Bean Tacos with Cabbage and Carrot

(Serves 4)

During tomato season substitute a chopped medium tomato and small onion for the salsa in the beans—although the quick trick in a bottle is a welcome friend on a busy weeknight, any time of year.  These tacos are loosely inspired by the crunchy cabbage slaw I love on baja fish tacos, and would serve nicely in that way, too.  Or by itself with another entrée.  The beans are great tucked into a cheese quesadilla, if you have any leftovers.


For the cabbage topping:

  • 3 cups shredded cabbage (green or purple)
  • 2 large carrots, sliced finely or shredded
  • ¼ cup finely chopped onion
  • ½ teaspoon dried oregano
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons rice vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon orange juice
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • ½ cup chopped cilantro

For the beans:

  • Olive oil
  • ½ teaspoon cumin seed
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • ½ teaspoon paprika
  • 1 pinch ground cinnamon
  • ¼ cup bottled tomato salsa
  • 2 cans pinto or black beans, rinsed and drained
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper
  • ¼ cup fresh cilantro leaves, chopped

To serve:

  • Tortillas
  • Sour cream and ripe avocado, optional


  1. For cabbage topping, mix the ingredients together in a bowl.  Allow the mixture to sit for 30 minutes before serving.
  2. For the beans, warm a small amount of olive oil in a medium skillet over medium heat.  Add cumin seeds, garlic, ground cumin, paprika and cinnamon and cook for 30 seconds.  Add salsa and cook some of the liquid out of the mixture, about 5 minutes. Add beans, ¾ cup water, salt and pepper to taste.  Cook on low heat for 10 minutes, until broth has thickened.  Fold in cilantro.
  3. To serve, spoon some beans into a warm tortilla (heated on a hot griddle) and top with cabbage salad. Garnish with avocado or sour cream.
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