Cinco de Mayo! or, Taco Day!

I wanted to make tacos for Cinco de Mayo, but I completely flaked and failed to write down the things I needed from the store in order to follow the recipe for the tacos I wanted to make (which is in Mark Bittman’s new Vegan Before 6:00). After looking up some things online, I decided to just wing it and make my own damn tacos any which way I wanted. But since last night was a special festive night, I wanted to make something more deluxe than I normally make when I make tacos. That means, I made two fillings. Also, I make my own shells. I don’t make my own tortillas, though. I only have so many hours in the day…  😉

First thing I did was drain a big can of black beans and grate some tempeh.imageimage

Manny thought the tempeh was fascinating. It is kind of messy to grate, so some kept falling on the floor. One taste was all it took for him to hang around waiting for more.


He was staring up at the counter, but then he turned his head. I guess realizing I might have the power to make something fall to the floor.

I fried up the beans with a mound of garlic and one chopped serrano pepper. Then I squirted some lime juice all over it and sprinkled it with cumin and salt. I added water because it got very dry, and next time I will add even more water or something saucy to make it more juicy. The tempeh I treated like I would have treated any meat or meat-type filling. I sauteed it and then added water and 2 tbs of taco seasoning. I make my own taco seasoning but at the moment I can’t remember where I got the directions for mixing it. Sorry….I will scratch my head and come back to edit this post. But you can use any taco seasoning you like.

I made the taco shells by wrapping a stack of corn tortillas in foil and warming them in a 350-degree oven.


After a few minutes in the oven (while I was mixing stuff up for the fillings on the stove), I took them out and sprayed (or you can brush them) with some canola oil on each side and sprinkled them with a little salt. You can also sprinkled them with spices if you like. I don’t have a fancy taco gadget, so I draped each over two bars of the oven rack.


They only need a few minutes. You don’t want them to get too crispy nor do you want them to not be crispy enough. This is really an exercise in Goldilocks Ethos. You want them (more or less) just right. I use a pair of toaster tongs to lift them out. Sometimes they curl a little bit and can be tricky to lift out without breaking them, so be patient.

Then I piled in the black bean mixture and topped it with the tempeh. I squirted some Tabasco sauce on there and finished it with some grated Vermont cheddar cheese (the best!). They were pretty good…I just want to make them a little juicier next time.


Also, as you can see, I made too many shells. They are all piled up back there on the left. I’ve put them in a paper bag to keep them crispy and will probably break them up to make a big taco-y mess with the leftovers.


5 thoughts on “Cinco de Mayo! or, Taco Day!

  1. Pingback: Best Vegan Taco So Far | The Kitchen Billets-Doux

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