Friday, March 04, 2016

Leap Day Taco Party & A Taco Yoga Video & A Taco Cleanse Giveaway for You!

Vegan Taco Cleanse Taco Party, Leap Day Party

Leap Day Taco Party!!

taco double dutch
taco double dutch

I have pretty much been waiting years and years to have a Leap Day party. Last time around I was so excited and then I was out of town or something like that - there was no Leap Day party for me. This year I was super jazzed about Leap Day landing on a Monday, which is one of the nights that I don't teach. But... I had a problem. I was also super jazzed to have a Taco Party with my friends so that we could cook a million recipes from The Taco Cleanse cookbook. What to do? 

Have a Leap Day Taco Party, of course! 
Two great tastes that taste great together!

Vegan Taco Cleanse Party, Leap Day Party
taco plate of beauty and glory.
so many colors! flavors! textures! nutrients! tasties! 
You may have heard that The Taco Cleanse was such a runaway-hit, celebrity-darling of a cookbook that it quickly sold out of its first run. It was pretty amazing -- countless magazines, websites, national TV shows all featured it. It was so heart-warming to see veganism being represented as fun and funny and delicious and versatile. I'll tell you, it seriously gave me a case of the warm fuzzies. Also, it was kind of a thrill for me to see my Taco Yoga Doodles featured on E!Tonight and (for realz).

So, in case you missed your chance to pick up a copy of the hottest book of the year, it's back in print and available far and wide. Plus, I'm doing a giveaway at the end of this post!

Homemade Corn Tortillas, Plantain Tortillas
Fresh Corn Tortillas (left) ~ and ~ Fresh Plantain Tortilla (right)
So, to celebrate Leap Day Taco Party, I sent my friends recipes from the book and we each brought something. It was such a great way to do a taco party -- because every one knows that having 1 million taco toppings to choose from is the way to go, but no one person wants to make all 1 million recipes by themselves.

As the leap taco hostess, I put myself in charge of making tortillas. Before getting this book, I had only made homemade tortillas once, and now I have done it so many times, I'm starting to feel like a pro. The recipe in The Taco Cleanse is super easy and the tortillas are just delicious. In honor of my commitment to a taco-rich lifestyle, I went out and bought two important items: A Tortilla Press and a Tortilla Warmer. The tortilla warmer (seen on the left) is pretty neat, but not significantly more effective than a piece of tinfoil. The tortilla press, however is LIFE-CHANGING. Oh man! Before this I've been pressing a giant soup pot down on my masa blobs to make tortillas. It works, but it's kind of exhausting. With my new tortilla press, I jammed my way right on through a double batch of tortillas in no time! I am IN LOVE. No going back. Plus, it was only $18 at the Latino market here in town. 100% worth it and highly recommended.

tortilla press
i love love love my new tortilla press!

This party also gave me a reason to tackle the Plantain Tortillas! This recipe caught my eye the very first time I flipped through The Taco Cleanse. The ingredients are: plantains, water, salt. That's it!! But they are actually really easy to make and they taste amazing and they are so much fun and feel so special. I'll definitely make them again. I want to figure out which fillings in the book are best complimented by the plantain taco - this was a source of great discussion and concern at our taco party! ha ha.

Vegan Taco Cleanse Refried Beans
Refries Forever
One thing you just gotta have at a Leap Taco Party is a giant vat of refries bigger than anyone's head. Luckily, my pal PS is a super maestra of refries so she offered to make these. They were just perfect - the right amount of creamy, smashed beans with whole perfectly cooked beans. 

taco high dive
taco high dive

Vegan Taco Cleanse Grounding Sweet Potato Fries
Grounding Sweet Potato Fries
PS and her partner also brought a huge batch of the Grounding Sweet Potato Fries, which were so good. I always buy the orange ones, which I guess are technically called yams. These fries are oven-baked, and nicely seasoned with an array of spices. I ate many of these little gems. This is one of the recipes I hadn't made yet from the book, but I'll definitely make them again. They're great in the tacos and also as a side snack.

Vegan Taco Cleanse, Soy Curl Fajitas
Soy Curl Fajitas
For "main dish" fillings, I made a big batch of the Soy Curl Fajitas. This is one of my favorite recipes in the whole book. The whole thing takes about 25 minutes to make and it's super delicious, full of wow-power, and super spicy (at least, that's how I make it). It's so good and easy and perfect. 

