Oh boy, do I have a fun take on taco night to share! This post combines taco bowls and my first time using the Beyond Meat brand of meat substitute.
I’m a huge fan of spaghetti squash as a pasta replacement. I have a zoodler and use it frequently, but ever since I mastered navigating the gourd I quickly started to show some favoritism. It took a few watery pasta dishes to finally get it right, but the secret is to place the squash face down and do not add any water to the baking sheet. Veggies release water when cooked, so if the squash is face up it will pool in the bottom and hold on to the expelled liquid. Being face down will help steam the squash while it then proceeds to drain and evaporate.
Now, before we get started let’s quickly talk about Beyond Meat for those that aren’t familiar with meat-less options out there!
I’m not one to shy away from a substitute of any kind (hello, this whole website is about subs!) so when the Impossible Burger and Beyond Meat came on the scene I immediately added them to my list of things to keep an eye out for. They’re both very intriguing in the fact that they almost eerily look like meat, however, Beyond Meat goes above and beyond the traditional soy or bean based ingredients and uses pea protein. I recently tried the Impossible Burger and was ~BLOWN~AWAY~ with all five senses. So much so that on my absolute next grocery store run I got the Beyond Meat burger patties, started my experiment, and from that the vegetarian taco boats were born.
Here’s what you’ll need:
- 1 small-medium spaghetti squash
- 1 pack of Beyond Meat Burger Patties (if your store has the crumbles or the ground beef option, I would get that. My store only had the patties and I don’t have the patience to wait for them to expand)
- 1 small yellow onion (chopped)
- 2 small or 1 large tomato (chopped)
- 3 cloves of garlic (minced)
- 1 can of black beans (drained and rinsed)
- 1 tbs chili powder
- 1/4 tsp dried oregano
- 1/4 tsp garlic powder
- 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
- 1 1/2 tsp cumin
- 1/2 tsp paprika
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp pepper
- Cheese of choice for topping. (Or leave it off and make this dish vegan friendly.)
- Olive oil
NOTE: The spices are for taco seasoning (and a little bit extra to liberally sprinkle on the spaghetti squash). If needed, just sub all those out for 1 store bought pack. I prefer to make my own to control the sodium levels.
Here’s what you’ll do:
- Preheat oven to 375.
- Very carefully cut your squash in half long ways.
- Scoop out the seeds and guts to discard. (Or roast the seeds separately for a tasty snack!)
- Drizzle each half of squash with olive oil. Sprinkle liberally with salt, pepper, and other taco seasoning spices.
- Put squash face down on baking sheet and roast for 35-40 minutes.
- While the squash is cooking heat up a high sided sauce pan with about a tablespoon of olive oil on medium-high heat.
- Once hot, add your “meat” and treat it like you would ground meat, however, it won’t brown or become firm like you’re used to. I’m excited to try the crumbles and the ground beef version to see if it cooks up any differently. Let this cook for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Add your garlic, onion, and taco seasoning spices. Mix it all together and let the flavors mingle for a few minutes.
- Add your drained/rinsed black beans and diced tomatoes. Mix and put a lid on it to keep the heat in while you get the squash ready.
- By now your squash should be roasted and ready! Take them out of the oven and let them cool for about 10 minutes, or until you can safely touch it. Then take a fork and simply scrape against the sides. Start shallow and work your way out to the sides. Be careful not to puncture the skin, this is going to be your bowl!
- Once all the meat is pulled you’ll scoop it out, add it to your pan, and mix it together.
- Scoop the desired amount of mix back into the squash bowls, top with cheese, and place back in the oven for about 10-15 minutes.
- Now top with lettuce, salsa, guac, or any other toppings and enjoy this fun, meatless, and low carb take on taco night!
If you have any questions about working with Beyond Meat feel free to comment or email me 🙂