I love it when dishes come together through multiple inspirations. This is the story of how our Black Bean & Red Rice tacos came into existence. We have been really enjoying the stone ground corn tortillas available at Trader Joe’s. They are $.99 for a pack and are non-GMO as is every Trader Joe’s brand product. They are the best value corn tortilla I have found. My wife also has been getting into eating more black beans. She wanted to do tacos sometime this week.
This taco story continues at Whole Foods. We spotted some Red Himalayan rice in the bulk food section. This rice is grown in South Central Asia. It is a short grain rice with a nutty flavor like brown rice. It is very aromatic and adds a beautiful red rosy color to any dish. To prepare the rice, I like to bake it. Red rice takes longer to cook than white, so it’s easy to toss it in the oven and not have to worry about it sticking to a pot.
Next up the cheese. I found some 10oz packages of queso fresco at Kroger for $2.00. This is a white, mild crumbling cheese that is the perfect addition to salads and of course tacos.
The final ingredient that brought this whole dish together is organic finger limes. I received some Organic Finger Limes from Frieda’s Produce this week (check out my post on them). They are like citrus caviar. Slice them open and squeeze out the “caviar”. It gives the tacos a pleasant zing of lime flavor.
- 1 cup (8 oz) dried black beans
- 1½ cups red rice
- 2 teaspoons garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- kosher salt & freshly ground black pepper to taste
- 1 bunch of cilantro, minced
- 1 package of organic finger limes (use about ½ of a finger lime per taco)
- 2 large tomatoes, diced
- 10 oz queso fresco or other crumbling cheese
- 1 head or heart of your favorite lettuce (romaine, green leaf, etc)
- corn tortillas
- sour cream or guacamole for serving
- Start by soaking the black beans overnight or for 8 hours. You can use canned if you like and skip the soaking but I think dried beans have a more pleasing texture in the end.
- Cover the beans with enough water to just cover. Bring to a boil, then simmer until and cook until most of the water is gone and the beans are soft.
- Mash the beans up until they are creamy.
- Season with salt, pepper, cumin, and garlic powder.
- Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Place the rice into an oven safe dish. Add 2½ cups of boiling water. Add salt and pepper to taste. Cover with foil and bake for 1 hour.
- Remove from oven and fluff with a fork.
- Place the beans on the bottom of the taco, then add some of the rice.
- Add the lettuce and chopped tomato. Then sprinkle on the cheese and cilantro.
- Cut finger limes in half. Squeeze out the “caviar” on top of the taco. About ½ of a finger lime is good for 1 taco.