Kale & White Bean Tacos with Chipotle Fruit Salsa

Kale and White Bean Tacos with Chipotle Fruit Salsa

Let’s talk about being busy.

Busy-ness: I never thought I was one of those people that liked it. You know, the kind of person that fills their calendar to the brim with commitments until they have no room to breathe. I mean, I guess that’s everyone to a certain extent these days (and it’s certainly a hot topic), but frankly, I’m just too lazy to be one of the extreme cases.  I like to have time to myself; I hate the feeling of a million demands on me and my time.

But lately, I’ve started to think that maybe I’m more like those overcommitters than I thought. I’ve noticed that being busy makes me feel important and that, actually, I have no happy medium between busy-ness and boredom. If I’m not crazy-stressed, I’m automatically bored. What! How can this be?

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Red Lentil Tacos

Red Lentil Tacos

It’s all about the first impression.

A while ago, I tried out a (bad) lentil taco recipe, and forever dismissed lentils and tacos as being all wrong for each other in terms of flavor and texture.

WRONG. (That’s me making the buzzer sound. Sometimes I get frustrated with how many sounds I apparently use to communicate that just don’t come across when typed.)

Red Lentil Tacos

Anyway, it turns out that lentils and tacos are so totally RIGHT for each other. It just took me far too long to discover it because of the rude first impression lentil tacos made on me. I don’t know what got me thinking about them again, but I recently gave them another shot, and discovered there are a few secrets to making my ideal lentil taco:

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Grilled Asparagus and Crispy Black Bean Tacos

Grilled Asparagus and Crispy Black Bean Tacos

I couldn’t let the spring pass by without posting at least one asparagus recipe.

Grilled Asparagus and Crispy Black Bean Tacos

The blog world goes gaga for asparagus, but until recently, I wasn’t the biggest fan. Then I discovered that when you grill or roast asparagus, it turns into an entirely different vegetable.

I should have known. I seriously don’t think I’ve ever met a grilled vegetable I didn’t like.

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Black Bean Lettuce Wrap Tacos with Mango Avocado Salsa

Black Bean Lettuce Wrap Tacos with Mango Avocado Salsa

Hi there! How is Monday morning treatin’ ya?

We had quite the weekend. Between entertaining friends who stayed with us all week, my birthday on Thursday, a friend’s housewarming party on Friday, my company’s annual party on Saturday, and 20 inches of fresh powder in the mountains (that Nate took advantage of but I did not), we were pretty much out of commission by the time Sunday morning rolled around. These days I have to admit I don’t usually go out on both Friday and Saturday nights (and definitely not wearing monstrous heels), so this weekend was a reminder that I’m not as young as I used to be… and that sleeping in is necessary sometimes.

Black Bean Lettuce Wrap Tacos with Mango Avocado Salsa

As a side note, I still can’t feel one of my toes after wearing those heels all night. Maybe I’ll forget about this and bring them the next time I go to Vegas… but until then, I’m pushing them to the back of my closet. Flats are the way to go!

Black Bean Lettuce Wrap Tacos with Mango Avocado Salsa

Anyway, after a busy weekend, I seldom feel like slaving over a hot stove all day Sunday. I much prefer going to yoga and then tossing together a quick meal like this, that involves just a little chopping and a few minutes of cooking time.

We loved these tacos because they’re so fresh and light. Nothing is as refreshing as homemade salsa, and using lettuce leaves instead of taco shells lightens up the meal. No sense in cancelling out all those chaturangas I just did!

Black Bean Lettuce Wrap Tacos with Mango Avocado Salsa

I based these off my chickpea tacos, using beans, onions, garlic, and the same spice mix. I know the ingredient list looks long, but honestly you just need a few fresh ingredients for the salsa, and the rest you most likely have in your pantry. I swear these come together quickly! If you’d rather use guacamole or regular salsa + cheese + sour cream, etc., go for it! But fruit salsa is allllways a good idea.

