These taco’s are a must try for your next Taco Tuesday! Quinoa and riced cauliflower make a perfect substitution for ground meat. Low in protein and full of veggies, these plant-based tacos are a delicious way to promote kidney health!
What we love about plant-based tacos
You might have noticed that here at The KidneyRD, we are big proponents of the plant-based diet. That’s because there is mounting evidence that a plant-dominant diet can delay or slow the progression of kidney disease. Not to mention the many other benefits that eating more plants brings!
Worried about missing out on some of your favorite foods? Don’t be! Making plant-based protein swaps for meals that typically feature meat is a great solution. Taco’s, for example, are one of the easiest recipes to go meatless.
Quinoa, a delicious plant-based taco filling
While there are a variety of ways to make plant-based tacos with ingredients such as beans or tempeh, quinoa is one of our favorites. That’s because the texture is similar to ground meat and it adapts to the taco seasoning flavor beautifully. Let us know in the comments section what your favorite plant-based tacos are!
Quinoa is also quite a bit lower in protein than beans and tempeh making it a great option for those following a very low protein diet. The addition of cauliflower not only adds to the texture of the dish, but also adds extra fiber and nutrients.
We used frozen cauliflower rice for this recipe to save on preparation time and cost. Fresh riced cauliflower will also work well but may take slightly longer to cook. Washed and prepared fresh riced cauliflower can often be found in the produce section of major grocery stores but can be expensive.
Ricing your own head of cauliflower is another lower cost option but can be messy. If you are planning to rice cauliflower at home, we recommend using a food processor to get the fine riced texture.
Craving more plant-based tacos? Check out our recipe for Roasted Vegetable Tacos.
Need some help implementing the plant-based, low protein diet?
Starting from scratch on a plant-based, low protein diet when you have kidney disease can be overwhelming. A Renal Dietitian can help you understand what amount of protein, calories, sodium, and potassium is right for you! Join our monthly class or schedule a consultation with one of our expert Renal Dietitians to help you on the journey to improving your kidney health.Print
Quinoa and cauliflower combine to make a delicious plant-based alternative to traditional tacos.
Recipe developed by Clarissa Paimanta, RD and tested by Jennifer Krasilovsky, KidneyRD Intern 2021
- 1/3 cup quinoa, uncooked
- 2/3 cup plain water
- 1/4 cup avocado oil
- 1 onion, chopped
- 2 cups cauliflower rice, fresh or frozen
- 2 teaspoons paprika
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt, to taste
- 1 pinch of pepper, to taste
- 1 tablespoon nutritional yeast (optional)
- 8 corn tortillas
- 1 cups lettuce, shredded
- Optional toppings: sautéed veggies, pico de gallo or salsa, sliced avocado, dairy-free yogurt, cilantro, sliced jalapeño, a squeeze of lime juice
1. Rinse and drain the quinoa. Place in a saucepan with 1 cup of water and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Then lower the heat, cover, and let simmer for 10-15 minutes until the water is completely absorbed. Turn off the heat and let stand covered another 5 minutes for the quinoa to steam. Set aside.
2. Heat avocado oil in a large skillet or a pan over medium heat. Add onions and sauté for 3-5 minutes.
3. Add cooked quinoa, cauliflower rice, all the spices and seasonings, along with nutritional yeast (optional). Mix well and spread the mixture out in a flat layer in the pan to allow the liquids to evaporate. Stir every 2-3 minutes until the mixture is dry, the quinoa gets slightly crispy and the cauliflower is tender, about 5-10 minutes in total. Adjust seasoning to taste.
3. Warm tortillas per package instructions, then add the quinoa cauliflower filling. Top each taco with shredded lettuce along with any of your favorite toppings. Enjoy!
You may have heard that nuts, beans, and whole grains are not a great choice for a kidney-friendly diet because they are high in phosphorus. Wondering why we include them in many of our recipes? We include beans, nuts, and whole grains because only about 40% of phosphorus found in these plant foods are absorbed by humans. This makes them a good fit for most people’s diets! If you have questions about adding these foods to your diet, please reach out to your dietitian.
Taco’s just so happen to be one of my favorite foods. One of the things I love most about them is that they are so versatile and can be made with many different ingredients. I was already a super fan of quinoa tacos but I’m always looking for ways to add more veggies. This version with the addition of cauliflower rice will now be my go to! I added the cauliflower rice straight from the freezer and the dish came together very quickly.
The texture and taste of these taco’s was an absolute delight. I enjoyed the cauliflower quinoa filling stuffed in corn tortillas and I used the leftovers for an epic taco salad the next day. Can’t wait for the next Taco Tuesday so I can make them again!
ALL information you read on KidneyRD.com is purely for informational and educational purposes. Information is not intended to treat, cure or prevent any disease.