So this is my second taco post for Vegan Mofo. I love tacos. In my family, tacos are a default dinner. They have been for decades, even as some members went veg and others not, because the versatility and sheer awesomeness of the taco prevents any dispute.
Some might think I am biting the fabulous work those Austin, Texas vegans are doing with their “Taco Cleanse”:
And it’s true. I’m SO jealous that someone else came up with idea. Due to other Mofo projects, I can’t quite join in and eat tacos exclusively. Yet. But I think I could. After all, tacos ARE THAT GOOD.
What is the Taco Cleanse?
Eat tacos as the center of your meal, for every meal. Side dishes are OK, as long as you eat tacos as the main. Benefits accrue over time:
Mild: (1 Day)
Medium: (3 Days)
Hot: (1 Week)
Improved outlook on life
FUEGO!: (1 Month)
Entire Life Will Ignite with Passion!
To to further potentiate the benefits, administer margaritas, gradually building to a daily basis.
Mad, mad respect for the entire Austin crew to undertake such a life changing experience! I realized that I am suffering from a chronic taco deficiency. I tried to ameliorate it with the following handmade tacos.
They were amazing. I didn’t realize how bad off I was, until after the first taco. By the third taco, I was definitely seeing the world through Taco-colored lenses.
Homemade, Handmade Traditional Tacos:
For me, the Holy Trinity of the Taco consists of the tortilla (preferably corn,) beans, and salsa. Other toppings are fun to play with, but the Holy Trinity is what matters most. While you can easily just use canned beans, jarred salsa, and store bought tortillas, if you want a Truly Transcendental Taco Experience, focus on the Holy Trinity in homemade form.
For the Beans:
Slow cook your favorite dry heirloom bean. I like anasazi beans. Soak, add to a slow cooker with some onion and garlic. Other good additions are dried hot chili peppers, or a chipotle in adobo and cumin seed. When the beans are almost done, season with salt or a seasoning blend. Always make a big batch since it’s no extra work, they store well in the fridge, or you can freeze them.
For the Salsa:
Lots of good homemade salsa recipes, but I’ve always really liked green tomatillo salsas. I prefer the tomatillos cooked. Vary the heat by the variety and quantity of chili peppers.
Simmer husked tomatillos and hot chili peppers until they turn translucent, drain and cool. About 10 minutes.
In a food processor or blender, finely chop a few cloves of garlic.
Add one or two tomatillos, the peppers, a handful of cilantro and a pinch of salt. Pulse a few times.
Add the rest of the tomatillos, and a tablespoon of lemon or lime juice. Pulse a few times. Be careful, you don’t want soup, it should still have some chunks and texture. Taste and adjust seasoning.
For the Tortillas:
Mix the masa harina according to package directions. Line a tortilla press with wax paper. Roll out golf ball sized masa, press for a few seconds, and cook on a hot, dry skillet. Flip once. Place cooked tortillas in a tortilla warmer or wrap in a towel. Don’t worry if they seem a bit dry and thick. They soften while covered, but they stay thick and tasty!
Assemble Tacos and Eat:
Place the Holy Trinity in a tortilla according to personal preference.
Add any other desired garnishes.
Eat and Contemplate the Supreme Beauty of the Taco.
thinly sliced radishes
sliced green onions
minced sweet or red onion
minced hot chili peppers
shredded lettuce or cabbage
cabbage seasoned with salt and lime
You can make these as simple as the Holy Trinity, or as complex as you like. With lots of garnish choices, it’s great party food. Making the Holy Trinity homemade is really not that difficult, as the slow cooker, food processor, and tortilla press do the hard work for you.
May your road through life have a taco truck every kilometer.