Black Bean & Quinoa Tacos

Sometimes, the simplest of meals are often the best. These tacos were created when I started working with the Oklahoma City Fire Department, as I wanted to teach an easy recipe that was filling for the times when firefighters get busy and have to eat to sustain their energy for an entire day. So far, almost everyone has enjoyed them, so I hope you will too!


Black Bean & Quinoa Tacos

Serves 4


Corn tortillas

1 ½ cups roughly chopped romaine lettuce or spring greens

FILLING Ingredients

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 cup chopped red onion

2 large garlic cloves, pressed or minced

3 tablespoons tomato paste

1 teaspoon ground cumin

½ teaspoon ground chili powder

½ cup uncooked quinoa

1 cup vegetable broth or water

1 (14 oz) can black beans or 1 ½ cups cooked black beans, rinsed and drained

¼ to ½ teaspoon salt, to taste

Freshly ground black pepper, to taste

AVOCADO CREAM Ingredients (or skip and used sliced avocado)

1 large avocado, sliced into long strips

1 to 2 medium limes, juiced

1 medium jalapeño, deseeded, membranes removed and roughly chopped

1 handful fresh cilantro

¼ teaspoon salt


1. To make the filling, warm the olive oil in a medium-sized pot over medium heat. Sauté the onion and garlic with a dash of salt for 4 to 5 minutes, until the onions are softened and turning trans¬lucent. Add the tomato paste, cumin and chili powder and sauté for another minute, stirring constantly.

2. Add the rinsed quinoa and 1 cup broth or water. Bring the mixture to a gentle boil, then cover the pot, reduce heat to a simmer and cook for 15 minutes. Remove the quinoa from heat and let it rest, still covered, for 5 minutes. Un¬cover the pot, drain off any excess liquid and fluff the quinoa with a fork. Stir in the drained black beans and add salt and pepper, to taste. Cover and set aside for a couple of minutes to warm up the beans.

3. To make the avocado sauce: Simply combine the ingredients as listed in a food processor or blender. Blend well and season with salt, to taste.

4. In a large skillet over medium heat, warm the tortillas in a single layer, flipping halfway. To assemble the tacos, spread quinoa and black bean filling down the center of the tortilla, then top with a generous drizzle of avocado cream, a handful of chopped romaine and any additional garnishes you’d like to add. Enjoy!

5. Feel free to store in the refrigerator for up to a week, or freeze if you wish to store for longer periods of time.