Recipes: Mexican Tofu Tacos

 

Reprinted with permission from The Everyday Vegan, by Dreena Burton, published by Arsenal Pulp Press.

I use tofu as the base (not in a cubed form as many people know it, but marinated and minced) combined with fresh veggies, salsa and pasta sauces, seasonings, and fresh cilantro. I also offer suggestions for toppings, to enhance the textures and flavors. This recipe also works great for a potluck, served with nacho chips instead of taco shells. Plus, you can easily substitute other veggies or ingredients to suit your tastes-throw in some beans if you like, or hot peppers instead of bell peppers.
I encourage people to have fun with my recipes and use their own creativity. This is how I cook, and I often come up with new recipes by experimenting with different ingredients and combining flavors that I love. My approach to vegan cooking is to have fun and use as many good quality and fresh ingredients as possible.

In my cookbook, The Everyday Vegan, I show that vegan foods can be incredibly delicious, and no more difficult to prepare than standard meals. This includes desserts! Those who think vegan desserts can't be rich and tasty should try my Double Chocolate Pecan Chippers or my Triple-Layer Chocolate Cream Cake on pages 183 and 196 of The Everyday Vegan.

Mexican Tofu Tacos

  • 1 Tbs. dark soy sauce or tamari
  • 1 Tbs. balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tsp. chipotle hot sauce (or other hot sauce)
  • 1½ cups Extra-firm tofu, crumbled
  • ½ Tbs. olive oil
  • ½ cup carrots, finely chopped
  • ½ cup celery, finely chopped
  • 1½ tsp. chili powder
  • 1 tsp. ground cumin
  • couple pinches sea salt and black pepper
  • 1¼-1½ cups green or red pepper, finely chopped
  • ½ cup fresh or frozen corn kernels
  • 1 cup tomatoes, seeded and chopped
  • ½ cup tomato pasta sauce
  • ½ cup salsa
  • 1 Tbs. tomato paste
  • ¼ cup green onions, chopped
  • ¼ cup fresh cilantro or parsley, chopped
  • 10 (or more)Taco Shells

Optional Garnishes:

  • Creamy Dijon Dill Dressing (recipe follows)
  • avocado, chopped or mashed (or guacamole)
  • jicama, chopped
  • soy cheese, grated
  • lettuce, shredded

In a bowl, mix soy sauce, balsamic vinegar, and hot sauce, then add tofu and mix through. In a large skillet, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add tofu, carrots, celery, chili powder, cumin and a pinch of sea salt and black pepper, and cook for 5 to 7 minutes, stirring several times. Add peppers, corn, tomatoes, pasta sauce, salsa, and tomato paste, and cook for 4-5 minutes, stirring several times. If there is still moisture, cook for another couple of minutes until liquid evaporates. Stir in green onions and optional cilantro/parsley a few minutes before serving to heat through. If not serving right away, reserve green onions and herbs to add before serving. Season with additional sea salt and black pepper if desired. Spoon mixture into taco shells, and top with optional garnishes.

Creamy Dijon Dill Dressing

  • ½ cup soft tofu, packed
  • ¼ cup fresh dill, roughly chopped
  • 2 tsp. mild Dijon mustard
  • 1 Tbs. lemon juice, fresh squeezed
  • 1 Tbs. rice vinegar (preferably seasoned)
  • 1 small garlic clove, roughly chopped
  • ¼-½ tsp. sea salt
  • fresh ground black pepper to taste
  • 2-3 Tbs. plain soy milk (see note below)
  • ½-1 Tbs. olive oil (optional)

In a food processor, blender, or with a handblender, combine all ingredients except olive oil and puree. Once mixed well, continue to puree and drizzle in the olive oil slowly. When finished blending, season further with sea salt and fresh ground black pepper, if desired. Makes roughly 1 cup.

Note: This is a delicious creamy dressing that serves as a nice cool topping for the spicy Mexican Tofu Tacos! To keep this dressing thicker for the topping (or to use as a spread or dip), omit the soy milk. Otherwise, to use this dressing for salads, include the soy milk and adjust to your desired consistency!