Sarah's Kitchen Creations: Vegan TVP Tacos

by: Sarah Buckman

This vegan taco has our special TVP taco crumbles, avocado, sliced cabbage, lime, and so many other local and seasonal goodies. You're going to love this one.

 

WHAT YOU'LL NEED FOR VEGAN TVP TACOS:

1 package of Maria and Ricardo's soft corn or flour tortillas 

1 container of Our Own Vegan TVP Taco Crumbles

5 leaves of local lettuce from Greens For You, thinly sliced

1 cup of local organic red cabbage from PrairiErth Farm, thinly sliced

2 small local organic tomatoes from Blue Moon Farm, diced

1 container of Wild Harvest organic black beans, Our Own organic refried beans, or La Preferida Refried Black Beans

1 small bunch of local organic cilantro from Blue Moon Farm, chopped

1 avocado, sliced

1 lime, cut into wedges

Valentina hot sauce

DIRECTIONS:

1) Heat up your tortillas by covering them in tin foil and place them in a preheated oven at 350F. You can also heat them up individually on a skillet. Wrap up the TVP taco crumbles in tin foil to reheat alongside your tortillas. TIP: You can sprinkle a little water on the tortillas before you cover them in foil and it will add a little steam to help soften them.

2) In a sauce pan, pour in your canned black beans and heat.

3) While your other ingredients are heating up, stack lettuce leaves and slice into thin strips, thinly slice the red cabbage, dice tomatoes, slice an avocado, and finely chop your cilantro.

4) When the tortillas, TVP crumbles, and beans are hot, assemble your tacos by layering your beans first, TVP, lettuce, cabbage, diced tomatoes, avocado, lime wedge, and hot sauce. TIP #1: If you prefer, you can double stack your tortillas so you can prevent tearing and stuff your individual tacos a bit more! TIP #2: If you want to make a side salad with sliced cabbage, salt, lime juice and cilantro to add to tacos, it's a delicious salad/coleslaw I learned how to make in Costa Rica. Take a look at a variation of the traditional Ensalada Repollo recipe here!

What in the world is TVP?

Vegan tacos are so delicious, especially with our housemade TVP taco crumbles! For those that are confused when I write, 'TVP', it stands for Textured Vegetable Protein, and it is a byproduct made from soy flour after soybean oil has been extracted. The flour is cooked under pressure and then dried. We have plain dried TVP in our bulk section but our kitchen staff sweethearts have specifically made TVP taco crumbles for this particular recipe to feature during Family Meals Month for September. Their special recipe uses TVP from the bulk section that has been rehydrated and cooked with tomato sauce, tomato paste, peppers and blended with other delicious seasonings. It's super tasty, a complete protein, and a great vegan meat. Its texture is really delicious and really competes with the texture of ground beef or ground turkey. Try it, I think you will be impressed. I'll share the TVP taco crumbles recipe soon!

Blue Moon Tomatoes

For this recipe, I particularly chose to use Blue Moon's organic tomatoes and picked a small red tomato and a green zebra tomato. The green zebra is lime green in color and has light yellow vertical striping on the skin. I love the green zebra because it is tart and almost reminds me of the flavor of a cooked tomatillo. It pairs well with a sweet red slicing tomato and looks beautifl on the taco.

Ensalada

In one of my tips, I mention that you can either add the red cabbage raw or you could make a special salad/coleslaw called Ensalada or Ensalada Repollo, which is a popular side salad in Costa Rica. I learned how to make this cabbage salad when I visited Costa Rica about ten years ago. You can use red or green cabbage, diced or sliced fresh tomatoes, but the main trick is that you want to add a decent amount of freshly squeezed lime juice and pinches of salt. Using your hands, squish the cabbage, salt, and lime juice together in a bowl until combined. The raw cabbage will take on this tart salty flavor. Add in your tomatoes, cilantro, and some extra ingredients like shredded carrots green pepper if you have them. You could make a decent amount of the cabbage salad and it will easily keep for a few days in the fridge. Have it on top of your tacos, as a side with gallo pinto, and it'll be your new favorite way to use cabbage.

Avocado

If you are having vegan tacos, don't forget the avocado! When you are shopping for avocados, one trick I use when I am looking for a ripe good avocado is to squeeze it gently on the side, but another trick is to press on the top part of the avocado near the stem. If the stem pushes in like there is a significant air gap, you know it's gone bad and will have dark black bruising. Another trick is to pull off the stem and if it is green underneath you know no bacteria has gotten into the avocado yet and it is still perfect. If you pull the stem and it is dark or you see a deep hole or abyss with no green in sight, you know it's not worth your time or it's going to be a true disappointment when you go to open it. (Ha! You can tell I've picked a few bad avocadoes in my time.) I was vegetarian for many years and vegan for a short period of time, so I deeply appreciate the avocado's role in a vegan diet because they bring that nice creaminess that you sometimes miss when you drop the dairy. 

However you make your vegan tacos, they will be delicious. I hope this recipe gives you some extra ideas on how to make your meal even sweeter! Enjoy!