Wednesday, April 27, 2011

baja style tempeh tacos

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.



Taco Slaw:
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.

Lime Crema:
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)
salt
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)

Chili-Beer Marinade:
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!

8 comments:

bonfire of my vanity said...

that picture of your friends with their sleeping baby really just brought tears to my eyes.what a sweet little family they are.
mmmm, tempeh! i'm the biggest carnivore but i love vegetarian cuisine. that looks super delish and i had no idea you could make flavored olive oil! want! you should investigate traditional mexican food...the greasy Tex Mex stuff we eat here in america is not really what they eat down in mexico. they have some amazing food down there, so unexpected when you are used to eating the (yummy yummy) greasy stuff. a dish i think you would love is guaraches. i worked at a mexican joint back in the day and my boss made a few traditional dishes as well as the tex mex stuff. it's SO DELISH. i'll try to find a recipe for you. it involves masa, nopales,pico de gallo, black beans and queso. SO FLIPPING GOOD.

i have a package heading your way, slowly but surely. <3

Tina Dawn said...

Your tacos and all the fixin's sound delicious. I am not vegetarian but eat that way quite often. I am definitely going to make a version of them! Thank you for sharing and your great baby pictures. Tina

Claire said...

Those tacos sound amazing. I need to make a market list today and this recipe is going on there. Mmmm. I'll let you know when I make it :)

Baby Oliver is all kindsa cute. As is your sunburn. I wish I had one, but it's all "rain, rain, go away..." up here.

Lots of Love,
Claire

Missa said...

Mmmmmmm! You are makin' me HUNGRY. Those tacos sound super yummy. I will be coming back to this post.

That is the sweetest family photo! They are adorable, all three of them :)

It's supposed to be a warm weekend, yay for Spring days! I might just have to whip up some of these tacos after a day in the sun ;)

Teeny said...

Hey! I really enjoyed reading your recipe style. Honestly I usually skip recipe posts...but this was fun to read...made me feel like eating! What a cute family pic too. Hope your burn heals quickly.

Monica said...

so you ate it so fast there's no final photo? lol

it sounds delish. no longer a vegan but love veggie food. and adore limes.

Milla said...

Mmmm...tempeh and tofu. In tacos?!?!? That is awsome! I want to try this pretty bad right now. You should post more recipes. Heck, everyone should post more recipes! Anne sent me a little hand-written one for "Blue Ribbon Pea Soup" and I'm planning to frame it and hang it on my kitchen cabinet as a part of my new decorating scheme. I just love getting food inspiration. Cook books just don't do it for me for some reason.

And what lovely company! They are such a merry little family.

You look rather cheerful and bright in your new tan too ;D (my (rare) sunburns always turn into tans. How about yours?)

Violet Folklore said...

Aww their little family is so sweet! Seeing them touched such a tender part of my heart. Sigh.

I am totally making this next week. Thank you!