I am, for the record, so completely not a vegetarian. A good burger is too glorious to go without – not to mention that I would sorely miss food prepared with stocks, and pretty much lose it if I had to skip Italian salumi, or never eat foie gras again (yes, my carnivorous nature is evil to the max – although I care deeply about how animals are raised).
However, sometimes, I like to eat tofu. So there.
I think ignoring tofu as a significant source of protein and something that has all the potential in the world to be a delicious part of a great meal, is as dumb as avoiding responsibly sourced meats. These butter lettuce tacos were the vegetarian bomb.com. Who has three kids who all loved this meal? Me. That’s who.
Butter Lettuce Tacos with Mexican Spiced Yukon Golds & Pan Seared Tofu
This recipe makes enough to feed a small army (and I have one of those at my house). Just half the recipe for fewer mouths,or enjoy the leftovers in the morning with a couple of eggs and relish the glory of being smart enough to prepare a twofer meal. Side-note: I’m heinously bad at measuring…the spice measurements below are my best guess (someday, I’ll be a better food blogger) but they’ll offer a good starting point for you to adjust to suit your taste.
Oil, for sautéing
1/2 large onion, diced
5 yukon gold potatoes, washed and diced into half-inch cubes
1 Tbsp. chili powder
2 tsp. garlic granules
1 Tbsp. paprika (I particularly like smoked paprika)
2 tsp. whole coriander seeds
2 tsp. cumin
1 tsp. black pepper
Sea salt, to taste
3, 8 oz. packages organic extra firm tofu, drained and cut into 1/2 inch cubes(I used Tofu from Sacramento Tofu Co.)
8-10 button or crimini mushroom caps, diced
1 leek, halved, cleaned, and chopped
1 red bell pepper, finely diced
1 jalapeño, seeded and diced
3 to 4 cloves of garlic, thinly shaved
Hot Sauce, to taste (I used Tapatio, but I tend to like Cholula better)
1 head, butter lettuce
Queso Fresco (I used a locally made jalapeño queso fresco from Orland Farmstead Creamery)
1) In a very large sauté pan, cook the diced onions in plenty of oil until opaque, then add the yukons and cook over medium high heat, until the potatoes are crispy on the outside and soft on the inside. Add the spices, stir, then reduce the heat to low, cover and keep warm.
2) In a separate, smaller sauté pan, over pretty high heat, sauté the tofu, letting it sit on the pan until the bottom side is nice and crispy before turning, getting all sides as equally crisped as possible. Drain on paper towels.
3) In the same, smaller sauté pan, cook the diced crimini mushrooms over medium heat until beginning to brown, reduce the heat and add the leek. Stir and cook until the leek has softened. Add the bell pepper, and sauté for a couple minutes, until the pepper begins to soften, add the jalapeño, cook for a couple minutes, then add the garlic and cook for about 30 seconds.
4) In a large bowl, toss together the potato mixture, tofu, and mushroom and pepper mixture. Shake on a bit of your favorite hot sauce, to taste.
5) Serve in butter lettuce cups with sliced avocado, lime, cilantro, and queso fresco.
Twofer: eat the leftovers for breakfast with a couple fried eggs. Yeah, that’s right.