Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Rachael Sanders likes Tacos

Photo by Rachel Renee.
The Vegan Person I Like today is Rachael! Rachael is a former Chicagoian who is now residing in Hawaii! She's the coolest former employee of the South Loop Whole Foods location and I miss her every time I go in there and don't get to visit with her and have her tell me about all of the new vegan stuff in the store. Rachael's entry includes a lot of info about the Vegan Thing She Likes AND a recipe! She even talks about a Vegan Thing that I've previously featured here on this blog. Great minds think alike!

The Vegan Thing Rachael Likes is Tacos!

Hello! I’m Rachael, a gluten free vegan from Chicago currently residing on Maui. If there is one vegan thing I love more than all other vegan things, it would have to be TACOS!!! The best tacos I’ve ever had at a restaurant would have to be from Irazu Costa Rican Restaurant on Milwaukee Ave. in Chicago. I seriously pine for them at least once a week now. One taco is $2.95 and stuffed to the max with vegan deliciousness. One is surely big enough to fill me up but I always order 2. Their rice has big chunks of potato in it, and their homemade hot peppers add a really awesome flavor. There are at least 2 restaurants on Maui that serve vegan tacos. Las Pinatas in Kahului has a 3 taco plate for around $10, but their tacos are boring to say the least (boring rice, boring black beans, and boring lettuce and tomato.) Cilantro in Lahaina has pretty decent roasted veggie tacos that can be made vegan, but I’m pretty sure they put some sort of gluten in there somewhere, because I always leave with a bellyache. Alas, I have made countless tacos since moving here. If there is ever a night without a dinner plan, my future husband and I automatically turn to the beloved taco. Some of the taco creations we have had include authentic Mexican rice and beans tacos, potato and homemade soyrizo tacos, Korean tofu and kimchi tacos, thai tacos, and falafel tacos. Corn tortillas really are the perfect vehicle for all foods!

I’m leaving you with the recipe for my Thai tacos, my future husband’s FAVORITE. I first made these a few years ago with my good friend Adam Scartozzi. We used to get together on a regular basis and cook really great meals, and I really appreciate those experiences, because I learned so many essential kitchen skills with him. I would say he inspired me to go vegan, but I don’t want him to get a big ego.

You’ll need to “dry fry” the tofu first. Use this method.

Rae Rae’s Thai Tacos
Makes 8 tacos 

Marinade Ingredients :
1lb extra firm tofu (my favorite is the Wildwood vacuum packed super firm)
2 shallots or 1 onion, finely chopped
2 or 3 cloves garlic, minced
1-2 tablespoon toasted sesame oil
3 tablespoon Bragg’s or tamari (or soy sauce if you’re ok with gluten)
2 tablespoon red curry paste (I like thai kitchen brand)
2 cups water or veg broth

Peanut sauce ingredients:
½ cup peanut butter
1 tablespoon chili garlic sauce (optional if you don’t like heat)
½ tablespoon braggs
Lime juice from one juicy lime
Water to thin

Assembly ingredients:
16 corn tortillas (or 8 if you don’t double up)
Cucumber cut in half and sliced into thin spears
Carrot, shredded
Red pepper, sliced into long thin slices
Fresh jalapeno slices
Several lime wedges

While you are dry frying the tofu, mix all of the marinade ingredients together in a medium sized bowl. As the tofu pieces are finished cooking, add them to the bowl. Marinate for at least an hour, up to 4 hours. Pour entire marinade/tofu mixture into a large skillet or pot, and cook on medium-low until most of the liquid is gone. While the tofu is cooking, prepare the garnishing ingredients. Heat the corn tortillas. Assemble tacos. Enjoy! 

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