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Tempeh Tacos from Betty Goes Vegan

Tempeh Tacos Recipe

Tempeh Tacos
I get migraines. Crazy migraines. Migraines that make me see strange glowing orbs. Migraines that make me leave hair salons in ambulances. But the worst thing about my migraines is that they cause me to have weird aversions to certain foods.

So, for example, when I had a peanut butter and jelly sandwich for lunch and got a migraine a few hours later, suddenly I could no longer stomach PB&Js. The very thought of them would make me feel sick to my stomach. Usually I get over these aversions after a few months, but then there was the time I got a migraine after eating tacos–oh, it was bad. And I wasn’t able to eat tacos for a full year.

Tempeh Taco Filling
The Year Without Tacos will go down as one of the worst years ever. Because along with veggie burgers and pasta, tacos were part of the trifecta of easy go-to meals in our household. I felt a little bit lost without taco night. Tacos are fast! They’re delicious! And putting them together is kind of fun too, right? It was a happy day when I finally found myself thinking, “Hey, you know what? I feel like tacos for dinner! I FEEL LIKE TACOS AGAIN!”

Now you can make tacos with vegetables and beans and potatoes, but my favorite tacos are made with crumpled tempeh. (If you’re unfamiliar with tempeh, be sure to check out my How to Use Tempeh post!) I’ve made a lot of tempeh tacos in my day, but the ones from Anne & Dan Shannon’s new cookbook Betty Goes Vegan are my new favorite. At first I was a little nervous about the long list of ingredients, but they come together quickly and I suspect that this recipe would be ideal for doubling and freezing, making an easy meal even easier.

Betty Goes Vegan
I received a copy of Betty Goes Vegan a few weeks ago and with 500 recipes, it is HUGE. As the title suggests, the inspiration for this book was Betty Crocker’s cookbook. While it’s fun to see all those classic recipes get meatless remakes, this isn’t necessarily a cookbook I’d buy for myself because most of the recipes call for meat substitutes, which I don’t use. This would be more of a “I’m going to check this out from the library” type of book for me. But if you do use meat substitutes in your cooking, this book is a great source of mealtime inspiration.

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Tempeh Tacos

Tempeh Tacos Recipe

Spicy tacos made with crumbled tempeh from Betty Goes Vegan by Anne & Dan Shannon.

  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 10 minutes
  • Total Time: 25 minutes
  • Yield: 6-8 tacos

Ingredients

Instructions

  1. Crumble your tempeh into a large mixing bowl. Then, using a large spoon, mix in the garlic, tomatoes, jalapeรฑo, chili powder, cumin, lime juice, garlic powder, onion powder, oregano, chipotle pepper, and Bragg’s. Once your tempeh is completely mixed into the spices, mix in the onion and pepper. Then drizzle the water 1 tablespoon at a time into your mix while stirring your ingredients continuously. Taste a little bit of your tempeh and add salt and pepper to taste.
  2. Spray your favorite cast-iron skillet or frying pan with a heavy coating of olive oil cooking spray, and then heat over medium heat. Once the oil is hot, toss in the tempeh mixture and liquid smoke. Flip your tempeh-vegetable mixture a few times so that it browns evenly. You’ll know it’s ready when your vegetables are tender and your tempeh has crispy edges. It should take about 10 minutes.
  3. While your tempeh is cooking, heat your taco shells slightly in the oven following the directions on the package.
  4. Once your taco shells are warm, fill them with the tempeh and vegetable mixture. Top with vegan cheese and set aside so it can melt slightly.
  5. Serve with guacamole, salsa, hot sauce, cilantro, black olives, lime wedges and anything else you like on your tacos!

Disclosure: I received a copy of Betty Goes Vegan to review on Oh My Veggies. There’s an affiliate link in this post, so if you were to order the book from Amazon through my link, I would receive a small percentage of the sale price.

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99 Comments

  • Reply
    Averie @ Averie Cooks
    February 13, 2013 at 4:20 pm

    I love tempeh! this is such a great use for it. Ive never heard of that cookbook but it looks like a keeper. Gorgeous images as usual!

