There are plenty of ground beef alternatives for Taco Tuesdays and such, but many of them are made with seitan (wheat) or soy, and they all are pretty high in sodium. If you want a healthier alternative, free of soy, gluten, and animal products including dairy, all roads lead to the produce department.
My friend Carrie works for a culinary institute, and does cooking demos in high schools to ignite that fire in the future chefs of America. She visits all sorts of classrooms, and comes across students of any dietary restriction you can imagine. A few years ago, she decided that a veggie recipe would suit the most people. There is no religion against the eating of vegetables, allergies are very limited (I’m sure it exists, but more times than not, I think a high schooler with a cauliflower allergy is actually just a punk trying to pull your leg), and the list goes on. She was on to something!
Being the good friend I am, I agreed to taste test a few different taco filling recipes. Let’s face it, most things that are seasoned well and tucked in a taco shell will probably be pretty good. Our winner from the taste test had a great consistency, rich flavor, and it keeps well in the fridge for leftovers!
While the recipe calls for diced veggies, I take a few shortcuts. One veggie at a time, I chop things up in the food processor with the S-blade. Start with the onion, since that’s the first veggie needed.
I’ve made this recipe countless times, and a few times I’ve left out ingredients. I’ve made it without the peppers, the tomatoes, OR the mushrooms. I emphasize OR because we don’t want to talk too much away from this awesome flavor, but when you’re in a pinch, just work with what you have. The picture on the left is without mushrooms, so the tomatoes really give it a reddish color. The mushrooms and the seasoning help with that taco meat color.
- 2 tablespoons of olive oil
- 1 ½ cups of diced onion (approx. 1 med. Onion)
- 4 cloves of minced garlic
- 2 tablespoons of taco seasoning
- 1 ½ cups of diced green bell pepper (approx. 1 whole)
- 4 cups of minced cauliflower (approx. ½ head)
- 2 cups of minced mushrooms (approx. 8oz pkg)
- 2 cups of diced tomatoes (approx. 2 fresh tomatoes or 1 can)
- Heat oil in large saute pan over medium heat. Add onions, stirring occasionally, until tender.
- Add garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds.
- Stir in approximately 2 tablespoons of taco seasoning.
- Add green bell pepper, cauliflower and mushrooms. Cook for 2-3 minutes until they begin to soften.
- Add tomatoes and ½ cup water. Allow to simmer for approximately 10 minutes until vegetables are cooked through and tender.
- Layer on to rutabaga nacho chips, serve in taco shells, or put on top of greens for a taco salad. Enjoy!