Vegan Taco Cleanse, Corn Chip Crusted Tofu
Blue Corn Chip-Crusted Tofu
I also wanted to make something I hadn't made yet from the book, so I chose the Blue Corn Chip-Crusted Tofu slices - mmm! Like almost all of the recipes in this book, these came together super quickly and were not actually much work, but were super yummy. The tofus are lightly marinated, dipped in a slurry, and then coated in a bowl of seasoned and crushed corn chips. The flavor is fairly mild, but yummy, and the chew of the baked tofu plus the crisp of the chip crusting is great. This is a great panko substitute for GF people.* These were a great taco filling along with all the sauces and condiments and other goodies we had.

*side note - taco party is pretty much GOLDEN for the gluten-freebies out there. Two of my beloved guests are gluten-freebies and there wasn't one thing on this whole blog post that had gluten in it! Amazeballs! Highly recommended for delighting and pampering your gf pals (or your gf self!)

leaping tacos
leaping tacos!

Vegan Taco Cleanse Soyrizo
Homemade Soyrizo
Mr. K brought a bowl of his own homemade soyrizo, which was really great! It's a recipe he's been working on for a while, which involves freezing then thawing tofu, marinating it, and then seasoning it with lots of spices and chilies. It was a great texture and flavor and I especially loved it with the super creamy refried beans.

Vegan Taco Cleanse, Fruity Salsa, Baja Slaw
Fruity Salsa ~ and ~ Bright Light Baja Slaw
The lovely Ms. H brought a huge bowl of Fruity Salsa, which pretty much had me doing leaps of joy on Leap Day. Like a true superstar, she somehow found a perfectly ripe mango and a perfectly ripe pineapple and turned that biz into the most delicious thing ever. I may or may not have gone back for seconds and just scooped a giant spoonful of it onto my plate to eat just like that. Well, actually, I did do that. She and I were discussing that we are both generally quite dedicated to only buying local seasonal fruit, since we are lucky enough to live somewhere with a robust selection of local organic fruit all year long. As a result, we both said that we only buy mangos once or twice a year -- and when we do it feels SO exciting and special. ha ha. It's the little things!

She also brought a big beautiful bowl of Bright Light Baja Slaw. I've made this recipe lots of times already but I feel like it's a must-have for a taco party. A crisp, limey red cabbage slaw adds color, crunch, and beauty to every taco it adorns!

taco high jump
taco high jump!

Vegan Taco Cleanse, Escabeche
Condiments Galore!!! Condiments make the taco leap party complete
It's not a real Leap Day Taco Party until you've got so many taco condiments and sauces just like a real taqueria! 

I made Regenerative Red Onions and Enzymatic Escabeche, plus lime wedges, sliced scallions, cilantro, and two of us brought Yellowbird Sauce (great minds think alike! ha ha!). I promise you, that pink color on those red onions is not from photoshopping my picture - the onions really do turn a glorious florescent pink color! I love that recipe so much. The pickled onions are super easy and add SO much to the taco experience. 

It was my first time making the Escabeche, which was also super easy (10 minutes?) and fun and delicious. These pickled carrots, jalepenos and onions were a big hit! 

Vegan Taco Cleanse, Tranquility Sauce, Pico de Gallo
Tranquility Avocado Sauce ~ and ~ Essential Pico de Gallo
Ms. K brought two of the Taco Leap Party's most essential dishes: Tranquility Avocado Sauce and Essential Pico de Gallo. Honestly, I could just eat these two things with a bowl of beans and some corn tortillas and still consider it a pretty kick-ass taco party.

The Tranquility Avocado Sauce is kinda my new thing. I mean, it's so good that I kinda don't need to make guacamole anymore. Yeah, I said it. I LOVE this recipe. 

And Pico de Gallo is one of the best things ever. This recipe is straightforward and perfect. I love making homemade PdG, but I especially love having my friend make homemade PdG and bring it over to my house! ha ha. 

taco ballet
Taco Ballet

Vegan Taco Cleanse, Vegan Horchata, TopoChico
Drinks drinks drinks! 
The Taco Cleanse does have several drinks recipes, including a couple of non-alcoholic recipes... but I had a pent-up need to make the Horchata from Viva Vegan, so I did that instead. Oh damn, that recipe is so good and so perfect and I loooove it. Some daring guests mixed the rum with the horchata, but I am not an alcohol appreciator, so I was happy with it plain. As you can see, I also tracked down a giant bottle of TopoChico - the top-notch Mexican sparkly water that we all fell in love with at the VidaVeganCon last year in Austin. I should have gotten two giant bottles because this disappeared in no time!

