Mexican / Latin Archives | Plant Based, Family Friendly Meal Planning by Stephanie Dreyer, Los Angeles

November 1, 2017

Fall is here and I am loving the varieties of squash that greet me at my local Trader Joe’s. Just seeing those unique shaped beauties puts me in a fall state of mind. I didn’t particularly like squash when I was kid. I mean, it’s scary looking, and the texture can be off-putting to picky palates. As an adult, however, I crave the comforting taste of a sweet and savory stuffed delicata squash or the fun “pasta” dinner made with spaghetti squash.

This plant-based Taco Stuffed Acorn Squash recipe is reminiscent of the flavors of Fall with the spicy taste of Taco Tuesday! #vegan #dairyfree #meatless

Acorn squash is one of my favorites. It is the perfect vessel for stuffing or turning into a “bowl” of some kind. It’s subtle sweet flavor combines well with savory flavors, and is the star ingredient in a happy experiment that came to be this Taco Stuffed Acorn Squash recipe.

I was making myself lunch last Wednesday and opened the fridge to find some baked squash that I had batch cooked over the weekend. Sitting next to it was some leftover taco filling from the night before. I added my homemade pico de gallo, and came up with a quick and easy smoky, chipotle avocado sauce…and lunch was served!

This plant-based Taco Stuffed Acorn Squash recipe is reminiscent of the flavors of Fall with the spicy taste of Taco Tuesday! #vegan #dairyfree #meatless

This meal is very satisfying, but doesn’t leave you filling heavy. It is reminiscent of the flavors of Fall with the spicy taste of Taco Tuesday! I hope you’ll try it and let me know what you think.

Taco Stuffed Acorn Squash


  • 2 acorn squashes skin washed, cut in half lengthwise, and seeds and string removed

For the filling:

  • 1 package of meatless ground “beef”
  • 1 can black beans drain and reserve half the liquid
  • 1 onion chopped
  • 2-3 tablespoons taco seasoning or more, if desired
  • 1 tablespoon oil
  • ½ cup water

For the pico de gallo:

  • 2 Roma tomatoes finely chopped
  • ½ yellow onion finely chopped
  • ¼ cup cilantro finely chopped
  • ½ the juice of 1 lime or more if desired
  • Salt to taste

For the Smoky Avocado Sauce:

  • ½ -1 chipotle pepper in adobo sauce
  • 1 avocado
  • ¼ cup water
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • Salt to taste


  1. Heat the oven to 350 degrees. Drizzle each squash half with ¼ teaspoon of olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Place cut side up on a baking pan and roast 25-30 minutes, until tender. Set aside.
  2. While the squash roasts, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the onion. Saute for five minutes, until translucent.
  3. Add in the meatless ground “beef” and cook for 5 minutes. Stir in the beans with the liquid
  4. Add in the taco seasoning and water. Stir well to combine. Reduce to simmer and allow to simmer 10-15 minutes until the filling becomes thick and the water is cooked through.
  5. While the meat is cooking, prepare the pico de gallo. Combine all of the ingredients in a bowl and set aside.
  6. Place all of the ingredients for the Smoky Avocado Sauce in a food processor. Pulse on low until combined and creamy. Add salt to taste.
  7. To assemble, scoop a generous amount of filling into the middle of each squash half. Top with the pico de gallo and a dollop or more of Smoky Avocado Sauce.

This meal is very satisfying, but doesn't leave you filling heavy. It is reminiscent of the flavors of Fall with the spicy taste of Taco Tuesday! I hope you'll try it and let me know what you think.



October 4, 2017

Beyond Meat Beefy Crumbles are one of my favorite plant-based products on the market (and I promise, they aren’t paying me for this post!).  The texture is just like real beef and the flavor is fantastic.


These vegan beef and black bean tacos are meaty without the meat! Beyond Meat Beef Crumbles stand in for a delicious meatless taco.

I make these tacos every week for my family and they never miss the real beef. I love to serve these tacos topped with homemade pico de gallo and guacamole, (my son makes a delicious batch for us every week). They meat and bean mixture is scrumptious in a fried corn shell, but equally mouth-watering eaten in a crisp romaine leaf.

These vegan beef and black bean tacos are meaty without the meat! Beyond Meat Beef Crumbles stand in for a delicious meatless taco.

For more “meaty” recipes with Beyond Meat, check out my Beef Nachos, Beef and Cheese Taquitos, and Fiesta Dip.


Vegan Beef & Black Bean Tacos


  • 1 package Beyond Beef Beefy Crumbles
  • 1 can black beans with liquid
  • 1/2 cup of water
  • 3-4 tablespoons taco seasoning
  • 1/2 yellow onion chopped
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil


  1. Heat olive oil in a saute pan and add onion.  Cook about 5 minutes until softened.
  2. Add in the Beyond Beef Beefy Crumbles.
  3. Drain half the liquid from the can of black beans and stir them into the beef mixture along with the remaining liquid.
  4. Sprinkle in the seasoning and mix to combine. Stir in the water.
  5. 5.Simmer on low for about 10 minutes, or until the liquid is absorbed.
  6. Serve warm inside corn tortilla shells, topped with your favorite taco fillings.

These vegan beef and black bean tacos are meaty without the meat! Beyond Meat Beef Crumbles stand in for a delicious meatless taco.



This homemade pico de gallo is super easy (and fun to make with the kids). I made a batch for Taco Tuesday last week and it went really fast…made me wish I had doubled the recipe. There’s really nothing to it, just a few ingredients chopped up and mixed together. It’s best eaten the same day, but can keep if sealed in an airtight container for another day or so. It’s a great option for your arsenal of Cinco de Mayo recipes.

