It doesn't need to be #tacotuesday for me to want tacos. Isn't Mexican food just the best? Fresh vegetables and herbs, beans, spices, depth of flavor, corn in multiple forms (huge fan)! What's not to love?
I could eat these flavors every day. And of course, if you're dining out, Mexican cuisine is often some of the most vegan-friendly, even if it doesn't appear that way when you first glance at a menu. But back to this recipe - Refried Black Bean and Tempeh Tacos with Creamy Lime Dressing.
The filling for these tacos is sort of like a hash but without potatoes, which you could certainly add if you wanted to.
What I really like about it is that the refried black beans serve as a binder. In other words, your taco ingredients won't fall out of their shell before hitting your mouth! Isn't that refreshing?
Not only are these tacos easy to eat, but they're also pretty darn healthy. Let's talk about nutrition for a moment...
Studies have proven the health benefits of beans, and it's well known that the healthiest populations around the world (the folks in the so-called Blue Zones) all have bean consumption in common.
Well, these tacos have beans in TWO forms, black beans and tempeh, plus the powers of onion, peppers, mushrooms, garlic, and citrus. The creamy lime dressing provides a bit of fat from the cashews (or pine nuts, your choice), but otherwise this recipe is incredibly light.
For those of you who follow an oil-free, whole-food plant-based diet, these tacos are tasty, approved eats.
For anyone else who struggles to eat enough vegetables, these tacos are for you. Notice the foundation of onion, pepper and mushrooms for the filling? With simple twists on spices, beans, vegetables, and sauces you have so many options for healthy weeknight dinners. No recipe necessary. This basic formula for a quick, go-to saute is something I plan to write about soon. It's a favorite in our house.
Per 2 tacos, here are a few nutritional highlights:
24 grams of protein
11 grams of fiber
17 grams of fat (that's only if you use ¼ of the dressing, which you probably won't)
160% daily value of vitamin C
34% daily value of iron
Sounds pretty good, right? And just like with the weeknight sauté idea, the possibilities for exercising creativity with these tacos are endless.
Try adding different spices and veggies, omit the tempeh, add your favorite meat substitute, change up the toppings. Truly, anything goes!
Update: you've gotta try this Vegan Taco Meat!
Without further ado, here's the recipe for these tacos, as well as two variations on the delicious creamy dressing, one for the cilantro lovers out there and one for the chipotle lovers. If you are neither, just leave these ingredients out, and you still have a deliciously bright and creamy sauce.
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Refried Black Bean & Tempeh Tacos with Creamy Lime Dressing
For the filling:
- 1 large onion, chopped
- 8 oz mushrooms, sliced
- 1 orange, yellow or red bell pepper, chopped
- 1 (15 oz) can refried black beans
- 8 oz tempeh, chopped
- 1 tsp ground cumin
- 1 ½ tsp chili powder
- 1 ½ tsp sea salt
For the dressing:
- ⅔ cup raw cashews or ½ cup pine nuts
- 1 large clove garlic
- 1 lime, freshly squeezed (about 2 Tbsp juice)
- ¼ cup water or unflavored/unsweetened non-dairy milk (for blending and consistency; you may need up to ⅓ cup)
- ½ tsp sea salt
- small handful cilantro leaves, packed, optional, OR
- 1 to 2 tsp chipotle flakes, optional
Tortillas and optional toppings:
- 8 soft corn tortillas, warmed
- 2 cups shredded lettuce
- 1 large tomato, chopped
- 1 cup salsa, pico de gallo, or hot sauce
- 1 large avocado, chopped or sliced
- lime wedges
- sliced black olives
- Combine all ingredients for the dressing in a blender and blend until smooth. Add a splash more milk or water as needed for consistency. Set aside.
- Preheat a large saute pan over medium heat. Cook the onion 3 to 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the pepper and mushrooms and continue to cook until slightly softened. Season with the cumin, chili powder and salt.
- Add the chopped tempeh to the pan. Stirring occasionally, cook until heated through, about 8 minutes. Add the refried beans. With a sturdy, long-handled spoon, fold all the ingredients together, cooking just until the beans are hot. Taste and adjust seasoning. Remove from heat.
- Build your tacos! Drizzle with creamy lime dressing and garnish as desired.