Saturday, February 7, 2009
Vegan Tacos and Spiced Potatoes
Yes, more breakfast. More potatoes, more tofu, more, more more! Perhaps I should just give up and be a breakfast blog. Do you want to know why so many breakfast posts? It's no great mystery. The answer is light. It is winter, don't you know, and by the time I get around to cooking dinner, the kitchen is dark, dark, dark. Which makes for crappy photos. And also? Unambitious cooking. I have been doing a whole lot of vegetable A + vegetable B + rice + tofu = dinner. Delicious and nutritious, but not at all exciting to photograph and write about. To be truthful, I can hardly remember what I ate this week. I know there was vegan chili and grilled avocado and cheese sandwiches one night. And there was stir fry and spring rolls another night. But most of it was just a blur. A dark, enough-of-winter-already blur.
When the fun cooking gets done is on Saturday mornings. When the natural light is good and the living is easy. The House of Science wakes up and the dogs play outside in the snow and I listen to Camera Obscura playlists and make us a good breakfast.
These potatoes were conceived because the Man of Science loves those spicy fries that are all weird and curly. He liked these potatoes because they were kind of like those potatoes. I liked these potatoes in spite of the fact that I do not like those potatoes. So everybody wins. These were just spicy enough to leave a bit of a "zing!" in my mouth, but not painfully spicy. The Man of Science dumped hot sauce all over his, as is his wont. The tacos were just delightful, though right now I am delighted by anything involving avocados.
Vegan Tacos and Spiced Potatoes
5 medium sized white potatoes, cubed
2 cloves of garlic, chopped
1 tablespoon of sunflower oil
1 tablespoon of olive oil
1 teaspoon of chili powder
1 teaspoon of cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon of paprika
salt and pepper to taste
Preheat your oven to 425 degrees.
Mix together oil and garlic and spices.
Pour over cubed potatoes and toss to coat. Let the whole mess sit there for a minute or two.
Bake, flipping over occasionally, until the insides of the potato pieces are tender and the outsides are crispy. Probably half an hour to forty minutes.
Now! The tacos!
Prepare some scrambled tofu according to the recipe of your choice. Or the recipe of my choice.
Make some guacamole like this:
Smush up three ripe avocados.
Mix in 1 tablespoon of lemon juice, one clove of garlic (crushed), and salt and pepper to taste.
Heat some corn tortillas until they are slightly warm. Not too long or they'll get crispy and brittle.
Top tortillas with tofu mixture, guacamole, salsa, and cilantro. Fold them up and eat them. With a napkin. They are messy.
-I used to avoid cayenne and other hot things like the plague because I don't like extremely spicy food. When the Man of Science and I go for rotis, he gets his so hot that it makes him cry. Profusely. Me, I don't like my food to hurt me. However, I have recently started to understand the advantages of adding a bit of heat to my cooking. I'm still not going to make anything ridiculously spicy, but I like the way the heat gives a bit of warmth to the overall flavours.
-As with any Mexican food prepared in Ottawa, these are a sad replacement for the kind of Mexican food cooked somewhere that has an actual Mexican population. I am going to California in March (yippee!) and you can bet I am going to eat a lot of Mexican food.
-Top Chef update: Oh my God, Top Chef! Stop kicking off all the ladies I like! If Carla goes this week I will be sad, sad, sad.