Dreaming of Baja

Tonight, I was really surprised to find myself craving a baja fish taco.  Well, maybe I wasn’t craving the fish, but I was certainly craving the lime flavor and cool slaw.


What’s especially weird about this craving is that I have never had a fish taco. I had made the choice to give up meat and seafood long before I even knew what they were.  Perhaps tonight’s craving was the result of the Beach Boys getting extra airtime on the radio as the temperatures continue to drop. I think we hit 17 as the high today. In a few weeks that’s going to seem like a heat wave.


For whatever reason, I decided to do it up in the kitchen and make a baja inspired feast.  It did require a bit of work, but I think it was worth it.  Traditionally, fish tacos are centered around a beer battered piece of fish. But I went the healthier route of marinating and pan frying my tempeh. But the idea of beer battered tofu does get my taste buds tingling…perhaps that will be round two of my baja adventure.



Chili Lime Tempeh – based on this recipe from Choosing Raw


3 tbsp lime juice
1 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp maple syrup
1-2 tbsp soy sauce
½ tsp  to 1 tsp chili powder

1 8 oz package tempeh

Brown Rice with Lime – an attempt to recreate Chipotle’s rice

1 teaspoon vegetable oil
1 cup brown basmati rice
2 cup water
1/2 teaspoon salt or to taste
2 tbsp lime juice

Cabbage Slaw

½ head red cabbage – sliced
¼ head green cabbage – sliced
2 carrots – grated

4 tbsp soy plain yogurt
3 tbsp apple cider vinegar
1 tbsp sugar – or to taste
1 tsp salt – or to taste
a few shakes of pepper

Taco Shells

Use whatever you like. I opened my pantry only to find it shell-less, so I used romaine lettuce leaves. And honestly, I’m thinking I might not go back to real taco shells. These were the perfect size, and extremely healthy.



Marinade the tempeh

  • Mix together the marinade for the tempeh and set aside
  • Slice your tempeh horizontally no bigger than a ½ inch.  Mine were about ¼ inch.
  • Place tempeh in a single layer in a square glass pan and pour the marinade over.  Let sit for at least an hour.


Make the rice

  • While the tempeh is marinating, make the rice. Pour the oil in a 2 quart pot and heat.
  • Add water, lime juice, salt and rice. Bring to a boil
  • Reduce heat to simmer, and cover.
  • Cook for about 30 to 40 minutes, until liquid is completely absorbed.
  • If the rice is done before you’re ready to assemble your tacos. just leave in the pot covered to stay warm.


Make the slaw

  • While the rice is cooking, whip up the slaw. Prepare the dressing first by whisking ingredients together. Set aside
  • Chop your veggies, if you have not already done so. Mix together in a large bowl.
  •  Add dressing and mix to coat veggies completely.
  • Put in the fridge to chill while you prepare the other taco elements


Cook the tempeh

  •  Heat a little oil in a large pan.
  •  Add tempeh in a single layer. All of my pieces fit in one pan. If yours don’t, make in batches.
  •  If you have any marinade left, add to the pan with the tempeh.
  •  Let cook on both sides until you have your desired level of done-ness. I like my mine a bit burned because I think the marinade is great when it gets crispy on the edges of the tempeh.


Once you have prepared all of the elements, assemble your tacos and devour!


I hope you enjoyed your taste of baja this evening. I know I did.



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