Hello beautiful readers!
If you read my last post, you’ll know that I’m kind of on a “cleanse”. If you didn’t, shame on you. I’m the food voice of my generation and you’re totally missing out 😉
I use the term “cleanse” lightly because what I’m on is barely a cleanse. Just cutting out wheat, sugar and dairy for the most part. (FULL DISCLOSURE I ATE MCDONALD’S LAST NIGHT AFTER HAVING A FEW WINES AND I REGRET IT SO HARD IT WAS GARBAGE.)
Moving on! Everyone knows that tacos are a huge thing in LA. There are taco trucks everywhere and they’re always packed. Our pal and fellow comedian/inventor Mark Debonis is in town and joked that we should get together and make tacos. I don’t joke when it comes to my stomach and I immediately couldn’t get tacos off my mind. We set a taco date. Mark is vegetarian so I had to think outside the the tortilla. I originally wanted to make jackfruit tacos because apparently, once prepared properly, they have the texture and flavour of pulled pork. After scouring the aisles at my local Ralph’s, I realized that jackfruit tacos weren’t going to happen. I’ll have to go to a specialty grocery store for some of that jack!
“What do I like in a taco” I said out loud to no one. Beans, protein, cheese, spice, crunch, creamy, saucy and some fresh zing. Every taco needs fresh zing. I got a can of refried black beans making sure not to get one with lard. Always read the ingredients! So many brands contain lard or weird palm oils. Try to get one with the least amount of crap, or make your own if you have time.
While perusing the bean aisle my eye caught a can of corn. I remembered a delish charred corn side dish I had at the Red O a few months ago and thought I would incorporate some corn for texture.
Now for my “meat”. Seeing as I couldn’t find jackfruit I decided to get some good old organic firm tofu. Once I spice the shit out of that stuff, it’s delicious. I also picked up some grape tomatoes, avocado, green onion, limes and parsley for the “crunch and zing” aspect of the tacos. Make sure to pick up some corn tortillas too!
Julia’s Corn, Bean and Tofu Tacos
in a tupperware container combine 1 tsp each:
Ancho Chili Powder
Then add a splash of olive oil, juice of one lime, salt and pepper. Play around with the spices to get the flavour you want. If you hate spice (I mean, who are you?!) don’t add the cayenne. After you’ve used a tofu press (or put your tofu on a plate in between paper towel with something heavy on it for about 20 minutes to remove moisture) cut your tofu into cubes, toss it in the marinade, put the lid on and shake it all about. Let it marinate in the fridge for at least one hour.
Fry it up on medium heat for about 10 minutes. It can be shorter or longer, as long as it’s warmed through and you’re happy with the texture.
Drain your can of corn well and sauté it over medium/high heat in a cast iron skillet so it gets some nice charred bits on it. I added trader joe’s chili lime salt and chopped green onion in the last minute of cooking.
Open can of beans. Warm in pot. Add lime Juice. Easy.
Cut grape tomatoes in quarters. In a bowl mix with green onion, chopped parsley, lime juice, salt and pepper. Cilantro would be delicious too but my hubs hates the stuff so I used parsley instead.
Best way to do this is to heat them for about 10 seconds on each side in a pan so they become pliable but still keep their shape. I put mine in tin foil packs in the oven and they became a little too soft and fell apart a bit. You could also double up your taco shell to ensure a solid vehicle to transport all those delicious toppings to your mouth! And if it falls apart, who cares! Get messy, you only live once.
Sliced avocado, queso fresco crumbling cheese, jalapeños Tabasco and Tapatio hot sauce.
Now it’s time to assemble these bad boys! Layer beans, tofu, corn, avocado, salsa, cheese and hot sauce. Pile them into your mouth hole real quick so they don’t fall apart. DELICIOUS!
I think these are the best vegetarian tacos I’ve ever made. They had a perfect balance of sweet, spicy, creamy and crunchy. And they were completely vegetarian and wheat free!
If you’re vegan, omit the cheese and if you can’t eat/don’t eat soy try using potato or jicama instead of tofu. Apply the same spice marinade and it’ll be delicious. Same goes for meat! This would be delicious with chicken or shrimp. But the best ingredient of all is friendship. So make sure to grab some pals, some cheap wine and go make these tacos and eat them on a funky patio. The memories you’ll make and the flavours you’ll taste will last a lifetime 😉