and at their own pace – they can take as little or as much from each bowl as they’d like. This is a real rainbow meal too, full of bright colourful foods, so its a great opportunity to explain to the kids why it’s important to “eat the rainbow” and that each of these colours holds special powers, like: orange will help them see in the dark, green will give them energy, purple will feed their brain and red will protect their heart.
As well as being meat free, these tortillas are also dairy free so there’s none of the cheese or sour cream you might expect to find, but if your kids need some grated cheese to get all the veggies across the line, then serve a little bowl of that too. Matt and I also add some hot sauce to ours.
I prefer to use these corn tortillas as they contain only corn and sea salt – almost all of the ones you’ll find at the supermarket are full of nasty additives and preservatives and high in salt. I’d suggest using a whole meal pita wrap instead if you can’t find them or serve them up as Black Bean Rainbow Bowls – we did this a lot when we were traveling.
Here’s what you’ll be making –
Black Bean Tomato Rice
Caramelised Red Cabbage
Smokey Coconut Corn
Black Bean Rainbow Tortillas
Makes: 12 – Prep/Cook time: Just over 1-hour
First up, make the guacamole and set it aside while you get on with the rest of the dishes. I’ve suggested getting the kids to help you grate the carrot and shred the lettuce later on in the recipe, but do that now too if you’re short on kitchen helpers so you can set them aside.
1 large avocado
2 Tbsp coconut yoghurt – use dairy if you want
1 Tbsp lemon juice
Salt to taste
Add all the ingredients to a small bowl and mash and mix to combine. Set aside.
I put the cabbage on to cook next as it needs around the 15-minutes in the pan, so if you’re good at multi-tasking, you can cook the Black Bean Tomato Rice at the same time.
1/2 head of red cabbage, thinly sliced
1/2 tsp sea salt
1 Tbsp ghee
Add the ghee to a frying pan over a medium to high heat then add the cabbage and sea salt. Leave the cabbage for around 5-minutes before giving it a stir – this will allow it to caramelise. Once you’ve stirred it around, leave it for another 5-minutes. For the final 5-minutes of cooking, give it a stir a few times so that all the cabbage is cooked and you have lots of nice crunchy brown/burnt bits (they’re the best bits). If the pan start to dry out and burn, add some more ghee.
While the Caramelised Cabbage is cooking, make the Black Bean Tomato Rice.
Black Bean Tomato Rice
400g canned black beans *preferably organic and BPA-free
2 cups cooked and cooled rice
1 cup tomato sauce (I make my own using the Thermomix recipe but you could use a jarred one or tomato passata)
1/2 tsp each of smoked paprika, cumin and coriander
1/4 cup water
Sea salt to taste
Optional: 1 tsp bone broth concentrate
Add the ghee to a medium sized saucepan (one that has a lid) over a low heat and add the spices so they can gently warm in the ghee before adding the remainder of the ingredients. Mix to combine and allow it to come to gentle simmer – keep an eye on it so it doesn’t stick to the bottom of the pan. Once cooked, turn the heat off and pop the lid on to keep it hot while you cook the corn next.
Your Caramelised Cabbage should be done by now so put it in a serving bowl and cover to keep warm. Get one of the kids to grate the carrot and shred the lettuce for you while you make the Smoky Coconut Corn.
Smoky Coconut Corn
3 steamed corn cobs, kernels removed *preferably organic (frozen corn kernels also work here)
100ml coconut milk
1/2 tsp each of smoked paprika and garlic powder
Add your ghee to a small saucepan over a low heat and add the smoked paprika and garlic so they can warm in the ghee before adding the corn kernels. Turn up the heat a little and stir the corn so it gets covered in the spiced ghee. Add the coconut milk and let it gently simmer until the coconut milk reduces by half – you want a creamy corn mixture with just a little liquid (don’t let it boil – the high heat will split the coconut milk… you’ll still be bale to eat it, but it wont be a creamy consistency).
Whilst the corn is cooking, start warming your Corn Tortillas as per the packet instructions – I do mine in a frying pan for a few minutes. Keep the tortillas on a plate and cover with a tea towel so they stay soft and warm.
Place all the dishes on the table with serving spoons/tongs and let everyone help themselves!