Gluten-free, vegetarian tacos that are bursting with fresh flavor!
I’m a big fan of Taco Tuesday. It makes it so nice and easy to meal plan when I know that one day out of the week will always be tacos. That certainly doesn’t mean it has to be boring, though. It’s fun to switch it up every week with different colors, flavors, and proteins. These gluten-free, vegetarian mango and black bean tacos certainly didn’t disappoint.
The idea of making vegetarian tacos would have blown my mind a few months ago. The tacos of my childhood were ground beef stuffed inside a crispy taco shell, topped with the obligatory shredded cheese and lettuce, of course. They were basically a trip to Taco Bell, just made from-scratch at home! Okay, okay, they usually involved a yellow box of Old El Paso, if I’m really being honest.
When I grew up a little bit, I realized there was more to tacos than the contents of that box kit. I started expanding from the crispy shell to a soft, corn tortilla. Then I honed in on the toppings – ground beef became shredded chicken or slow cooker pork. The shredded cheese turned into crumbly cotija cheese, and the lettuce became slaw or any number of vegetables.
Finally, I realized that the meat itself was totally unnecessary. I started playing around with tofu and tempeh before I moved on to butternut squash and a variety of beans. By the time I made these mango and black bean tacos, I was fully sold that tacos definitely don’t need meat!
Eat the Rainbow
The thing I love most about using mangos in this recipe is how colorful the ingredients become. You have the deep orange from the mango contrasted by the dark, almost blue color of the black beans. Then in comes the reddish-orange bell peppers, the purple-colored red onions, and the green from the cilantro and the avocado. Before you know it, you’ve eaten every color or the rainbow with these brilliant mango and black bean tacos.
Health advocates will often instruct people to “eat the rainbow” when it comes to the daily meal. It’s a good way to remind you to eat a variety of fruits and vegetables. Each piece of produce has its own combination of vitamins and minerals. For example, orange-colored vegetables often contain carotenoids and lots of vitamin C. Purple and blue vegetables have been known to reduce damage to the liver and fight inflammation. Every color brings its own unique nutrients, so combining them means you get it all.
Putting all of the colors together into one meal makes it easy to consume a bunch of nutrient-dense foods. It also makes it one less thing you have to think about in a day! It doesn’t hurt that this combination also happens to be super tasty, too.
Gluten Free Corn Tortillas
You could totally eat these mango and black bean tacos in a flour tortilla, but then it wouldn’t be gluten-free. Many flour tortillas are also made with lard, which is an animal product. That means they’re not vegetarian, either!
You can make your own corn tortillas at home if you have the time. All you need is a bag of masa harina (found in the ethnic aisle at most grocery stores) and some water. That’s it! Or, if you’re like me and you can’t find the time to make them yourself, there are many really good brands available at the store. Just make sure you take a peak at the ingredients list to make sure they haven’t snuck in any extra ingredients in there.
All this talk of why we should eat these mango and black bean tortillas is making me hungry! I’m going to sign off to eat these delicious tacos, and I think you should, too. We’d love to hear from you in the comments, so don’t forget to drop us a line.