Sunday, December 5, 2010

Vegetarian Caribbean Style Tacos Recipe

Caribbean Style Tacos
1 Tbsp. oil
some liberal shakes of red pepper flakes
1/2 large onion
1 4 oz can of diced green chiles (or you can use jalapeƱos if you like things spicier)
1-2 t garlic, minced
1 package Yves ground round
2 Tbsp. chile powder
1/2 tsp. ground chipotle peppers
1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper
1/4 tsp. black pepper
1/4 tsp. white pepper
1/2 tsp. red pepper (sriracha) sauce (optional)
1 tsp. dried oregano, crushed
1-2 Tbsp. brown sugar
1 Tbsp. lime juice
1 package Yves ground round

10-12 blue or white corn tortillas
oil for frying
(If you'd rather skip this step, just buy pre-packaged corn taco shells.)

diced tomatoes
shredded monterey jack, cheddar, or pepper jack cheese
peach, mango, or pineapple salsa
shredded lettuce or baby spinach
sour cream or full-fat greek yogurt
frank's red hot or tobasco sauce

Warm oil in cast iron skillet over high heat, shake in red pepper flakes, then add onion. Caramelize until onion edges are well-browned. Reduce heat to medium. Add green chiles and garlic, stir to combine. Add 'ground round', spices, brown sugar and lime juice. Stir until sugar is melted, then reduce heat to low. Cover and simmer 15-20 minutes.

Meanwhile, heat about 1/4" of oil in a high-sided pot until a drop of water spatters when dropped in, add shells one at a time, about 45 seconds or until desired crispiness is achieved. Form shell in taco tongs ( then set on paper towels until ready. (If you have a deep fryer, you can just fry the shell for 15 seconds in the tongs.)

Assemble your buffet and people can make their tacos to taste. Serve with black beans and rice. Serves 3-4.

The Results
This is pretty much a no-brainer for our family. We all love tacos and pretty much everything Mexican. My sister shared this recipe with me and I like that it's a little "fancier" than our usual fill-your-own taco buffet. The tacos are nice and spicy. I did not fry my own shells. As I've said before, I hate to fry and shells are no exception. But, they were still delicious. This is the first time I've tried Yves ground round. At least at Kroger, it comes in a 4-pack (package pictured in ingredients photograph). It's pretty tasty, but a bit more work than my usual crumbles. Also, I am not a huge fan of brown sugar in spicy meats. Next time, I think I'll leave that out.
UPDATE: I tried these again without the brown sugar (basically taco seasoning ingredients, plus onions, and green chiles) and it was more my style. But, that sort of takes the Caribbean out of the equation. I think both ways are good, but I prefer the Mexican-style tacos.


  1. Hello! I came over from Home Sanctuary, and I am so glad to have stopped by your site today. I have a niece who recently became a vegetarian and while intriguing, I'm a little intimidated by the idea. Your recipes make it seem very do-able! Happy Holidays

  2. So glad you found the site. Let me know if you have any questions. It's terrible having to make more than one meal for a family. Omnivore-friendly vegetarian meals are a must for situations like yours.

  3. i think it's those red shells that made 'em so fancy!
    and with the lime juice and a tropical salsa, they're still plenty caribbean without the brown sugar....

  4. Ha. I chose those for a very critical recipe reason...they were on sale buy one box get one free. ;)