This post was created in partnership with One Degree Organic Foods. All opinions are our own.
Do you know the documentary Chef’s Table? Alex and I watched for the first time the other night and got sucked into the lives of great chefs. One chef in particular was obsessed with finding the best ingredients and befriending the farmers who grew them. Great ingredients make great flavor was his motto, and his mission was to find people growing the best ingredients in sustainable ways.
We’re no gourmet chefs, but Alex and I fell in love with the same way of buying food. While not everyone lives in a location where this is possible, we’re lucky to live in a city full of markets full of great produce. When we first started cooking, I’d rush to the market to chat with the farmers about their colorful produce. After growing up in a suburban sea of gigantic anonymous groceries, it was unlike anything I’d ever experienced. Real people grow food. It was a bit of an epiphany. I have never looked at food the same again.
And yet, it’s not possible to buy everything directly from the farmers themselves. For our everyday shopping, Alex and I try to buy the best quality ingredients we can, keeping in mind the “where possible” motto. We buy organic where possible and sustainable where possible. We do as much research as we can, but try not to stress about being “perfect”.
It’s been encouraging to be a tiny part of a changing food system over the past ten years. (Before that, we had absolutely no awareness of food.) While there’s still a long way to go, we’ve seen gradual changes. Since we’ve lived here, Indianapolis has become a flourishing foodie city full of urban farmers and farm to table restaurants. National consumers have demanded no added sugars, and gigantic companies have removed high fructose corn syrup. Smaller companies have been born devoted to completely organic and sustainable production. These tortillas, for example, are made by a company that makes relationships with every single organic farmer they work with and posts this person’s story on their website. Ten years ago, this was literally unheard of in our country. It’s incredible to watch.
These humble refried bean tacos are all about simple, quality ingredients thrown together in a new-to-us way. Multi-colored bell peppers and green cabbage are tossed with lime to make a quick slaw. They’re a contrasting crunch to our supremely simple black beans, simmered in olive oil for 15 minutes until they’re silky and garlicky. To top it off, our interest in vegan recipes steered us toward creating a chipotle cashew cream, a smooth sauce that brings it all together. And the wrapper for these refried bean tacos: a charred tortilla.
We used One Degree Organics new organic sprouted corn tortillas, which we charred over an open flame on our stovetop. In these tortillas, the corn was sourced from Michoacán, Mexico from a farmer named Javier Gabriel. (You can watch him here as he talks about the importance of corn in Mexican culture.) Knowing the face and name who made the corn for these tortillas is pretty darn special; it’s almost like buying from a farmer at a local market. So while our food systems aren’t perfect, they’re getting better. And these refried bean tacos are here to prove it.
Note: These One Degree Organic Foods organic corn tortillas are available at Whole Foods stores in the US!
Featured partner: One Degree Organics
One Degree Organic Foods is a family’s business whose goal is to bring food straight from a farm to your table so there’s only one degree of separation between you and person who grew your food. All of One Degree’s products are sprouted, traceable, organic, and non-GMO project verified. An incredible amount of care goes into all of their products (sprouted grain flours, cereals, breads, granolas, and tortillas), and it was easy to see the passion that drives this company forward. For all One Degree products, you can read about the story of the farmer behind your food by scanning a QR code on the product.
Looking for vegan recipes?
These refried bean tacos are vegan, which stands out from most of our Mexican-inspired recipes. Vegan recipes are becoming part of our everyday, though we typically eat vegetarian. Here are a few of our recent vegan recipes:
- Herby Tomato Flatbread with Rye Cracker Crust
- Chocolate Brownie Spelt Vegan Pancakes
- Tart Cherry Cardamom Baked Oatmeal
Looking for healthy dinner ideas?
Who isn’t looking for healthy dinner ideas, these days? A few of our top healthy dinner ideas with a summer flair:
- Vegetarian Spinach Meatballs & Spaghetti
- Raw Falafel Buddha Bowls
- Southwestern Bowl with Green Chile Vinaigrette
Did you make this recipe?
If you make our refried bean tacos recipe, we’d love to hear how it turned out. Leave a comment below or share a picture on Instagram and mention @acouplecooks and @onedegreeorganics.
This recipe is…
Vegetarian, vegan, plant-based, dairy-free, and gluten-free.Print
For a weeknight meal, make the chipotle cashew cream in advance and store refrigerated until serving.
- Soak the cashews; see (below).
- Make the Supremely Simple Black Beans.
- Meanwhile, thinly slice the cabbage and peppers (cut off the rounded edges of the peppers so that the peppers are straight). Juice the lime. Just before serving, mix together the cabbage, peppers, lime juice, kosher salt and several grinds of black pepper in a large bowl.
- Blend the cashew cream (below).
- Warm the tortillas, or char them by placing them on grates above an open gas flame on medium heat for a few seconds per side, flipping with tongs, until they are slightly blackened and warm.
- To serve, place refried beans in a tortilla, top with cabbage and pepper slaw, cashew sauce, and some torn cilantro leaves.
- 1 cup raw unsalted cashews
- 1 tablespoon adobo sauce (from 1 can chipotle peppers in adobo sauce)
- 3/4 cup water
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- Soak the cashews for at least 1 hour. (If desired, you can set them to soak in the morning before work and make the sauce in the evening. Or if you don’t have time to think ahead, you can cheat and do a 30 minutes soak while you make the recipe; however, for the creamiest sauce, at least 1 hour is best.)
- Add all ingredients to a blender, then blend on high for 1 minute. Stop, scrape and add additional liquid if necessary to come to a creamy consistency. Blend for several minutes until creamy and smooth. If desired, add additional salt to taste. Store in a sealed jar in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.
About the Authors
Cookbook Author and writer
Sonja Overhiser is author and recipe developer of Pretty Simple Cooking, named one of the “best vegetarian cookbooks” by Epicurious, and a recipe developer and healthy & sustainable food advocate behind the award-nominated food blog A Couple Cooks.
Cookbook Author and photographer
Alex Overhiser is photographer and recipe developer of Pretty Simple Cooking, named one of the “best new cookbooks” by Bon Appetit, and a recipe developer, photographer, and technical expert at A Couple Cooks.