Black Bean Tacos with Chipotle Crema is a party in your mouth. And they are both vegetarian and gluten-free!
Behind the scenes - Black Bean Tacos with Chipotle Crema
Don't judge a book by its cover.
Don't judge these tacos from the photo.
These tacos are good.
And they're vegetarian.
I didn't serve these tacos for Cinco de Mayo, or for Meatless Monday, although they would have been perfect for either. I served these tacos on a Thursday for no other reason other than I thought they might be good.
I hate it when social media tries to tell me when to do things. Do you want to eat meat on Monday? Go for it! Want to go meatless on Tuesday? I'll stand behind your right to do so.
And what's the difference between Throwback Thursday and Flashback Friday anyway?
I've been reading a lot about using black beans in place of meat, and always had a "hmmm..." reaction to it.
Meat is meat. It has texture that beans don't have. Flavor that beans don't have. But flavor can be manipulated, so maybe texture can too.
So we start with the beans
I thought of my Savory Black Beans that I use as a base for my Ultimate Huevos Rancheros and I thought they might also make a delish taco. But I wanted this recipe to be vegetarian, well, lactovegetarian, so when making my beans for Black Bean Tacos with Chipotle Crema, I omitted the bacon.
But you don't have to.
If you don't want to.
Of course, I went online to see what others were doing, or had done, or had thought of doing ...
The cheesy part Feta v Cotia
There are a number of recipes for Black Bean Tacos with Feta and Cabbage Slaw. I mean a lot. I think they all come from the same recipe because they are all exactly the same.
Cotia cheese, a real cheese from Mexico would add the same salty element, so why not use Cotia?
Cotia it is.
Add some crunch
I liked the idea of using coleslaw mix as a time saver. I'm all for saving time. If you want to shred your own cabbage - that works too.
Too much fat. I try to take fat down when I can, and when it doesn't compromise flavor. There are only 2 teaspoons of fat in this recipe and it's all used to cook the taco shells crispy.
And the crispy shell is so important to add to the total mouthfeel of this taco.
The finishing touches
Last but not least, finishing touches. I love love love street fish tacos in Mexico. Battered fish, soft tortilla, cabbage, and crema, crema is a mixture of sour cream, mayonnaise, and lime juice (maybe a little water or milk to loosen it up?) Maybe not the best thing to eat after it has sat in the hot sun for a few hours, but I've never gotten sick, so it must be the "Mexico quality control."
Get the opposites? Crisp taco, soft center, crisp center, soft outside? It's the ying and yang of food. Texture.
I made a Chipotle Crema that rounds out the flavors of this perfectly. Each bite is delish. And as I said, don't judge the book by its cover.
These Black Bean Tacos are also low-fat and HIGH in fiber. That's a win-win in my book.
Black Bean Tacos with Chipotle Crema
- For the Tacos
- 2 cups drained Savory Black Beans prepared without the bacon or 1 (15 -ounce) can drained black beans mixed with ½ teaspoon ground cumin
- 2 cups coleslaw mix or thinly shredded white cabbage
- 2 - 3 green onions chopped
- ⅓ to ½ cup fresh cilantro leaves chopped if desired (I chopped some and left some whole, I like cilantro)
- 1 tablespoon lime juice
- 8 6-inch corn tortillas
- 2 teaspoons oil
- For the Chipotle Crema
- ½ cup sour cream
- 1 teaspoon or more, lime juice
- 1 teaspoon or more, juice from a can of Chipotles in Adobo
- ½ to a whole chili in adobo finely minced
- ½ cup crumbled Cotia cheese
- Heat the beans in a small pan, lightly mash leaving some beans whole (I found this to be easiest by removing some of the beans, mashing the ones in the pan, then adding back the whole beans).
- In a bowl, mix together the cabbage, onion, cilantro, lime juice along with a pinch of salt. Set-aside.
- Mix together the sour cream, lime juice, adobo juice, and the minced chili pepper; adding a little water if it seems too thick. Taste and adjust seasonings to your taste. Set aside.
- Brush one side of the tortillas with the oil. Heat a skillet over medium-high heat; place the tortilla, oil side down in the skillet. Put a couple of spoons of the bean mixture down the center of the tortilla, fold the tortilla in half and cook, until lightly browned and crisp. Turn and crisp the other side.
- Place the tacos on a plate, open them then sprinkle with the Cotia cheese, top with some slaw and then spoon the chipotle crema over the slaw. Fold in half then eat and enjoy.