These meatless tacos are awesome because they taste so meaty, and sometimes I just miss the taste of meat. The filling is almost indistinguishable from a beef taco, and my meat-eating friends agree, so this is one of many meals that successfully keeps the protein and flavors in but the animals out! When I first made this, I basically just used any Mexican seasonings I had on hand to spice it up (a teaspoon of each made the perfect blend), so I’m sure you can do the same if you don’t have all the spices listed below. Of course, you can just wrap the filling into a heated-up soft corn tortilla, but I like taking the extra few minutes to fix up some hard taco shells - they’re not necessarily the healthiest things in the world, but sometimes (or all of the time), you just have to prepare unhealthy things in the name of deliciousness. Throwing in some sweet corn and zucchini doesn’t hurt this recipe either!
ingredients (serves 4-6): filling
- 1 8 oz. package organic tempeh
- 2 tablespoon olive or grapeseed oil
- 2 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
- 1/2 medium onion or one small onion, peeled and diced
- 1/2 red bell pepper, diced
- 10 (or more if you have super small ones) mushrooms, decapped, stemmed, and diced or quartered (any small brown or white mushroom will work)
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- 1 teaspoon chile powder
- 1 cup napa cabbage (optional)
- splash of lime juice (optional)
- mango guacamole (see 6/16) or guacamole of choice
- strawberry pineapple salsa (see 5/29) or salsa of choice
- tofu sour cream (see 6/2)
ingredients: hard taco shells
- 12 corn tortillas
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
Chop tempeh into bite size pieces, and steam for 7 minutes (if you’re like me and you don’t have a steamer and don’t feel like buying one, then boil about 2 inches of water [enough to cover the tempeh], add tempeh, cover, lower heat to medium/medium low, and steam for 7 minutes). Take off heat, drain, and set aside to cool slightly. Meanwhile, prepare veggies (mince garlic, dice onion, pepper, and mushrooms).
Place oil in large skillet over medium/medium high heat. Add garlic and saute for one minute so the garlic becomes aromatic. Add onion, pepper, and mushrooms and saute until vegetables become softer (~5 min.), add the spices, and saute for another 5ish minutes, stirring frequently. When cool enough to handle, crumble the tempeh chunks onto the skillet and saute for another 5-10 minutes, continuing to stir frequently, until tempeh is slightly golden brown and filling is warm and mixed completely. Place filling in oven or microwave to keep warm if you are not serving right away, or if you have time to prepare hard taco shells (it also refrigerates and heats up well if you have leftovers).
HARD TACO SHELLS: Heat two tablespoons of oil in skillet over medium high heat. First, quickly soak both sides of the tortilla in the oil, and then, using tongs or a fork, hold half of the tortilla of one side in the air and the other half in the oil, in the desired taco shape, and fry for 15-20 seconds or until crispy (it won’t harden if you don’t hold it long enough—which is easy to fix/gage—but if you hold it for too long it may burn or stick - so just pay attention!). Do the same with the other outside half, and you’ll have yourself a hard taco shell. Repeat with the rest of the corn tortillas (if you want).
Assemble tacos by placing tempeh mixture, napa cabbage, guacamole, salsa, and sour cream inside, and devour away!