Black Bean + Kale Tacos with Pepita Cilantro Salsa (Vegan, GF)


Here's a healthy option to get your taco fix. Garlicky kale and cumin scented black beans in a soft corn tortilla. Cameron and I had these for lunch a few times last week and they were so good. I love it when I eat lunch and get a nice kick of energy. These will give you that. 

The salsa almost didn't make it to the tacos because I ended up eating about half of it with some tortillas that I had over crisped to the point of making chips. If you eat it all or skip it altogether, feel free to substitute any jarred salsa. I'd recommend a bright tomatillo one.

Serves 8.

Black Bean + Kale Tacos

olive oil, as needed

2 14oz tins black beans, rinsed

2 teaspoons ground cumin

1 1/2 teaspoons dried oregano

1/2 teaspoon chile powder

s + p, to taste

10 cups of chopped kale, about 2 bunches

6-8 cloves garlic, minced

juice of one lemon

corn tortillas, about 16

Pepita Cilantro Salsa

1/2 cup pepitas (pumpkin seeds) 

1/2 cup fresh cilantro leaves

1/4 cup water

1/4 cup olive oil

juice of one lime, about 3 tablespoons

pinch ground cumin

pinch salt

In a medium sauce pan, warm oil over medium heat. Stir in cumin, oregano and chile powder. Add black beans and two tablespoons of water. Cook, stirring occasionally until soft, about 15 minutes. 

In a 12" saute pan, bring 1 cup water to a boil. Add kale, cover and cook 2 minutes. Strain. Return to stove over medium heat. Push steamed kale to on side of the pan. On the empty side, heat a splash of olive oil. Cook garlic in oil, stirring frequently. Do not brown, just cook to soften, about 1-2 minutes should do. Stir in the kale. Season with lemon juice, salt and pepper

To make the salsa: combine pepitas, cilantro, water, oil, lime juice, cumin and salt. Blend until smooth. 

To assemble: spoon beans, kale and salsa onto toasted tortillas. 

To store: keep beans, kale and tortillas separate, building as needed. When packing lunch, I scoop 1/3 cup beans and 1/2 cup kale into a container and top with salsa and pack 3 tortillas separately. At lunch time, I assemble the tacos just before eating so they don't get soggy. 


AIP Turkey Tacos

I love taco night but it's pretty much impossible on AIP. Or is it? It's not impossible, it's just a bit of work. As someone who does not enjoy lettuce wraps for mexican dishes, I have to make my own tortillas. So far I've tested a few different plantain tortilla recipes but am still not 100% pleased with the texture of any. The flavor is always great but they just fall apart. How terrible is it to bit into your first taco and have it's entire, artfully assembled fillings fall out. Very sad. As a solution, I make a lettuce taco and then wrap that in the plantain tortilla. 

If anyone has any tips on AIP approved plantain tortillas that don't fall apart - please post it in the comments. I'd love to hear. 

AIP Turkey Taco Filling

1 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper

1/4 teaspoon turmeric

1/4 teaspoon garlic powder

1/4 teaspoon onion powder

1/4 teaspoon fenugreek leaves

1/4 teaspoon oregano

1/4 teaspoon cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon cumin, optional but great if you're ok with seeds

2 tablespoons water

1 teaspoon cooking oil of choice

1 lb ground turkey breast

tortillas of your choosing

garnishes: lime wedges, diced onion, chopped cilantro, zucchini salsa, lettuce

Combine salt, pepper, turmeric, garlic powder, onion powder, fenugreek, oregano, cinnamon and the optional cumin with water. Set aside. 

In a small pot over medium high heat, warm oil. When hot, add turkey. Stir occasionally, getting a nice brown on the meat, break into small pieces with spoon. When cooked through, about 10 minutes, add seasoning mixture. Stir until coated and liquid is absorbed, about 4 minutes. 

Spoon onto shells and/or lettuce wraps and add toppings. 

Turkey Tacos


What to do with all the leftover thanksgiving turkey you're about to have.  I normally eat it standing in front of the open fridge, dipping it in cold gravy hours after dinner when eveyone has gone home and I'm too tipsy/tired/happy to get a plate.  Does this sound familiar to anyone?  (Am I alone here?)

This year I'm going to make these turkey tacos.  Pretty easy and something different.  Serve with your favorite taco fillings or use for quesadillas or enchiladas.  

Serves 4.

Turkey Tacos

1 lb leftover cooked turkey, shredded  (i used white + dark meat)

juice of 1 lime

juice of 1 small orange

3 cloves garlic, minced

1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar

1 teaspoon agave

4 sprigs cilantro, chopped

1 teaspoon onion powder

2 teaspoons chipotle powder

1/2 teaspoon chile powder

1/2 teaspoon cumin

1 teaspoon dried oregano

s + p

high heat oil, like canola, grape seed...

Toss all ingredients, excluding oil, together in a bowl.  In a large skillet, heat a splash of oil over high heat.  Add seasoned turkey and cook, stirring occasionally until hot, about 5 minutes.  

Taco Night: Chicken Taco Rub


I keep a small jar of this stuff around at all times.  I put it in everything.  In addition to being great for chicken it's also perfect for sides like rice and beans.   

Some times chicken just needs a simple rub and marinade. This one has spicy mexican flavors so I like it for tacos but it could be used for anything from flautas, steaks to simple grilled chicken but TACO NIGHT is my favorite night and who can say no to tacos when given the choice?  (Not I.)

Chicken Taco (or anything) Rub

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon black pepper

1 tablespoon chipotle powder

1 tablespoon cumin

1 tablespoon garlic powder

Juice of 1 lime

1-2 lbs chicken (or whatever you're going to rub this all over be it steak, pork, tofu...  

mix together all dry ingredients.  Generously sprinkle over your main ingredient and follow with lime juice.

For the chicken tacos (pictured), sprinkle over chicken, follow with lime juice.  Let marinate for about 10 minutes and cook.  Chicken was cooked using a grill pan and then cut into pieces.  Served with corn tortillas, shredded cheese, rice, beans, pickled jalapenos, pickled onions, pico de gallo, hot sauce, shredded lettuce and limes.  

Save any extra chicken taco rub for future use.  It's also great seasoning for vegetarian black  or pinto bean taco filling or just a handy mexican tasting spice mix to have on hand. 

Taco Night: The Salsa


Pico de gallo, I can eat it by the bowlful.  It's a chopped fresh salsa made with tomatoes, onion, jalapeno and cilantro.  It translates to the rooster's beak and while I don't know why that is, I do know that swapping out any jarred salsa for this will make your meal infinitely better.  Pile it on chips, nachos, quesadillas, tacos...anything.    

Pico De Gallo

3 ripe tomatoes, seeded and diced

1 small red onion, diced

1 jalapeno, seeded and diced

1-2  tablespoons fresh cilantro leaves, chopped

juice of 1 lime


Once everything is diced, toss together and let sit for a few minutes.  Serve.