I don’t always feel like cooking!
As a blogger, I make my fair share of fancy dinners, such as Socca Stacks and Tempeh Cacciatore, but there are plenty of times when I’m tired and don’t feel much like cooking. On those days, I tend to throw a bunch of convenience foods in a pan and cobble together a meal. They’re not elaborate, but they’re usually still pretty tasty.
I like to keep a stash of ingredients for these easy-cook nights in my pantry, and my favorite places to buy them is Trader Joes. I always have jars of curry sauce, bottles of teriyaki marinade, and packages of brown rice pasta on hand.
One of my favorite convenience foods from Trader Joe’s is their soy chorizo. I love to make tacos, burrito bowls, and nachos with it, and I’ve been known to throw some into a Tex-Mex tofu scramble too.
While the soy chorizo is convenient, it’s not necessarily the healthiest option, so I decided to recreate it at home. I’ve found that making my own chorizo with tofu doesn’t take much effort, and I love being able to control the ingredients.
Trader Joe’s soy chorizo is made with textured vegetable protein. I used to cook with tvp often when I first went vegan, but I haven’t bought it in years. These days, when I want to make something with a meaty, crumbly texture, I use frozen tofu.
Freezing tofu changes its texture, and it makes it easier for the tofu to soak up marinades and sauces. Freeze the tofu while it’s still in the package. Once frozen, allow it to thaw, and then press it the way you normally would to remove any excess water. I have a tofu press, but you can also use a cast-iron skillet or a heavy book.
This homemade tofu soy chorizo is really easy to make. It’s just a matter of sautéing crumbled tofu in a pan along with spices and seasonings, and you can adjust them to suite your tastes. The method is similar to the sofritas recipe I shared a few months ago.
Soy chorizo can be used in so many recipes. It can be used in chili, quesadillas, burritos, or just about anything that can use a spicy kick. Be sure to check back next week, when I share my favorite chorizo taco recipe.
Vegan Soy Chorizo
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 teaspoon neutral vegetable oil
- ¼ cup tamari
- 3 tablespoons tomato paste
- 3 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
- 1 14- ounce package extra firm tofu, frozen, thawed, pressed, and drained
- 2 teaspoons chili powder
- 1 teaspoon oregano
- ½ teaspoon onion powder
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- ½ teaspoon paprika
- ½ teaspoon mustard powder
- ½ teaspoon cumin
- ½ teaspoon sea salt
- ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
- ¼ teaspoon cayenne
- pinch red pepper flakes
Add the garlic and oil to a large pan over medium heat. Sauté for about 5 minutes, until the garlic is fragrant.
While the garlic is cooking, whisk together the tamari, tomato paste, and apple cider vinegar.
Crumble the tofu into the pan. Pour the tamari mixture into the pan and stir until the tofu is completely coated. Add the spices and stir to combine.
Cook until the tofu is heated throughout and begins to brown, about 10-15 minutes.
Serve in tacos, salads, burritos, wraps, quesadillas, or any dish that could use a spicy kick!
- Vegan Sofrita’s Burrito Bowl
- Double-Shelled Black-Bean Tacos
- Tex-Mex Scrambled Tofu
- Three Bean Chili