Plant-based, Meat-free Alternative with this Taco Recipe

Food tech breakthroughs have touched our food supply, in part addressing the growing awareness of the impacts of climate change.

Reader Contribution by John Ivanko
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Goodside Foods and Anna Steuart Photography
Goodside Foods meatless crumbles made into tacos.

My wife Lisa Kivirist and I first discovered the plant-based protein powerhouses, Beyond Foods and Impossible Foods, after attending the National Restaurant Show and CES, respectively. Breakthroughs in technology need not be confined to iPhones and electric Vertical Take-off and Landing vehicles. Food tech breakthroughs have touched our food supply, too, in part addressing the growing awareness of the impacts of climate change. In contrast to the more sustainable, small scale, pastured meat operations, the ecological costs associated with industrial meat production systems should no longer be “externalized” by economists.

MycoTechnology’s Goodside Foods Meatless Crumbles, a shelf-stable pantry staple that can be crafted into delicious, protein-rich meals by simply adding water, makes plant-based eating easy for at-home cooks — or for preppers seeking easy options in emergencies. Harnessing the power of mushrooms — a natural go-to staple for many Mother Earth News readers — MycoTechnology looks to make plant-based eating easier and healthier with their Goodside Foods Meatless Crumbles.

Unlike other plant-based food alternatives we’ve discovered, Goodside Foods‘ crumbles contain a pea and rice protein blend fermented by shiitake mushroom roots, or mycelia. Besides great taste and texture, the crumbles are easier to digest, especially if you have allergies or issues digesting soy-based products. Their product is certified Kosher, non-GMO and contains no soy or any artificial flavors, colors or preservatives. One serving of Goodside Foods Meatless Crumbles provides 17 grans of protein and 90 calories. We found that one package goes a long way, offering about 11 servings for whatever we’re planning to make. It can replace about two pounds of ground meat.

Preparing the Goodside Foods crumbles is easy: add water, stir well and let it sit for about 10 minutes, then prepare in any number of dishes, perhaps using them as taco fillings or use as a substitute for ground meat in chili. This is one reason we have some packages set aside for emergencies. We might even include it in our backpack if we go camping in the woods since the crumbles are light, nutrient dense, and filling after being hydrated and prepared into a meal. A bonus: no need to boil water to hydrate the crumbles.

The spices you add to the crumbles provide the flavor you desire, since they tend have a more neutral taste, but readily soak up seasonings or sauces. For the Street Tacos Fiesta recipe below, Goodside Foods suggests adding 1 tablespoon vital wheat gluten (we like to use Bob’s Red Mill) or 1 egg to the final mixture to create extra juicy taco chunks.

We like our taco “meat” with a little heat, so we’ve come up with a seasoning mix for our version of the tacos:

  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 ½ teaspoons ground cumin
  • ½ teaspoon paprika
  • ¼ teaspoon onion powder
  • ¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • ¼ teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper

Just add the seasoning slowly and taste until you achieve your desired level of flavor and heat.

Street Taco Fiesta Recipe

Courtesy of Goodside Foods

Servings: 14-16 soft tacos

Ingredients

  • 2 cups crumbles
  • 1 cup water or broth
  • 2 tbs soy sauce
  • 1/2 tsp liquid smoke (optional)
  • 1/2 tsp onion powder
  • 2 tsp paprika
  • 1 tbs nutritional yeast (optional)
  • 4 tbs taco seasoning (or equal mix chili powder, garlic powder, and cumin)
  • 3 tbs olive oil

Directions

1. Add crumbles to water. Mix well. Let sit for 5 minutes.

2. Add the soy sauce and liquid smoke to the crumbles. Mix until most of the liquid has been absorbed.

3. Add spices, nutritional yeast and mix well. Add salt and pepper to taste.

4. Heat oil in large frying pan on medium high heat. Add taco crumbles and cook, stirring occasionally, until they brown slightly, 5 to 10 minutes.

5. Serve with flour tortillas and toppings of your choosing. Try diced tomato, avocado, cilantro, and lime juice.

John D. Ivanko, with his wife Lisa Kivirist, have co-authored Rural Renaissance, Homemade for Sale, the award-winning ECOpreneuring and Farmstead Chef along with operating Inn Serendipity B&B and Farm, completely powered by the sun. Both have been speakers at the Mother Earth News Fairs. As a writer and photographer, Ivanko contributes to Mother Earth News, most recently, Living with Renewable Energy Systems: Wind and Solar and 9 Strategies for Self-Sufficient Living. They live on a farm in southwestern Wisconsin with their son Liam, a 10.8 kW solar power station and millions of ladybugs.

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