The healthiest tacos you might ever eat

I was inspired to create a Mexican bowl from a former client, Big Mountain Foods. Although my Insta network said they wanted the recipe for that, I figured I should try Brand New Vegan’s cauliflower taco “meat” a second time in case folks wanted to make their bowls completely from scratch.

Yes, it’s VERY easy to get plant-based taco meat at the grocery store (I ate A LOT of Mexican ground by Yves Veggie Cuisine when I first stopped eating meat; Big Mountain Foods also makes great stuff), but the less processed food you eat, the healthier you’ll be, right?

While I absolutely LOVE hard taco shells and these are what I’ve used for this post, you can also use soft tortillas…another former client in Vancouver, Lita’s Mexican Foods, makes them from scratch too.

Ingredients

1 head of cauliflower (medium to large)
4 oz mushrooms (about 6)
1/2 c walnuts
2 tbsp soy sauce
2 tbsp chili powder
2 tsp cumin
1 tsp paprika (smoked)
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp onion powder
1/4 tsp ground pepper
1/4 tsp salt

Optional ingredients for assembling tacos
Taco shells or soft tortillas
Vegan cheez shreds
Avocado
Shredded lettuce
Salsa (fresh)
Mexican rice
Beans
Guacamole
Chopped tomatoes
Vegan sour cream
Cilantro
Lime

Preheat oven 350 F. Lightly pulse the mushrooms in a food processor to a rice-like consistency. Place in a large bowl. Pulse the walnuts and put them in the bowl. Cut the cauliflower in small pieces and pulse them. Add to the bowl. Mix in the soy sauce. Stir in the spices and mix well. Spread onto a parchment-paper lined baking sheet. Bake for 30 minutes. Toss lightly and bake for an additional 10-15 minutes.

Then, assemble your tacos! I like using hard tacos (Vancouver-based Fresh Is Best Salsa & Co has the multicoloured ones), just be aware they won’t fit a lot of contents. I put in a bit of vegan cheez shreds (I prefer Daiya) while I heat up 3 tacos. Then, I smash half an avocado and put a bit of that in, add the cauliflower meat, then shredded lettuce, and top with hot salsa. For burrito-style, in a soft large tortilla I’d melt the vegan cheez shreds while heating up slightly, then add avocado, lettuce, salsa, Mexican rice, and refried beans before rolling up.

Tips:

  • Make the meat ahead of time so it’s EASY to assemble your tacos later!
  • I ran out of walnuts and used pecans, and didn’t taste any difference because the spices really do all the work. Walnuts will give you the best crunch though.
  • This recipe is enough for about 20 small tacos. If you double or triple this recipe to make more meat, hold on the soy sauce and add to taste as it can get salty real fast. You’ll also need more than one baking sheet.
  • You can use store-bought guacamole or salsa but I find smashing avocado to be enough, and healthier. If you want more flavour, you could add a sprinkle of salt and a squeeze of lime. You can use chopped fresh tomatoes and cilantro instead of store-bought salsa, but my grocery store makes a good, fresh hot salsa so I like to use that.
  • I prefer romaine lettuce.

Next time I’ll share the Mexican bowl recipe, so you can use this recipe for that if you want to!

 

Other recipes you might like:

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