The Fish-Style Taco That Never Was

I really wanted to include a fish-style taco in the Taco Cleanse Zine. I’ve made these a number of times. Sometimes I use the Cajun Spiced Tofu from Yellow Rose Recipes as the fish element, sometimes I wing it with my own recipe. Since this is something I make all the time, I figured creating a solid recipe (that wasn’t Joanna’s), would be a cinch.

Unfortunately, I bombed. This looks good, but that’s because I picked the best pieces for the photo. And they were sadly bland. But I want you to be able to try this kind of taco because it’s on of my favorites. So pick a fried (or “fried”) tofu recipe that resembles fish sticks. Here are a few I’ve made before and liked:

  • If you’re lucky enough to own a copy of Yellow Rose Recipes by Joanna Vaught, the cajun fried tofu, but in sticks not triangles
  • Tofu Fish Sticks from Shmooed Foods (one of the first vegan recipes I ever tried!). This recipe is also in Vegan Lunch Box by Jennifer McCann.
  • Beer battered tofu from Vegan Brunch by Isa Chandra Moskowitz
To assemble the taco, you’ll need corn tortillas, shredded cabbage (stay far away from the ice berg lettuce!), and either vegan tartar sauce or cashew lime crema. You can garnish a few pickled jalapenos, a bit of cilantro, or a slice of avocado, but I don’t think they’re really necessary unless you object to monochrome food.
Taco Cleanse Zine

Putting together the last few touches on the Taco Cleanse Zine

You can preorder a copy of the zine from Rabbit Food Grocery or buy one in person at the Taco Cleanse closing ceremony this Sunday, September 29 at the Vegan Nom. There are lots of great recipes that did make the cut, including cumin-spiced rice, achiote-roasted vegetables, and waffle tacos. Plus taco games and lots of advice on how to properly taco cleanse.

Some Problems Only a Taco Can Fix

Tamale House East tacos

(Left) vegan fajita taco, (right) crispy bean taco from Tamale House East. The crispy bean was the clear winner.

Yesterday and today were rough days at work. I’m pretty sure the only reason I made it through was because of tacos. Specifically, Tamale House East tacos.

Here’s the thing about Tamale House East (and the original, too). They’re called Tamale House, but they’re known for their tacos. It’s the kind of paradox you have to be able to live with if you’re going for Fuego.

But the hard parts of today and yesterday are gone (take that giant project that I finished with three whole hours to spare!). Now I can focus on the fun stuff. Like taco zine construction.

Y’all, this zine is going to be awesome. There’s a taco crossword, a foreword by the amazing Laura Beck of Vegansaurus/Jezebel, adorable taco illustrations, taco yoga, a taco personality quiz, taco cleansing tips, and lots of recipes! We’re only publishing a small number of the zines. Originally, it was going to cost $2,000, but now you’ll get all this for the low, low cost of $7 (plus shipping and handling).

Don’t wait! Preorder your copy of this limited-quantity item now through Rabbit Food Grocery.

(Rumor is there will be taco cleanse kits available for purchase as well.)

Taco Cleansing Now Doctor Approved

tacos from Taco Deli, an Austin favorite

I just got back from a doctor’s appointment. After some poking and prodding and complex number analysis, the doc said, “You’re doing everything right.”

Which means the taco cleanse is now doctor approved! Also, I get to tell my husband that he’s wrong and I’m right about that C.S. Lewis thing. Best day ever!

One Week Taco Cleanse Meal Plan

burger taco

burger taco

Some people have a hard time imaging taco cleansing for a whole week. What to eat?  So I’ve come up with an easy meal plan that anyone can follow.

Breakfast Lunch Dinner
Monday breakfast tacos bean and potato tacos Burger tacos
Tuesday breakfast tacos tempeh bacon and spinach tacos Pad Thai-cos
Wednesday breakfast tacos chickpea salad tacos in lettuce Waffle tacos
Thursday breakfast tacos Amy’s tofu scramble tacos Lentil and Cauliflower Rice tacos
Friday breakfast tacos Salad tacos Totcho tacos
Saturday breakfast tacos Tacos from Freebirds or Chipotle, be generous with the guacamole Pizza tacos
Sunday breakfast tacos White Bean and Potato Tacos Buffalo Chickpea Soft Tacos with Avocado Sour Cream

Keys to creating your own taco cleanse meal plan

  1. Tacos. Lots and lots of tacos.
  2.  Make sure your tacos aren’t actually burritos.
  3. Don’t forget to supplement with Mexican martinis and margaritas!

I’m thinking of making this a regular thing and charging $50 each. Let me know if paypal or direct deposit works better for y’all!

Broccoli Soup Taco

Broccoli Soup Taco

Broccoli Soup Taco

Soup taco? Yup! I live in a mixed household. My husband isn’t anti-taco, but I know he isn’t ready for the awesomeness of cleansing yet. Maybe one day.

For now, we’re eating meals that the two of us can share with just a little modification. I’m thinking of writing a cookbook called The Adaptable Taco: Satisfying Meals for Awesome and Not-Quite-as-Awesome People.

This is one of the first tacos I ate this month. It’s adapted from this Broccoli Cheese Soup recipe by Ayinde Howell. He demo’ed the recipe at Texas VegFest* this past spring, and it’s been part of our regular rotation ever since.

