Recipe of the Week: Tacos

This taco is all dressed up, and ready to go!

Who doesn't love tacos? I'm sure there are a few people who don't, but we're not mentioning them in this post! Anyway, tacos are awesome in many ways. You can fill a taco with just about anything you want, they are easy & quick to prepare, they're inexpensive to make, and they're filling. Tacos are one of my go-to meals to make, especially on a busy weekend night when time is not my friend. I always, as a rule, have a large stack of small flour tortillas on hand. Breakfast tacos are your friend, too.

As a vegan, my main fillers for tacos are numerous. I can use beans, refried beans, seasoned rice, lentils, chickpeas, bulgur wheat, crumbled & seasoned tofu, etc. etc. As for myself, I typically fall back on that bastion of cheap versatility: TVP. Now, if you don't know what that is, it's short for textured vegetable protein. If you ever purchased the bright red, fake bacon bits in the grocery store, they are made out of seasoned bits of TVP. I cook with TVP fairly regularly, as it's a super-quick way to make a variety of "meat" crumbles. 

This won't be your standard recipe, as the ingredients are too diverse to list. Instead, I'll give you basic, easy, vegan taco recipe instructions. Let's get started.

1. Prepare your TVP for your filling. I have an entire post on how to cook with TVP, including recipes for TVP Taco Crumbles. Just click here.

2. While your TVP is soaking up all that flavorful goodness, start prepping the other ingredients.

3. Wrap a pile of soft tortillas (corn or flour are both fine, and a mix of the two is even better) in some damp paper towels, put them in a oven-proof container, and let warm in the oven on the lowest temperature.

4. Chop up your favorite greens and put in a bowl. I make a taco bar where everyone can put on whatever toppings they want! Repeat with any peppers, beans, or veggies you'd like. I'll often put out a bunch of greens, julienned jalapenos (jarred ones are awesome as well), southwestern-style corn, rice, onions, avocado, and some black beans.

5. Next to your bowls of delicious fillers, set out some condiments. In my house, that's typically vegan sour cream, salsa, hot sauce (I love Valentina's or Tapatio), vegan shredded cheese, nooch, and maybe a salad dressing or two.

6. After the TVP is soft, and has soaked up all the good flavors, heat up some oil in a frying pan over medium-high heat. Add the TVP and fry, stirring constantly, until warmed all the way through. Turn off heat and remove TVP from burner. Put on your taco bar on a hot pad.

7. Take your warm, soft tortilla shells out of the oven, and set them on your taco bar as well on a hot pad.

8. Assemble your tacos, grab some napkins, and chow down!

See, it's as easy as that! You can mix and match your personal favorites, or use whatever you have on hand. I can remember one time having nothing but rice, chickpeas, lettuce, green chiles in a can, and a jar of spicy, pickled carrots. They came together and made some yummy, quick tacos. Whatever you have, make it into a taco tonight. 


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