Grilled Mango and Bean Tacos

by Laurel on April 8, 2013

I have to admit tacos are one of my favorite foods. They can be hard or soft shell, it doesn’t matter to me. When I was little, I always looked forward to Taco Night, when my Mom would prepare an awesome build-your-own-taco spread with every ingredient in its own separate plate or bowl. It was so fun to pile my tacos until they were bursting with lettuce, tomatoes, onions, refried beans, cheese, spicy meat, and hot sauce and get my hands messy while trying to eat them. These days I love playing around with different healthy ingredients, but I always serve up my ingredients on little plates and let everyone build their own tacos, just like my mom. It always makes me smile.

Here’s a great veggie taco recipe that’s sure to please. I love the sweetness of the grilled mango with the spicy beans and fresh and tangy salsa. My recipe makes you a great big portion of beans and salsa so you and your friends and/or family can have a feast plus leftovers. For the “other ingredients”, feel free buy as much as you think you need.

Grilled Mango & Bean Tacos
(makes a big family feast, or lots of leftovers)

Grilled Mango & Bean Tacos

Spiced beans (see Tip#1 below):
1 lb. dry black beans
1 lb. dry pinto beans
1 quart vegetable stock
1 tbsp. cumin
1 tbsp. garlic powder
1 tbsp. dried oregano
1 tbsp. chili powder
1 tbsp. paprika
1 tbsp. onion powder
Salt (to taste)

Fresh tomato salsa (see Tip#2 below):
4 large tomatoes (such as hothouse)
1 small red onion
4 cloves garlic
1 jalapeño
1 big handful fresh cilantro
1 tbsp. coconut sugar

Other ingredients (see Tip#3 below):
Soft tortillas and/or hard shell taco shells
Hot sauce
Fresh cilantro

  1. Soak the beans – Rinse off the beans and pour them in a big soup pot. Add 16 cups of water and bring to a boil. Boil for 2 minutes, then turn off the heat, cover with a lid, and let the beans sit off the heat for 1 hour. Drain and rinse the beans well.
  2. Cook the beans – Put the beans back in your big soup pot. Cover with 8 cups of water, 1 quart of veggie stock, and the cumin, garlic powder, oregano, chili powder, paprika, and onion powder. Stir well and cover with a lid (but tilt the lid so steam can escape). Simmer for 1 hour, stirring occasionally. When the beans are done, add salt to taste, and add any extra spices you want. Remove from the heat and transfer to a casserole dish or bowl.
  3. Make the salsa – Cut up 2 of the tomatoes, and the red onion, garlic, and jalapeño and put them in a food processor. Pulse a few times until the salsa becomes a liquid (leaving it a little chunky). Cut up the remaining two tomatoes into a small dice by hand and put them in a big bowl with the ingredients from the food processor. Give a rough chop to the cilantro and stir it in. Stir in the coconut sugar. Set aside to allow the flavors to blend.
  4. Prepare the other ingredients – Cut up the mango into 1/2 inch slices and grill them (using a grill or stovetop grill pan) until they turn golden brown on the edges. Cut up the avocado into thin slices. Chop up some fresh cilantro for garnish and cut up some limes into wedges to serve on the side. Warm up the taco shells and/or tortillas. Take out your favorite hot sauce for extra spice.
  5. Build your own taco buffet – Spread out all the ingredients out on your table and allow everyone to build them on their own.  Store leftover beans and salsa in the refrigerator. When you’re having a “leftovers” night, always make fresh grilled mango and cut up fresh avocado, cilantro, and limes.

Tip #1: I thought it was fun to soak, cook, and spice my beans completely from scratch, but if you need to save time, feel free to use canned beans instead of cooking dried beans like I did. You can just rinse off canned beans, stir in your spices, and reheat as necessary.

Tip #2: These days it’s easy to find coconut sugar at your local health food store. It’s one of the best forms of sugar because it has a low glycemic index (check out Well + Good NYC’s guide to natural sweeteners). If you can’t find it, you can easily substitute with agave or brown sugar or honey.

Tip #3: For the “other ingredients”, I didn’t include exact amounts, because you can just guess and buy as much as you think you’ll use. For me, I bought bags of avocados, mangoes, and limes, a big bunch of fresh cilantro, and several packs of soft and hard taco shells so I’d have plenty to work with for my weekday leftovers.

Hothouse tomatoes

Hothouse tomatoes, ready to be chopped into salsa

Fresh salsa

Fresh tomato salsa

Spiced beans for tacos

Cooked pinto and black beans

Grilled mango slices

Slices of grilled mango

Grilled Mango and Bean Tacos
Grilled Mango and Bean Tacos
Grilled Mango and Bean Tacos
Grilled Mango and Bean Tacos
Grilled Mango and Bean Tacos

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Sean April 9, 2013 at 5:27 pm

Love it! Would have never thought to have mango with my tacos. Will have to give this a try for sure. Thanks!

Neil Butterfield April 19, 2013 at 7:28 am

I agree that tacos is awesome. I love the look of your tomato salsa here. Trust that you enjoyed your meal?

The FastDiet April 22, 2013 at 12:46 am

Mangos in a Taco! I never would have thought this was tasty but the pictures are making me crave these now. I guess I know what I will be making for dinner this week.

PAGG Supplement April 22, 2013 at 5:03 am

Healthy and delicious!

Daisy Anne April 22, 2013 at 9:19 pm

Thanks for this great taco idea of yours! I am a taco lover also, and I think the combination you had with mangoes and beans are terrific. I would love to try this one when I get home.

Laurel April 23, 2013 at 6:59 pm

Thanks Daisy! I love grilled mango and/or pineapple. Such a versatile choice for a healthy and refreshing dinner.

Emma Mason April 26, 2013 at 3:48 am

That’s a real checklist of ingredients for a recipe, but the grilled mango and bean tacos that you have is just terrific. I also live its presentation… who would not be surprised to see grilled mangoes in between taco shells?

Laurel April 26, 2013 at 8:23 am

HI Emma,
Thanks for your comment! Yeah it’s quite a few spices included for the beans. As a time saver, you could easily buy one of those taco seasoning mixes and add those to the plain beans to flavor them up in one step. I just typically avoid those because they often contain GMOs or other unhealthy additives.

Best of luck and let me know how you like the grilled mango! Mmm.

Melissa April 27, 2013 at 12:51 pm

You had me at grilled mango.

Ana L. April 30, 2013 at 9:37 am

Tacos are really awesome to eat, and i never imagine that mangoes and tacos can be together. This recipe sound’s great, hope it has wonderful taste thanks for sharing it.

Rebecca J. April 30, 2013 at 9:51 am

I think this recipe is going to be my family’s favorite recipe. I would surely ask my mom to make it for us,hope this will going to rock. Thank you

Lily A. May 1, 2013 at 10:01 am

I love mangoes, tacos and mangoes together looks awesome, i’ll surely try it.

Laurel May 1, 2013 at 2:13 pm

Thanks again everyone! I’m thrilled with all the positive response on this recipe. I’ll have to find more ways to incorporate grilled mango and other fruits in recipes for this spring and summer!

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