I love soft tacos. They’re so free and easy and no rules. You kind of have to use your hands, and if stuff isn’t spilling out you didn’t fill it full enough to begin with. And you can put most anything in there and it’ll become one with the spicy, messy soft taco terrificness.
These tacos combine some very traditional Mexican ingredients – black beans, corn, peppers and spices – with wilted cabbage and fresh spinach greens. The wilted cabbage adds a slightly sweet, earthy taste, and the greens make a lovely, fresh bed for the filling, full of gentle crunch and lots of chew. To me, these taste like spring wrapped in a tortilla. And after I eat them, I feel like spring, all fresh and energized and ready for something new.
No wonder, because this is a seriously healthy ingredient crew. The black beans are packed with fiber and protein, the corn is full of fiber and nicely carb-y, the greens are made of fiber and nutrients, ditto the peppers, and everything’s warmed in olive oil and spice. I choose a reasonably healthy tortilla, wrap everything up and let sweet, sweet nutrition do its thing.
To get the most flavor out of my spices, I almost always bloom them. Blooming spice is a poetically descriptive way of letting their flavor infuse with your cooking oil. It makes their flavor come alive, deepen and mesh with your other ingredients. I think blooming’s always a great idea, especially when you’re cooking vegetarian. It adds a flavor dimension that helps plant-based ingredients taste full-on kapow.
I like my tacos with lime. Lots and lots of lime. For me, it’s an instant mouthtrip to the southwest. Before I lived in Arizona, I didn’t get how crucial lime is to authentic Mexican cooking, but then I got a load of it and it blew my mind forever. Every time I squeeze a lime, and I literally mean every time, some part of my mind activates memories of dusty, sun-beaten bright colors and hot breeze. I have a pretty intense thing going on with lime.
Are there any foods or flavors that transport you powerfully in some way? I’d love to hear your experiences!
Eat Healthy Eat Happy
10 minPrep Time
20 minCook Time
30 minTotal Time
- 2 Tbs olive oil
- 2 tsp chili powder
- 1 1/2 tsp cumin
- 1 tsp smoked paprika
- 1/2 tsp chipotle seasoning
- 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
- 1/2 tsp oregano
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 3 c red cabbage, thinly sliced
- 1 large red, orange or yellow bell pepper (or 4 mini peppers) seeded and sliced
- 1/4 c water
- 6 green onions, chopped
- 2 c corn kernels, fresh or thawed from frozen
- 1 1/2 c black beans (equivalent to 1 can, rinsed and drained)
- juice of 1/2 a lime
- pinch salt
- black pepper to taste
- 1 c fresh cilantro leaves
- 8 c mixed spinach greens (I used a spinach/baby kale blend)
- 4 of your favorite tortillas
- Combine the olive oil and spices in a large nonstick pot over medium low heat. Let the spices bloom in the oil for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the garlic and simmer 5 more minutes.
- Stir in the cabbage, pepper and water. Raise the heat to medium and cook 5 minutes, stirring frequently. Add the onions and cook 2 more minutes.
- Fold in the corn, black beans, lime juice salt, black pepper and cilantro. Taste and adjust seasonings as you like. Put a lid on the pot and set it aside.
- Heap about 2 cups of mixed greens on each tortilla and top with equal portions of filling. Serve with extra lime wedges.
Nutrition info is for the filling only.
[img src="http://eathealthyeathappy.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/03/label-10.png" width="298" height="494" class="aligncenter size-full" title="Soft Taco Nutrition Info"]