Review: Old El Paso Stand ‘N’ Stuff Soft Taco Kit

Old El Paso Stand 'n' Stuff Soft Taco Kit

Confession time: I’ve never had a taco. I’ve had a chimichanga, an enchilada, a tortilla, a burrito and a quesadilla, but I’ve never had a taco. So, when Old El Paso sent me some of their products, including their Smoky BBQ Stand ‘N’ Stuff Soft Taco Kit, I finally had my chance to have one.

I haven’t tried a taco before because the shells in the supermarket look crispy and make me think they’ll fall apart, with the filling falling out, but these Stand ‘N’ Stuff ones are user-friendly – as you can guess, they stand up and you stuff them.

For some reason, I thought the tacos would be the size of the box but they’re quite small. You get eight in a box (although I was ripped off as there were only seven in mine) and two is a perfect portion.

Vegetarian tacos

I stuffed mine with meat-free mince – seasoned with the seasoning mix that comes in the box of tacos, the sauce that’s also supplied, jalapenos, salad, grated cheese and topped with Old El Paso Sour Cream Topping.  After I’d posted on Facebook about my tacos, a friend said something along the lines of, ‘yum, except for the mince’ so, if you don’t like mince, you could use refried beans or mashed up kidney beans instead.

Salad, jalapenos, salsa and sour cream topping

In keeping with the Mexican theme, I served the tacos with some Cajun spiced potato wedges. I loved these tacos – they were so quick and easy to make and the leftover mince and taco shells are in the freezer, to be used another day.

Thank you to Old El Paso for sending me some products to try.

A word of warning: if you’re thinking of buying an Old El Paso Stand ‘N’ Stuff Soft Taco Kit, make sure you check the box for the vegetarian symbol as Old El Paso sent me their Extra Mild taco kit a few months ago and although I couldn’t see anything un-vegetarian in the ingredients, it didn’t have the vegetarian symbol on the packaging, so I asked them if it was vegetarian and they said it wasn’t. 

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Slow Cooked Bean, Potato & Cheese Stew

Slow cooked bean, potato and cheese stew


Cheese on top of a stew? Weird. But this is a Mexican-inspired stew and Mexicans put cheese on top of everything, don’t they? Mexican restaurants do anyway which, apart from the silly moustaches which I believe are compulsory to grow, would be a good reason to move to Mexico.

If, however, you have no immediate plans to move to Mexico, you could make this stew instead.

Slow Cooked Bean, Potato & Cheese Stew (serves 4)
(taken from The Skinny Slow Cooker Vegetarian Recipe Book)

1 400g tin sweetcorn
1 400g tin mixed beans
1 red pepper, chopped
1 large onion, chopped
500ml passata
1 tsp each cumin and coriander
75g grated cheddar cheese
150g potatoes, diced
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
Juice of one lemon
salt and pepper to taste

Add all the ingredients to the slow cooker except the cheese. Combine well, then sprinkle the cheese on top. Season, cover and cook on low for 5-6 hours or on high for 3-4 hours.

Serve with flat bread/pitta bread and sour cream.

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Mexican Vegan Crustless Quiche

Mexican Vegan Crustless Quiche

I was supposed to be writing a script so, obviously, instead I did my washing, sent photographs of wallpaper to the decorator, went to the Post Office, emptied the cat litter tray and, most importantly, satisfied my urge to make a vegan crustless quiche.

I’ve had the urge to make a vegan crustless quiche ever since my friend Gemma said on Facebook she wanted to make one. This made me curious so I found this recipe for Mini Crustless Tofu Quiches, which Gemma duly made and pronounced delicious.

Unfortunately, I couldn’t find any firm silken tofu in my local supermarket and buying nutritional yeast would have meant a trip to Holland and Barratt, so I had another look for a recipe that didn’t require tofu and found this recipe for Mexican Vegan Crustless Quiche which, as well as being dairy-free and egg-free, it’s also gluten-free which, although I don’t have to avoid gluten, lots of my friends do.


I’ll have to admit, I was dubious. But I’m going to take back my dubiousness because this was amazing. It’s firmer than an eggy quiche but because it’s the eggyness that’s the worst bit of a quiche for me, that’s fine by me.

The way I did it, is pretty much the same as the original recipe, except Laura’s uses coriander (bleurgh) and she mixed up the chickpea flour and water mixture with the vegetables, whereas I didn’t have a bowl big enough to do that in, so I poured the vegetables into the dish, then poured the chickpea flour mixture over the top.


Mexican Crustless Chickpea Quiche
(adapted from

    • 4 cups loosely packed cups spinach, de-stemmed and chopped
    • 1 large tomato, chopped
    • 1 red bell pepper, chopped
    • 1 red chilli, chopped
    • 1/4 cup red onion, chopped
    • 2 cups chickpea flour
    • 4 cloves garlic, crushed
    • 1 tbsp olive oil
    • 1.5 tsp ground cumin
    • salt and pepper, to taste
    • 3 cups water


    Pre-heat oven to 200C.  Lightly grease a 9″ spring-form pan or other oven-proof dish.

