Ok you’ve got vegetarian friends coming over and you’re trying to think of what to serve them and the meat-eaters at the table. Or you want something for dinner that is tasty but doesn’t leave you fearing the scale the next day. The best veggie meal I’ve eaten that can also fool a hardcore meat fan is vegetarian tacos made with a meat substitute. When I, a 10-plus-year- veggie-vet, and my husband, a Mexican who would never give up his meat-eating ways, met, we tried to combine some recipes. Our favorite is vegetarian tacos, made with Morningstar Farms Grillers Recipe Crumbles. They have 0% of your daily saturated fat and come loaded with protein and fiber, not to mention great taste. Boca makes a similar substitute, and there may be other brands in your grocery store. They can usually be found in your supermarket with the veggie burgers or near the frozen breakfast foods.
Mexican Vegetarian Tacos – Serves 4
What you need:
Veggies (frozen or fresh – pick your favorites):
1 cup chopped onion
1 cup green, red, and yellow peppers
1 cup chopped mushrooms, broccoli, and/or zucchini
1 cup chopped tomatoes (fresh or canned)
2 tsp. paprika
4 cloves garlic, chopped
1 bunch of cilantro, chopped
pinches of oregano, salt, and pepper
2 tbsp. olive oil
package of Morningstar Farms Grillers Recipe Crumbles (or other meat substitute)
20-24 corn tortillas – or- 16 flour tortillas
Optional taco toppings:
1 or 2 Avocados sliced
Heat olive oil in frying pan with medium heat for about 30 seconds.
Add onions and saut for about 45 seconds.
Add the rest of the vegetables, except tomatoes
Saute 2 or 3 minutes
Add rest of spices (other than salt & pepper)
While sauting for about 4 minutes, start heating tortillas, described below
Add the meat substitute, stir
Add salt & pepper
Stir another 2 minutes
You’re done, place into a covered dish to keep warm.
Corn tortillas, a Mexican staple, are more common than the flour tortillas served in Mexican restaurants in the US. Corn tortillas are smaller and have about half the calories of the flour variety. They can be found in the Latino section of your grocery store. (My Mexican husband does not allow hard taco shells in our house. Hard taco shells are not served in Mexico.)
Heat them in a pre-heated pan on the stove on medium heat, each side for about 45 seconds. You can put 3 in a large skillet, next to each other, so they barely touch on the sides, or put 3 more on top of those and get 6 warmed up at the same time. Flip them after 45 or so seconds and when all are warmed up, wrap them in a cloth towel, and put in a basket (if you don’t have a tortilla warmer).
With warm tortilla in hand, scoop in a few of spoonfuls of the taco filling, roll up, and enjoy.
You can also use the Morningstar Farms Grillers Recipe Crumbles (or another brand) in any recipe you would use ground beef, like chili, or spaghetti sauce. You’ll love the flavor, but the calories and fat in your meal will go down.