Alaska doesn't boast many good Mexican restaurants. It's not a shock and I can say that, I'm allowed. I was born and raised up here in beautiful Alaska,  but I grew up going to Albuquerque, New Mexico almost every year. Well, to be precise it was actually a place outside of Albuquerque called Belen. Anyways, we had relatives that lived there. I had a serious love/hate relationship with New Mexico. I loved all the artwork, I loved the flea markets, I loved the warmth at night (a phenomenon that doesn't happen up here) and the tumbleweeds and especially the jackrabbits. However, I hated the intense heat, I hated the desert,  I hated the dust, I hated the lack of trees, I hated to see all the roadkill jackrabbits and I hated how freakishly glowing and pale I was compared to everyone else. But about the food...because of these trips, I got know good Mexican food. However, and I say this with yes a little shame...I don't mind mediocre or even poor Mexican food. I love beans, and beans will be good whether they're cooked in a super authentic, little joint by a Mexican grandma in Belen or rather unauthentically up here in good old naive Alaska. It's not our fault, we just don't have the right ingredients, or the eons of tradition involved in authentic Mexican cuisine. We Alaskans are known for salmon, and I sure as hell ain't ordering fresh sushi in the mid-west. I'm sorry, I'm just not. Especially now that I'm vegan! But beans? I can do that.

Here's my point: I've been craving refried beans. Yep, that was the point of that long winded story above. That's really it. And as far as this recipe goes, it hit the spot. I like this simple recipe and it's much healthier than say, a  bean taco/burrito from a certain fast food place. We got black beans and garbanzo beans for good health, I wanted the antioxidant power of the black beans but the sturdiness of the garbanzos. We got spinach and sweet peppers, loads of flavor from the cumin, coriander and paprika and of course a little heat from the ground chipotle chili powder. The salsa offers a bit of freshness and the cheese, richness. A spritz of lime juice and a sprig or two of cilantro is just enough to make this one zesty taco!

I'm not a little, old Mexican grandma, but this dish is fast, it's easy, and you're not buying refried beans from a can, which is always a plus. Even if there is a Mexican grandma on the wrapper. Feel free to use any combination of beans you'd like and add in any desired toppings too! You can even make this into a burrito, which was my original plan until I realized all we had was tiny, corn tortillas. It was still awesome though, I'm resourceful.

I just ran out of ground coriander but I had whole coriander seeds...so I had to bust out the trusty Krups.

Did I mention that I grind all my own spices?

Produce On Parade - Healthy Refried Bean Tacos

Hah! Just kidding, that's for fools. I actually ran out of ground coriander and forgot to put it on the list. Nards! I had whole coriander seeds though (go figure)...so I had to bust out the trusty Krups! And viola, ground coriander. I felt pretty snobby...and resourceful.

Healthy Homemade Refried Bean Tacos

Inspired by Savvy Vegetarian and myself

Makes about 8-10 small tacos

  • -- For the refried beans --
  • 1 15 oz. can black beans, drained and rinsed (or any beans you like!)
  • 1 15 oz. can garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1/4 - 1/2 cup water
  • 1 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 1  tsp. ground cumin
  • 2 1/4 tsp. ground coriander
  • 1 tsp. ground paprika
  • sprinkling of ground chipotle chili powder, to taste
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 3 small sweet peppers, minced
  • -- For the tacos --
  • 8-10 small soft corn tortillas (or tortillas of choice!)
  • 1/2 yellow onion, diced small
  • a few handfuls of spinach or lettuce, chiffonaded (that means "into strips" in fancy pants language)
  • 1/2 cup of your favorite salsa
  • 1/2 cup shredded vegan cheese
  • cilantro and lime juice for garnishing (optional)

Start by draining and rinsing the beans. Add them to a food processor or blender and pulse. Add water as needed, until the desired consistency has been achieved. Set aside.

Produce On Parade - Healthy Refried Bean Tacos

Mince the garlic and the sweet peppers. Prep the toppings by chopping the onions and the spinach.

Heat oil in a medium saucepan over low. Add the spices and stir until fragrant. Next, add the garlic and peppers and cook a few additional minutes, being careful not to burn the garlic. Add in the beans and allow them to warm. This will take about 3-5 minutes, then remove from heat.

Warm the tortillas before serving. Add the beans to the tortilla, followed by the spinach, then the salsa and finally the cheese. Garnish with chopped cilantro and freshly squeezed lime juice.

I just ran out of ground coriander but I had whole coriander seeds...so I had to bust out the trusty Krups.

A fine substitute for my refried beans craving. Does that happen to anyone else?

Healthy Homemade Refried Bean Tacos
Recipe Type: Entree
Author: Katie - Produce On Parade
Serves: 3-4
A tasty and healthy alternative to a fast food bean taco. Easy, quick and simple!
Ingredients
  • --For the refried beans--
  • 1 15 oz. can black beans, drained and rinsed (or any beans you like!)
  • 1 15 oz. can garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1/4 - 1/2 cup water
  • 1 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 tsp. ground cumin
  • 2 1/4 tsp. ground coriander
  • 1 tsp. ground paprika
  • sprinkling of ground chipotle chili powder, to taste
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 3 small sweet peppers, minced
  • --For the tacos--
  • 8-10 small soft corn tortillas (or tortillas of choice!)
  • 1/2 yellow onion, diced small
  • a few handfuls of spinach or lettuce, chiffonaded (that means "into strips" in fancy pants language)
  • 1/2 cup of your favorite salsa
  • 1/2 cup shredded vegan cheese
  • cilantro and lime juice for garnishing (optional)
Instructions
  1. Start by draining and rinsing the beans. Add them to a food processor or blender and pulse. Add water as needed, until the desired consistency has been achieved. Set aside.
  2. Mince the garlic and the sweet peppers. Prep the toppings by chopping the onions and the spinach.
  3. Heat oil in a medium saucepan over low. Add the spices and stir until fragrant. Next, add the garlic and peppers and cook a few additional minutes, being careful not to burn the garlic. Add in the beans and allow them to warm. This will take about 3-5 minutes, then remove from heat.
  4. Warm the tortillas before serving. Add the beans to the tortilla, followed by the spinach, then the salsa and finally the cheese. Garnish with chopped cilantro and freshly squeezed lime juice.