Vegan Shiitake Tacos with Kale + Avocado
Somewhere along the course of almost 5 years of marriage, I convinced my husband that every meal does not have to include a large hunk of meat. While neither of us are vegetarian or vegan, we do like to switch things up every now and then (especially on #MeatlessMondays). I think a varied diet is an important part of getting all of the nutrients we need. Lucky for us, Sparta Mushrooms sells gorgeous, organic mushrooms at our local farmers market that they grow just down the road in Sparta, Georgia (they’re also sold in Atlanta-area Whole Foods stores).
I recently tried some hot sauces from Scrumptious Pantry, a company that prides itself on the use of heirloom varieties of fruits and vegetables. For this taco recipe, I used their Chiltepin Pepper hot sauce (the pepper is also known as a bird’s eye chili, which I learned on the bottle’s label). I love that the company uses natural sweeteners, like organic honey, fruit puree, and/or orange juice, rather than sugar or corn syrup that many brands use. They also don’t include any unnatural additives or preservatives, so they get a check mark in my book!
I wanted the mushrooms to take center stage in a meatless meal, and I wanted an interesting way to incorporate hot sauce into a dish. So the idea of shiitake tacos with hot sauce-massaged kale was born–maybe in part because shiitake tacos is fun to say :). I added avocados to make them a little more filling, but you can also see the notes below for ideas for adding more protein. This recipe makes 4-6 tacos, depending on the size of your tortillas, enough for a lighter meal for 2.
8 oz. shiitake mushrooms (about 2 pints)
2 Tbsp olive oil
1 Tbsp taco seasoning
4-5 large stems kale (or 2-3 oz. baby kale)
hot sauce to taste
1 ripe avocado, sliced
green onion or chives, chopped
1. Prep + roast mushrooms. Preheat oven to 425°F. Clean 8 oz. of mushrooms with a damp cloth, then slice into 1/2″ thick pieces (or just halve mushrooms if they’re small). Place sliced mushrooms in a single layer on a baking sheet. Generously coat with oil, then sprinkle with 1 Tbsp taco seasoning. Bake 10-12 minutes or until lightly browned, flipping mushrooms once halfway through. Adjust seasoning with salt and/or additional taco seasoning.
2. Meanwhile, prep kale. Remove kale from stems, either by tearing with hands or by folding leaves in half and slicing along the stem. Discard stems or save for another use. Tear or chop leaves into bite-sized pieces and place in large bowl. Add 1-2 tsp hot sauce and begin to massage it into the kale with hands (you may want to wear gloves for this part, especially if you have any cuts on your hands). Add more hot sauce to taste. If kale is not coated but you’ve reached your desired amount of heat, add olive oil 1 tsp at a time until coated. Set aside.
3. Assemble. If desired, warm tortillas. Layer dressed kale, avocado slices (which can be smashed onto tortillas for easier eating), roasted shiitakes, and any desired garnishes onto tortillas. Eat immediately.
Prepared ingredients can be stored separately in airtight containers in the refrigerator. You can also assemble taco salads with kale, avocado, mushrooms stored together (I recommend coating the avocado in lemon or lime juice to help prevent browning).
Alternatively to roasting, mushrooms can be browned in a large pan on the stovetop over medium to medium-high heat. Other mushrooms, such as cremini/baby bella, portabello, or regular white mushrooms all work well as substitutes for shiitakes.
For gluten free tacos, use gf tortillas (or omit them totally for a taco salad), and check to make sure your taco seasoning doesn’t have any gluten-containing additives. I recommend making your own taco spice blend!
For heartier vegan tacos, try adding quinoa or black beans seasoned with taco seasoning. For non-vegan tacos, add strips of grilled chicken or ground meat (chicken, turkey, beef, etc) seasoned with taco seasoning.
Hot sauce was c/o Scrumptious Pantry. Opinions + recipe all my own.