Run, Cook, Eat!

(Un)Recipe – Vegetarian Tacos
June 20, 2009, 8:31 am
Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , ,

There’s not many groceries in our house right now. It’s a sorry state of affairs. I haven’t been to Trader Joe’s since before both trips, yikes. That’s over 3 months ago. We haven’t been cooking too much, but when we do it’s been very recipe driven, and entirely bought at the organic store down the street. ($$$).

That’s just a long way to say I miss having wonderful TJ’s staples on hand, like basmati rice, canned chickpeas, dried fruit, Indian simmer sauces, frozen naan…oh this list could go on for pages.

The other night I got fed up with going out to eat constantly, and told J I was making dinner from what I had in the fridge. So we ended up with minimalist veggie tacos.

I had extraordinarily low expectations for this, as J really likes non-veggie tacos, especially from the many authentic and cheap Mexican places in the Mission. But I barged ahead, and we were both surprised with how good the results were.

The basis of my veggie tacos were Field Roast’s Smoked Apple Sage vegetarian “sausages.” I had these left over from a trip to the organic store, and I had really enjoyed them the first time around, served simply with the ill-fated dandelion greens. I expect the Mexican Chipotle flavor would be more fitting, but hey, it’s what we had.

I heated oil, added cumin, cayenne pepper, and sriracha (hey, it’s what we had), and crumbled and sauteed the sausage until warm and lightly browned. In addition to that, I chopped up what we had in the fridge – french breakfast radishes, cilantro, and a bunch of avocado. The tortillas were heated with manchego in between, also since it’s what was in the fridge.

The end result was REALLY good. I was skeptical about many elements of this meal, and it all worked. The biggest hurdle was J’s belief that veggie tacos cannot come anywhere close to traditional minimalist style tacos with meat. But without even prompting, he proclaimed these tacos “frighteningly eerily good.” That’s probably the best compliment I’ve gotten from him in awhile!

The sriracha + lack of salsa-like inclusion also made me nervous. (As a 12+ year vegetarian and Midwestern native, do more traditional meat tacos have salsa on top? I thought so?) I seasoned the sausage with generous amounts of sriracha and spices, and the sausage absorbed all of the moisture quickly. The resultant taste was really nice with a moderate amount of heat, proving that the oh-so-versatile Thai chili sauce can sub in with other non-Asian cuisines quite well.

How’s that for a “recipe”? Verdict: make again! An unexpected success.


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