Awesome vegan soft taco recipe with a funny story behind it
Saturday night Lisa and I were planning to work on a new dish together: a spicy Jamaican jerk stir fry, using tofu. We had a base recipe that we were going to use as a jumping off point, and we figured that we’d modify things as we cooked and have a little fun.
In the 90s when Lisa and I were vegetarians she did all the cooking. Lisa has plenty of experience working with tofu. Me? Absolutely none. This is important to note before proceeding with the story.
So we’re in the kitchen and all fired up to create something amazing! Lisa said the first thing we needed to do is drain the brick of tofu, wrap it in paper towels and place something heavy on top for about 30 minutes.
While Lisa was explaining this to me, I was reading the base recipe from which we were working. The recipe said to wrap the tofu in towels, and then press down on it with something heavy. “Hey, that sounds a lot quicker than waiting for 30 minutes!”, I thought.
Unintentionally channeling Lennie Small, I grabbed our big cast iron skillet and pressed down on the paper towels surrounding the tofu. Hard.
Lisa–understandably irritated that I ignored her advice–just shook her head with an “I told you so” look on her face. When I removed the paper towels, the tofu–which was supposed to be cut into cubes–was in crumbles.
Undeterred by my stupidity (after more than 25 years together she’s used to it), Lisa decided that now we were going to make tofu soft tacos. While I can’t (yet) compare the dish we were supposed to prepare with the tacos we actually wound up making, what I can tell you is that the tacos were incredible!
As we enjoyed the meal, we joked that my goofy mistake turned out to be a good thing. I take full credit, of course. 😉
Seriously, Lisa crushed it in the kitchen on Saturday night. She turned my error into something amazing, and I know you’ll enjoy this awesome meal as much as we both did.
Here’s the recipe. Remember, you can always find this recipe and many more in the Recipe section of JSF.
These vegan (vegetarian with optional cheese) soft tacos are super healthy, and you won’t believe how good they taste!
Ingredients – Taco filling
- 3 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon SunButter or natural peanut butter
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- 1 teaspoon chile powder
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon Chipotle Cholula or other hot sauce
- 16 ounces extra-firm tofu
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
Ingredients – Veggies
- 1 medium yellow onion
- 2 medium bell peppers (any color)
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
Ingredients – Wraps
- Soft wraps of choice (we used multi-grain)
- Fresh tomato, diced
- Fresh cilantro
- Chipotle Cholula or other hot sauce
- Optional: shredded cheese, shredded lettuce, sour cream or Greek yogurt, guacamole
Instructions – Taco filling
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
- Mix first six ingredients in a large bowl and set aside.
- Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil, spread olive oil to evenly coat foil.
- Drain water from tofu block, wrap in paper towels and gently press using a frying pan or other heavy object to remove water.
- Unwrap tofu and crumble into small bits.
- Add tofu crumbles to mixing bowl and toss well with the liquid.
- Place tofu mixture in a single layer on the oiled baking sheet.
- Bake for 20 minutes, remove from oven and stir; bake for an additional 20 minutes, or until tofu is crispy.
While the filling is baking in the oven, prepare the veggies:
Instructions – Veggies
- Cut onion and bell pepper into thin slices.
- Heat olive oil in skillet over medium heat.
- Saute veggies in olive oil until onions and peppers start to brown.
Spoon taco filling into warm soft wraps, and place sauteed veggies on top of filling. Add cilantro, fresh tomato and a little more hot sauce, if desired. Add any, or all, optional ingredients to taste, or just use your imagination.
Yield: 4 tacos (serves 2). Excellent with rice. If you have extra sauteed veggies, toss those in with the rice.