One of my favorite vegetarian restaurants in NYC is Candle 79. I’ve never been to a vegetarian restaurant where so many of the dishes are so good that it’s hard to choose one. However, I do know that one menu item is always a must order; the seitan chimichurri appetizers! They are served as charred pieces of seitan on skewers along side a citrus herb sauce for dipping. These citrus herb seitan tacos were kind of inspired by a craving for these skewers.
It was also partly inspired by tacos I recently had at a Jersey City Mexican restaurant. Their menu actually had a vegetarian taco with seitan and poblanos. It was the first time I had seen seitan at a Mexican restaurant and they were quite good!
In case you are not familiar with seitan, let me give you the scoop. Seitan, pronounced say-tan, is wheat gluten, the protein found in wheat. It’s chewy and is often used as a meat substitute or to make mock meats.
Because it’s high in protein, I often use it to make my vegetable stir fry recipes into a heartier meal. It’s very versatile because it can be prepared in different flavors and firmness. If you’re up for it, you can make your own seitan at home and customize it. If you’re like me and find that the process takes too long, you can just buy it packaged and already cooked. I’ve seen it sold as strips, cubes, and even crumbles.
Our usual vegetarian tacos consist of vegetarian refried beans, lettuce, tomato, onion and cheese. Seitan tacos are a great alternative to vegetarian bean tacos. I usually have seitan stocked in the refrigerator. It comes in handy when I want tacos but forgot to soak the beans!
I was really craving those chimichurris, so I decided to make a citrus dressing in place of using taco sauce. It not only reminds me of my favorite restaurant’s yummy appetizers but the citrus herb dressing gives them a distinctly different flavor from our usual taco. I love that it is sweet, sour and spicy all at once!
If you are looking for a different vegetarian taco, give these a try. Serve them in your favorite soft flour tortillas, corn tortillas, crunchy shells or even as a salad.
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Seitan Tacos Recipe
- 8 Seitan Strips 1 package
- 2 Garlic minced
- 2 Jalapeño deseeded and minced
- 1 Cumin
- 0.5 Ancho Chili Powder
- 0.5 Onion chopped
- 0.5 Orange Juice
- 2 Fresh Lime Juice
- 0.25 Olive Oil
- 3 Fresh Parsley chopped
- 4 Fresh Cilantro chopped
- 2 Honey
- 3 Sour Cream
- 3 Canola Oil
- 1 Tomato diced
- 2 Baby Spinach chopped
- 0.5 Shredded Cheddar Cheese
- 8 Flour Tortilla corn tortillas, or corn taco shells
- Drain the seitan strips and toss them with the garlic, jalapenos, cumin, chili powder, and onions in a small bowl. Set aside.
- Combine the orange juice, lime juice, olive oil, parsley, cilantro and honey in a blender and mix until combined. Whisk in the sour cream. Set aside.
- In a medium skillet, heat the canola oil over medium heat. Add the seitan mixture and cook until the seitan has browned and the onions are soft.
- Assemble the tacos with the seitan mixture, tomatoes, spinach and cheese.
- Spoon the citrus dressing over the tacos. Alternatively, because it is very liquid, you can also coat the cooked seitan mixture with the desired amount of dressing before taco assembly.