Vegan Taco Cleanse, Taco Party, Vegan Tacos
Tacos, Glorious Tacos!
Oh yeah! Bring on the healing, chakra-balancing, cell-regenerating, power-boosting properties of vegan tacos!!! Just look at round one of my first pass at the table - so many colors, foods, veggies, spices, textures, nutrients, and taco sensations. I'm ready to take over the world! (Taco over the world?). One of the other great things about this taco party is that this huge selection of food is actually really healthy and nutritious, in addition to being 5-star delicious!

Vegan Horchata Rice Pudding
Horchata Rice Pudding & Organic Strawberries 
Of course we had dessert! Have you ever made the Horchata from Viva Vegan? One of the great things about it is that you end up with a big batch of magically delicious horchata, AND with a batch of magically delicious horchata-flavored rice pudding flecked with almonds and spices. It's pretty much the best. So, I heated up the rice pudding for dessert and served it in tiny bowls along with a huge bowl of strawberries. A perfect light sweetie to top off our expanding bellies of taco power.

*** Taco Yoga Instructional Video ***

Perhaps you have heard ancient legends about the healing powers of Taco Yoga (tm). Or perhaps you have just seen my taco yoga infographic on Instagram or E!News Tonight. Perhaps you are curious about the healing and balance you too could experience through Taco Yoga, but you aren't sure where to start. Look no further. With Mr. VE&T's help, and with our "helpful" dogs barking in the background, I have filmed a short Taco Yoga Video to introduce you to this beautiful life-giving practice. 
taco yoga, namastaco, taco cleanse

** Taco Cleanse Giveaway!**
As a thank-you for contributing the Taco Yoga content to The Taco Cleanse, the books publishers (The Experiment Publishing) sent me a couple extra copies of the book, which was super nice of them! But I had already bought one for my mom and dad! ha ha. So, I am going to give a copy away to one taco-loving reader, anywhere in the world! Just leave a nice comment (and please make sure I can contact you - with an email address or through your blogger ID) - tell me something nice about spring time or fun parties with friends or taco ideas or anything nice. I'll pick a winner next week!


  1. Oh my goodness this all looks so amazing!! My stomach is growling. I need this cookbook! :) My neighbor's do a yearly taco party and it is so yummy and fun! They even did a vegan filling made out of nuts that was super tasty! Karisa

  2. Weird that my comments are publishing as "unknown" and with grammatical errors (darn iPhone)! Karisa

  3. I wish I had thought of a Leap Day Taco Party! All this food looks amazing! I definitely need this cookbook as well! Perhaps I will have to throw a taco party in the spring.... Earth Day Taco Party? :D

  4. These recipes and tacos look so amazing! Leap Day Taco Party is such a great idea! I haven't made tacos in ages, but it's true that they are so much better when you have one million different filling options. This book sounds great, and I love all of the publicity it got!

  5. Because I live in Los Angeles, it is very convenient that tacos are one of my most favorite foods. This book would really add a lot to all of the taco parties that I have! (They're so fun and easy and adaptable!)

  6. The nice thing I want to say is that you're adorable. I love your sweet and joyful and silly approach to everything and I love your funny little doodles!

  7. The whole idea of a plantain tortilla is blowing my mind. I can't believe it's so simple! It sounds like magic to me.

  8. Hi Amey :) What a wonderful taco party. Tacos with friends in the springtime = perfection! Your fillings all look so amazing. The last tacos I made had a mushroom and cheese filling - the mushrooms were simply panfried in eevo with some garlic, black pepper, coriander/cilantro and jalapenos. The cheese was the mozzarella from the It Doesn't Taste Like Chicken blog. They were great, but I would SO love to win a copy of The Taco Cleanse to help me on my taco journey of discovery and learning. I will be practising the awesome Taco Salutations daily to help me awaken to more taco goodness.
    Thank you for generously offering your giveaway worldwide <3 <3
    miafaletti at gmail dot com

  9. Have you tried Nopales tacos? These cactus and they are delicious. My mexican abuelita made these for us when I was growing up. She would send me out to her backyard to pick a whole bunch of these green cacti she had growing much like "hen and chicks." She would always send out with a warning to not let their thorns "bite me"!! I would love this book to discover ways to put a vegan spin on the dishes from my childhood and share with my family .

