Love this taco recipe from Chef Joey. We’re reposting it in honor of the holiday! You can substitute tofu for the meat or get creative with a mock meat, pictured below. – R.T.
Recipe and text by Chef Joey
Cinco de Mayo. This is actually a celebration, as much as I hate to say it, of the victory of the Battle of Puebla against the French in 1862. It was led by General Ignacio Seguin. Not the Independence day that is on September 16th.
The French occupied Mexico after the Mexican / American War and that lasted for a couple of years in the 1840s. Then again in the late 1850s – that basically stemmed from a church and state separation issue. Napoleon III thought it was a great opportunity to establish a “Latin” interest in Mexico to favor French interests.
Bla bla bla .. skipping past all the names and details … basically the French army encountered heavy resistance from the Mexicans close to Puebla … The 6,000 French soldiers attacked the much smaller and unprepared Mexican army of fewer than 2,000. However, on May 5, 1862, the Mexicans managed to decisively crush the French army, then considered “the premier army in the world.”
A 2007 UCLA Newsroom article noted: “The holiday, which has been celebrated in California continuously since 1863, is virtually ignored in Mexico.”
TIME magazine reported that “Cinco de Mayo started to come into vogue in 1940s America during the rise of the Chicano movement.” The holiday crossed over from California into the rest of the United States in the 1950s and 1960s but did not gain popularity until the late 1980s when marketers, especially beer companies, capitalized on the celebratory nature of the day.
Bottle of Corona, anyone?
1 pound ground turkey / pork / chicken / beef
1 red pepper, chopped fine
1 yellow pepper, chopped fine
1/2 cup chopped onion
3 or 4 garlic cloves, minced
1-1/2 cups salsa
1 can kidney beans, rinsed and drained
2 teaspoons chili powder
1 teaspoon ground cumin
8 cups torn romaine or shredded lettuce
2 tablespoons fresh cilantro leaves
Toppings can include:
Chopped tomatoes, shredded cheddar cheese and crushed tortilla chips
In a large skillet, cook meat, peppers, onion and garlic over medium heat 6-8 minutes or until the meat is no longer pink and vegetables are tender.
Stir in salsa, beans, chili powder and cumin; heat through.
Divide the lettuce among your plates.
Top with the meat mixture.
Sprinkle with cilantro and your choice of toppings.
And for all you vegetarians out there!
Tomato and Hot Pepper Salsa!
2-3 medium-size fresh tomatoes, finely diced
1/2 red onion, finely diced
1 jalapeño, seeded, de-ribbed, and finely diced
1 serrano pepper, or to taste, seeded, de-ribbed, and finely diced
Juice of 1 lime
1/4 cup Sriracha sauce
1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
Salt, to taste
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
2 tsp. dried oregano, or to taste
1 tsp. ground toasted cumin seeds, or to taste
Combine all the ingredients in a medium-size bowl. Taste and adjust the seasonings as desired.
Let sit for 1 hour before serving.
Makes 3 to 4 cups
Adapted from The Ultimate Beer Lover’s Happy Hour by John Schlimm. Suggested beer pairings: pale lager, American wheat ale, or an amber lager.
Mexican Noodle Soup
Written by Ashley Palmer
This noodle soup was inspired by our growing PETA Latino community! The popular Mexican dish, referred to as “sopa de fideo,” is versatile and can be altered to your liking. Want a thicker base, spicier flavor, or splash of lemon juice? No problem!
4–6 large tomatoes, cut into large cubes
1 medium white onion, cut into large cubes
1 clove garlic
2 Tbsp. vegetable oil
1 16 oz.-pkg. cut fideo or 1 16 oz.-pkg. angel hair pasta, broken into 1-inch pieces
32 oz. vegetable broth
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 Tbsp. pepper
2 Tbsp. oregano
2 Tbsp. cumin
Chili flakes, chopped serrano chilies, or diced jalapeños, to taste (optional)
Cilantro, soy sour cream, and sliced avocado, for garnish (optional)
In a blender, purée the tomatoes, onions, garlic, and oil.
Transfer to a large pot and cook over medium heat.
Add the noodles, broth, salt, pepper, oregano, and cumin.
For a spicier soup, add the chili flakes, serrano chilies, or jalapeños.
Cook for approximately 12 to 15 minutes, then simmer until the noodles are tender.
Garnish with optional toppings, as desired.
Makes 10 to 12 servings
4 medium, very ripe Haas avocados, peeled and minced
1/2 cup quartered cherry tomatoes
1/4 cup finely diced red onion
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
1 Tbsp. fresh lime juice
1 garlic clove, minced
1 tsp. sea salt
In a large bowl, mash all the ingredients together with a potato masher until well combined.
Makes 3 1/2 cups
12 oz. vegan burger crumbles
1 packet taco seasoning
2 15.5-oz. cans enchilada sauce
18 corn tortillas
2 15.5-oz. cans pinto beans, drained
2 green onions, chopped
2 cups vegan cheddar cheese, shredded
1 4.5-oz. can diced green chilies
2 cups corn chips, finely crushed
Preheat the oven to 375°F.
In a small bowl, combine the burger crumbles and taco seasoning and set aside.
Spray a 9-inch by 13-inch pan with oil.
In layers, spread a generous amount of enchilada sauce, 6 corn tortillas, 2 cans of pinto beans, a handful of green onion, a third of the shredded “cheese,” half the can of green chilies, lots more enchilada sauce, 6 more tortillas, all the seasoned burger crumbles, another third of the “cheese,” the remaining green chilies, more enchilada sauce, then the final 6 tortillas, more enchilada sauce, and the rest of the “cheese.”
Cover in foil and bake for 30 minutes.
Remove the foil, top the entire casserole with the corn chips.
Bake for another 15 to 30 minutes or until bubbly and browned. Makes 6 servings.