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Taco Tuesday: No Meat? No Problem!

Themed meal nights help with meal planning and keep the moans and groans about what's for dinner to a minimum. My family knows that when it's Tuesday, we most likely are going to have some Mexican-inspired fare. Having this focus makes meal planning so much easier! I keep a binder of recipes that my family enjoys organized by cuisine (Asian, Italian, Mexican, etc). I can just pull from this binder when meal planning for the week.


That way I can still have Taco Tuesday without the same old boxed tacos. YAY!


An unanticipated side effect of the COVID-19 pandemic, is the increased price structure for meat due to factory closures. This has been a source of stress for people who are not used to eating a plant-based diet. One strategy for this is starting with familiar foods and swapping in a plant-based protein.

Plant-based proteins can range from whole foods to minimally processed foods to then highly processed meat substitutes. I usually recommend the whole food protein sources and a few of the minimally processed options.

Whole food plant proteins:

Beans

Legumes

Nuts

Seeds

Minimally processed plant-based proteins:

Tofu

Tempeh

Nut butters

Highly processed plant-based proteins:

Meat substitutes (patties, crumbles, hot dogs)

Vegan cheeses


I usually keep a few of the minimally processed products like tofu and tempeh on hand and a few of the "meat crumbles" in the freezer. However, I am starting to see limited supplies of the processed meat replacements in the store. This makes sense. As actual meat becomes in short supply or high price, people turn to things that at least look familiar. There's nothing wrong with that.....but there isn't a bean shortage! Beans make the absolute best substitute for protein in Tex-Mex recipes.

My favorites are:

Black beans

Pinto beans

Brown lentils


Black beans are the star of this Tex-Mex skillet.


I start with canned black beans that I drain and rinse until the liquid runs clear.


The rest of the ingredients are SUPER flexible. You can substitute what your family likes or just use up what you have on hand.

No fresh veggies? Frozen is fine!


This works great as a filling for tacos, burritos, or enchiladas. My personal favorite is a burrito bowl with brown rice, salad greens, and guacamole!


Ingredients:

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 small onion, diced

1 zucchini, diced

2 tomatoes, diced

1 (14 oz) can of black beans, rinsed and drained

1 cup of water

Spray oil

1-2 Tablespoons of Taco Seasoning mix (low sodium or homemade)

My homemade Taco Seasoning Mix is below!


Directions: Lightly coat a non-stick skillet with spray oil and place over medium-high heat. Once the oil is hot, add in diced onions and cook for 2-3 minutes until slightly browned. Season with salt and pepper if desired, and add in garlic. Cook for 1 minute. Deglaze pan with few tablespoons of water if needed. Cook for a few more minutes until onions are soft and translucent. Add in diced zucchini and cook for 3-5 minutes (adding water as needed) until softened. Add in tomatoes, beans, seasoning mix and 1/2 cup of water. Bring to a heavy simmer and reduce heat to low. Cook for 5-10 more minutes until desired consistency is reached.

Homemade Taco Seasoning Mix:

3 Tablespoons, chili powder

2 Tablespoons, ground cumin

2 Tablespoons, paprika

1 Tablespoon, dried oregano

1 Tablespoon, garlic powder (NOT garlic salt)

1 teaspoon, kosher salt

1 teaspoon, ground black pepper

1/4 teaspoon, ground cayenne (optional)

Mix everything together in an air tight container.

If you make this recipe tag me on Facebook as Healthy Habits with Josie or Instagram @josiehbidwell.

The attached video walks you through the recipe with my tips and recommendations on substitutions.

One step closer to livin' that Healthy-ish Life!

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