Smoky Vegetarian/Vegan Eggplant 'Taco Meat' Recipe

Smoky Vegetarian Vegan Eggplant 'Taco Meat' Recipe - Isabelle McKenzie.jpg

Smoky Vegetarian/Vegan Eggplant 'Taco Meat'

This eggplant 'taco meat' is completely vegetarian, vegan, and super healthy. The combination of spices (particularly the smoked chili powders), balsamic vinegar, and other seasonings give this taco topping a sweet and smoky flavour that pairs well with other mild toppings like sour cream and guac.

Thought it doesn't end with tacos: you can use this 'meat' in burritos, on pizzas, burgers, & more!

One of my family’s longest running monthly dinner traditions is ‘Taco Thursday’ (yes, I know, Taco Tuesday is more traditional, but each to their own 🌮), but in our effort to reduce our carb intake, we’ve recently started making some changes.

Due to a spark of inspiration from Pinterest, I started making our taco shells from cheese instead of the usual wheat or corn taco shells, and when we have burritos, my sister now makes them from scratch.

From there we got into taco salads, burrito salads - basically we’ve making our favourite carb-heavy dishes into something you can enjoy on a low(er) carb diet, and that’s where today’s recipe comes in.

Usually when I make a meat substitute for my dishes, my go-to’s are seitan or tofu, but seitan is made from vital-wheat gluten, which although is a protein and low-carb, is something I like to limit in my diet, and I try to avoid soy as much as possible due to its common association with having GMOs.

Since I didn’t want to cut out the texture and flavour that ‘faux-meats’ provide in my tacos, last month, I started experimenting with veggie based alternatives.

After a few go’s with carrots and mushrooms, I settled on aubergine (or eggplant) as my favourite.

After a good long soak in a smoky marinade, you can pan cook thinly sliced eggplant to mimic the chewy and ‘meaty’ textures that seitan and tofu so often provide, but for a fraction of the calories and with more nutritional value. 🤤

Although I originally created this 'taco meat' to use in my gluten-free cheese 'taco shells', my favourite way to have it is in my homemade taco salad.

Flavourful Vegetarian/Vegan Eggplant 'Taco Meat' Recipe - Isabelle McKenzie

To make it, add chopped romaine and tomatoes to a large plate, add several dollops of guacamole and sour cream, then top with fresh salsa and feta cheese. Then you can add the eggplant mixture, and if you like, some scrambled or fried eggs.

Flavourful Vegetarian/Vegan Eggplant 'Taco Meat' Recipe - Isabelle McKenzie

You can also use the eggplant mixture for meat-free burgers, pizzas, burritos, sandwiches, and more - the possibilities are endless!

Smoky Vegetarian/Vegan Eggplant 'Taco Meat'

Hungry for more?

The Ultimate Guide To Meat Alternatives for Vegetarians (& Vegans) Thumbnail 500.png

Check out my FREE ‘The Ultimate Guide to Meat Alternatives for Vegetarians (& Vegans)

It has 21 vegetarian and vegan substitutes & tips on how to choose the right one for you!

This guide, (specially designed for you, whether you’re a veggie, vegan or a meat eater), contains delicious meat alternatives, plus the best ways to cook them to really enjoy them, that will not only motivate you to actually get cooking BUT will make anyone you’re sharing a meal with super happy and satiated (and who doesn’t love that right?)!

In any case, if you give this recipe a try, please do let me know! I’d love to know what you think! Tag me on Instagram @itsisabellem with your photos and comments!

That’s it for now - happy eating!

Isabelle (gold).png