Can I have a show of hands, who likes TACOS?!! In my house, we do tacos a lot, at least 3 or 4 times a month.
Once in a while, I will change up the mix, as is the case here. Some of my family are purists and don’t like it when I mess with his taco ingredients, but my Mom on the other hand loves it when I add variety to the mix.
Barley is a great substitute for rice, and if you ask me has more health benefits, although I do love my rice. Along with the other simple ingredients going into these tacos, I also did a little bit of seasoned tofu and, before you bow out, I seriously recommend trying it. It’s pretty surprising how good it can be when seasoned in a taco.
Green Pepper, Tofu, & Spanish Barley Tacos (Vegan+GF)
Sometimes the simplest combinations are the best. These tacos are perfect for a quick weeknight meal.
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 small onion finely chopped
- 3 cloves garlic minced
- 2 cups pearl barley
- 2 cups enchilada sauce
- 2 cups vegetable stock
- 1 teaspoon oregano
- 1/2 teaspoon cumin
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 medium green bell peppers sliced into rings
- 1 medium onion sliced into rings
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- salt & black pepper to taste
- 1 15 ounce block extra firm tofu
- 1/2 cup tomato salsa
- 2 teaspoons chili powder
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- 1 teaspoon lime juice
- 1 teaspoon coconut sugar or maple syrup
- 8 - 10 medium flour tortillas replace with corn tortillas or gf if needed
- 2/3 cup fresh cherry or regular tomatoes, diced
- 1 cup butterhead lettuce
- 1 cup shredded vegan "cheddar cheese"
- non-dairy plain yogurt optional
- salsa or hot sauce optional
- cilantro lime hummus or chipotle hummus are both delicious with these too.
Combine onion, garlic, and olive oil in a large skillet and saute over medium high heat for 3 to 4 minutes until soft and browned. Pour in remaining ingredients, reduce heat to low, and cover. Simmer, stirring occasionally, for 35 to 45 minutes until barley is tender and liquid is absorbed. If the liquid is absorbed before the barley is tender add a bit of water to the pan.
While the barley simmers, heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a medium skillet and add peppers and onions. Cook for 6 to 7 minutes until peppers are softened. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Toss the chicken into pan and stir over heat for about 1 minute to warm then remove from heat
In a non-stick skillet, fry the tofu slices for about 2-3 minutes until browned. (If you want you can add oil but I find if I use a good pan it's not necessary). Remove from pan and place in a separate dish to cool for a moment. Chop the tofu slices into small bits and add to the pan along with the salsa and seasonings. Add a bit of water as needed until the mixture is evenly mixed. Simmer for about 10 minutes until fully heated through and the liquid is absorbed.
Assemble the tacos with barley, tofu, lettuce, tomatoes, cooked peppers and onions, cheese, and desired sauces.