A taco closer to a more sustainable future – Meatless October recipe

Text and pictures: Emilia Haatainen

With meatless October, climate strikes and a growing consciousness on the impacts of diet on our environment, this fall calls for plant-based recipes and ideas. The fact is, that what you choose to put on your plate is a choice that can affect your carbon and water footprint greatly. Luckily, as you make this choice multiple times a day, it means you have many opportunities to make choices for a more sustainable future. Better yet, eating plant-based food doesn’t have to compromise flavour or health. 

I have grown into quite a fan of the new Bean it -strips made of broad beans because of their hearty texture and versatility, and in addition, they take quite little time to prepare as they are already cooked. Patty Pan squash, similar to zucchini but a bit more filling, was a new find for me. Tacos are an approachable dish for anyone from a vegan to a religious meat eater, and you can easily change up the fillings you use to respect the season and your own taste buds. 

Squash and Broad Bean Tacos (6 – 8) 

– 100 grams of thinly sliced red cabbage 
– lime wedges 
– 6 – 8 small tortillas 
– Oatly iMat Fraiche (similar to crème fraiche) 

Filling 

– 2 tsp of oil 
– 300 grams of Patty Pan squash 
– 1 packet of Bean it broad bean stirps* 
– ½ – 1 packet of taco seasoning (i.e. Santa Maria) 
– ¼ of a red onion 

Fresh Nectarine Salsa 

– 200 grams of cherry tomatoes 
– ¼ of a red onion 
– 1 ripe nectarine 
– ½ lime, juiced 
– ½ bouquet of fresh cilantro/coriander** 
– ½ chili or to taste 
– ½ tsp of sugar 
– salt to taste 

*You can also use a packet of pulled oats (nyhtökaura), Härkis or Oumph (frozen), if using Bean it, both flavours, garlic & herbs and lemon, as well as the unseasoned version work fine. 

**If you dislike the taste of cilantro you can also use flat leaf parsley or basil.

 

1. Prep your red cabbage by slicing it thinly, then move on to the salsa. Start by cutting half of a red onion into small cubes, a quarter of the onion is for the salsa and the other quarter you can put on the side for the filling. Cut your cherry tomatoes, nectarine and chili into small pieces and cut the cilantro as well, you can use the stalks in addition to the leaves. 

2. Add all of the cut ingredients into a bowl and add the juice of a half a lime. You can roll the lime on the table before cutting it to release more juice. Add sugar and salt while tasting to adjust the flavours to your preference. 

3. Move on to the filling. Wash your Patty Pan squashes (I used 2 medium ones), peeling them is not necessary. Cut the ends off and then cut them vertically in half. Turn a half on its side on the cutting board and then slice it into thin slices. Add the quarter of an onion, previously cut into small cubes, and your squash to a pan with a little bit of oil of your choice and cook this on medium high heat for around 5 minutes, depending on how thick you cut your squash. The idea is to start cook the vegetables and get some colour on them. 

4. Add your Bean it -strips and taco seasoning, starting with ½ a packet (if the Bean it -strips already have some seasoning, if not, start by adding most of the packet). Cook for another 5 minutes and adjust the seasoning to your preference, you can also add some chili flakes if you like a bit of heat. 

5. Assemble your tacos with sliced red cabbage, Bean it and squash filling, nectarine salsa and Oatly fraiche. Serve with lime wedges to squeeze on top before enjoying.

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