Quick & Easy Pico de Gallo


  • 2 Roma tomatoes , finely chopped
  • ½ yellow onion , finely chopped
  • 4 tablespoons cilantro , finely chopped
  • ½ the juice of 1 lime
  • Salt to taste


  1. Combine all ingredients in a bowl and stir well to combine. Taste and add more lime juice and salt, as needed.


I recently discovered Gardein’s Golden Fishless Fillet and can’t believe how much it tastes like the real thing.  Well done, Gardein, although I am not surprised as every product they put out is high quality and tastes delicious.  I typically don’t eat these faux meat products often, but I will make an exception for these fillets!  Not only are they eerily tasty, but they are also flaky and consistent from a texture perspective too.  They’d make a great “fish and chips” dinner, but I decided to have some fun and turn them into tacos!

Upon my discovery of these fishless fillets, I also discovered Follow Your Heart’s Tartar Sauce.  Truth be told, I have been eyeing the jars of this sauce in my Whole Foods for months now, but didn’t have anywhere to use them…until now.  The creamy topping on these tacos is indeed, this tartar sauce.

This recipe is so simple that I am not sure I can even call it a recipe.  It’s really just opening a bunch of packages and jars, chopping, and then tossing them with a few things.  It’s a great meal solution for a busy weeknight after sports or activities and you only have about 30 minutes to get dinner on the table with no time to prep.  Try this recipe!

Vegan Fish Tacos with Cabbage Slaw & Tartar Sauce


  • 12 corn tortillas
  • 1 package Gardein Golden Fishless Fillets
  • 1 jar Follow Your Heart Tartar Sauce
  • 1 package shredded cabbage
  • 1 tomato , chopped
  • 2 green onions , thinly sliced
  • 1/4 cup shredded carrots
  • Juice of 1-2 limes
  • 2 avocados , sliced
  • Salt to taste


  1. Prepare Fishless Fillets according to package directions (bake 10-12 minutes at 425 degrees).

  2. While fillets bake, prepare the slaw: Toss the cabbage, carrots, green onions, tomato and the juice of 1 lime in a bowl. Sprinkle with salt and taste for seasonings.

  3. When fillets are ready, heat one tortilla at a time on a stove burner, until the tortilla becomes pliable. Chop the fillets into small pieces. Spoon some of the slaw into each tortilla with about half of one fillet. Add in a few avocado slices, and top with a dollop of the tartar sauce.



Fiesta Dip


  • 1 can refried beans
  • 1/2 cup vegan sour cream (preferably Tofutti)
  • 1/2 cup guacamole*
  • 3/4 cup Daiya cheddar-style shreds
  • 1/2 cup chopped roma tomatoes
  • 2/3 cup sliced black olives
  • 1 cup "Fiesta" Vegan Ground Beef (saute 1/2 onion in 1 tablespoon olive oil with 1 package Beyond Meat Beefy Crumbles and 4 tablespoons of taco seasoning)
  • *For guacamole (mash 2-3 avocados with juice of 1 lime and salt to taste.


  1. Spread the refried beans into an 8×8 glass or ceramic baking dish.
  2. Sprinkle the Fiesta Ground “Beef” on top of the beans.
  3. Layer the guacamole, and then the sour cream on top of the “beef.
  4. Add the tomatoes in another layer, followed by the black olives.
  5. Sprinkle the cheese over the top in one single layer.
  6. Bake at 350 degrees for 10-15 minutes until the cheese is melted and the dip is heated all the way through. Serve immediately with tortilla chips.


“Beef” Nachos


  • 1 can pinto beans , drained and rinsed
  • 1 can black beans , drained and rinsed
  • 1 onion , chopped
  • 1/4 vegetable broth
  • 3 tablespoons taco seasoning
  • 1 dollop , vegan sour cream (preferably Tofutti)
  • 1 dollop , guacamole* (see recipe above)
  • 1 dollop , salsa
  • 3/4 cup Daiya cheddar-style shreds
  • 1/4 cup Fiesta Ground “Beef” (see recipe above)
  • 1 1/2 handfuls corn tortilla chips


  1. Heat broth in a saute pan and add onion. Cook 5 minutes until softened. Add the beans and taco seasoning. Stir to combine and cook 4 minutes until heated through. Set aside.
  2. Scoop the chips into a microwave safe bowl.
  3. Sprinkle 1/4 cup of the bean mixture and Fiesta Ground “Beef” on top of the chips.
  4. Add cheese and microwave about 1 minute until the cheese is melted.
  5. Top with the sour cream, salsa, and guacamole.


My family loves Mexican food. Taco Tuesdays are a tradition every week in my household, and burritos and tacos make it on our breakfast and lunch menu at least once a week. Because I always cook more food than anyone can eat, I typically have leftover taco filling from Tuesday night that I eat the rest of the week in vegan taco bowls or the breakfast burritos I mention above.


his chilaquile breakfast casserole is going to delight your family on New Year’s morning! Chilaquiles are a traditional Mexican dish. It is prepared by frying corn tortillas cut into triangles as the base of the recipe, and then topped with green or red salsa. The mixture is then simmered and topped with crema, queso fresco, onion, and avocado.


Would it surprise you to know that I eat an avocado just about every day? Chopped on top of a salad, sliced in a wrap, or mashed as guacamole, I crave avocado daily. It is a bit of a comfort food for me, and with all the “good fat” it contains, I try not to feel guilty about eating it! Today, I add a new way to eat my avos – stuffed! A stuffed avocado, you ask? Yes, it’s delicious. You will love it!

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