Growing up we used to have taco nights – DIY style. There would be a bunch of bowls laid out on the table: one containing ground beef, another with shredded cheese, one filled with lettuce, a smaller one with salsa, another containing diced tomatoes and a last one with sour cream. And then there would be a plate full of hard shell tortillas. To each his own technique when it came to assembling the tacos. My go-to layering technique, from bottom to top, was as follow: ground beef, tomato salsa, cheese, lettuce, tomato and a dash of sour cream. For as long as I remember that’s how I proceeded.
My family didn’t eat out much, so my vision of the culinary world limited itself to home-prepared meals. It is not until later, during a school trip to Mexico City, that I realized I actually preferred soft-shell tortillas. And when I got to university, I found out that fish tacos were an option, that 100% corn tortillas were the tastiest, and that I could tolerate a mild spiciness. All that to say that my entry into the World of Tacos was a rather late one. My tastes have come a long way since the traditional taco night. The only ingredients that still remain are the lettuce and tomato. Whether or not the forefathers of tacos might turn in their graves if they ever saw me prepare tacos, I fully advocate the veggie tacos formula! There are literally a million options when it comes to plant-based combos and you’ll find one suited for any season.
Speaking of season, I know we’re technically into Fall but I couldn’t resist sharing this summer tacos recipe. The weather might still be warm wherever you are, or perhaps it’s gray outside and you need to fill your plate with some vivid colors…whichever the case may be, you should try these out! They’re very (very) easy to make and will satisfy a few hungry mouthes. A perfect mix of hearty, fresh, creamy, sweet and spicy flavors. They have their protein. They have their carb. And they have their healthy fats. It’s a deal then, you’ll go make these delish’ mango & black bean tacos ASAP… n’est-ce-pas?
Mango & Black Bean Tacos // 2 Ways – serves: 6 to 8 tacos | prep time: 15 min | cooking time: 5 min
mango & black bean salsa
- 1 can black beans
- 1 large mango
- 1 ripe avocado
- 8-10 cherry tomatoes
- ¼ red onion
- a handful of fresh cilantro
- 1 lime, juiced
- ½ tsp chili powder
- 1 tsp cumin
- fleur de sel & pepper to taste
- option 1: 8 small corn tortillas + 2 Romaine lettuce leaves
- option 2: 4 large Romaine lettuce leaves
- 1 scallion
- 2 tsp chili flakes, more or less to taste
Start by draining and rinsing the black beans in your sink.
Then dice the mango, avocado, red onion, and cherry tomatoes into little cubes. In a medium bowl, combine the veggies and black beans together. Thinly chop the cilantro leaves and add them to the mix. Then juice the lime into the bowl and add the cumin and chili powder, as well as the salt and pepper to taste. Gently stir all the ingredients together and let the salsa sit while you finish preparing the rest of the ingredients.
Dice the scallion (green and white parts) and set aside.
Preheat oven to 250°F and line a baking tray with aluminium foil. Place the corn tortillas on the baking tray and place in the oven for about 5 minutes. The intention here is to warm up the tortillas without letting them become too dry. So I suggest keeping an eye on them. While the tortillas warm up, chop the 2 lettuce leaves into small shreds.
Once the tortillas are ready, you can assemble the tacos: place a few lettuce shreds at the bottom, then scoop in 3 to 4 tbsp of the salsa, top off with some diced scallion and finally sprinkle red pepper flakes to taste. And repeat.
Scoop 5 to 6 tbsp of the salsa into the large lettuce leaves, spreading it out evenly. Then sprinkle the scallion pieces and red pepper flakes on top. And voilà!
Let me know if you have other tacos recipe ideas! :)