Citrus Braised Tofu Tacos

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The picture does not do these amazing tac0bf1038a-0dc3-421e-9dd5-77b28d297938os justice! The other day, I received my Cooks Country magazine and their cover photo was of citrus braised pork tacos with pickled red onions and habanero sauce. I decided I would follow the recipe exactly and make a batch for The Boyfriend. Now, if you know me,  you know I never follow recipes, but I was determined to this time, and in doing so, I was inspired to create my own version of tofu tacos for myself. I actually wrote down the recipe as I was cooking and will share it with you.

I used extra firm tofu and small TVP granules to give it more texture. This was a super simple dish that came together in 30 minutes. I made homemade corn tortillas and both The Boyfriend and I enjoyed our dinner immensely. Their recipe for pickled onions used WAY too much sugar. I ended up rinsing the brine off and adding plain vinegar, allspice berries and caraway seed to the pickle. Much better! I also doctored up the habanero sauce because I found it boring and not spicy. (this was after I served The Boyfriend his tacos exactly as the recipe called for.)

Tofu-TVP Taco Filling (adapted from Cooks Country)

  • 15 oz. extra firm tofu, frozen, thawed and drained well
  • 1 cup TVP granules
  • 2 tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 large onion, sliced in half moons
  • 8 cloves garlic
  • ¼ cup thawed orange juice concentrate
  • ½ cup tomato paste
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 tbsp. soy sauce
  • 2 canned chipotle peppers in adobo (more or less depending on how spicy you like it. If you do not like heat, you can add 2 tsp. of smoked paprika
  • 1 tsp. allspice
  • ½ tsp. toasted cumin seed
  • 1 tsp. ground cumin
  • 2 tsp. toasted ground coriander
  • ¼ tsp. cinnamon
  • Pinch dried cloves
  • 1 tsp. dried oregano
  • 1 tsp. cocoa powder
  • 2 tbsp. nutritional yeast
  • 1 tbsp. garlic powder
  • 2 tbsp. lime juice
  • 1 tbsp. Worcestershire sauce (Annie’s is vegan)
  • 1 tbsp. fresh marjoram
  • ½ cup chopped cilantro
  • Salt/Pepper to taste
  • *Optional: 1 habanero pepper minced

Method:

  1. Heat oil over medium heat in a cast iron skillet; add the onions and garlic and cook for several minutes.
  2. Next, add the rest of the ingredients, stir to coat well, cover and cook for 20 minutes, stirring several times.
  3. Taste and adjust seasoning

See how simple this is? I’m so glad I have a bunch of leftovers!

 

Raw Chocolate-Almond Pie

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I made this amazing chocolate-almond pie for a party the other day and OMG, it was so delicious. It happened to be a raw, BEEgan dessert, but no one had any idea and I didn’t tell them until they were eating it and begging for the recipe. It’s just your classic almond/date/cocoa crust filled with almonds, coconut oil, honey and more cocoa..  the sauce was coconut oil, honey, and cocoa and a bit of coffee.

Raw desserts are so much easier than baked desserts! I forgot how much I love making them. I used to make them daily at one of my jobs..  One of my favorites was making a beautiful raw carrot/coconut cake..  It’s been a while since I’ve made one. That is a little harder to pull off as a “normal” dessert, so it will have to be for people who are open to experimenting.

 

Tacos with Homemade Corn Tortillas

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I’ve been having so much fun with my tortilla press. Fresh corn tortillas are the best! I use masa, water, and a tiny pinch of salt. I cook them in my cast iron. I used to make them years ago when I was married and raising my kids, but stopped… and now I will not go back!

The above picture was my breakfast the other day.. I am in love with the Costco Sweet Kale Chopped Salad Kit. It’s a mixture of broccoli (stems), Brussels sprouts, cabbage, kale and chicory. It comes with both pumpkin seeds and dried cranberries, which I use in other applications (like Granola!).. and a dressing which I don’t use at all. It’s so convenient to just grab a handful of delicious veggies for salads, sandwiches, stir fries..

I topped the tortilla with some spicy TVP based chili. I used my “quick mole” and homemade salsa to flavor the chili along with onions, garlic, peppers, and jalapenos.

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The Boyfriend enjoyed this chili on top of a hot dog… which is fine with me! I’m glad I can get plant-based goodness into him.. and he loved it!

I digress; back to my meal! I topped the tortilla with my chili along with the greens, homemade salsa.. and served it with a side of slow cooked pintos. The salsa was a cooked salsa… with jalapenos, garlic, onion, culantro, cumin, coriander, lime juice and canned diced tomatoes. The culantro is such a great alternative to cilantro! Much stronger and so packed with flavor.

It was, of course, very hot and spicy because I never seed the chilies I work with. (If I am cooking for myself).. when I cook for clients or restaurants, I seed them!

 

 

 

Spicy Ethiopian Lentils

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One of the ways I can eat amazing, 30 minute meals is by making a big pot of lentils or other beans. I usually boil up a pound of them at a time; freeze half of the cooked legumes in 1 cup portions, and eat the rest over a period of a 5 days or so.

For this dish, I toasted some spices on a bit of coconut oil, the added cooked lentils, homemade salsa and veggies; cooked for 10 minutes or so and then topped it with fresh tomato, onion, and cilantro. The salsa gives it a “cooked all day” taste, and it is really easy to make a meal for one. I’m a fan of eating spicy curries for breakfast… it’s a great way to start the day!

My Ethiopian spice mix is amazing. It contains 17 spices. We make it in big batches.. since I use a lot of it!

 

Smoky Walnut-Nutritional Yeast

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I’m not quite sure how to to describe this deliciousness? It definitely hits cheesy notes when you add it to certain foods. I use it like you would Parmesan. If you like savory, smoky, umami taste like me, then you will love this!

I used toasted walnuts, nutritional yeast, garlic powder,smoked paprika,and oat fiber pulsed together in my food processor. The oat fiber was there for texture; the pulsed nuts and oat fiber create a lovely crumble I love. I also just happen to have a lot of oat fiber. You can leave it out or add some golden flax meal

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I made this over the top flavor bomb of a sandwich with leftover smoked tofu, Costco kale/Brussels sprout salad (sans the dressing and nuts/seeds), avocado,onion, Dijon and some of my homemade vegan mayo.

Pickle Me!

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Oh how I love to refrigerator pickles! (Fermented pickles are even better!).. When I have some veggies I need to use, pickles are one of the first things I think of.

As you all know, I love heat, so it’s rare I will pickle something without it. For this batch, I used Carrot, Daikon, Jalapeno, Onion, and Turmeric. I made a simple brine out of sea salt, water, and vinegar, threw in a couple bay leaves, coriander seeds, and peppercorns. It’s a lovely little bit of spicy deliciousness that will compliment many meals…  try some on sandwiches, or in a salad! I love hummus and pickles together. Later today, I’m making some Hummus with Caramelized Onions and Smoked Paprika… I can’t wait to make a little appetizer plate with the pickled veggies, hummus and homemade pita chips for The Boyfriend and I to enjoy when he comes home from work tonight.