Makes ~6 very filling tacos plus extra flatbread remnants for miscellaneous uses.
This recipe is more simple than quick — especially if you make multiple fillings — but you can speed things up, and make it more fun, by making a team effort out of it.
2 cups chickpea flour
2 cups water
6 tbsp herb flavored extra virgin olive oil
2 tsp spice blend of your own concoction (e.g. cayenne, chili, onion powder, garlic powder, etc.)
Salt and pepper to taste
Mix the dry and wet ingredients separately, then add the wet stuff to the dry stuff in a whisking bowl. Whisk it all together and get the batter to be as smooth and lump free as possible.
When you see lumps forming in the batter, attack them with the whisk. If you keep getting some lumps despite your best whisking efforts, either accept them as a minor imperfection or enroll in Michelin chef school.
Let the batter rest for at least 30 minutes. You also need the rest after attacking all those batter lumps.
Preheat the oven to 450°F (230°C).
Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper and use a ladle to pour small circles of generally taco shell size (unfolded of course) across the baking sheet, leaving plenty of empty space around each flattened dollop. You will try very hard to get geometric circle shapes with the ladle that Pythagoras would be proud of, but you will ultimately fail and have to settle for an irregular and just call it ‘organic’ shape.
Bake for ~15 minutes and there is your soft taco shell, just fold and stuff accordingly after it cools, which is very fast. The side facing the parchment paper will be wrinkly, so that should be the inside of the shell, and the top of each shell will be smooth and work better as the outer shell.
Did I mention above in italics that these tacos are very filling? While inspired by Mexican street food — which is very popular here in Vancouver and elsewhere — I dare you to eat three or four of these in a row.
Feel free to buy a kitchen tool to get perfect circles out of the batter, if that concerns you, since there are always more tools you can buy which you don’t own yet! The cooking aesthetic with this recipe is all about brutalist imperfections and that includes shape in this case, not just the texture.
Consider serving these tacos in colorful taco holders to impart a festive atmosphere or the sense that you went on an Amazon shopping spree.
And here’s what they look like again, to jog your short term memory:
This one has three layers: shredded cheese on top of shredded cabbage on top of ground beef. Simply start at the bottom of the taco shell and layer up in the order of the fillings below.
Ground Beef Layer:
2 cups rehydrated TVP
4–6 garlic cloves, chopped or minced
1 tbsp your own spice blend (get creative, what kinds of spices do you want?)
2 tbsp avocado oil
Heat the avocado oil at medium low heat and add in the TVP and garlic, stirring to coat thoroughly with the oil. After ~5 minutes of sauteing and stirring, add the spice blend, sauteing and stirring for another ~5 minutes to marry the flavors without a prenup. Set aside and keep warm, as this is the bottom ‘beef’ layer of the classic taco.
Shredded Veggie Layer:
2 cups coleslaw cabbage mix (dry, from bagged)
1 ½ tbsp chili flavored extra virgin olive oil
1 ½ tbsp orange (or other fruit) infused white balsamic vinegar
Juice from ½ lime
Small chopped tomato pieces (optional)
Place the slaw mix into a mixing bowl. In another small bowl, combine the olive oil and vinaigrette. Pour the oil and vinegar onto the slaw, add the lime juice and give a toss.
If your understanding of a classic taco is that there should be some tomato in there, adding a few small strategically placed pieces of tomato will suffice on top of the slaw mix.
1 tbsp shredded vegan cheddar cheese per taco
2 tbsp avocado oil
1 can of black soy beans (14 fl oz / 398 mL)
1 pasilla pepper, roughly chopped (just a couple big pieces)
2 serrano peppers
2 garlic cloves
2 little red chili peppers
Any prepared salsa
Heat a large skillet with the avocado oil at medium low heat.
Always after washing of course, slice off the stem sides of the peppers, split them in half and deseed them.
Throw all of the above into a food processor and pulverize it all, then add to the skillet and saute for ~20 minutes, stirring occasionally and getting it into an overall refried bean shape. It will brown periodically which is nice, so stir to prevent over-browning and instead get that brown texture distributed evenly without it all going too dry.
Set aside and keep warm, as this is the only component of the taco when serving. Top with a salsa of your choice.
Don’t forget to always wash your hands after handling hot peppers, in case you casually rub your eyes later and experience a bit of what bears do when sprayed with aeresoled capsaicinoids.
1 ½ tbsp avocado oil
2 cups vegan kimchi
1 block of medium-to-firm tofu, ~170g
Heat the oil in a medium skillet at medium heat. Choose a kimchi with medium level spice to reinforce this sense of medium-ness.
Place the kimchi in a metal bowl and go at it with a scissors, snipping it to little pieces.
Cut the block of tofu into little pieces (you get to determine the tofu chunkiness).
Place both into the skillet and saute for ~10–15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Covering the skillet can speed up the self-steaming process. Saute until the kimchi loses its water or you can just strain it.
Set aside and keep warm as a taco filling.
And here’s the result again, of all 3 fillings, so you don’t have to scroll back up 🙂