While tacos are a seemingly straightforward assemblage of tortillas and fillings, they have great potential to be brimming with a complex assortment of flavors. Sadly, wilted lettuce, flavorless salsa, and bland fillings of all types can cause tacos to fall short of fulfilling their achievable deliciousness. But our Seed to Supper Challenge submissions highlighted how well-prepared veggies can make any taco rightfully scrumptious. Since every taco deserves to be yummy, here is a list of our 5 favorite veggie taco-filling submissions to inspire your next taco night:
1. Veggie Slaw
Coleslaw is a dish typically consisting of shredded cabbage, carrots, or other mixtures of hearty, fresh veggies thinly sliced and dressed in a vinaigrette or mayonnaise. Adding some fresh cilantro, lime juice, green onions, and jalapenos to your taco slaw will add layers of scrumptious flavors to your tacos. The New York Times has a taco slaw recipe that is super tasty if you happen to have the extra time to devote to its creation.
2. Roasted Roots and Tubers
Roasting vegetables is a great way to add some delicious, light charring to any meal – especially tacos! Originating from Mexico, Tacos de Papa (or potato tacos) predate written history. Given their simplicity and delectability, it’s no wonder these tacos have stood the test of time. Although potato tacos are customarily enjoyed mashed, they are just as tasty when preserved as roasted potato hash! Below is a simple roasted potato filling recipe to get you started on your potato taco journey:
- 3 potatoes washed and cut into small cubes
- 2 tablespoons of cooking oil
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- 1 teaspoon oregano
- ½ teaspoon paprika
- 3 cloves of garlic, roughly chopped
- Salt and pepper to taste
- preheat oven to 400. While the oven is heating, mix together potatoes, garlic, seasoning, and oil.
- Cook potatoes for 30 minutes, flipping halfway through. Once potatoes are golden brown and cool enough to eat, enjoy on your next taco.
3. Crispy Cauliflower Filling
Cauliflower is fantastic in so many dishes and tacos are no different! Cauliflower taco filling is typically a mixture of roasted cauliflower smothered in a flavorful sauce. The crispy, toasted cauliflower coupled with a spicy, savory sauce is so delicious it can easily be the central filling of your tacos. Check out this cauliflower taco recipe by Bon Appétit for inspiration.
4. Fresh Salsa
Salsa makes a fantastic addition to most tacos. While pre-made salsa works well when you are limited on time, fresh, homemade salsa will make your tacos all the more flavorful. Although tomatoes, peppers, and onions are the go-to salsa ingredients, consider adding veggies like corn, cucumbers, zucchini, or even peaches to add depth and brightness to your salsa. Here is a fresh salsa recipe that we used throughout the summer:
- 1 Ear of Corn
- 1 Peach
- 1 Large Tomato
- 1 Spicy Pepper (we used a Jalapeño, however, whatever you have on hand should work fine!)
- Half of a small red onion
- ½ Lime (juiced)
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Cilantro (optional)
- Shuck corn and sear on the cob using your method of choice (on a grill, gas stove top, or so on). Since I don’t have a grill, I charred the corn on a gas stovetop using medium heat and being careful to flip frequently with heat-safe tongs. Once the corn is charred to your liking and cooled down, remove the kernels using a knife. Place kernels in a bowl.
- Dice the peach, tomato, pepper, and red onion according to your salsa texture preference. I prefer chunky salsa, so I diced the ingredients on the thicker side. Remove pepper seeds and membranes to reduce the spiciness of your salsa. Add the diced peach, tomato, pepper, and red onion to the bowl of seared corn.
- Add lime juice, salt, and pepper to the bowl and mix. If using cilantro, chop and add to the salsa as well. Enjoy!
5. Perfectly Pickled Produce
The addition of acidity in any meal brightens the taste of its other ingredients and seasonings by reducing the precipitation of bitter flavors. So adding some pickled produce will enhance and balance the fresh, sweetness of the other veggie fillings in your taco. Pickled onions, radishes, and peppers are just a few veggies that make great taco ingredients. Below is a quick pickled pepper recipe that will make your taco even tastier:
- 1 Sweet Banana Pepper Thickly Sliced
- 1 Medium Hot Pepper Thickly Sliced
- ½ Cup Distilled White Vinegar
- ½ Cup Apple Cider Vinegar
- 1 Cup Water
- 1 Tbs Honey
- 1 Tbs Brown Sugar
- 2 Cloves of Garlic (Smashed)
- 1 Tsp Salt
- ½ Tsp peppercorn
- Slice the peppers to the thickness of your liking. Remove the inner membranes and seeds to reduce the spiciness of your peppers if you desire. Peel and smash the garlic.
- Transfer smashed garlic and peppers to a glass jar with a lid.
- Add vinegar, water, sugar, honey, and salt to a saucepan. Heat brine until nearly boiling and stir to dissolve sugar and honey.
- Remove brine from heat and pour over peppers. Add peppercorn to brine and peppers. Use your utensil of choice to help submerge peppers in the brine.
- Seal pickled pepper with a lid and wait! Fully pickled peppers will vary based on the thickness of your slices – thinner slices will be ready more quickly than thicker ones. Pickled peppers should last a few months in your fridge!
Experiment and Get Inspired
The more you make tacos, the more familiar you will get with what your tastebuds love. Don’t be afraid to try a variety of veggie filling combinations. Sharing your recipe is also a great way to improve your tacos. Your local Fresh Stop volunteers and fellow shareholders are sure to have scrumptious taco suggestions. You can get started by gathering inspiration from other shareholders by checking out the slideshow of the Seed to Supper Challenge taco submissions above