When I was in college my friend Lauri (Hi, Lauri!) introduced me to her Dad’s delicious taco recipe. At the time I was skeptical, because I saw as she was making it that she put raisins into the mix. I’m not a huge fan of raisins, so I was doubtful that this would taste any good. But let me tell you something, it was more than good. It was delicious. The raisins plump up when you cook them and add a sweetness to the taco mix that you’re not expecting. Once you try it, you’ll never go back to raisin-less tacos.
I love this recipe because it is so quick and easy. It’s great for when you don’t have a lot of time, or don’t feel like spending forever in the kitchen prepping a meal.
The original recipe calls for ground beef, but I use Morningstar Farm’s grillers recipe crumbles. If you’re looking for it in the store, head to the frozen section. Here’s a picture so you know what to look for. You can buy these at Target and most major grocery stores.
Normally I don’t do the fake meat thing. I have committed to the vegetarian diet, and I don’t think I need to be eating fake meat every day to supplement my lack of real meat. It just doesn’t make a whole lot of sense to me. I also like to try to stick to Michael Pollan’s food rules, one being, “avoid food products containing ingredients that no ordinary human would keep in the pantry.” Unfortunately a lot of the meat alternatives have scary ingredients list a mile long with things I don’t recognize.
Anyway, that being said, once in a while I will buy something like these soy crumbles to use in a recipe. Hey, sometimes the fake meat just tastes good. Everything in moderation, right?
On to the recipe!
Tom’s Tacos (6-8 servings)
1 bag meal starters crumbles
1/2 cup raisins (do not skip these or you will regret it!)
1 medium onion, chopped (optional)
1 medium green pepper, chopped (optional)
3-4 cloves of garlic, minced
1 16 oz. jar salsa
1/4 cup water
1 dozen flour tortillas or crisp corn taco shells
1 bag shredded cheddar cheese
1 small head iceberg lettuce, shredded
2 large tomatoes, diced
Salsa for garnish
FYI — To cut preparation time and simplify the recipe, I usually just stick with the crumbles, raisins, garlic, and salsa. I don’t add onion or pepper just because those things are already in the salsa, and it’s definitely flavorful enough without them. But it’s up to you. Maybe one day I’ll actually put in some effort and try the original recipe.
In a large skillet, cook the soy crumbles over medium heat. Cook for a few minutes until they soften up and are heated through.
Add raisins, onion, pepper, garlic, salsa, and water. Simmer until onions and peppers are tender, and sauce has reduced to a thick consistency.
Once it’s all heated and thickened up, you’re done! Serve them up the way you like them! Thanks to Tom and Lauri for the recipe! 🙂