I don’t know if I’ve mentioned it (too) much but vegan cooking can tend towards the bland if you’re not careful. Without dairy and meat fats and oils to “beef up” a dish, you really have to consider where your flavor is going to come from. And I have to tell you guys, Black Pepper Sauce by My Crazy Vegan Kitchen changed the game.
I was Pinterest searching the other night for some veg burgers to make for a work camp outing (always interesting to camp with your co-workers …), I traveled down the rabbit hole and found the recipe in the link above. I didn’t even end up putting it on a burger, but I’ve been putting it on Everything Else I Can Get My Hands On. Case in point, the portabella cap and polenta in the image below. Mouthwatering. It would be great on any vegetable – broccoli, cauliflower, squash (zoodles …. mmmm!) and paired with a black pepper sauced rice, you’re talking a Foodie Award. (Is that a thing? It is now.)
I think I also have my first recipe! Our usual go-to recipe for weekend mornings or when there’s no other options for dinner goes something like this: Tofu + Can of Beans + Can of Rotel + Anything else in the kitchen + Wrapped in a tortilla. We eat this a lot. I was putting together a batch the other day but we didn’t have the usual suspects … and so I think I may have invented my first recipe. I’m calling it Saucy Taco Salad. However I didn’t know I was inventing greatness and so I took no photographs to document my culinary experience. So here’s a recap:
CT’s Saucy Taco Salad:
For the Saucy Part:
1 can vegetarian refried beans
1 can fire roasted and diced tomatoes
1 cup or less of corn (I have been using more white or shoepeg corn lately for a little variety)
2 tsp chipotle powder
1 tsp liquid smoke
2 tsp brown sugar
1. Combine all the above items in a pan on medium heat. Stir thoroughly and heat through. Simple!
2. To make the taco salad bowl, use an oven safe bowl (I used our enamelware camping bowls), lightly grease the bottom of the bowl and drape a tortilla over the bowl. Bake/toast in the oven at 350 degrees until it seems crispy to your liking. I think ours took about 5-7 minutes.
3. Serve! Fill the taco bowl with lettuce or some form of greens, fill with heaping spoonfuls of the saucy mix and top with whatever you have – we used raw onion and guacamole (the little single serve guacamole cups from Costco are the best.) Cilantro and a sour cream replacement could work (I’ve make a cashew crema before that was pretty yummy).
Also, has anyone tried charcoal water? One of our reps for work brought it in (he’s a super buff, marathon and yoga type guy and knows better than to bring donuts thank goodness). It looks scary and you feel like your teeth will turn out India ink colored but it’s actually pretty good.