Sunday, August 8, 2010

Vegan Tacos and Envy

The Tampa Taco Bus recently had a competition to design a new vegan taco. The rules were simple. There must be a protein that is suitable for a taco and the final product must contain no dairy. First prize was a trip for two to Cancun. Second and third place prizes were taco parties at the Taco bus for you and twenty (or ten for third prize) of your friends. I ate tacos off and on for three weeks in order to get things right. I can't say I was one hundred percent happy with the recipe in the end, there still seemed to be something missing, but I had to stop before I started hating tacos. I'm not sure when winners are announced but I thought I'd share the recipe that I submitted for the competition now.

Tempeh, Sesame seed and Quinoa Encrusted Avocado Tacos

-2 ½ tablespoons all-purpose flour
-½ cup water
-½ teaspoon salt
-½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
-1/3 cup quinoa
-1/3 cup grated tempeh
-1/3 cup sesame seeds
-1 Tbs of taco seasoning
-1 avocado cut into 1-inch slices
-Salt, to taste
-romaine lettuce
-pickled onions
-corn relish
-flour tortillas

1. Combine flour, water, salt and pepper to make a batter.

2. In a separate bowl, combine quinoa, grated tempeh, taco seasoning and sesame seeds.

3. Season avocado with salt.

4. Dip avocado wedges into batter to coat lightly and then roll each wedge in the seed mixture, pressing gently to form a complete crust. Place seeded avocados in the fridge for 30 minutes before frying.

5. Heat 1 to 2 inches of vegetable oil in a skillet. In batches, fry the coated avocado wedges until the quinoa coating is golden. Transfer to a paper towel lined plate and pat the excess oil.

6. I then assembled the tacos by using romaine lettuce, placing three avocado slices on top, adding some pickled onions and then topping with either corn salsa or corn relish, a hint of lime and cilantro.

Vegan taco making requires a skill set best suited for the sounds of Japanese hardcore. Why? I'm not sure, it just worked. Envy, a band who has been relatively quiet on the album front since 2006, fits the bill. With their upcoming release, Recitation (via Temporary Residence), and a fall North American tour, there is no better time to jump on their vegan taco bandwagon.

Envy-Dreams Coming to An End (courtesy of Brooklyn Vegan blog)

Envy Tour Dates:
09/25/10 Baltimore, MD @ The Ottobar
09/26/10 Philadelphia, PA @ First Unitarian Church
09/28/10 Allston, MA @ Harper's Ferry
09/29/10 Providence, RI @Jerky's Live Music Hall
09/30/10 New York, NY @ Santos Party House
10/01/10 New Haven, CT @ Lily's Pad at Toad's Place
10/02/10 Toronto, ON @ Sneaky Dee's
10/04/10 Buffalo, NY @ Mohawk Place
10/05/10 Pittsburgh, PA @ Rex Theater
10/06/10 Cleveland Heights, OH @ Grog Shop
10/07/10 Detroit, MI @ Magic Stick
10/08/10 Chicago, IL @ Reggie's Rock Club
10/09/10 Minneapolis, MN @ Triple Rock
10/10/10 Lawrence, KS @ Jackpot Music Hall
10/12/10 Denver, CO @ Bluebird Theater
10/13/10 Ogden, UT @ The Basement
10/15/10 Seattle, WA @ El Corazon
10/16/10 Portland, OR @ Hawthorne Theater
10/18/10 San Francisco, CA @ Cafe Du Nord
10/19/10 Anaheim, CA @Chain Reaction
10/20/10 West Hollywood, CA @ Troubadour
10/22/10 San Diego, CA @ The Casbah
10/23/10 Mesa, AZ @ The Underground
10/25/10 Denton, TX @ Rubber Gloves
10/26/10 Austin, TX @ Emo's Alternative Lounging (Indoor)