February 7, 2013

Curry Tofu Tacos With Pintos & Kale Slaw

by IsaChandra

Makes 8 tacos
Total time: 30 minutes || Active time: 30 minutes

Curry Tacos

I’ve been away from home for most of the winter, but the instant I walk through the door, still in an airplane funk, all I want to do is cook. My boyfriend looks at me like I have a carrot growing out of my forehead, and I’m like “I wish! I love carrots.”

Jet-lagged or not, this time of year is always so muddled and I never quite know what I’m craving. The winter makes my taste buds so restless. Let’s see…curry? Or Mexican? Or hippy? Oh, what the hell, let’s do all three. You could even call these YOLO Tacos (if you wanted to be the most annoying person in the world.)

The tofu is simply sliced into slabs, soaked in a little puddle or curry powder, olive oil and soy, then grilled to high heaven. (You can also broil.)

The beans are equally as simple: sauteed onions and an entire field of garlic (ok, 4 cloves), some fresh tomato, cilantro. Done!

And the Kale Slaw is my favorite hippy vegan recipe, and really not much more difficult than making guacamole. It’s sliced into shreds, and doused in a creamy garlicky dressing of avocado, tahini, and red wine vinegar. So easy! Even though there are a few components, the entire recipe should only take 30 minutes or so.

Curry Tacos

Now that I’m home and relaxed, I hope to be updating a little bit more regularly. Thanks for sticking around, everyone, and I hope you’re having a delicious (if restless) winter!

Recipe Notes

~You don’t have to press the tofu here, but if you have time, then it’s not a bad idea. Otherwise, just squeeze as much water out as you can, and blot the tofu with paper towels.

~I used my favorite S&B curry powder. Use whichever mild curry you like best!

~I was feeling very hippy vegan, and so I pulled out the old school Bragg’s Liquid Aminos for the tofu. You can use soy sauce or gluten-free tamari, too. If it needs more salt, just sprinkle some on after the tofu is cooked.

~To prepare the kale, pull the leaves from the stems. Roll up a few leaves at a time (into a cigar shape) and slice widthwise to make 1/4 inch strips. That is what “chiffonade” means! I used purple kale because PURPLE! But you can use whatever kind is available. About 1/2 of my bunch equaled the 6 cups needed for this recipe.

For the tofu:
1 14 oz package extra firm tofu
3 tablespoons Bragg’s Liquid Aminos (or soy sauce or tamari)
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 teaspoons curry powder

For the pintos:
2 teaspoons olive oil
1 small onion, thinly sliced
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 medium tomato, chopped
Pinch red pepper flakes
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 15 oz can pinto beans, rinsed and drained (or 1 1/2 cups cooked)
3 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro

For the kale slaw:
6 cups shredded kale (stems removed, chiffonade – see note)

Dressing for slaw:
2 cloves garlic
1/2 an avocado
2 tablespoons tahini
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar (or lime)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup water (plus more to thin)

To serve:
Remaining 1/2 of avocado, diced small
8 corn tortillas

Make the tofu:
Preheat grill over medium high heat, or preheat broiler. Slice tofu into 8 equal slabs, widthwise.

On a rimmed dinner plate, use a fork to mix together Bragg’s, olive oil and curry powder.

To grill, spray the hot grill pan with cooking spray. Dredge each slab of tofu into the curry mixture on both sides, then place on the grill. Let cook for about 7 minutes each side, or until grill marks appear.

For broiling, place on a lightly greased baking sheet about 3 inches from the broiler. Broil each side about 5 minutes, keeping a close eye so that they don’t burn.

When ready to serve, slice the tofu slabs into four strips lengthwise.

Make the beans:
Preheat a large pan over medium-high heat. Saute onion in oil with a pinch of salt, until lightly browned, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and saute 30 seconds more. Add the chopped tomato, red pepper flakes and salt. Cook until tomato is broken down and releasing juice, about 3 minutes.

Add the beans and heat through. Mix in the cilantro, and turn the heat off. Keep covered until ready to serve.

Make the Kale Slaw:
In a blender, pulse the garlic to get it a bit chopped up. Add the remaining ingredients, and blend until smooth. Add extra water as needed in order to get it to a thick but pourable consistency, like a thick milkshake.

Place the shredded kale in a bowl and add the dressing, using a rubber spatula to scrape the blender and get everything out.

Use your hands to massage the dressing into the kale for about 30 seconds. Taste for salt and seasoning.

