I grew up eating chayote squash in most meals as a young kid and to this day I continue to love them! Mom would typically sauté them with tomato and onion and sometimes added cheese for extra flavor. Sure, the melted cheese no longer sounds appetizing as a grown vegan, but I always looked forward to this dish in my younger years!
Ever heard or seen a chayote squash? Well, it comes from the same family as squash and cucumbers. Their flavor resembles that of a cucumber but have a more subtle sweetness to them. Their smooth skin is edible and they typically come in pear-like shape with a base that looks like a clenched fist (I find this kind of amusing!). They also have a soft seed inside and like the skin, this is safe to eat.
Chayotes are low-calorie, providing only about 25 calories per cup. They are also an excellent source of folate – a B-vitamin that helps in the production of genetic material (DNA). This vitamin is important during times when our cells are rapidly growing or reproducing, such as in pregnancy, infancy and adolescence. Other vitamins and minerals found in chayotes are: Vitamin C, manganese, and potassium.
If you have yet to try chayotes, I encourage you to try them as a side dish or in tacos. These tacos are perhaps now a favorite of mine since they are both spicy with the serrano chili (I love spicy food!) and sweet from the chayote. If you’d like a salsa to add to your tacos, be sure to check out my Salsa Verde recipe – a perfect pair to these tacos!
Serves: 6-7 Tacos
Total Time: 20-30 minutes
6-7 yellow corn tortillas
1 tablespoon canola or vegetable oil
1 chayote squash, diced
1 tomato, diced
1 serrano chilli, thinly sliced (remove the seeds for less spicy)
¼ yellow onion, thinly sliced
2 cloves of garlic, finely diced
2 heaping tablespoons cilantro, chopped
1 cup black beans (rinse and drained if from can)
Salt and pepper
Prepare and chop all vegetables.
In a large pan, heat oil over medium-to-high heat. Then add all the vegetables to the pan and season with salt and pepper. Cook for about 12-15 minutes or until the chayote squash is well cooked (should be soft).
Once they are cooked, turn off the heat and add the cilantro.
Heat the corn tortillas on a skillet and begin assembling your tacos.
Notes: Garnish with your favorite salsa and/or avocado