Vegan Mexican Night: Tacos and Bean Salad!

Modified by CombineZP

Like I always say: if vegan is this delicious, why not vegan?

I don’t think a meat-eater can distinguish the difference between these scrumptious fully plant-based tacos and the meat-filled variety. My secret, as it always is, is in the choice of spices, which I share with you below.

I named this dish after one of my all-time favorite pick-me-up songs by the legendary Celia Cruz, La Vida es un Carnival. Whenever I feel a bit blue, this song cures me!

You can top them anyway you like: with shredded lettuce or cabbage, diced tomatoes, hot peppers, vegan shredded cheese, you name it! Try these delicious tacos with my Mexican Bean and Corn Salad, recipe also below, and have yourself a vegan Mexican night, without leaving your own kitchen!

For those of you looking for an alternative to soy, you may use cannellini beans instead of tofu.

Vegan “La Vida es un Carnaval” Tacos

Ingredients:
Makes approximately 6 tacos

1 package organic firm tofu
1 package soft tortillas of your choice
½ red bell pepper, chopped
1 onion, chopped
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1 teaspoon sea salt
5 tablespoons grapeseed oil
½ teaspoon ground chipotle
1 teaspoon paprika
½ teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon oregano
½ teaspoon chili flakes
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon tamari
½ teaspoon black pepper
Topping for tacos, as desired: shredded lettuce or cabbage, tomatoes, hot peppers or vegan cheese

Method:

1. Slice tofu into thick slabs and lay on paper towels to allow excess moisture to be absorbed. Cover with paper towels. You may apply a weight on top of the paper towels, such as another dish. Let stand for about 15-20 minutes.
2. Crumble tofu into a large bowl. Add all ingredients for marinade: 3 tablespoons grapeseed oil, chipotle, paprika, cumin, oregano, chili flakes, pepper, minced garlic, balsamic vinegar and tamari. Allow to marinate for about an hour.
3. Heat 2 tablespoons of grapeseed oil in a large frying pan. Add chopped onion, red pepper, sprinkle sea salt and sauté until soft, about 5-6 minutes.
4. Add marinated tofu and sauté for about 7-8 minutes. The tofu may start to stick to the frying pan, so be sure to scrape it into the tofu mixture. The browned tofu gives it extra flavor.
5. Once the tofu is cooked, remove from heat, cover and set aside.
6. In another frying pan, heat a very small amount of grapeseed oil and drop your soft tortilla into it. Allow the tortilla to brown slightly, about 1-2 minutes and then flip over.
7. Place warm tortilla in a serving dish and add tofu. Top the taco as you like, with shredded iceberg lettuce or cabbage, diced tomatoes, hot peppers, vegan cheese, if you desire.

Mexican Bean and Corn Salad

Ingredients:
Makes approximately 6 servings

3 cups organic corn, cooked
2 cups black or kidney beans, cooked
4 green onions, chopped
¼ red bell pepper, chopped
1 red chili pepper, chopped (optional)
1 small tomato, chopped
1 avocado, chopped (optional)
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 clove of garlic, minced
1 teaspoon oregano
1 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
Juice from one lime
Sea salt and black pepper to taste

Method:

1. Combine all ingredients in a large bowl and toss. You may serve it immediately, or chill it in the refrigerator before serving.

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“Todo aquel que piense que la vida siempre es cruel,
tiene que saber que no es asi,
que tan solo hay momentos malos, y todo pasa.
Todo aquel que piense que esto nunca va a cambiar,
tiene que saber que no es asi,
que al mal tiempo buena cara, y todo pasa.”

~Celia Cruz, La Vida es un Carnaval

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