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Meatless Monday: DIY tacos are an easy weeknight, vegetarian dinner

Making dinner during the school week is difficult enough. 

Add special diets or picky palates to the mix of sports practice, meetings, homework and errands, and the night slips away before you feel like it’s even started. 

When I was in high school, all four of us in my house had different diets. When my mom didn’t have the time or ingredients to make different meals for everyone, she’d say it was a “sandwich” or “taco night,” which meant a build-your-own meal based on each person’s dietary needs.

Even now, as a single 20-something, time is scarce and I’d prefer not to spend hours standing over the stove to cook if it’s just for me or myself and a friend.

DIY tacos are easy, inexpensive and leave enough leftovers for lunch the next day or dinner the next night. This recipe for tempeh “meat” takes less than 10 minutes and less than $7 to feed four people (or one person for a few meals).

Make a little extra ahead of time, and you’ll be able take a few scoops for lunch in a burrito bowl or taco the next day.


From The Garden Grazer


  • 8 oz. tempeh (you can find this at a health food store or in the health food section of most grocery stores) 
  • 15 oz. can black beans, drained 
  • 2 cloves garlic 
  • 2 tbsp. taco seasoning 


  1. Crumble the tempeh. Make marinade with taco seasoning and 3 tbsp. water. Mix well and let soak for 10 minutes. 
  2. Toss in pan and drizzle with olive oil. Let cook over medium until crispy and add black beans. Cook and stir until warm and beans are seasoned. 

Set out shredded cheese (or non-dairy shreds), lettuce, salsa, guacamole (I love using Chipotle’s recipe), tomatoes and cilantro. Serve in crispy or soft taco shells.

Follow digital producer Danielle Waldron on Twitter @DanielleWaldron

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