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Vegetarian Tacos with Black Beans and Tofu

I love them. My love for a good taco is immense. One of my family’s favourites is these vegetarian tacos with black beans and tofu.

Taco Tuesday is one of the more bonding meals that we as a family enjoy. I serve our tacos in shells, as opposed to soft tortillas, which is a total thrill for the kids. It’s like they get to have crisps (or chips, depending on where in the world you are) for dinner.

We always have a variety of toppings and there’s something about the self-serve ritual of this dish that calms the table. No one has to be asked to sit still or finish their food. This is one that always leaves the kids asking for more.

These vegetarian tacos are so versatile that you can accommodate any palate, but they aren’t complete without at least five toppings towering on top of the ‘meat’ of the taco.

CHEESE

I cannot entertain a taco without some sort of cheese. We usually have a bowl of shredded cheddar or a taco cheese mix. I find this goes particularly well with my lentil tacos. Feta is great with tacos that are filled with roasted cauliflower or Brussels sprouts. Another favourite is cashew cheese – made from cashew nuts and nutritional yeast.

LEAVES

Traditional tacos commonly call for romaine, but I prefer the soft sweetness of shredded butter lettuce. Sometimes we serve with thinly sliced spinach or cabbage. Whatever your preference, make sure you include this element to add a lovely freshness to your taco.

FRESH HERBS

Now I know this is a polarizer, but to me, a taco is incomplete if it isn’t topped with cilantro (coriander). Another option is to use fresh parsley. Both these herbs are super nutritious and even a tiny sprig can completely elevate your taco. This recipe also calls for dried parsley and oregano, two herbs commonly used in Mexican cooking.

DON’T FORGET THE SAUCE

Sour cream, salsa and guacamole – crucial. Perhaps this is just because I am a sauce freak, but these all go onto the taco – every time. As with the cheese, I often make a sour cream alternative from cashews, tahini and lemon juice.

The combinations are endless. The main thing is that you try some variety and mix things up a bit until you find what suits your palate.

HOW TO CRUMBLE THE TOFU

We’re used to seeing tofu served as cubes so you may find it odd this recipe calls for ‘crumbled tofu’. The beauty of crumbling is that the tofu is broken down into small pieces of various size before marinating. This means that when you roast them, the crumbles are firmer and provide an interesting texture to the dish.

Tofu should be drained before cooking as it retains a large volume of water. I cut the block in half, lengthways and place it between double layers of paper towel, with a heavy weight (like a chopping board) on top, to squeeze out the moisture. If you would like more detail on this process, have a look at my rice bowl recipe here. To crumble the tofu, all you have to do is break off pieces of tofu with your fingers, working from the edge of the block.

Crumbled tofu can be added to many dishes. Try it on pizza, roasted sweet potato or as a soup topping.

Print

Vegetarian Tacos with Black Beans and Tofu

A delicious, smoky alternative to the traditional ground beef taco, with just as much texture and at least twice the goodness.

  • Author: julia pratten
  • Prep Time: 20 mins
  • Cook Time: 20 mins
  • Total Time: 40 minutes

Ingredients

Scale
  • 1 tsp chipotle (or plain) chili powder
  • 3 tsp smoked paprika
  • ½ tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp coriander
  • ¼ tsp ground cloves
  • 4 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 square firm tofu
  • 1 small white onion, finely chopped
  • 1 tin black beans, drained
  • ½ cup vegetable stock
  • 1 tsp dried parsley
  • 1 tsp dried oregano

Instructions

  1. Preheat your oven to 350F (180)
  2. Line a large tray with baking parchment
  3. Mix a chorizo spice mix: measure the spices (chilli powder, smoked paprika, garlic powder, cumin, coriander, cloves) into a small bowl, mix and set aside
  4. Into another bowl, mix the soy sauce, vinegar and olive oil
  5. Add half the chorizo spice blend and mix thoroughly
  6. Crumble the tofu into the bowl and coat well with the marinade
  7. Remove the crumbles from the marinade and spread evenly on the lined baking tray
  8. Cook in the oven for 20 – 30 minutes, turning/shaking occasionally until they have started to brown
  9. In the meantime, prepare the black beans
  10. Add a splash of olive oil to a pan and sauté the onions for a couple of minutes, until soft
  11. Add the other half of the spice blend and fry gently for a minute, being careful not to burn
  12. Add any leftover tofu marinade and pour the drained black beans into the pan, giving them a good stir to coat
  13. Add half the stock, dried herbs and mix well. Allow to simmer, uncovered, for 10 minutes.
  14. The black bean mixture should be moist, but not wet. Add more of the stock if it looks too dry.
  15. Once the tofu crumbs are ready, add them to the black bean mixture.
  16. Warm your taco shells or flour tortillas according to the package directions
  17. Fill with two spoonfuls of the bean and tofu mixture. Top with your favourites or one (or all) of the suggested garnishes above.

Notes

If you prefer your tacos with ground beef, you can still use the herb and spice mix. Just leave out the tofu, vinegar and soy sauce and begin the recipe from step 10.

Keywords: vegetarian, vegan, taco tuesday, healthy, guacamole

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