Thursday, January 28, 2010

Taco Night with The Nixes

Everyone loves tacos, so tonight I made these lovely, crunchy, tasty little fellas. They were layered with Taco Beans, Taco Rice, Pico de Gallo, Tofu Cream, and handfuls of fresh watercress leaves. Mr. Nix ate 6 of them. Yes. Six. And I'm the fat one in the family. Sigh. Oh, well. Enjoy! They were fantastic. This will easily serve 4 people.

Taco Beans
1 Can Black Beans
1 Can Garbanzo Beans
2T Canola Oil
1 T Vegan Butter
1 packet Taco Seasoning

Drain but do not rinse the cans of beans. Put them in a food processor together and pulse until you have a chunky, meat-ish consistency. Heat the oil and butter in a skillet over medium heat. Once melted, stir in the taco seasoning. Add the beans, and mash it all around until the beans are warm through and the seasoning is evenly distributed.

Taco Rice
1C White Rice, uncooked
2C Water
1 packet Goya brand "Con Culantro Y Achiote" spice (totally optional)
1/3C Cilantro leaves, chopped
2T Earth Balance
Lime Juice, squeezed from 1/2 a lime

Cook the rice*. Stir the butter, cilantro leaves, and lime juice into your rice while the rice is fresh and warm from being cooked.

*I use a microwave rice cooker, but you can cook your rice however you like. The end goal is to have about 3-4C of cooked rice when you're done. To the water you're cooking the rice in, I suggest adding the coriander and annatto seasoning from Goya called "con culantro y achiote." The ingredient list is vegan as far as I can tell, and this really adds a deeper flavor to your food (and it makes the rice a beautiful orange color that I find very pleasing). You can find it in the Mexican food section. it comes in a box that looks like a bouillon cube package. I'll include a picture of the product at the bottom of this post. If you can't find big.

Pico de Gallo
2 containers Grape or Cherry Tomatoes (about 4C)
1 JalapeƱo
1/4C Red Onion
5 cloves Garlic
1/2C Cilantro leaves
Lime Juice, squeezed from 1 whole lime (about 2-3T)
Salt to taste

Put all these ingredients into a food processor and blend until everything is evenly distributed. If you let it sit, covered, in the fridge for an hour or two beforehand, it will be even better. Make a double batch while you're at it. This stuff is fantastic for just about everything.

Garlicky Tofu Cream**
1 package water-packed Silken Tofu
5T Lemon Juice
3 cloves Garlic
1 packet Truvia sweetener
2tsp White Vinegar
1/2tsp Salt
**this recipe is just a modification of THIS ONE I found at Tasty Kitchen

Put everything in a food processor and blend until smooth. Don't just pulse it together. Let it go for a minute or two so that it gets fluffy and thick. Use on the tacos the same way non-vegans use dairy sour cream.

DON'T eat a spoonful of this and decide you don't like it. It's a condiment! It doesn't taste just like sour cream, and it isn't (in my opinion) all that tasty by itself. It is an excellent condiment, however, and I think I might be using it a lot from now on for sandwiches and salads. It was very zippy. :) Look at it like this: You might have noticed that I use cilantro in a LOT of my cooking. I love cilantro, and I cook with it almost all the time...but I've never just taken a handful of the raw leaves and eaten them alone. That wouldn't be good at all, and that's not what they're for. You wouldn't eat mustard with a spoon, right? If you would...well, I don't know what to say to you. Trust me. On the tacos? This tofu cream is heaven. Give it a go.

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