Sep 15, 2014

burger break + "vegan tacos" giveaway

"Vegan Tacos" by Jason Wyrick of The Vegan Taste is hitting the bookshelves with force! This book is one that is wanted in every household that welcomes tacos - vegan or not. These tacos are just perfect food, period.

Not only is Vegan Tacos a great addition to your kitchen because of its fantastic flavors, it is also the definitive book on Mexican cooking. Let's face it, Mexican food evokes thoughts of burritos, chimichangas, and enchiladas. What are all these, if just different forms of a taco?

Up until now I have had to settle with omni Mexican cookbooks because there had been nothing authentic available otherwise. That has finally changed for the better. Jason has done all the work for us, so we can enjoy and stuff our faces full of tacos galore.

For a complete and very thorough review of the book, Lazy Smurf has done an awesome job, and I'm just going to ride her coattails. Check out her review HERE.

I dug right in and made some delicious recipes:

I started with Basket Tacos with Cascabel Seitan. So, really this was the last recipe I made, but I figured I'd start here since it was the first recipe I made with homemade tortillas.

Jason recommends you make your own tortillas, and I didn't feel as though I would be doing my job if I didn't made my own corn tortillas.

Tips: I didn't have a tortilla press so I pressed my tortillas between two cake pans. My pans are heavy duty and worked perfectly. One recipe of Jason's taco recipe yields 6 (5-inch) tortillas. Doubling the taco recipe yields enough tacos for the above basket tacos.

Tip: Basket tacos need to be steamed and pressed. Although Jason recommends making basket tacos in large amounts, I made a single recipe. True to his advice, my tacos didn't steam as they should have, so the next time I make a single order, I will place something heavy on the warm, covered pan to imitate the heft of the other tacos pressing down. Pretty sure that'll fix it!

Next up is Michoacan-Style Carnitas. Again, Jason gives great background info, warning us that this region is known for their "odd" ingredients... such as cola. Well, not having much faith in the adventures that cola has in store coupled with seitan, we opted for the other optional ingredient and used beer.

We also went all out and used a ton of fat in this simmering taco - 1/2 cup of coconut oil. (I have unflavored coconut oil, which I use in lieu of shortening.) He actually calls for up to (optional!) 3/4 cups of shortening, but I just couldn't go quite that far.

Tip: Since the sauce actually evaporates all of the water-based liquid, adding 1/4 cup of shortening for the optional added fat would most likely be quite enough. We added all the optional fat because we wanted to experience the total package. Authentico!

Tip: These are killer tacos!

The final taco I have to share with you is also the one I will be sharing the recipe for. Score! Sonoran Tacos are fast and simple served with roasted anaheim chilies and Chiles de Arbol Salsa.

No tips for this one, except don't skip on that arbol salsa. So yum! Here is the recipe, but be sure to finish reading to the end for more fun!

Sonoran Tacos
Tacos Estilo Sonora
Sonoran cuisine has a strong affinity to the Southwestern U.S. and this taco is no exception. It uses a flour tortilla instead of the more typical corn tortilla. The preparation is very simple and straightforward, creating a taco with a few strong elements that create several layers of flavor in each bite. I’ve provided three variations, because I can’t decide which one is my favorite! If I have some extra time, I turn these into tacos de asador (tacos grilled over an open flame) and grill the filling instead of sautéing it.
Makes 8 Tacos
Heat Level: varies with hot sauce
The Filling (choose either the beans, portobello, or seitan)
·         1 tablespoon olive oil
·         1 medium onion, cut into 1/4-inch strips
·         2 cups cooked pinto beans, rinsed, or 2 large portobello mushrooms, chopped into bite-size pieces, or 2 cups cubed seitan
·         2 cloves garlic, minced
·         3/4 teaspoon salt
·         3/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
·         4 Anaheim chiles or any long green chile, pan-roasted and cut into strips (pan-roast the chiles while you caramelize the onion)
The Tortillas
·         8 (6-inch) flour tortillas
The Toppings
·         Hot sauce of your choice
·         Chopped avocado
1. Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the onion and sauté until well caramelized, 8 to 10 minutes. Remove the onions from the skillet and return the skillet to the heat. Add the filling of your choice (either the beans, mushrooms, or seitan).
2. Pintos: Lower the heat to medium. Add the beans and garlic to the pan and sauté for about 2 minutes. Season them with the salt and pepper, and then remove them from the heat.
2. Portobellos: Keep the heat at medium-high. Add the portobellos to the pan and sauté for 4 to 5 minutes. Add the garlic about 1 minute before you are done cooking the mushrooms. Season with salt and pepper and remove from the heat.
2. Seitan: Keep the heat at medium-high. Add 1 more teaspoon of oil to the pan. Add the seitan and sauté it for about 5 minutes, until it is well browned. Add the garlic and sauté this for 1 more minute. Season the seitan with salt and pepper and remove it from the heat.
3. Warm your tortillas. Add the filling and onions, followed by the sliced roasted chiles, then the salsa, and a scattering of avocado.
Instead of pan-roasting the chiles, just remove the stems and seeds and cut them into strips. Add the chiles, onion, the garlic, the filling, salt, pepper, and oil to the pan all at the same time. Turn the pan to a medium heat and cook this until the onion is lightly browned. It will take you about 10 to 15 minutes to get everything done, but you don’t have a bunch of different steps to take and you only need to stir the food every couple of minutes.
Make It Low-Fat:
You can cook the onions without adding any oil to the pan. Just sauté them over a medium high heat in a dry pan, stirring them every minute or so. Once they are browned, add 1/4 cup of water to the pan, give everything a quick stir, and then add your filling of choice, along with the garlic, salt, and pepper. Reduce the heat to medium and cook until the filling is done, about 2 minutes for the beans, 3 minutes for the mushrooms, and 3 minutes for the seitan.
How to Pan Roast:
Turn a dry iron skillet or heavy pan to medium heat. Lay the chiles on the pan. When they blister on the bottom, flip them over and repeat until all sides are blistered. Peel the blistered skin away from the chiles and discard the stem and seeds.
From Vegan Tacos by Jason Wyrick. ©2014 Jason Wyrick. Used by permission from Vegan Heritage Press.

