Tino’s Vegetarian Taco Night!

Taco anyone?

Taco anyone?

Since becoming a Vegetarian, I’ve tried many different varieties of bean burritos, and I have to admit that I have yet to find one that I don’t like! Vegetarian burritos are so satisfyingly filling and packed with protein – you honestly won’t even miss the meat! However, one day I found myself really missing the crunchy texture of a hard shell taco. It had been well over ten years since I last had a “real” taco, so I made it my mission to rediscover the nostalgic “crunch” of the tacos of my youth. I scoured the web for the perfect recipe, but was dismayed to find that there wasn’t a lot of variety out there. I came across a few recipes that called for tempeh, but I needed something with common ingredients readily available in my small town grocery store, and the recipe needed to be easy enough for me to master with my mediocre cooking skills. I finally came across a gem of a recipe for Vegetarian Tacos on food.com. I love that the recipe is easy to make, has ingredients that one can find in any grocery store, and the main source of protein is chickpeas! Chickpeas are my favorite legume, so I had a feeling that this recipe would become a favorite. The recipe can be found here. I modified it for myself. My version is as follows:


1 (15) ounce can of garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed

1 cup of chopped celery

1 cup of salsa                                                                                                                            image

2 garlic cloves (pressed with a garlic press)

Coconut oil

½ TBSP chili powder

½ tsp. Smoked paprika

Salt and pepper to taste

Taco Shells







Melt coconut oil in a frying pan on medium heat. Add garbanzo beans, celery, and salsa. Cook for a minute while stirring. Next press the garlic into the pan and reduce heat to low. Add chili powder, smoked paprika, and salt and pepper. Stir and cook until thoroughly heated. While you are cooking, heat taco shells according to package. When the shells are done heating generously spoon in the taco mixture. Top with spinach, tomatoes, sprouts, and add a dollop of Vegenaise. Anyway, this is just how I simplified and customized the recipe to suit my palate – the original one is great too!


Now, I know that inquisitive minds may be wondering, just who is this mysterious “Tino” that is randomly referenced in the title? “Tino” happens to be a nickname my cross-country coach gave me back during “the glory days” of high school. We were on the bus preparing to depart for an out of town meet. Our coach was in the process of roll call when he unexpectedly shouted out the name, Tino. Everyone started looking around the bus, wondering if a new student had joined the team – as it turned out, he was referring to me! “Mar – teen” or “Tino.” Tomato – tomato, I guess…. Haha and the nickname stuck with me for quite a few years!

All in all, vegetarianism and tacos seem to be a match made in heaven! If you are looking for a yummy meal idea, why not give these tasty tacos a try!

What do you think about meatless tacos? Do you have a favorite vegetarian or vegan taco recipe? please leave me a comment! I would love to hear your opinion!