Vegan Taco Salad Bowls with Tempeh Walnut Taco Meat

Vegan Taco Salad Bowls with Tempeh Walnut Taco Meat -- mild, nutty tempeh marries toasty walnuts and classic taco seasonings in these simple, satisfying plant-based salad bowls that deliver loads of nostalgic flavor.

Heya folks -- it’s Em again, popping in from The Pig and Quill (@thepigandquill). What a summer, eh? I feel like everything and nothing is happening all at once. Truly, there have been some serious highs, some serious lows -- and some serious...consideration for how I can be a more educated, informed and responsible human being.

Fortunately, amidst homeschooling, soul searching -- and, oh yeah, avoiding a global pandemic like the literal plague -- there’s also been some seriously good eating. And today, we’re getting right into it with these Vegan Taco Salad Bowls featuring the tastiest, simplest and most satisfying Tempeh Walnut Taco Meat (errr, “meat”) there ever was.

vegan taco salad bowls with tempeh

If you’ve never had tempeh before -- or, if you, like Kelly, claim not to love it (sorry, girl -- I’m outing you again.) -- this is a great recipe to kick-start a healthy tempeh obsession. It marries crumbled tempeh with toasted walnuts and loads of familiar taco seasonings you almost surely have in your pantry, and the result is a classically flavored taco filling (or topping, in this instance) that is tender, nutty, and by all means...meaty. No bitterness. No weird aftertaste. No funk.

taco salad bowls with tempeh walnut taco meat

tempeh taco meat in skillet

And the trick to this Tempeh Walnut Taco Meat? A quick little par-boil of the tempeh. Yep. Eight minutes in a hot tub of boiling water removes any bitterness -- and it also softens the tempeh a bit so it can be crushed into soft crumbles with the back of a wooden spoon. While the tempeh cooks, load up your bowls with lots of classic taco fillings. I like the Taco Bell-inspired “supreme” trio of lettuce, tomatoes and sour cream, but we also upped the ante a bit with pickled onions, avocado, fresh jalapenos and plenty of cilantro. My husband -- who is remarkably neutral on tempeh -- agreed this is the best iteration he’s ever had. And I hope it goes without saying, but the tempeh walnut taco meat here is an excellent filling for traditional tacos or burritos, too.

walnut taco meat with tempeh

Give it a whirl, friends -- and if you feel so inclined, shoot me a DM and let me know what you think. These Vegan Taco Salad Bowls with Tempeh Walnut Taco Meat might just become a mainstay on your Taco Tuesday menu.

Enjoy this last little bit o’ summer!

xo, Em

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Want more vegan eats? Try Kelly's Carrot Sriracha Hummus Plate:

Vegan Taco Salad Bowls with Tempeh Walnut Taco Meat

Description

Vegan Taco Salad Bowls with Tempeh Walnut Taco Meat -- mild, nutty tempeh marries toasty walnuts and classic taco seasonings in these simple, satisfying plant-based salad bowls that deliver loads of nostalgic flavor.

Ingredients

1 package
tempeh
2 tablespoons
extra virgin olive oil
1 cup
raw walnuts (chopped)
1 teaspoon
Chili Powder
1⁄2 teaspoon
dried oregano
1⁄2 teaspoon
Ground Cumin
1⁄2 teaspoon
Garlic Powder
1⁄2 teaspoon
Sea Salt
1⁄2 cup
prepared salsa of your choice
1⁄2 cup
sour cream (use dairy-free to keep vegan)
   
hot sauce (to taste)

Notes

FOR SERVING: shredded lettuce, diced tomatoes, sliced avocado, sliced fresh jalapenos, pickled onions, cilantro, lime wedges.

To make the pickled onions, you need: 1 large red onion, thinly sliced, 1/2 cup white vinegar, 1/4 cup white sugar. Heat vinegar and sugar in a small saucepan (or microwave) until sugar is dissolved. Do not boil. In a small bowl, combine onions and vinegar mixture. Toss to combine. Transfer onions and liquid to a jar and allow to cool to room temp. Serve, or refrigerate and enjoy for up to a week.

Instructions

To make the bowls:

  1. Bring a medium pot of water to a boil. Halve the tempeh into two equal pieces and boil 8 minutes. While tempeh par-boils, prepare veggie toppings. Stir together sour cream or yogurt and hot sauce, to taste.
  2. Preheat a large skillet over medium heat. Add olive oil, walnuts, chili powder, oregano, cumin, garlic powder and salt and toast until nuts and spices are fragrant, about 5 mins, stirring often. Drain boiled tempeh, lightly pat dry, and add to the pan with the walnuts, crushing with the back of a spoon to break into small crumbles. Add salsa and continue to cook until warmed through, another 5 mins.
  3. Pile bowls with shredded lettuce, then top with tempeh walnut taco meat, tomatoes, avocado, jalapeno, pickled onions, sour cream or yogurt mixture, cilantro and lime wedges. Serve with warmed tortillas, if desired. Enjoy!

Yields 4 Servings