Tofu Tacos

Tofu Tacos with vegan sangria. Pic by M.C.

A taco and burrito hole-in-the-wall at the Sawdust Festival in Laguna Beach, California inspired me to make a similar vegan tofu taco. It’s fun to try and figure out what spices a chef used and then make my own creation.

1 tsp. sea salt
1/4 tsp. rainbow peppercorn, ground
2 tsp. dried oregano
2 tsp. smoked paprika
1 tsp. garlic powder
1 tsp. onion powder
1/2 tsp. ground cumin

Raw ingredients:
2 C. lettuce-spring mix, chopped
4 Tbsp. cilantro, chopped
1 lime, quartered

Other ingredients:
12 oz. tofu, firm or extra firm
8 corn tortillas
4-6 Tbsp. olive oil
8 Tbsp. salsa
Violife colby jack shreds vegan cheese, optional

Yield: 8 tacos

Combine seasoning into small bowl then set aside. Prep fresh ingredients and place on plate. Cube the tofu. Get out an iron skillet pan for the tofu and a flat iron skillet that I call a tortilla warmer. Add about 3 tablespoons of olive oil to the pan and about 1 tablespoon of olive oil to the flat skillet. Turn pan heat to medium high then add tofu and seasoning. Cook tofu for 5 to 7 minutes. I like the tofu crispy. Keep a small plate with a paper towel to set the tortillas to the side. While cooking tofu, warm up each tortilla on iron skillet for 30 seconds on each side. Then pat some oil off tortilla as you go so you don’t have greasy tacos.

Assemble tacos with tofu then top with all your favorite garnishes. I prefer no cheese. Play with the seasoning and make it your own. And place a wedge of lime on the plate. I usually squeeze it on the tacos then place it in the sangria.

Sangria pairs well with tofu tacos. I have tried Niña Bonita sangria, which reads vegan friendly on the bottle. Eppa is just as good. The bottle doesn’t say vegan, but the grapes are organic and their website says the sangria is vegan. Don’t forget to add ice and slices of lime and orange.

Happy Vegan!

Recipe from blog of

Copyright 2021 Melissa Crismon

Grilled Veggie Salad

Grilled Veggie Salad with Tahini Dressing. Pic by M.C.

Grilled veggies on lettuce with tahini dressing makes a great summer salad. I was inspired to make a salad when I ate at the Lotus Café and Juice Bar in Encinitas, California. I added shiitakes, serranos, and tomatoes to make it my own. It’s a meal in itself and pairs well with chilled Pacific Rim Sweet Riesling that is gluten free and vegan friendly. The salad is so good Renaissance Man said, “This is so good, I can die happy now.” I hope my recipe translates.

1 bundle asparagus, chopped
1 eggplant, sliced
2 medium zucchini
2 bell peppers
10 shiitake mushrooms
8 serrano peppers
8 tomatoes
Oil to brush on, no oil for Ninja Foodie

2 handfuls lettuce-spring mix

1/3 c olive oil
1 lemon, juiced
2 Tbsp. tahini
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 tsp. Himalayan salt
1 Tbsp. agave syrup

Yield: 4 salads

I use a Ninja Foodie. But if you have a grill use a grill. Slice veggies in large pieces. For the Ninja, I suggest not brushing oil on the veggies, but do brush on oil if you are using an outdoor grill. The veggies take too long in the Ninja to grill with oil and really don’t crisp up. Brush olive oil on veggies for an outdoor grill. If you don’t have a Ninja or a grill you could roast all your veggies on a cookie sheet under the broiler of a gas oven. Either way, watch the veggies so they don’t burn. Some dark spots are okay.

I slice the eggplant so they look like circles. Having large pieces of veggies allows me to use leftovers for a grilled veggie sandwich or dice later to top on gluten free pasta. Slice zucchini in half then slice in quarter inch slices. Chop asparagus and bell pepper into bite sizes. Grill mushrooms, serranos, and tomatoes whole. Try Roma tomatoes if using an outdoor grill.

Grilling time is about 25 minutes.

After grilling, take seeds out of serrano peppers. I put on disposable gloves then slice off the top. Slice the pepper in half and cut out the seeds. Or use a spoon to scrape out the seeds. Warning serranos are spicy so don’t eat them if you can’t handle hot spices.

Place two handfuls of lettuce on a plate. I use a local mix of baby oakleaf that looks like red lettuce, baby green leaf, and some kind of endive that looks like frisee or curly. My local farmer doesn’t label the bag.

Slice warm veggies. Use two slices of eggplant and four pieces of zucchini and slice smaller. Plate those in the middle of the lettuce. Scatter about eight pieces of asparagus, which is about two spears, scatter four pieces of bell pepper, two mushrooms on top, two or four tomatoes, and then the sliced serrano on the sides of the salad.

Put all ingredients for the dressing in a Mason jar and shake it up. Drizzle three tablespoons of dressing on each salad.

The first day you’ll have warm veggies on your salad. The second day you can eat cold veggies on your salad. Or rewarm veggies in toaster oven.

After we ate at good vibes Lotus Café and Juice Bar we sauntered over to the Self-Realization Fellowship Meditation Gardens. I’ll make that into a separate post. It’s a beautiful place to watch the waves quietly if you’re passing through San Diego this summer or ever since the weather is always good.

Pacific Rim Sweet Riesling is Gluten Free and Vegan Friendly. That’s a dragon on the back of the bottle. Cheers! Pic by M.C.

Happy Vegan!

Recipe from blog of

Copyright 2021 Melissa Crismon