Saturday, January 21, 2012

Toasted Tempeh Tacos

I’m eating lighter this month, trying to keep my meals simple, low in fat, gluten free and heart healthy.  We love Mexican food and eat it often so rather than frying tempeh in oil to make a taco filling, I grated it and toasted it in the broiler to give it a crunchy texture without the extra added fat.
Here’s a picture of the things I like to include in my tacos.  I realize after looking at this picture that I failed to include a lime in this picture.  Limes are an essential ingredient in my Mexican recipes, I can’t believe that I forgot to include one so please picture a lime up there in the corner next to the onions.

You need some spring onion greens, I picked these from my garden. You also need some fresh corn, but because it’s winter and fresh corn is very costly and comes from far away, I used frozen organic corn.  I also used organic avocado, tomatoes, black beans, mango and cilantro.  The cilantro is also from my garden.  That strange rectangular block on the right side of the picture is the tempeh.  In case you are not familiar with tempeh, it’s made from soy beans that are cultured (like yogurt) to form a solid cake.  The culturing process makes the soy beans more digestible.  Tempeh doesn’t have a lot of flavor by itself, so it’s important to season it well or add a sauce.  
I grated the tempeh on a box grater and then I spread it out on a cookie sheet and broiled it, on high, for about 10 minutes until it was crispy.  That crispy tempeh would be good as a salad topper.

I mixed all of the items above together with lots of lime juice and some fresh salsa and salt.  I added the toasted tempeh last so it wouldn’t get soggy.  I also like to toast my corn tortillas on the gas stove flame before I fill them.  I just toss them right on the flame and turn them over every ten seconds or so until they start to turn brown.  Just make sure you use some metal tongs for this so you don’t burn your fingers.
I always buy organic corn tortillas.  88% of the corn in this county is genetically modified to add herbicides and pesticides right into the DNA of the corn.  Seriously, you don’t want to eat GMO corn.  Spend the extra money to buy organic!  You should also buy tempeh that is made from organic soy beans because they will most likely be genetically modified too.
Toasted Tempeh Tacos
16 tacos - Use organic ingredients whenever possible
1 8oz package of soy tempeh (I use Turtle Island)
2 cups quartered cherry or plum tomatoes
2 avocados, peeled and chopped
1 mango peeled and chopped
1/2 cup chopped onion greens
1 cup fresh corn kernels (or use defrosted frozen corn)
1 cup cooked black beans, drained
1/2 cup cilantro leaves
1/2 cup fresh salsa (or jarred will work if you can’t find fresh)
2 limes juiced
Preheat your broiler on high.
Grate the tempeh and spread it out on a cookie sheet.
Put the pan in your broiler and broil until the tempeh is toasted and starts to turn brown.  
(It took 10 minutes in my broiler but the rack is not right under the flame, check it every few minutes)
Remove the tempeh from the broiler and set aside.
Put the tomatoes, avocado, and mango in a bowl.  
Add half the lime juice and stir.
Add the green onion, corn, and black beans.
Stir the salsa into the remaining lime juice and pour over the rest of the ingredients.
Stir gently and add the cilantro and toasted tempeh.
Toast your tortillas and add a large spoon of filling and serve immediately.

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