Thursday, April 28, 2011

Totally Terrific Tofu Tacos:)

I have been a veggie for nearly half my life- 15 years- insane right?  and for most of that time- I have NOT been a fan of tofu- strange, right?  Why?  because I am NOT a fan of the giggly, wiggly tofu with no flavor- it reminds me of eggs, and custard (other things I'm not a big fan of unless they are scrambled heavily and smothered with cheese...)
Recently I came across a recipe for tofu in this here cookbook (a Christmas gift from my very thoughtful MIL)

The author, Toni Fiore explains how she keeps packages of extra firm tofu in her freezer- and then thaws it on the counter- chops it up and "squeezes" out the excess water.  Why do this- well, it totally changes the consistency!  That's right- no more gelatinous tofu folks!  It cooks up kind of chewy (when baked), and firm yet tender (when sauteed). So far I've made terriaki baked tofu triangles- REALLY good!, and recently I tried a Mexican version.

Here's how it wentr down- I had a hankering for tacos (LOVE them).  So I used crumbled pre-frozen tofu as the taco meat substitute.
Check it out!

I thawed the tofu on the counter all day- in the afternoon I removed it from its package- sliced it and strained it with a weight on top (it was still slightly frozen)

Then I chopped it up! (excuse the leftover oranges from lunch:),

and I put it back in the strainer and literally pressed it with my fists to squeeze out the excess H2O,

popped it in a hot, dry skillet and stirred it for about 6 min.s over medium high heat to get any extra water out- and brown it up a bit.

While it was cooking I concocted my seasoning mix- I chose chili powder, cumin, Adobo, paprika, cayenne, garlic powder, and salt.

Once the tofu was a bit brown I removed it from the pan,

and sauteed 1 medium onion and 3 cloves of garlic in a little EVOO.

When they were "transparent" I dumped in the browned tofu, spices and 11/2 cups of water.

I cooked that until the water was absorbed- another 8 min., and toasted up my taco shells:)

I also gathered my accoutrement's- I chose chopped avocado, spinach,cherry tomatoes, pico, salsa, sour cream, and scallions- Yummmmy!

Ooohhh and how could forget- my closest kitchen comrade - CHEESE!

I decided to invite the children to make their won- hoping it might encourage more indulgent  eating on their part  (they can be somewhat picky) Z was psyched! The little guy on the other hand did this-

yes- that's right- it's the darn left over lunchtime orange again that he nabbed off the counter and threw on his taco:) He's a trip...enough said!

Here's how me and D's looked.  My consensus- they were excellent!(otherwise I would not be posting this recipe).  In the past I use the "veggie ground round" meat substitute- but I figured I tried try the least processed route- and it turned out pretty good! You could totally "play" with the spices and change it up a bit- or even add some tomato puree maybe?

Totally Terrific Tofu Tacos
1 package extra firm tofu frozen, then thawed
2 Tbsp cumin
1Tbsp chili powder
1 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp Adobo
1 medium onion
3 cloves garlic
2 tsp. olive oil
1/2 tsp sea salt
1 1/2 cups water
taco shells/ tortilla chips

Strain and squeeze excess water out of thawed tofu, cube and sautee in dry pan on medium high heat until lightly browned, about 6 minutes.  Remove form pan, sauttee onion and garlic in 2 tsp olive oil until transparent- add in tofu, spices and water- simmer until water is absorbed. Serve on taco shells or as a nacho topping.

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