Can’t a girl get a taco?!?
A few weeks ago, I had a startling realization: I couldn’t remember the last time I had a taco. Like an American taco, because you know our tacos are most likely a far cry from their spanish cousins. As a vegan for 3 years and a vegetarian for a million and a half, I hadn’t had a spicy, comforting, Americanized taco smothered in heavenly toppings for more than a decade. You know, an Americanized taco containing the traditional zesty flavor you typically find in a ground beef taco at any deliciously greasy mexican place around the country. I have had plenty of veggie tacos, but none of them had that same flavor, or texture, as their ground beef counterparts and I decided enough is enough.
Below is a recipe for a traditional American taco with a “ground beef” style filling made out of black beans. You will be amazed at what happens to these beans during baking, so don’t give me the stink eye while you’re spreading bean paste on a pan. Your mouth will thank me later.
Ground Black Bean Tacos
olive oil for brushing
1 clove garlic
2 cups cooked, rinsed black beans
¼ cup rolled oats
¼ cup cornmeal
1 ½ tbs chili powder
½ tsp red pepper flakes
½ tsp salt
1 tsp black pepper
½ tbs paprika
1 tbs cumin
1 small onion
juice of 1 lime
6 tortillas or taco shells
Guacamole, salsa, jalapenos, fresh veggies, etc. You know what you like on your tacos. I’m not your mom!
Step one: Preheat oven to 400. While this is preheating, put garlic and onion in food processor and pulse until minced. Add beans, oats, cornmeal, spices and lime juice and pulse until the mixture is blended into a paste, but there are still some chunks.
Step two: Oil pan very lightly and spread bean mixture onto it. Cover with another light (light!) dusting of oil. If you don’t think you can do this with a light hand, use some spray oil if you must.
Step three: Bake for 15 minutes. Then mix with a spatula so that crispy sides are now facing down. Bake for another 15 minutes. During the last 5, throw your tortillas in there to warm up—nothin’ worse than a cold tortilla.
Step four: Remove beans and tortillas from oven, let cool 2-3 minutes and load up your tacos. Yum!
Okay, tell me how you like your tacos! I prefer mine doused in Sriracha and on their way to my mouth.