Food Blog Vegan MoFo

#VeganMoFo Day 6: Eat My Vegan Food, Don’t Eat It; See How Many Fucks I Give

I refuse to pander to your lack of creativity, sir. I’m just gonna make some shit *I* like.

Tacos are a good bet, though. I’m not aiming to “convince” anyone, but who doesn’t like a taco? Cheese and meat are not necessities. Spice, texture, and a range of flavors are all that’s required. I’ve made my share of tempeh “chorizo” tacos for satisfied relatives, but tonight I felt like using some nice market-fresh mushrooms (trumpet and shiitake).

  • Filling: Chipotle mushrooms with red onion and pinto beans, made using homemade chipotles in adobo (based on a recipe from Isa Does It)
  • Toppings: Lime-juice marinated shredded cabbage, avocado, and tomato-mango salsa (mmm)
  • Tortillas: Homemade yellow corn

Some of my relatives wouldn’t eat this, but that’s primarily because some of my relatives are fungiphobes. That’s OK. I’d make ‘em something else. They usually like my food, and they aren’t vegan.

You can’t convince someone to give up animal products entirely based on a single meal. The meal can, at best, show them plants in a new light. Show them what’s possible. But change must come from within.

Just don’t fucking talk to me about bacon.

Food Blog Vegan MoFo

#VeganMoFo Day 7: Remind Me of Home

I grew up along the Oregon-Washington I-5 corridor. Unfortunately, food-wise, the PNW is BEST known for amazing seafood, shellfish, Tillamook cheese, and beer. Since I don’t drink and I’m vegan, that narrows it down a bit. OK, a lot. There’s always marionberries – but they’re out of season… and hazelnuts (OK, mom, filberts), but it isn’t really something you can build a whole entree around.

What else do we have? Umm… foraged mushrooms? I wasn’t able to pick up chanterelles or other super-fancy “wild” mushrooms this time around, but I did get a variety of ‘shrooms, which I seasoned and roasted all together.

Then, in a vague nod to my boyfriend’s hometown of Santa Cruz, I prepared the fixings for some nice tacos to put the mushrooms in – I spiced them with cumin, coriander, and cayenne, so I also made some simple black beans, lime juice-marinated shredded cabbage, guacamole, and fresh-pressed corn tortillas.

Food Blog

Breakfast tacos with potatoes and pinto beans on homemade whole wheat sourdough tortillas

Food Blog

Cauliflower-lentil tacos

I recall seeing something about cauliflower-lentil tacos on @yackattack. Tonight I was trying to figure out what to make for dinner – I’m out of greens but still had some good stuff – and went looking for a recipe, ending up at Cookie & Kate.

There are a few modifications:

  • Black lentils instead of brown, because that’s what I had.
  • Romanesco cauliflower instead of regular, because that’s what I had.
  • Homemade corn tortillas, because it’s just better, dammit.
  • For lack of vegan mayo, I made the sauce out of cashews, water, and a little dollop of Kite Hill cream cheese, plus our favorite habanero-chipotle hot sauce, blended at high speed with lime juice. It’s nice and spicy and creamy.

Now, I didn’t intentionally make tacos because it’s Cinco de Mayo. That’s an iffy holiday for white Americans to celebrate, anyway. But they are delicious, if not exactly traditional. And I’m not wearing a sombrero, drunk on Corona and cheap margaritas, so there’s that.

Food Blog

I just lost my job. Their loss, I tell myself. Onward and upward. Until the next thing comes along, I’ve got plenty of time to reinvigorate my cooking. While I have grand plans about poring over my cookbook collection, pulling out recipes I always meant to try but didn’t have the time or energy to do, etc. etc., I decided to stick with what I know tonight. That is: homemade corn tortillas, fresh guacamole, vegetable saute (onion, mushroom, bell pepper, kale), and seasoned black beans. All from scratch – time! – and mostly from the farmers’ market. It feels good.

I hadn’t made tortillas in awhile, though I had gotten the technique down pretty well. Those damn grain-loving moths finally wormed their way in to my other masa harina stash, so I had to toss it. Anyway, I’ve been resupplied, and I observed some experts (i.e. the ladies filling endless orders for the Oaxacan Kitchen Mobile at the farmers’ market) press TWICE, flipping in between, so I gave it a whirl. It does seem to get them just a bit thinner, which is nice.

Anyway, more to come. Cooking keeps me sane–and fed–and posting about it gives me a nice daily objective. At least, until I get a new job. Fingers crossed.

Food Blog

Homemade tortillas, veggie fajitas, fresh guacamole, beans and spinach. Super yum.

Food Blog Vegan MoFo

#VeganMoFo Day 28: AN ACTUAL TACO!!

My back is getting better, so I managed to get back into the kitchen after work tonight I didn’t want to leave such a good theme hanging without making something!

Since my my mom gifted me with a cast iron tortilla press, I’ve made fresh corn tortillas many times. It makes all the difference. I’m terrible with yeast breads, but tortillas? Pssshh. Easy. Only a little bit time-consuming, heh. It has to mix, then sit, then press each one, then cook each one.

Filling these flaky, warm, sweet, and toasty blank canvases? That’s the fun part.

First I made some tofu. I don’t usually do tofu on my tacos, but I had an idea. (Also, I should really look at how many of my posts this month featured tofu–I feel like I used it more than I normally do, but eh…) I did my normal baked tofu prep, but with a twist: red wine vinegar, dried oregano, red pepper flakes, and thinly sliced green bell pepper and red onion all went into the baking dish with the tofu on top (with a little marinade dredged on both sides), then baked for 20 minutes on each side at 400 degrees. I use my toaster oven because it doesn’t heat up the whole room, plus it bakes on a timer so it’s a total no-brainer. THe veggies roasted up nicely and the tofu has a lot of flavor.

Then I needed a sauce–getting back to basics, hello blog name!–but I also really wanted to use up some collard greens and mushrooms. Plus I picked up some nice saucing tomatoes, so I decided to make a cooked salsa with veggies in it: diced onion, sliced mushrooms, minced red jalapeno, lots of tomato, chopped collards, cook cook cook, then add several cloves of crushed/microplaned garlic (I want that PUNCH), followed by fresh cilantro and lime juice. It isn’t runny, but it is saucy and filling and flavorful.

So for the taco we’ve got sliced baked tofu, some roasted onion and pepper slices, fresh-cooked tomato salsa with mushrooms and greens, and some shredded lettuce and more cilantro to finish. Yum yum yum. Flavorful and good texture without being super messy–wow.

NOTE: I wanted avocado, but when I inspected them, they did not appear to be ripe. However, when my boyfriend appeared, he decided one of them was. But I had already eaten by then. HARUMPH.