Sampling Chickpea Tacos

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The vegan taco is a complex (plant-based) creature.  There are a lot of recipes out there using various ingredients to try and replicate the taste and sometimes the texture of heavily-seasoned ground beef.

When I was omni, I was pretty particular about what I would and wouldn’t eat when it came to meat.  I think I’ve mentioned before how ground beef and I never really got along.  Tacos were the grand exception.  My mom was able to cook up a batch of taco meat that would blow your socks off just from the smell.  When I go to make tacos, it’s that flavor I’m looking for.  I have a problem with TVP tacos because they’re way too close to the feel of ground beef for comfort, and tend to have a soy-ish aftertaste.

taco seasoned chickpeas
So I was quite happy to discover the recipe for chickpea tacos in the Happy Herbivore cookbook.  I was first turned on to roasted chickpeas during World Go Vegan Week, when I made them as one of the refreshments for the talk I gave on veganism.  I haven’t had a chance to make any since then, but I love the concept.  And since the basis of this recipe was to coat a bunch of chickpeas in an intense taco spice blend and roast them, I couldn’t resist.

The kitchen smelled amazing when these were roasting.  It was akin to the way I remember tacos smelling when my mom made them, but without the rather distressing beefy undertones.

open chickpea taco
Instead of taco shells, I put the chickpeas in a wrap with tomatoes, shredded lettuce, salsa, and vegan sour cream (recipe from the same cookbook!), sort of like a burrito or soft taco.  I thought about making a cheesy sauce, but didn’t get around to it.  Something with a cheddar or jack flavor would have been pretty awesome, though.

chickpea taco wrap
Even without “cheese,” these were great tacos!  I wound up roasting the chickpeas for about 35 minutes and the texture was very nice.  Firm but not too hard, with a little crisp around the outside where the taco seasoning cooked on.  I think the next time I make these I’m going to spring for the blue corn tortilla shells pictured in the book.  Because, y’know…blue corn.

Question for the comments: What’s the best vegan taco recipe you’ve tried?  Why is it your favorite?

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About the Author:

Sam has been a vegan since summer of 2009 and has spent the subsequent years experimenting with all manner of vegan food. She holds a Certificate in Plant-Based Nutrition from the T. Colin Campbell Center for Nutrition Studies and is a graduate of the Bauman College Nutrition Consultant Program. She is a member of Toastmasters International and currently serves as part of the Capital View Toastmasters club. When she's not blogging or cooking, Sam likes to read and study the Bible, play silly card games and knit socks.
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