Smoky pepper vegan tacos

Ok, I’ll level with you, these are in no way traditional tacos. But they are bloody delicious and are quick, easy and most of all, very tasty.

I’ve made a pledge to eat as seasonally as possible this year, which means I’m having to be very inventive with greens and roots at the moment (I’m writing this in March).

Whilst this is ultimately making me a better, more flexible cook, it also means that some days I just crave tomatoes, peppers and the taste of summer. Which are not even beginning to be in season yet.

Which is where these tacos come in. Made almost exclusively from jars and cans, the ingredients have been picked in season in their country of origin. Using cans and jars also means a lot of the work is already done for you – perfect for a midweek dinner!

If you want another Tex-Mex inspired vegan recipe, check out my smokey vegan mushroom chilli here.

Smokey pepper vegan tacos

Serves 4 – cook 30 mins

Ingredients
  • 1 punnet chestnut mushrooms, finely sliced
  • 1 medium onion, red or white, finely sliced into ‘half moons’
  • 2 cloves of garlic, sliced very fine
  • 1 tsp tomato puree
  • 1 tsp chipotle paste (you can add more if you like it hot)
  • 1 tsp dried thyme
  • 2 tsp smoked, sweet paprika
  • 1 can chopped tomatoes
  • 1 jar roasted peppers, drained and chopped into chunks – reserve the drained oil
  • 1 tsp caster sugar
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 pack of corn tortillas
  • 1 block of firm, smoked tofu – I use Tofoo as it’s my favourite, but Cauldron is also pretty good
  • 2 limes, cut into wedges
  • 1 avocado – cut into slices
Method
mushroom and onions in frying pan
  1. Pop the oven on 100c if you’re going to heat the tortillas on the hob. Skip this step if you’re going to use the microwave. However, I’d heat them on the hob over the microwave or oven, as they get smoky and toasty this way, not just hot.
  2. Take two tblsp of the oil from the roasted pepper jar and add to a large frying or sauce pan. Turn the heat up to medium high and once the oil is hot, add the mushrooms and cook until they begin to brown. Season.
  3. Drop the heat to low, add another tblsp of the roasted pepper oil and add the onions. Cook until soft and translucent (drop the heat further if onions are browning). Then add the garlic and cook for another two minutes – don’t brown or burn the garlic.
  4. Add the tomato puree, chipotle paste, thyme and paprika. Stir to combine and then add the tomatoes, peppers and sugar. Bring to the boil and then simmer while you cook the tortillas on the hob (or simmer for ten minutes if you’re heating them up in the microwave/oven).
  5. Heat a frying pan that’s the same size or bigger than the tortillas over a high heat. Once it’s hot add the first tortilla and cook until the underside starts to blister brown, flip and repeat. Once both sides are cooked, pop onto a baking try, cover with foil and pop in the warm oven. Dry fry and add each tortilla to the tray in the oven until all are cooked.
  6. Once all the tortillas have been toasted, taste the pepper mixture and add more paprika/chipotle/salt/pepper as required. Take the pepper mix off the heat and break up the tofu, stir through, then stuff into the tacos. Sever with the lime wedges and avocado.
smoked tofu in frying pan with roasted peppers
Variations

If you’re not too bothered about seasonality, have a pot growing in the kitchen (like I do), or are making this in the summer, add some fresh coriander to the top of each taco.

If you’re making this with fresh bell pepper, use two red, yellow or orange peppers, sliced and added in with the onion.

You can replace the tofu with haricot beans; just add with the tomatoes and peppers. Or use both to make this go further. You might need another tin of tomatoes.

If you’re veggie, not vegan, serve your tacos with cheese or sour cream.

If you’re a meat eater, fry 200g of chopped cooking chorizo before you add the mushrooms and don’t use the oil from the pepper jar.

red pepper tacos with avocado on white plate with lime and nachos