Now for the giveaway! 

Giveaway is open to US and Canada residents. Enter at will and good luck! I am using Rafflecopter for the giveaway for the FIRST time! Hope it all goes well. PLEASE note that the giveaway ends this Saturday at midnight. Act quick!

And for MORE ways to win and other recipes to pre-view, take a gander at the Blog Tour stops HERE.

a Rafflecopter giveaway


  1. I must confess my undying love of soba noodles. I can eat these everyday.

  2. besides tacos?! Anything Indian - chaat, dosa, curry...

  3. I'm not sure I think we have Mexican most often but Indian is close!

  4. Favorite vegan Food? I have to pick just one!? LOL
    I would say Indian or Mexican :)
    I wanted to let you know of a VEGAN Blog Giveaway I'm doing at my site TODAY and TOMORROW as a part of my Vegan MoFo posts :)

    Your site and posts continue to amaze me!!!! LOVE them!

    1. Great stuff you are giving away! I hope everyone who sees goes and enters! Good luck in this giveaway, Jennifer.

  5. Does Italian food count? Because I love me some calzones and stromboli!

  6. I love everything middle eastern! Fattoush, babaghanouj, hummus, falafel, anything with sumac! Thanks for the chance to win!

  7. South Indian food is probably my favorite currently!

  8. I don't think I have a favorite ethnic food, but I do love stuffed grape leaves and could just sit there popping them into my mouth, one after the other.

  9. Hmmm that's a hard one to answer... I go through phases but currently it's probably a toss up between Mexican and Ethiopian!

  10. Impossible to pick one. Thai, Burmese, Lebanese, Japanese, Mexican, Indian... great, now I'm hungry.

  11. My favorite ethnic cuisines are Japanese and Middle Eastern.

  12. My favorite ethnic food is mexican or chamorro.

  13. This looks so so good!
    Thank you for hosting the mouth watering pictures, recipe and of course the giveaway.

  14. Mine is Mexican, have been loving curry dishes lately :)

  15. How to choose? For dining out my favorite cuisine is Indian, and I often order some version of Baingan Bharta (Eggplant) over Pilau rice. For cooking at home I love Central & South American recipes. My current go-to is a Puerto Rican Beans recipe, made with sofrito. I can change out ingredients to give it a different spin each time, sweet potatoes instead of white, black beans instead of pintos, collard greens or kale to give it a nutritional boost... But I'm fortunate to live in a place where there is a lot of diverse cuisine available in either dining out or ethnic market formats, so I don't have to choose just one :)

  16. It has to be sushi, although I think I love all ethnic food.

  17. Tacos!!!!

  18. I love many different kinds of food, but Middle Eastern is a particular favorite.

    gaia at cinci dot rr dot com

  19. Mexican is always at the top of my list.

  20. Italian all the way! I still have yet to find a decent allergy-friendly lasagna recipe, but until then Amy's GF/DF lasagna will do.....

  21. Anything with salsa and guac! ((Mexican))!

  22. I would definitely say that Italian is my favorite food; however, I like diversity with meals and enjoy most ethnic food. Thank you.

  23. Holy crap this is awesome! I spent most of my life thinking Taco Bell was good mexican food. Discovered the more authentic stuff upon going vegan and love it. I will have to check out this book. Yum!


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