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I created this dish as a healthier alternative to the packaged vegan taco meats that I’ve used in the past (like Yves Meatless Ground Taco Stuffers and Soyrizo).  For sure,  they are delicious (YUM!), but they’re also highly processed (BOO!).  I’m striving to use more whole foods.

Tempeh is a fermented, whole soy food.  My favorite brand is Turtle Island Foods.  The Organic Five Grain flavor contains (organic) non-GMO soybeans, millet, brown rice, sesame seeds, apple cider vinegar, and rhizopus oligosporus starter culture.

Tempeh can have a bitter edge, so it’s best to cut and steam the pieces of tempeh for about 10 minutes before using.  I like tempeh best when it has a chance to soak up flavors from a liquid-based marinade or sauce.  The black spots are molds that are supposed to be there.

Steaming the tempeh.

Steaming the tempeh.

Chopped steamed tempeh.

Chopped steamed tempeh.


1- 8 0z “block” or “cake” tempeh, thawed, steamed and chopped

20 crimini mushrooms, chopped or sliced

6 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 onion, chopped
1-2 carrots, chopped
1 jalapeno pepper, seeds removed and minced
1/2 red pepper, chopped

Dash garlic powder
1/2 t salt
1/2-1 t chili powder
1 t oregano
1 t cumin
1 1/2 t salt-free fajita seasoning blend (contains paprika, onion, garlic, black pepper, oregano & cumin)

2 T apple cider vinegar
1 T tamari
1/4 C tomato paste
3/4 C water

Chopped Crimini Mushrooms

Chopped Crimini Mushrooms


While you’re steaming the tempeh, chop the veggies.  Keep the mushrooms separate, but you can combine the garlic, onion, carrots, jalapeno, and red pepper in a bowl.  Combine the spices.  Combine the wet ingredients (vinegar, tamari, tomato paste & water.)  After the steamed tempeh cools, chop it.

I used 2 large saute pans, each on medium heat with a little coconut oil.

In the first pan, saute about half of the veggies, half of the spices and all of the mushrooms.

Sauteed crimini mushrooms, veggies & spices.

Sauteed crimini mushrooms, veggies & spices.

In the second pan, cook the other half of the veggies and spices with the chopped tempeh and wet ingredients.  The liquid marinade will soak into the tempeh.  Cook down some of the liquid, but not all.

Tempeh, veggies, spices and liquid marinade.

Tempeh, veggies, spices and liquid marinade.

Finally, combine the two.  Portion in 1 cup sized wide mouth freezer jars.  Makes 6- 1 cup servings.

Tempeh Mushroom Taco Filling

Tempeh Mushroom Taco Filling

Eat this filling with your favorite taco fixings, in tortillas or as a salad.

Don’t forget the Pinto Bean Dip!

NSNG = No Sugar No Grain

I have 15 POUNDS of pinto beans in my house right now.  I’ll have a steady supply of bean dip in my kitchen for the next several years.

Thanks, mom and dad!

My parents like to go on long road trips around the U.S. in their Airstream trailer.

When they were traveling through New Mexico, they bought me 5 pounds of beans from Akin Farms, in a town called Estancia.  Check out the website:  Just Pinto Beans.

When mom and dad were in Colorado, they bought me another 10 pounds of pintos from Adobe Milling, in the town of Dove Creek.  Here’s my mom’s picture:


I like to cook 3 cups of beans at a time.  3 cups dry beans yields about 9 cups (4 1/2 pints) cooked beans.

For each batch of bean dip, set aside 2 cups (1 pint) cooked beans.  I like to make a triple batch of dip at one time.  I freeze the remaining beans in 1 cup wide mouth jars.  Load up on those jars!

  1. Soak the beans in a large pot of water for at least 8 hours, then rinse.
  2. Cook the beans in a crock pot on high for 6-8 hours with some chili powder and chopped jalapeno, garlic and onion.
  3. If you don’t have a crock pot, simmer the beans on the stove for a couple hours.  Here is a handy bean cooking reference.


For this recipe, I used my hummus recipe as a template.  For me, “hummus style” means using raw garlic, tahini and fresh-squeezed citrus.

For one batch of Pinto Bean Dip…

Use 2 cups pinto beans.

Pinto Beans - IMG_1954


1-2 cloves garlic…minced
1 small wedge onion…chopped
1 lime…juiced

Garlic, Onion, and Lime - IMG_1952

Set aside:

1 T tahini (sesame butter)
1 t nutritional yeast
Pinch of salt
1 t cumin (absent for the picture…oops!)
1/2 t chili powder
1/2 t fajita or taco seasoning blend
1/8 t ground chipotle (very spicy!)

Pinto Bean Dip Seasonings - IMG_1956


Use a small food processor to puree all ingredients until smooth.  Add a little water if needed to thin.

Portion the dip in 1/2 cup or 1 cup jars.  A single batch will make a little more than 3 half cup servings.  A triple batch yields 11 half cup servings.  Refrigerate or freeze.

Pinto Bean Dip - IMG_1962

"There are those who are appalled because I am so vocal about injustice, yet I am equally appalled by their silence." Lujene Clark

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June 2023

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