Kidney bean tacos, lightly spiced with cumin, smoked paprika, and cinnamon are quick and hearty and even more delicious with tangy and spicy grapefruit salsa.
This recipe is a new twist on one of our favorite food groups – tacos. Shouldn't they be a food group? Endless combinations of tasty ingredients and toppings placed into the folds of a corn tortilla. You can get complete nutrition with every bite. Would anyone really argue if it was part of our daily recommendation?
You’ll find this kidney bean taco filling an easy fix using standard ingredients, like onions, garlic, and jalapenos. The melding of tomato paste, plus cumin, smoked paprika, and cinnamon adds just the right amount of sweet and smokey to bring out the natural flavor of the beans.
Home-cooked or canned?
The decision to use canned kidney beans rather than cooking them from scratch is entirely yours. You’ll get great nutrition either way provided you are mindful that you opt for canned that are low in salt and don’t have other weird additives.
I cook dry kidney beans a lot without problems. However, we must all be mindful that kidney beans naturally contain a toxin called lectin. That’s the stuff that can cause digestive problems.
Fear not. It’s easy to get rid of the naughty stuff. First and foremost, it’s super important that you soak kidney beans overnight before you cook them. Once you’ve soaked them, you want to be sure to drain and rinse them. Don’t cook them in the soaking water. Start fresh.
When you cook your kidney beans from scratch, be sure you boil them for 10 minutes before you turn them down to simmer. From there, it will take 45 minutes to an hour until they are tender.
If you are not a fan of the delightful red kidney bean fan, you can use pinto or black beans for this recipe – but please, give the kidney bean its due. They are more than just a pretty chili bean.
Besides getting all that bean nutrition, bean tacos are fantastic because they are so easy to cook. This recipe is no exception. Once you saute the onions and jalapenos and add the garlic, you’ll just add the spices, tomato paste, a bit of water, and of course, the kidney beans.
And of course, because we need about 15 minutes for the bean part, there is plenty of time to get to this fun grapefruit salsa. I know, grapefruit? To which I shout 'yes'!
Grapefruit is a perfect match for kidney beans. Seriously, you have to try it.
The sweet-tangy flavor of grapefruit is a perfect match for the slightly bitter taste of raw green pepper. The tomatoes, jalapenos, and onions fill the bowl with texture and even more flavors. Finally, it wouldn’t be salsa without cilantro and lime, so of course, that's included too.
Make the salsa before the kidney beans. That gives all the flavors time to merge and develop. Give yourself space to sort out the grapefruits. They are honestly best if you take the time to remove the flesh from the membrane.
And yes, that’s a bit messy, but cooking is supposed to be a bit messy, isn’t it? Or is that just my method?
Fix up your g-fruit
Segmenting grapefruit can be a bit tricky. I've discovered an easy way that begins with slicing the top and bottom off and then standing it upright on a cutting board. Cut off the rest of the skin and the pith (the white stuff). Use a bowl or deep plate to catch the juice and then slice down (carefully) between each segment.
I cut each of the segments into smaller pieces and then squeezed the membrane to get as much juice as possible. Then just add everything else and mix it up. Be sure to taste it and add a pinch of salt if you like
Put that tasty salsa into the fridge and let it do its thing. If you end up with any leftover the next day, break out the chips. Now that’s a treat unto itself!
Just for the crunch of it, take a few minutes and toast up a few pepitas (pumpkin seeds) and sunflower seeds along with red chili flakes (as much as you like). This is my favorite seed blend.
If you’re into seed blends, you might also try toasting pepitas, with sesame seeds. That’s the yummy one I used to reserve for white bean tostadas until I realized that the stuff is far too easy not to just keep the seed mix jar fully loaded at all times.
There are not enough tacos in the world as far as I’m concerned. And the best part? The list of plant-based tacos, varieties that satisfy your taco urges without any boredom that will taste terrific could well be endless.Print
kidney bean tacos with grapefruit salsa
- Prep Time: 30 minutes
- Cook Time: 20 minutes
- Total Time: 50 minutes
- Yield: 8 tacos 1x
- Category: Burgers & Wraps
- Cuisine: Mexican
- Diet: Vegan
- 2 garlic cloves,
- 3 Tbsp. tomato paste
- 3 cups (2 – 15 oz. or 400 gm. cans) cooked kidney beans, rinsed and drained.
- ½ cup of water
- 1 jalapeno, diced (remove the seeds if you do not want it spicy)
- 1 small red onion, peeled and diced
- 1 green pepper, with the seeds and pith, cleaned out and diced
- ½ cup chopped cilantro (coriander)
- 1 cup diced tomatoes
- 1 tbsp. lime juice (juice of ½ lime)
- Salt and/or pepper to taste (optional)
- ⅓ cup sunflower seeds (unsalted)
- 1 Tbsp. red chili flakes (adjust this for heat)
- slice the top and bottom from it and then stand it upright on a cutting board and then cut off the rest of the skin and the pith (the white stuff). Use a bowl or deep plate to catch the juice and then slice down (carefully) between each segment.
- Cut each segment into smaller pieces if necessary, then add the jalapeno, red onion, green pepper, cilantro, tomatoes, and lime juice. Mix well and store in the fridge until you are ready to serve it.
- If you want to make the seed bend, simply grab a skillet (it can be the same one you use for the kidney beans) and toast the pepitas, sunflower seeds, and red chili flakes for 1-2 minutes to toast them. Place them in a small bowl and try not to eat it all before you are ready for tacos.
- To make the kidney bean filling, heat a medium skillet, and add the diced onion and jalapeno. Sauté the veggies for about 5 minutes until they start to soften. Add a tablespoon or two of water if they start sticking to the bottom of the pan.
- Add the garlic and the spices (cumin, paprika, and cinnamon). Stir for 30 seconds.
- Add the tomato paste, kidney beans, and ½ cup of water. Mix well and simmer until the beans are cooked.
- Serve the tacos with tortillas, the kidney beans, salsa, and top off with seed blend.
- Nutritional information includes the seed blend.
- You can use a variety of other beans if you want to substitute. Consider pinto or black beans or even chickpeas.
- You can also add a few other garnishes such as diced avocado, vegan sour cream, or shredded lettuce.
Keywords: kidney bean tacos