Unbeknownst to the areas of my brain that control conscious, reasonable and rational thought, I started out this year on a mission.

On the surface, it seemed like that mission was to come back from my second stress fracture by training for and running the NYC Half Marathon.  No time goal, no lofty PR dreams.  Just. Finish.

Which somehow evolved into running three half marathons in three months, each in under two hours when I haven’t been able to run that fast for 13 consecutive miles since…2009.


I know my fellow runners in da house are nodding their heads vigorously saying YES! GREAT, SANE, RATIONAL, TOTALLY ACHIEVABLE GOALS!

We are enablers.  It’s what we do.

While all of the rest of you (and my physical therapist) are convinced that these are just the ramblings of a crazed lunatic in the midst of a quarter life crisis.

Well.  You’re both right.


On Saturday morning, at 6AM, I left The.Boy.’s apartment in Brooklyn to run the last of my 3in3 (the nickname I gave to my deranged pursuit once it finally emerged from the depths of my subconscious and coerced me into registering for these three races “just in case”.  whatever that means.)

The Brooklyn Half Marathon.

An inner and outer loop of Prospect Park followed by a run along Ocean Parkway down to Coney Island.

For a race that everyone told me was going to be “so easy” and “perfect to PR in” because it’s all “totally flat after Prospect Park”…

…it was tough.

First of all. It was slated to hit 80 degrees that morning.  Not such a big deal when you’re surrounded by trees and shade and foliage in Prospect Park…but a very big deal when you’re virtually unprotected on a highway with absolutely no crowd support to distract you.

Combine that with my second of all point, which is that I hate highway running…miles of open road with just about no end in sight.  UGH.  Does it surprise anyone that I broke down mentally at mile 9 and had to seriously talk myself into keeping going?

That was about when I started pouring water over my head and convinced myself to slow down.  To a 9 minute mile.

Which brings me to my next point which is that…I started too fast.  Running 8:20 and 8:30 minute miles for the first half was just…unnecessary.  And you know what else was unnecessary?  The hill that lasted from mile five to mile six and a half.  With NO WATER STATION in between.  Really, New York Road Runners?  That was where you decided to skimp on the water?  FOR SHAME.

But in the end, I finished.  1:56:52.

Approximately the same pace/time as the New York City Half Marathon, which I ran in March, which means that if it had been even 10 degrees cooler…I would have PR’ed for the year.

But, you know.  There’s always my next half marathon.

My subconscious hasn’t yet decided which one it wants to trick me into registering for yet.  But I’m thinking somewhere not quite so hot and humid as NYC in the summer.  I’m so over all that.


These tacos are exactly the kind of thing you need/crave after spending two hours in the heat, sweating out at least five pounds of water.  The strawberry mango salsa has a hint of heat, but is mostly refreshing and cool, and pairs oh so perfectly with the black beans and feta.  Definitely a great spring/summer meal.

The pick for this week’s Food Matters Project recipe was for Mexican-Style Fruit Salad with Grilled or Broiled Fish.  I obviously strayed pretty far from the original, but you can check that out over at Sarah’s blog.


Black Bean and Feta Tacos with Strawberry Mango Salsa
Serves 4, adapted from The Food Matters Cookbook


  • 1 lb strawberries, hulled and sliced
  • 1 mango, cubed
  • 1 or 2 small hot chili peppers
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh basil
  • salt and black pepper
  • 2 (14 oz) cans black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 4 oz feta cheese, crumbled
  • 12 corn tortillas


  1. Toss the chopped fruit with the chile(s), basil, and a little salt and pepper.  Refrigerate if desired.
  2. Wrap the corn tortillas, three at a time, in a paper towel.  Heat in the microwave for 30 seconds.  Top each tortilla with black beans, fruit salsa, and feta cheese.


