Sunday, August 9, 2020

Rick Bayless' "Emergency" Black Bean Tacos {Perfect for Busy Weeknights}

I have been feeling very overwhelmed lately thinking about the upcoming school year and the fact that we are having "in-person" classes. I am so worried about my co-workers and the kids and I'm trying my best to be optimistic, but I know the odds are that someone will end up with the virus. Don't get me wrong, I want to go back to school. I want to see the kids. I want to have class, but it keeps me up at night. I am really hoping that someone calls it soon and we end up doing 100% virtual. With cases spiking it is really the safest option.

In addition to worrying about going back "in-person" we lost a few people to budget cuts which means a new position for me. I will no longer be teaching reading intervention, which is my passion. Instead, I will now be teach math intervention, which is going to be a challenge for me as math is not my favorite. I know it will all work out okay, but everything is going to be so new and different.

I'm not embarrassed to say that I'm struggling. In fact, I think we should admit these things more often. Everyone struggles and no one should feel alone in their struggle. I allowed myself to take a break last week, but I forced myself to get it together this week for a post. I bought myself some cute little taco stands (the link is here and there are wonderful, two-sided with options to hold either two or three tacos, depending on the side you chose- not afilliated) and searched high and low for the simplest of taco recipes. Let me tell you, I found the very simplest of taco recipes and you should give it a try.

 Rick Bayless' "Emergency" Black Bean Tacos are perfect for a weeknight when you are feeling tired and overwhelmed with everything. Simply saute some black beans in bacon grease, or oil, with a little garlic, warm up some corn tortillas, and whip up a super Avocado-Tomatillo Salsa in the blender. You've got a really quick and delicious dinner that would pair very well with a frosty margarita.

This is another economical meat-free option for your pandemic pantry. Food prices continue to be astronomical where I am, with meat prices absolutely sky-rocketing. While I have been cooking a number of things, I don't feel right sharing the bacon-wrapped pork loin I made a couple nights ago, so I'm trying to share things that anyone and everyone could make right now. These tacos are a perfect example of that.

Emergency Black Bean Tacos

Adapted from Rick Bayless Website

by Rick Bayless

Serves 4


2 tablespoons bacon grease

2 garlic cloves, peeled and minced

1 can black beans

2 tablespoons crumbled feta or Mexican cheese

1 cup Avocado-Tomatillo Salsa (see below)

cilantro, for garnish

corn tortillas, in a warmer


For the Tacos: Place the bacon grease in the bottom of a large sauce pan over medium heat. Add the garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds, then add in the black beans. Using a potato masher, mash the beans into a coarse texture and cook for 5-7 minutes. 

 Meanwhile make the avocado-tomatillo salsa. Scoop the beans into a warm corn tortilla and garnish with cheese, salsa, and cilantro.

To make the salsa: Blend 3 chopped tomatillos, 1 chopped jalapeno, 2 cloves garlic, 1 handful cilantro, and one half of an avocado until smooth.


  1. Girl, I'm with you. There are NO good options here. Try to stay safe and healthy as best you can!!

  2. The taco stand is adorable and the black bean tacos are so —— my cup of tea. I am totally sympathetic about your anxiety on school openings. In fact, I was listening on the morning radio today on the discussions about this complex issue of safely opening schools in NYC (hybrid model), involving analysis on local case incident rates, testings and facility management. It's not an easy task under the best of circumstances. The burden can't be placed on teachers alone. However, you are now among the ranks of the brave front-line workers! Be safe and be well.


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