VeganMoFo: El Taco Italiano and a word on olives

I love olives. They are probably my most favorite food in the history of the world. When I was little I once had a dream that the Sears Tower in Chicago was made of olives. I also used to put an olive at the bottom of my ice cream cone for a salty finish. I still like to finish my meal with an “after dinner olive” and I make sure if I am running low to keep an “emergency olive” on hand in the jar until I replace my stash. This naturally led to a love of Italian and Greek food. Traveling in the Mediterranean I was so excited to be able to order a little plate of olives with every meal!

Living in Austin Texas I eat a lot of tacos. I often read on vegan food message boards “I don’t know what to put in my taco” and it makes me laugh because anything can be a taco! I had a bunch of red peppers in my fridge that I needed to use up and some black olives that I had already popped the can on as well so I decided to make and Italian-sausage-style seitan, a roasted red pepper creamy topping and add some olives. They were the best tacos ever. My partner had eaten three before I even took the picture!

Italian Style Seitan O’Greatness

Original Seitan Recipe

This turned out fantastic. The red wine and tomato paste made it very yummy. Next time I will replace the nutritional yeast with chickpea flour because I think that would make this the perfect Italian style seitan. You mix together the dry ingredients in one bowl and the wet ingredients in another bowl. Then add them together and knead for a few minutes. Roll the seitan into a log and then roll it into foil making sure to keep the whole dough surrounded and to twist the ends. Bake at 325 degrees Fahrenheit for 90 minutes. When I made the seitan I also roasted peppers, garlic, and potatoes in the oven and could have made cookies too since it takes so long!

1 and 1/2 cups Vital Wheat Gluten

1/4 cup nutritional yeast

1 tsp salt

1 tsp paprika

1 tsp onion powder

1 tsp fennel

1/2 tsp sugar

1 tsp pepper

1/4 tsp cayenne

3/4 tsp caraway

1/2 tsp corriander

1 Tbsp worchestire

1 and 1/2 Tbsps Red Wine

3 Tbsp tomato paste

1 Tbsp soy sauce

2 Tbsp olive oil

Roasted Red Pepper, Jalapeno, and Pine Nut Cream

First roast the peppers for 15 minutes in a 450 degree oven. Then let them steam in a paper bag for another 5 minutes to loosen the skin. Remove the skins if you want and add the peppers, jalapeno, pine nuts, and garlic into a food processor and mix well. Then add the water and salt, taste, and season again. Enjoy this cream with tacos, bagels, or maybe mix with some vegetable broth and some wine to make a pasta sauce!

4 red bell peppers

6 medium garlic cloves (you may want to use less)

1 jalapeno

1/2 cup pine nuts

1 tsp parsley or 1 Tbsp fresh parsley

1/4 tsp salt

1/4 cup water

For El Taco Italiano*

1/3 of Seitan roll, chopped

2 cloves garlic

1 Tbsp olive oil

5 cups of Spinach or 2 cups of other leafy green (Chard would be nice)

1 cup black olives

6 Tortillas

First wrap the tortillas in foil and warm up in the oven. Saute the sausage with a couple cloves of chopped garlic and some olive oil. After the sausage is browned add quite a bit of spinach or other dark leafy green. Cook until wilted. Assemble sausage mixture, red pepper cream, olives on tortillas and Enjoy!

*Note- you may want to cut WAY down on the garlic in this recipe. We love garlic but it was pretty intense! I think next time I would fry the sausage with red onion instead of more garlic.

5 thoughts on “VeganMoFo: El Taco Italiano and a word on olives

  1. evestirs

    mmm…that looks yum!

    i’m soo feelin u on the olives.

    i just found these canned Burgundy olives @ safeway…they are so so good! i think the brand is musco, if you can find them, you have to try ’em!

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