I’m thinking of asking these tacos to be my Valentine. Spicy yet sweet with a solid crunch AND totally guilt-free? Swoon. It’s true love, guys. My love affair with Trader Joe’s is very well-documented on this blog. Yet through the years, soy chorizo has remained firmly on my list of All-Time Favorite TJ’s Items. It’s vegan and gluten-free and even if you’re a dedicated omnivore or carnivore, this soy chorizo will knock your socks off. It tastes like authentic chorizo but with zero cholesterol and 100% versatility. I’ve sautéed it with riced cauliflower to create a breakfast burrito bowl and mixed it with a cheese sauce to go over nachos. Sky’s the limit!
I created these soy chorizo quinoa tacos one weekend after a serious hunger pang plus my lack of grocery shopping that week caused me to get creative with the pantry/fridge. I had the Trader Joe’s soy chorizo, quinoa that I had cooked earlier in the week, pineapple spears left over from that week’s breakfast smoothies and half a red onion in my vegetable crisper.
I felt like all my years of watching Chopped had been preparing me for this very moment. I had the ingredients, it was time to get to work.
I carefully removed the soy chorizo from its inedible casing (The chorizo is incredibly crumbly so you’ll want to do this over a bowl) and added it to the hot skillet. I added about a cup of cooked quinoa and about half a jar of salsa that I had in the fridge and need to use up. Mixing the ingredients together, I heated the soy chorizo quinoa taco “meat” over medium heat for about 8-10 minutes to “crisp” it up. Chop up the pineapple spears and cilantro (Unless it tastes like soap to you) and combine. You can stop there for a delicious taco but I had that red onion that I wanted to use up. Time to quick pickle some red onion!
To quick pickle red onion, I used this recipe from Bon Appétit but I’ll let you in on a little trick. To get that thoroughly reddish-purple color in the pickled onions, add about 2-3 tablespoons of grenadine into the mix. It adds just a teeny bit of sweetness and a whole lot of beautiful color. Yup, grenadine’s not just for those Shirley Temples.
Now was time to assemble the soy chorizo quinoa tacos! My favorite tortillas from Trader Joe’s are their Corn Tortillas, which also happen to be gluten-free. I think they’re the perfect size for tacos, sometimes I feel like other brand tortillas are more sized for burritos and then I end up feeling like my taco is more tortilla than filling. And we all know it’s what inside that counts.
Not to toot my own horn but I think I won my personal Chopped challenge with these soy chorizo quinoa tacos. Have you ever done an at-home Chopped challenge? What did you make?
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