Refried bean and bell pepper tacos

Tacos are one of those go-to meals that I like to throw together when I don’t have a lot of time to cook. I love that they allow me to be creative, and basically decide what to put in them based on what I have in my fridge. Lately, we’ve had TONs of bell peppers. It’s that time of the year again, after all. Late summer = bell peppers and tomatoes. We’ve been getting them from our CSA, and I’ve been buying some extra ones from the farmer’s market, because they’re just so beautiful and cheap right now that I can’t resist. But when life gives you bell peppers, what do you make? A whole host of things, really. Roasted bell pepper salad, gazpacho, stuffed bell peppers, the ever so popular ratatouille….and tacos!

On this particular day, I decided to soak and cook some heirloom beans that I got from Phipps Farm Store earlier this summer. They’re called Spanish Tolosanas, and they’re lovely. The pattern on them, unfortunately, goes away by the time they’re soaked and cooked, but it’s replaced by a delicious smell and taste. They also cook down to a soft, refried texture very well, which is why I chose them for making tacos. If you don’t have time to cook your own dried beans, you can substitute a can of refried beans for this recipe.

Here are the ingredients for 4 tacos:

4 corn tortillas (I used the “Truly Handmade” ones from Trader Joe’s)
1 yellow bell pepper, sliced
1 red bell pepper, sliced
2 c. cooked beans (or 1 can refried beans)
1 hot pepper, chopped
1 medium tomato, diced
1/2 red onion, chopped
a few pinches of paprika
salt and pepper to taste

Coat a heavy-bottomed nonstick pan with cooking spray (I use TJ’s brand canola oil spray) and heat it to medium. Cook the onion for a few minutes and add the hot pepper. Let these cook together for about a minute, and add the bell peppers. After about 5-7 minutes, add the paprika, the salt/pepper and the diced tomatoes. Let the tomatoes warm up on the pan for about a minute before removing it from the heat (you don’t want to overcook the tomatoes). While all this is cooking, warm the beans in a different nonstick pan (or in the microwave if you prefer). Add salt, pepper, and paprika to the beans, if they need seasoning. Warm up the corn tortillas before assembling the tacos. After layering beans and bell peppers on your taco, top it with whatever other ingredients suit your fancy. For these, I used some shredded cheese, sour cream and guacamole, but you can also use fresh tomatoes, cilantro, salsa…etc. Here is a picture of the finished product for you. Enjoy!

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