To assemble:
Warm the tortillas (I wrap mine in paper towels and microwave for 30 seconds.) Place a bit of kale, a scoop of beans and a few strips of tofu in each taco. Add a little chopped avocado, and eat up!

  • February 7, 2013 at 7:54 pm: Brenda

    Is it 1 15oz can of beans?

    • February 7, 2013 at 8:06 pm: IsaChandra

      Oops, yes, sorry! You will need beans for the beans :)
      I updated the recipe, thanks.

  • February 7, 2013 at 8:44 pm: Maya

    I second Brenda’s question!

  • February 7, 2013 at 8:46 pm: jade taylor

    Welcome back isa hunny…..we have missed u! I have some lentil dal and onion bhajees in fridge so may do this tmoz too. My kids will hate it as they hate most spices so they can hav beans on toast ha ha. This looks amazeballs.

  • February 7, 2013 at 9:07 pm: Kerri

    would it work with spinach instead?

  • February 7, 2013 at 9:17 pm: jodye @ chocolate and chou fleur

    This looks like an amazing meal. I love eating avocado with anything curried, it’s such a nice complement. I love the sound of the kale slaw. Tahini and avocado all in one dressing is right up my alley!

  • February 7, 2013 at 9:43 pm: Mary Beth

    As Liz Lemon would say: I WANT TO GO TO THERE.

  • February 7, 2013 at 10:03 pm: TJ

    Is the dressing supposed to have nutritional yeast in it, as mentioned in the intro?

    • February 7, 2013 at 11:30 pm: IsaChandra

      No. Apparently I need a copy editor. It should say “red wine vinegar.” #NoochOnTheBrain

  • February 7, 2013 at 10:41 pm: Ann Chervin

    I’ll be making this while the snow is falling on Saturday!

  • February 8, 2013 at 12:45 am: Lauren

    What could I use instead of avocado (allergic!) in the dressing?

  • February 8, 2013 at 1:17 am: Domenica

    This was great, and ridiculously hippie, even without using the Bragg’s!

  • February 8, 2013 at 2:15 am: Jill

    When i first decided to experiment with becoming veganish, a friend gave me Appetite for Reduction. It was the only vegan cookbook i had for a while and I loved everything I made from it. Very shortly thereafter i stumbled on this website and began cooking from the archives. It was my first vegan bookmark. Then i bought veganomicon, choosing it from the reviews on amazon. It wasnt until then that i realized all of this was from the same kitchen. your recipes are always reliably fantastic.

    The one thing i wish for is someone to post weekly dinner menus to help conceive of meals that are seasonal and balanced– due to bad planning, i often wind up eating tofu 4 nights in a row and then hating and resenting tofu (for example). If you ever come across someone doing this, I hope you will share. (I had the same problem when I was eating meat.)

    You have set a high bar for vegan recipes. Thank you for leading me through this journey.

  • February 8, 2013 at 2:22 pm: Jamie

    This looks delicious! Love the kale slaw!

  • February 8, 2013 at 8:06 pm: Monica

    I made this tonight (with a few omissions and substitutions) and really enjoyed it. I didn’t bother with the beans… and I added grated carrots and thinly sliced red onion to the kale, and sprinkled toasted pumpkin seeds over the whole lot. I used red wine vinegar but would love to try it with lime, and maybe cilantro blended into the dressing, too. Overall, a really nice dish and an easy way to prepare tofu!

  • February 9, 2013 at 12:15 am: Sara @ The Cozy Herbivore

    Dude, that slaw looks killer, and what a great way to use up that huge bunch of kale I have in the fridge at this very moment! Can’t wait to give these babies a whirl…

  • February 9, 2013 at 4:10 am: Hannah @ Tales From The Last Frontier

    Yummm…this looks so amazing. This kale slaw is going to be my next endeavor. Fantastic idea!

  • February 9, 2013 at 2:00 pm: Anna {Herbivore Triathlete}

    Curry? Tacos? Kale? Slaw? These are some of my favorite things. Awesome recipe.

  • February 10, 2013 at 3:39 am: jenni

    swapped out the curry for chili powder, loved it! (could not help it, due to the presence of pinto beans, avocado & tortillas..predictable, but true) kale slaw was nice, but i think it would benefit from a little kick, & would drop a little hot sauce in the blender next time. yum yums all around!

  • February 11, 2013 at 4:31 am: Ryann

    Had this for dinner tonight – 3 generations of my family scarfed it down. Sooooooo good!

  • February 11, 2013 at 5:03 pm: Kelly @ Hidden Fruits and Veggies

    Taco fananatic, these sound amazing!

