I don’t eat a whole lot of meat substitutes, but I do have a few favorites, and every now and then I’ll see something new at the store and decide to give it a go. And every now and then one of the new ones I try gets added on to my favorites list. That’s what happened with Trader Joe’s vegan chorizo. I’ve never had traditional chorizo, so I was curious. It was delicious, so now it’s one of the few meat substitutes that I do indulge in on occasion.
It was all the spices that made me love veggie chorizo so much. A little bit hot, a little smoky, and so much flavor. That got me thinking, if all the flavor I loved so much in this stuff comes from the spices, it shouldn’t matter too much what the chorizo is actually made out of. The base is really just a vehicle for all the spice.
That’s what prompted me to take my first crack at vegan chorizo with these stuffed zucchinis. I made that chorizo out of lentils and walnuts, thinking they’d be perfect for the texture. This time around I decided to switch things up and go with chickpeas and walnuts. I liked it even better.
The chickpeas get briefly blitzed in a food processor to create this meatless chorizo. The key is not to overdo it—4 or 5 pulses is plenty. Once you’ve chopped your chickpeas and walnuts in the food processor, they get cooked up quickly in a skillet with lots of spices, to give you that hot and smoky chorizo flavor. The chickpea chorizo gets piled onto crispy tostada shells and topped with a drizzle of avocado crema, to balance out the heavy spices. I threw a bit of shredded lettuce and tomatoes onto my tostadas for texture. Feel free to substitute or add your favorite veggies or tostada toppings though.Print this recipe
Adding more cayenne pepper will make the chickpea mixture taste more like chorizo, but a little bit goes a long way. I suggest starting with 1/4 teaspoon, taste-testing, and adding more as needed.
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