Monday, October 28, 2013

black bean + quinoa tacos with avocado, coriander + lime sauce {gluten-free + vegan}

black bean + quinoa tacos with avocado, coriander + lime sauce {vegan}

When we were little, we didn't do barbecues at home. I guess it was the thinking of the time, that only meat can be cooked on one of them. And being well, vegetarian, meant we didn't even own one. When invited over to friends for barbecues my mum would buy one packet of vegetarian sausages to take along, six sausages between the six of us (they worked out to be $1 each which back in the 80's was a lot to pay for a sausage, so one sausage per person it was!)... as you can imagine I would usually try to fill myself up on bread and tomato sauce and occasionally some onion as well, cause one little skinny sausage didn't do too much to fill the gap in my hungry stomach.

Nowadays it's not uncommon to use a barbecue or indoor grill to create vegetarian feasts, and while I still don't own a barbecue (I wonder if I ever will?), I am the proud new owner of a George Foreman Family Grill thanks to The Good Guys, as part of Voices of 2013. This is the third and final Gourmet Gadget Challenge and along with using the grill we were also asked to incorporate herbs in the dish we chose to make. Now, you all know how much I love to use herbs in my cooking and while I do tend to steer towards Asian-inspired dishes a lot of the time, I thought it might be quite nice to break out of my comfort zone and head off to Mexico instead!

black bean + quinoa tacos with avocado, coriander + lime sauce {vegan} black bean + quinoa tacos with avocado, coriander + lime sauce {vegan}

I love tacos and making homemade tortillas in the George Foreman was the first thing that popped into my head. While it's not exactly the traditional way of cooking them, it does give great fast results and the kids have been enjoying eating tortillas for afternoon tea nearly everyday since it arrived on our doorstep! I've also opted to go a slightly different route with the beans by making them into little patties with the addition of quinoa flakes, herbs and spices to keep things exciting. There's a lovely crunchy radish + jalapeno salad to keep things fresh and a generous dollop of creamy avocado sauce on top to pull it altogether. This is the kinda food I could eat everyday- nourishing, fresh + tasty and easy to prepare from scratch.

black bean + quinoa tacos with avocado, coriander + lime sauce {vegan} Untitled black bean + quinoa tacos with avocado, coriander + lime sauce {vegan}

The Good Guys are also giving away a George Foreman Family Grill, to enter head on over to The Good Guys Blog and simply leave a comment to be in the draw. Good luck!

black bean + quinoa tacos with avocado, coriander + lime sauce {vegan} black bean + quinoa tacos with avocado, coriander + lime sauce {vegan}

black bean + quinoa tacos with avocado, coriander + lime sauce {vegan} black bean + quinoa tacos with avocado, coriander + lime dressing {vegan}

black bean + quinoa tacos with avocado, coriander + lime sauce 
If you are pressed for time you could always use a 400g tin cooked black beans, just rinse and drain them well first. You may have to search around a little to find masa flour, your best bet is any store (gourmet food store/deli) that stocks Mexican products. Failing that, search online. Of course if you don't own a George Foreman Grill both the tortillas and the patties can be cooked in a heavy-based frying pan. If you don't have any problems with eating oats, you can use these in place of the quinoa flakes if preferred.
Makes 10 tacos.

black bean + quinoa patties

3/4 cup (145g) dried black beans, soaked overnight in plenty of cold water
1 tablespoon olive oil + extra to cook
1/2 red onion, finely diced
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 long green chilli, roughly de-seeded and finely chopped
2 tablespoons finely chopped coriander roots and stems
2 teaspoons ground coriander
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
1/2 cup (50g) quinoa flakes
freshly ground black pepper and fine sea salt, to taste

corn tortillas
2 cups (220g) masa flour (I used masa lista, but masa harina is perfect too)
1 1/4-1 1/2 cups (310-375ml) hot water

avocado, coriander + lime sauce
2 small avocados
1 small garlic clove, crushed
1 cup loosely packed coriander (cilantro) leaves
the juice of 2 limes (or 1 medium lemon, if lime's not available)
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

radish + jalapeno salad
5 medium radishes, finely sliced
a big handful flat leaf parsley leaves
a big handful of coriander leaves
1 pickled jalapeno, finely chopped
the juice of 1 lime
a good glug extra virgin olive oil
extra lime wedges, to serve

Drain the beans and transfer to a medium saucepan, cover with plenty of fresh cold water and bring to the boil over high heat. Skim any foam off that rises to the surface as it comes to the boil, then reduce heat and simmer for 25-35 minutes or until tender but not falling apart (this time will vary depending on how fresh your beans are. If you're unsure of timing, just check them every 5-10 minutes after about the 20 minute mark). Add a good pinch of salt to the beans in the last few minutes of cooking, then strain and set aside in the pot with the lid ajar to cool. 

Meanwhile to make the tortillas, combine masa and 1 1/4 cups hot water in a bowl along with a good pinch of fine sea salt and mix to form a soft dough. If it's feeling a little dry, add a little more water and knead in. Turn out onto your bench and knead for 1-2 minutes until it comes together in a smooth, soft dough (it shouldn't be sticking to your hands too much, so add a touch more masa if it is). Place the dough back into the bowl, cover with a tea towel and set aside for at least 20 minutes.

Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a medium frying pan, add onion, garlic, green chilli and coriander root/stem and saute for 2-3 minutes or until soft. Add spices and stir 30 seconds. Remove from the heat. Place drained black beans into a bowl and roughly mash, add sauteed onion mixture, quinoa flakes and season with salt and black pepper. Form tablespoonfuls of mixture into balls then flatten slightly. 

Place all the sauce ingredients into a small food processor and blend until smooth, season with salt and add a touch of cold water to thin down if you like. Combine all the salad ingredients in a bowl and toss well.

Heat the grill, drizzle with a touch of olive oil and cook the patties in two batches until golden on the outside and warmed through. Transfer to a plate and keep warm in a low oven while you cook the tortillas.

Divide tortilla dough into 10. Roll each into a ball, then one at a time roll out each ball between two sheets of baking paper to approx 3mm thick, or use a tortilla press if you own one. Brush with olive oil and place onto the grill (traditionally you don't need to use any oil when cooking tortillas, however I found it best to use it on the George Foreman grill, if you are cooking them in a pan leave out the oil). Close the lid and cook for 1-2 minutes, turn over and cook until lightly browned and cooked through. Wrap cooked tortillas in a clean tea towel while you cook remaining tortillas.

To serve, place a couple of patties onto each tortilla, top with some radish and jalapeno salad and a good dollop or two of the avocado, coriander and lime sauce. Serve with extra wedges of lime to squeeze and eat straight away.

This post is sponsored by The Good Guys as part of Voices of 2013
I received the George Foreman Grill free of charge as part of the Gourmet Gadget Challenge, but as always my views are my own. 


  1. Wahou !! That looks delicious ! I can't wait to try them, and I've just call a good friend of mine whose husband is mexican to sort out where I could possibly find "masa haring" in Singapore !! She's got one address ! Yeah ! Thanks a lot for this recipe, I've learn something new today, Aurore

    1. Hey you're welcome! Hope you get your hands on some masa and make these xx

  2. Yum! These look just delicious, especially that radish & jalapeño salad!

    1. Thanks love! The radish adds a lovely crunch, which I love :-)

  3. The photos in this post are absolutely gorgeous! And great minds, I made black bean patties with quinoa flakes the other day, but sadly no homemade tortillas or gorgeous time I'm totally sprucing them up with all your gorgeous additions!

    1. Thank you Kate! Snap on the black bean patties :-)

  4. I can't wait to try these! We're big fans of Mexican food at home, and nothing gets better than homemade tacos :)

  5. Love the idea of making the tortillas on the Foreman grill. And these tacos.... I would happily eat any one component on its own—I can imagine how beyond delicious they are together!

    I still remember when grilling became a regular summertime activity at my home, upon my mom's discovery of kabob baskets. (I think being able to stuff a bunch of veggies in a basket and then hand them off to my father [who is zero help in the kitchen, but pretty handy with a grill] was kind of her dream.) (:

    1. I think that's why most women love summer bbq's :-) It's the one time the men folk step in and help!

  6. Those little patties look fabulous! Yummy tacos!

  7. What a fun challenge - my mind is ticking already ;D I always do my tortillas in a skillet but love this idea too... Annnnnd now I want tacos!

  8. Ah I'm totally craving proper Mexican flavours and this looks so good. Love all of the elements of this and how it comes together into one stunning dish xo

  9. these look delightful, emma! such pretty colors, and i can sense the amazing flavor through the computer :-P i wish it were summer time over in these parts!!

    1. Ah yes, the joys of reading blogs from the other side of the world! :-)

  10. How timely--I was just reminded that we own a George Foreman (in my defense, it pre-dates me in the relationship AND has been hiding in the very back of a little-used cabinet). Now I'll really have to make a point of using it soon!

  11. I love tacos! Love how fresh and vibrant these look, but plenty satisfying with those tasty patties.

  12. Yumo! We had homemade tortillas last night for dinner, but not GF and not vegetarian. A very inventive way of using your grill.

  13. What a great twist on traditional tacos. It looks good and a healthy alternative.

  14. These looks amazing. I love Mexican food but generally make quesadillas or burritos at home rather than tacos - you've inspired me to make tacos next time!

  15. Oh my! So many favorite things in one taco... that sauce sounds like the best thing ever!

  16. Oh my - that is like all my favourite foods rolled into one. Looks delicious!

  17. Nothing beats homemade corn tortillas when tacos are on the table! Yours got some lovely bubbled grill marks. All your ingredients are so well put together and thoughtfully assembled. The patties are clearly the star, but I think I could eat that radish jalapeño slaw over everything.

  18. Wow, those black bean patties sound incredible! This whole combo looks off the chain, Emma! Thanks for another amazing recipe!

  19. This looks like the perfect food to serve at our next girl's night! Such a beautiful, nourishing dish you've created, Emma.

    Have a great weekend,

  20. This looks delicious - great photos! I made tortillas for the first time the other day after years of buying them, and was so proud of them. I've got a slow-living blog so am now making everything I can from scratch - so love your blog.

  21. I made it with lentils instead of black beans and did not have avocado, so I made the mojo sauce without it! It was really amazing! Thanks so much!

  22. How can I even explain how good this looks? Thanks for the simple instructions and the simply gorgeous pictures!


Thanks so much for stopping by, arohanui xx Emm

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