Blackouts and Black Bean (and chicken) Tacos

Do any of you live in San Diego? If you do then yesterday you experienced our major blackout. Over 6 million people were without power from Mexico to Orange County over all the way east to Arizona for about 12 hours. While to some being without power is a major bummer, I was instantly excited. For one thing, I couldn’t do any more work. For another, I just love enjoying the simple things that having power sometimes takes away from us… like talking…hanging out on the porch…riding bikes…playing games. As soon as everyone realized we weren’t going to have power any time soon everyone started to emerge from the isolated homes and apartments and started to talk to their neighbors! J and I rode bikes around the area, saying hi to friends along the way then came home to grill up whatever meat was threatening to spoil in the fridge and played a game of Mexican train dominos all by candlelight. We still had running water and a gas grill so it felt a bit like camping, minus all the bugs but with the plus of a flushing toilet and a giant stove. It was such a fun night!

The power is back on today so it’s back to technology as usual. I had planned on sharing this recipe with you yesterday but alas, no power. In keeping with my efforts to serve more vegetarian recipes, I have been scouring the globe (or just cooking blogs) for great veggie-based recipes that would fill us up and be healthy. I found similar recipes for these black bean tacos twice in a week — first on my friend Chassie’s blog and then on the Smitten Kitchen–and knew I had to make them. They sounded quick, easy and delicious. Added bonus–I had pretty much everything I needed already and whatever I didn’t I could run across the street to our little market to pick up. Perfect!

Of course, as you can see from the title of this post, they didn’t actually end up being vegetarian. We had some leftover rotisserie chicken in the fridge that we added to the tacos BUT it was the taste of the black beans that made these so delicious and I have no doubt that we will make them again soon without the addition of chicken. This is gonna be a loose recipe — a handful of this, a pinch of that. Ironically, while I post recipes here all the time, I rarely actually follow any recipe (other than baking) to a T so feel free to ask me questions if you have them about this recipes. Honestly though, I don’t think you can mess this one up.

Makes 4-8 tacos, depending on how big your tortillas are and how much you fill them. 🙂

Black Bean Tacos with Slaw


1 15-oz can of black beans, drained and rinsed
6-8 small flour or corn tortillas
1 tsp of cumin
1/2 jalapeno seeded and finely chopped
1-2 C jack or cheddar cheese (feta could also work)
dash of olive oil

2 Cups of cabbage (purple of green, either is fine) shredded
handful of cilantro, chopped
juice of 1 lime

1 Avocado, sliced to top tacos

To Make:
In a bowl, mix together the slaw by mixing the cabbage, cilantro and lime juice together. Set aside.

In another bowl, pour our the drained black beans and mash them with a potato masher or the back of your fork. They don’t have to be completely mashed, just mostly. Add in the cumin and jalapeno and mix it all together.

Heat up a large saute pan with a drizzles of olive oil (JUST a drizzle unless you don’t mind a greasy taco) over medium-high heat. Place your tortilla in the pan and fill with black bean mixture (and chicken if you are cheating like I did) and a sprinkle of cheese. Fold the tortilla over so that it makes a taco shape and turn once, letting it get lightly golden each side. **If you are using flour tortillas, they will puff up quickly. Try to fold them over before they puff up too much.

Top it with the slaw mixture and a couple slices of avocado. Enjoy!


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