I love these tacos because you don’t need a ton of toppings, or any, really! The beauty is that the filling cooks in its own sauce, with minimal ingredients but maximum flavor. Coriander, cumin and tomato are all heightened through the addition of beer. A little guac and you are all set.
- 1½ tbsp (30 ml) olive oil
- 400 g (14 oz) extra-firm tofu, cubed
- 1 medium onion, thinly sliced
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 cups (360 g) chopped tomato
- ¼ cup finely chopped fresh coriander (cilantro)
- 3 tsp agave
- 1½ tbsp nutritional yeast flakes
- 2 tsp ground cumin
- 1 tsp chipotle powder
- 1 cup (240 ml) brown ale
- 3 tsp fresh lemon juice
- 4 cups (80 g) loosely packed baby spinach
- 8 20 cm (8 in) tortillas
Guacamole (optional, see Note)
- 4 ripe avocados
- ½ tsp salt
- 1½ tbsp (30 ml) fresh lime juice
- ¼ cup (35 g) minced white onion
- ¼ cup (55 g) diced tomato
- 3 tsp minced jalapeño
- 1½ tbsp chopped fresh coriander (cilantro)
Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.
1. For the guacamole, if making: Slice avocados in half length-wise and remove the pits. Scoop out the flesh and transfer to a mixing bowl. Sprinkle in salt and lime juice. Use an avocado masher or strong fork to give it a good mash. Add the remaining ingredients and mash like crazy, until guacamole is creamy and the tomato has broken up. Taste and adjust flavors, if needed.
2. For the tacos: Preheat a large cast-iron pan over medium heat. Once the pan is good and hot, apply 3 tsp olive oil in a thin layer. Add the tofu and sprinkle with a pinch of salt. Cook for about 7 minutes, tossing often and spraying with additional oil as necessary, until the tofu is nicely browned. Transfer it to a plate; you’ll add it back later. Keep the pan on the heat.
3. Sauté the onion in remaining olive oil with a pinch of salt for 5 to 7 minutes, until lightly browned. Add the garlic and cook for about a minute. Add the tomato, cilantro, 1 teaspoon salt, agave, nutritional yeast, cumin and chipotle powder and cook for another 5 minutes, until the tomatoes are broken down and juicy.
4. Pour in the beer and turn up the heat to medium-high. Once boiling and bubbly, cook for about 2 minutes to reduce the liquid, then lower the heat to medium. Return the tofu to the pan and toss to coat and heat through for a minute or two.
5. Turn the heat off. Stir in the lemon juice. Add the spinach in handfuls, tossing after each addition to wilt the greens. Serve the filling in warmed tortillas topped with guacamole, if desired.
•Everyone finds their own way with guacamole. Maybe you like yours a little spicier, or maybe you prefer lemon to lime. This is my go-to! As long as your avocados are perfect, your guac will be perfect, and life will be perfect. The recipe above makes 4 cups, which is possiby more than you need for taco s but leftover guacamole is always good.
Recipe and image from I Can Cook Vegan by Isa Chandra Moskowitz (Abrams, hb, $45)