I was vegan for several years and I still eat a lot of vegan food. I believe a plant-based diet can have a lot of health benefits, but I have also learnt that my body thrives with a little serving of meat here and there.
One of my boys favourite meals is tacos, and what better way to have it, than with a vegan "meat" to increase the nutrients they eat. They wolf this down, as this is apparently better than real meat tacos.
You will find this recipe easy to make, especially as there are a couple of short cuts in the flavour development. My boys also love cheese, so they add some. I am dairy intolerant, so I can't indulge. You can add whatever you like to make your perfect taco!
1 packet of firm tofu
1-2 brown onions
2 tsps fennel seeds
2 tsps ground cumin
2 tsps ground paprika
1 tsp liquid smoke (or smokey paprika)
2/3 cup of oil, olive oil or coconut oil, as you prefer taste-wise
1 sachet spice mix, from taco shell packet (this is cheating, so be careful of ingredients)
1 sachet salsa sauce, from taco shell packet (makes all the difference to consistency)
1tbsp soy sauce
1. Blend tofu to create a crumble. Add to hot pan number 1, with 1/3cup of oil. Fry whilst occasionally stirring, until golden.
2. Blend onion and mushrooms, until crumble. Don't over-blend so it becomes mushie and releases too much fluid. Add to hot pan number 2, with other 1/3cup of oil. Fry whilst occasionally stirring, until golden/brown.
3. Mushrooms and tofu take roughly the same time to fry. When the mushrooms are starting to look ready, add the herbs and spices. The fennel is very important, this creates the rich, "meaty" flavour together with the mushrooms. Stir to make sure they don't burn - 1min.
4. Add sachets of spice mix and sauce from the taco shell packet. This is cheating but really does help the end result in both flavour and consistency. Be wary of ingredients and pick a brand without too many preservatives and salt. Stir and fry for 1-2min.
5. Add in tofu to mushrooms. Lower heat a little so it doesn't burn. Keep stirring. This is a good time to chop your favourite condiments, such as lettuce, tomatoe, raw red onion, grated carrot, grated cheese (these are our favourites!)
6. When the "meat" is starting to look ready, after about 10min of frying, add some soy sauce and stir thoroughly to mix through. This adds flavour and colour. When the "meat" is ready, its oily and has some crunchy bits. It also has the crumbly texture of fried minced meat.
7. Time to indulge in your nutritious vegan tacos! (unless you add cheese of course) My boys love adding grated carrot, chopped tomatoes, chopped raw red onion, grated cheese, sour-cream, ice-berg lettuce in slices. I love some sprinkles of fresh chilies, a hot salsa sauce and all the things my boys add, except the dairy!
This is an easy and delicious meal which we usually indulge in on Fridays! It makes a good round-the-table meal which is fun to eat. Eating together at the table is an amazing way to connect with each other and talk about the week. Connecting with each other will make you and your family feel more bonded, more relaxed and happy.
Nutrient breakdown per Taco (makes 12)
*Source of nutrient info - U.S.D.A. nutrition database