Tag Archives: VeganMoFo

Taco or Beer Challenge

taco or beer challenge

If there is one thing I can promise to always stand for it’s that I am pro-choice ’til I die.

If there is one thing I am always hungry for, it’s tacos. Last veganmofo I even did an all out Taco Cleanse.

I am thrilled that these two defining passions of mine are finally coming together in the Taco Or Beer Challenge. I think the whole idea might have started as a satire of the ice bucket challenge, you do something, tell everyone that you did it, and then donate to a cause. Why waste a bunch of water and pour ice on your head when you could instead eat a delicious taco or drink a refreshing beer (or both!) and then donate to fund abortion? It makes a lot more sense to me! I made these awesome breakfast tacos which had refried beans, avocado, salsa verde, green chile peanuts and homeade queso fresco. Then I donated to the Whole Woman’s Texas Action Fund. It breaks my heart that our lovely feminist abortion provider Whole Woman’s Health had to close their doors in Austin because of disgusting Republican political shenanigans.

Please take the challenge, here is a great site that can shows different ways you can fund abortion. If you are in Austin I also have a list of my favorite tacos. And if you do, you can nominate someone to take the  I am nominating my pal Jojo the Vegan in Brighton because she is awesome and visiting Austin right now so I know she has easy access to tacos!!!

 

Breaking the Cleanse – Where do we go from here?

I have started to break the taco cleanse. Dan made the Siesta Taco Soup from Betty Goes Vegan yesterday (except we used hominy instead of lentils and topped with avocado) it was so delicious. It was strange to feel something so soupy in my belly but it had all the comforting flavors of a taco so I think it was a good choice.

But now I’m really confused about what to eat. I went to the grocery store on Sunday and just kind of wandered around and ended up with just stuff for Dan. Basically I can’t imagine cooking something that isn’t a taco. I guess I’ll just wait for a craving.  Any suggestions?

I’ve had “where do we go from here” from Buffy the Musical in my head since the end of the cleanse and I wanted to add the you tube of the video. I couldn’t find it, but I did find a version of the song cut to the mid season finale of Battlestar Galactica. I swear when Lee Adama said, “where do we go from here” I totally thought they were referencing this song which is possible since Jane Espenson wrote for both shows!  If you love both of those shows or you want to understand what I’m feeling, check it out.

 

Taco Cleanse Day 24 – Soy Curl Fajitas

I tried forever to figure out how to say Soy Curl fajitas in Spanish but it turns out I just don’t know how. Why are they even called soy curls? Are they like curls of smoke or curls of hair?  I blame this lack of knowledge on my shitty Spanish teacher “Señorita Williams” who was like Peggy Hill without the enthusiasm. She also exclusively wore jumpers like this. I don’t think Fajitas are Mexican anyway. I’m pretty sure they are a tex-mex dish that was made up by cowboys or ranchers. Those poor folks didn’t have ready access to soy curls as we do these days so they had to use pieces of dead cows! Thankfully times have changed and this vegan version is super. The recipes took me a while to perfect. I think the key was to use a lot of oil, because otherwise the soy curls would stick to the pan rather than getting browned. Maybe my cast iron just isn’t seasoned well enough. I also used aji amarillo Peruvian pepper paste because I absolutely love it and I feel like it perks up any peppery dish but I’m sure any pepper paste would do. I have been loving the  Yellowbird Sauce made with habañeros, too, but you could skip it or use whatever hot sauce you like. Finally, I had some fajita spice mix but if you don’t another seasoning mix would do, something that has onion and garlic powder along with salt and pepper.

Soy Curl Fajitas

4 Tablespoons olive oil
1 white onion cut in half moons
1 red pepper and 1 orange pepper cut in strips
4 cloves of garlic, chopped
2 cups of soy curls (re-hydrate in vegetable broth and then squeeze dry)
2 Tablespoons of aji amarillo pepper sauce
1 Tablespoons of yellowbird hot sauce
1 teaspoon of cumin
2 Tablespoons of soy sauce
2 tea spoons of fajita spice mix

Heat up a cast iron skillet over a medium hot flame and then add the oil. When shimmering toss in the peppers and onions. Once they are getting browned add the garlic, after it sizzles for 30 seconds add the soy curls and toss in the other ingredients. Cook until the soy curls are browned and serve on a tortilla with homemade guacamole or sour cream and scallions or sliced almonds for some crunch.

Enjoy!

This recipe is going to be in the upcoming taco cleanse zine which we are feverishly working on! Luckily we are #TacoPowered and should get it done before veganmofo is over!