  • Reply
    Anele @ Success Along the Weigh
    February 13, 2013 at 4:24 pm

    Oh man, that stinks about the migraines. When we get them they start with that zig zaggy lightning bolt that gets bigger. NOT fun. Never had food aversions though…that would REALLY suck. No tacos!? Sigh. But glad to see your bringin’ tacos back (yeah!)…sorry Justin Timberlake moment.

    • Reply
      Kiersten
      February 13, 2013 at 9:03 pm

      The migraines have been a lot better lately, actually. I upped my magnesium and it’s the only thing that’s ever worked for me as a preventative. But when I do still get them, yes, I get those lightning bolts & orbs too. The last really bad aura I had was on Election Day. I dragged myself to the polling place, but I’m still not totally sure who I voted for. ๐Ÿ˜‰

  • Reply
    Jackie @ The Beeroness
    February 13, 2013 at 5:06 pm

    When I was veg I didn’t use meat substitutes either, I felt like it screamed “I’m using this because I can’t use meat!” When what I really wanted to scream was, “Vegetables are awesome and you don’t need meat!!” The only exception was the occasional use of soyrizo and even though I now eat meat, I still love soyrizo!

    • Reply
      Kiersten
      February 13, 2013 at 9:09 pm

      My husband still loves meat subs. I send him to the grocery store for cilantro and he comes back with a box of riblets. For me, I have no desire to eat the real thing, so the substitutes don’t really appeal to me on any level. Except Field Roast! Have you ever had that? It’s pretty tasty.

      • Reply
        Dani
        February 18, 2013 at 2:55 am

        Field roast is better than ANY lunch meat! The local sandwich shop (east side deli in pdx) makes field roast sandwiches piled with veggies—I crave field roast more than meat!

        • Reply
          Kiersten
          February 18, 2013 at 9:21 am

          I miss the Field Roast lunch meat! I used to buy it when I lived in Madison, but I can’t find it anywhere around here. Sausages yes, lunch meat no. :/

  • Reply
    Kelly @ A Girl Worth Saving
    February 13, 2013 at 5:10 pm

    I used to deal with migraines – knock on wood – and they are just not fun. I had vision issues too. Less stress and well, a more ketogenic diet have kept me in the clear for a lot of years. Very cool this is made with tempeh! It’s the only soy I eat – when I do. Looks sooo good too!

    • Reply
      Kiersten
      February 13, 2013 at 9:11 pm

      My migraines are a lot better now, but I went through a stretch last winter where I was getting them just about every other day. It was really, really horrible. :/

  • Reply
    Kristina
    February 13, 2013 at 5:56 pm

    oh, I hear ya on the migraines – I get the fun ones like losing my peripheral vision in the middle of class. as much as I hate my migraines, I would really hate a year without tacos.

    these look fantastic . this is such a great book, I’m having fun looking through it!

    • Reply
      Kiersten
      February 13, 2013 at 9:15 pm

      Yes! I get those too. True story, the first time I got a migraine with aura, I was at work. I used to supervise college students at a library and I was seeing floaters for a while and then slowly, my entire field of vision just faded to black. There were about 5 of my employees in the room and I started crying, “Oh my God! I’m going blind! I can’t see! What’s happening to me?!” Oh man, it was not one of my finer moments, but I thought I was having a stroke. I’m sure they all went home that day and told their roommates about my epic meltdown.

  • Reply
    Diana @ Eating Made Easy
    February 13, 2013 at 6:18 pm

    Must try this! I love tempeh

  • Reply
    Liz @ A Nut in a Nutshell
    February 13, 2013 at 7:24 pm

    You weren’t kidding about the long ingredient list! Like you, I don’t use the meat substitutes. I don’t even use tofu. I just leave it out or use a combination of ingredients that don’t require meat. (This is on my meatless meals, of course seeing as how I’m not a complete vegetarian at all.)

    • Reply
      Kiersten
      February 13, 2013 at 9:17 pm

      It’s definitely a long list of ingredients, but then I thought about all the ingredients in a typical taco seasoning mix and realized that’s probably why–no seasoning mix = lots of spices in the recipe. ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Reply
    Richa
    February 13, 2013 at 8:05 pm

    oh my.. a year without tacos.. hope you find things that help control them migraines.
    these tempeh ones look amazing.

