aka two super easy variations

Cinco de Mayo (the 5th of May) is right in the middle of the week this year, but that doesn’t mean you have to miss out on some delicious Mexican-style food.

Here in the US, we borrow this holiday from our Mexican neighbors to the south. Some people think that Cinco de Mayo is Mexico’s independence day, but it’s actually a celebration of the Mexican victory over French forces at the Battle of Puebla, on May 5, 1862 (history is fun!).

Here’s my spin on two great taco recipes that you can make this week, or any week.

Spicy Black Bean Tacos:

With Healthy Avocado Cream Sauce

Make these black bean tacos with your chicken tacos for some variety or solo for a plant-based dish. These have a little heat, but you can make them mild by using mild chili powder. Poblano peppers tend to be fairly mild but some have a little heat, so if you’re super sensitive to heat use a yellow or red bell pepper instead.

Prep Time: 15 min
Total Time: 30 min
Serves 2-4


  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil or avocado oil

  • 1 small or ½ large white or yellow onion, finely chopped

  • 1 medium poblano pepper, diced

  • 1 (15-ounce) can organic black beans, drained and rinsed

  • 1-2 cloves garlic, finely chopped, grated, or pressed

  • ½ teaspoon chili powder (your choice of brand, mild or medium)

  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin

  • ½ teaspoon Cholula hot sauce (or your favorite vinegar-based hot sauce)

  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt

  • a few spins of freshly ground black pepper

  • 1 package of your favorite tortillas (Sprouted corn tortillas, cassava flour tortillas, almond flour tortillas, and rice flour tortillas are all gluten-free. Choose what fits your taste best.)

Ideas for garnishes:

  • Healthy Avocado Cream Sauce (See below)

  • Shredded cabbage

  • Chopped fresh cilantro

  • 1 lime, cut into wedges

  • Grape tomatoes halved (or pico de gallo)

  • Sliced avocado

  • Chopped fresh jalapeño

Taco Filling Recipe: Heat the oil in a saute pan over medium heat; add the onions, poblano peppers & a pinch of salt; saute until softened, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic, chili powder, and cumin, saute for another 2 minutes until very fragrant. Add the drained and rinsed black beans, hot sauce, salt, pepper, and 1/4 cup water. Bring to a simmer then reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and cook 10-15 minutes, stirring occasionally until the beans are heated through and the flavors have come together. If the mixture looks dry, add an extra tablespoon or two of water. You can mash a few of the beans with the back of a fork for texture, if desired.

Tip: you can stretch this recipe by using two cans of black beans, especially if your onion or poblano is on the large side. If you do this, double the salt, spices, and water.

Build your tacos to your preference, my favorite is a cassava flour tortilla (by Siete Foods) heated in a dry cast-iron skillet for about 4 minutes until it lightly bubbles, filled with about 1/4 cup of the black bean taco filling, shredded cabbage, pico de gallo, and my Healthy Avocado Cream Sauce (below).

Healthy Avocado Cream Sauce

Tastes like sour cream but contains probiotics. Use coconut yogurt to make dairy-free if preferred.

Total Time: 5 min
Makes about 1 cup

  • ½ cup plain greek yogurt

  • ½ large ripe avocado, seed removed and peeled

  • 1-2 teaspoons fresh lime juice

  • ½ teaspoon water

  • 1 big pinch of sea salt

Place all ingredients in a blender or food processor and blend until creamy. Or, place all ingredients in a bowl and blend with an immersion blender until creamy. Use it anywhere you’d normally use sour cream. Can be stored in the refrigerator in an airtight container for up to 3 days. 

Shredded Chicken Tacos:

We make this shredded chicken often and use it on salads, tacos, and rice. You can make these in a CrockPot (just be sure to start them early in the day) or Instant Pot (yes, shredded chicken in 30 minutes!). Use the recipes below and simply add a packet of natural taco seasoning to the pot when you add the chicken.

My healthier take on refried beans goes great with any tacos, too.

Grab your favorite taco fixings at the store and enjoy!