Black Bean Tacos

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We are a taco-lovin’ house, I can’t lie. Whether it’s a classic like beef, chicken, pork or fish, or ‘weird’, like lengua (tongue), we’ll eat it with gusto!  But VEGETARIAN tacos? Definitely not something I would try, normally.

But in my normal meal-planning search of Pinterest one afternoon, I came across this recipe from Food Love, and I was intrigued. I had most of the ingredients in my pantry already, and what remained to be purchased was cheap, so what’s to lose?

As I was making the beans, I made a few small additions, and WOW! These were fantastic on their own, so I could only imagine they’d be crazy good in a crispy taco.

The result. Freaking…AMAZING. So amazing, in fact, I made them again 2 days later, and now have a half-batch of beans in the freezer for a weekend lunch later.

You start with the beans. These take 10 minutes start to finish, literally! You start with your spices (onion powder, taco seasoning, cumin, and chili powder):

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Next, add your garlic. I like to mix it in with the spices – makes for an easy saute in the next step.

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In a large, nonstick skillet, heat olive oil over medium heat. Saute the garlic/spice blend for 2 minutes (I forgot to take a picture – maybe I’ll add one the next time I make these)

Add the drained/rinsed canned beans, tomato juice, and salt.

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Allow to simmer for 2-3 minutes to reduce. This is a good time to chop up your cilantro!  If you’re one of those poor souls who think cilantro tastes like soap, I’m sorry!  You can leave it out if that’s the case, I won’t judge…much. haha

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Check on the beans. The liquid should be reduced by about half or a little more.

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Stir in the cilantro, and you’re done!  Already! Told ya it was easy… These are amazing as a side, too. But today, we taco!

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Warm up 4 corn tortillas at a time (you don’t want them to cool as you fill them) in your handy-dandy tortilla warmer and the microwave. If you don’t have one (the horror!), wrap a few in a damp paper towel to keep them from drying out when you microwave them.

Roll out a large piece of parchment paper. Working one tortilla at a time (keep the rest set aside to stay warm until you need it), fill one side of each tortilla with about 1 1/2 – 2 tablespoons of the bean filling, then sprinkle on some crumbled cotija cheese, and fold over to create your taco! If the taco cracks, the tortilla has cooled too much. They’ll still fry okay, but they won’t look as pretty, some filling will fall out, and they’ll be harder to flip!

Premake as many as you plan on cooking. One batch of beans will make approx. 16 tacos.

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In a small skillet on medium heat, warm up 1 Tbsp vegetable oil. Working 2 tacos at a time, cook 2 minutes per side.

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Enjoy immediately! These keep warm nicely in a 200-degree oven if needed. They do need some kind of dip – we like guacamole! The original recipe does include an avocado lime dip, but we went our own route.

Black Bean Tacos

Inspired by Food Love

Serves 4-6

Beans

  • 2 cans black beans (low sodium), drained and rinsed
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tsp taco seasoning
  • 1/2 tsp onion powder
  • 1/2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/2 tsp chili powder
  • 2 tsp minced garlic
  • 6oz tomato juice
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup chopped cilantro, loosely packed

Tacos

  • Vegetable oil (for frying)
  • 16 corn tortillas
  • 1 package crumbled cotija cheese (extra can be frozen!)

Directions

  1. Mix together garlic and spices (except salt) in small bowl.
  2. In a large nonstick skillet over medium heat, heat olive oil. Add garlic, spice mix and saute 2 minutes.
  3. Add drained/rinsed beans, tomato juice and salt. Simmer 3-5 minutes until liquid reduces by at least half.
  4. Stir in chopped cilantro and remove from heat.
  5. To prepare the tacos, warm 4 corn tortillas at a time in a tortilla warmer. Place a damp paper towel on the bottom, and heat 4 at a time for 50-60 seconds. If you don’t have a tortilla warmer, warm 2 at a time in a damp paper towel for 20-30 seconds.
  6. On a large piece of parchment paper, prepare the tacos – spread approx 1 1/2 – 2 Tbsp of the bean mix over half of the tortilla, sprinkle cotija cheese on top, then fold over to create the taco. Repeat until all are prepared.
  7. In a small skillet over medium heat, add 1 Tbsp vegetable oil.
  8. Once oil is heated, add 2 tacos, and fry for 2 minutes per side.
  9. Enjoy immediately with your choice of dipping sauce! Some ideas – salsa, sour cream, guacamole. (note: to keep warm while frying additional batches, line sheet pan with parchment paper or foil, and keep in 200-degree oven)
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