Forgoing meat can be a commitment or a meal-by-meal decision. The good news is so many vegetarian and vegan taco fillings can make for a tasty, satisfying meal.
What happens when you combine Meatless Mondays with Taco Tuesdays? You get 48 hours of awesomeness that actually works on all seven days of the week.
Taco catering companies are seeing it more and more. Many vegetarian and vegan diners at parties are holding true to their principles of avoiding animal foods in favor of a plant-based diet. But the taco caterers are seeing something else happening that is sometimes referred to as “flexitarianism.” In some situations the flexitarian might have a hamburger, but if the vegetarian or vegan offering at a party or in a restaurant appeals to them they’ll eat it too. The health benefits of eating fruits and vegetables are well documented, so why not?
Among the more popular vegetarian and vegan taco fillings being served from white-tablecloth restaurants to mobile taco cart catering to home kitchens are these favorites:
Jackfruit Tacos – Hitting its stride as the popular new superfood, jackfruit has a remarkably convincing texture when cooked (with the right sauces and other ingredients) that is similar to pulled pork or pulled chicken. Move over seitan, this mild-taste tree fruit can absorb the tastes around it to achieve its status for filling out a taco and satisfying vegetarians and non-vegetarians alike. Note the type used for cooking is unripe; when ripe it becomes sweet as a mango with a custard-like texture.
Tofu Tacos – Popular with mobile taco catering vendors because it’s easy to store, transport and serve, most diners are familiar with tofu as a protein food. It takes on the tastes of however it’s prepared. Good taco tofu has been browned in a sauté of olive oil, red and green peppers, onions, other seasonings and flavors (cumin, lime, coriander).
Potato Tacos – Famed TV chef Rick Bayliss simmers halved potatoes in salted water, then adds them to a skillet where diced onions and poblano chiles are sautéd in oil or lard, topped with crumbled queso fresco, feta or goat cheese.
Veggie Tacos – Mobile taco carts aren’t worth their wheels if they do not offer the best of veggie tacos. They can range from mushrooms with pepita relish and chipotle cream to zucchini and crimini, butternut squash with cranberry jalapeno to Brussels sprouts with caramelized shallot salsa.
Tempeh Tacos – Derived from soybeans, as is tofu, it has a different texture and higher content of protein and dietary fiber. Because of the texture some diners prefer it as a meat substitute.
Because tacos are so definitively versatile there really are no limits in what kinds of vegetable-based fruits and vegetables can be used in vegetarian and vegan tacos. But suffice it to say that almost all of them pair well with a mobile margarita bar.