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Recipe Plant-Based Protein Taco Recipe

This vegetarian taco recipe with black beans and chipotle tofu is a quick and tasty way to fuel and brighten up weeknight meals. 

Image of a man adding ingredients to a blender for sauce to top a vegetarian taco recipe

For Tonal coach Trace Gotsis, eating healthy means enjoying a wide range of tastes, textures, and flavors, and that includes tacos. “It just adds a little variety to the week,” he says. In this vegetarian taco recipe he shared, Coach Trace makes subtle additions to boost the nutrient value of one of his favorite weeknight meals by adding plant-based protein sources and fresh veggies. “I’ll switch up the toppings, and make the crema when I’m feeling spicy.”

This spicy vegetarian taco recipe tastes every bit as delicious and colorful as it looks. The tofu takes on the smokiness of the chipotle spice; the beans are filling and comforting; there’s crunch from kale and red pepper in every bite and heat from zingy crema.

image of a man drizzling crema onto a tacos loaded with colorful vegetables and avocado

“The many layers of taste, texture, and nutrition make this meal more of an experience. There’s the depth of flavor and then plenty of dense nutrients to help you replenish what’s being depleted from intensive training,” says John Christie, a registered dietitian and director of Curriculum Intelligence at Tonal. “The fact that everything is plant-based just adds to the value of this recipe.

Tofu is a great source of complete plant-based protein (containing all nine essential amino acids to help with muscle repair) and rich in omega-3 fatty acids (which can help with muscle recovery), and you also get a punch of fiber-rich protein from the beans.

Like many of Coach Trace’s recipes, his plant-based tacos are a quick and easy sell for even the busiest of nights. Plus, if you are strapped for time, you can prep most of this recipe over the weekend, and stash the components in containers for the fridge. Then, all you have to do is warm up the beans, veggies, and tofu and assemble on lightly-toasted tacos with diced tomatoes, and creamy slices of avocado for a tasty recovery meal. 

Image of a recipe card with colorful tacos alongside the following text: Makes 12, Prep Time: 20 Minutes, Cook Time: 20 Minutes

Ingredients

  • 1 cup of raw cashews
  • ½ cup of boiling water 
  • 2 tsp. chipotle powder
  • 2 tsp. smoked paprika
  • 1 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1 tsp. onion powder
  • 2 limes 
  • Salt, to taste 
  • 14oz. extra firm tofu, crumbled  
  • 2 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 red bell peppers, sliced 
  • 2 cups of squash, diced
  • 1 can black beans, rinsed and drained  
  • Half a bunch kale, chopped 
  • 12 corn tortillas* 
  • 3 tomatoes, diced 
  • 3 avocados, sliced 
  • A handful of cilantro, finely chopped
  • To serve: Favorite hot sauce (optional) 

Method

  • Start by making your plant-based chipotle crema. Soak raw cashews in boiling water for 15 minutes and then add to a blender with 1 teaspoon chipotle powder, 1 teaspoon smoked paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, squeeze juice from one lime, and add salt. Blitz until smooth. Add more water if the crema feels too thick to help blend. 
  • Next, heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add the crumbled tofu and the remaining chipotle powder, paprika, the minced garlic, lime juice, and salt to taste. Cook for several minutes and set aside.
  • Add the remaining olive oil in the skillet on medium heat with the bell peppers and squash until cooked through, but still crisp.
  • Add the chopped kale and black beans and heat through. Season with salt and turn off the heat. 
  • To serve, warm up the tortillas. Layer the tortilla with sauteed veggies and beans and tofu. Top with the diced tomatoes, sliced avocado, cilantro, and plant-based chipotle crema.

Note: The values below represent an estimate for one corn tortilla with filling and toppings.

  • Calories: 270 kcal
  • Carbohydrates: 27g
  • Fiber: 8g
  • Protein: 9g
  • Fat: 14g

Get more plant-based recipes from Coach Trace