Taco Cleanse Day 17 – The Pad Thai-co

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Pad Thai is one if my go-to comfort foods and there is a great little place down the corner from me called Tuk Tuk that’s hard to resist. It’s the most untraditional taco I’ve eaten yet and maybe the easiest since I just piled on the takeout noodles, cabbage, and topped with some peanuts like and sriracha into a flour tortilla.

It also made me realize that one typical sized pad thai serving would feed about 6 people in taco form.

Tacos save lives!

Taco Cleanse Day 15 – The Three Amigos X 2

The halfway point of the taco cleanse came and went yesterday and I am excited to note that tacos are the first thing I think about in the morning. I wonder if this is what it’s like for an addict? I got to achieve a taco cleanse dream on Saturday. All the taco scientists participating at FUEGO level came over to eat “the three amigos” taco from the vegan nom WHILE WATCHING “The Three Amigos” with Steve Martin, Chevy Chase, and Martin Short.

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I also made the best guacamole ever (today September 16th is national guacamole day) and vegan chicharrons which you can see @rabbitfoodgrocery’s video of on Instagram. Molly made Mexican martinis with olives! Then Kristen showed up with an ice cream cake. It was the best halfway point ever. We also got to see Chevy Chase fail at eating a taco. You gotta cock your head you cocky bastard!

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Support on the taco cleanse is becoming ever more critical as we approach completion.

Taco Cleanse Day 13- Time for raw tacos

Today Culture Map wrote an article quoting me about the benefits of the taco cleanse and I have to admit, when I read it this morning,  I wasn’t feeling that great! I’ve had too many days in a row of decadent tacos from Mexican food trailers that I decided a trip to living foods cafe Beets was in order.

Their taco plate described as “three crispy corn taco shells filled with a veggie ground meat, topped with shredded lettuce, salsa and drizzled with cashew nacho cheeze (served with with “sunflower beanz” and a choice of side salad” turned out to be just what the doctor ordered. Or maybe it was the half gallon of water I drank along with the meal instead of margaritas. It’s hard to say really but here at the midpoint I do recommend adding some raw tacos if you are on the cleanse.

Staying hydrated on the #tacocleanse can actually be a bit of a challenge so I was super excited that one of my all time favorite blogs Eating Appalachia posted a nice recipe for Horchata for all of us working through the cleanse. And one of my other favorites “Don’t Eat of the Sidewalk” has promised a movie and taco post later on today to help you if you wondering how to spend the weekend. I know my plans include watching The Three Amigos while eating the three amigos taco from the Vegan Nom. And if you are looking for even more recipes check out fellow taco lover and veganmofoer The Vegan Training Table‘s post Handmade Tacos: Inspired by the Austin “Taco Cleanse”

Stay #tacostrong!

Taco Cleanse Day 12 – Sweet Ritual’s Amazing Wonder: The Chaco Taco

When we first started talking about the taco cleanse back in April I never would have guessed that it would have led to so much new taco goodness. At that time in my life I already ate a taco pretty much every day so I didn’t realize that there would be so much more to discover when committing to the cleanse. So many people have been joining the cleanse and local restaurants have been adding new and unique tacos to their menus just to help us through this! I got to try Teriyaki soy curl tacos at Counter Culture’s Taco Tuesday a couple of days ago and then a The Ginger Bliss special at the Vegan Nom last night. There is so much creativity coming out with tacos in Austin. But I have to admit, so far my favorite new taco on the scene is the Chaco Taco that Amelia from Sweet Ritual has put together for us.

I’ve been dying to try it ever since Ross posted his last week. Then they were suddenly all over social media. Last night I was up north with my fellow taco scientists and after eating Rockin Vegan Tacos for dinner we headed over to Sweet Ritual for the chaco taco dessert. When we got there they only had one left and everyone graciously stepped back and let me have it. The taco cleanse is really working, we are feeling so much more love for humanity and tacos than ever before.

I had cinnamon ice cream in my waffle cone taco shell topped with one the many long lost loves of my life, the hard chocolate magic shell. I was dead quiet while I ate it and went into a state of taco bliss that I can’t even describe.

And yes Austin, they have more today and will have them all weekend.

Taco Cleanse Day 11: What is a taco?

would you call this a taco?

