when the days are sunny and i have spent the afternoon outside, reading, crafting, and photo-shooting in the bright warm sunshine, my favorite thing to make for dinner is baja style tempeh tacos, from this book:
i don't actually own this cookbook (it's kind of expensive and hasn't come in used at the bookery yet)
but i copied the recipe down in my old journal a couple years ago when i had it checked out from the library.
i'll give you the recipe, but know that this is my shorthanded translation.
sliced cabbage and carrots shredded, about 3 big cups
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
2 pickled jalapenos, diced
salt and pepper
(i add a bit of the jalapeno juice)
mix all these in a non-metal bowl, cover with plastic, weigh it down with cans or something and refrigerate for at least an hour.
3/4 plain soy yogurt (i use plain whole milk yogurt)
3 tbsp lime juice (i use fresh, as much as possible)
2 tbsp grapeseed or avocado oil
1/3 cup cilantro leaves (i at least double this)
blend in blender until creamy, add extra salt and lime, place in airtight container and chill for an hour.
(i added half an avocado for extra creaminess)
3/4 cup Mexican style ale
2 cloves garlic, crushed
2 tbsp peanut oil (i used jalapeno oil)
2 tbsp soy sauce (i always use tamari)
2 tbsp lime juice
2-3 tsp chili powder (or a bit more!)
1/2 tsp cumin ( i throw in a bit more)
8 oz package tempeh
prepare tempeh by boiling water in a pot, slicing the tempeh and then adding it to the boiling water, letting it simmer for about ten minutes. this softens it and allows it to soak up more marinade.
remove with tongs, place in marinade for at least an hour, flipping occasionally.
heat a skillet with oil, fry tempeh for 5 minutes, add extra marinade, 30 more seconds.
heat corn tortillas on the grill.
put it all together and gobble it up!
they had run out of tempeh at the grocery store; i got the last package and a small cube of nice firm wildwood tofu. so i marinated both and fried it all up. worked out just fine.
i used a special new olive oil that nancy my boss gifted me yesterday after a busy day at the bookstore.
it is jalapeno infused olive oil, fresh from the fancy olive oil shop, winterhill farms on main street.
it made everything delicious!
i think the reason i love this recipe is that (obviously) i love mexican food and all the associated flavors but also, i am vegetarian and prefer nice crisp fresh foods. not the more traditional heavy greasy kind of mexican food.
we eat beans and rice and salsa all the time, but this is a little change and so refreshing!
when i make this meal, i always make a huge crispy green salad with lots of cubed cucumber and cut up tons of other toppings like fresh avocado, tomatoes, white onion, green onion, cilantro. you can grate some cheese too, though it's not really necessary with the lime crema dressing.
so tonight while darin and the boys played music in the back room,
i got to work in the kitchen, cooling my warm slightly sunburnt skin with cucumbers and a corona.
the sunny whether had definitely put me in the mood for lime so i drenched everything in it.
lime squeezed on my cucumber slices, with a bit of chili and salt,
lime in my cabbage, lime on my tortillas, fresh lime juice all over my hands.
lime skin tastes like pure sunshine.
best of all, i had some super cute visitors while i cooked!
oliver was veerrrry sleepy, but he drowsily looked on as the skillet sizzled with hot onions and garlic and jalapeno. he's a good eater, no wonder he was interested!
by the time daddy was done drumming, baby o was fast asleep and mama's arms were aching!
topped off the night with some studio ghibli and my own invention of dessert after mexican food:
sliced mango and pineapple sherbet.
you can see my little sunburn, the kind that actually feels kinda good; i'm a happy girl and the days are only getting warmer!
hope you're all enjoying REAL spring days and weather!