Vegan TexMex Fiesta
It’s ascension day today, and Sweden, for not being a very religious country, sure has a lot of religious holidays. Buttttt, that’s not the holiday we’re going to concern ourselves with – because today is also Cinco De Mayo, and I know which one is a lot more fun to celebrate!
Like a lot of other people, I’m always up for a celebration – St Patrick’s Day, National Grilled Cheese Sandwich Day, Swedish Midsummer – you name it, I’ll celebrate it. Still, I always thought it was weird that Americans celebrated Mexican Independence Day?! I mean wouldn’t it be hilarious if we celebrated another country’s independence from us?!?! But that’s NOT what Cinco De Mayo is – and so many of us have been mistaken for so long! Cinco de Mayo actually commemorates the Mexican victory over the French forces at the Battle of Puebla! And now, with that super quick history lesson out of the way, let’s get right to the food!
Anything TexMex has been a favorite of mine for a looong time – quesadillas, refried beans, burritos… I wanted to make something different for this little fiesta, and the star of the show is definitely the beer battered, taco spiced, crushed nacho covered, tofu! I’m getting hungry, and thirsty, just saying that! Adding taco spices and the dark, vegan-friendly beer I used, resulted in a fairly dark, reddish batter that you can see under the nachos in some of the photos.
I was going back and forth about whether or not to add mangoes to the Pico De Gallo, but everyone does that, so I just kept it simple and traditional, and well, I poured a splash of tequila on top – just for kicks! Still, something was telling me to add some fruit somewhere, and since it seemed so obvious to add it the pico de gallo, I added it to the guacamole instead! So that’s how a handful of mildly tart physalis found their way in there – they do a great job breaking up both the color and flavor!
Last but not least, we have plantains! I normally fry my plantains, but since I was going to fry the tofu, I decided to make some simple tostones. Tostones are plantains that you bake, flatten a little and then bake some more. There are actually wooden devices, called tostoneras, whose sole purpose is to smash plantains – when you have one of those, then you know you’re a plantain lover! I just smash them in the middle with a mortar – quick and easy.
Finally, you might want something good to wash down all this yummy food, and of course whether that’s water or wine, beer or bubbly, you’ll want your beverage of choice to be vegan friendly. A lot of people are surprised to hear that their favorite beer might be filtered with the swim bladder of a fish, or that wines might contain traces of gelatin or egg whites, but unfortunately that is sometimes the case. So, if you’ve never heard of Barnivore before, it’s about time you gave them a visit. With both a website and app available, you never again have to wonder if your drink has some suspicious stuff hiding in there somewhere! And of course I checked out both Negra Modela and Sauza before they found their way into my photos and stomach!
Pico de Gallo
- Two medium tomatoes, ca 8 oz (250 g) – chopped
- 2 large red spring onions, ca 4 oz (125 g) – chopped
- 1 jalapeño pepper, de-seeded and finely diced
- juice from half a lime, about 1 Tbsp (15 ml)
- 1 clove of garlic, minced
- a handful of fresh cilantro, chopped
- splash of olive oil and/or tequila Guacamole
- 2 avocados
- 1 clove of garlic, minced
- 1¾ oz (50 g) – Physalis, sliced
- ½ jalapeño – de-seeded and finely diced
- 1 Tsbp (15 ml) – plant-based crème fraiche/sour cream (optional)
- Splash of lime juice
- Salt Tostones
- 2 large, ripe plantains, cut in fairly thick slices
- olive oil and salt Beer battered, nacho covered tofu
- 8 oz (250 g) – extra firm organic tofu, cut into ½” x 1” (ca 1.5 x 2.5 cm) cubes
- ½ cup (1.2 dl) – vegan friendly Mexican beer. I used Negra Modelo which is a dark lager with a bit more flavor than Corona or Sol.
- ½ cup (1.2 dl) – rice flour (or regular flour if you want to)
- 1 Tbsp (15 ml) – organic taco/fajita seasoning
- 4 oz (125 g) – crushed nachos (Note: cheese flavored nachos are normally not vegan, so read the ingredients if you’re not sure. I used natural/salted nachos.)
- Your favorite corn or flour tortillas
- oil for frying
- Start by making the pico de gallo (just mix everything together) and refrigerating it for at least 30 minutes to let the flavors develop. I chose spring onions due to their mild flavor. If you’re feeling adventurous, throw a little tequila on top!
- Next make the guacamole. Again, it’s pretty straight forward. The crème fraiche is just a personal taste of mine, and is totally optional.
- Peel the plantains, cut them into thick-ish slices, about ½" (1.25 cm) or a little bigger. Throw them into a bowl, pour some olive oil and salt on top and stir to cover them all. Bake them for 10 minutes at 375 F (190 C), remove the tray from the oven, and using a mortar or something similar, flatten them a bit. They should be soft enough so that they squish out on the sides a bit and the center may be a bit flatter. Return them to the oven and bake for 10 more minutes.
- Now for the tofu! In a medium-sized bowl, mix the flour and taco seasoning, add the beer and stir until smooth. You may need to adjust the consistency by adding more beer/flour. It should be a fairly thick batter.
- Drop the cubed tofu pieces into the batter and stir to coat.
- Pour the nachos into a separate bowl and crush them. Add a few batter-coated tofu pieces at a time, turning them and pressing them into the crushed nachos so that it sticks. Place the coated nachos to the side, and continue until all are coated. /li>
- Heat some oil in a frying pan, add the tofu pieces and fry until the nachos are a golden brown and the pieces are warm all the way through.
- Serve with the pica de gallo, and guacamole on your favorite tortillas!