20 Minute ‘Beef’ Tacos

In case you haven’t been able to tell from my recent radio silence, I am back in school. Which also means I am back to being crazy busy. And that’s the end of that excuse. I’m still cooking every day, I’m still loving it- I’m just still trying to figure out how to work in posting. After some thought, the best way to do that is to stray from my ‘On Pasta’ series- I’ll be sharing you guys the nitty gritty. What I’m actually eating in between running all over New York City and trying to avoid going broke. And tonight, it’s taco night in suite 3B. Join the adventure.

The base of these tacos is my current fave tofu prep- I call it tofu crumble. Basically, you crumble tofu into a pan- no draining, no pressing, no oil (well, at least until the end). And then you season the heck out of it and let it cook. And you end up with an amazing, slightly crispy, super easy fake ground-beef-style tofu crumble. It’s quick. It’s tasty. It’s heaven. You can change the seasonings based on your preferences, your pantry, and what you’re using the crumble in, but I always keep a soy sauce, red pepper flakes, and some sort of acid in the mix. And a quick disclaimer: I’ve provided spice measurements here to give you an idea of ratios, but if you actually measure your spices you’re doing it wrong. Just pick up a fork and taste it. Be your own chef. I can guarantee I likely use more than these measurements- they’re just a jumping-off point.

The beauty of tacos is you can switch it up based on what you have- often times I like to include peppers and onions, or swap refried beans for black beans, add avocado, etc. Like I said, be your own chef. Let your pantry guide you. This is meant to be a recipe you can make without having to go out and buy many (if any) ingredients. Without further ado, here’s how I make my fav weekly staple.

Serves: 2 | Cook Time: 20 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 6 corn tortillas
  • 1/2 can black beans
  • 1/2 block tofu
  • 1 tbsp neutral oil (i.e. Canola)
  • 1/4 cup salsa
  • 1/2 tbsp dark soy sauce
  • 1/2 tsp cumin
  • 2 tsp adobo, divided
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1/2 tsp ground black pepper
  • 1/4 tsp chili powder
  • 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 1/4 tsp Trader Joe’s mushroom umami seasoning
  • 1/4 tsp onion powder
  • Cilantro, for garnish

Instructions:

  1. Heat a large frying pan over medium-high heat. Crumble tofu directly into pan (don’t press it, don’t add the oil yet) and add soy sauce and all seasonings but 1 tsp adobo. Press into an even layer and let water cook out. Stir occasionally, making sure to press into a layer every time and let sit (this helps it to brown).
  2. Meanwhile, heat black beans with remaining adobo.
  3. Once the water has cooked out of the tofu (about 10-15 minutes), reduce heat to low and add oil. Cook for another 5 minutes or until crispy.
  4. Heat your corn tortillas and assemble! Simple as that.

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