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Cinco de Mayo

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Cinco de Mayo was never much of a holiday for me.  Once I became vegan, however, I began to eat a lot more Mexican influenced food.  I’ve always loved tacos, but I never knew how versatile they could be.  I love to stuff things in tacos that I normally would never think of before.  

Vegetarian Times has a recipe that pretty much sums up what I’m talking about. PB&J a whole new way! ^_^’

Or, if you’re feeling sassy: S’mores Burritos 
                   (minus the bacon, obviously, and vegan marshmallows…or, you could use coconut bacon! =O…)
                                           I smell a future post in the works. 😉
 
As for last night, I decided to embellish a recipe I found by Mark Bittman.  If you haven’t watched his cooking show, The Minimalist, you really should.  I used to watch it in the early mornings on the Cooking Channel while I ran on the treadmill.  He is so dry and witty.  His approach to cooking is something magical yet so hard for some to appreciate: simple and to the point.  He doesn’t fuss with his ingredients too much.  He prepares them as simply as possible so as to bring out of the best in their flavor and nothing more.  He’s also really entertaining to watch because he’s very nonchalant about his cooking.  He takes his time casually putting his dishes together while making jokes here and there.  He seems like an awesome guy.  Oh, and he advocates being vegan/vegetarian for those who aren’t subscribed to the lifestyle, which really means a lot.  Way to go, Mark!


          For Cinco de Mayo, I had to make a taco recipe with a punch of flavor.  I found one of Mark’s recipes online and decided to amp it up a little.  I beefed up the filling (no pun intended) with some chickpeas and cauliflower.  I also threw in a few more spices and, oh yeah, tequila!  I browned the filling and deglazed with some cuervo…twice. ^_^’

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         I used the remnants of tequila for some spiked green juice.  It’s the healthy way to get buzzed!  I must say I enjoyed that drink a little more than my male companion.  More for me! 

           Tempeh Chorizo Tacos
          adapted from Mark Bittman’s VB6 Cookbook recipe

          Yield: 4 Servings

  • Eight 6-inch corn tortillas
  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil
  • 1 small red onion, finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon chopped garlic
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½  teaspoon pepper
  • 1 block tempeh
  • 1/4 cup cauliflower florets
  • 1 can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 2 teaspoons paprika
  • pinch turmeric
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon chipotle powder
  • splash (or 2) tamari
  • splash lemon/lime juice
  • splash (or 2) tequila
  • ¼ cup chopped fresh cilantro/spinach, for garnish

Cooked rice for serving (1/4 cup per person), opt.

1. Heat the oven to 400°F. Stack the tortillas on a large square of foil and wrap them loosely.

2. Heat the coconut oil over medium-high in a large skillet. Add the onion and garlic; sprinkle with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally until the vegetables soften, 3 to 5 minutes.

3. Add the spices into the pan and stir to combine with the vegetables.  Add the cauliflower to the pan.  Crumble the tempeh into the pan and cook, stirring and scraping the bottom of the skillet occasionally, and adjusting the heat as necessary (I kept mine at a steady medium-high).  Brown the tempeh for a few minutes and then add in the chickpeas.  Keep stirring the ingredients until everything is evenly browned.  Once the mixture is dry, deglaze with a splash or two of tequila.  Wait for the liquid to burn off before proceeding.  

4. When the filling is almost ready, put the tortillas in the oven.  Let them warm for about 5 minutes.  Add in splashes of tamari to the filling mixture and fully incorporate.  

5. Squeeze the citrus juice over the filling when it’s finished cooking.  Garnish with cilantro and/or spinach, and serve with the tortillas. and rice.


Cheers! =D



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