Emily is home for the summer, working several jobs and taking an online class. When she goes back to school in the fall she’ll be living in her first apartment. No meal plan. No safety net. She’s going to have to cook for herself.
So she’s been paying careful attention to my cooking this summer. She’s taken down some notes and hints and I’m anticipating calls home asking me, “how do I make…”
One thing Em has been vocal about is the cost of food. It’s expensive. I know. So she’s asked me to come up with a few recipes that she can make herself, for cheap. I’m also adding the caveat that they should be moderately nutritious as well.
I think these black bean tacos qualify. They’re simply flavored with onion and bell pepper plus a little cumin and chili pepper.
Now before you chirp, “your kid isn’t going to make a mango salsa when she’s at college,” let me say, I know. As I was making the tacos, she begged me to make a salsa.
You can skip that step too and either used a jarred salsa or — if you do have mangoes available, tuck in a wedge or two into your taco next to some avocado.
Either way, I think this qualifies as cheap and wholesome eats for a college student — and she’ll probably get several meals out of it.
I mentioned that she could also swap out the beans for a fried or scrambled egg for a tasty, nutritious breakfast. She nodded, but I doubt she’ll make more than a piece of toast. Ah, well.
smoky black bean tacos
- 1 15- ounce can black beans rinsed and drained
- 1 small onion diced
- 1 red bell pepper halved
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- 1/2 teaspoon chipotle powder
- 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- 1/4 cup chicken broth
- 2 mangoes peeled, pitted and diced
- zest and juice of 1 lime
- 1/4 red onion minced
- 1 serrano pepper seeded and minced
- pinch of salt
- 4 flour tortillas
- 1 avocado thinly sliced
- 1/2 cup each grated or crumbled cheese for sprinkling such as cheddar, monterey jack or queso fresco
- 1/2 cup cilantro
- lime wedges for serving
Chop half of the red bell pepper into 1/2" pieces and set aside.. Mince (fine dice 1/4") the other half of the bell pepper and set aside.
Heat oil in a medium saucepan over medium high heat. Add onion, larger, chopped bell pepper, and garlic and sauté for 2-3 minutes until softened and slightly translucent. Add the black beans, cumin, chipotle powder, salt and pepper. Stir to combine. Add the chicken broth and cook over medium heat for 3-4 minutes until most of the liquid is evaporated. Cover and set aside.
In a small bowl combine the mango, the minced bell pepper, red onion, serrano pepper, lime zest and juice and pinch of salt. Stir to combine and set aside.
Heat tortillas. If you have a gas stove, turn the flame on medium and place the tortilla directly on the grate. Heat the tortilla until it starts to puff and char slightly. Use tongs to flip the tortilla. Repeat with the rest of the rest of the tortillas.
Assemble the tacos
Spoon the black beans into the tortilla shell. Tuck in a few slices of avocado. Sprinkle with cheeses, top with mango salsa, fresh cilantro and a squeeze of lime. Enjoy.