  10. i love tacos in everyway! I love them with tofu, soyrizo, avocado, and pico de gallo!

  11. Ooh I think I want to have a taco themed potluck now. Great way to keep it low to no gluten.

  12. I *love* your party posts so much, and this was no exception! I think my head would have exploded with all the amazing options! That horchata rice pudding sounds amaaazing! Incidentally, a vegan Mexican street food stall in London does a deep-fried cinnamon taco with ice cream and chocolate sauce, maybe one to work into your menu for the next taco party (hopefully you don't have to wait another 4 years for the next one)!
    The Taco Cleanse has been on my "To Buy" list since it came out, as you know I am quite poorly versed in Tacoism and feel this would be the right guide to take me closer to Grand Taco Master status. I love when a cookbook is a good book as opposed to just a collection of recipes. Obviously I'd love to win the giveaway - you are so sweet to offer it worldwide - but I will be buying multiple copies of this book at some point and spreading the taco peace ;)

  13. It's my boyfriend's birthday and we are having tacos tonight! blainewilkes at yahoo dot com

  14. I would LOVE to get this book!! All the recipes look amazing!!!

  15. Anonymous8:11 AM

    Here in the north, there is snow on the ground today and tomorrow there will be sunshine and green grass. I love tomorrow. And Spring! And I would love to receive a copy of this book with your amazing drawings. Also, I would love to attend one of your dinners, but since that's not possible, the book will have to do! ;)

  16. Terri Cole9:39 AM

    I've been sitting on some awesome news, because my daughter isn't ready to go public with it yet. I'm going to be a grandma!!! That's the nicest thing I could ever know!

    Also, I just want to say, thanks for this giveaway. I have been reading SO many good things about The Taco Cleanse. I'm new to your blog and I just love your style and humor!

    gaia at cinci dot rr dot com

  17. So many lovely tacos! Yum!

  18. Oh, this looks so delicious! Hosting a taco party is my next big goal in my life (OK, not really, but it's high up!) so having this book would be amazing!

    lene [at]

  19. That looked amazing and so much fun. I love Mexican food! Yummo! zula154 at yahoo dot com

  20. I so need this book as well. What did you end up putting in the plantation tacos? those look amazing.

  21. I don't want to enter the giveaway since I already bought the book for myself and many family members, but I just want to say your selection of foods is stupendous! And big thumbs up to the tortilla press — you know it took about one second for me to fall in love with my new press. One of our favorites from Taco Cleanse is the the deeply roasted chipotle butternut squash. If you haven't tried that yet, you must!

  22. Oh, this looks so incredibly good, I’d love to get the book.

    Tacos for me are party days. Tacos Tuesdays are that early week moment where you wake up already dreaming of dinner. Tacos are everything that’s right in the world.

    But mostly, tacos are the joy of finding a perfectly ripe avocado, the smell of freshly baked corn tortillas, and the heat from a kick-ass salsa. No meat needed, just love. And from what I could feel through your words and pictures, it’s all this book is about. So please, feed my taco addiction. :)


  23. I've never tried tacos but they look so delicious in your pics! I'd love to win the book so I can start my own taco cleanse. :)

  24. What a party! I am totally drooling over all the goods and wish I hadn't wasted my leap year day without tacos :( Timely you should post this as well - I'm planning to wow one of my coworkers with some tacos this week as she made lunch for me a few weeks back. Taco Cleanse is definitely on my list of to gets so I can up my taco game, hehe. Just in case, not sure if my email is linked so it is hello @ littleveganbear . com . Thanks for the great giveaway and taco inspiration!

  25. No tacos where I come from-- I have a bag of masa languishing and youve inspired me to pull it out. If I could only pull off a spread like that...

    Best part of springtime is obviously the sunshine-- nothing like it to get rid of those winter blues-- Im a totally different person!

