Pork Tacos with Pinto Bean Radish Salad + Cilantro Crema

Pork Tacos with Pinto Bean Radish Salad + Cilantro Crema

When I think about meals that excite me the most cooking at home, it’s those that I get multiple uses out of. From breakfast, to lunch, to dinner. And that normally always start with roasting a big cut of meat (whether that is a whole chicken or a pork shoulder) and cooking up a pot of grains or pulses. Because if I have those steps done, then meals during the week are quick and painless. And more importantly, satisfying. 

Last month I was invited to attend a conference all about pulses, as 2016 is the International Year of Pulses. Now beyond the word itself, pulses are very familiar in my kitchen. I could snack on crispy chickpeas each day, every day. White beans are turned into a dip or served like a mashed potato. Lentils are mixed with veggies and greens to making a filing salad. And black beans and pinto beans are used every time we are cooking up a batch of tacos and nachos! 

Pulses are not only sustainable, but affordable, delicious and packed with protein. Specifically lentils deliver double the protein per serving of quinoa. They have 4x more fiber than brown rice. Chickpeas alone have 3x more folate per serving than kale. Pulses are high in antioxidants, gluten-free and cholesterol-free. And most importantly they are sustainable. They are natural fertilizers, drought-tolerant, have a low carbon footprint and are water-efficient. I urge you to take the Pulse Pledge. Simply eat pulses once a week for 10 weeks. It’s easy!

Pork Tacos with Pinto Bean Radish Salad + Cilantro Crema
Pork Tacos with Pinto Bean Radish Salad + Cilantro Crema

To get this recipe started, I started with roasting a pork shoulder. Simply rubbing it down with olive oil, garlic, salt and pepper. Placing it in the oven for a few hours and that’s it. Now these tacos could easily be filled with roasted chicken or no meat at all if that is your preference. 

The night before I soaked a batch of pinto beans, where the next day I simmered them over low heat until tender. Reserving the remaining beans for future meals, like breakfast burritos and big salads. Understanding that cooking dried beans does take a bit of planning, I like to keep a variety of different canned pulses in our cupboard. 

Once you have your meat roasted, which could be done the day before, or left out for those preferring not to eat meat. Have your beans cooked and ready. From there it simple takes 10 minutes to toss the salad filing together, warm up the tortillas and make a quick batch of cilantro crema. Enjoy!

{This post was sponsored by USA Pulses & Pulse Canada. All thoughts and opinions are my own, thank you for supporting}


1 pound dried pinto beans
2-3 teaspoons salt

2 cups cooked pinto beans
1 cup radishes, slivered
1/2 cup cilantro, chopped
1 jalapeno, sliced
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 lime, juiced
1/2 teaspoon cumin
salt and pepper

Place the dried beans in a bowl and cover with water, leave them on your counter overnight. After they have been soaked, drain the beans and give them a quick rinse. Place the beans in a dutch oven, or your favorite cooking pot, cover the beans with an inch of water and bring to a low boil. Reduce the heat to low and cover. Beans can take anywhere from 1-3 hours to be ready. Once they are almost ready, add the salt. Simmer until they are done. Reserve 2 cups of the cooked pinto beans for this recipe, and then store the remaining beans in their liquid for another use. 

For the filling, place 1 cup of drained pinto beans in a large bowl, add the slivered radishes, cilantro, jalapeño, olive oil, lime juice, cumin, salt and pepper. Toss together, taste and adjust seasonings. 

1 (4LB) Pork Shoulder
3 tablespoons olive oil
3 tablespoons chopped garlic
Salt + Pepper

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. 

In a small bowl, mix together the olive oil, chopped garlic, salt and pepper. Place your roast on a roasting pan, pat it dry. Then either using a pastry brush, or simply your hands, spread the mixture all of the roast. 

Roast for 20 minutes. Lower the heat to 325 degrees and continue to roast for another 3 1/2 - 4 hours, until tender. Remove from the oven and let rest for up to 30 minutes. At that time, transfer the roast to a cutting board and begin shredding the meat. 

2/3 cup sour cream
1/2 cup roughly chopped cilantro
1/2 lime, juiced
1 serrano pepper, chopped (optional)
salt + pepper to taste

In a food processor, combine all ingredients. If you want it thicker, add 1/4 cup more sour cream. If you prefer it thinner, add the other half of the lime juice. 


In a frying pan over high heat, place the tortillas in the dry pan and cook for about 1 minute per side, and set aside. 

Place 2 tablespoons of shredded pork on the tortilla, top with the pinto bean radish salad and cilantro crema. Serve with extra lime wedges. 

Extra Pinto Bean Radish Salad can be eaten as is, or used as a dip with chips!