Smokey Tempeh Tacos

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Usually when I make things like tacos or salads, things that should be quick and easy, I go way overboard. I add in a dozen ingredients and toppings and things basically just get out of control. I really hit the nail on the head with this one though, I kept it simple and easy and quick, which is really ideal for tacos. I seasoned it to emulate a smoky marinated pork taste, and I think I succeeded. I’ll definitely be keeping this in my arsenal of busy weeknight recipes.

Ingredients

1 green bell pepper

1 orange bell pepper

1 block tempeh

1 medium tomato

2 tbsp. adobo sauce

2 tbsp. olive oil

1/2 tsp. onion powder

1/2 tsp. arabic 7 spice

A Quick Note about Arabic 7 Spice

You can order Arabic 7 Spice online or purchase it in most middle eastern stores. If you’d rather you can also make it yourself, it contains: 2 tbsp. ground black pepper, 2 tbsp. paprika, 2 tbsp, ground cumin, 1 tbsp ground coriander, 1 tablespoon ground cloves, 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg, 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon, 1/2 tsp, ground cardamom.

You can place it in a jar for future use since this makes quite a bit. I find it to be worth the effort because this particular combination of spices creates the smokiest, meatiest (but not in a gross way) seasoning, nothing else compares to it. It adds an instant multifaceted layer to any basic meal, from veggie burgers to tofu to greens.

Whew, ok I’m done. Now on to the recipe:

1. Chop all of your ingredients, including tempeh (but you won’t be using the tempeh right away so set it to the side). Try to dice everything approximately the same size, it helps with the texture of the taco filling. 

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2. Heat peppers and tomatoes over medium high for about 5 minutes. 

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3. Add in diced tempeh, adobo sauce, onion powder, olive oil, and 7 spice. Continue cooking for another 10 minutes or so, stirring frequently. 

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4. Fill your tacos, you could use hard shell or larger tortillas here- I used soft corn tortillas. 

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5. Now add any of your favorite taco toppings, and serve! I use sour cream (tofutti), fresh cilantro, lime, and chipotle hot sauce. I finished this plate off moments after this picture was taken. 

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Five Alarm Green Bean Bowl- $5.95 recipe/ $1.48 serving

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These beans pack a serious punch. If you can’t find the type of peppers I use, you could substitute with two fresh jalapenos and one yellow bell pepper. The cashews in this are my favorite because they offer soft buttery relief from the heat of the dish. I’ve been going green bean crazy lately because the produce store near my apartment has a ton of fresh beans from Long Island. They are so cheap, and so delicious.

Ingredients

1 lb. fresh green beans ($1.12)

2 orange and 1 red spicy long peppers (sometimes called hot Italian peppers) ($1.11)

4 cloves garlic ($0.20)

1/2 tsp. cumin ($0.03)

1/2 tsp. five spice powder ($0.05)

1 tbsp. soy sauce ($0.05)

1 cup cashews ($1.27)

1 cup Israeli couscous (uncooked) ($1.12)

1/4 cup olive oil ($1.00)

1/2 cup water

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1. Mince garlic, trim beans, and slice peppers. You should discard most of the pepper seeds or the spice will be overpowering. 

2. Add olive oil, garlic, cashews, cumin, and five spice powder to a large saute pan, wok, or dutch oven. Heat low and stir consistently for about 5 minutes. 

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3. Add in green beans, peppers, water, and soy sauce. Cover the pot, check and stir occasionally for about 15 minutes. While everything is cooking in the pot, make your couscous according to package instructions, when it is done set it aside. 

4. Uncover pot and crank the heat higher for about 3 minutes, stirring continuously. This part of the recipe serves to evaporate any excess water that may be in the bottom of the pot- the final product should not be soupy. Once this is done, lower the heat once again and cover the pot for an additional 20 minutes. 

5. Now mix the couscous in with the green bean mixture, and voila! 

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