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Vegan Tacos Muy Buena (Recipe)

One thing I missed when I went Vegan was Mexican Food.

Like Filipino Cuisine, Mexican is also heavily meat-based (chicken, pork, beef), heck even their rice has chicken broth! Not to mention, the use of Lard is often plenty-good for the appetite, bad for the heart (among other things!).

To be fair, Mexican restaurants in the Bay Area do offer some vegan choices on their menu, such as the veggie burrito. But often, these choices seem like a lazy attempt to hook vegans and vegetarians to their restaurant. Most Mexican restaurants offer veggie burritos that consist only of lettuce, tomatoes, beans, cheese-BLAND!.  It’s almost like an insult, implying vegan diet is boring-yet in fact it’s nothing short of imaginative.

The only exceptions are Gracias Madre in San Francisco and Flacos in Berkeley, which are fully vegan Mexican restaurants. I’m crossing fingers more will sprout out.

In the mean time, I have this recipe to satisfy my craving.

INGREDIENTS:
FOR THE CORN SALSA:

(recipe by Christopher Diez, boyfriend and chef extraordinaire)

8 Roma or 4 vine ripened tomatoes
½ cup chopped cilantro
½ white onion
1 ear of white corn
2 tblsp Apple cider vinegar
4 tblsp Canola oil
1 Serrano chili (optional)
Salt and pepper to taste
1tsp sugar

FOR THE CARNITAS:

1 package of Gimme Lean Ground Beef Style (NOT the Mexican Style)
4 tbsp Nucoa butter (sold at most stores)
2 cloves garlic, minced
dash of salt and pepper to taste

FOR THE REST OF THE TACO STUFFING:

6-8 Hard Taco Shells
1/2 cup Avocado, slices or chunks
Vegan cheddar cheese – shredded
“Sour Supreme, Better than Sour Cream” Sour Cream

Here are the alternatives I bought at Safeway:

            Gimme Lean® Beef    

DIRECTIONS:
FOR THE CORN SALSA:

1.       Finely chop the onion and place them in a mixture of water and plain vinegar and let sit for 20mins. This will remove the sharp onion flavor but leave the crunch and sweetness of the onion you want.

2.       Boil ear of corn for 20 mins in boiling water

3.       Dice tomatoes and add to bowl

4.       Finely chop cilantro and add to bowl

5.       Add Onions after time has elapsed

6.       Cut kernels off the ear of corn and add to bowl

7.       Chop Serrano chili if desired and add to bowl

8.       Add Canola Oil, Apple cider vinegar, salt and pepper, and sugar

9.       Completely incorporate mixture then place in refrigerator for at least 30 min to allow the flavors to mingle together.

You’re done and ready to serve!

FOR THE CARNITAS:

1. Heat Nucoa butter in a skillet over medium heat. Stir in garlic; sautee until light brown.

2. Make patties out of the ground beef and fry over medium heat.

3. Season with salt and pepper

4. Fry for 5 minutes each side or until tender. Add more butter if needed

5. Remove the “ground beef” patties from the skillet and chop them in small bits on a cutting board

SUGGESTED WAY TO STUFF:

1. In a hard taco shell, add the avocado first as bottom layer

2. Add the vegan carnitas

3. Add the corn salsa

4. Top with vegan sour cream and cheese

Ta-da!!!

Great to serve as Taco Bar as well!

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