Soy Curl Tacos with Black Beans and Calabacitas
Soy curls are a totally underrated protein! They are a unique product made in Oregon by a lifelong vegetarian and his family. If you don’t like tofu, I promise soy curls are nothing like it! They’re easy to prepare and brown up great, like in this taco recipe. (This recipe is not at all sponsored by soy curls, I just really love them!!) They are also non-GMO and grown without chemical pesticides.
Ingredients for marinade
- ¼ cup warm water
- 2 Tbsp neutral oil
- 2 tsp ponzu sauce (or use 1 tsp soy sauce and 1 tsp lime juice)
- 1 tsp rice or white vinegar
- 1 tsp bouillon powder, or one cube, or ½ tsp Better Than Bouillion (vegetarian chicken flavor recommended)
- 1 tsp sugar or agave nectar
- ½ tsp paprika
- ½ tsp garlic powder
- A big pinch of black pepper
- Salt to taste
- One “petal” of star anise (optional)
- Powdered chiles to taste (optional)
Ingredients for Calabacitas
- 1 pound mixed summer squash, sliced into half moons or diced (zucchini, crookneck, pattypan… literally anything with a soft skin works here!)
- 1 medium onion, diced
- 2 Tbsp oil
- Salt and pepper to taste
- ¼-½ cup VIRIDIA Pepper Jacques or shredded vegan cheese (optional)
- Roasted chiles, diced (fresh Poblano or frozen Hatch are great, but don’t used canned!) (optional)
- ½ cup corn (optional)
Ingredients for Black Beans
- 1 cup black beans
- 4 cups water
- 1 Tbsp refined coconut oil or other neutral oil
- 3 bay leaves
- 1 tsp powdered chile of choice (usually New Mexican Chimayó, but try chipotle powder!)
- 1 tsp Better Than Bouillion (vegetarian chicken flavor)
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp dark/hatcho miso
- 2 garlic cloves, sliced
- ½ a medium onion, diced
Rest of Ingredients
- Soy Curls
- Fresh tomatoes or salsa
Place half a bag of soy curls in a bowl. Cover with room temp or cold water for ten minutes. Drain and press the curls a bit to remove any soaking water.
Mix together all the ingredients for the marinate and marinade the curls for at least 10 minutes. The curls should absorb most of the marinade. If you’d like to use some extra marinade as a sauce for the curls, add an additional ¼ cup water.
In the meantime cook the beans. Here’s the part of this recipe where I pitch buying an Instant Pot! It’s an electronic pressure cooker which can get black beans from dried to fully cooked in about one hour. Yes, really!! It’s a great way to cut down on the waste from cans, as well as a way to add much more flavor to the beans as they cook. If you are cooking your beans in an Instant Pot add all of the Black Bean ingredients to the pot and cook on the “bean” setting for 30 minutes, releasing the pressure naturally.
If you are using canned beans, no worries! Rinse and drain well, then when heating add 2 tsp oil or water and ½ tsp each onion, garlic, and chile powders.
While the beans are cooking slice a quarter onion. Heat 1 Tbsp oil in a cast-iron skillet or other thick pan. Once hot, add the sliced onions and cook on high heat until the onions begin to blacken a little. Add the soy curls and cook for 7 minutes, stirring a few times, until there are nice browned areas on the curls. Remove from the heat.
Heat 1 Tbsp oil over medium-high heat in a large pan. Add 1 diced medium onion and saute until they begin to soften, about 5 minutes. Add the remaining oil, and once hot, the squash, salt, and pepper. If you are using corn and/or roasted chiles, add them five minutes after the squash. Cook for ten minutes or until soft and lightly browned. If using vegan cheese, add it to the pan along with 1 Tbsp water and close the lid tightly to allow the steam to melt the cheese.
To serve heat 3-4 tortillas per person and put them in a holder or wrapped in a towel/foil to keep warm. Slice ½ avocado for each person. Dice 1 large tomato or grab your favorite salsa. Enjoy!
Caitlion O’Neill’s journey into the art of vegan cheesemaking began in 2015 when they developed a dairy allergy and sought to not just replicate, but outdo, the artisan cheeses they loved. Today, Caitlion is the chef-owner of VIRIDIA, Louisiana’s first vegan cheese company, and loves to share the recipes and techniques of this exciting new culinary world. You can find Caitlion’s cheeses, as well as curated, ready-to-ship vegan charcuterie boxes, at https://cuteriebox.square.site or @cuteriebox.