SO CRISPY: BLACK BEAN FLAUTAS
Salad Grinds and Bean Plants #25
In the war of words that is "buttery" versus "crispy," choosy vegans choose the latter.
SO CRISPY (black bean flautas)
WORDS: Johnny Lozano
If you haven’t yet picked up Berrics Magazine issue #2, I highly recommend you pick up a copy and enjoy the glossy goodness that only printed skateboarding can provide (come to think of it, same advice applies if you slept on the first issue). Hot on the heels of The Berrics’ 10-year anniversary, issue #2 provides an in-depth retrospective of the last decade of Battles at the Berrics, Recruits, Battle Commanders, Wednesdays with Reda, and everything in between. While my most pervasive thought while flipping through issue #2 was “Shit, I’m old,” I couldn’t help but focus on one word in the article’s tagline: crispy.
Skateboarding vernacular is an esoteric beast to behold, rarely understood (and often satirized) by the general public. Complex, borderline nonsensical, and ever-changing, skateboarders young and old regularly and unquestioningly use words like “steezy” and “buttery” to describe a thing of beauty (or, conversely, “mobbed” if nobody’s getting accolades), without blinking an eye. Frankly, it just makes sense. Yet rarely does any skater make a concerted effort to actually change our collective verbiage—that is, until The Berrics suggested in the middle of a "Text Yo'self" episode that instead of requesting that the recipient do “buttery” tricks, they try a fresher adjective—“crispy.” And so, buttery flatground tricks became crispy flatground tricks, buttery lines became crispy lines, and there was soon enough crispiness in the park to bring Crispy M&Ms back into production.
…okay, I don’t know if The Berrics had any sway in bringing that flavor back, but it couldn’t have hurt.
While there may have never been an all-out war between “buttery” and “crispy” in skateboarding, these two recipe-related adjectives are also often at odds in the world of cooking—and being vegan, you can guess which one I’m backing. While “crispy” may not be a flavor in and of itself, it’s hard to argue against the logic that making many foods crispier makes them more delicious: potatoes, toast, tofu—the list goes on.
Add flautas to that list. If you haven’t tried a flauta (named after the Spanish word for “flute”), think of it as a crispy, rolled up taco that’s typically larger than a taquito and not double wrapped in a corn tortilla (although you can use corn tortillas if that’s your jam). While regular tacos admittedly leave very little room for improvement, rolling and baking them makes for an unspeakably delicious crispy dish that’s not quite a crunchy taco and not quite a taquito. I originally started making these a couple of years ago from a recipe in the "Thug Kitchen Cookbook" (a fantastic introduction to plant-based cooking, if this blog is not profane enough for you), but I have since modified it to make it a little spicier and give it a magnesium and zinc boost, as well as adding some diced tomatoes and chipotle powder for an extra kick.
The added bonus of this dish is that you don’t have to make it all at once. It’s easy to just keep the filling in the fridge and make as many as you want right after (or before) a sesh. Once the filling is made, all that’s left is baking these bad boys in the oven for a total of 10-12 minutes, making these a quick and filling anytime meal.
Time to make some crispy-ass flautas!
INGREDIENTS (yields 16-20 flautas)
- 2 Tbsp. olive oil
- 1 yellow onion (diced)
- 2-3 cloves garlic (minced)
- 1 jalapeño (diced, optional)
- 2 tsp. cumin
- 2 tsp. oregano
- 2 tsp. chili powder
- ½ tsp. chipotle powder (optional)
- 4 oz diced tomatoes
- 1 15-oz can corn
- 4 oz green chiles
- 2 15-oz cans black beans (drained)
- 16-20 tortillas of your choice (I prefer a flour/corn mix)
- cooking spray
- toothpicks (optional)
- On stovetop in a large pan, bring the olive oil to a medium heat and toss in the diced onions. Cook for 3-5 minutes or until the onions turn translucent. Add the garlic and jalapeño and cook for another minute, stirring often. Add in the cumin, oregano, chili powder and chipotle powder and cook for another minute or until the mix becomes noticeably (and deliciously) fragrant.
- Once your kitchen smells like heaven, add in the diced tomatoes, corn and green chiles and continue to cook for another 3-4 minutes.
- While the veggies are cooking, throw the black beans in a bowl and mash them with a fork or masher. If you want more texture, leave ¼ cup of the black beans out and then add them to the mashed mix so that you have some whole black beans, as well. Add the black beans to the veggies and spices and cook for another 2-3 minutes, stirring often. Remove from heat.
- Preheat the oven to 425°F and spray a large backing sheet with cooking spray. On each tortilla, add a small amount (3-4 tablespoons) of the mix onto the tortilla, just slightly off center in one direction. Leave a little room at the top and bottom as well. Starting from the side that the filling is on, roll the tortilla tightly so that the mix gets folded up without spilling out of the other end or the top and bottom. If you’re having a hard time getting it to stay, stick a toothpick in the finished roll.
- Place the rolled tortillas on the baking sheet and bake for 6-8 minutes or until the ends start to crisp. Flip them over and cook for another 3-4 minutes until they are golden and crispy all the way through. Go do some crispy-ass skating!
For more recipes, check out www.saladgrindsandbeanplants.com or find us on Instagram at @salad_grinds_and_bean_plants.