Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Meatless Monday meets Taco Tuesday

Every now and then we like to throw a vegetarian meal into our rotation. We get to be creative with food and it doesn't hurt to give up meat every once in a while. In fact, lots of vegetables and other foods  make great protein replacements and can be just as hearty as a piece of steak or chicken.

When it comes to bulking up a meal when we're not eating meat, we love mushrooms. The modern grocery store has so much variety these days that the produce section often has four or more different fresh mushrooms at any time. We have the usual suspects- button mushrooms and portobello mushrooms, but we also see cremini, porcini, shiitake, oyster and others. When you consider the variety of dried mushrooms too, wow, you can really have fun with textures and flavors.

I didn't want just boring old button mushrooms. A while back I was sent a package of mushrooms and peppers from Marx Foods to try, cook with and share what I thought, so the chanterelles and black trumpet mushrooms are going on the tacos. They were big and great quality, rehydrated easily and cooked perfectly. They added a nice woodsy flavor to the tacos.

Today we're talking tacos. Now your mind probably immediately went to the old boring Americanized taco- a blah tortilla with greasy spiced hamburger, shredded processed cheese, wilted lettuce and, often, leaky old sad tomatoes. Trust me people, it isn't like this in Mexico. At all. I'm not claiming my mushroom tacos are authentic either, but they are a nice change with lots of flavor, none of the grease, none of the gross fake cheese.

I had to use dehydrated mushrooms for my wild mushrooms.
These mushrooms are from Marx Foods. 

Lakehouse Mushroom Soft Tacos

1 1/2 lbs mixed fresh mushrooms
1 large sweet onion
1/4 cup olive oil
3 tablespoons lime juice
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons cumin
1 garlic clove, smashed/bruised
1 14.5 ounce can fire-roasted diced tomatoes
1/4 cup finely chopped fresh cilantro, divided
2-3 tablespoons adobo sauce
1 cup sour cream, divided
diced avocado, sliced radish, cilantro leaves, etc.
whole wheat soft tortillas

Divide the sour cream into two small bowls. Add 2 tablespoons cilantro to one bowl, and the adobo sauce to the other. Cover and chill.

Clean the mushrooms and slice. If using shiitakes, pull off and discard the stems; if using portobellos (the big ones), scrape the gills off with a spoon- an optional step but it helps the dish not be so brown. I used white button mushrooms, rehydrated chanterelles and black trumpet mushrooms.

Clean the onion and slice into thin wedges. Use the flat side of a knife to smash and bruise the garlic clove without chopping it up. We want the garlic flavor but we will be discarding it later.

Place the vegetables in a large zip top plastic bag.

Combine the oil, lime juice, salt, cumin and mix well. Pour over the vegetables in the bag. Close the bag and pop in the fridge for about an hour.

Preheat the broiler. Remove vegetables from bag and drain off marinade. Discard the garlic clove. Spread the vegetables on a baking sheet and broil for about 10 minutes, stirring once halfway through cooking time, until mushrooms are nicely browned.

Drain the tomatoes and toss with mushrooms and onions. Pop back in the oven for a few seconds to heat the tomatoes. 

Serve the vegetables in soft whole wheat tortillas drizzled with the cilantro crema, adobo crema, crumbled queso fresco and whatever toppings you like.

Tonight we topped ours with cilantro leaves, shredded radish
greens, sliced scallions, sliced radish and queso fresco.
The mushrooms and tomato mixture is also good served over shredded lettuce as a mushroom taco salad with avocados and the cilantro cream. You can add salsa if you like- I like mixing salsa and the sour cream in equal parts and using that as a dressing for taco salad. 

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received one or more of the products or services mentioned above for free in the hope that I would mention it on my blog. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I believe are of good quality and safe. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."

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