Mediterranean Cremini Mushroom Tacos with Tahini Sauce {Recipe ReDux Sponsored Post}

Mmm, umami.

What is umami you ask? It’s the fifth, and often unrecognized, type of taste bud. It’s the taste bud that senses savory deliciousness (and my personal favorite of all the tastes). Examples of umami-rich foods include meat/seafood, tomatoes, cheese — especially Parmesan, seaweed, soy, potatoes and of course, MUSHROOMS!

So imagine my excitement when I discovered that the folks at the Mushroom Council were sponsoring this month’s Recipe ReDux. They challenged us to use their “Trend to Blend” technique to either blend chopped, diced or minced mushrooms in place of at least half of the meat in a recipe using their blendability technique (you should seriously check it out, it’s genius!). Or, we had the option to forgo the meat altogether and make a purely vegetarian dish.

After some serious pondering, I took the latter route.

mushroom_tacos1

Side note: if you, too, love mushrooms, you can enter your own recipe in the Mushroom Council’s “Swap It or Top It” contest. Just submit your favorite burger recipe that either uses the blendability technique described above, swaps out meat completely for mushrooms or your favorite burger recipe topped with a delicious mushroom creation. The Mushroom Council is giving some top-notch prizes, like $5,000 cashola to the Grand Prize Winner. Not too shabby!

Besides delicious umami flavor, mushrooms are packed with nutrition. They’re low in calories (20 calories for 5 medium sized shrooms!), fat-free, cholesterol-free (that one’s kind of a no-brainer), low in sodium and also provide important nutrients, mainly selenium, potassium, vitamin D and more.

For vegans and vegetarians, mushrooms are a great way to bring some umami (read: satisfying) flavor back into meals. And for the meat-eaters, myself included, mushrooms can help you switch up your meals a bit (meatless Mondays, anyone?). I promise you won’t even miss the meat on these bad boys.

Recipe: Mediterranean Cremini Mushroom Tacos with Tahini Sauce

The tahini sauce is a perfect complement to lend creamy deliciousness without the use of dairy/animal products. You can find pre-made tahini sauce (Trader Joe’s has a new one that I’m OBSESSED with), or make your own as I did below by blending tahini (sesame paste) with lemon juice and garlic. A third option would be to top with hummus.

Mediterranean_Mushroom_Tacos

By posting this recipe I am entering a recipe contest sponsored by The Mushroom Council and am eligible to win prizes associated with the contest. I was not compensated for my time.

Yield: 4 tacos

Ingredients:

For mushroom blend:

  • 1, 10 oz. package Cremini mushrooms
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced or pressed using a garlic press
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 tsp ground turmeric
  • 1 tsp dried basil
  • 1/2 tsp cumin
  • 1/2 tsp cracked black pepper
  • 1/4 tsp salt

For tacos:

  • Sauteed mushroom blend (ingredients above)
  • 1 plum tomato, diced
  • 1/2 cucumber, diced
  • 1/3 cup tahini (sesame paste)
  • 2 Tbsp. lemon juice
  • 1 clove minced garlic
  • 4 corn tacos

Directions:

For mushroom blend:

  1. Wash mushrooms well and dice using a chef’s knife.
  2. Heat 2 cloves minced garlic in 1 1/2 Tbsp. olive oil for one minute.
  3. Add mushrooms and saute until mushrooms are translucent, about 5 minutes.
  4. Add turmeric, basil, cumin, pepper and salt to mushrooms and saute an additional 1-2 minutes.

For tacos:

  1. Mix 1 clove minced garlic with lemon juice and tahini to form the tahini sauce.
  2. Heat corn tortillas in microwave for 15-20 seconds, until soft and pliable.
  3. Place 1/4 of the mushroom blend on each tortilla.
  4. Top with tomatoes, cucumbers and 1/4 of tahini sauce mixture.

mushrooms

Mushrooms all diced and ready to go into a saute pan…

diced_mushrooms

Sauteeing away — see how the turmeric gives the blend a gorgeous golden color?!

sauteed_mushrooms

In goes the mushroom blend…

mushrooms_tortillas

Then the tomatoes and cucumbers…

mushroom_tacos

Finish it off with delicious tahini sauce…

Mediterranean_Mushroom_Tacos

Check out more delicious ways that Recipe ReDuxers used mushrooms by following the link below!