  • February 11, 2013 at 11:27 pm: Erin

    Could not think of what to make for dinner. Pulled up PPK on the way to the store and decided to make the newest recipe on the blog. So glad I did! My omni chef (he wanted me to include that) husband and I LOVED these! Will definitely make again! Also the ingredients were just as good eaten bowl style sans tortillas.

  • February 12, 2013 at 5:14 am: Lyndsay O.

    Loved these! All of the separate components make these tacos very special. Thanks!

  • February 12, 2013 at 5:48 am: Brent

    This was pretty awesome. Great dressing on the kale slaw!

  • February 13, 2013 at 2:08 pm: JennO

    With all the ingredients in my kitchen (minus red wine vinegar) it was my destiny to make this meal. Really enjoyed the process and the unusual blending of flavors. Loved the slaw dressing! If only I could say the same about kale…is that an acquired taste? The whole time I was thinking I will make that same slaw with good old-fashioned cabbage (red for the hippie in me too!) Anyone try it with a different green? Cuz that dressing rocks! Thank you PPK.

  • February 15, 2013 at 3:09 pm: Joe

    This was one of the best vegan things I have ever cooked. Definitely use corn tortillas. I marinated the slabs of tofu in the curry dressing all day before grilling them, gave them a little more curry zip.

  • February 15, 2013 at 3:19 pm: Kare @ Kitchen Treaty

    You had me at kale slaw – that sounds so great. Actually, you had me from the get-go really. It all looks amazing.

  • February 18, 2013 at 10:42 pm: Katie

    That first sentence is gold. Now I have to make these tonight.

  • February 20, 2013 at 12:05 am: Lisa

    This was a great meal. Thank you.

  • February 20, 2013 at 5:51 pm: Danielle

    These are SO delicious! I made them for dinner and had leftovers for lunch the next day, and dare I say it tasted even better second time around!

  • February 23, 2013 at 9:47 pm: Sarra Moore

    Oooooooooh yeah! Made this for dinner tonight and it was Yum! Goes well with a Mendoza (red wine).Gonna post a photo and link to this page on my Fbook page.Thanks

  • March 1, 2013 at 8:59 pm: vegan miam

    that looks so delicious!

    ♡ rika, vegan miam
    ★ i travel + i eat vegan blog ★

  • March 5, 2013 at 3:12 am: Merris

    This combination of flavors was amazing. Well worth the effort. Just ate 4 of them, and my tummy is HAPPY!!!

  • March 11, 2013 at 5:29 pm: Kim W

    Ok. I took the Vegan pledge and was looking for stuff to eat and I stumbled across this. I now have a new favorite way to enjoy kale. Thank You.

  • March 12, 2013 at 3:05 pm: Ellie

    Umm…amazing! I was in a funk and didn’t know what I was in the mood for, and this was perfect. I never would have combined all these foods myself, but they were so so so good! I used lime juice instead of red wine vinegar, since apparently I was out, but otherwise followed the recipe exactly. So many good nutrients wrapped up in deliciousness!

  • April 10, 2013 at 8:23 pm: Janice

    I just finished eating this for a late lunch. Very tasty. The kale slaw needs a punch. Also I think it would be better to massage the kale with salt and olive oil before add the dressing. Next time I may try a chipotle dressing. I added Mexican seasoning to the pinto beans for extra flavor. I also added cilantro to the avocado dressing. Overall very tasty and I have a lot leftover for lunch tomorrow! Thanks Isa.

  • May 1, 2013 at 12:59 am: Sarah

    This is one of those amazing dishes. I could never imagine how it tasted when I read it, but the flavors meld in a surprising way. You’re so innovative! Delicious.

  • May 12, 2013 at 12:57 am: Tami

    This was a fantastic meal!! I’ll be making this one often. I didn’t use tofu b/c, well, I forgot to buy it and it was still very filling and tasty. I also used a spelt wrap b/c I couldn’t find any organic corn tortillas. The dressing was so so good. I’m trying to think of all the other things I could use it on!

  • May 23, 2013 at 9:49 pm: Carey

    This was amazing. I’ve been trying to eat entirely vegan the last month and this was by far the best dish out of the dozens I tried. Thanks!

  • July 24, 2013 at 2:35 am: Heather

    I just made this for dinner with a few of my friends! Super easy and fun to make together. This was absolutely delicious. Thank you so much!

