Vegan Fried Tofu Tacos with Purple Cabbage & Heirloom Carrot Slaw

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All Photos © Christine Elise McCarthy 2016

To see images of my past posts & get links to the recipes – look on my Pinterest board – HERE.

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BathingandthesinglegirlCover

vromans back

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Tacos are kind of like pizza in that they are endlessly customizable & virtually everyone loves them.  I have no great revelation here except that it is kind of hard to pan fry breaded tofu & have it look pretty but who cares?  These are TACOS & nobody cares what they look like – only what they taste like.  And these were very tasty.  Because the tofu was fried & I added avocado – I wanted to keep the rest pretty light – so I added no cheese or cream sauce but you certainly could. I made a very simple slaw with very little vegan mayo in it & it worked great because it added color & crunch but not much in the way of calories.  If calories don’t concern you, you could make the slaw with a creamier dressing, add more mayo or even use a different dressing altogether  – like an Asian miso salad dressing or something.  As I said – tacos are endlessly customizable so make these to suit yourself.  One pound of tofu will likely fry up to make enough filling for 6-10 tacos – depending on the size of your tortillas & your appetites.  Like with pizza – I am just making suggestions here as to ingredients but you can add ones you want, lose ones you hate, and fill them as densely or sparingly as you please.  They are tacos – almost impossible to fuck up.

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Purple Cabbage & Heirloom Carrot Slaw

Makes enough slaw for 6-10 tacos

INGREDIENTS

1/4 large head purple cabbage – chopped or grated (I used the grating blade in my food processor)

5 heirloom (or regular) carrots – grated (I used the grating blade in my food processor)

5 scallions – sliced finely

1 small bunch cilantro – chopped

1/4 tsp cumin

1/4 cup vegan mayo

S&P

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DIRECTIONS

Mix everything up & season with S&P.  Add more mayo if you like a wetter slaw

Set aside.

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Vegan Fried Tofu Tacos

makes 6-10 tacos (as far as tofu goes – the other ingredient ratios are up to you)

1 lb extra firm tofu – cubed

Corn tortillas

Avocado – sliced

Tomato – diced

Cilantro

1 TBS sriracha

1 TBS agave nectar

1/2 cup corn meal

1 tsp cumin

1 tsp garlic powder

1 tsp onion powder

1 tsp chili powder

S&P

1/4 cup olive oil

Potential garnish:  grated cheese, sour cream, diced onion, corn, black beans, cilantro, jalapenos, lime wedges

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DIRECTIONS

Toss the cubed tofu in the sriracha & agave.  In a large bowl, mix the corn meal with the cumin, garlic powder, onion powder, chili powder & some S&P.  Toss the tofu in the corn meal until it is well covered.

Heat the olive oil in a pan large enough to hold all the tofu – or do it in shifts.  If the tofu is too crowded – it might start breaking up.  Fry – carefully tuning once in a while – until it is all browned.  Never fear if some breading falls off.  You are gonna drop lots of goodies on top of the tofu so pretty is not important.

I like to warm my corn tortillas over the burners of my stove until they get some char marks.  You can do this – or not – but I recommend it.

Assemble your tacos! Layer some slaw, then tofu, tomato, avocado & cilantro and/or whatever toppings you have chosen.  Shove them in  your face.  Swill a beer.  Eat more tacos.  Have no regrets!

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Smoked Gouda & Truffle Oil Mac and Cheese with Crispy Panko

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All Photos © Christine Elise McCarthy 2014

To see images of my past posts & get links to the recipes – look on my Pinterest board – HERE.

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All my posts now have a VERY customizable PRINT & PDF option.  Create a PDF & save the recipe to your computer or print it out.  It offers a “remove images” option & you can delete any part of the post you do not need before printing.  The button is below by the Twitter & Facebook links.

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This is the second installment of my mac & cheese hat trick.   Easy & THIS one was the crowd pleaser of the three.  The other day I posted Chipotle Gouda and Guinness (Stout) Mac and Cheese with Vegan Pulled Chicken (or Pork) in Homemade Chipotle Apricot BBQ Sauce – seen just above.  I kinda liked that one the best but this one is simple & elegant.  Just do not be heavy-handed with the truffle oil because it gets overpowering quickly,  Also – be sure it is not old – because it goes rancid faster than most oils or, maybe because you typically use it sparingly, it just sits around past its shelf life but be sure to sniff it before using it.

