Sunday, November 21, 2010

Bean Tacos

Beans are one of the cheapest and most readily available sources of protein. This is a great recipe because not only does it make a lot of food, but it's really easy to change it up--add crumbled tofu, experiment with different types of beans, throw in some tempeh--you can even use 'meat' crumbles (Boca makes a good one).

Spice mixture:
1 Tbsp chile powder (I use 365 brand. You can use whatever you have on hand.)
1/2 tsp garlic powder
2 tsp paprika
1 1/2 tsp cumin
1/4 tsp red pepper flakes or cayenne
1/4 tsp chipotle powder*
Dash of oregano

Other stuff!
1 onion (I like red onions because they're milder than white or yellow, but you can use whatever you have on hand)
2 cloves garlic
1 bell pepper (optional)
1 small jalapeno*
1 20 oz can of black or pinto beans (or 1 1/2 regular sized cans of beans. Or a block of tofu and a can of beans. Or a bag of veggie crumbles. Or whatever you want. This is where you can get creative!)
1/4 c water
2 Tbsp veg oil

*Use one of the other, not both. Unless you want nuclear heat levels. I use both when I make it for myself, but when I'm serving it to other people, I keep it fairly mild

The Recipe!

Chop the onion and peppers into a medium/small dice. Mince the garlic (or grate it. Or put it in a garlic press. Or use another 1 tsp or garlic powder.)

Heat the skillet with the oil over medium-high heat, then throw in your veggies. You're going to cook the veggies until the onion is just starting to brown, about 10 minutes.

While your aromatics are frying, rinse off your beans. Add them, along with your spice mixture and the water, to the skillet. Give it a stir and mash up the beans a little. You're not going for the texture of refried beans, but you want this stuff to stay on your tortilla when you serve it! You should still have mostly whole beans. Allow everything to cook until the water has evaporated.

Serve on tortillas with your favorite taco fixins! I like salsa fresca, guacamole and jalapeno cole slaw.

Protip: I like to make a huge batch of this with black beans. It works well as a burrito filling as well. And my all time favorite thing to do is throw it in the food processor the next day with the juice of one lime and a little bit of water, and make it into black bean dip. Your friends will never know they're eating your leftovers.

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