Hey I’m back! You probably didn’t even notice that I’ve been slacking on my posts and here I am pointing it out, but oh well. Truth is I was up in Chicago for a couple days, and after that I just wanted to recover with bunches of veggies, so I made a giant stir fry and just ate that for a while. I also spent all my money on really overpriced drinks so my groceries were unimaginative (at one place I decided not to get an actual drink and ordered a sparkling water… They gave me a huge bottle and it cost me $10. $10!!!!)
Anyway, now I’m back, broke and sunburnt (but happy). I also, of course, demolished a hoard of tacos at Big Star while I was in the city, and since then I’ve had tacos on the brain (if you haven’t been there, go now). So last night I tried my hand at a recipe for plant-based tacos with marinated tofu. The results were really flipping good! If you want it to be truly vegan, just sub the honey for agave or other liquid sweetener.
There was definitely some tweaking involved, so definitely taste the sauce along the way for this one, especially since you might like a different level of spice than me. Also I will split it up and put the salsa recipe separate to make it generally easier to follow.
HONEY CHIPOTLE MARINATED TOFU TACOS
Ingredients for the tacos:
1 tofu brick
1/4 cup chipotle peppers in adobo sauce, plus about a tablespoon extra of the sauce
1/4 cup olive oil
3-4 tablespoons of honey (again, sub agave to make this totally vegan)
3 garlic cloves
2 teaspoons chili powder
1 teaspoon each paprika and cumin (optional, not essential)
2 15oz cans pinto beans
1 package corn tortillas
1 batch grilled pineapple salsa (recipe below)
1/2 bunch fresh cilantro
Method for Tacos:
First thing to do is marinate the tofu! If you haven’t done it before, I’m about to show you how to make delicious, non-soggy tofu.
It has to be pressed first, to get all the water out of there. Wrap the brick in a towel or paper towel and place on a plate. Put some weight on top, like another plate + the pinto bean cans or a cast iron skillet. It needs to press for at least half an hour or so, so leave it there for a while.
While that is going on, make the marinade. Get out your food processor and add 1/2 the onion (roughly chopped), the chipotle peppers in adobo, the garlic and olive oil. Pulse that and taste – it’s pretty spicy. Add in the chili powder, paprika and cumin along with the honey. Start with 3 tablespoons of honey and pulse those in and taste again. Add more honey if you want. Also more olive oil if you think it’s a little thick.
When the tofu has pressed, cut it into pretty thin planks. You should get around 12. Rub the chipotle marinade on the planks so they are fairly well covered and place them flat in a large baking dish. You should use about half the marinade. Save the other half, cover the tofu dish and place in the fridge for 2+ hours. The longer, the better.
After the tofu is done marinating or when you start getting hungry for tacos, preheat your oven to 400. Place the tofu planks on a baking tray and put in the oven for 15 minutes. Take out the other half of your marinade and add about 1/4 cup water to it and mix it in so create a more saucy consistency, so it is pourable. After 15 minutes, take out the tofu and flip the planks. Pour a bit of the marinade on each plank and spread it around and then put back in the oven. You don’t need to add much, just a little dollop on each plank! Bake for another 10 minutes then flip + add a bit of marinade again. Bake for another 5. (You should still have sauce left, about 1/4 cup, don’t use it all!) They should be pretty crispy by now. Yum. Cut into strips.
While the tofu is baking (or after if you are not a multitasker) rinse the 2 cans of beans. Chop the other 1/2 of the onion and heat up a pan with a bit of olive oil. Cook the onions for a few minutes until they start to brown, then add the beans. Let that cook for a few and then add in the remaining chipotle marinade. Let those cook, stirring occasionally, until everything is well combined and tastes good, and the beans have broken down a bit for some creamy texture. Add a bit more water if needed for extra wetness.
That’s pretty much it! Heat the taco shells if you want. Place a few tofu strips in the bottom, then add the beans, then the pineapple salsa, a slice of avocado, and top with some fresh cilantro and a squeeze of lime. Take that, Big Star! Enjoy.
Ingredients for Grilled Pineapple Salsa:
2 cups pineapple chunks
1 red pepper, diced
1/2 cup fresh cilantro, finely chopped
Juice of half a lime
Method for Pineapple Salsa:
This is really straight forward. I like my pineapple cooked, because you really get a burst of that fruity flavor. If you can grill it, you should definitely do that. I don’t have a grill or grill pan, so I stuck mine in a skillet with a teeny bit of oil and sprinkle of sweetener until caramelized.
But, feel free to skip that if you prefer fresh pineapple / have been in the kitchen too long and are fed up.
Taco night in our house!