tofu-mushroom tacos | how to throw a taco night

I was always a tofu hater. Maybe because I grew up in Arkansas, and it’s not a thing there, or because I learned to eat (real food, anyway) in the paleo world which swears off all soy products.

The thing is, organic tofu is, in many ways, a perfect weeknight protein:

  • It stays fresh for a while, so you can keep it in your fridge for a rainy day.
  • It can take on any flavor, and can be used in any type of cuisine.
  • It’s a lean complete protein that’s high in calcium and contains all the amino acids.
  • With proper preparation, it can be hearty, savory, and — dare I say — meaty.
  • Oh, and it’s super inexpensive — even for the super good stuff.

If you can find sprouted organic tofu, get that. It’s easier to digest and has an even better nutritional profile than regular organic tofu. You can add tofu to thicken smoothies or soups, but I think my favorite preparation is either marinated and baked in the oven to crispy perfection, or scrambled with lots of veggies and spices.

about this recipe

I made this tofu taco filling up for an impromptu taco night. It was a huge hit, even to myself (a meat lover) and my boyfriend and friend (also meat lovers). The texture was soft and crumbly, and the flavor packed a nice southwestern punch. It was great with the cool tang of Greek yogurt and the spicy kick of salsa.

Taco nights have become a regular thing at our place, because they’re quick, festive, and hyper-convenient. If you cook often, you probably usually have everything you need on hand to have a taco night, any night of the week: some kind of tortilla (usually organic corn) or lettuce for a taco bowl, some kind of protein, avocados, tomatoes, spices, cilantro, salsa, Greek yogurt. If not, pick up what you don’t have on the way home from work. Don’t forget limes. 🙂 The easy, inexpensive nature of this meal makes it a great candidate for impromptu dinners with friends.

dinner party tips

Start by preparing all your toppings. I like to put all of mine into little bowls scattered around the table so everyone can be the captain of their own taco ship. For taco night, I set the table (including toppings), clean everything up, then start on the rest of the meal. This way, when your guests arrive, the only thing you have left to clean is the pan with the tofu.

Then, as your guests are arriving: Layer the tortillas between paper towels and place them on a plate in the microwave, but don’t start the microwave yet. Cook your protein (instructions below), then microwave the tortillas for 30 seconds, and you’re ready to serve. Easy as that!

INGREDIENTS

tofu-mushroom filling

  • 1 tbsp. cooking fat of choice (grass-fed butter or EVOO work great)
  • 1 package organic extra firm tofu, strained well and crumbled
  • 1 pint organic white button mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 red bell pepper, diced finely
  • 1/4 large organic red onion, diced finely
  • 2 tsp. cumin
  • fresh black pepper
  • 1 tsp. chili powder
  • 1 tsp.+ salt
  • 3 tbsp. salsa of choice

toppings

  • 2 small ripe avocados
  • 1 single-serving Fage full fat Greek yogurt
  • 1 package organic corn tortillas (I like Whole Foods’ 365 brand)
  • salsa of choice
  • handful of cilantro

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Do all prep work according to ingredient list (strain and crumble tofu, chop veggies, get spices ready to go).
  2. Layer the desired number of tortillas with paper towels (tortilla, PT, tortilla, PT) on a plate and place in the microwave.
  3. In a large skillet, heat your cooking fat of choice over medium-high heat, then add the onions. Sautee until translucent. Add the peppers to the pain and continue to stir and cook.
  4. When bell peppers have softened, add the mushrooms to the pan and cook over medium heat. When they’re soft and dark, sprinkle the salt and pepper over the mushrooms.
  5. Crumble the strained tofu into the pan and add the 3 tbsp. of salsa and all the spices. Stir until tofu is warmed through. Add salt as needed.
  6. Heat tortillas in the microwave for 30 seconds. Serve with toppings of choice. Enjoy. 

 

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