This is like the freak show or something because vegetarian taco meat is a weirdly delicious thing. This is a miracle of epic proportions.
Do we love tacos or DO WE LOVE TACOS? We – team POY, readers and bloggers and friends and family alike – definitely love tacos. We also love all derivatives of tacos – taco bowls, burritos, burrito bowls, quesadillas, enchiladas, tostadas, nachos, etc., which is good news for the magic of vegetarian taco meat because it goes with everything. All of them. Not one taco relative left behind.
When we went to Austin for my birthday, my love of tacos was revived to the max. I am not even exaggerating when I say that I ate maybe two meals that were not tacos in our whole four days of Austin-ing. Dreams really do come true.
Since coming back, the number of tacos I’ve made is beyond counting. It would actually be embarrassing. That number is not slowing down anytime soon, kids. Being a taco fanatic means I am definitely not going to say no to a beef taco if you offer it to me, but I am also a part-time vegetarian and I love a good meatless alternative. I have no real explanation for this except that I love to eat plants and I find cooking vegetarian recipes to be easier. And more fun. So chipotle-spiced, easy-to-make veg taco meat was born.
Here’s what we have going on in this vegetarian taco meat situation:
- Chipotle Peppers
- a few spices
Can you handle it?
Once that gets all ground up, we’re going to bake it.
You still with me?
While it’s baking, since you’re going to have about 30 minutes of down time, this is the perfect opportunity to get into a major salsa frenzy and whip up every type of friendly taco buddy that you can think of.
I went with the trifecta pictured here: corn and black bean salsa, pico de gallo, and guacamole because I don’t want to hate my life.
My taco vision quickly got out of control and I opted for a taco bowl – er, maybe burrito bowl, technically, with the rice and everything – instead of a traditional folded-in-a-tortilla fashion. Which is a callback to what I said at the beginning: that this vegetarian taco meat is ready to go with anybody in the taco family.
Only love for this mountain of glory.
What can I even say? My heart is happy. Vegetarian taco meat, please never leave me.
I hope you love tacossss.
This vegetarian taco meat is made with cauliflower, walnuts, and chipotle peppers. It’s so easy: just mix and bake. Meatless miracle!
The Vegetarian Taco Meat Basics:
- 3 cups cauliflower florets
- 2 cups whole walnuts
- 2 individual chipotles in adobo sauce
- 1 tablespoon chili powder
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 tablespoons lime juice
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic or onion powder
- a pinch of cayenne for more heat
- Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Pulse all ingredients in a food processor until the mixture is evenly ground (see picture).
- Transfer to a greased baking sheet. Bake for 30 minutes, stirring halfway through to prevent over-browning.
- Serve in tacos, burritos, quesadillas, bowls, and the like! ????????
My salsa-making game is pretty loose. I like to just eyeball it and taste and adjust as I go.
Corn Salsa: toss some corn kernels in a pan and saute until roasty-looking. Mix with black beans, jalapeño, salt, lime juice, cilantro.
Pico de Gallo: toss chopped tomatoes with chopped onion, salt, lime juice, and cilantro.
Guacamole: toss mashed avocados with chopped onion, salt, lime juice, and cilantro.