Drought Friendly Vegan Migas

A longer story covering our (Super Sous and my) Drought Friendly Recipes has been posted on the Central Valley NPR site and is  running on KVPR!

Screen Shot 2015-05-21 at 9.47.32 AMPLUS~here’s a NEW Drought Friendly Recipe that Super Sous has created. Being from Texas, Super Sous gets a hankering for Tex Mex now and again. The other day, she was craving migas, which in Tex Mex language is a scrambled eggs dish made with tortilla chips. To make it drought friendly, Super Sous subbed crumbled organic tofu for the eggs. The rest is all veggie and spice goodness. Enjoy!

Migas1

Sauteing the onions, bell pepper, potatoes and poblano.

Migas2

Tofu Potato Migas

 

Drought Friendly Tofu Potato Migas

Yield: 4 servings

 

2 tablespoons grapeseed oil

1 large yellow onion, peeled and diced small (2 cups)

1 large red bell pepper, diced small (1 cup)

½ pound potatoes, scrubbed and diced small

1 small poblano pepper, seeded, deveined and diced small

4 2-inch sprigs fresh thyme

1½ teaspoon kosher salt, plus more to taste

1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

5 large cloves garlic, peeled and minced (1½ tablespoons)

1½ teaspoons ground cumin

1 teaspoon Hungarian paprika

1 teaspoon turmeric

1 teaspoon ground coriander

¼ teaspoon ground chipotle powder

1 (14.5-ounce) can fire-roasted diced tomatoes, undrained

14-ounces organic extra firm tofu, patted dry and crumbled

1¼ cup broken organic corn tortilla chips

1 lime, halved

2 haas avocados, pitted and thinly sliced

½ cup picked fresh cilantro leaves

1 bottle of your favorite hot sauce

1 jar or batch of your favorite salsa, optional (try my tomatillo tomato salsa)

 

Place a large nonstick sauté pan over medium-high heat and add oil. Let heat for 1 minute until hot. Add onion, red bell pepper, potato, poblano, thyme sprigs, salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the potatoes are cooked through, approximately 15 minutes.

Add garlic, cumin, paprika, turmeric, coriander and chipotle powder. Stir and cook until fragrant, 1 minute.

Add tomatoes. Stir and cook for 1 minute, until liquid has mostly evaporated. Add tofu, stir and cook for 5 additional minutes.

Turn off heat. Add in tortilla chips, squeeze over half a lime, stir to combine and season to taste with salt, pepper and additional lime as needed. Remove thyme sprigs.

Serve on plates with slices of avocado, cilantro, a few dashes of your favorite hot sauce and some salsa.

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Alaskan True Cod Taco with Pickled Radish and Radish Top Salsa

Another in the series of Drought Friendly Recipes.

In our last post, Super Sous and I wrote about food waste and gave two recipes utilizing radishes and radish tops. Today’s taco puts those two recipes to great use in this flavorful recipe that’s not only easy to prepare and delicious, but beautiful. Just look at those colors! Bonus – it’s not only a drought friendly recipe, but it’s a sustainable seafood dish. Boom!

First – make the Pickled Radish and Radish Top Salsa. Then, bring on the tacos…

Radish Top and Red Pepper Salsa

Radish Top Salsa

pickeld radish

Pickled Radish

Cod Taco Close

Taco Up Close and Personal!

Cod Taco Full

Colorful Taco!

Cod Taco Hand

Alaskan True Cod Taco with Pickled Radish and Radish Top Red Pepper Salsa

Yield: 6 tacos

Cod:

1 pound wild Alaskan true cod, 1-inch thick

1 teaspoon kosher salt

1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1 tablespoon grapeseed oil

Pat the fish dry and season all over with salt and pepper.

Place a medium non stick sauté pan over medium heat and add oil.

Let heat for 2 minutes until oil is very hot.

Add fish and let cook for 3 to 4 minutes on each side. You will know the fish is done when the flesh becomes opaque and begins to flake.

Remove fish from pan and transfer to a plate. Flake the fish with a fork or fingers into bite-sized pieces. Season to taste with additional salt and pepper.

Assembling the Taco:

6 Corn tortillas, warmed through

2 avocados, pitted and sliced thinly

½ cup shredded purple cabbage

¼ cup fresh cilantro leaves

Place a cabbage on the tortilla, followed by avocado slices, fish, pickled radish and top with salsa. Sprinkle cilantro leaves and serve.

Eat Tilapia

Being a Sustainable Seafood Ambassador with the Monterey Bay Aquarium and knowing that many of the large fish in the ocean are being fished to near extinction (e.g. bluefin tuna, chilean sea bass, marlin…), I began doing a little research into aquaculture, as a sustainable alternative.

What I have been discovering, however, is that aquaculture can be equally unsustainable.

For example:

  • to make 1 pound of farmed salmon, you need 2 to 5 pounds of smaller fish (fished from the ocean) to feed that salmon.
  • Many times the fish are overcrowded and this can lead to disease and then the inevitable use of antibiotics. (Sounds like a familiar practice used on land?)
  • On top of that, since fish farming happens around the world, even though the FDA may have banned some of the antibiotics (deeming them unsafe for use), these drugs may end up on your plate as regulations in other countries differ.
  • Sometimes the fish farms are in pens in the ocean and are very susceptible to being destroyed by the elements, e.g. a storm. When the fish escape it can be devastating to the natural habitat as the fish may be diseased (not to mention there are now GMO salmon being farmed).

So, what farmed seafood is safe?

Tilapia is a great choice because it is an herbivore so it does not need fishing to sustain it. It can also be raised in close quarters and is quite resilient to disease.  Shellfish, like oysters and clams, is another good option as they are raised in the ocean and actually clean/filter the ocean water. The farming is extremely sustainable, causing beneficial effects to the environment rather than depleting it.

The best thing you can do is research and ask questions. Grab your Latte and go have a chat with your local fishmonger. Find out where the fish you are buying comes from and how it was caught. You can also ask these questions when you go out to eat.

There are sustainably caught fish and farming practices. We just have to ask the right questions and cast our vote with our dollar.