You are reading this post on Eats Well With Others at Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to the author and or owner of Eats Well With Others. All rights reserved by Joanne Bruno.
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101 Responses to Black Bean and Feta Tacos with Strawberry Mango Salsa {the food matters project}

  1. Barbara says:

    Now that’s a taco and a half! I love those flavors together, Joanne. So easy to make too…

  2. Elizabeth says:

    So pretty! I love the bright colors and I’m so excited for strawberry season.

  3. What a pretty dish! And I love all the flavors of the ingredients together! Congrats on another great race, rock star!! 🙂

  4. I love mango and black beans together, and I love feta and strawberries together, so why not all of them in one?? Sounds yummy!

  5. Sorry about your run with the whole highway/water station situations but I still think you did awesome! And these tacos seem to be the perfect way to rejuvenate yourself. It looks so refreshing, and just in time for summer.

  6. I am SO insanely proud of you, you never cease to amaze me! And these tacos, they look like the perfect end to any day.

  7. Cara says:

    Whoa! Black Bean and Feta Tacos has long been one of Ben’s favorite meals, and I think you just made them 10x better.

  8. OohLookBel says:

    The Sydney Half Marathon was on yesterday, and after avoiding it completely, I bought and ate a barramundi and black bean taco. It was tasty, but no way as colourful as yours. Nice work!

  9. Nice work! And I hear ya on the heat…welcome to running in FL year-round! PS I just saw you’re gonna be at BlogHer Food. I’m going! We can meet! YAY!

  10. I love your pictures, and I really want one of these tacos now. They might me tomorrows lunch.

  11. haha reading this I am sooo with you – running 3 half marathons in 3 months sounds totally normal to me! Sounds like you had some tough weather though, which sucks. What is your personal best time, btw? Have you considered running a full marathon? You certainly have a great half time to perform well in a full! ALSO, great tacos. They’re super unique and sound delightful!

  12. Deborah says:

    You are seriously a rock star. And that salsa – wow. I want some now!!

  13. SallyBR says:

    Major congrats!!!!! You know, I’ve never been able to break the 2 hour mark at the half. Ok, granted, I am a lot older than you, but still…. I wanted soooooo bad to be able to do it, my record was 2 hours and 2 min something – it almost killed me, but to shave those 2 minutes would have turned ‘almost” into done deal. And we don’t want that, do we?


    I savored every word about your run, now I gotta go back and check the recipe…

  14. I don’t know how you do the marathons especially in the heat! The highway part would kill me!! Be proud of yourself, you did it!! Than coming home to your tacos, is the best reward! The combination of black beans and strawberries, sound great! I want to try this and soon!!

  15. Mary says:

    Congratulations on the finish. You are amazing, as are these tacos. They sound delicious. Have a great day. Blessings…Mary

  16. Danielle says:

    This just might be my lunch today.

  17. Casey says:

    Good going on the run. You are an impressive gal.

    The fruit is also impressive.

  18. Ah! I just adore the bright colors and flavors you have going on in this dish. Absolutely a perfect spring and summer dish!

  19. This looks beautiful! I’m doing a little internal happy dance right now because we made a very similar fruit salad (of which there are leftovers) and I happen to have black beans, feta and tortillas on hand at home. Hello Monday night dinner :-). Awesome job finishing your race! I’ve only run two halfs so far this year, but my brain will start telling me to look for another one or two pretty soon.

  20. daphne says:

    loving the freshness of the fruits and taco combination!!!

  21. Dawn says:

    Way to finish even though it sounds like it wasn’t the most fun race ever! As for these tacos – OH MY GOD. I think I have everything on hand except the cheese so I’ll be making these tonight.

  22. love2dine says:

    Oh, that textured has me filled with wonderful possibilities!

  23. Kristen says:

    Oh that salsa looks so bright and refreshing! Yum! Congrats on finishing in under 2 hours(!!), but I think it’s time for a break :).

  24. Can a taco be pretty? That one sure does look pretty. And delicious.

  25. Lexi says:

    Sounds great! I was wondering how you were going to make this vegetarian.

