Two high-protein foods (with lots more going for them nutritionally) — tempeh and walnuts — team up in a tasty taco filling that goes a long way. Use leftovers to boost protein and add texture to bean dishes and stews. Or you can freeze half of this filling for a future taco dinner. For a great meal, serve with Southwestern-Flavored Kale Salad. Adapted from Plant Power: Transform Your Kitchen, Plate, and Life with More Than 150 Fresh and Flavorful Vegan Recipes by Nava Atlas (HarperOne, reprinted by permission). Photos by Hannah Kaminsky.
Tempeh and Walnut Soft Taco Filling
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 medium-large onion chopped
- 1 medium red or green bell pepper
- 8- ounce package tempeh
- 1 cup walnut pieces
- 15- to 16- ounce can tomato sauce
- 1 tablespoon good-quality chili powder
- 1 tablespoon sweet paprika
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- Salt to taste
- Picante or sriracha sauce to taste optional (see note)
- 8 to 12 soft corn tortillas or crispy taco shells
For serving (use any or all)
- Finely diced tomatoes
- Thinly shredded lettuce
- Peeled and diced avocado
- Vegan Sour Cream
- Grated Vegan Cheddar-style cheese
- Heat the oil in a large skillet. Add the onion and sauté until translucent. Add the bell pepper and continue to sauté until the onion is lightly browned.
- Cut the block of tempeh into several chunks. Place in a food processor fitted with the metal blade and pulse on and off a few times.
- Add the walnut pieces and onion and pepper mixture, pulse on and off until everything is finely and evenly chopped. Be careful not to overprocess — you don’t want this to turn into a puree.
- Transfer the mixture to the skillet. Add the tomato sauce and seasonings. Stir together, bring to a simmer, then allow to cook over low heat for 15 to 20 minute to allow the flavors to marry.
- Serve straight from the skillet or transfer to a serving container, allowing everyone to construct their own tacos using soft corn tortillas or crispy taco shells, plus the rest of the suggested embellishments.
Note: if you’d like to leave this with a milder flavor, omit the hot sauce; everyone can spice up their own with it at the table.
Per serving (2 tacos): Calories: 400; Total fat: 28g; Protein: 17g; Carbs: 26g; Fiber: 10g;
Sodium: 148 mg