Vegan/Paleo Taco “Meat”

 

Cheers to January! It’s been a whirlwind of a month.

Did you start a new diet or lifestyle change this year? If so, I have a delicious recipe for you to add to your collection. If you have followed my gram for awhile now, you’ll know I completed a vegan challenge back in November. I loved the challenge most of all because it made me explore food I wouldn’t have regularly eaten. Since then, I’ve not introduced meat back into my diet and continue to love my veggie lifestyle!

This recipe is a paleo/vegan recipe brought to you by the wonderful, Laura Lea Balanced! She is one of my favorite recipe developers! Check out her recipe book ⇒ HERE

I know not all of my followers live a meat-free lifestyle but a plant-based meal is always a nice treat for your body. I must admit, the person I made this for does not follow any specific diet. I challenge you to make this recipe for someone who doesn’t eat plant-based meals on a day to day basis. They will be shocked by the flavor of this “meat”!


What you need

Taco Meat:

  • 1 Cup Raw Walnuts (I buy two of the small bags from the baking aisle)
  • 12 Ounces Cauliflower Florets
  • 8.5 Ounces Sliced Button Mushrooms
  • 2 Teaspoons avocado oil
  • 2 Tablespoons Nutritional Yeast
  • Serve in Romaine Leaves

Taco Seasoning:

  • 2 1/2 teaspoons smoked paprika 
  • 2 teaspoons chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons onion powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon coconut sugar

 

I surprisingly already had most of the ingredients in my spice cabinet. If you don’t already have these spices, then it will be well worth the investment for this recipe! I’m already looking forward to making this taco “meat” again for a taco salad night. Coconut Sugar is an ingredient in this recipe. I questioned if this was considered a paleo ingredient, but found a helpful blog post about the sugar HERE!

I’m also a huge believer in using a food scale when cooking. I’m still working on my cooking skills and this gadget really helps to get the exact measurement. I picked one up a while back and I use it more often than not. Check this one out on Amazon, if you’re interested in using one for cooking or keeping track of your food intake! Food Scale Here

If you notice from the photos, I find using a food scale very helpful! I picked one up a while back and I use it more often than not. Check this one out on Amazon if you’re interested in using one for cooking or keeping track of your food intake! Food Scale Here


The Process

Ahh! This recipe honestly couldn’t be any easier! I prepped the seasoning for the “meat” before I went to yoga. It took me about 10 minutes to pull it all together. I also went ahead and weighed out all the ingredients that needed to be cooked, so I could come back and quickly get started on the finishing touches!

Well, I became just a LITTLE distracted and burnt my walnuts. They were very crispy and I ended up only being able to use about half of them in the meat. This may have changed the texture of the “meat” slightly, but it was still DELICIOUS!

This recipe calls for a food processor, which so many of my friends have still not invested in. I know, I know there were a ton of spices you need to purchase… but this is your chance! This is a 10-Cup Food Processor that I would highly recommend. I use my food processor all the time and it doesn’t even compare to using the blender… because I know some of you still try to get away with that… or the Nutri Bullet 🙂

  1. Mix your spices from the TACO SEASONING LIST now, or while your veggies roast in step 5.
  2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spread out the walnuts on a baking sheet and pop them in the oven for about 10 minutes. I forgot to set the timer…. so I HIGHLY recommend not leaving them in for no more than the 10 minutes.
  3. After walnuts are roasted, you’ll place them to the side and get back to them later!
  4. Laura Lea suggests lining the baking sheet with parchment paper. I am a believer in ALWAYS using parchment paper, but I’m sure you can sub for foil. Place the cauliflower and mushrooms on the baking sheet evenly. You’ll want to lightly coat ALL the veggies with avocado oil (or whatever oil fits your diet). This will help them roast and come out with a richer flava!
  5. I’m always one for browning the veggies a little longer, but suggested time would be 20-25 minutes in the oven.
  6. Once the veggies are roasted to your liking, take them out and allow them to COOL for about 7-10 minutes.
  7. After the veggies have cooled, add everything (Cauliflower, Mushrooms, Walnuts, Nutritional Yeast and Taco Seasoning) to the food processor. My 10-Cup Food Processor comes in very handy for this step 😉 Pulse just a FEW times in order to keep the chunky texture. Take a bite of the “meat” in order to check flavor and desired texture.
  8. I added about half a cup to each of our tacos! Serve & ENJOY! I saved the leftovers for the next day, but Laura Lea mentions they are good for up to 5 days.

Click HERE for the full cooking process, via LL Balanced ♥

 


Finished Product

HELLO, FRESH! Wow, the finished product truly did taste like regular taco meat. I could have eaten the entire bowl of taco “meat”, but I luckily kept it in the fridge for leftovers the next day. I used romaine lettuce leaves for my taco shell and topped the taco “meat” with avocado, cilantro, and sriracha.

As I work on my cooking skills this year, I’ll still be exploring the city of all the new restaurants. A new restaurant that currently has my attention is Nook, which is a Paleo Influenced Diner. When someone is living a Paleo Lifestyle, they enjoy unlimited fruits and vegetables alongside eating meat and seafood. This restaurant is ideal for me to be able to devour all the nutrients in their meals, while not consuming any trans fats, refined sugars, or processed foods. The first visit I’ll be ordering the Shiitake, Lemon, & Basil Cauliflower Pizza with a Grain-Free Crust!


Final Thoughts

Do you have to be vegan/paleo to make this recipe? NO!

Do you have to be paleo to eat at Nook? NO!

Consume food your body needs! There are so many eating lifestyles to follow these days. My decision to become meat-free was not a huge lifestyle change, it just happened over a period of time. Learn about the food you’re consuming & I promise you’ll learn to enjoy it even more.. and maybe even feel better! Tag me in your favorite vegan/paleo recipes & your favorite meal at Nook, opening February 6th! Check out their current site ⇒ NOOK

Cheers,

Meg