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Vegan Veggie & Mushroom Tacos

Whether for meatless Monday, taco Tuesday or any random day, veggie tacos are always a terrific bet!

There are two secrets to making incredible vegan tacos. First is to use the freshest veggies and fruits you can find. If possible, find produce that is locally grown via organic farming practices to make your veggie base as high-vibe as possible. Go with vibrantly colored fruits and veggies too…

Vervana mexican seasoning essentials: natural salt blend, jalapeno garlic and garlic flavored olive oils, and Mexican Spice Blend

Did you know that the different colors in fruits and veggies offer different health benefits? Naturally occurring plant pigments like carotenoids and chlorophyll are packed with health-supporting compounds, and regularly eating various colored fruits and veggies is associated with lower risk of numerous degenerative diseases. Not to mention, colorful veggies bring more festivity to the table! And when you add shitake or other medicinal mushrooms (more on that below) to the mix, you bring even more health benefits to the table!

The second secret is to use savory, all natural seasonings that are free of artificial flavors, additives and preservatives. Our go-tos are Mexican Spice Blend, Savory Salt Blend and olive oil – EVOO for classic olive oil flavor, or Jalapeño Garlic or Garlic flavored olive oil for added oomph.

Below are two vegan veggie taco recipes with vegetarian (dairy) options for inspiration…Adapt them as you see fit with any veggie combos you like!

Pro tip: make sure to consume red, orange, or yellow-colored veggies and fruits with a healthy fat like olive oil or avocado to make sure your body absorbs those powerful carotenoids.

Easy Zucchini Black Bean Tacos

This recipe came to us from Greg and Jen DeMarco – we love it because it’s not only healthy but includes a time-saving option!

Ingredients:

  • Zucchini
  • Black Beans
  • Fresh tomato salsa (or make your own – see recipe below)
  • Mexican Spice Blend
  • Olive Oil
  • Corn, flour or almond-flour tortillas

Optional Toppings:

Vegetarian variation: shredded organic cheddar or jack cheese and/or organic sour cream

To Make Zucchini Tacos:

Slice the zucchini into small cubes and sauté in olive oil of choice until tender. Stir in black beans. Sprinkle with Mexican Spice Blend and Salt Blend, to taste. Place filling in warm soft taco shell. Top with fresh salsa. If you like, add shredded cheese, guac and/or sour cream. Yes, it’s that easy – enjoy!

Homemade Salsa Recipe:

  • Fresh tomatoes, diced
  • Onion, diced
  • Fresh cilantro, chopped
  • Salt Blend, to taste
  • Fresh lime juice
  • Olive Oil – EVOO or Jalapeño Garlic Flavored Olive Oil
  • Optional: Jalapeño pepper, minced
  • Optional: Mexican Spice Blend

Combine desired amount of tomatoes, onions and chopped cilantro in a bowl (we suggest if you’re using 1/2 cup of tomatoes, add about 1 Tbsp of chopped onion and about 1/2 Tbsp of chopped cilantro). Add a squeeze of lime juice, a dash of olive oil, and a few grinds of Salt Blend and/or Mexican Spice Blend. If using fresh jalapeños, start modestly with just 1/4 tsp or 1/2 tsp and gradually add more to taste.


Vegan Shroom Tacos

Building shitake mushroom tacos with butter lettuce, red pepper and guacamole.

Optional Toppings:

  • Chopped lettuce or baby spinach
  • Fresh salsa – homemade (see above) or store bought
  • Guacamole or sliced avocado
  • Garnish: chopped cilantro and lime wedges

Vegetarian option: add shredded organic cheddar cheese

To Make Shroom Tacos:

Preheat oven to 400°. Toss mushrooms, peppers, and onions with the oil, lime juice, salt, and spices in a bowl until the vegetables are coated. Spread the veggies out in on a parchment-lined baking sheet and roast 20 minutes or until golden brown.

Build each tortilla with mushroom and pepper mixture, then add whatever toppings you desire: guac, salsa, spinach, etc. If you like, squeeze lime juice over everything as a final Vitamin C-packed finishing touch.

Why Mushrooms?

Shitake mushrooms
Shitake mushrooms

Mushrooms have been used for thousands of years in traditional medicine, dating all the way back to ancient Greek physician Hippocrates, who identified the amadou mushroom as an anti-inflammatory wound healer. The Romans called mushrooms “food of the gods,” and the Chinese believed them to be an “elixir of life.” Even Ötzi, the Ice Man who lived well over 5,000 years ago, carried amadou and other mushrooms in the Alps to help him survive.

Today, more and more research has begun to acknowledge the medicinal compounds in mushrooms. First and foremost, as a food, mushrooms are low in calories, carbs, fat, and sodium. Most of them are also good sources of selenium, potassium, B vitamins, protein, and fiber. But from a therapeutic standpoint, what really makes mushrooms shine is their robust levels of polyphenols, carotenoids, indoles, and polysaccharides. All of these compounds contribute to mushrooms’ immune-boosting, antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and anticancer effects.

Some of the most therapeutically powerful mushrooms you could cook with include:

  • Shitake – the second most commonly consumed mushroom, after white buttons. They have a meaty texture, making them a perfect addition to stews, stir-fries, soups, and meat-based dishes.
  • Maitake – native to China, maitake also grow in parts of North America. Their delicate texture and earthy flavor make them perfect for most dishes, from stir-fries to soups.
  • Lion’s Mane – these white and bulbous mushrooms with shaggy, icicle-like protrusions that resemble a lion’s mane. Their flavor is bland and earthy with mild seafood undertones (some people characterize it as “crab-like”).

The best places to buy fresh wild mushrooms are farmer’s markets or specialty grocers. If you don’t have easy access to either, check online for mushroom sellers that can ship interesting varieties straight to your door.

References:

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