I must confess before I became vegetarian a year and a half ago I did think about what foods I was going to miss. That thought convinced me to think about the pros and cons of leaving meat as a whole. Did I really want to be sitting in a room full of people eating my favorite dishes? In order for me to hush that thought, I had to think of alternative ways where I can recreate these dishes in a more humane way (meatless). The idea of becoming vegetarian was more convincing than continuing my meat-eating life. It was just the stereotypical dishes that people think that vegans/vegetarians eat that scared me. They only eat salads! Looking back and remembering how I felt gives me the giggles. I still continue to eat traditional Mexican dishes as a vegan.
So after experimenting and experimenting I finally found a way to have my favorite tacos de al pastor with a vegan twist. I discovered Textured Vegetable Protein (TVP) that gave my vegan tacos a meatier feel if that’s what you’re looking for. At first, it was impressive and almost shocking how TVP looked like meat. Of course, I am that type of person that hates having meat lookalikes like vegan ham and sausages. But in this case, I was having a craving for vegan tacos so I went with the flow. TVP works well when marinated, it soaks up all the delicious flavors. Which made my vegan tacos al pastor very flavorful.
If you do try this recipe I suggest you add pineapple for that extra sweet flavor but it is also optional. Oh and don’t forget to use the traditional corn tortillas with toppings such as cilantro, radish, and onion. I hope you all enjoy this recipe, leave me a comment if you tried this delicious vegan taco recipe.
Vegan Al Pastor Tacos
This delicious vegan al pastor recipe has the traditional Mexican flavors with a humane twist.
To Prepare the TVP (Textured Vegetable Protein)
TVP (Textured Vegetable Protein) Preparation
Add 4 cups of water into a medium pot and bring to a boil.
Add 2 cups of TVP and 4 bay leaves into the pot. Let that sit in a low heat for 20 minutes until it begins to boil.
After, rinse TVP and leave it on the side.
In a medium pan toast the 7 chiles California for 1 minute in each side on a medium heat. (Remove stems and seeds before toasting the chiles)
Add toasted chiles, black pepper corns, cumin, cloves, bay leaves, onion, garlic clove, water, and vineger to your blender.
Blend everything together until it is a liquid form.
In a medium bowl add TVP and marinate. Cover and let merinate in the fridge for an hour. You can also leave it for 30 minutes but the longer you let the TVP marinate the more it will soak up the flavors.
Cooking the Marinated TVP (optional)
In a medium pan add 2 tbsp of your favorite oil.
Chop 1/2 of a cup of onion and add to pan.
Let the onion turn golden then add 1 cup of diced pineapple. Let that simmer on low heat.
Add marinated TVP and mix eveything together.
Heat up your favorite vegan tortillas and serve your vegan al pastor mix. Finish with traditional toppings such as onion, cilantro and radish.
You are welcome to leave the TVP marinating for up to a week if you are making these tacos for another day. Use as much of the marinated TVP as you'd like. I usually use 1 cup of marinated TVP for one serving which is two tacos. But it is up to you if you want to cook half of the batch or cook the whole thing.