Fusion Vegan

  • 07/17/2012
  • Terelle Jerricks

By Christine Rodriguez

One of the newest culinary trends that you can expect to find at  posh restaurants, local cafes and even food trucks is “Fusion Cuisine.” Fusion Cuisine is exactly what it implies, the culinary genius of integrating food and cuisines from one culture with another culture. Some of the most popular fusion dishes today include, teriyaki tacos, stir fry pasta, Greek sushi and albondiga pho soup.

Since I grew up with a Mexican grandmother and an Irish grandfather, this concept is nothing new to me. When I started noticing this culinary trend I couldn’t help but to think about how we have created many fusions in my home, alone. Now, fast-forward 30 years and here is my  challenge, to recreate these delectable dishes from my youth, in a vegan, Mexican, Irish and African-American home. Now this, is a true American Fusion! Dinner at my house is anything but boring. I take great pride in preparing vegan dishes that will make you say “I want to be a vegan.”

One of the greatest challenges in maintaining a vegan lifestyle is consuming a wide variety of whole foods, and I mean a very wide variety. This is so you don’t get bored with the vegan  beginners “Salad Syndrome.” I have heard many people say to me that they couldn’t live off of rabbit food or bird seed. Well look at me. I’m 5 feet 4 inches at 155 pounds! I don’t  look like a rabbit or fly like a bird either. In fact, I have a stout, muscular frame and most people would not think that I am a vegan.In fact the only time I weighed less in my life was when I was competing as a professional boxer and starving myself to make fighting weight, which was some absurd calculation by boxing “experts.”

I say all this to encourage health, vitality and mind clarity and to discourage you from making weight a goal in your vegan transition. The key to a successful transition is a vast array of whole foods such as legumes, grains and produce. This along with proper cooking techniques and the love of food from around the world and you got yourself a “Fusion Vegan.”

Now this brings me to my favorite part and that is sharing with you one of  my favorite breakfast dishes: vegan Irish tacos. Yummy!

Here is what you will need to make 8 tacos:

4 medium potatoes – medium diced, skin on (Yukon Gold has a nice buttery flavor)
8 corn tortillas (buy them fresh from Valu+)
1 red bell pepper – small diced
1 jalapeno – small diced (leave seeds in if you love spicy)
½ medium onion – small diced
1 clove garlic – minced
2 cups shredded cabbage (do it yourself, we try to eliminate factory processing)
½ cup Chipotle Salsa

I’m assuming you have olive oil, salt and pepper at home.

First add the olive oil to your pan that is on medium heat. Make sure your potatoes are dried off before putting them in the pan or you could get oil splattered.

Let the potatoes brown evenly for about 7 to 10 minutes.

Next add the onions, peppers, and garlic.

Salt and pepper to taste. (Please invest in a pepper grinder and use whole pepper corn, you will never go back to ground pepper again).

Now we need to soften the potatoes, so add about  1 ½  cups of water to pan and let simmer about 5 to 7 minutes longer until soft and liquid is mostly absorbed.

Time to assemble.

Warm your tortilla on the stove (on a guilt free day I fry my shells, shhh). Now place a scoop of potatoes on your tortilla. Pile up the cabbage and drizzle or drench with chipotle salsa. Go ahead and enjoy your vegan Irish taco. Just don’t let anyone know there’s no meat or cheese they will never miss it.

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