Cheesy Mushroom Tacos
Updated: May 16, 2021
I think the taco could be the perfect food...so why limit them to one day? Or even one day of the week? I try to do some sort of taco at least once a week, for breakfast, lunch or dinner. They are the ultimate in flexible. You can easily please every palate by providing a choice of optional fillings, and please the whole crowd with our Vegan Tacos Three Ways or these Cauliflower Tacos . Once you try these cheesy mushroom tacos, however, you may not need any more options.
All you need for this recipe is:
- squash (optional)
- mushrooms (nearly any variety works but I used cremini here for the flavor)
- shallot (or onion)
- black beans
- leafy greens
- corn tortillas (make sure to buy a brand without preservatives, flavor enhancers, etc.)
- cashew cheese sauce (recipe below)
Cremini Mushrooms. I am a big fan of mushrooms...and cremini mushrooms in particular. Not only are they delicious and beautiful, they are a great source of plant-based vitamin D (if you leave them out in the sun before cooking, you can even increase their vitamin D content), B-vitamins, potassium, selenium, fiber, protein and a host of amino acids linked with lowering inflammation. They are widely considered cancer-protective, as they contain conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) which has shown to prevent cancer cell growth. Cremini mushrooms also boast an amino acid called ergothioneine (EGT) which has been linked to reducing inflammation, protecting blood vessels and improving cholesterol levels. These beautiful and delicious mushrooms are also given credit for helping to restore gut health, improve energy, and lower blood pressure.
Cashews are a healthy source of unsaturated fat. Not actually a true nut, they are a seed that comes from the cashew tree, most commonly Brazil although other countries like Vietnam are quickly trying to increase production of these popular "tree nuts." A good source of protein, fat and carbs, cashews are also rich in micronutrients such as copper, manganese, phosphorus, thiamine, vitamin K, as well as many that are often found deficient including iron, zinc, magnesium, selenium, and B6. They are also a good source of antioxidants including polyphenols and carotenoids that can help reduce inflammation and boost immunity.
During our Spring Detox, we explored reasons why you will likely feel better eating plant-based recipes. It really starts with nutrition. In a nutshell, your body is a highly complex system and needs micronutrients (including minerals and vitamins) in order to function properly. By swapping out ingredients (like meat and cheese, for example), for plant-based sources of protein, fat and carbohydrate, you can dramatically increase your nutrient intake and help support your body's own systems.
When you compare mushrooms to beef or pork, for example, cashews contain a similar amount of protein (5 grams per ounce) but ALSO contain all the nutrients listed above. The animal protein, on the other had, contains less desirable inflammatory (saturated) fat, no fiber, only trace amounts of micronutrients (this will also depend on your source of meat) and is linked to increased inflammation, cancer risk, and heart disease, just to name a few.
So let's get cooking...
Cheesy Mushroom Tacos
Equipment needed: 10" skillet
Prep time: Approximately 20-30 minutes
1 cup butternut squash 1” inch cubes
1 ½ TB avocado oil, divided
1 tsp smoked paprika
½ tsp sea salt or Himalayan pink salt
8 ounces cremini mushrooms, brushed and sliced (or buy pre-sliced)
¼ cup shallot, chopped
1 cup black beans, rinsed and drained
1 tsp chili powder
½ tsp chipotle chili powder
½ tsp garlic powder
¼ tsp sea salt or Himalayan pink
Pinch of cayenne pepper
2 cups organic spinach or pea greens
Sliced avocado, shredded cabbage, lime slices, optional for serving
1 cup raw cashews, soaked 2+ hours (or quick-soaked in hot water for 15-20 min)
1 roasted red bell pepper (can be fire-roasted for a deeper, smokier flavor)
¼ cup nutritional yeast
2 TB hemp seeds
2 TB lemon juice (1 lemon)
¾ tsp pink salt
1 tsp garlic powder
1 ½ tsp onion powder
¼ cup water, more if needed for consistency
1) Preheat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Toss your butternut squash cubes in ½ TB avocado oil, 1 tsp smoked paprika and ½ tsp sea salt or Himalayan pink salt. Spread the cubes on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Roast for 20-30 minutes until golden and fork tender. (note: if you don't have time to make the squash, or don't have any on hand, this recipe is also delicious without!)
2) While the squash is roasting, make your cheese sauce. Blend all ingredients, starting with ¼ cup water, together in a food processor until smooth and creamy. Add more water as needed to get desired consistency. Taste and adjust if needed.
3) Wipe the mushrooms gently with a towel (or use a mushroom brush), trim the stems slightly and slice evenly.
4) Heat a 10-inch saute pan and add 1 TB avocado oil, mushrooms, and shallots. Saute and allow the liquid to begin to evaporate.
5) Add black beans and spices (chili powder, cumin, garlic powder, salt, cayenne). Cook for about 2 minutes, until fragrant and mushrooms begin to turn golden.
6) Add greens and cook until wilted, about 1 minute.
7) When squash is ready, add to mixture.
8) When ready to eat, remove your warmed tortillas, spread with cheese sauce and top with mushroom filling. Top with any additional toppings - avocado slices, shredded cabbage,
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