  26. Amy says:

    You’re a machine! So, how do you feel about running on a treadmill while watching reruns of Sex and the City? Because that’s what I’m about to do…and perhaps somewhere in my future, eat these tacos. BecauseI WANT.

  27. marie says:

    My husband would probably insist on some sort of meat, but otherwise, perfection, I love a savory/sweet salsa.

  28. Karen says:

    That salsa looks so pretty. I’ve made mango salsa, but like the idea of the strawberries in it… I’ll give it a try next time.

  29. That strawberry-mango salsa is calling me…
    I am so making this…

  30. Margarita says:

    You are just awesome Joanne! 3 half marathons before the middle of the year is even over is a superhuhman feat. Our salsas look similar… mine was a little on the spicy side and you just gave me the idea to add some feta cheese in it and use it for tacos (I have some grilled fish too and will add that on). It might taper off the spiciness.

  31. kelsey says:

    I am on my way to the grocery store as I write this. Going to buy everything to make those ASAP.

    once again you rock my world with your running ability. CONGRATS!

  32. Marcia says:

    What a perfect combination, one I never would have thought of! Thanks for the inspiration, and congratulations on such a fine achievement with your tough half-marathon! I’ve been through those kinds of races, so know what you’re talking about. No small feat! Brava!

  33. Lynn says:

    Yum! And I so admire you for doing those races.

  34. Shannon says:

    while you may have strayed from the original, this looks absolutely fabulous as well! and congrats on the run 🙂 you’re totally kicking ass this year, and i love that you’re back and feeling well!

  35. I haven’t really been into running the last 2 yeasr. Not sure why…burn out..don’t know, but I’m getting the itch to run again..maybe it’s your blog and all the crazy talk of 3 in 3’s, or the fact that I would feel way less guilty eating all this yummy food if I was running and hour plus a day..regardless. Thanks for what you do and congrats on your race.

  36. Jenna says:

    You’re one crazy chickadee for doing all the running that you do . . . it’s pretty awe-inspiring to us non-runners.

  37. Christina says:

    Fruit salsas are great.

    Nice job being able to talk yourself through the rough patch. I don’t think your goal is lofty because I’m pretty sure you know exactly what you’re capable of doing.

  38. Is this dessert? It looks like it could be! I love fresh fruit, I love tacos, these would be a perfect sunny summer lunch.

  39. Nicole, RD says:

    YOU ROCK! I am so impressed! And to think in the fall you were still injured!! I am amazed, girl! WOOOO!

    And as for the tacos, I’m all over those. Tacos in any way, shape, or form is fine by me. I love the strawberries – so unique and fun!

  40. Geni says:

    WOW! You are awesome Joanne! You impress me always and the running is pretty amazing too (wink, wink). These tacos are perfect summer food, cool and refreshing hits of mango and strawberries amidst earthy and salty beans and cheese. Oh yeah.

  41. london bakes says:

    I’m so completely in awe of your running, it really inspires me to get back out there. I can’t run at the moment but I’m hoping to be healthy again in a couple of months and I can get back to it. Until then, I’m living vicariously through you! Also black beans + feta make me happy.

  42. I WANT some strawberry mango salsa! NOW! You rock, Joanne.

  43. Jenn Kendall says:

    the strawberry mango salsa is simply inspired – love this! and awesome job with the running, i have absolutely no idea how you do it – i’ve always had a deep hatred for running lol

  44. This salsa looks incredibly colorful and delicious, Joanne! Paired with the black beans and feta I bet it tasted even better! Thanks for sharing. Also, I’m having a ChicWrap giveaway today that you should enter!

  45. Wow, great time! Running in the heat like that is so rough! These tacos seem like a perfect refreshing post-race meal.