Since I’ve been on the taco cleanse for 11 days now I’ve really given a lot of thought about what really is a taco. Since I happen to be vegan, of course I’ve been making and eating vegan tacos which btw is pretty easy to do here in Austin Texas. Recently, a blog that I love and respect implied that my tacos weren’t “real” because I am not eating pigs, chickens, cows, and other animals. While I certainly agree that vegan tacos aren’t culturally traditional, they do exist and are therefore real! I’m living proof of the reality of vegan tacos, I promise! I mean, are Taco Bell tacos culturally traditional? I know for some people, tradition is so important that they don’t want to see anything else and I can respect that. Sometimes I wish there was some respect in the other direction though. Maybe because of my life long love of Star Trek I am more of a future thinking kind of gal, but, it seems to me that the world changes all the time. Food preferences, especially, are constantly evolving. If they didn’t, Italians would have never embraced the tomato, a new world ingredient, and then where would we be as the human race? It’s hard to say really, except that we wouldn’t have marinara sauce and I would still firmly believe that vegan tacos are still tacos.

Where I’m having more trouble is with tacos that aren’t Mexican or Tex-Mex inspired. We, the taco scientists, decided as a group the most important aspect of the taco was the single fold around a filling. Years ago I ate my first Dutch Taco at the Flavor Spot in Portland, I didn’t think twice about a waffle enveloped around a sausage as being a taco, even if it wasn’t close to traditional. But, over the weekend, when I folded a pancake around sausage and called it a taco it definitely seemed like I was cheating on the cleanse. Falafel wraps have come up several times when discussing the taco cleanse with other vegans (the stereotype of herbivores eating tons of hummus is probably the most accurate of all the stereotypes). Even though it fits the parameter of the single fold, I don’t think it’s a taco, but then if you stick the same ingredients in a tortilla they kind of are! I mean, there are Korean tacos and Vietnamese tacos all over the place so why not a falafel taco?  On the other hand, the tortilla isn’t entirely critical because low carb dieters and raw food enthusiasts use the lettuce leaf and call it a taco and who am I to judge them. So is a pita ok too? All I know for sure is that a burrito definitely isn’t a taco.

So, yeah, that’s what has been on my mind. Now you know more about what it’s like being a vegan on a taco cleanse. Please let me what you think below (although rude comments are always deleted). And yeah, if you are wondering, I’ve definitely been called out by the taco cleanse police.
taco police

Taco Cleanse Day 10 – Veracruz All Natural

Another Austin blogger has joined the Taco Cleanse this week, Aneelee, and I was very excited to see her breakfast tacos yesterday because they looked unfamiliar. 24 hours later I was driving around the east side in early morning traffic hunting down a little food trailer called Veracruz All Natural which has been on my list for a while, but I had never tried. When Nelly mentioned that the tortillas were to die for it was pretty much all I could think about until I had them in my hot little hands. I perused their vegetarian friendly menu (spinach, avocado, and nopales are always a win for me) and studied their salsas, one had big chunks of avocado in it so I knew I was going to be happy.

I ordered potatoes, beans, and avocado on one and potatoes, beans, and nopales on the other both on corn because that’s how I roll. The corn tortilla was indeed like a perfect delicate corn crepe, the potatoes were soft and well seasoned, the beans had a nice flavor and all the salsas were spicy but not overpoweringly spicy, just a nice gentle burn. Definitely a good stop if Ceaser Chavez is on your morning commute.

I am starting to notice the positive effects of the taco cleanse. Usually, I snooze my alarm clock for sometimes over an hour and spend the morning in a fog of confusion and anger. This morning I awoke before the sun was up, maybe for the first time in my life. I was filled with a sense of love for the world and a desire for more tacos. I think I’ve passed through the tougher stages of the cleanse and my body is starting to exude taco power. I can’t wait to see what happens next.

Tonight is Taco Tuesday at Counter Culture and Sue is cooking up some badass specials.  “Rotating Tacos throughout the day including a Cafeteria Style Taco with a hard corn shell, ground seitan, lettuce, tomatoes and queso and an Asian Taco with teriyaki soy curls, kinpira and tomatillo salsa.” I can’t wait! I’ll see y’all there, stay Taco Strong!

Taco Cleanse Day 9 – The Opening Ceremony

photo by Marie Dadap

On Saturday night I went to a huge potluck at the Lonestar Plate’s house. Taco cleanse enthusiasts had come from all over the city bearing taco fixins, from soy curl guisada to cool ranch sauce there were more options than you could ever try. While we all filled our bellies up with delicious tacos Ross of VRA burned a taco effigy…while we all chanted… tacos.. tacos.. tacos. It was the perfect way to get into the more spiritual aspects of the taco cleanse.

As the fire burned away so did my impure thoughts of pizza and bagels that have been plaguing me during this first week of cleansing. I’m stronger than ever now. Taco Strong.