In a medium bowl, mix together the vegetables.

Using a handheld blender or food processor combine the chickpea flour, oil, cumin, salt, pepper, garlic and water.  Blend until smooth and frothy.

Pour the vegetables into the ovenproof container, then pour the chickpea mixture over the top.

Bake for around 45 minutes until the quiche is brown on top, and a cake tester comes out clean.  Allow to cool slightly before removing from the dish.

Serves 6.

Approximate nutritionals (per slice): 175 calories, 4.8g fat, 24.1 carbs, 5g fiber, 5.7g sugar, 8.8g protein

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Smoky bean chimichangas (vegan)


The Meat Eater looked at his plate and said ‘what is it?’ ‘A chimichanga’, I said. He said that didn’t really tell him much so I explained it was a tortilla filled with kale and beans and peppers and he relaxed a little.

When I got to the ‘carefully fold up the sides of the tortillas to make parcels’ bit, I thought it was going to be a disaster (you should see me trying to wrap presents) but, yay, they came out perfectly.

I served them with plain rice and a tomato salsa.

Smoky bean chimichangas (serves 4)
(Taken from
Vegan – 100 Every Day Recipes)

2 tbsp olive oil
2 onions, sliced
1 green pepper, deseeded and sliced
1 red pepper, deseeded and sliced
400g canned black beans, drained and rinsed
2 tsp chilli powder
2 tbsp vegetable oil, plus extra for frying
150g kale, shredded
Juice of 1 orange
4 large soft tortillas
salt and pepper

  1. Heat the olive oil in a large frying pan over a medium-low heat. Fry the onions and peppers for 10-12 minutes, or until the onions are translucent but the peppers are still quite firm. Stir in the drained beans and chilli powder, cook for a further minute, then remove from the heat.
  2. Heat the vegetable oil in a small wok over a high heat. Stir-fry the shredded kale with the orange juice for 4 minutes, or until wilted. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
  3. Divide the cooked kale between the tortillas, making a neat pile in the middle of each flatbread. Top the greens with a layer of the bean mixture. Then carefully fold up the sides of the tortillas to make parcels.
  4. Heat a small amount of vegetable oil in a large frying pan over a medium heat. Fry the chimichanga parcels briefly on both sides (starting with the side where the folds are visible) until crisp and golden.

Tomato salsa
(Taken from
BBC Good Food website)

4-6 medium tomatoes, peeled and finely chopped
1/4 – 1/2 medium red onion, very finely chopped
1 small garlic clove, crushed
Small splash of white wine vinegar
Squeeze of lime juice
Salt and pepper to taste

Mix all the ingredients together and leave in the fridge until it’s served.

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Spicy bean enchiladas

After last week’s Italian themed meals of lasagne, pizza and pasta, this week I decide to be healthy and make meals that weren’t covered in cheese.

That was the plan, anyway.

What actually happened was that I made healthy bean-based meals and then covered them in cheese.

Food for Fitness
Food for Fitness

Last night’s bean-based-cheese-covered meal was white bean chili from The Seasoned Vegetarian by Simon Rimmer which was very nice indeed, but unfortunately went unphotographed.  Tonight, however, I got my camera out to take photographs of tonight’s spicy bean enchiladas, taken from Anita Bean’s Food for Fitness: Nutrition Plan, Eating Plan, Recipes.

Spicy bean enchiladas

Ingredients (makes 4)
1 tbsp (15 ml) olive oil
1 onion, chopped
2 cloves of garlic, crushed
1 tin (420g) pinto or red kidney beans (or 175g/6oz dried beans, soaked, cooked and drained)
1/2 tin (200g) chopped tomatoes
1 tbsp (15g) taco seasoning mix or 150g (5oz) enchilada sauce
4 corn or wheat tortillas
225g (8 oz) passata with herbs or garlic
50g (2 oz) grated mature Cheddar cheese
Low fat plain yoghurt, sliced onions, shredded lettuce

  1. Heat the oil in a large frying pan.  Saute the onion and garlic for 5 minutes.
  2. Add the beans to the pan and mash roughly.
  3. Add the tomatoes, taco seasoning (or enchilada sauce) and continue to cook for a few minutes.
  4. Spread one quarter of the mixture over each tortilla.  Roll up and place seam-side down in a baking dish sprayed with oil spray.
  5. Spoon the passata over the tortillas and sprinkle the cheese over the top.
  6. Cover with foil and bake at 180C/350F/gas mark 4 for 30 minutes.  Alternatively, cover and microwave for 7 minutes.
  7. Serve with a spoonful of yoghurt, and sprinkle with onions and lettuce.

Here they are before they went into the oven.

Enchiladas pre-oven
Enchiladas pre-oven

And after.

Enchiladas post-oven
Enchiladas post-oven


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