  46. Great tacos here.
    Please stay hydrated when running.

  47. Pam says:

    You are a rock star to me! I think you should come run a race in Portland, OR so you can hang out with me, go to farmer’s markets, and eat at some cool restaurants. Hint, hint.

    The tacos are awesome… I love every single ingredient.

  48. Jeanette says:

    Joanne, love the brilliant color of these veggie tacos! Pinning these to try for lunch!

  49. That sounds really intense Joanne. Congrats for finishing and with a good time!!!

  50. Gloria says:

    Joanne you are my hero LOL
    and this look lovely and delicious:) take care dear:)

  51. You are just awesome…THAT is how one makes a comeback. I am impressed, in awe, and drooling.

  52. Wow, that’s awesome…you did it!

    This looks amazing…definitely trying it soon!

  53. Carolyn Jung says:

    Like a fruit salad and taco salad — all in one! I always love the mix of sweet and savory together.

  54. Laurie says:

    yumm.. I can totally taste the black beans with the tanginess of this strawberry mango salsa. You are always so innovative Joanne! Great recipe!

  55. I am so proud of you my friend – your determination is inspirational 😀
    Love it!
    And beautiful tacos my friend – a perfect fruity bean mix for sure!

    Choc Chip Uru

  56. Megan says:

    This looks like it could be dessert! It’s so colorful and summery. What a great idea!

  57. MM says:

    Looks like a perfect lunch to me.
    Great job on the 3in3s, Joanne. You are awesome!

  58. tigerfish says:

    Great that you completed the run under hot and humid conditions. That, to me, is already amazing! I would have melted into the ground. :O

  59. Reeni says:

    You’re a rockstar! I hate the thought of even going outside when it’s hot. I can’t imagine running in it. These tacos are amazing! A unique combo! Sweet and savory and salty. I love that.

  60. Catherine says:

    Dear Joanne, I love this taco! I love the spicy with the sweet and the basil. Beautiful. Blessings dearest. Catherine xo

  61. Hotly Spiced says:

    Marathon running can be such a lonely sport and each race does become a test of your mind. It’s incredible that you’ve done three of these in such a short space of time and that in all the heat you managed to come in in less than two hours. That is awesome! Congrats on a great achievement. And these soft tacos with the mango salsa look and sound fabulous xx

  62. Katie says:

    What an inspiration! I’d love to be running all those, but I think for now I’ll just have to settle for eating like you are. I love the addition of the salsa to these tacos. It really dresses them up!

  63. Oh Joanne, you are SO inspiring to me. 🙂 My muscles are aching after serious hard work yesterday, and it feels so good. 🙂 I LOVE this recipe and can’t wait for warmer days to indulge in it. 🙂

  64. Joanne,
    I just injured my knees two days ago and I am eager to get back to training.. but oh well, i need to wait awhile before i could run my first ever marathon. reading this post is so inspiring indeed… and yes congratulations!
    now your salsa is dancing in unison in my mouth. it is definitely a prelude to summer!

  65. Eileen says:

    Yay half marathon! A WINNER IS YOU!

    And I must note that I am currently eating both strawberries and tacos for dinner, although mine are separate, and there is no mango in sight. Still!

  66. That does sound rough-way to go finishing in such good time in those conditions! Never underestimate what you can achieve! You are a champion! And so are your tacos. 🙂

  67. Hi Joanne! What a vibrant color of this delicious salsa! I love it. You posted on a good timing! The long weekend is coming and this is definitely some dish that we can enjoy with the big group of friends and family!

  68. Alana says:

    This dish is just so vibrant and spectacular, it’s brimming with goodness!!

  69. Anne H says:

    I love the way you write your blogs! Yummy, yummy! Looks delicious!!!

  70. Akila says:

    Wow that’s too good… Wanna taste now

  71. Blond Duck says:

    This is my Friday night din-din!

  72. Cathleen says:

    I admire your perseverance. I need to start running more..
    These look absolutely gorgeous! So colorful, so summery, I love it!

