Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Vegan Queso and Potato Tacos- MoFo Post Fourteen

Post #14 for Vegan MoFo 2013.

Here it is all put together.
Who does not love a taco out there? While tacos have a Latin origin, they have become so popular here. I have seen so many variations of the taco in restaurants and food trucks. The concept is quite simple, but the flavors can make all of the difference. I generally prefer a crispy shelled taco to the soft shell. As a child, I would get excited about taco night. My mom would make seasoned ground beef and then we would have lettuce, tomato, cheese, salsa, and more to fill our taco. She usually served crunchy shells. This was often accompanied by what she called Spanish rice and various other vegetable sides. 

As I became vegetarian as a teenager, I remember my mom buying veggie taco "meat" for me and having the same dinner. I do not remember the brand, but I enjoyed the tacos just the same. Now that I am vegan and gluten free, it is harder to find a taco "meat" filling. There are a few on the market and they are just ok. I have made similar fillings using TVP, but sometimes I like to go a bit more exciting with our fillings. As I was flipping through a recent issue of VegNews, I saw a post for potato tacos and queso fresco. The recipe looked delicious! After looking through it, I realized that I already made each of their suggested fillings my own way. 

The inspiration for the dish comes from VegNews, using two of my own recipes. The third recipe is adapted from a VegNews email that I received over a year ago. The magazine had a crumbly queso fresco that looked good, but the queso dip that I had many times before sounded better. One of the first recipes I created on my own was a tomatillo salsa years ago before I was even vegan. After looking back, I realized that I had never shared it before. I have served it to many salsa lovers and it has been a hit. Lastly, the potatoes are the standard ones we make when we want oven roasted ones. Sometimes we change up the seasoning depending on the accompanying side dishes. 

Tomatillo salsa and queso dip
I was so pleased with putting the three of these recipes together. The tacos were amazing. I only ate two small ones because the potatoes and queso dip are filling. Beware, this queso dip makes a large serving. Be prepared to buy some tortilla chips and make nachos to use it up. It will still be there after you have chowed down an the remaining soft corn tortillas. Now that I have this combination down, I expect to have this quite a bit. And not to toot my own horn, but the tomatillo salsa is so good that I could literally drink it up. If you think I am kidding, ask my friends if I drink sauces when I like them. (Example- the spicy peanut sauce made by Fiction Kitchen and the homemade ketchup by Ninth Street Bakery)

 I hope you enjoy these recipes during your taco nights as much as we do!

Vegan Queso and Potato Tacos

  • 3 medium sized potatoes, washed and cubed 
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 2 tsp chili powder
  • 1/8 tsp cayenne powder
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • 1 tsp cumin  
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Place the potatoes in a baking pan, sprinkle with seasonings, then drizzle olive oil and toss or stir to coat. Place in the oven and back for about 25 minutes turning once. If you like a little crunch to your potatoes, turn on the broiler the last couple of minutes
Tomatillo Salsa
  • 8 tomatillos, skin peeled off and quartered
  • 1/2 onion, quartered
  • 2 jalapenos, seeded and chopped (I used one red and one green)
  • 1 c cilantro
  • 1 lime, juice only
  • salt to taste
Place all ingredients in a food processor and process about 30 seconds or less until smooth. Taste for salt and add more as desired. 
Vegan Queso (adapted from a VegNews recipe)
  • 1 c raw cashews
  • 1 1/3 c almond milk
  • 1 3/4 c soy milk
  • 1 tbsp vegan margarine
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 3 tbsp gluten free all purpose flour
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped 
  • 1/4 c nutritional yeast
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 tbsp white miso
  • 1 tbsp hot sauce, more or less to taste
  • 1/8 tsp salt, or less to taste
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 16 oz can pinto beans
  • 1 tomato, chopped
  • 3 tsp corn starch, mixed with 3 tbsp water
  • 1/3 c vegan mozzarella cheese
Place the cashews and almond milk into a blender or food processor and process until smooth. Set aside. Heat a medium saucepan on medium heat. Add in the olive oil and margarine and allow it to melt. Then add in the flour and stir to coat. Let cook for two minutes. Add in the garlic and allow to cook one more minute. Then add in the soy milk, nutritional yeast, lemon juice, miso, hot sauce, salt, pepper, and cumin. Stir with whisk to incorporate. When mixed add in pinto beans, tomato, and corn starch mixture. Let cook for 5-7 minutes until thick. Then add in cheese and stir until melted.
  • 10 corn taco shells, soft or hard
  • 2 bell peppers, sliced
Place the taco shells on a plate, line the shell with two tablespoons of potatoes, bell pepper slices, queso, and then top with tomatillo salsa. Repeat and enjoy! Add some hotsauce to spice things up a bit! 


Dawn said...

I've never had potatoes in tacos, but they sound great. Just a heads up that I know someone who likes tomatillo salsa ;) And, darn. I *have* to buy chips to finish the queso? You're killin' me. I know I just had tacos over the weekend, but now I want them again. Too bad I'm not involved in taco cleanse.

affectioknit said...

How YUMMY! definitely going to try the queso...

~Have a lovely day!

Ingrid said...

I did see that recipe from VegNews, I'm glad you tested it out - the whole dish sounds fantastic!

GiGi said...

I missed the Vegnews queso so I am glad you posted it and road tested. Def something I wanna try.
There is a local veg diner that is meh, just a couple of good items on the menu and one is their potato taquitos, so I am already a fan of your recipe.