TVP & Black Bean Tacos

Hey veggie heads!

After a very busy last first week of grad school classes, I’m coming back atcha with a new recipe for TVP & black bean tacos!

Now, I love tacos–I always have, and I always will–but I’m always struggling to find a really good vegan taco recipe. I’ve used vegan sausage, TVP by itself, you name it…but I was never reeeeeally 100% satisfied with the results. Sure, those tacos were always delicious in their own right, but I knew I needed to experiment some more to get the ~perfect~ vegan taco.

And, dear veggie heads, I think I may be onto something with this recipe…but you’ll all have to try it out and let me know if I’m right or not! I made these for my boyfriend and our friend, Alex, who was visiting us last weekend, both of whom are born and bred meat-eaters and L O V E D these tacos.

So, first things first…ingredients. You’re going to need olive oil, vegetable bouillon (or veggie broth), textured vegetable protein chunks (TVP for short), one can of black beans, an onion, three cloves of garlic, chili powder, taco sauce (I use mild because I am weak), and whatever other taco fixings you normally use. I like to top my tacos with finely chopped lettuce, tomatoes, and a little bit of sriracha, but, like I said, you have total freedom when it comes to topping your tacos.

Now normally, I mix salsa in with my taco filling, but I decided not to do that this time…I think it adds too much moisture, which really stops whatever you’re using as filling from browning quickly, be it TVP or some kind of store-bought meat substitute.

The first thing you’re going to need to do is cook up the TVP. Now, I cooked mine in water with a dissolved vegetable bouillon cube in it, but you could also just use vegetable broth if you can’t find bouillon cubes that don’t have meat stock in them. I like to cook my TVP in something besides plain water because it gives it a richer, saltier flavor before you even transfer it to the pan.

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Freshly cooked TVP!

Next, it’s time to chop up your onions and garlic. I used my fun food chopper that I’ve referenced in previous recipes, because 1. I hate chopping onions because they make me cry like a baby, and 2. I just really love having perfectly square diced onions. After everything’s chopped, sauté the onions in a cast iron pan until they start to look translucent, and then add the garlic. Make sure to add your cooked TVP before things start to brown too quickly.

After about a minute or two of mixing the TVP with the onions and garlic, I dumped my drained black beans in and stirred everything around until everything was evenly mixed together. Next, I sprinkled the chili powder over everything and drizzled some taco sauce on top of the filling and mixed that around really well. I didn’t exactly measure how much taco sauce I used, but you can be as liberal or as conservative with your sauce drizzling as you want (it all depends on how spicy you want the filling to be).

While you’re waiting for the filling to brown on one side, you should start getting your taco shells ready. You can certainly use whatever kind of shells you want to, but I prefer soft shells. Either way, heat them up in the oven so they’re nice and warm when the filling is all done.

You’re going to want to flip the filling around in the pan a bit so it’s browning evenly. This won’t be a very crumbly taco filling, but bits of it will get nicely browned and it’ll taste great no matter what. Once it’s all done (approx 5-10 minutes), you can serve up your tacos! We enjoyed ours with a nice Ballast Point grapefruit sculpin–it was great!

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I hope some of you try this recipe out! If you do, please send me some pictures and feedback, either on here, Facebook, or Instagram.

TVP & Black Bean Tacos

Serves 3-5

2 cups textured vegetable protein (TVP)
2 cups water
1 vegetable bouillon cube (alternatively, use 2 cups veggie broth and forego the bouillon)
1 small can black beans, drained and rinsed
2-4 tablespoons olive oil
1 medium yellow onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 teaspoon chili powder (you can add more if you want more spice)
2-4 tablespoons taco sauce (spicy level is your choice)
Taco shells (soft or hard)

Optional toppings:
Finely chopped lettuce
Fresh tomato
Hot sauce/sriracha

1. Boil the two cups water in a medium saucepan. Add the bouillon cube and stir till it dissolves. If you’re using veggie broth, just bring the broth to a boil.
2. Once the water is boiling, add the TVP and stir until all the liquid is absorbed into the chunks. Cover, turn off the heat, and set aside.
3. Heat up the olive oil in a large cast iron pan. Add the diced onions and sauté until translucent, then add the garlic.
4. Mix the TVP in with the onions and garlic and let sauté for a minute or two, stirring frequently. Add the drained and rinsed black beans and mix well.
5. Drizzle taco sauce over the filling and mix well. Let the filling brown on one side before flipping and mixing it around so it cooks evenly.
6. While the filling is cooking, heat up the taco shells in the oven.
7. Prep your toppings (lettuce, tomatoes, avocado, etc.).
8. Once the filling is cooked evenly (it won’t be too crumbly, but it’ll be darker), turn the heat off and serve your tacos!

Enjoy!

~TVM~

 

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