Serious Eats: Recipes

Dinner Tonight: Black Bean and Kale Tacos

I'm all for eating more vegetables, but I usually click away from nutrition-focused websites spouting "healthy" recipes. But as I searched for meals with kale and black beans, this recipe for black bean and kale tacos from Delicious Living just kept popping up. It was a fairly straightforward recipe, but with some incredible kale from the farmers' market and some freshly made black beans, I figured I could make it work. My goal was to unhinge the tame recipe by adding stronger flavors and maybe just a bit of lard.

What I ended up with was surprisingly filling and meaty for a meal based on greens and beans. This was achieved largely with that healthy dose of good quality lard. Say what you will—lard is such an easy way of adding a meaty boost to dishes that don't have any actual meat. I always have some hanging around my fridge. If you really don't want rendered pork fat in your meal then geez, I don't know, maybe some duck fat, beef tallow, or chicken schmaltz would work, too.

Anyway, though the lard helps flesh out the dish, the real star here is the kale, which still retains some crunch and texture. I was worried this would just turn to mush after a few minutes because of the black beans, but it luckily didn't. The beans just soak up the flavors, and the jalapeƱos and hot sauce add the kick.

About the author: Nick Kindelsperger is a freelance writer in Chicago and the co-founder of The Paupered Chef.

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