Tag Archives: tacos

Potato & Chorizo Tacos

It’s both a blessing and a curse that I cook vegan meals for myself and pretty much no one else. It’s good because I can try using new products in a handful of ways — which is what I have been able to do with Tofurky Chorizo — but bad because I don’t enjoy cooking for one and it can be rough going through an entire package of food by myself.

My latest experiment with Tofurky chorizo was potato & chorizo tacos. Now, this came out of wanting some vegan corned beef hash, but since the chorizo is already spiced as chorizo and I had tortillas, I went with the tacos instead.

This is a really simple recipe. First, I washed and cubed a potato. Then I browned some minced garlic and onion in olive oil, added the potato and about a half a cup of water, and let it cook in a pan until all the water had dried up.

Then, I added some Tofurky chorizo, onion powder, garlic powder, chipotle chili powder, and salt. I sauteed the mixture for about 5 minutes.

This was a great savory dish that would go just as well with rice or even by itself. I definitely enjoyed it more than the chorizo alone! –Melissa

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Mushroom and Tofu Tacos, Jr.

I got this eerie sense of deja vu as I was cooking this dish and then realized that it was because I had made something like it before. I panicked at first, thinking to myself that I was mentally challenged for not being able to come up with something new. But then I realized how much had changed since I last made mushroom and tofu tacos, and I suddenly felt this sense of pride.

Allow me to explain. I went from barely cooking to suddenly learning how to cook vegan meals for myself. Every time I would prepare something, I had to do “research,” figuring out how to prepare and cook things, what ingredients to use, even simply making sure that what I was making was actually vegan. When making this dish, I didn’t think much about it. I just got my ingredients and dove right in. I am not the same Melissa that I was a year ago!

This is a good variation on my original recipe since it’s “ground” tofu and mushrooms. You will need the following:

1 block extra firm tofu, liquid squeezed out, and then mashed with a fork for a ground meat-like texture
1/3 cup of mushrooms, minced – I used some dried mushrooms that friends from Thailand brought for us
2 garlic cloves, minced
3/4 tsp chipotle chili powder (or ancho chili powder)
1/4 tsp onion powder
1/4 tsp cumin
salt, to taste
olive oil for frying
ground annatto (optional)

Mix all but the olive oil and annatto together in a bowl. Fire up a frying pan and heat up the olive oil. Then, toss in the tofu/mushroom mix. Cook until heated through. I add some annatto halfway through to give the tofu some color.

Stick that stuff on a warm tortilla, put your favorite taco toppings on it, and stuff your face! –Melissa

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Vegan Buffalo Tacos: not an oxymoron

Brent and I wanted a quick easy meal so we did what any reasonable vegans would do: we made Buffalo tacos. Now, you might be thinking, “buffalo isn’t vegan.” Of course buffalo isn’t vegan, but Buffalo sauce is. This particular marinade hails from Buffalo, New York and typically includes some sort of chili, vinegar and butter or margarine mixed to creamy spicy perfection. In my college days we referred to the sauce’s namesake as “B-lo”, TMI? We’re using Moore’s because it’s made with margarine.

We decided to bake up some soy curls the same way we did for our quesadillas but chickpeas, beans or tofu prepared with a light dusting of chili pepper and soy sauce would be a perfect substitute. While they were cooking, Brent sliced up some bell pepper and onion. When they were done I heated up some corn tortillas in a fry pan; you don’t have to but they taste better. We used corn tortillas but wheat is fine if that’s what you’re into.

Then we dressed up the tortillas with greens, onion, bell pepper, soy curls and a generous dose of Buffalo sauce. This was definitely worth the 20 minutes of prep time; look how happy the guy is!

Next time we might add some sliced tomato and cilantro but it’s totally not a big deal if you don’t have them.

This is Christie and Brent, signing off.

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Eggplanitas Tacos

Eggplant has saved my life again. It’s quite nice when you can go from “Crap! What will I eat for dinner?!” to “Awww yeeeah, baby, I just had an awesome dinner!” I took inventory of what was in the fridge and decided to try something new today: Eggplant tacos!

2 roasted Chinese eggplants — we roast our eggplants by sticking them under the broiler (try not to set them on fire)
3/4 tsp chipotle chili powder — use ancho chili powder if you want something less spicy
1/2 tsp granulated garlic
1/4 tsp cumin
1/4 of a small onion, diced
olive or safflower oil


I took the eggplants out of the fridge chopped them into about 1 inch pieces, and then ‘shredded’ them by mashing them with a fork. It reminded me of carnitas.