  26. We love tacos. The perfect meal to satisfy a variety of tastes with a variety of fillings and condiments. Yum!

    apgerson at yahoo dot com

  27. I'm not ready yet to get a tortilla press, but I'm definitely going to use a soup pot to press my tortillas next time. Good idea!

    I'd like to try tacos with some sort of jackfruit filling =)

  28. I love tacos and I'd love to win this book! Tacos are great during warm weather because the whole kitchen doesn't need to heated up to prepare dinner.

  29. Hi Amey,

    What a great party idea!

    Here in Australia it's autumn right now, but my favourite thing about spring time is seeing all the Jacaranda trees bloom! Whole streets turn lilac with Jacaranda flowers and since my mothers birthday is around this time, Jacaranda trees always make me think of her :)

    cathrynyeah @ gmail . com

  30. Aw I would love to finally get my hands on this bible, almost as much as I'd like a tortilla press :)

    Well, it's hard for me to talk about springtime since we FINALLY got our Christmas snow a few days ago here in the UK, and it's tricky to talk about happy party times since my poor old kitty passed away a few days ago and we've been feeling a wee bit blue. BUT, I've been thinking of having a few pals over for a nice cheery-uppy feast and your post definitely gives me lots of inspiration. We'll toast to kitties living into their old age and having long and happy kitty lives :)

  31. This Leap Day Taco party looked amazing! We love throwing an Irish Night party in the spring,...right around St. Patty's day.

  32. I love tacos. I've been trying to figure out how to get my fix since going vegan. I definitely need to check this out.

  33. something excellent about springtime is avocados are back in season so you can totally have your dad make his award winning guacamole (they had a guacamole contest at his work and he won!) in a big vat and eat it for dinner. and now i'm very curious about this avocado sauce!!

  34. Your taco yoga video make me so happy, it was wonderful! I am going to share it everywhere. :)
    I would love to organise a taco yoga and taco party fundraiser one day, it seems like a very fun thing!

  35. Anonymous6:14 PM

    I just made nachos with a Neihbor but next up is tacos for sure

  36. Anonymous1:05 PM

    I love your doodles. They are the BEST!!
    Jasmine R. (you know how to get a hold of me should I win! Thanks!

  37. Maybe I should convince my friend to have a taco cleanse part too!

  38. OMG Amey, your taco yoga video cracked me up!!! So funny and I loved seeing all of the pups at the end. Oh and don't enter me into the competition, I already have a copy!

  39. Ha ha. Somehow I missed your taco yoga video before now. Well done, friend. Well done. Also, please tell me how the hell those plaintain tortillas are! I need details! I wanted to make them, but my flour tortillas came out so well using a GF mix Somer sent me, that I got off track. Anyway, you sure know how to partee.


  40. Also, I have no idea why. But suddenly I can post comments on blogger blogs again, without those wacky error emails!! Thrilling.

  41. I always feel stuck with tacos so I end up going for the classic beans/lettuce/cheese idea but I'd love to make something new.

  42. Ah! Love it! A leap year taco party. That's awesome. All of the food sounds and looks so good. I haven't bought the book yet, I need to. I've heard *so* many good things about it.
    "here wasn't one thing on this whole blog post that had gluten in it! Amazeballs!"
    I want to buy it even more now! Yay for gluten-free recipes =)
    And your taco yoga is very impressive!

  43. Anonymous9:03 AM

    Hi Amey, I am hoping you can recommend a children's yoga book. I've looked on Amazon and the reviews have either been really, really positive or the polar opposite, leaving me feeling confused. This book would be for my grands, ages 7 and 8. Thank you.

    1. Hi Anonymous, I'm sorry... I'm no help either! I really don't know of any books about yoga for children. I don't have kids, and I haven't specialized in teaching children, so this isn't an area I've ever investigated. I'm sorry not to be more help, especially after such a kind vote of confidence on your part! :)

  44. Anonymous6:42 AM

    woohoo! this is so vibrant & delicious looking. we don't get tomatillos in scotland but salsa verde is my number one favourite so we make tacos with a salsa verde made from kiwis. that with mango salsa, refried black beans, chewy tofu and heapings of guacamole all stuffed in a soft taco shell is hands-down our favourite meal. thanks for this amazing giveaway!
    idk how to leave my name, but my email is ;)) god bless x


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