I know, tofu can be a sensitive subject. Every time I’ve posted a tofu recipe I’ve had multiple comments saying “looks good but I/my spouse/my children don’t like tofu.” Here’s the thing: tofu is what you make of it. It doesn’t have all that much flavor on its own, but is great at absorbing the flavors of whatever it’s cooked in. If it’s a texture thing, tofu comes in a variety of textures from silky to extra firm so you should be able to find one that suits your mood. I’m just saying, give tofu a chance. This coming from a meat eater. An avid one, in fact. But I think we all know that we should be cutting down on our meat intake for a variety of reasons, which will help the environment and our health.
My love affair with tofu goes back to high school. One of my best friends worked in a vegan restaurant/deli that was conveniently located directly below my apartment (one of the many joys and conveniences of growing up in New York). Whenever I needed a break from homework or my parents (a one bedroom apartment with four nearly grown people was tight to say the least), I would head down to Sacred Chow and chat with Amy while munching on a plate of sautéed kale, stir-fried tempeh, or – my favorite, to this day – baked marinated tofu. I’m not sure what they did to make that tofu so spectacular but it lives in my memory as one of the best things I’ve ever eaten. I know. Tofu.
If you’re still not convinced, take one look at these tofu tacos (which happen to be parve, vegan and vegetarian) and tell me you don’t want to try one. I think this recipe is perfect for anyone who claims they don’t like tofu, or who wants to ease in to tofu eating. The tofu is marinated in spices and lime juice to amp up the flavor, then put on a taco with black beans, corn, and all your favorite taco toppings. It’s so frickin good. Of course, if you really, really, really need your meat kick then you could substitute chicken, but I think even the most stalwart meat eaters will be pleased with this one.
- ½ teaspoon chile powder
- ½ teaspoon cumin
- ½ teaspoon dried coriander
- 2 teaspoons fresh lime juice
- 1 package firm tofu
- 12 small tortillas of your choice
- 1 teaspoon olive oil
- ½ onion, chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 15-ounce can black beans, drained
- ½ cup fresh or frozen corn kernels
- Chopped chives (optional, for garnish)
- Chopped cilantro (optional, for garnish)
- Sour cream (optional, for garnish)
- Sliced avocado (optional, for garnish)
- Shredded cheese (optional, for garnish)
- Put the chile powder, cumin, coriander, and lime juice in a bowl and whisk to combine.
- Add the tofu and mash with a fork until the tofu is crumbled and fully coated. Allow to marinate while you prepare the tacos.
- Wrap the tortillas in tin foil and put in a 200F oven to gently heat while preparing the beans.
- Heat the olive oil over medium heat in a large skillet.
- Add the onion and garlic and cook, stirring often, 3 minutes or until the onion has softened (do not burn the garlic).
- Add the marinated tofu, black beans, and corn and cook until heated through and thickened, 5 to 10 minutes. Remove from the heat.
- Remove the tortillas from the oven.
- At this point you can either assemble and serve the tacos, or let everyone make their own. To assemble, spoon some tofu into a tortilla and top with the black bean mixture and any toppings you like. Chopped chives, chopped cilantro, sour cream, avocado, and shredded cheese all make nice toppings.