Black Bean Lettuce Wrap Tacos with Mango Avocado Salsa

5.0 from 4 reviews
Black Bean Lettuce Wrap Tacos with Mango Avocado Salsa
 
Hands-on time
Cook time
Total time
 
These lightened-up tacos feature spiced black beans and homemade mango-avocado salsa wrapped in fresh lettuce. Quick to prepare and bursting with flavor!
Author:
Yields: 6 tacos
Ingredients
For the tacos:
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1/2 onion, finely diced (yellow or red)
  • 14 oz can black beans, drained and rinsed (or about 1 1/2 cups cooked)
  • 6 leaves bibb or iceberg lettuce
For the taco seasoning (or use 1/2 packet of your favorite taco seasoning):
  • 1/2 Tbsp chili powder
  • 1/2 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1/2 tsp cumin
  • 1/4 tsp oregano
  • 1/4 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/4 tsp ground black pepper
  • 1/4 tsp cornstarch
  • 1/8 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1/4 cup water
For the mango avocado salsa:
  • 1 mango, peeled and diced
  • 1 avocado, peeled and diced
  • 1/2 cucumber, peeled and diced
  • 1/2 jalapeno, seeds removed and minced
  • 1/4 red onion, diced
  • 1 Tbsp lime juice
  • 1/3 cup chopped cilantro leaves
  • salt and pepper to taste
Instructions
  1. First prepare the salsa. Combine all ingredients in a bowl and mix well. Add salt and pepper to taste. Set aside.
  2. In a small bowl, combine all taco seasoning ingredients. The tacos come together quickly, so I like to do this before anything goes on the stove.
  3. Add olive oil to a large pan over medium heat. Once shimmering, add garlic and onion and saute until soft, 4-5 minutes.
  4. Pour in black beans and taco seasoning and stir to coat. Saute, stirring occasionally, until beans are heated through and some of the water is evaporated, 2-3 minutes.
  5. Serve with lettuce leaves to be used as taco shells and mango avocado salsa.
  6. Enjoy!
Notes

 

Taco Tuesday: Chickpea Tacos with Guacamole

Chickpea Tacos with Guacamole | coffeeandquinoa.com

You know I had to post this on a Tuesday.

Who doesn’t remember Taco Tuesdays from their childhood or, in my case, their college dining hall? Everyone likes tacos, and in college, you could count on that taco bar every Tuesday for lunch. Like clockwork.

So it’s kind of a dilemma when you stop eating meat and dairy and all of a sudden… those ground beef tacos you’ve been eating for years are no longer an option, never mind the cheese and sour cream you used to top them with.

Chickpea Tacos with Guacamole | coffeeandquinoa.com

Grilled veggie tacos are a good option, and I’ll definitely do a post about those when summer vegetables are in season. But what about when you’re in the mood for a gold, old-fashioned, Old El Paso-style taco night? Diced tomatoes and shredded lettuce are just not gonna cut it.

After much experimentation, I discovered that chickpeas are the ideal substitute for beef or chicken when you want to use the same spices and toppings. And they’re still loaded with protein! Even though I’m eating (some) meat again now, I’m sticking with the chickpea tacos. They’re just too good to change!

Chickpea Tacos with Guacamole | coffeeandquinoa.com

These are super easy to make if you’re hosting a taco night and also doing beef or chicken tacos. You make these exactly as you would make the beef or chicken ones, only they don’t take as long. So no extra work for you, and everyone’s happy!

Chickpea Tacos with Guacamole | coffeeandquinoa.com

I do have some words of wisdom for you in regard to these guys, especially if you usually make your tacos with meat:

- When sauteing the chickpeas, you are only trying to heat them through and evaporate some of the liquid from the spice mix. You actually want to avoid getting any color on them, because they get quite dry. So just get ‘em hot and they’re done.

- Top them with something creamy, like guacamole or sour cream. The added moisture works well, and it has the added bonus of keeping the chickpeas in place. Chickpeas are rolly polly little suckers, and they will exit your taco in a hurry. Mash some guacamole down on top of them – problem solved.

I wish all problems could be solved like that.

Chickpea Tacos with Guacamole | coffeeandquinoa.com

 

5.0 from 4 reviews
Taco Tuesday: Chickpea Tacos with Guacamole
 
Hands-on time
Cook time
Total time
 
This vegan taco recipe pleases both meat- and veg-eaters alike. Chickpeas make the ideal substitute for beef or chicken, and use the same taco seasoning.
Author:
Yields: 6 medium-sized tacos
Ingredients
For the tacos:
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1/4 red onion, minced
  • 1 1/2 cups cooked chickpeas (or 1 14-oz can, drained and rinsed)
For the taco seasoning (or use 1/2 a packet of your favorite taco seasoning mix):
  • 1/2 Tbsp chili powder
  • 1/2 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1/2 tsp cumin
  • 1/4 tsp oregano
  • 1/4 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/4 tsp ground black pepper
  • 1/4 tsp cornstarch
  • 1/8 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1/4 cup water
For serving:
  • 6 hard taco shells or medium-sized tortillas
  • 1/2 recipe Simple Guacamole
  • chopped cilantro
  • lime wedges
Instructions
  1. First, prepare the guacamole according to these instructions.
  2. In a small bowl, combine all taco seasoning ingredients, including water. The tacos come together quickly, so it's best to have this taken care of first!
  3. In a large pan, heat olive oil over medium heat. Once shimmering, add the garlic and onion and saute until onion is soft, 3-4 minutes.
  4. Pour in chickpeas and taco seasoning, and stir to combine. Saute, stirring occasionally, until chickpeas are heated through and some of the water is evaporated, 2-3 minutes.
  5. Serve alongside taco shells, guacamole, cilantro and lime wedges.
  6. Devour!
Notes
Taco seasoning adapted from Budget Bytes.

 

Chickpea Tacos with Guacamole | coffeeandquinoa.com

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