Taco Meat/Walnut Mince

Tacos have been a firm favourite in our household for a long time. I also know that they bring an element to familiarity to the table, along with comfort. This is my ‘when in doubt’ recipe, which is especially for clients or dinner guests who are weary of plant- based foods. Walnuts act as a great ¨meat¨ replacement with great taste and texture.



    For the Taco Meat/Walnut Mince
  • 150 g (5 oz / 3/4 cup) quinoa
  • 1 red onion, sliced
  • 2 garlic cloves, peeled and sliced olive oil, for frying
  • 220 g (8 oz / 1 cup) walnuts, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon fajita spice mix or taco spice
  • 1 tablespoon tomato purée (paste)
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • To Serve:
  • cherry tomatoes (optional)
  • coriander (cilantro)
  • dollop of Cashew Yoghurt or any plant yoghurt
  • lime wedges


  1. Preheat the oven to 200ºC (400ºF/Gas 6).
  2. Cook the quinoa following the packet instructions and set aside.
  3. In a hot pan, add the red onion and garlic and fry in the olive oil until the onions are soft, about 5 minutes.
  4. Add the chopped walnuts, quinoa, spices and tomato purée and cook for another 10 minutes over a medium heat until all the ingredients are well incorporated.
  5. Once the mince is done, pop the tacos or tortillas into the oven for 5 minutes. Put the warmed tacos or tortillas on a serving plate and load up with slaw, mince, optional cherry tomatoes, coriander, yoghurt and lime wedges for squeezing over.
  6. This dish is the nuts – so good, so satisfying, and can be made ahead of time.
  7. Tip: The walnut mince is freezable.

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