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Mediterranean Lamb Tacos with Tzatziki Sauce {Gluten-Free}

Let’s be honest. I didn’t make this recipe for the lamb, though I was pretty excited to find 100 percent pasture-raised ground lamb at Whole Foods. Nor did I make it for the mint. Or to have a new take on tacos.

Nope. It’s all about the tzatziki sauce (pronounced sat’ziki for those of you that have never quite known how to say it).

Hot damn I love that stuff. Made from Greek yogurt, cucumbers, garlic, lemon juice and not much else, it’s delicious as a topping, dip, dressing or to just eat straight out of the bowl. It’s also ridiculously easy to make and you probably have most of the ingredients already on hand. Here I used it in place of sour cream for Mediterranean-style tacos.

You can also enjoy this recipe as a salad, which I did.

Lamb_Taco_Salad

Mediterranean Lamb Tacos with Tzatziki Sauce

These tacos are a perfect way to change up taco night with a Mediterranean twist. You could easily make them with ground turkey or chicken, or make them vegetarian by using crumbled tofu or tempeh in place of meat. The fresh mint really adds to the dish, so don’t skimp.

Makes: 6 tacos (feeds 2-3 people)

Ingredients:

For tzatziki sauce:

  • 2 cups 2% plain Greek yogurt, preferably organic (non-fat Greek yogurt would also work)
  • 1 cucumber, chopped into 1/4 inch cubes
  • Juice of 1/2 lemon
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1/2 tsp salt

For tacos:

  • 1 pound pasture-raised (AKA grass-fed) ground lamb
  • 1 tsp ground black pepper
  • 6 small corn tortillas (like El Milagro)
  • 1/3 cup chopped fresh mint
  • Garnishes of choice, such as cherry tomatoes, cucumbers, red onions, kale/greens and olives (choose your favorites!)

Mediterranean_Taco_Garnishes

Directions:

Mix all tzatziki sauce ingredients in a medium bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate while you make the rest of the dish.

Heat a large skillet over medium heat. Add ground lamb to the pan and cook, mixing constantly, until the meat is browned. Stir in ground pepper.

Heat corn tortillas in the microwave for 25-30 seconds (you can also pan-fry them according to the package directions, but microwaving is so much easier). Assemble tacos using garnishes of choice and cooked lamb. Top with tzatziki sauce and sprinkle with chopped fresh mint.

 

What other taco variations do you enjoy?

Leftovers, Revisited: Mint Chutney

If you tried the Tandoori Cauliflower with Mint Chutney featured in my last post, you know the deliciousness that is mint chutney sauce. Tasty as it was, I didn’t use up all the sauce on my cauliflower, and had about 1/2 cup left over. I like to think I’m the queen of leftovers; I love to re-purpose them into an entirely new and delicious dish. One of my many dreams in life is to be on Food Network’s Chopped because I get a thrill out of taking seemingly random ingredients and combining them to perfection close-to-perfection (er, most of the time). Instead of a basket, like they use on Chopped, I just look in my fridge to see what I can combine to create a new meal.

So, with leftover mint chutney on hand, I explored my fridge, freezer and pantry. Hmm…tortillas, canned tuna, frozen mixed bell peppers, red onions, curry powder. Sound random and weird?? Trust me, what I created – Indian Tuna Curry Tacos – was scrumptious!

Indian Tuna Curry Tacos

Indian Tuna Curry Tacos

Ingredients:

  • 2 small corn tortillas
  • 1 can tuna (half salt – from Trader Joe’s), drained
  • 1 cup julienne bell peppers (I used frozen tricolor peppers from TJ’s)
  • 1/4 cup minced red or white onion
  • 1 tbsp hot sauce (optional)
  • 1 tsp curry powder
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • Topping: 1/2 cup mint chutney (featured in my last blog post)

Directions:

Saute minced onions in 1 tsp olive oil for 2-3 minutes. Add bell pepper and saute another 3-5 minutes. Mix in tuna and sprinkle with curry powder. Cook for 1 minute. Distribute the mixture evenly into each corn tortilla, then drizzle each taco with 1/4 cup mint chutney and 1/2 Tbsp hot sauce (if desired).

Voila! Dinner in about 15 minutes. Plus omega-3 fatty acids from the tuna to reduce inflammation, improve cognition and promote heart health. And the added bonus of using up the food in your fridge – doesn’t it feel good to actually finish your leftovers??