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Ground Turkey and Black Bean Tacos With Spanish Rice

As an athlete and mother of two young children, Lani is always looking for new ways to present her family with tasty and nutritious meals.

Ground turkey and black bean tacos served with Spanish rice

Ground turkey and black bean tacos served with Spanish rice

My Little Black Bean Secret

Tacos at my house are a universal hit—and they make an appearance on our table at least once a month. I began adding black beans to my taco meat when I realized that my boys could seemingly eat pounds of food when it comes to tacos. Solution? I decided to make my tacos more filling by adding black beans to the meat and whole corn kernels to the rice. So far, this tactic has been very successful. Not only do the black beans add fiber and extra nutrition, but they're filling enough that we usually have leftovers for the next day. Coupled with my version of Spanish rice, what used to be a single meal now stretches to three meals for my family of four people. In the world of a single mother, that is some good winning.

Cook Time: 40 minutes

Note: Steam the rice while you are browning the meat.

Equipment

  • wok (or 1 large saucepan for the meat and 1 large saucepan for the rice)
  • rice cooker (or 1 large pot)
  • small skillet (for frying taco shells, optional)

Ingredients

For the meat:

  • 2 lbs ground turkey, chicken, or beef
  • 1/2 cup chopped onion
  • 1/2 cup oil (vegetable, canola, olive, etc.)
  • 1 package taco seasoning (McCormick's, Lawrey's, store brand, etc.)
  • 2 tbsp minced garlic
  • 1 can black beans

For the taco shells:
You can use any soft or hard store-bought corn or flour tacos. However, if you would like to make your own (I strongly suggest you do, as it's just so much better), you will need:

  • 1 package small corn tortillas
  • 2 cups oil (canola or vegetable)

For the rice:

  • 3 cups uncooked rice of your choice (I use jasmine)
  • 1/2 cup chopped onions
  • 1/2 cup oil (vegetable, canola, olive, etc.)
  • 1 cube chicken bullion
  • 1 tbsp onion powder, garlic powder, cumin
  • 2 tbsp minced garlic
  • 1 can whole kernel corn
  • 1 can hot tomato sauce
  • 2/3 cup chopped cilantro (optional)

Step 1: Prepare the Meat

  1. Add oil and onions to one of your large saucepans and heat on medium until onions are soft and transparent.
  2. Add meat, minced garlic, and taco seasoning, then brown till cooked thoroughly. Add a half a cup of water at a time as needed to keep meat and pan moisturized to avoid charring the meat and burning your saucepan.
  3. Open can of black beans, rinse, drain then add to meat. Stir in beans then reduce heat to low. Let the mixture simmer for about 10 minutes to soften the beans, occasionally stir to distribute heat and avoid burning.

How to Brown Ground Meat

Step 2: Prepare the Rice

Method 1: In a Pot

Simply follow the instructions on your package of rice—it's that simple! Then skip to step 3, below.

Method 2: In a Rice Cooker

  1. Add 3 cups uncooked rice to your rice cooker, rinse then fill with water to the appropriate fill line designated by your cooker. Crumble a chicken bouillon cube and scatter over the rice, cover then start your cooker. Once hot and bouillion begins to dissolve, stir your rice to distribute bouillon.
  2. Let rice cook and move on the meat and tortillas for now.
  3. Once your meat is simmering, and the rice is done steaming add oil and onions to a second large saucepan or wok and heat on medium until onions are soft and transparent.
  4. In a wok or large saucepan add rice, minced garlic, and all spices, mix thoroughly. Add 1/2 can of hot tomato sauce and one can of drained whole kernel corn. I only use half a can of Hot Tomato Sauce because the "Hot" stands for spicey. I have used an entire can in the past; unfortunately, it was overwhelmingly spicey for my tiny children. Now I use half a can and freeze the remaining half for future recipes like shredded chicken tacos, homemade chili, and spicy spaghetti sauce. Thoroughly mix your rice, adding a half a cup of water at a time as needed to keep rice and pan moisturized to avoid charring the rice and burning your saucepan/wok.

Rice Cooker

Step 3: Prepare the Taco Shells

  1. Put two cups of oil in a small skillet and heat on medium-high for about 4 to 5 minutes. Test the oil by dipping the edge of a tortilla in the oil to see if it begins to fry. You are looking for rapid and continuous boiling.
  2. Once the oil is hot use two dinner forks or two wooden spoons to lay one tortilla in the oil on one side for 3-4 seconds, then flip on the other side for another 3-4 seconds then bend the tortilla in half down the middle. Make sure to hold the tortilla open wide enough for the taco to accept all its fillings. When one side has fried to you desired crunchiness flip over and fry the other side.
  3. Remove cooked tortilla shell and place on paper towels or napkin to drain excess oil.
  4. Repeat steps 2 and 3 for as many shells as you need.

Did you try it? What did you think?

© 2019 Lani Morris

Comments

Lani Morris (author) from Seattle, WA on September 10, 2019:

Nice, I hadn't thought about using the microwave. While in the military I had to learn how to use the microwave for many, many things. Brocolli and grilled cheese....just to name a few.

Liz Westwood from UK on September 10, 2019:

This looks like a tasty and economical recipe. I hadn't come across a

rice cooker before. After being without a cooker for several weeks during a kitchen refit many years ago, I had to get innovative with a microwave. To this day I put rice in a bowl with boiling water in the microwave to cook. I especially like the idea of adding black beans.