Wednesday, June 26, 2013

{Vegan} Peach Tempeh Tacos with Orange Mint Crema

This is summer. An open window letting in the rain of a thunderstorm, because the A/C doesn't work in our car and it's 90 degrees out. Blasting a song with a deep bass and pretending we know how to thug in Maine suburbia. Running outside and inside, outside and inside, because there are never enough mint leaves. Plunging pita bread into tzatziki and stealing fries from my mom at a Greek restaurant that's only open when the beach is. Watching the sun rise over the Atlantic and experiencing a thrilling moment of unending beauty and humility. This is summer.
There are moments when we can forget how much we have going for us, when we can be too easily bitter toward those who never have to worry about having enough money to make end's meet, or when we are angered and annoyed by silly things that just don't matter. When we think that we are ugly or insufficient or alone. And in the summer, with family and friends, we fight ourselves in an attempt to reveal the beauty and wonder of life that we know is there but can so easily be forgotten. Some days are difficult, but the glorious sunrises and fresh mornings teach us that there are more extraordinary days than hard ones. We must approach our lives with a sense of humor and wonder.
That is what I like to do on summer mornings like this one. Sit. Imagine. Appreciate. I'm not sure if it sounds cheesy but it feels like paradise, listening to My Girl and looking forward to these tacos for lunch. Writing to you. Missing friends but looking forward to new adventures. Freaking out about money and resumes but finding comfort in encouraging words and hugs. Knowing everything will be okay because my goal is to be happy and I know that even if the plan doesn't go exactly according to plan, I can achieve that for myself. These moments are why I am a morning person. There is something precious about mornings and pensive ramblings.

I'm taking a new perspective on posting here--making things that I love and want rather than trying to make it some sort of business, with hits instead of dollars. I want you to know that I love tacos and I have a weird obsession with grilled fruit and the color of red cabbage, which is totally purple but some person at some time in history wanted to spite us and decided to call it red. I also want you to know that I've only recently discovered that if you mix ranch dressing and barbecue sauce, it's pretty much the best salad dressing ever, and you should splurge on a homemade southwest salad, because those are epic. But that's tangential to this post which is really meant to convey that TACOS ARE AWESOME MAKE THESE NOW. And don't forget the peaches. Seriously. They make it. Substitute whatever you want but do not forget the grilled peaches. 
So that's that for this week. Whoever you are, if I know you well or if you're just passing through and don't even like tacos, I hope that you have a wonderful day. I hope that you look in the mirror and see how beautiful you are. I hope you never feel helpless, that you can find something in every day that is worth your deepest love and passion, and I hope you know that you're never alone. I had some of the most special people I know teach me that this year. And I hope that you can find that too. If I were you, I would start with a good taco and some laughter.

Peach Tempeh Tacos
Yield: 6-8 tacos

bbq tempeh taco "meat"
grilled peaches
red cabbage lime slaw
1 plum tomato, diced
small corn tortillas (grilled or steamed for 1-2 minutes)
orange mint lime crema

Tempeh Taco "Meat"
8 oz tempeh
1/4 cup vegan barbecue sauce

Chop or crumble tempeh to a rough dice. Saute in lightly oiled pan on medium-high for 1-2 minutes, then add barbecue sauce and cook until absorbed and heated through. Set aside.

Grilled Peaches
1 ripe peach
chili powder

Heat grill on high. Cut peach in half and twist to separate halves. Remove pit. Lightly sprinkle halves with chili powder and place on hot grill. Grill (without moving peaches) for about 5 minutes, or until dark grill marks appear. Remove from grill and slice or dice.

Red Cabbage Lime Slaw
1/2 small red cabbage
2 tbsp lime juice
1 tsp agave
2 tsp olive oil
salt and pepper (to taste)

Remove outer leaves from red cabbage, cut in half, and slice across in thin strips. Place in medium bowl. In small bowl, mix remaining ingredients. Pour over cabbage and toss. Place in fridge until ready to use.

Orange Mint Lime Crema

1/2 cup tofutti (or vegan sour cream)
1/3 cup packed orange mint leaves
2 tbsp lime juice
1 tbsp orange juice (or additional lime juice)
1/2 tsp adobo sauce (or to taste)
salt and pepper (to taste)

In a small food processor, blend all ingredients. Taste and adjust for spiciness, lime content, and salt/pepper. Drizzle over assembled tacos.