  73. Congrats on your run! But more importantly, please tell me where those plates come from. Because I think I need those happy things in my cupboard. Assuming they’re gettable and not melamine.

  74. YEAH ON THE RUN! You rock girl! Love the salsa with the flavor of the black beans- hearty yet light at the same time? Can that really happen? I think so! LOL!

  75. Oh my goodness strawberries and mango two of my favorite fruits! This looks awesome.

  76. yum! i need to try this!! i’m game for anything with black beans, strawberries, or mango!

  77. I never thought to put black beans and fruit together — but i totally see it working now!

  78. Katerina says:

    Combining fruit and legume is a such a unique idea Joanne! The colors are stunning!Your perseverance is unrivalled!

  79. Lauren T says:

    congrats on running your 3in3 and creating this amazing, fresh meal! I must try those asap!

  80. Sues says:

    Beautiful! I made something similar with feta and strawberry salsa last year and it was so, so good! Black beans make the perfect addition 🙂

  81. Haddock says:

    You have made it all so colourful and tempting.

  82. Erica says:

    What a beautiful taco! Love the colors and flavors…..Meatless and Healthy!!!The perfect dish for my entire family!

  83. Gorgeous filling, Joanne and indubitably delicious…wish I had one now…

  84. Camila Faria says:

    OMG, the colors on this plate! AMAZING and, oh, so tempting!

  85. Evi says:

    Congrats on the 3rd half! Woo-hoo! I did a 10K and felt that was hot here in DC as well- so I think we’re rolling into that time of the year. The next one I’m signed up for is the Philly (Rock ‘n Roll) in September.

    This looks delicious and I can’t wait to make it!

  86. Dining Alone says:

    CONGRATS! I love the pictures on this post.

  87. Faith says:

    OMG, you are such an inspiration. Running is so not my thing, but I so wish it were…you always inspire me. 🙂 The tacos look fantastic — I’d kill for that salsa, lol!

  88. Lori says:

    Congrats on your time! It sounds like it was a rough one. The heat really messed up some races this past weekend. I say, if you want to run 3 halts in 3 months – do it! I always think I shouldn’t, but then I think – well I did all that training, why not keep going? I need to try it myself. I saw Cooking Light RT your tweet about these today. They look amazing!

  89. i want to make these tacos right now something wicked. that and tell you how amazing you are! keep running! 🙂

  90. Candace says:

    I would have never thought to put all of those flavors together; but you have made a seriously beautiful and delicious taco! Must. try. Congratulations on your finish time!

  91. This looks phenomenal, Joanne! I never thought to combine black beans and strawberries but it looks great.

  92. grace says:

    beans and strawberries, eh? that’s a new one, and i’m pretty excited about the prospect. it certainly looks beautiful!

  93. Johanna GGG says:

    congrats on the marathon – sounds like you are flying to me when you talk about all your running (crazy yes but achieving – oh yes)

    however I think I can do the tacos even if I can’t do the marathon – they sound amazin

  94. vianney says:

    Congrats!! I am loving this salsa, with a stack of tortilla chips- call it a evening!!

  95. This taco is absolutely beautiful. I love the salsa!

  96. i made these the night you posted this recipe. amazing. i’m not eating cheese right now, so i sprinkled some nutritional yeast flakes on top and they were great. thanks!

  97. Natalie says:

    You are crazy with your running, but that’s quite an accomplishment – congrats! I absolutely love the sounds of these tacos, and they’re so perfect for summertime. Can’t wait to try them!

  98. Yum! Savoury meets sweet – great way to energize and cool off at the same time. You are amazing with all this running. I am up to 15 minutes on my elliptical machine. Don’t laugh -that thing’s hard! ? And I am old…. 😉

  99. Ginger says:

    just had this for dinner and we LOVED it! you are so creative!

  100. Kevin says:

    Strawberries work surprisingly well in salsas!

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