Over the last couple of years, I have been reducing our meat consumption and attempting to cook as many plant powered meals as possible. This has led me to experiment with a variety of vegetarian taco/burrito fillings. Last night’s concoction included: tofu, potatoes, onion, lentils, broccoli, kale, and nutritional yeast. I seasoned this with a little chili powder and smoked paprika. I sold it to the kids as a filling for Make Your Own Burrito Night (second only to Make Your Own Taco Night in popularity). I put a bunch of salsas and hot sauces on the table, along with a bowl of shredded “Mexican Mix” cheese. It was a hit, so I used some leftover filling in the quesadillas for today’s lunch. And I came up with a new crazy trail mix: Crispix cereal, freeze dried edamame and roasted pumpkin seeds: tres fantastique, if I do say so myself. The grape and persimmon fruit mix is getting a little redundant this week, but the kids are still eating it.
Cooking Tip: Veggie Taco Filling Concoction
I tend to make these concoctions toward the end of the week, when I have various odds and ends in the fridge that need to be consumed. I don’t really measure anything and I incorporate whatever veggies I have on hand.
- 1 lb. extra firm tofu, chopped or crumbled into the pan
- 1 russet potato or a handful of new potatoes, diced
- 1 onion, diced
- 2 or 3 cloves of garlic, diced
- about 2 cups of chopped vegetables
- legumes of some sort if you have them, such as a can of black beans
- about 1/4 cup nutritional yeast
- 1–2 tablespoons olive oil
- seasonings of your choice: salt, pepper, chili powder, cumin, smoked paprika, oregano, etc.
Sauté the onion and garlic in olive oil over medium heat. Add the potatoes, lower the heat to medium low, cover, and let the potatoes stem for about 10 minutes. Periodically stir the potatoes to prevent them from sticking to the bottom of the pan. Add in your veggies, stir and cover for another 5 minutes or so. Once the potatoes and veggies are nice and soft, add the crumbled tofu, the beans, and the nutritional yeast. Let this heat through. At this point you can season and serve. Or, you can mash everything with a potato masher and cook it up hash style, letting the bottom brown, stirring, and letting the bottom brown some more until you have lots of nice little crisp bits. It will look something like this:
It won’t win a beauty contest, but it tastes darn fine with a nice dollup of salsa and several shakes of Chipotle Tabasco sauce. It’s also totally vegan if you opt not to add cheese.