I've long thought that there's very little difference between good meat and good meat substitutes - there is no substitute for great meat. Tacos are a classic case of this, normally recipes call for a pound of tubed meal browned, and seasoned with some odd collection of salts.
At our house this is a tough bird to make fly for the two reasons I mentioned. If I'm buying meat I want it to be good and mixing cheap meat with cheap seasoning for a dinner that costs six bucks just for that course is idiotic. Enter beans. Why can't I use beans with some basic spices instead of the pound of ground round?
Well it turns out you can and the taste differences is negligible. All you need to do is rinse those beans of their salt ridden bath that keeps them edible until 2022, add them to a pan with some water and seasoning and then cook until the water is done. My cooked a little longer because I was trying to serve them hot with the rest of dinner which was moving slower than a tractor on county road F and had a bit of the refried beans texture.
Once you add the salsa, cheese, sour cream, cilantro, rice and whatever else - your protein doesn't need to stand on it's own and the cheap ground round isn't going to a very good job at that anyways. Swap out your $3.50 meat for a can of $.70 beans with a few added spices and your Taco Tuesday will taste better, be healthier, and the money you can save can go towards a decent tequila for the margaritas you're making.
On Silber Zalman
So I am not a fan of foreign foods and I usually just stick to what I know. You know like things that I am familiar with. On a recent trip to Germany I was introduced to Apfelstrudel at the Heidelberg Pastry Shoppe. Now I had no idea what that is and the name sounded odd but hey I was feeling a little adventurous and wanted to try it. I think it was just the atmosphere. I was pleasantly surprised not only by the soft sweet crust but the sweet baked apple inside. The Apfelstrudel I learnt is actually the national dish of Austria. It is a rich pastry baked with a delicious apple filling with sugar sprinkled on top. It makes the mouth water just by looking at it and the first warm sweet bite I had made me think of curling up in front of a fire with a good book. Of course I figured this is actually what everyone else knows as apple strudel. The recipe is already in my notebook and it is the first thing I am going to try when I reach back home.