Food processors work some kind of magic.
In a few minutes, one can transform walnuts, chickpeas and spices into the most scrumptious taco “meat” that will knock your socks off. Similar in texture to ground beef, this heart healthier plant based vegan ‘Spicy Walnut Chickpea Taco Meat’ is bursting with heat and flavor. Prepare to be amazed!
Terry and I LOVE Mexican food and eat it at least once a week. Who doesn’t love it though?! Mexican food is one of the easiest cuisines to make vegan because beans are a staple along with fajita-like veggies, rice, guac, chips and salsa (and fresh margs on occasion!). He gets to order whatever he wants and I’m just relieved I can order vegan so easily at a restaurant. Everyone leaves a happy camper! If we’re eating at home, my normal go-to veggie tacos (consisting of black beans and whatever veggies I have on hand) can feel repetitive and borderline boring, at times.
I felt it was long overdue to pump some life and creativity back into my taco night game, which is when this tasty taco blend was born! If you’re bored of the same veggie tacos you make on repeat, I highly recommend whizzing this mixture up and blasting some new life into those corn tortillas.
There’s also a mini surprise we should talk about. You won’t believe what green veggie I snuck into this vegan taco meat… ground up broccoli.
YEP! I was quite skeptical at first too and pondered whether I should add it or not, but I’m always looking out for your health, and the way the broccoli is prepared in this recipe makes it virtually tasteless, merely adding fiber, volume and all the nutritional goodness broccoli has to offer. Not to mention, the spices and other ingredients overpower any hint or smell of green. Not that you want to completely cover up the broccoli taste, but not everyone is into the whole idea of broccoli in a taco…. although they will be after their first bite of this yumminess, I promise. It can be our little secret. They don’t have to know about the hidden broccoli!
I’ve seen walnut meat taco recipes floating around on Pinterest for years and finally had the urge to attempt my own unique recipe, but knew I would need more substance than just walnuts, so I chose chickpeas instead of the usual black beans and am SO HAPPY with the final result. The color is perfect, the texture is crumbly and comparable to actual taco meat and the taste is beyond delish!
Before cooking the broccoli, simply blend it up in the food processor, then set aside and blend up the walnuts, chickpeas and spices.
Add everything into a pan and sauté until cooked, fragrant and warmed through. While that’s cooking, you can make the optional corn and cabbage salsa that pairs a refreshing crunch to the spicy taco mixture. Adding avocado, cilantro and fresh lime is always a good idea too!Print
Spicy Walnut Chickpea Taco Meat. A meatless alternative for a yummy vegan taco night! Made with spicy seasoning
- 3 cups raw broccoli florets (about 1 large head)
- 1–2 tablespoons coconut oil
- 1/2 white onion, diced small
- 1/2 jalapeño, diced small
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 15 ounce can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
- 1/2 cup fresh cilantro
- 1 1/2 cup raw walnuts
- 1 1/2 teaspoons cumin
- 1 1/2 teaspoons chili powder
- 1 1/2 teaspoons OLD BAY seasoning
- 1/2 teaspoon salt & black pepper
- fresh juice of 1/2 lime (optional)
- corn tortillas (or whatever tortillas you like!)
- optional toppings: avocado, tomato, cilantro, dairy-free shredded cheese, etc.
CORN & CABBAGE SLAW
- 2 cups cooked sweet corn
- 1 1/2 cups purple cabbage, chopped
- 3 green onions, chopped
- 1/3 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
- juice of 1/2 fresh lime (save other half for spritzing on tacos!)
- In a food processor, blend/pulse the broccoli florets until crumbled with no major chunks. Set aside.
- Start by heating up the coconut oil in a pan on the stove (medium-high heat) and begin sautéing the onion and jalapeño until translucent, about 4 minutes, then turn down heat to medium and stir in garlic, being careful not to burn. Cook for 2 more minutes, then add in the broccoli and turn heat down to medium low, stirring occasionally, just to soften and lightly sauté the broccoli.
- To the food processor, add in chickpeas and cilantro. Blend/pulse until crumbly with a few chunks for texture – we are not turning this into hummus! Add the chickpea mixture into the pan on the stove to start warming it up.
- Lastly, add the walnuts and remaining spices (except lime) into the food processor and blend/pulse until it’s ground up and well combined. Then stir mixture into the pan on the stove and turn the heat up to medium, cooking for about 5-7 minutes. Meanwhile, make the Corn & Cabbage Slaw if desired! Then turn off heat and stir in the fresh lime.
- Serve in corn tortillas with the Corn & Cabbage Slaw, and any toppings you want!
- The taco “meat” blend can be stored in the refrigerator, sealed, up to 4-5 days!
- Serving Size: 4
Keywords: Spicy, Walnut, Chickpea, Taco, Meat, meatless, alternative, vegan, taco night, cabbage slaw
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