Do you have a favorite neighborhood restaurant? You know, that place where you can recite the menu without even looking at it and the servers know your cocktail of choice. There’s a little Mexican place just like that, about a 3 minute walk from our house that serves creative tacos like braised bacon tacos, slow roasted brisket tacos, fried chicken tacos… but my favorite is the veggie taco. It’s filling, mighty tasty, and I don’t feel guilty at the end of the meal – surely my wise ordering decision can afford me at least one more cocktail, right?
One of my favorite toppings, and one that I feel really makes this dish, are the pickled radishes. I had never seen these being used in restaurants until moving to Atlanta. They add a nice zip to salads and the vinegar cuts through fatty and/or fried food. Personally, I think they’re great just to snack on too!
A note on the tortillas. The most popular choices are made of flour and corn. If you’re using flour, no worries. Heat them up, don’t heat them up – it doesn’t really matter in terms of the tacos structural integrity. Now if you’re using corn tortillas, you have a little bit to think about. They are very delicate and not very pliable. If you load up a single corn tortilla, it’s guaranteed to split at the bottom, dumping the entire contents of your taco onto your plate and perhaps even your lap. To avoid this, you can do one of two things. You can double up on the tacos. Or you can warm them by heating a pan over high heat. Toast the tortillas for 30 seconds on each side, or just until they’re pliable.
You may be wondering why one would want to use corn, given its somewhat temperamental nature. Personally, I prefer their mildly sweet corn taste. However, there are people who prefer them because they fall within the restrictions of a gluten-free diet. Whatever you decide to use, you’ll be impressed with the flavors to come from these healthy, vegetarian tacos… so go on, have another one.
- 10 ounces yellow rice
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1 small onion, finely chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 teaspoons cumin
- 1 15 ounce can black beans (undrained)
- kosher salt
- freshly ground black pepper
- ¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
- 8 small tortillas
- 2 avocados
- pickled radishes
- prepared pico de gallo (you can use store-bought pico de gallo or salsa)
- 4 ounces queso fresco
- 2 limes, quartered
- hot sauce
- Cook the rice according to the package directions.
- Heat the olive oil in a sauté pan over medium-high heat. Add the onion and cook until softened, about 2 - 3 minutes. Add the garlic and sauté until fragrant, about a minute. Add the cumin and stir to coat.
- Add the black beans. Salt and pepper, to taste. And the crushed red pepper flakes. Stir to combine and heat through.
- Heat a pan over high heat. Toast the tortillas, about a 30 - 45 seconds per side, or until pliable (if you toast them too much, they will become too crispy to fold).
- Dice the avocados and slice the limes.
- To plate, place the rice and beans on the tortilla. Top with avocados, pickled radishes, pico de gallo, and queso fresco. Serve with a lime and hot sauce. Enjoy!
where can i find the pickled radishes? they didn’t have them at walmart. would they be at whole foods?
Whole Foods may have them (I don’t know for certain). However, any Asian market will carry various types of pickled radishes.
I was only concerned because some of the people new to special needs diets are unaware of items they should be avoiding.
Many people are nervous about modifying recipes as well.( I consult people with dietary issues and there are issues that are tough to avoid in some ingredients.)
Vegan for many years, now my body needs more digestible proteins such as fish and for me, only the sodium in some cheeses such as feta are too much. However, some Mexican cheeses are low enough for me, though I do diligently count milligrams and substitute. Anyone can and should modify if needed but are nervous changing one once of a recipe.
I love the sound of this recipe and will try it. Probably with lots of different veggies too!
Thanks for the reply.
Hi Wheezley! Yes, that’s absolutely a valid concern and thank you for raising it! Anyone who is making dietary choices based on the particular needs of their body should consult with a dietary specialist – I am certainly not that person 😉 However, I’m always open to learning more from my readers!
I hope you give the recipe a try – adding whatever veggies you like, of course. And let me know what you think!
How are these vegan with queso fresco?? That is a cheese product. Vegan is no animal product. This is vegetarian..but not vegan.
Hi Wheezley! Yes, you’re absolutely right! That was my mistake and thank you SO much for bringing it to my attention. You see, I originally wrote this recipe to be ‘Vegan Tacos’. However, at the last minute I decided to add queso fresco, making them now vegetarian. I went back and changed the title of the post to ‘Black Bean Tacos’, but forgot to change the recipe title as well. I appreciate you bringing this to my attention and I have since corrected the recipe title. If you were interested in these as a vegan, please still do give them a try (sans queso fresco, of course), they’re still very tasty without the cheese 🙂
Marissa | Pinch and Swirl says
Whoa – these vegan tacos are a knockout!! Love the pickled radishes too…
Thanks! The pickled radishes are actually my favorite part of the dish 😉
It’s been a while since I’ve made tacos, and even then, it was from a kit (my son’s favorite). But these…would be an entirely different story! These would be special! De-lish, my friend!
Hey you know what, Annie… tacos from a kit are one of guilty pleasures. I hope your son approves 😉