Spiced Pepper and Onion Vegetarian Tacos


The last few months, alongside moving and a kitchen renovation and getting ready for The Einkorn Cookbook‘s launch, I’ve been jetting back and forth to the Chicago suburbs. One of our family members has been in and out of the hospital, so there’s been a lot of talking to doctors, feeling angry/depressed/confrontational about the lack of real food in hospital cafeterias, sitting in rooms waiting, listening (a lot of listening) and laughing at the funny ways my parents introduce us to nurses, doctors and friends. (“They drink kombucha. Do you like kombucha?”) Sitting in hospitals tends to be the kind of thing to make you feel powerless, like there’s nothing your hands can do, but I’ve found some of the best things my hands do are release their grip and trust. That, and make food. When everything else is in crisis, people still need food to eat. And, maybe this is our finally working kitchen talking, but being able to cook and prepare your own food is such a privilege. One of the last nights we were at my parents’ house, Tim, my brother, Adam, and I made these spiced pepper and onion tacos, and even my dad who laughed at the idea of vegetarian tacos found himself loving the kick of heat. We made them again the next day. I made them in Nashville this week, adding some mushrooms and swapping out chipotle pepper powder for cayenne. Either way works, but I will say that if you are able to get chipotle pepper powder where you are, you’ll definitely want to go that way.

ps – also, a few quick notes, because it’s been too long:

— Cookbook preorders have started shipping, and we’d love to see you with your copy and/or find out what you’re making with einkorn. Send us emails, tell us on Facebook, tag Instagram photos with #theeinkorncookbook and let us know if there’s anything you want to know about the book, about the process, about which recipes we’re still making all the time (hint: the pizza!).

— I got the chance to develop a few recipes for LARABAR recently, and you can check a few of them out on The Nutshell blog: Zucchini Pesto Bowls with Roasted Tomatoes, Avocado Pudding–A Classic!, a Tropical Acai Bowl and this decadent Chunky Monkey Acai Bowl.

— We’ve missed you guys and this space, just want you to know.

Making pepper and onion tacos

Spiced Pepper and Onion Tacos
Makes 3 to 4 tacos

As written this recipe serves two people who each want two tacos or one person who wants a lot and/or leftovers. To come up with the vegetable portions listed here, I used a half a pepper, half an onion and a handful of cremini mushrooms. To serve a crowd, just multiply everything as desired.

1 tablespoon coconut oil
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon black pepper
1 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper (and/or 1 tsp chipotle pepper)
1 cup sliced red bell pepper
1 cup sliced yellow or white onion
1 cup sliced cremini mushrooms
for the sauce:
3 tablespoons plain full-fat yogurt
1 tablespoon fresh-squeezed lime juice
1 teaspoon cumin
Dash of cayenne pepper, to taste
1 to 2 teaspoons chopped fresh basil
Salt, to taste
for assembling the tacos:
3 to 4 organic corn tortillas, warmed in oil if you like
sliced avocado
grated cheddar cheese
chopped lettuce

In a large skillet over medium heat, melt coconut oil and add salt, pepper, cumin, garlic and cayenne (or chipotle). Toast spices for 3 to 5 minutes, until fragrant and oily. Add bell pepper, onion and mushrooms, tossing everything together to coat. Cook for around 10 minutes, until vegetables are soft. Meanwhile, make the sauce in a small bowl by combining its ingredients and adjusting to taste. If you, say, get a little heavy-handed with the salt, just add more yogurt to neutralize things. You control the heat and flavors in this sauce, but what you’re essentially going for is a spiced, tangy mixture that will counteract the spicy pepper mixture.

To assemble tacos, place a dollop of pepper mixture on each tortilla and top with avocado, grated cheddar, chopped lettuce and the yogurt sauce, maybe an extra squeeze of lime if you like.

About Shanna Mallon

Shanna Mallon is a freelance writer who holds an MA in writing from DePaul University. Her work has been featured in a variety of media outlets, including The Kitchn, Better Homes & Gardens, Taste of Home, Houzz.com, Foodista, Entrepreneur, and Ragan PR. In 2014, she co-authored The Einkorn Cookbook with her husband, Tim. Today, you can find her digging into food topics and celebrating the everyday grace of eating on her blog, Go Eat Your Bread with Joy. Shanna lives in Nashville, Tennessee, with Tim and their two small kids.

19 thoughts on “Spiced Pepper and Onion Vegetarian Tacos”

  1. Just a glimpse of countertop and I already know your new kitchen is dreamy. I’m sending (more) hugs for all the ups and downs going on right now. Hopefully real hugs soon. Also, just pinned that pudding recipe. Happy Friday!

    • I wholeheartedly agree with Jacqui’s comment about your counters! I think I audibly gasped when I saw them–SO GORGEOUS!!

      I am sending love and positive vibes for your family members’s health–I know those long days and nights in the hospital are extremely difficult to endure.

      And, I can’t wait to hold your book in my hands 🙂

    • I like the equal portions of salt, pepper and cumin in your seasoning. My wife and I lived in Texas for 12 years before moving to Charlotte, NC and we love, love, love Texas Mex and south western food of all shapes and sizes.

      I will be adapting this simple blend of seasoning to something grilled on a fire of coals soon.

      Your pics are stellar as always.

  2. Oh Shanna, I’m so sorry about your family. It must be so hard for you guys to try and balance everything. My thoughts are with you all at such a difficult time. I have missed your posts here and your calm and measured wisdom.

  3. Shanna, so glad to see you back on the blog – and the marble kitchen countertop is absolutely gorgeous. I want that for my future kitchen too, when i eventually buy my own house.

    Hope your family stays strong; I hope you and Tim stay strong too. Miss you dear friend.

    Sending love and prayers,

  4. Wow, it is a privilege to cook for ourselves and cook for others. I love the glimpse of your kitchen and I’m so glad to have you back!

  5. You’re SO justified in your feelings about hospital cafeteria food. Positive vibes and good thoughts heading your way. It’s tough enough going through health trouble with family — I can only imagine that the traveling has brought you a great deal of weariness. Thanks for sharing this lovely recipe with your family and with us.

    • thanks, Lindsey! I just wish the world believed food can be healing and that hospitals served bone broth and fresh juices. Haha. Maybe some day though, I hope.

  6. Sorry you’re going through hospital visits and just as you move too. Glad you’re kitchen is working and isn’t it so true that just to have food and a warm place to cook it is such a blessing.


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