Roasted Black Bean Tacos are an easy meal made with seasoned black beans, oven roasted to enhance the depth of the spices and compliment the satisfying fresh flavors. These vegetarian tacos are anything but bland or ordinary!
One of the best parenting decisions that I’ve made in the past six months was not to jump head long into another Varsity sports season when Son #1’s Varsity Soccer season concluded in the fall. After four months of intense soccer training, the thought of spending a minimum of twelve hours/week in a stuffy gym in addition to games was not appealing. Basketball practices also started a whopping 36 hours after the final soccer tournament game is played. Combine that with the facts that we moved mid-season, the little soccer team that I coach had just finished their season, the Varsity Boys wrapped up their season with States and then Nationals on consecutive weekends, and I just. couldn’t. even. If we were a Basketball Family or if Son #1 loved the sport more than anything, then perhaps I would have sucked it up to take one for the team. Soccer is a passion that we share with 3 of 4 Sons. We love us some soccer. As for basketball? Basketball is just a filler until spring soccer, so I declined. That’s pretty huge, Friends! I have a really hard time saying no to anything because I want to do it all.
As it turns out, many of the other soccer players also opted to sit out the basketball season, so a handful of us decided to get together once a week at a local ski resort to play in the snow.
I have to say those decisions make me feel like we’ve gotten our family life back. I regret nothing.
Our family loves to get outside and race down the snow covered hills on a bright winter’s day. Neither Bacon Slayer nor I downhill skied all that much as kids, but we did go as often as possible in college. In fact, the preferred ski resort of my college days is about a 10 minute drive from where I live. Sadly, the resort closed before we moved up north but I still get nostalgic whenever I drive by. We taught Son #1 to downhill ski in early elementary school. Sons #2 & #3 learned to ski at the ages of 4 and 3, respectively. Poor Son #4 suffers the plight of youngest siblings everywhere in that at the ripe old age of 6, he had yet to partake in an activity that his brothers were doing well before his age. Sorry about that, buddy. Birth order and all that.
Stay with me. I promise that I’m getting to the tacos part of the story. I am too obsessed with these Roasted Black Bean Tacos not to share them.
A few weeks of skiing and snowboarding later, my guys and the other guys are having a blast. The night before each scheduled ski day, nature has very kindly been showering us with feet of fresh powder for us to enjoy the next day. My BFF Cindy wants to learn to ski, so I teach her as I work closely with Son #4 to usher him into the family as our latest skier. Son #2 is content to hang close to us, although he gets impatient waiting for us to make our way down the hills to ride the lift with him. Son #1 is learning to snowboard this year, so we only see him and his buddies when they get hungry. Son #3 tags along with his oldest brother and the rest of the guys, although he hung up learning to snowboard in favor of the speed and agility of his skis. All of the older boys spend a lot of time on the terrain park, trying to land jumps that make this mama want to shriek and close her eyes until it’s over.
The boys were soon hitting a rather large jump in a newly opened terrain park. Son #1 biffed it three times, managing to land on his back without an edge in sight. He opted to skip a fourth attempt on the last run of the day. Being more seasoned snowboarders, his friends didn’t have the same issues with sticking a landing. In fact, another novice-snowboarder friend was landing the jump so solidly that the other guys were egging him on to try a “tail grab” on his next attempt. I figure that landing a 5 ft. jump on a snowboard is impressive enough, but what do I know? So the novice guy hits the jump for the fourth time that day. While it looked as if he was attempting the tail grab, he says that was due to the fact that his edge caught funny before kicking his board out to the side. The poor kid landed in a heap on the other side and didn’t move. He did get up eventually, but he was in too much pain to get back on his board and ride back to the lodge.
Mind you, I’ve witnessed the entire crew of guys battle physical injury, broken bones, serious illness, and other discomfort in the midst of a soccer game. When one of them goes down and doesn’t get up, something is seriously wrong because I swear some of those kids will play half dead if they think it will help the team. One personal assessment and a nifty gauze sling from Ski Patrol later, we were headed for x-rays at a hospital an hour away. Diagnosis: one broken collar bone and a strong will to be healed enough to play soccer in the spring.
Which is precisely where the black bean tacos come in. See? I told you I’d get there eventually!
Between the physical toll of skiing/snowboarding all day, and the stress of driving to the emergency room and waiting for the x-rays, we were left completely exhausted and ravenously hungry. All any of us had eaten that day was a little baked oatmeal for breakfast, and roughly half of our respective weights in crunchy granola bars throughout the day. We were quickly toeing the line between hangry and I-can’t-even-think. Once we got home, I realized that while I’d prepped everything to make shredded chicken tacos in the slow cooker, I neglected to actually turn crock pot on before leaving the house.
Please tell me that you’ve done that before. I can’t be the only one.
Since I had the tortillas and all of the condiments and toppings were ready. I grabbed a couple of cans of black beans from the pantry and decided to go the vegetarian taco route. I rinsed the beans, tossed them in a bag with a spicy marinade, and let them hang out while I directed the boys through the process of stowing their snow gear. As the boys went about their respective showering rituals, I was able to set the table while the black beans were roasting in the oven. Roasting the marinated black beans enhances the depth of flavor from the spices while also adhering the seasonings to the beans. My fellas made their way to the kitchen with exclamations of, “Whoa! What smells so good?” and “That smells sick, Mom!” (Sick = good. I don’t get it. I just accept it.)
Dinner was saved!
Roasted Black Bean Tacos are an easy vegetarian meal made with seasoned black beans and topped with any number of fresh ingredients. I’m thoroughly partial to broccoli slaw, sliced avocado, and fresh salsa, but adding a little cheddar cheese and low fat yogurt would not be amiss. The good news is that no matter how chaotic the day, a fresh, healthy dinner of Roasted Black Bean Tacos is only thirty minutes away.