SAVORING the MOMENT

Cookbook author Mindy Toomay's blog about eating for health, cooking with spirit, and celebrating life in northern California. Here she dishes up food rants and raves, recipes, and plenty of kitchen wisdom.

By your own efforts, waken yourself, watch yourself, and live joyfully.
-- The Dhammapada

Why not make a daily pleasure out of a daily necessity?
-- Peter Mayle

Saturday

Taco talk


Warm weather makes mealtimes at my house even more casual. I don't want to be inside much when the garden is beckoning, plus my appetite decreases as the days get warmer, so my cooking gets simpler. One of my favorite simple entrees when it's beautiful outside is vegetarian tacos.

There are so many great veg fillings; really they're limited only by our imaginations. I've made winter squash and caramelized onion tacos, blue cheese and roasted red bell pepper and black bean tacos, and tofu chorrizo tacos with potato -- to name a few. I often include mushrooms in the filling because they have such depth of flavor and a satisfying texture. I usually offer shredded lettuce or cabbage as condiments, along with chopped tomatoes (only if great organic ones are available out of the garden or from the farmer's market), diced raw onion of one type or another, and whatever salsa I happen to have on hand. I almost always include avocados, cut into chunks and tossed with lime juice, as an optional addition. You could offer cheese and sour cream, too, of course. A plate of raw peeled jicama sticks, dusted with chile powder and sprinkled with lime juice, makes a wonderful crunchy "side."

Here's a really fun party idea: 1) make up several taco fillings ahead of time; 2) just before serving, warm them up and place in serving bowls on your table; 3) prep and present your condiments in festive serving dishes; 4) steam or griddle a large quantity of fresh corn tortillas (a local Hispanic grocery store is where you'll find the best tortillas); 5) pour some beer or sparkling water, or even blend up a batch of margaritas, and invite your best friends over to feast and frolic. Salsa on the CD player, por favor.

I co-authored a vegetarian Mexican cookbook several years ago, which is out of print at the moment. I keep thinking it should be revived in a new edition, because don't we all love those Latin flavors? And really innovative veg latino recipes aren't easy to find. Let me know what you think of that idea and I'll use your comments to help sell it to a publisher!

Blessings and bon appetit!

4 Comments:

At 7:23 AM, Blogger Megan the Vegan said...

those look amazing. I'm a huge fan of all those latin flavours too!

 
At 12:20 PM, Blogger Mindy T. said...

Thanks for visiting, Megan. I'm on my way to your blog right now...

 
At 6:33 PM, Blogger Dori said...

The taco party sounds like a great thing to do (I've got two planned for this weekend).

 
At 1:28 PM, Blogger business voodoo said...

as we are on a year long process of going vegetarian, i loved finding your blog! i was intrigued by the mention of the 'tofu chorizo' ... if its time for a new edition, it would be wonderful to have that to help my husband switch from the chorizo standard! thank you for your wonderful blog and inspiring edible ideas!
peace & harmony,
elaine
'freedom must be exercised to stay in shape!'

 

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