A yummy, meaty but meat-free filling for tacos, burritos, enchiladas, or quesadillas!
Wait, what? Mushrooms in tacos?
Hear me out, though: mushrooms have this great meaty texture, and they are flavor absorbers that soak up your seasonings and sauce in a dish, so they actually are awesome as a filling for tacos! Or enchiladas, or burritos, or pretty much any other kind of southwestern meal. Hopefully you will trust me and keep on reading!
I intended to post this recipe in September, which happens to be National Mushroom month, but it was a busy month and things got away from me. And anyway I love mushrooms so I kind of celebrate them all year long! If you live in or travel through Kennett Square PA, you will see (and smell) many mushroom farms, and it's considered the Mushroom Capital of the World since about half of mushrooms grown commercially in the US are from this area. They have a sweet mushroom festival every September too, in case you want to celebrate with other mushroom enthusiasts.
There are thousands of mushroom varieties out there, and they have been appreciated and ingested by Eastern cultures for centuries. However, Western cultures largely feared mushrooms until they were introduced as cuisine by the French in the 19th century. There are some poisonous or psychoactive mushroom varieties out there, but most are edible, and most Americans have a handful of varieties available in local grocery stores year-round. The most common types that are easily available are button, portabella, cremini (actually just baby portabellas), shiitake, oyster, and porcini, and you can find many more varieties in Asian markets or dried online. Check out this article to learn more about 20 different popular mushroom varieties and what to do with them.
Mushrooms are not just flavorful and versatile, they are also incredibly healthy! They are high in potassium, vitamin D, soluble fiber, and selenium and other antioxidants. Dr. Michael Greger discusses several ways in which mushrooms may help in fighting different diseases on his Nutrition Facts website. While not a plant per se, mushrooms are a very healthy addition to your diet and should be included when trying to incorporate more plant-based foods.
I think my favorite mushrooms are shiitake and oyster right now, which I love to use in mushroom soup or a nice stir fry. However in this recipe, I chose to use creminis because they are generally inexpensive and they hold up well when sauteeing. More expensive mushrooms will kind of become indistinguishable from cheaper ones here, and you will not be able to really detect their flavors once all of the spices are added. But you can use any kind of mushrooms you want!
I also added some beans here to up the protein content. Pink beans work great because they are soft and smooth but still hold their shape pretty well, and I wanted the combination of some mashed and some whole beans to get the right consistency for taco filling. They are similar in size to pinto beans, which you can use instead or feel free to substitute red, kidney, or black beans.
I hope you love this recipe for Mushroom Tacos! Please comment below and let me know what you think!