Here is the mint & zucchini mac & cheese!

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Again – I cooked these for a birthday party (the three versions) and did not photograph them out of the oven.  The photos in ramekins were taken the following day as I reheated leftovers.   You could cook yours in a casserole pan or in ramekins.  Either way, it still tastes delicious!

Without further ado – I present my Smoked Gouda & Truffle Oil Mac and Cheese with Crispy Panko!

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Smoked Gouda & Truffle Oil Mac and Cheese with Crispy Panko

INGREDIENTS

1 lb pasta – cooked, drained & cooled under running water

12 oz smoked Gouda – grated

2 cups mozzarella – grated

A few tsp truffle oil (black or white) used in a quantity to suit you particular tolerance of the flavor

1 TBS Dijon

4 cups milk

4 TBS butter

4 TBS flour

S&P

1-2 cups panko

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DIRECTIONS

Heat the oven to 350 degrees.

Cook & cool the pasta.  Drizzle about 1 tsp truffle oil on it & stir it in.  Set aside.

Warm the milk.

In another pan, melt the butter over med-high heat & then add the flour.  Whisk constantly & it should bet thick pretty fast.  Heat it until it starts to turn a golden sandy color.  Then, reserving ONE CUP of the milk to the side for later, add the remaining 3 cups of milk 1/2 cup at a time, whisking the whole time, until all the milk is incorporated & it is sorta thick – but still pourable.

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Whisk in the Dijon and a tsp of truffle oil.  Taste it & decide whether you think it could use more truffle oil.  I did not add more here – but you can if you like.  All truffle oil is not created equal & some may be stronger than others & the amount required is a matter of personal preference.  Add S&P.

Now add the smoked Gouda & the mozzarella.  When the cheese is all melted & incorporated, mix in the pasta.  Taste it.  Does it need more truffle oil?  You decide but try to go light with it.

At this point, I felt my pasta was too dry & might get ruined in the oven so I stirred in the remaining cup of milk.   This is also a judgement call.  I like wetter mac & cheese – others like it drier.  Use your judgement.  The top picture is before I added milk & the next shows what it looked like with a cup of milk added.

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The truffle mac & cheese is above on the right.

Treat a casserole pan or a bunch of ramekins with cooking spray & put the pasta in.  Top with panko.  I sprayed the panko with cooking spray.  It helps add some crunch to the breadcrumbs.

Bake for about 30 minutes or until it is all melty & the panko is beginning to brown.

Serve with additional truffle oil on the table so folks can add more if they like a heavy truffle flavor.

Enjoy!

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EASY Homemade Crunchy Roasted Pumpkin Seeds

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All Photos © Christine Elise McCarthy 2014

To see images of my past posts & get links to the recipes – look on my Pinterest board – HERE.

images (1)download (1)

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All my posts now have a VERY customizable PRINT & PDF option.  Create a PDF & save the recipe to your computer or print it out.  It offers a “remove images” option & you can delete any part of the post you do not need before printing.  The button is below by the Twitter & Facebook links.

~

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OK – I am not really a fan of pumpkin seeds.  Or, at least I wasn’t until YESTERDAY when I roasted up some of my own!  Wow!  So easy & so yummy!  You will never throw pumpkin seeds away again.  Trust.

EASY Homemade Crunchy Roasted Pumpkin Seeds

INGREDIENTS

Pumpkin seeds

Olive oil

Sea salt (fine)

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DIRECTIONS

Heat the oven to about 325.

Get a large bowl of water & put the messy seed mix in there.  Separate the seeds from the flesh & the seeds all float to the top.  Use a slotted spoon & get those suckers outta there.

Boil some water & add a tsp of salt.  Lower the heat, add the seeds &  simmer the seeds, uncovered, for about 10 minutes & then drain them.

I let them set out to dry a bit & then tossed them with just a hint of olive oil.

Spread them on a cooking sheet in as thin a layer as you can – trying to minimize overlap so all the seeds get heat equally.  Sprinkle with a little salt & bake for about 10 minutes.

Take them out & stir them around.

Now continue roasting in 5 minute increments because you DO NOT want to burn these.  They are done when they are just starting to look golden but the real test is how they chew.  So – cool a few off each time you test them & eat them.  They are done when they chew easily & are nice & crunchy!

I stored mine in a jar on the counter & I steal some every time I walk by.  SO TASTY!

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