We’ll be the first to admit, finding inspiration to cook these days is no easy feat. Between feeling like a grocery shopping excursion is like preparing for army deployment and general exhaustion from, you know, cooking almost every single night since March, you deserve a break.

Thankfully, that blissful cooking hiatus came one night when your daughter’s boyfriend who’s been quarantining amongst your gaggle treated the crew to Taco night with Beyond Beef and all the fixings—plant-based sour cream and all.

But then it came time to repay the favor and you wondered how you would outdo this dashing young lad. Let alone, how would you find a recipe that was fast to prepare, enticing to meat-eaters and vegans alike, and easy-to-make? Thankfully, Erin of the blog Poppies & Prosecco came to our rescue with these walnut tacos accompanied by a simple cabbage slaw.

Even better? This dish is packed with nutrition and kind to your waistline. “Walnuts are an amazing meat substitute with even better health benefits, being high in antioxidants and rich in omega-3s,” notes Erin. (If you’re looking for more proof, check out this article on how chefs are using heart-healthy walnuts as a vegan meat replacement. “By combining walnuts with tomato paste and spices you can create a simple and flavorful taco 'meat,’” she adds, noting that she likes to serve the dish with avocado, simple cabbage slaw and cashew-cilantro crema but you should feel free to experiment with your favorite toppings. Or, feel free to put your daughter’s BF back on dinner duties and have him handle the accouterments once again.

Why it's healthy: Cabbage is very low in calories but high in antioxidants and vitamin C. The antioxidants in cabbage can reduce inflammation and the high content of vitamin C boosts the immune system and reduce free radicals. Cabbage also contains fiber which is beneficial for your digestion and specifically red cabbage contains anthocyanins which can help keep your heart healthy.

Healthy ingredients: Vitamin K, vitamin B6, folate, polyphenols, sulfur compounds, anthocyanins, potassium

Walnut Tacos with Simple Cabbage Slaw

Prep: 20 minutes
Cook: 10 minutes
Serves: about 4


For the tacos:

  • 2 cups walnuts
  • 4 tablespoons tomato paste
  • ¼  of a medium onion
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1 teaspoon vegan Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 ½  teaspoons chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon oregano
  • ½  teaspoon salt
  • pinch of cayenne (optional)
  • 4 tortillas

For the cabbage slaw:

  • ⅓  head of purple cabbage, shredded
  • ½  medium red onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • 3 tablespoon fresh lime juice
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • ½  teaspoon dried oregano
  • 2 teaspoons agave
  • 1 teaspoon salt


For the walnut taco 'meat:’

  1. Toast the walnuts in a dry pan over medium-high heat. Stir them frequently to prevent burning. Once they start to brown and smell toasty, they are done (about five minutes).
  2. Add the toasted walnuts, while still hot, to the food processor. Add tomato paste, onion, garlic, Worcestershire sauce, and spices. Pulse the mixture until it becomes a crumble (everything is broken down into small pieces) and remove a little more than half the mixture. Continue processing the remaining mixture until it becomes more of a paste.
  3. Add the paste mixture to the crumbles and combine. Do a taste test to ensure seasoning is as desired.
  4. Heat a pan over medium heat, add mixture to the pan. Cook, breaking mixture apart as it cooks to create a crumble with some crispy edges.

For the cabbage slaw:

  1. Add the vinegar, lime juice, olive oil, oregano, agave, and salt in a large bowl and whisk them together.
  2. Add the cabbage and onion and mix well so it's all coated in the dressing. Let sit for about 15 minutes before serving.

To build your tacos:

  1. Pile walnut crumbles on your favorite tortilla. Top with cabbage slaw, avocado, and vegan cashew cilantro crema and plant-based cheese, if desired.

Nutrition Info: Nutrition information is a rough estimate.

Calories 511 Total Fat 38.2 g Sat. Fat 2.3 g Sodium 1239 mg Total Carbs 34.3 g Fiber 9.8 g Sugars 10.4 g Protein 18.7 g