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Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Super Simple DIY Vegetarian Tacos

These tacos are so easy to make and equally delicious, whether you're a vegetarian or not, you'll love them! After falling for the "House Tacos" at Cha Chos a few months ago then reading online that soy chorizo is available at Trader Joes, I had to pick some up to see if I could make my own at home. Turns out they're a great 15 minute meal...
These Delicious Tacos were Actually Vegan

The chorizo is pre-seasoned, spicy and tasty. If I didn't know better I'd have sworn it was meat. Which says a lot because I usually avoid meat-substitute products because they often taste weird or have a strange texture. I'm excited to use this product again in things like a breakfast burrito, nachos, spaghetti sauce and it would probably be really good in chili.

This is what it looks like. It comes sealed in plastic and when you open it it's in a plastic casing to simulate sausage casing. Snip the small metal tip off the end tying the casing shut and the pre-seasoned "meat" falls out already crumbled like ground beef.

The chorizo is pretty healthy. The ingredients label said it contains:
  • Textured Soy Protein
  • Water
  • Soy Oil
  • Distilled Vinegar
  • Salt
  • Spices
  • Red Pepper
  • Garlic 
To make my tacos even more healthy I added green bell pepper, a small, red, cipollini onion and some freshly grated carrot.

To begin I diced and sauteed the green bell pepper and onion. When they were done I put them in a small bowl and set them aside.

I also grated half a carrot and set it aside to use later.

Next I quickly heated the soy chorizo. It heated very quickly and had a nice crust that lifted up from the bottom of the pan making it resemble cooked meat even more. It took less than 5 minutes to heat and it was ready to go.

I added the sauteed onions and green bell pepper that I'd previously cooked and set aside in a small dish.

The soy chorizo with fresh veggies mixed in. Make sure your taco shells are and the filling is your first step in creating some rockin' vegan tacos...

I used a third of the package of chorizo, 1/4 of a green bell pepper and the entire cipollini onion and had enough filling to make 6 tacos.

I love the grated carrots in place of cheese!

YAY! My soy chorizo tacos topped with finely grated carrots and taco sauce. They were so good I ate three that night! Other obvious additions would be diced tomato, guacamole, shredded cheese and/or chunky salsa.

My apologies if you live somewhere that doesn't have a Trader Joes because this post will probably give you "Soy Chorizo Taco" food envy :( My suggestion is if you have company coming from a city that does have a Trader Joes, ask them to bring you 3-4 packages when they come to town. The chorizo I purchased in early January had an expiration date of April 11th so it keeps for awhile. There may also be other brands available in your local area so it probably wouldn't hurt to check at your local grocery stores, especially health food stores.

And as a final footnote: I found the ceramic 4- taco shell holder in the last photo at the Goodwill years ago for around $3. I've always been glad I made that purchase because it comes in really handy on taco nights :)


  1. The Trader Joe soy chorizo is EXCELLENT. We use it most like this, in vegetarian tacos (though when we don't have any on hand, some TVP and taco seasoning is also delicious), but we super love it as a filling for homemade empanadas. It also pairs excellently with egg things, definitely try it out in a breakfast burrito or omelette next!

  2. Yum Kate! I will try them our as empanadas too. I've never made an empanada so it will be fun to learn how.

    I also LOVE huevos rancheros and this would be great with hash browns, salsa and eggs. *Drool*

    Do you have a favorite brand of TVP when you have to add the seasoning to it? I tried the Bocca version that is crumbled like ground meat (in a casserole) but didn't care for it at all because of the flavor.

  3. Another brand to try is Morning Star Farms. I've had some luck with their Meal Starters version. http://morningstarfarms.com/products_meal-starters-grillers-recipe-crumbles.aspx

    All of this taco talk is making me hungry for some really crispy ones with just about ANYTHING tucked inside.

    PBJ perhaps? :-)

  4. I'll have to give the MS a try. Thanks for the tip Carl!


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