Spicy Black Bean Tacos with Jicama Mango Slaw
When Cinco de Mayo falls on a Tuesday, Taco Tuesday to be exact, then you know its time to break out the tortillas and guacamole, and get your taco on.
Now when I say taco, I really mean a loosely vegukate interpreted take on the taco. A plant-based completely vegan taco that’s not only a cinch to throw together, but delivers enough spicy and zesty flavors to make you shout caliente!
So, let’s discuss tacos and their a-million-and-one counterparts. Tacos come in every shape, size, color, and regional specialty imaginable. Hard shell, soft shell, Fish tacos, bug stuffed tacos, fancy-shmancy upscale tacos, deep fried tacos, health bomb taco salads, street tacos, and extremely questionable fast food tacos filled with ingredients far from the likeness of whole, real foods. Because tacos can, in fact, get stuffed with everything and anything – most are a far cry from being a nutritious meal. Here’s where these Spicy Black Bean Tacos come into play.
Tacos filled with vegetables and topped with more vegetables.
If you are a taco purist, or simply an iceberg lettuce, cheddar cheese, and greasy meat kind of taco person, then this recipe may give you pause. But hear me out. The meat (or lack thereof) in these tacos is found in a spicy mixture of black beans, corn, and onion. Sautéed on the stove, these beans become flavorful, spiced, and perfect for filling in your shell. To balance the heat, these tacos are topped with a bright and colorful jicama slaw, which is not only the prettiest accent to your tacos, but provides the perfect balance of sweet and crunchy flavors.
Now what in the world is jicama? Pronounced (hee-cama), this tuber is part of the legume family and is native to Central America and Mexico. With its rather dull and bulbous appearance, you may have seen it at a grocery market and simply passed by without realizing what a wondrous and delicious veggie it is. You’ll find the texture similar to a turnip, but the taste of jicama close to a subtly sweet apple. It’s best used raw and is great in salads and sprinkled with a bit of cayenne, sea salt, and a squeeze of lime. Jicama’s magic is found in its fiber content – specifically a fiber infused with oligofructose inulin, a carbohydrate that does not metabolize in the body. Inulin is known to help the absorption of calcium from other foods, therefore aiding your bones and protecting against osteoporosis. Inulin also works as a prebiotic in our gut, maintaining good bacteria and promoting colon health. Not only that, but jicama is rich in Vitamin C, and also contains potassium, B-Vitamins, iron, and copper. It really is an unassuming, wonder veggie.
Taco Tuesday + Zippy Black Beans + Refreshing Jicama Mango Slaw + a loving dab of guac + una fiesta = Spicy Black Bean Tacos with Jicama Mango Slaw.
Spicy Black Bean Tacos with Jicama Mango Slaw
Jicama Mango Slaw:
2 cups thickly grated jicama
2 cups chopped purple cabbage
1 jalapeño, diced
½ cup cilantro, roughly chopped
1 large mango, cut into long pieces
Juice of 2 limes
Sprinkle of sea salt
Spicy Black Beans:
1 teaspoon olive oil
½ cup white onion, diced
1 ½ cups cooked black beans (rinsed and drained if from a can)
½ cup corn (fresh or frozen)
3 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper (more or less depending on spice preferences)
¼ teaspoon smoked paprika
¼ teaspoon garlic powder
½ teaspoon cumin
¼ teaspoon sea salt
freshly ground pepper
Corn or wheat tortilla shells, warmed gently in the oven, grill, or stovetop
1-2 avocados, mashed with a squeeze of lime juice
Prepare the slaw first. Chop off both ends of jicama and gently remove skin with a sharp knife. Slice the jicama into quarters and use a mandolin to thickly grate. Place grated jicama in a bowl with paper towels to allow some of the water to drain off – about 10 minutes. In a separate large bowl add in chopped purple cabbage, jalapeño, cilantro, mango, sea salt, and lime juice. Add in jicama and stir to combine. Set aside while you prepare the beans.
Heat olive oil over medium heat in a skillet. Add in onion and lightly sauté for 5 minutes, until onions are soft and translucent. Add in cooked beans, corn, ACV, and spices. Season with freshly ground pepper and allow to warm on the stove for 8-10 minutes.
Next prepare your avocado mash. Scoop flesh from avocados and mash with a fork, sprinkle with sea salt and pepper, and add in a squeeze or two of juicy lime.
Once everything is ready – build your tacos. Layer beans with jicama slaw and a scoop of avocado mash on a warmed tortilla. Drizzle with hot sauce or sriracha for some extra spice. Enjoy!
P.S. Leftover slaw and beans make a great addition to a salad. Just toss with arugula, a drizzle of olive oil, and chopped avocado, bell peppers, and cherry tomatoes.