Mushroom Mole Black Bean Tacos (Vegan)

I don’t quite remember why, but a couple of weeks ago my husband Steven got hyped up about mushroom mole. We happened to have a bunch of mushrooms in the fridge, and came up with the idea of him making some mushroom mole in the slow cooker. He doesn’t cook very often, so after we found a recipe as a starting point, I got out of the way and let him go for it. And as soon as I tasted his flavorful mushroom mole, I realized that I needed to share the recipe here.
Make these mushroom mole black bean tacos in the slow cooker for an easy, flavorful vegan meal.

Make these mushroom mole black bean tacos in the slow cooker for an easy, flavorful vegan meal.

Although Steven told me approximately how he made the mushroom mole, after I ate the rest of his batch I had to make it myself to nail down the amounts. And I couldn’t find the matsutake mushrooms he used at the first grocery store I went to, so I made mine with soy curls instead. It was still totally delicious, and I’m a lot likelier to have the soy curls on hand. But I know that some people can’t or don’t eat soy, so while I love soy curls, I’ll give you the option to make these soy-free.

Make these mushroom mole black bean tacos in the slow cooker for an easy, flavorful vegan meal.

Either the soy curls or the matsutake mushrooms have a really satisfying texture, and while I found myself trying to decide which had the better flavor, Steven, who had been gone when I made my own batch, said he didn’t even realize that he wasn’t eating the batch he had made with mushrooms. So follow your heart!

Mushroom Mole Black Bean Tacos

2 dried ancho chili peppers
1 1/4 cup chili cooking water (see instructions below)
1/2 cup water
1 can crushed tomatoes
1/4 cup blanched almonds
1/2 ounce unsweetened dark chocolate
1/4 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 Tbsp brown sugar
1 1/2 teaspoon oregano
2 teaspoon chili powder
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
salt, to taste – about 1 tsp

1/2 lb shitake mushrooms, chopped
1 lb matsutake mushrooms, chopped, OR 3 oz dried soy curls (about 2 cups reconstituted. Follow directions on packaging for soaking and draining.)
1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
Tortillas or taco shells
Taco Toppings:
Cilantro, chopped
Red onion, diced
Tomatoes, diced
Vegan queso fresco (see below)
Avocado, sliced
Vegan sour cream

Heat a dry skillet over medium heat, and toast the ancho chile peppers until they become fragrant.
Let cool, then remove the seeds, stem and ribs and discard, OR keep all or some of the seeds and ribs intact for additional spiciness.

Place the flesh of the peppers in a small saucepan and cover with at least 1 1/2 cups of water. Bring to a boil, then lower heat and simmer for 10 minutes to reconstitute.
Put the chili peppers and 1 1/4 cups of the cooking water in your blender with all of the sauce ingredients EXCEPT for the beans, mushrooms and/or soy curls, and salt. Blend until smooth, taste, add salt and taste again.
Add the sauce, black beans, mushrooms, and/or soy curls to a 3 to 4 quart slow cooker. Cook on low 3 to 6 hours, or on high for about 2 to 3 hours. If you may be cooking longer, add an extra 1/2 cup water to make sure the filling doesn’t burn.
Serve in a soft or hard taco shell and top with chopped cilantro, red onions, tomatoes, vegan queso fresco (see below), avocado, vegan sour cream, and roasted tomatillo salsa.

Vegan Queso Fresco

1/4 pound extra firm tofu, (or regular or firm tofu pressed)
Juice of 1/2 a lime
1/4 teaspoon chili powder
Salt, to taste

Crumble tofu, then sprinkle with lime, salt, and chili powder. Stir to mix. Store in the fridge.

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