These tacos are really fresh, bright and flavorful. They combine health-promoting, affordable comfort-food staples including black beans and potatoes with creamy avocados, bright cilantro, fresh lime juice and crisp cabbage.
I always cook my beans in a pressure cooker. Pressure cookers are very reasonably priced and it’s hard to believe how delicious beans can be until you have cooked them fresh this way. They are so much tastier than canned and have a much better texture than beans cooked in a pot on the stovetop or in a slow cooker. Plus, there is no need to presoak (which I always forget to do) and it only takes 25 minutes to cook black beans. You can even make a double batch and freeze them in zip top bags – so much less expensive than canned beans.
When roasting potatoes for this dish, you may feel that you need to use oil, but with a sheet of parchment, it’s not necessary and so much healthier.
The quick pickled slaw is so easy to make and adds an important note of fresh, crisp, brightness to these tacos.
I created something new (I think), by mixing avocado with salsa verde – it’s sort of a mix of guacamole and salsa verde – hence the name guacaverde! It’s so good! We use the Roasted Tomatillo Salsa from Trader Joe’s, which you can find in the refrigerated section, but of course, you can use any salsa verde that you like. I usually find this particular salsa verde a little too spicy, but by mixing it with avocado and a little lime juice, it becomes creamy and mild, yet still flavorful. I hope you love these tacos as much as we do!
- 1 package small soft corn tortillas (I like the ones that are a combination of corn and wheat as they are more pliable and don’t break); or use 100% corn to make recipe gluten-free
- 1 ¼ cups dry black beans
- 3 cups water
- 1 bay leaf
- Roasted Potatoes
- 4 medium russet potatoes
- ½ teaspoon EACH ground cumin, ground coriander AND garlic powder
- ¼ teaspoon fine sea salt
- A few turns of freshly ground black pepper
- 2 ripe avocados
- ⅔ cup medium roasted tomatillo salsa (salsa verde)
- 1-2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
- Quick Pickled Cilantro-Lime Slaw
- 1 cup EACH shredded red cabbage AND green cabbage
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh cilantro
- 2 green onions, dark and light green part only, sliced
- 1 tablespoon EACH red wine vinegar AND fresh lime juice
- Pinch of fine sea salt and a few turns of freshly ground pepper
- Garnish: a little extra chopped fresh cilantro, optional
- Cook the black beans: Rinse beans and place in pressure cooker with 3 cups of water with a bay leaf. Bring to pressure over high heat. Once pot comes up to pressure and button pops up, reduce heat to medium low and set timer for 25 minutes. When timer goes off, remove from heat and either allow pressure to come down naturally until button comes down naturally or release the steam valve until button goes down, signaling that it is safe to unlock the pressure cooker.
- Roast the potatoes: Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Scrub potatoes, cut into ½-inch dice and place on rimmed baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Sprinkle with cumin, coriander, garlic powder, sea salt and pepper and toss to combine. Bake for 30 minutes.
- Make the Quick Pickled Cilantro-Lime Slaw: Place shredded red and green cabbage in a medium bowl. Add cilantro and green onion. Drizzle with a red wine vinegar and lime juice and season with a tiny pinch of fine sea salt and a few turns of freshly ground black pepper.
- Warm the tortillas: Lay the corn tortillas flat on a sheet of aluminum foil, placed on top of a rimmed baking sheet and wrap in layers of slightly damp paper towel or a clean, lint-free kitchen towel. This will help warm the tortillas, while keeping them pliable. Place in the oven for 5-7 minutes.
- Make the Guacaverde: Cut avocados in half, dice and remove pits. In a small bowl, mash the avocados with a fork. Add salsa and lime juice and stir to combine.
- Assemble the tacos: On each plate, place two or three tortillas. Top each with a scoop of black beans, a scoop of potatoes, a handful of cilantro-lime slaw and a dollop of guacaverde. Enjoy!
Nutrition Facts: Hispanics living the in U.S. represent the ultimate paradigm of healthcare disparities. With the highest rate of uninsured people[i], the lowest rates of screening for high cholesterol, high blood pressure and other cardiovascular risk factors, they also have the lowest rates of smoking counseling and the poorest levels of blood pressure control and glycemic control.
Yet despite these disadvantages, Hispanics in the U.S. live longer than both white and black Americans[ii]. Researchers call this The Hispanic Paradox and believe that the reason for the longevity of Hispanics is because of their regular consumption of beans.
Beans work to decrease whole body inflammation while reducing the risk of many forms of cancer[iii]. Although Hispanics represent only 11 percent of the U.S. population, they eat 33 percent of the beans in this country.[iv] While expensive “superfoods” and supplements abound, beans are one of the most affordable, health-promoting and longevity-enhancing foods we can eat.
Recipe by Emily Honeycutt, 2016. © All Rights Reserved. www.emilyhoneycutt.com
[i] N Schneiderman, D A Chirinos, M L Avilés-Santa, G Heiss. Challenges in preventing heart disease in hispanics: early lessons learned from the Hispanic Community Health Study/Study of Latinos (HCHS/SOL). Prog Cardiovasc Dis. 2014 Nov-Dec;57(3):253-61.
[ii] K D Kochanek, S L Murphy, J Xu, E Arias. Mortality in the United States, 2013. NCHS Data Brief. 2014 Dec;(178):1-8.
[iii] R P Young, R J Hopkins. A review of the Hispanic paradox: time to spill the beans? Eur Respir Rev. 2014 Dec;23(134):439-49.
[iv] G Lucier, B-H Lin, J Allshouse, L Scott Kantor. Factors Affecting Dry Bean Consumption in the United States.