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The Cancer Project
TCP Weekly Recipe

March 23, 2009

Soft-Shell Tacos

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The Cancer Survivor's Guide

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Dear Cancer Project supporter,

If you enjoy Mexican food, you’ll be delighted to learn that a variety of great-tasting, meatless taco fillings are available in natural food stores and larger supermarkets. Among them are ready-to-heat products such as Lightlife’s Smart Ground Taco/Burrito, Yves Veggie Ground Round Mexican, and El Burrito’s SoyTaco. If you prefer, you can make your own filling, using meatless burgers or a crumbled meat substitute and adding your own seasonings, as we’ve done in this recipe.



Makes about 3 cups filling or 8 tacos

4 vegan burger patties, such as Boca Burger Original, Gardenburger Classic, or Gardenburger Flame Grilled
1 cup water, divided
1 small onion, finely chopped 
2 garlic cloves, minced or pressed  
1/2 cup finely chopped bell pepper
1/4 cup finely chopped fresh cilantro
1/2 cup tomato sauce, or 1/2 cup of crushed tomato
2-3 teaspoons chili powder
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 chipotle pepper in adobo sauce, finely chopped, or 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper
8 corn tortillas
1/2-1 cup commercial or homemade salsa
3-4 green onions, chopped
2 cups shredded romaine lettuce
1-2 medium tomatoes, cut into wedges
1 avocado, cut into 8 wedges (optional)

Remove burgers from freezer and thaw slightly. Chop into 1/4-inch pieces. Set aside.

Heat 1/2 cup water in a large skillet. Add onion, garlic, bell pepper, and cilantro. Cook over medium heat, stirring often, until soft, about 5 minutes. 

Add remaining 1/2 cup water, chopped burgers, tomato sauce, chili powder, cumin, oregano, and chipotle pepper or crushed red pepper. Stir to mix. Reduce heat to low, and cook, stirring constantly, until mixture is fairly dry, 2 to 3 minutes.

Heat a tortilla in a separate skillet, flipping it from side to side until soft. Add a spoonful of filling and fold in half. Cook 1 minute on each side. Add a spoonful of salsa, then garnish with green onions, lettuce, tomatoes, and avocado, if using. Repeat with remaining tortillas.

Cover and store leftover taco filling for up to three days in the refrigerator. Garnishes are best when consumed within one to two days. Wrap tortillas and refrigerate for about seven to 10 days and freeze if longer storage is needed. Follow storage instructions for the salsa. Commercial salsa will usually stay fresh for up to one week.

Nutrition Information

Per taco:

121 Calories
1.5 g Fat
0.2 g Saturated Fat
11.3% Calories from Fat
0 mg Cholesterol
8.9 g Protein
21.1 g Carbohydrate
4.1 g Sugar
4.2 g Fiber
371 mg Sodium
104 mg Calcium
2.4 mg Iron
18.9 mg Vitamin C
821 mcg Beta-Carotene
1.1 mg Vitamin E

This recipe is from the NEW BOOK         

The Cancer Survivor’s Guide: Foods that Help You Fight Back! 


For answers to questions about specific ingredients and the nutritional implications for cancer prevention and survival click here.

   View The Cancer Project Recipe of the Week Archive.

Resources | Protective Foods


The Cancer Project

Advancing cancer prevention and survival
through nutrition education and research.

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