I love tacos. They are easy to prepare and leave plenty of room for creativity. I have heard that tacos were originated from Mexico City but wanted to do a little bit more of history digging. I’ve read on www.smithsonianmag.com that tacos date back to the 18th century. One of the first types of tacos described is called tacos de minero—miner’s tacos. This comes from silver mines in Mexico. The story goes that miners were wrapping gunpowder in a piece of paper and then inserting those into a hole in the rock face. I guess that was an inspiration to stuff a piece of tortilla with small yummy bites of food. During industrialization of Mexico City tacos became popular in working-class neighborhoods – mainly because women came into the city from rural areas for work in light industry. Since people were coming to the city from different parts of Mexico they brought different flavors to their tacos. In the US tacos first were mentioned in a newspaper in 1905. This is the time when immigrant workers started to come to the US to build railroads, work on mines etc. Thank you people of Mexico for bringing this amazing food to the US that we all enjoy so much today!
This recipe is my exploration of sweetness and freshness. And seitan tastes amazing when grilled with onions.
Let’s get down to business!
Makes 6 tacos.
Cooking time/prep: 30 min more or less.
- 1 package of seitan. I used Upton’s Naturals brand which is amazing (www.uptonsnaturals.com)
- 1 can of organic black beans
- 3 tbsp. BBQ sauce. I used Stubb’s Smokey Mesquite. (www.stubbsbbq.com)
- corn tortillas. I used Food For Life sprouted corn tortillas. (www.foodforlife.com)
- small yellow onion
- 1/2 of a small red onion
- 1 clove of garlic
- 1 mango
- 1 medium tomato
- 1 cup of shredded red cabbage
- juice of 1/2 lime
- any hot pepper fresh or dry
- cilantro to taste
- black pepper
- ground cumin
- olive oil
Chop garlic finely. Heat olive oil in a non-stick skillet. Throw in garlic and cumin, cook for a minute or two on medium heat. Add black beans (with some liquid from the can). Mix every few minutes while cooking. You have an option to make them of refried beans consistency or cook it quickly for 5 min.
In the mean time shred cabbage. Place in a bowl and squeeze lime, add salt to taste. Set aside to let it soften a little bit.
In a food processor (I used my mini one) place mango, red onion, hot pepper, cilantro, tomato and salt to taste. Pulse a few times until it is the right texture. I like mine on a chunky side.
Chop yellow onion and seitan. Grill onion in a cast iron skillet first, then add seitan, cook until golden and crispy – about 7-10 minutes. Set aside in a bowl. Add BBQ sauce and mix.
Heat up tortillas in a cast iron skillet. About 1 min on each side.
Now we are ready to serve. Assemble all the ingredients in any order you wish. I usually put beans on the bottom, then seitan, salsa, cabbage, then top it off with a leaf of cilantro. Voilà!