There was a time in Z’s life when he was less concerned with eating well. Free-lancing paid the bills and helped get him through grad school, but didn’t quite cover trips to Fairway to buy fresh vegetables or decent cuts of meat. He told people that Ramen was created as a quick, cost effective meal for Japanese businessmen, and if it was good enough for them, it was good enough for him.
Luckily for Z, he was surrounded by people who looked out for him. A lot of friends and roommates shared their leftovers and sometimes even cooked him meals while he worked furiously to eek out a living so that he got more than just instant noodles. One of these meals — so delicious that he sometimes deigned to break from work to make it himself — was Anjali’s Turkey (and adapted for Tofu) Tacos.
Anjali’s Turkey (and adapted for Tofu) Tacos
|1 lb ground turkey||OR||1 lb firm tofu|
|1/2 lb tomatoes1 medium onion1/2 stalk of cilantro
1 1/4 tsp sweet paprika1/2 tsp onion powder
1/2 tsp ground garlic
1 1/4 tsp cumin
1 tbsp and 1 tsp chili powder
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp cayenne
Start by prepping the veggies. Chop the onions into 1/2 inch cubes.
Finely dice the jalapenos. Cut the tomatoes into 1/2 inch cubes. Wash and pick the cilantro leaves. No need to chop.
Now you can make the seasoning. We’ll be honest and admit that we love the taco seasoning that comes out of the bag and were hesitant to re-invent the taco seasoning wheel, but since this is a food blog, we thought we’d give it a try — and we ended up pretty pleased. We mixed all the spices together (paprika, onion powder, ground garlic, cumin, chili powder, salt and cayenne) and then poured it over the meat/tofu/veggies when they were cooking as if it had come out of a bag!
For the tofu recipe cut the tofu into 1/2″ cubes. Note: they are larger in the picture below, but we ended up cutting them down to 1/2″ size later.
Start by sauteeing the onions until they are softened. Then add the tofu and tomatoes. Once the tomatoes soften add the jalapenos and the spice mixture. The cooking process should take about 20 minutes, but really could go indefinitely. Add the jalapenos about halfway through and the cilantro in the last few minutes. Serve when the tofu is to your liking.
For the turkey recipe break up the ground turkey as it cooks. When the turkey is about half way cooked through, toss in the onions and sautee. Cook it briefly before adding the tomatoes and spice mixture. Again, this process should take about 20 minutes (but could be indefinite). Part way through add the jalapenos and add the cilantro right at the end.
We ate ours on corn tortillas topped with extra sharp cheddar cheese.
This has gotten a thumbs up from everyone we’ve made it for, and looks to be a staple for the both of us for sure. The cheesy saying goes, “Build a man a fire and keep him warm for a day. Teach a man HOW to build a fire and keep him warm for life.” Thanks for the lesson, Anjali.