Spicy TVP Tacos With Red Cabbage Slaw

When I was younger, my mom used to make us TVP tacos and I gobbled them up. As time went on, the taco dinners became more and more sophisticated. Soon they became a large event that symbolizedd a special occasion. Typically we had them when my sister and I were both home from university. Taco night evolved to include home made Pico de Gallo, bean dip, red cabbage slaw and occasionally all day carnitas (which I used to indulge in). These tacos are not quite as complex, but they will certainly fulfill.

While it has been a long time since I had my mom’s TVP, when the corona-virus lock down started I bought a bag as a shelf stable protein. When I made it, it was alright but nothing spectacular. It felt a little bland. Wanting to make the best TVP possible, I researched different ways to cook TVP and realized that re-hydrating the TVP before cooking could be bypassed, and would result in TVP with more flavor and better texture. On top of the TVP tacos here is a chipotle red cabbage slaw from the family taco nights.

Two notes here, first a key ingredient in this recipe is chipotle peppers in adobo sauce. These can be found in a can in the international isle of most grocery stores. Second, don’t throw out those cilantro stems! The stems are actually the most flavorful, yet they can be bitter. To counter this, make sure to mince the stems into tiny pieces. Switching from just eating the leaves to the stems as well was a game changer!

Active time 35 minutes

Cook time 10 minutes

Ingredients

Red Cabbage Slaw

  • 4 cups of finely shredded cabbage (roughly half a small cabbage)
  • ⅔ lb carrots, finely shredded
  • ½ cup cilantro, finely diced
  • ⅓ cup mayo, or vegan mayo
  • 3 tbsp lime juice, about 1-2 limes
  • 1 tbsp maple syrup
  • 1 chipotle pepper in adobo, finely diced
  • 1 tbsp sour cream or yogurt (can be subbed for vegan yogurt)
  • ½ tsp cumin
  • ½ tsp salt, or more to taste

Taco “Meat”

  • 1 red or orange bell pepper, diced
  • 1 yellow onion, diced
  • ⅓ lb carrots, diced
  • 4 garlic cloves, pressed
  • 1 chipotle pepper in adobo, finely diced
  • 2 tbsp tomato paste
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • ½ tsp cumin
  • 1 ½ cups TVP
  • 1 ½ tbsp olive oil

Other

  • Tortillas, flour or corn
  • Lime wedges
  • Avocado, thinly sliced

Directions

  1. First, we are going to make the slaw. Put the cabbage, the carrots and the cilantro in a large salad bowl.
  2. Make the sauce. Combine the mayo, lime juice, maple syrup, chipotle pepper, sour cream, cumin, and salt into a blender. Blend until smooth. If you do not have a blender handy, whisk vigorously in a small bowl. Add the sauce to the bowl with the cabbage and combine thoroughly, set aside.
  3. Make the liquid to cook the TVP. Add the chipotle pepper, tomato paste, salt, chili powder, cumin and water. Stir to combine.
  4. Heat a large heavy bottomed pan on medium heat. Once hot, add the olive oil and then the carrot, bell pepper, onion and the garlic. Cook the veggies stirring regularly for 4 minutes.
  5. Add the TVP and the salt into the skillet and stir to incorporate. Then, add the marinade. Cook, stirring occasionally, until all the liquid has evaporated.
  6. Heat up your tortillas your preferred method. Add a nice scoop of TVP and some cabbage. Top with a slice of avocado and squeeze some fresh lime juice on top. Enjoy!

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