Project Veggie: Day 6 – Day of the Taco

A friend of mine told me a few days ago that I was nuts for doing this vegetarian thing.  Every week his family does taco night.  He asked how you could possibly do a taco night without meat??  Seriously?  This poor individual is obviously suffering from a severe lack of imagination.  In my opinion, you can put just about anything in a tortilla and call it a taco.  In fact, it’s one of my favorite foods for that very reason.  A tortilla is just a delivery device for all sorts of goodness.

Yesterday was Day of the Taco.  The kids didn’t have school so we slept a little late, had a nice, lazy morning.  Around 10 or so, I decided to make breakfast tacos.  Some scrambled eggs, green onions, salsa, and the last of the leftover coleslaw (oh yeah, I said coleslaw!) and we were set.  They were amazing, and took mere moments to make.

Breakfast tacos

As Presidents Day wore on, there was some whining about being bored.  Not by me, who had plenty of work and mom things to do.  But the kiddos were feeling at loose ends.  Normally when they tell me they’re bored I send them outside to pick up dog poop.  But it was raining, so I took pity on them.  Project time.  I decided for our tacos tonight we’d make homemade tortillas.  We’ve done them once before, and they are amazing!  I love corn tortillas, but I don’t love the way they crack when you fold them.  The fresh ones don’t do that.  Plus you can add additional flavors to make them even more tasty.  And although I say “project” they are really not difficult to make, but they do take a little extra time.

I’m not sure where the exact line is between a taco and a fajita, so I’ll call these fajita tacos.  With the pan-sauteed veggies, they definitely have a fajita-ish quality about them.  To round out the Mexican feast, we made a quicky black bean salad (yummy protein!) and some homemade salsa in my trusty food processor.  I’ve been making my own salsa for a long time, and I like it better than anything I’ve found in a jar.

My beautiful fajita tacos with black bean salad

Fajita Tacos

4 oz. button mushrooms
2 poblano peppers, sliced
1/2 red onion, sliced
1 orange or yellow or red bell pepper, or some combo of those, sliced
2 cloves garlic, chopped
salt & pepper to taste
1/2 cup frozen or fresh corn kernels
shredded jack or cheddar cheese
sliced avocado

Heat skillet to medium high heat.  Add a tbsp. of olive or canola oil.  Saute the peppers, onions, mushrooms and garlic, stirring constantly, just 2-3 minutes until they are crisp-tender.  They should still have a little crunch.  Add corn and saute until heated through.  Add salt & pepper to taste.  Build your taco the way you like it.  I like to start with some of the pepper mixture, top with cheese, salsa and avocado – usually overfilling it so much I make a complete mess of myself when I fold it up and eat it.  But that’s part of the fun.

April's Awesome Salsa

April’s Awesome Salsa

1/3 onion
1-2 cloves garlic
3-4 tomatillos
1/2 – 1 red or green jalapeno (I use both if I have them)
1-2 tbsp. lime juice
a handful of fresh cilantro (1/3 cup? – I usually don’t measure, just throw some in)
1 tsp. ground cumin
1/2 tsp. salt
1 can fire-roasted diced tomatoes (or regular diced tomatoes) with juice

In a food processor or blender add onion, garlic, tomatillos, jalapeno, lime juice & cilantro.  Pulse or blend until evenly chopped up.  Add tomatoes, cumin and salt and give it a whirl until it’s all combined.  Makes about 2 cups.  It will last several weeks in your fridge.

Fresh Chili-Lime Tortillas

2 cups masa flour
1 1/4 cup water
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. chili powder
1/2 tsp. lime zest

In a bowl combine all ingredients.  Mix until it forms a ball of dough.  Add a little more water if it’s too dry to form into a ball.

Not dry & crumbly. Not wet & sticky. Think Play-doh.

Divide into 16 ping-pong size balls.  If you have a tortilla press, this next part will go really fast!  I don’t.  If you’re in the same boat, lay out a piece of parchment paper and sprinkle lightly with masa flour. Place a ball of dough there, top with another piece of parchment and roll out with a rolling pin (you want them pretty thin, you know – like a tortilla).  I tried this without the parchment and it was sticking to my rolling pin and a total mess.  Wax paper works too, but it stuck to the tortillas more than the parchment paper.  Use whatever works best for you.

It's sort of roundish

Don’t be alarmed if they are not perfectly round, mine were all sorts of weird shapes but they still tasted good.  Stack them all up, separated with wax or parchment paper so they don’t stick together.  Heat your skillet or grill to med-high.  Cook one at a time, 30-45 seconds on each side, and slide onto a plate.  Repeat until they are all done.

Black Bean Salad

Black Bean Salad

1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
1/2 cup rice, cooked
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
1/2 bell pepper, whichever color you like best
1/4 cup chopped red or green onions
1/2 tsp. chili powder
1/2 tsp. cumin
juice of one lime
salt & pepper to taste

Combine all ingredients, and eat!

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6 thoughts on “Project Veggie: Day 6 – Day of the Taco

  1. veghotpot says:

    Scrambled eggs and coleslaw……why have I not eaten this before! mmm that sounds like a very nice breakfast x

  2. […] served these with chips and my famous tomato/tomatillo salsa. Tropical Tilapia Tacos with Chips & Salsa Share this:TwitterFacebookLike this:LikeBe the first […]

  3. […] Salsa (click here for my recipe or use your favorite) […]

  4. […] jalapeno, minced 1/4 cup diced red onion Juice of one lime 1/4 cup chopped cilantro Corn tortillas Salsa […]

  5. […] corn kernels 2 cloves garlic, minced Pinch of salt & pepper Juice of 1/2 lime Flour tortillas Salsa Cotija cheese, crumbled Avocado, […]

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