    • Reply
      Kiersten
      February 13, 2013 at 9:18 pm

      Yeah, it was a long, sad year!

  • Reply
    Rochelle @ WheatlessRochelle.com
    February 13, 2013 at 8:30 pm

    Wow, those look incredible! I have that book on my Kindle (well, Kindle for iPad app, actually) but I haven’t checked it out yet. And gosh, I’m glad tempeh is gluten free!

    • Reply
      Kiersten
      February 13, 2013 at 9:22 pm

      It’s definitely a fun cookbook! I made the matzo ball soup this week too and it was amazing. ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Reply
    Hannah @ CleanEatingVeggieGirl
    February 13, 2013 at 10:31 pm

    I just cooked with tempeh for the first time the other night when I made tempeh burritos. These tacos sound so delicious. I am definitely a tempeh convert :).

    • Reply
      Kiersten
      February 15, 2013 at 3:35 pm

      Yay! This would make a great burrito filling too. Or nacho topping! So many possibilities. ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Reply
    Courtney Jones
    February 14, 2013 at 12:11 am

    Awe, that is really crummy about the migraines. My boyfriend get them like that too and it just breaks my heart. I hate not being able to do anything to help him.

    I bought the Betty Goes Vegan cookbook and was also disappointed in the amount of meat substitutes used. I’m not opposed to using them, but I prefer when I don’t have to. I did not like the texture of meat, so fake meat products don’t really thill me. *haha* I do think this cook book is awesome for those who use subs. SO many great sounding recipes!

    • Reply
      Kiersten
      February 15, 2013 at 3:34 pm

      That’s exactly how I feel too. I think meat substitutes are great for people who miss meat or who want to eat meat but for whatever reason can’t, but I really hate the texture and taste of meat, so the subs are so unappetizing to me. I do love Field Roast, but I think it’s because they’re not trying to taste like meat, you know?

  • Reply
    Lisa @ Greek Vegetarian
    February 14, 2013 at 5:47 am

    I’m a huge fan of tofu but have to admit I’ve never tried tempeh. I know, weird, especially for a vegetarian of nearly ten years, but my food aversions are often irrational. Tempeh just never really appealed to me (must be the mold!). BUT, I had a read of your “how to use tempeh” post and I think I’m brave enough now to go out and buy some.

    (Sooo jealous of your yellow LC pan!)

    • Reply
      Kiersten
      February 15, 2013 at 3:31 pm

      The mold is a little bit creepy, I admit. ๐Ÿ™‚ But when you crumble it up, it makes such a fantastic substitute for ground beef! I’m not one to judge anyone else’s food aversions though, since I have plenty myself.

  • Reply
    Robin (Masshole Mommy)
    February 14, 2013 at 6:25 am

    Those look so tasty and I am a huge sucker for a good taco!

  • Reply
    Katie (The Muffin Myth)
    February 15, 2013 at 10:29 am

    I’m lucky – I don’t get migranes, but I do occasionally get a really bad headache with a migrane aura (floaty coloury things in my peripheral vision) which are weird and freaky. I do understand getting sick and having an aversion to a recently ate food, which is why I haven’t had a pizza pretzel in over 20 years…

    I love love love tempeh! It’s bonkers hard to find where I live, unfortunately. I’ve only found one store that has it, and they only have it some of the time. Whenever they do I stock up on as much as I can and stash it in the freezer. There has been a long tempeh dry spell, but hopefully soon it’ll be back in my life again and I can try these tacos!

    • Reply
      Kiersten
      February 15, 2013 at 3:20 pm

      I’m lucky that none of my food aversions have lasted 20 years! Tempeh is definitely my favorite vegetarian protein. Okay, maybe tied with lentils. ๐Ÿ™‚ Have you tried making it yourself? I used to go to a restaurant that made their own and it was delicious, although I’m sure it’s quite a process!

    • Reply
      Lisa @ Greek Vegetarian
      February 15, 2013 at 5:52 pm

      Katie, I get the auras without migraines as well. Apparently it’s fairly common. Let’s hope we don’t develop the other symptoms at some later stage!

