Juicy mango, creamy avocado, fresh cilantro, a squeeze of lime; delivered in a crisp tortilla shell. Pair with a Mojito, kick up your feet and imagine that summer has just arrived. At least that's what I'll be imagining from the safety of my kitchen, while the rain tears down and the pond slowly tendrils up towards the porch. You could think of these tacos like a culinary rain dance of sorts, they might not actually stop the rain in its tracks, but at least you'll have tacos...
These simple tacos were inspired by the amazingly fresh beach-town tacos we had in San Juan del Sur, Nicaragua. Tacos are not a traditionally Nicaraguan food, but a lot of the ingredients found in these tacos, like corn, mango, avocado and beans, are food staples in the region. If you ever happen to be in San Juan del Sur and love tacos as much as I do, I'd recommend stopping for a quick bite at the Taco Spot before you hit the surf. It's a cute little taco shop with great music, awesome food and a plethora of fresh salsas and hot sauces to choose from.
This recipe focuses on showcasing the natural flavors of fresh ingredients like mango, lime and avocado. These tacos are gluten-free, as long as you use corn tortillas and gluten-free soy sauce or Tamari. Make sure your avocado, mango and tomatoes are ripe, and of course, fresher is always better. The sweet and spicy black beans add protein and a bit of a smoky kick, which marvelously complements the sweetly citrus bites of the mango salsa. A dollop of fresh guacamole finishes off the dish with some healthy fats, and helps to bring down some of the heat. For extra style points, garnish with leftover cilantro and lime. You can even add cashew cheese or pepitas, like I did, if you want to get really fancy. For a shell, I would recommend soft corn tortillas, though they can be hard to find where I live. You can also use soft wheat shells, hard corn shells or tostadas, which is what I actually used for the shoot. Tostadas are amazing presentation and flavour-wise, but be warned that they can be messy to eat. As usual, try to choose shells made from whole food ingredients with names you can actually pronounce.
I'll wish you all a happy belated Cinco de Mayo, and let you scroll down to check out the recipe.
In case you missed it, the recipe video can be found here.
Sweet and Spicy Black Bean Filling:
- 1 can low-sodium Black Beans, drained and rinsed
- 1 Shallot, minced
- 1 clove of Garlic, minced
- 1 Jalapeno Pepper, minced
- juice 1/2 Lemon
- 1 Tbsp Brown Sugar
- 1/2 Tbsp Tamari(GF)/Soy Sauce
- 1/2 tsp Paprika
- Sriracha, to taste
- 1/3 medium-sized Red Onion, diced
- 4-5 Campari Tomatoes, diced
- 1 Mango
- 1/3 c Fresh Cilantro, roughly chopped
- 1 Jalapeno Pepper, seeds removed and minced
- juice 1/2 lime
- 1 pinch Salt
- 1 Tbsp Apple Cider Vinegar
- 1 Avocado, cubed
- juice 1/3 Lemon
- 1 clove Garlic, finely minced
- 1 pinch Salt
- Taco Shells or wraps (I used corn Tostadas)
- 1/2 heart of Romaine, cut into 1/2 cm ribbons
- Extra Cilantro for garnish (optional)
- Vegan cheese for garnish (optional)
Make the Sweet and Spicy Black Bean Filling:
- Finely mince the shallot, garlic and jalapeno pepper.
- Place a pan on the stove on medium heat. Add the onion, then garlic and jalapeno pepper, stirring frequently. Cook for 5-7 minutes or until soft.
- While the onion, garlic and jalapeno are cooking: open, drain and rinse your can of black beans.
- Add the black beans to your pan, stirring frequently.
- Add the paprika, Tamari or Soy Sauce, lemon, brown sugar and Sriracha and mix to coat the beans evenly, cooking another 2-3 minutes.
- Remove black beans from heat and set aside.
- Chop the red onion, tomatoes, mango and jalapeno pepper and place in a bowl.
- Mix in lime juice, apple cider vinegar and salt.
- Cube the avocado.
- Add the lemon juice and sprinkle with salt.
- Add the finely minced garlic clove.
- Mash with a fork or your hands until mostly smooth.
- Place whatever taco shell you are using on a plate or other flat surface.
- Finely mince some romaine lettuce (optional).
- Place 2 spoonfuls of the Black Beans onto the taco shell. Next, add lettuce, followed by the mango salsa.
- Top with Guacamole and garnish as desired with cilantro, vegan cashew cheese and additional lime juice. I also threw on Pepitas for extra crunch!
- Get messy and Enjoy!