I added my spices and the onion and mixed it all together. I then debated whether or not to eat it just like that. Roasted eggplant is pretty awesome when it’s cold.

I heated up some safflower oil in a pan and then added the eggplant mixture (medium heat). The eggplant is already cooked so I mixed it up in the pan until any water had dried up and the onions were translucent. It didn’t take long at all for everything to heat through.

I heated up my tortillas and then hung them up to shape. I’m sure I’m not the first person to think of this, but I feel like a genius.

My mom showed up and got all fancy by adding avocado to her tacos. Ansg thesgn I atgje shle ghoog. Oh, excuse me! I shouldn’t type with my mouth full. I made a cilantro slaw to go with the tacos:

Cilantro Slaw
1 cup shredded cabbage
juice of 1 lime
chopped cilantro (maybe 1/4-1/3 cup or so)
1 tbsp olive oil
salt and pepper to taste

I’m so glad that I decided to get creative for dinner tonight. I am thrilled with how it turned out. Now please pardon me while I stuff my face.  —Melissa

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Mushroom and Tofu Tacos

I love mushrooms. I love tofu. I also hate both of them a little. There’s something about how mushrooms lose all their water and shrink when you cook them that bugs me. I also sometimes dislike how that mushroom flavor gets permeated into everything mushrooms are cooked with. As for tofu, I sometimes can’t stand that ‘tofu’ taste, like no matter what I do, I can still taste that it’s tofu. (Yes, I know I’m being silly.) Today, the only vegan thing in the fridge was mushrooms and tofu sauteed in garlic. I got so depressed at the idea of eating it. Then, I saw them: tortillas. Beautiful corn tortillas. I also had avocado, cilantro, lime, and tomatoes. So, I gave the mushroom/tofu dish a makeover:

First, I made some taco seasoning by mixing together the following:

3/4 tsp ancho chili powder
1/2 tsp granulated garlic
1/4 tsp onion powder
1/4 tsp cumin

Then, I browned the the mushrooms/tofu in some garlic and then added the taco seasoning. When everything was just about heated through, I threw in some sliced onion, mixed everything around (this is where I would flip the stuff in the air if I were someone who could do that without getting food everywhere), and removed from heat.

At the same time, I took some leftover (read: on the verge of spoiling) rice (brown/white mix) and decided to make a really weird version of fried rice:

3 cups of rice, cooked (this will generally work better if you use leftover rice that is not heated)
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup vegetable broth (I used a ‘not-chicken’ bouillon cube)
1 cup frozen corn kernels
1 cup frozen peas
1 cup frozen lima beans
1 tsp ancho chili powder
1/2 diced onion

When that was done, I made an avocado salad of sorts to top the tacos with. Um… I was so excited to eat that I didn’t get a good photo of it:

1 ripe avocado
1/2 diced plum tomato – mine was on the verge of being ripe which was perfect because it wasn’t too soft and had a nice little crunch to it
1/4 cup frozen corn kernels
juice from 1/2 lime
salt, to taste

By now, I was beyond ready to eat, and boy did I eat. I kept eating and eating and eating!

I sprinkled some Tapatio on everything and it was so delicious. I’m so proud of this that I have to post another pic.

I love food makeovers and I love stuffing my face with delicious food. It makes me happy. I hope you get to stuff your face with delicious food today… Melissa

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Black beans + sweet potato = LOVE!

Inspired by the success of my previous experiment, I decided to make another one. I forgot to head to the supermarket since getting back from my weekend getaway so I’m using random things in my kitchen to make a meal.
1 can of black beans (drained) or 1 cup dry beans (soaked overnight)
1/2 small sweet onion
1 inch ginger, chopped (the piece is about the size of my thumb)
flesh from 1 large sweet potato, baked or steamed
1/3 cup quinoa flakes
2 heaping tbsp flax meal
2-3 tbsp lime juice
a splash of soy sauce or suitable alternative
1/2 jalapeño, minced
1 tbsp nutritional yeast (optional)
1 small handful (1/4 cup) cilantro, chopped

I  put the dry ingredients along with the cilantro, onion and ginger into a bowl and mixed them well. My cilantro was frozen but it shouldn’t affect the recipe fresh or frozen.

I then stirred in the beans, jalapeño and sweet potato with my potato masher. Usually I like to keep the skin but for this recipe it didn’t quite make sense, so I made it into chips in my dehydrator.

Originally I intended to make burgers out of this mixture by forming them into patties and baking them, but when I was tasting it to check the salt I realized I had an irresistable urge to eat tacos.

