Taco, Taco, Taco!

I love tacos. They are easy to make, messy to eat, and filled with good-for-you ingredients:

Sweet Potato Tacos

These tacos consist of homemade corn tortillas (recipe from Viva Vegan! by Terry Hope Romero); a mash of roasted jalapenos, sweet potatoes, and caramelized onions; smoky black beans with garlic and lime; roasted red pepper strips, fresh spinach, and a cheezy, spicy, cashew cream spread. I think some diced avocado would be excellent on these tacos as well.

I don’t have much of a recipe to share since this was a willy-nilly throw together dinner, but here is what I did:

1. Heat a cast iron skillet over medium-high heat. Add one small diced onion and a pinch of salt. Cover and allow to caramelize for about 20 minutes.
2. Dice two small sweet potatoes and add them to the skillet with the onion. Squeeze half a lime over the mixture and add a bit of water to the skillet. Cover, and allow to cook until the potatoes soften. Stir often to make sure the mixture doesn’t stick to the bottom of the skillet.
3. Meanwhile, heat a can of black beans, 2 cloves of minced garlic, a pinch of salt, and 1 teaspoon liquid smoke in a small saucepan over medium heat. You can add in chipotle flakes to taste if you wish. Squeeze half a lime into the pot as well. Stir and allow most of the liquid to slowly evaporate (you don’t want the beans to be too dry though), lowering the heat if necessary. This should take about 15-20 minutes.
4. While the beans and potato mixture are cooking, roast one jalapeno and half of a large red bell pepper. When they are finished roasting, finely chop the jalapeno and stir it into the skillet with the potato mixture. Cut the red bell pepper into strips and set aside.
5. To make the cashew spread, combine 1 cup of cashews, 1/2 cup water, juice from one lemon, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/3 cup nutritional yeast in a blender. Blend until very smooth. Adjust seasonings to suit your tastes. I added chipotle flakes and additional nutritional yeast.
6.Toss two large handfuls of spinach into the skillet with the potatoes and allow to wilt.
7. To assemble: top a corn tortilla with cashew spread, beans, potato mixture, and bell pepper strips. Eat as is, or fold in half.

Enjoy!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Nothing But Tacos

The taco and I are not the best of friends. Burritos are more my style. Maybe it’s because consuming a taco requires serious strategy. One incorrectly planned bite and your whole taco crumbles to a heap on your plate. Plus, you can’t fill them too full or the shell cracks prematurely. Burritos are more forgiving and it’s fun to roll them up into tight cylinders.

Why am I posting about tacos then? Well, a new cookbook recently snuggled itself onto my kitchen shelf: The Complete Guide to Vegan Food Substitutions by Celine Steen and Joni Marie Newman. Testing recipes for these two vegan wonder women was a pleasure. Reading through the finished book is an even greater pleasure (Celine’s photos are gorgeous!). One of the recipes in the book helped create the above taco: Taco Meat (there is a gluten-free version and a soy-free version in the book). I made the version that calls for TVP. This recipe is snappy fast and pretty tasty. The above taco is also filled with seasoned adzuki beans, sweet potatoes, avocado, and homemade cashew-based sour cream.

What is your taco eating strategy? Mine needs work.