Monday, June 05, 2017

Super Taco Potluck Party!

It had been quite a while since my pals and I had a big vegan potluck together, and that is just no good at all! So, we put our brains (and calendars) together and set a date!! We decided on a taco potluck, because what could be better than that? It was such a rad evening, so much delicious food, and such lovely conversation, and just great to be together. I am so lucky to have found such rad friends! 

 Cooler full of TopoPipo

You know your taco party is off to a good start when you have a cooler full of TopoChico. 
Aw, yeah! 

Kathy Hester's Queso

I made a ginormous batch of Queso, using the recipe from Kathy Hester's Vegan Instapot cookbook. I don't have an Instapot, but it was easy to convert the recipe. Holy bananas, this stuff is so good. This giant bowl of queso was completely demolished and was 100% empty by the end of the evening. And, suffice it to say, this queso had a lot of competition (as you will soon see), so that is indeed quite a testimony. It's not like we were just a bunch of starving vegans locked in an empty room with a bowl of queso. Au contraire! 

all ready to go snorkeling in a giant bowl of queso!!
(my doodles look funny because I am traveling and don't have my scanner) 

oodles of tortillas! 

I love making homemade tortillas, but we were going to have 10 grown-ups and a kiddo at this party ... and I didn't really have the time or energy to make that many tortillas. ha ha. Please forgive me. My friend Alana stepped up and brought an excellent array of tortillas: minis, regulars, fancies, and super fancies (with roasted hatch chiles!). Mr. VE&T is not afraid to be himself, and that includes confessing to his unhip love of crunchy taco shells. For that reason, any taco party we host will also include crunchy taco shells! 

beans beans beans, they're good for your heart

Look at all that good stuff! ha ha. I know this picture is hardly going to win any food photography contests, but all those recipes could have easily won some flavor contests! It was accidental that we ended up with so many black beans, but luckily, if you have a room full of hungry taco-loving vegans, no one will be upset about that.

Top Left: Spicy Tofu Scram with black beans -- my friend Nikki brought this concoction and it was seriously fantastic. I don't know what spices she used, and I know she just made it up because she always does that, so I will never know. It was one of my favorites of the evening! 

Top Right: Black Bean, Zucchini, and Olive taco filling - from Appetite for Reduction. I love this recipe, and I hadn't made it for a long while. It's spiced so well - not spicy hot, but just perfectly seasoned. And the olives add an excellent punch of flavor and tang.

Bottom Left: Quick Beans from The Taco Cleanse -- I love this recipe and I make it all the time. It really is so quick and easy, and yet somehow really transforms a couple humble cans of beans into something way more special and flavorful. I think it's kind of a taco necessity to have a big basic bowl of beans. A BBBB. 

Bottom Right: Soy Curl Fajitas from The Taco Cleanse. This is another one of my top 5 recipes from this excellent cookbook. You can't buy Soy Curls here in Santa Cruz anymore, so I resorted to ordering these online. I'm so glad I did. I'm kind of having a Soy Curl moment, rekindling my romance with this lost love of mine. Do you have any favorite Soy Curl recipes? Tell me! 

condiments to meet your many taco needs

You know how they always say that "accessories make the outfit"? (is that a thing people say? I have no actual idea). Well, condiments definitely make the taco. Or at least, they can elevate your taco to the next level. My pals Alana and Sophia really brought the goods:
Salsa Libano and Chipotle Aioli - both from The Taco Cleanse.
Giant Vat of Guac (plus some limes, salsa, and pickled red onions)
Mango and Jicama salad with jalepeno and herbs 
Curtido (cabbage slaw) - from Viva la Vegan

All these festive goodies make up for the brown collage of bean photos! Just look at all those colors and veggies! Flavors, spicy power punch, crunchy veg, creamy sauce, rich avocado, tanginess... all wonderful elements to include in your taco experience. I really think that the secret to a successful taco bar is in all the fun and fancy sauces and toppings! 

I am not foolin'

This was my dinner plate, at least the 1st pass. There was more after this. Man, those mini corn tortillas are so fun, because you can make yourself four completely different tortillas and try all the good stuff and still not be too full afterwards! I am officially a mini tortilla fan now. I was quite pleased with my taco creations. Just looking at this beautiful plate of taco glory makes me want to have another taco potluck! 

mini tortillaz 4 life!!

Strawberry Watermelon Agua Fresca with fresh mint

My friends Hannae and Brian brought a huge and amazing jar of Strawberry Watermelon Agua Fresca. Hannae is some sort of magical wizard at making elixir and tonics -- she and her friend have even been doing pop-up tonic bars around town. So cool. This stuff was just wonderful, and such a nice addition to the meal.

Since I'm not an alcohol drinker, I didn't even remember to take a picture of the elaborate margarita bar that my friend Jake set up. That makes me feel like a jerk! He brought fancy liquor stuff and juiced a million limes and was making people happy with nice margaritas. I always appreciate when my houseguests bring alcohol -- since I really don't know anything about it!

Dessert time! 

You gotta have some sweeties! My friends brought such excellent treats for our dessert:
Nikki brought Snickerdoodles and Alana brought a Lime Cheesecake. Omg. They were both so delicious and somehow totally perfect post-taco desserts. The cinnamony snickerdoodles were great because cinnamon is used in so many Mexican sweets.  And the cheesecake was creamy and tangy, both very appreciated after all the strong flavors of those tacos! 

I highly recommend taco parties with your friends! What could be better? 
Eat your own mini-tacos and rejoice!


  1. ilu so much. yes to taco parties and friends!

  2. Taco parties are a perfect idea! There are so many possibilities for cooking - whether a person wants to make something very elaborate or something super simple. It looks like it was a delicious evening!

  3. Everything looks amazing. I have Appetite for Reduction. I need to find that black bean recipe!

    As for the Soy husband (a hardcore omnivore) loves my "Buffalo" soy curls recipe. He actually asks for them if I haven't made them in a while. The trick is to cook the curls twice (saute in a couple tablespoons of oil to brown the outside, then roast at 425 degrees until they're kind of chewy and crispy on the outside). Then douse them in a mix of melted Earth Balance and Frank's Extra Hot Buffalo Sauce. We eat them on sandwiches with pickles and Vegannaise ( hubby uses Hellmans).

  4. Haha love that Mr. VE&T is secure enough to confess his unhip love of crunchy taco shells! 🤣

  5. THIS IS SUCH A GOOD IDEA that we may have to steal it in Memphis! I've always wondered why anyone would need a mini taco (bc corn tortillas are already pretty small). But now I totally get it. Also, I'm with Mr VE&T on crunchy shells. LOVE em. I mean, I love soft corn tortillas and homemade flour ones too. But I love them all!

  6. A Vegan Taco Potluck is the most brilliant concept I've heard of in a long time. Everything about it is so appealing. And thanks for the mini-tortilla idea. I make our standard-sized (about 4 to 5 inches across) corn tortillas in the beautiful, clunking cast iron press, but after reading this, will try making smaller-sized, as well (for the convincing reason given above). Muchisimas gracias.

  7. That looks like SUCH a great potluck! Have I mentioned I love tacos?

  8. This looks amazing! Your plate of tacos is beautiful, though they look so full! Could you fold them up? I want tacos now!

    As for soy curl recipes, there is one in the Vegan Diner cookbook that comes to mind as being super yummy!

  9. Wow this sounds so smart! Your potlucks are always so impressive!!

  10. Amey, this potluck looks insane! Thanks so much for sharing the details with all of us.

    If I remember right, you've got a birthday sometime soon or recently passed. So, happy, happy wishes from me--I hope the year ahead brings you peace and fulfillment. xo


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