  • Reply
    Pam
    February 15, 2013 at 12:57 pm

    I have gazed at these three time in the past 24 hours. This will be dinner next Friday. Lol, my stomach just growled.

    Pam

    • Reply
      Kiersten
      February 15, 2013 at 3:12 pm

      I hope you like them! ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Reply
    Genevieve
    February 15, 2013 at 4:11 pm

    These sound like hearty and spicy tacos – kind of like chili but scooped into a hard shell instead! Glad you shared your thoughts on that cookbook too – I would definitely like to check it out, but I agree with you that the style of cooking doesn’t quite match my tastes. At least this recipe sounds like it would please meat lovers too!

    • Reply
      Kiersten
      February 18, 2013 at 9:53 am

      There are definitely some recipes made without meat subs (I made an awesome matzo ball soup recipe from the book last week!), but if you don’t cook with them very much, I’d suggest checking this cookbook out from the library and or at least browsing through it at the bookstore before buying it…

  • Reply
    HilLesha
    February 15, 2013 at 5:28 pm

    Looks great! I’ve been wanting to buy this book for a few weeks now, but wasn’t sure if it would be a waste of money. Now, I think I will definitely get it!

    • Reply
      Kiersten
      February 18, 2013 at 9:49 am

      If you eat a lot of meat substitutes, you will like it! ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Reply
    Kelly @ Texas Type A Mom
    February 17, 2013 at 3:31 pm

    That cookbook sound really intriguing! What a great idea to remake classic recipes that we all grew up with! And I can’t imagine the thought of not eating tacos for a whole year – torture! But I have the same food aversions too – migraines or tummy issues either one.

  • Reply
    mjskit
    February 17, 2013 at 11:34 pm

    I have to admit that I’m not a big fan of tempah, but I do love all of the spices you used in this recipe! What a mouthful of flavors!! Great looking tacos!

  • Reply
    Shirley
    February 19, 2013 at 10:30 pm

    That hairstyling migraine story is scary! Did a doctor ever rule definitively on what caused it? Have you sworn off hair dye permanently? I know what you mean about the unintentional aversion therapy. I once tried Southern chicken and dumplings when I had some flu and threw up, and now I can’t stand the thought of the stuff. Or maybe I truly don’t like soggy steamed biscuits. Anyway, I’ve never tried tempeh but these look good!

    • Reply
      Kiersten
      February 24, 2013 at 4:30 pm

      It was more a matter of ruling things out, and after that they just concluded that it had to be some kind of weird migraine-related reaction. I think it was the fumes from the dye!

  • Reply
    Veggie
    February 20, 2013 at 10:36 am

    These tacos look wonderful. Kind of said you can’t eat PB&J after migraine. Everbody should be able to eat PB/J all the time. ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Reply
    Rachel
    February 20, 2013 at 12:51 pm

    these were SO GOOD! I convinced my boyfriend to eat a vegan diet with me for one month. (neither of us were vegetarians when we started, although that may change!) I am a marathon runner, and I wanted to try a healthy new diet and was inspired by a vegan distance runner. BUT, after a few weeks of green juice and lots of salads, my meat-and-potatoes, 200 pound, former military Southern boyfriend was getting antsy. These were just the trick! We both agreed that we did not miss the meat AT ALL! (Although I admit we missed real cheese).

    Thanks for sharing! Next up will be baked fried rice and veggie tempeh sloppy joes!

    • Reply
      Kiersten
      February 24, 2013 at 4:24 pm

      Yay, I’m so glad to hear it! I think I would get a little antsy after a few weeks of green juice and salads too. ๐Ÿ˜‰

  • Reply
    Brenda Williams
    February 21, 2013 at 8:39 am

    These look good…never tried tempeh, but sounds like I need to get some and use it.

  • Reply
    McKel | Nutrition Stripped
    February 22, 2013 at 8:52 pm

    Thanks for sharing! This is one of my favorite ways to use tempeh ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Reply
    Jennifer The Quirky Momma
    February 24, 2013 at 3:37 pm

    I’ve never tried tempeh but now I’m inspired!

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