Taco night needs to be a mandatory occasion in households across America. Can we all get on board with this? Tacos are such a delicious, simple, and homey dinner!
I know a lot of families that have a specific night every single week where the family loads up on as many tacos as they can pack in their bellies, and I also know that when tacos are a weekly occasion, it’s good to be able to switch it up sometimes with something a little unique and different.
Because as good as tacos are, and THEY ARE, anything can get old if you have too much of it.
Enter: quinoa and walnut taco meat!
It’s filling, hearty, super flavorful from all the Mexican spices, and it tastes just right when you load it up in your tortilla with some other goodies. This is delicious in tacos, but it definitely can be used in a bunch of stuff apart from the traditional taco, too! Burritos or burrito bowls, nachos, taco salad, lettuce wraps – the list goes on and on.
Here’s how you can make this happen, ladies and gents:
- Simmer your quinoa for about fifteen minutes
- When it’s done, add your oil, seasonings, and walnuts
- Spread that mixture out on a parchment lined baking sheet
- Bake, tossing around in the middle, for 30 minutes
- Load it into any taco deliciousness you desire!
We did a tortilla, the taco “meat,” lettuce, pico de gallo, avocado, and pickled red onions. If you eat a scoop of the taco “meat” plain, you might think the walnuts are a little odd, but when you’re eating it in taco form, the walnuts add delicious, hearty texture that is so reminiscent of ground beef.
So this past weekend Seth’s mom came to visit, and Seth and I went out for a big date night on Saturday night while she watched the kids. You guys, Charlotte is seriously THE best! There is SO MUCH to do here, it’s absolutely insane. I feel like we could go out to eat at a fun restaurant every single weekend for the next ten years and not even scratch the surface of what Charlotte has to offer!
We loved living in Kansas, we really did enjoy the (almost) four years we spent there, but when we went out on dates, we went to the same restaurant almost every time because there just wasn’t a ton of variety.
But Charlotte…SO soooo much stuff to do. I am subscribed to this email called Charlotte Agenda, and they basically send daily emails cluing you in to everything going on that day/week/weekend. So this weekend we were looking at one of the emails and there was a link to the best 17 new restaurants in Charlotte, and that’s how we picked where we went on Saturday. It was this Asian sushi/ramen/poke restaurant, and it. was. BAAEEEEE. The best meal we’ve had here so far for sure.
We got dumplings and sashimi tacos for appetizers, Seth got ramen for his dinner, and I got sushi for mine. The sushi was absolutely amazing, and Seth’s ramen was the best ramen we’ve ever had.
SO much fun! Anyway, these tacos are the perfect weeknight meal, but I’m loving all the fun restaurants we’ve been exploring around the city on weekends!Print
Quinoa Walnut Taco Meat
- Prep Time: 5 mins
- Cook Time: 45 mins
- Total Time: 50 minutes
- Yield: 6 servings
- 1 cup quinoa
- 1 cup walnuts, chopped to be about the size of ground beef
- 1 tablespoon chili powder
- 1 tablespoon cumin
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice (about 1 lime)
- 2 tablespoons avocado oil (any other type of oil will work just as well)
- Extra lime and cilantro (optional)
- Add two cups of water to a pot, season it with salt, and bring it to a boil. Stir in your quiona, reduce to a simmer, and cook for fifteen minutes (or until the water has absorbed and the quinoa is cooked through)
- Preheat your oven to 375 degrees
- To the quinoa, add your avocado oil, spices, and walnuts. Season with salt and pepper and stir until totally combined
- Spread this mixture out on a parchment paper lined baking sheet and bake for 30 minutes, removing from the oven and tossing with a spatula half way through
- Season to taste, add extra lime juice and cilantro to taste, and use however you want!
- Serving Size: 1/2 cup
- Calories: 293
- Sugar: 1 g
- Sodium: 40 mg
- Fat: 20 g
- Carbohydrates: 24 g
- Fiber: 4 g
- Protein: 8 g
- Cholesterol: 0 mg
If you make this or any of my other recipes, be sure to Instagram it and hashtag #thegarlicdiaries so I can see!
In the mood for more taco goodness? Check these out: