January marks the beginning of a brand new year, fresh with opportunity and sometimes some changes. Our 5 Star make over group is taking the opportunity to embrace a little bit of change, and have reorganized under a new name: Creative Cooking Crew. Our goal each month is to create original dishes inspired by a mutual theme. Laz of Lazaro Cooks and Joan of Foodalogue will graciously host our monthly roundups so that you can see what we have all come up with!
This months challenge: “Choose one of your favorite rich, heavy, fatty animal-protein based meals and give it a healthy VEGAN spin.”
With the snow and cold weather we have had (in-between 70 degree days), I have been missing the beach A LOT! One of my favorite things to eat when I’m in southern California or Mexico are Baja style fish tacos. An indulgent treat: battered and fried strips of succulent halibut nestled into warm corn tortillas with avocados, crema, and salsa fresca.
It’s the combination of textures and flavors in fish tacos that really do it for me. Now the challenge: could I capture that same experience with tofu instead of fish and make it vegan?
Actually….yes! To recreate that batter fried finish I dusted the tofu strips in almond meal before cooking in coconut oil which gave them a crispy bite. I added some habanero and lots of lime to the Beet & Carrot Slaw that topped the tofu. The avocado mash provided a creamy balance to the whole thing, so I never missed the crema.
The only thing I did miss? The margarita I usually have along with the tacos at the beach. Will have to make them again and fix that.
- Beet & Carrot Slaw:
- 2 carrots, grated
- 2 large beets, grated
- 1 cup thinly sliced green cabbage
- Juice from one large lime
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- ½ habanero pepper, seeds removed, minced
- 1 teaspoon agave nectar
- Salt & Pepper
- ½ cup almond meal
- 12 ounces extra firm tofu, drained, patted dry
- 1 tablespoon organic coconut oil
- 8 corn tortillas
- Avocado mash:
- 2 avocados, peeled, pitted
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- Squeeze of lime juice
- Salt and Pepper
- 2 tablespoons chia seeds
- Chopped cilantro
- For the Beet Slaw:
- Combine all ingredients together in a medium bowl.
- For Avocado Mash:
- Using two forks, mash avocados in a small bowl. Add garlic, lime juice, salt and pepper; stir into avocados.
- For tacos:
- Slice tofu into 3x1 inch strips. Place almond meal on a plate and roll to coat tofu strips on all sides.
- Heat coconut oil in a large sauté pan over medium high heat. Add tofu strips and cook until golden brown, about 5 minutes, turning after a minute or so on each side.
- To Serve:
- Place two corn tortillas on each plate. Top with crispy tofu, Beet & Carrot Slaw, and Avocado Mash. Garnish with a sprinkle of cilantro and chia seeds