Bean, Cheese, and Kale Tacos


Tonight, I decided to make tacos from some half-used ingredients I had lying around the kitchen. They actually turned out really well, so I thought I’d share the recipe. It seems that often my favorite meals end up being the ones that arise from cleaning out the fridge. Trying to answer the question “what ingredients to I need to use?” often engenders more creative cuisine than “what would I like to cook?” Here are approximate recipes for 12 tacos (4 servings):


  • 250g (1/2 lb) dried beans (I used Rio Zape, but any kind will do)
  • 1/2 a medium onion, diced
  • 2 carrots, diced
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1/2 tsp ground cumin
  • 2-4 tbsp olive oil
  • salt and pepper to taste

Soak the beans in water to total about 4 cups for at least 6 hours. Heat the oil in a large sauce pan over medium heat. Once the onions start to become translucent, add the carrots. After another couple minutes, add the garlic and sauté for a minute. Add the beans and their soaking water, a bit of salt and pepper and the cumin. Bring to a boil, cover and reduce the heat to low. Let the beans simmer until tender (about an hour) stirring occasionally. You might need to add water to keep the beans mostly submerged throughout cooking. Once the beans are tender, mash them to desired consistency.

beans cooking


  • 4-8 stalks, cut into narrow strips (I used black/Tuscan kale, but any variety will do)
  • juice of half a lime
  • handful of cilantro, chopped
  • 1 jalepeno pepper, seeds removed and finely chopped
  • salt to taste

After chopping the kale sprinkle a little salt on it. Squeeze and mash the cut leaves with your hands until they start to give up some of their juice. Add the remaining ingredients, stir it together and let stand for about an hour.


  • 200g (1 3/4 cup) masa harina
  • approx 250 ml (1 cup) warm water
  • 1/4 tsp baking powder (optional)

Measure the masa harina and baking powder into a large bowl. Use your fingers to slowly stir in warm water until the dough forms a slightly sticky ball. Cover the ball in plastic wrap and allow it to rest at least one hour. Form 12 equal sized balls from the dough. Heat a cast iron skillet or heavy bottomed pan over medium heat. Using a tortilla press or rolling pin, roll tortillas to about 1/8 inch thickness. Cook for about 1 min each side.

Spoon a dollop of beans onto each tortilla, and add a little shredded cheese. Top with the kale mixture and garnish with crumbled dry salty cheese (I had feta lying around, but cotija or any such variety will do).

Will Rosenbaum

Saarbrücken, Germany

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