I come from the land of abundant fresh avocado so it was a cinch to make some exotic vegan tacos with guacamole and a light dusting of paprika. If I had this recipe to do over, I might saute the onions and ginger before mixing them into the rest of the ingredients but otherwise it was a good combo.

I also baked some that I made into patties and that was also pretty rad. In other words, this would make good burgers or ‘meat’balls in addition to being an awesome taco filling. Guacamole was a good topping but tomato, lime and a sprinkling of pepperjack Daiya cheese would be truly legendary. The sweet spicy sweet potato mix would be enhanced by the citrus and salty cheese and the tomato is just there to be awesome.

This is Christie, signing off.


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Portobello Tacooooh yeaaaah!

I love tacos. Who doesn’t? Except for communists, of course. Just kidding. I know communists love tacos too. Anyways, I’m making some fajita-style portobello mushrooms and I’m going to stuff them into some corn tortillas. I do recommend the flour sort because you can stuff more into them but I have this whole concept of avoiding gluten for my gastric health. Personal problems aside, you might want to gather together some toppings: diced bell peppers, Daiya pepperjack cheese, seasoned black beans, salsa, hot sauce and guacamole are among my personal favorites. Follow your heart… to TACOS!For the portobello fajita filling (for 1-2 people), assemble the following:

1/2 tablespoon olive oil

3 portobello mushrooms, cut into strips
1/2 cup onion, sliced
2 garlic cloves, sliced
3 tbsp fresh cilantro, chopped
juice from 1/2 lime
1 serrano pepper or jalapeno, minced (optional, for spice)
flour or corn tortillas
salt and pepper to taste

Heat the oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add the mushrooms and sauté 5 minutes or until almost tender.

Add onion and garlic. Reduce heat to medium, and cook for 4 minutes or until the onion becomes translucent, stirring frequently.

Remove from heat; stir in cilantro, lime juice, salt, and peppers. I used jalapeño peppers. I keep a bag of them in my freezer, tops cut off. They keep really well that way. I cut them after they’ve thawed partially.

Spoon about 1/4 cup mushroom mixture down center of each tortilla. Add whatever toppings you like: the more the merrier. Roll up. Insert into mouth and enjoy!

I add some shredded soy cheese, hot sauce, bell pepper and wrapped it in a lightly toasted corn tortilla. This is a perfect treat for a Saturday evening game or a Wednesday night fight. You’ll have to scale up my recipe but this is social food to enjoy with good friends (though I think all good food is made better by good company.)

This is Christie, signing off.

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No Cheese on Those Veggie Tacos, Please

Dining out has become, well, interesting since I decided to change my diet. Elimination of dairy alone drastically cuts down my choices. A trip to the cafeteria at work has become depressing and almost maddening, but I have managed. The foods I have been able to get include:

  • lentil soup–vegetarian but probably not vegan
  • build your own salad–I already miss ranch dressing and I had a super gassy afternoon from all the beans I added
  • waffle fries
  • grilled vegetables

I’m giving myself slack when it comes to meat, so I’ve also had a gyros without tzatziki sauce, and a roast beef panino with no cheese. I had to turn down an invitation to go out to lunch last week because the restaurant the group was going to had no desirable menu options that didn’t have cheese.

I went to the Yardhouse today, which is one of my favorite spots. Great atmosphere, huge menu, lots of beers to choose from. I perused the menu before my visit. I couldn’t have any my usual choices: tortilla soup, spicy Thai chicken pizza (even though they offer a chicken substitute), mac and cheese, classic sliders. So, today, I opted for the Hongos y Rajas tacos, which have shiitake mushrooms, roasted pasilla peppers and grilled onions with lemon sriracha aïoli, jack, feta, avocado and red chili threads:

These were delicious! I’m gonna guess that they aren’t vegan, but I’m really jazzed about them. Truthfully, I never would have ordered these before. An added bonus is that I haven’t tried them with the cheese, so I didn’t feel like I was missing anything.

It’s interesting how differently I look at menus now. A lot of restaurants are great at pointing out vegetarian or gluten-free options, but I mostly have to study the ingredients of a dish to determine if it’s vegan. I won’t get complainy about it. Many people “choose” to be vegetarian for cultural or religious reasons. Allergies can’t be helped and reactions can be life-threatening. But vegan diets? I am thinking that it will be some time before menus point out vegan dishes. All I really want is a server who won’t get confused if I ask whether or not something is vegan or if they have a cheese substitute.

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