  • August 22, 2013 at 1:05 am: Kate

    My 6 year old has just announced she is a vegetarian. PANIC! my partner and i are committed carnivores. I stumbled across this site and made this for dinner last night. WOW! we all loved it and have kept this recipe in my favourite folder. WHO KNEW?! Coming from Australia, I have never heard of you Isa, but am about to order your book. I feel like this is the beginning of a love affair with vegan food and am very excited! THANKS!

  • August 27, 2013 at 6:08 pm: Jimmy

    This has easily become my favorite recipe! I’ve never used the tortillas and always think, “That would just be way too much!” Then I realized this is supposed to serve 8 and I devour it on my own as soon as I can consider it done, so maybe that’s why… Anyway, thanks for the awesome recipe :)

  • September 23, 2013 at 1:08 am: Emily

    Made this for dinner tonight and it was awesome!! Only I didn’t have any tortillas so I served it over brown rice and kinda mixed everything together. Was delicious. Thanks for the great recipe. Will make again for sure.

  • September 23, 2013 at 8:01 pm: chelsea

    This is SO good. We Craaaave this at our house now. Thanks for keeping us full and healthy Isa and can’t wait for the new book <3

  • September 24, 2013 at 8:53 pm: Michael

    Dude this website rules. Thank you for everything!

  • September 25, 2013 at 12:33 am: jenn p

    Oh my goodness! This recipe ROCKS! My husband said it’s the best dish I’ve ever made. Thank you, thank you, thank you! I’ve been referring all my friends to this blog and your cookbooks. I don’t think I’ve ever made a “bad” meal when I use your recipes. You are AWESOME! Thanks for sharing your talent!

  • December 10, 2013 at 3:13 am: Nicky

    My picky kids loved the kale slaw! The garlic gave it a nice kick

  • February 25, 2014 at 10:57 pm: Nicole B

    What could replace the avocado here? (I’m allergic.)

  • June 5, 2014 at 4:58 pm: Adena

    I made this for dinner last night and it was delicious. I didn’t use the tortillas, but otherwise followed the recipe. Thanks for sharing!

  • July 28, 2014 at 1:28 am: Kelly

    I tried this recipe last week, I followed the ingredients but with different proportions based on what I had. This is my new go to dinner, SO easy, and restaurant quality! I’ve had horrible vegan food at several restaurants and this recipe was so much better than anything I’ve ever had. I can’t wait to try your other recipes! I’m hooked.

  • August 2, 2014 at 11:17 pm: tina

    amazing amazing amazing

  • October 9, 2014 at 11:47 pm: Karla

    Greetings from Ecuador. I love your recipes! I made these tacos when I was in USA, and i fell in love with them. Now back to my country I made them for my mom who isn’t vegan and she loved as well. You are awesome!

  • December 9, 2014 at 5:40 pm: Sarah

    Made this for friends last night – stuck exactly to the recipe – and everyone LOVED it! Each component is delicious on its own and perfect together in a taco. I would warn that you must love garlic…or cut a clove or two out of the beans.

  • February 27, 2015 at 5:11 pm: Angela

    Just wanted to say I made these for my family, and man were they delish! Not only do they taste good, but they have a great presentation. They have great flavor, and even just one taco was enough to satisfy my growling stomach, though I wanted more. I am currently looking to try another recipe of yours

  • June 11, 2015 at 12:53 am: Lisa

    This was incredible! My husband and I are trying to eat more plant-based meals, but our three teen boys still protest for meat and rarely like the vegan/vegetarian dishes I make. But when I made this dish for my husband and oldest son tonight, they both gave a “two thumbs up” and a “really really good!” (husband adding that I need to make it every week … lol!) I only had bagged kale, so the slaw was more like a salad … and had to use white wine vinegar instead of red, so next time I’ll “fix” those two items and see if they still like it! I also couldn’t grill it … the tofu was too crumbly, so broiled instead. Thanks for sharing!

  • October 21, 2015 at 9:00 pm: Jessica

    Making tonight! but all i have is black beans, will that do? also no tahini. and nothing to sub for it. will it be ok without?? nervous cook here ;)

  • January 12, 2016 at 3:58 am: January 2016

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  • February 26, 2016 at 7:49 am: Julia

    Made these tonight and they were soooo yummy! I had to stop myself from eating the whole batch. I ended up having to sub a different dressing for the slaw because I didn’t have tahini but the components worked so well together anyway. Even though I’m no longer vegan, you are still my go-to recipe author. Thanks for yet another home run!

  • September 3, 2016 at 3:37 am: Victoria

    Tahini is not sold in or near my area, what could I use as a substitute?