I made it more-or-less how Ayinde describes except I didn’t add the water or blend until after I’d taken out two tacos worth of broccoli-cheese mixture. (And I only ever use one tablespoon of oil because I don’t understand why it calls for 4 tablespoons.) A bit of pico and cilantro and I was good to go.

*Y’all! We just turned in our nonprofit application. I’m so excited.

Supplementing on the Taco Cleanse: Mexican Martinis

Mexican Martini

Mexican Martini

Supplementing on the taco cleanse is key. Yesterday, we all met to work on the taco cleanse zine (on sale soon!). We ate Vegan Nom Three Amigos Tacos and watched the Three Amigos. And we drank Mexican Martinis.

Mexican Martinis are an Austin institution. A few local restaurants make them. They’re a cross between a margarita on the rocks and a dirty martini. A big part of their appeal is that restaurants limit you to two drinks. Why? Who knows. But of course you feel compelled to order two.

There are lots of recipes for Mexican Martinis online, but here’s how we make them at our house (including a nonalcoholic version).

Mexican Martini

2 ounces vodka
2 ounces Cointreau
2 ounces lime juice
a splash of orange juice
a splash of olive brine (from the jar of olives)
a generous pour of citrus soda
green olives

Combine everything but the olives in a drink shaker with plenty of ice. Shake shake shake. Strain into a glass and garnish with at least two olives. Seriously. Don’t skimp on the olives.

Nonalcoholic Mexican Martini

4 ounces citrus soda (Sprite, 7 Up, Fresca)
1 ounce lime juice
a splash of orange juice
a splash of olive brine
green olives

Combine as above

On of the Origins of Taco Cleansing

Thelma A. C. Osborne as a young woman

Almost a hundred years ago, noted hairstylist Thelma Agnes Catherine Osborne decided to enter into an examination of the disturbing trend in American levels. For years, she’d noticed a decline in mood, one that couldn’t be attributed solely to world events. Osborne was a curious free thinker who was convinced that the answer to America’s problems was within her reach.

Osborne tried many things. Varying hairstyles, special orthotics, daily nodding sessions. Nothing seemed to work. Until one day Osborne stumbled upon the answer. She was in a hurry to finish her lunch before her next client when she noticed she forgot to bring utensils. She borrowed a tortilla from a coworker, dumped her lunch inside, and the T.A.C.O. was born.

That very afternoon she noticed her levels were through the roof. She had tried other foods in the past with no luck and had given up on finding a nutritional answer to her quest. The next day she repeated her lunch experiment and noticed the same thing. Convinced she was onto something, she quit her job and began traveling around the world searching for the truth.

She noticed that those populations that included plenty of tacos in their diets were happier, smiled more, and rarely forgot to feed their pets. She began carrying around tacos with her to give out to the tacoless. And the results were conclusive. Moods were lifting wherever she went.

Eventually, Osborne returned to the United States and published her findings in the Journal of Energies and Levels. Her paper On the Origin of Happiness in Populations Deficient in T.A.C.O.s and the Optimal Way to Manage Levels eventually was lost to the passage of time, but her influence on us all lives on in the taco cleanse.

Today, a noted group of taco scientists endeavor to recreate her experiments. Their research has been covered in many notable publications, including Jezebel, Thrillist, and Culture Map. A guide to taco cleansing will be released at the conclusion of their experiment so that everyone can benefit from their research.

The Guilt-Free Taco

I was feeling  a bit self-conscious about writing today’s taco post. You see, I didn’t cook this taco myself. And I didn’t buy it from one of Austin’s lovely taco establishments. Today’s taco comes courtesy of Amy’s frozen foods.

What’s that you say? Amy’s doesn’t make tacos? Sadly, they don’t. But they do make a frozen breakfast that includes tofu scramble, hashbrowns, and tomatoes. And those make excellent taco fillings.

Going into this post, I was going to make excuses about all the taco meetings I’ve been attending at dinner, which means I don’t have any home-cooked leftovers for lunch the next day. Excuses about how I’m too busy to leave the building to pick up lunch. But you know what? Screw that! There’s no guilt in taco cleansing.

Taco Spirituality

Taco Cleanse Ceremony

The taco priest watches over the flames of our taco sacrifice. I sit in the bottom left corner clutching a fire extinguisher in case the taco flames engulf us all.

Going into the Taco Cleanse, I knew community support would be important. What I didn’t realize, is how that community support would be so spiritual. This past weekend, our community of taco cleansers met in my backyard to embrace the taco cleanse and talk taco.

We started off with a few taco chants (taco…taco…taco…), and then the master of taco ceremonies arrived robed in brown and carrying the taco effigy. After a taco song of prayer, we sacrificed the big taco and asked the taco gods to rain a thousand tacos on our heads.

And then we ate.


If you’re looking for your own taco spirituality, but there’s no official taco support group in your city, I have a few suggestions for you

  • Keep a daily taco journal. Contemplate the meaning of taco. Just what does taco mean to you?
  • Dress up as a taco. Be the taco.
  • Write taco haiku
Essence of taco:
Flat, yet not so very flat
that I can’t hold you