I’m doing things a little differently for this Vegan MoFo post and you’re gonna thank me. I’ve saved one my absolutely favorite foods for the letter “T” (which I’m sure you’ve already guessed from the title). You got it, T is for TACOS, specifically the new cookbook by Jason Wyrick, Vegan Tacos: Authentic & Inspired Recipes for Mexico’s Favorite Street Food.
You’ve probably seen this just-released book floating around the internet the last couple weeks and already read it’s rave reviews. I’m just here to tell you, those reviews don’t lie. This book all I hoped for in a cookbook titled “Vegan Tacos” and so much more.
Chef Jason Wyrick is the executive chef behind The Vegan Taste, the founder of the magazine, The Vegan Culinary Experience, and now creator of fantastic cookbooks. If you don’t know about his story, it’s pretty incredible. You can read about it here. WARNING: It might turn you vegan.
When I first heard about this new book, I knew it was a must-have. A mean an entire book dedicated to tacos? That’s amazing. As I waited for it to arrive, I imagined it a fairly thin book…I mean as excited as I was about the concept of this cookbook, how many taco recipes are there really? But when it came in the mail, I unwrapped a beautiful, nearly 300 page book, filled with amazing recipes, yes, and so much more.
The book begins with Tacos 101: Everything you need to know about tacos. From explanations on how to assemble and eat a taco (who knew there was a technique?) to the history of tacos, this section doesn’t leave anything out. Wyrick goes on to write extensively about the essential ingredients and equipment followed by an entire chapter dedicated to making your own tortillas. It was at this point of flipping through the book that I realized things were getting real. These aren’t just any old tacos recipes, these are authentic, researched, and created with heart and soul.
Included among the traditional taco recipes are chapters on breakfast tacos, dessert tacos (!) and fusion tacos which is where I spent most of my time reading and testing. The first recipe I tried were the BBQ Sweet Potato and Chile Peanut Tacos (pictured below). A-MAZ-ING. The tangy BBQ sauce mixed with the creamy coleslaw and finished with spicy chili peanuts was perfection. (recipe to follow)
I also tried the Jerk Tempeh Tacos. These were also good, although I had to make a few substitutions and didn’t have time to smoke the tempeh so I’m not sure I got the full effect.
The last section of the book Toppings, Sides and Drinks covers all the salsas, guacamoles, quesos, and cremas you could dream up like Peanut Chili Salsa, Toasted Pepita Sun-Dried Tomato Guacamole, and Drunken Salsa. And finally Wyrick wraps up the book with drinks. I mean who wants a taco without a Grilled Lime Margarita with Mesquite Smoked Salt? Right?! I have only just begun digging into this book. With so many recipes earmarked, I see a lot of delicious, authentic, and totally vegan tacos in my future.
- 1 medium yellow onion, cut into 1/4 inch strips
- 2 small sweet potatoes, cut into 2 x 1/2-inch strips
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 2 cups Texas-style BBQ sauce
- 2 tablespoons peanut butter
- 1 cup vegan mayonnaise
- 4 cloves garlic
- Juice of 2 limes
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 2 cups shredded cabbage
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1/2 cup chopped, roasted salted peanuts
- 1/2 teaspoon chipotle powder
- 1 teaspoon ancho powder or chili powder
- 12 (6-inch) flour tortillas
- Heat the oil in a skillet over a medium-high heat. Add the onion and sauté until well browned, about 10 minutes. Add the sweet potatoes and enough water to come up about 1/2 inch up the pan. Cook the sweet potatoes until they are soft, about 8 minutes. You will need to replenish the water as it cooks down. Season with the salt and lower the heat to medium.
- In a bowl, stir together the BBQ sauce and peanut butter, then stir the sauce mixture into the pan with the sweet potatoes and bring to a simmer. Cook for 5 minutes, then set it aside.
- In a bowl, combine the vegan mayo, garlic, lime juice, and salt. Toss the cabbage with this mix and set it aside.
- In a small skillet, heat 1 tablespoon of oil over medium heat. Add the peanuts and sauté for about 2 minutes, slowly stirring them. Remove the pan from the heat and immediately season the peanuts with the chipotle and ancho powder.
- Warm the tortilla. Fill them with the BBQ sweet potatoes and onions, then the slaw, and top with chile peanuts.
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Disclaimer: while I was given a copy of this book to review, the thoughts and opinions expressed are, as always, my own.
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