Meal-Prep These Deskside Tacos Tonight, Make Your Co-Workers Jealous Tomorrow

Photo: mbg Creative

Who says you can’t pack tacos for lunch? The key to taking this not-so-travel-friendly meal to work is packing each element separately and assembling them right before you’re ready to eat. Bonus points if you warm your tortillas in the office kitchen (you can even do this in a toaster!).

Makes 5 lunches

Ingredients for black beans

  • 2 (15-ounce) cans 365 Everyday Value® Organic Black Beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 tablespoon 365 Everyday Value® Double Concentrated Tomato Paste
  • ½ cup water
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • Salt, to taste

Ingredients for tomato radish salad

  • 1½ cups cherry tomatoes, quartered
  • 5 radishes, finely chopped
  • ¼ cup roughly chopped fresh cilantro leaves
  • 2 tablespoons finely sliced red onion
  • 1 lime, cut in half, reserving ½ to cut into wedges and bring with you
  • Salt, to taste

To serve

  • 4 to 6 365 Everyday Value® Organic Corn Tortillas
  • 1 avocado
  • Hot sauce of choice (a great secret weapon to keep at your desk)

Ingredients for butternut squash (optional)

  • Olive or grapeseed oil
  • 2 cups cubed butternut squash
  • Salt, to taste

Ingredients for chicken (optional)

  • Olive or grapeseed oil
  • 1 medium skinless chicken breast (about ½ pound)
  • Salt, to taste
  • ½ teaspoon 365 Everyday Value® Organic Ground Cumin

Method

  1. At home: In a large skillet, combine black beans, tomato paste, water, smoked paprika, and a generous pinch of salt. Cook over medium-high heat and bring to a bubble.
  2. Reduce heat to medium low and cook, stirring often, for 10 minutes until the water has reduced and the beans are warmed through. Taste for seasoning and add more salt as needed. Let them cool completely before packing in a small container (portion the beans out into 2 or 3 containers depending on how many lunches you’re planning for).
  3. Combine tomatoes, radishes, red onion, and cilantro in a medium bowl. Season with salt and some fresh lime juice. Pack this filling in its own small container. (Don’t forget to portion it out for 2 or 3 lunches.)
  4. Remember to pack: black beans, tomato radish salad, tortillas, avocado, a lime wedge, and hot sauce (or better yet, keep the hot sauce at your desk full-time).
  5. When you’re ready to eat, heat up your tortillas and black beans if desired (or just serve at room temp). Cut ¼ to ½ of the avocado into chunks or scoop out in pieces. Load tortillas with black beans, tomato-radish salad, avocado, another squeeze of lime and hot sauce.

More-veggies method

  1. In addition to the above, roast the butternut squash.
  2. Preheat oven to 400°F and oil a rimmed baking sheet with a thin layer of oil. Spread butternut squash pieces out on the baking sheet and bake for 25 to 30 minutes, stirring once or twice, until golden and tender when pierced with a fork. Allow the butternut to cool before packing it in with your black beans.

Omnivore method

  1. Instead of the black beans above, make cumin-spiced chicken breast (or you can include both).
  2. First season the chicken with salt and cumin on both sides. Then, in a large skillet, add enough oil to cover the base in a thin layer. Place over a medium-high heat and allow the skillet to heat up.
  3. Add chicken breast and reduce heat to medium. Sear on one side without moving for 1 minute. Flip the chicken breast, turn the heat down to low, and cover the skillet with a tight-fitting lid. Cook covered for 10 minutes—don’t lift the lid.
  4. Remove from heat and let stand in the skillet (still covered—again, no lifting the lid) for another 10 minutes.
  5. Make sure your chicken is done by checking there is no pink in the middle. Slice the chicken breast into thin strips and once cooled completely, you can pack the chicken in its own container or with the black beans.

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