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November 18, 2010

Vegan MoFo #15: Homemade "Beef" and Sweet Potato Tacos

Ever since the massive positive response to my homemade vegan bacon recipe last week, I have wanted to share my favorite homemade ground beef substitute. It is another easy, affordable, freezer-friendly, gluten-free, and optionally soy-free recipe. A genius creation of Ricki Heller, this recipe is a blend of ground cauliflower, walnuts, and spices, roasted to perfection. So simple, so delicious, and surprisingly meaty!

I've had some serious cravings for Mexican ever since I saw Jessy's tostadas and Lisa Marie's tacos. I decided tacos were the perfect use for this homemade beef. Combined with sweet potatoes, black beans, corn and a generous drizzle of A-K's creamy pepita cilantro dressing, this was just what I was craving. This meal was rounded out by a side of spicy roasted kuri squash. It doesn't get much better than that!

The two stars of these tacos are the meat and the dressing, which are not my recipes. I've provided links to the original recipes below, along with my technique for assembling these tacos. This dish will be included in the November SOS Kitchen Challenge featuring sweet potatoes. To participate submit your own sweet or savory sweet potato dishes before the end of the month.

Homemade "Beef" and Sweet Potato Tacos 
with Creamy Pepita Cilantro Dressing
(Serves 4)

1 cup of Ricki's Meaty Veg-Based Ground "Meat"
1/2 onion, diced
1 clove of garlic, minced
2 small or 1 large sweet potato, peeled and chopped into 1/2" pieces (about 2 cups)
1/2 cup corn kernels, frozen, fresh, or canned
1 cup cooked black beans
1 tsp smoked paprika
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1/4 tsp cayenne (optional)
1/2 tsp sea salt
Generous drizzle of A-K's Creamy Cilantro Pepita Dressing (not optional)
4 large or 6 small tortillas

Heat 1 tbsp oil in a large skillet. Add onions and saute for 3 minutes. Stir in garlic and continue to saute for another 3 minutes.

Stir in the sweet potatoes and saute for about 15 minutes, stirring frequently, until the sweet potatoes are tender and lightly browned.

Stir in the spices, corn, black beans, and "meat", and cook for 2-3 minutes, until hot. Serve inside tortillas of your choice with a big drizzle of dressing.


  1. I have one red kuri that survived the commie garden this year and can't bring myself to do anything with it because I don't know what they taste like. Are they like acorn, butternut, pumpkin or something else? What did you spice yours with?

  2. sounds amazing! thanks so much for the links... ricki's recipe sounds very intriguing. I have bookmarked so many recipes this mofo!! once i'm done traveling around the world, I'm gonna have a serious stockpile of recipes to explore!

  3. Oh man I really have to try that cauliflower meat! I've seen it mentioned on quite a few blogs and every time I see it it makes me hungry! It looks so meaty that it's almost scary lol. I tried a raw 'meat' which consisted of walnuts and various spices and it was amazing. I'm sure this version is too. That taco of yours means business lol.

    Thanks for sharing and thanks for the mention! Have a nice weekend. :)

  4. Great entry for the SOS Challenge! I love the sweet potato-black bean combination. I must have missed Ricki's ground "meat" recipe when she posted it. It sounds very interesting though.

  5. Thank you for this!! I love veg tacos, but I always end up buying boca meat crumbles for the meat. I LOVE the idea of making my own veg meat!

  6. Oh, I like the use of corn, and the sweet potatoes are an interesting twist.

    I have yet to find a good source of soft tortillas that don't smell weird (like all the mass produced ones I see at the grocery store)

    The advantage your soft tacos have over my hard ones is that they're probably less messy to eat. angrynorwegian loves taco night, but complains about the mess on the plate. (queue the violins...)

  7. Whee! So glad you like the "meat" (and I realize I actually never gave it a real name. . . Vegan Munchies calls it "Cauliflower Walnut Crumbles," which has a nice ring to it. . .will have to come up with my own.) ;) Your tacos look fabulous--and what an absolutely stellar submission to the SOS Challenge this month! Thanks so much for submitting it. :D

  8. I have had Ricki's meat sub on my list to try since she posted it. I think I may have to make it this weekend. Thanks for the nudge.


  9. Oh yum! Now you've got me totally craving tacos!

  10. Another great one. I love the soy free options! I think I'd skip the corn though, I'm not the biggest fan.

  11. sweet awesomeness, Sarah! your homemade ground "beef" and sweet potato tacos look gloriously good! my craving for mexi-eats is back now thanks to these yumminesses and i'm gonna have to make your tacos and dress them up with A-K's pepita cilantro dressing. mmmmmmmmmmmmm!


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