Tuesday, August 24

Mushroom tacos

When it comes to preparing meals that are supposed to contain meat, I always ask myself if there is a suitable non-meat substitute.  Usually, if meat is the star of the meal, it can't be replaced, but if meat is just an accessory, it can be substituted.    So, for example, there is absolutely nothing that can replace a good pork chop or some chicken wings.  On the other hand, for tacos, the ground beef (or what have you) isn't so important and can absolutely be swapped.  For me, the seasonings and toppings are what make the tacos.

I normally like to use some form of mushroom when making vegetarian tacos.  I recently had the revelation that chopped up button or cremini mushrooms would have the same texture as cooked ground beef and it would make the tacos much easier to eat.  Sliced portobello mushroom caps are good if you're looking for something comparable to steak or chicken strips; unfortunately, the slices always came out of the taco making for a somewhat messy eat. 

In my last post, I pointed out how tortilla shells and taco seasoning mixes may contain soy.  I searched high and low for soy-free flour tortillas and the only type of tortilla that was suitable was the La Banderita Fat Free Tortillas (click on 'La Banderita', select 'Flour Tortillas', then find the fat free variety).   If you like corn tortillas - Tara doesn't - your options will be greatly expanded.  Additionally, you can make your own, which I have done a few times when I was younger (bonus points if you use your hands to flip the tortillas like my Guatemalan friends).

For the taco seasoning mix, your best bet is to make your own.  I was stoked to find that I had all the  ingredients listed in most taco seasoning recipes (be aware that they contain onion and garlic powder, items that may need to be restricted for Porphs).

Mushroom Tacos
Serves 2

This is an incredibly easy recipe to make.  I can normally get this on the table in under 30 minutes (20 if I'm fast and organized) and most of that time is spent prepping and cooking the mushrooms.


  • 8-16oz  mushrooms, stems removed and diced
  • ~1 Tb oil for the pan, grapeseed or olive oil are good
  • ~1 Tb butter, optional
  • 1/4 - 1/3 cup water
  • 1 Tb or so taco seasoning
  • 4-6 taco shells or tortillas
  • Toppings, we like: salsa, shredded lettuce, shredded cheese, sour cream, diced tomatoes, and diced onions


Heat a large skillet over med-high heat.  When the pan is hot, add the oil.  After the oil has heated, add the butter.  When the butter is melted, add the mushrooms.  Cook until mushrooms are browned and slightly crispy, about 10 minutes.  At this point, add the taco seasoning and water; stir to mix.  Let the liquid come to a boil, then turn the heat down to low and let it simmer until most of the liquid has evaporated. 

While the mushrooms are cooking, prepare all of your toppings: shred the lettuce, dice the onions and tomatoes, etc.

A few minutes before the mushrooms are done, prepare your tortillas or shells.  If we're having our tacos with tortillas, I wrap the tortillas in a damp paper towel and microwave for about 45 seconds.  (You could also shape them into a tortilla shell bowl, as we did the last time we made tacos.)  If we're using the taco shells, I stick them in a 350 degree oven for 5 minutes or so;  follow the directions on the package.

Assemble your tacos as you see fit.  (Tara and I do this completely different, naturally.)

*Note: The listed amount needed for the mushrooms is so large because it really depends on your needs and preferences.  If you like just enough filling for your tacos and will maybe have a side dish, then use the smaller amount.  Conversely, if you like to over stuff your tacos and have extra filling to make a small salad on the side and have leftovers, then use the larger amount.  We find that 12oz is a good amount for us.

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