Holy Hell, TVP Ground Beef Tacos!

3 Feb

I woke up with a hankering for machaca. Yes, machaca, beautifully seasoned shredded beef, usually rolled up in burritos or tacos. I was in the mood for machaca and eggs. So specific. So delicious. So beefy.

Machaca pic

Machaca, courtesy of TexasCooking.com

Not only is machaca outside the bounds of my current veganish leanings, it’s also outside the bounds of the contents of my refrigerator. What’s a woman to do?

Quick, I need a replacement. Open fridge. Peer inside. Tempeh? Um, no. Tofu? Hell no. and then I see it, the container with my loaves of homemade seitan. Perfect! Shred those bad boys and who needs beef?!

I pulled out all the ingredients I would need, got to work chopping and prepping, and then opened the lid to my soon to be machaca-esque substitute.

And I almost died.

Spoiled. Horribly smelly and spoiled. Man.

Out of options, I had to think… what was I craving in machaca? Seasonings, garlic, onion, spice, deep, deep flavors, what else has that same embodiment? Hmm, ground beef? Luckily for me, guess what I had in the cubbard? TVP. Score.

I commenced to about face my prep, though everything I’d planned to use for machaca was perfect for my “ground beef” substitute: worcestershire, cumin, garlic, tomatoes, red cabbage, zucchini. Taco IngredientsI was salivating and very, very hungry. 30 minutes later, I was staring at the most beautiful fake ground beef I’ve ever made. I couldn’t believe it.

Start to finish.

Start to finish.

Add tortillas, guacamole sauce, and everything was prepared. I then realized this brunch meal wouldn’t be complete without a bloody mary. I had no lemons or limes, but I did have more worcestershire, tomatoes, celery and celery salt. Raw blood mary’s it was. Sans alcohol.

Folks, believe me when I say, this was just about the most delicious pairing and meal I have had in a very long time. The “meat” was perfectly seasoned, and went beautifully inside of the flour tortillas (I don’t usually eat flour tortillas, but they were appropriate as my machaca substitute would have demanded them). Add the spicy, tomatoey goodness of the raw bloody mary… I was in freaking orgasmic culinary heaven. I ate every last bite.

Another Taco Shot


What I Used

TVP “ground beef”

1/2 cup TVP
2 cups water
1 tbsp worcestershire
1 tbsp soy sauce
1 tsp mexican oregano
1/4 tsp epazote (optional)
1 tbsp cumin
1 tbsp beet juice
2 small zucchini
2 stalks of green onion
1 cup of diced tomatoes (I used canned)
Salt and pepper to taste
Red cabbage for garnish

What I Did

I put the tvp in the skillet and cooked it until it absorbed all of the water. This took almost 30 minutes. It will expand and get crazy big. This is good. Subbing non-meat substitutes for popular items to me is all about appearances. I had to get jus the right mix of ingredients for that beautiful ground beef color. After the water was all absorbed, I mixed in the worcestershire, soy sauce, oregano, epazote, cumin and beet juice and let simmer for a couple of minutes. This yielded the perfect coloring.

Next I added in the remainder of the ingredients and let them simmer until the zucchini was tender. Served this up simply inside flour tortillas, topped with red cabbage and drizzled with store bought guacamole hot sauce. DELICIOUS!

For the bloody mary, I literally blended this recipe with this one throwing everything in the blender and adjusting as necessary to avoid over salting or flavoring with anything (like worcestershire). Also very delicious.

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