Happy Cinco de Mayo from Veggie Product Reviews! It seemed only fitting that today we review a frozen taco. Yes, a frozen *taco*. I was going to get another box of Carla Lee’s Nut Balls, and right next door I saw Carla Lee’s Nut Tacos. I’m easily enticed by anything taco and anything mini, so I picked up a box. I really wanted to love them. Unfortunately, I just didn’t.
Product: Carla Lee’s Nut Tacos
Overall Grade: C+ These were just ok and probably got the + just because they were so darn cute. I was also a little annoyed by the fact that I had to use a spoon to push down the filling so there was room for toppings. This is frozen food, it shouldn’t be that much “work”. Yes, I know that’s lazy, but when I’m cooking prepared food from the freezer it’s because I’m feeling lazy.
Small and easy to eat
The shells crisped up nicely
The shells didn’t crack too badly
The tacos were more filling than they look. Those 4 tiny tacos with the toppings really were enough for dinner for me.
I recognize all the ingredients, so no scary stuff
The filling didn’t get a crisp on it like the nut balls, so even for me it was a little soft
They’re a little greasy
The shells got super hot (obviously) but by the time they weren’t burning my fingers, the filling wasn’t hot enough
The heat level was weird. It was too hot to be mild, too mild to be hot, too hot with the added hot sauce. And, I like the flavor of my hot sauce better than the heat here)
Overall, I think the problems I had with the nut tacos could be solved by just selling the taco nut meat as crumbles and letting you cook it on the stove top for your own shells. You’re already doing the toppings anyway. Or, if they’re really excited about the mini tacos, package the shells to go in the oven and the filling to go on the stove top and let you assemble.
In the days of my youth, my parents would occasionally treat me to the only places that turned fish into a highly unhealthy meal choice, either Long John Silver’s or Captain D’s. I wonder what the D stood for? Anyway, I remember how delicious the batter was, as it sweated grease that turned whatever paper container it was in translucent, and if I was really lucky, the smiling food server would dump a pile of “crispies” in my bag for good measure, just in case the fish itself weren’t enough to ensure a heart attack by age forty. Nevertheless, I remember the fish being really good, and if you have a hankering for a much healthier but still very tasty version of this Long John’s or Captain’s fare, well Veganswashbuckler has a remedy for you, matey: Gardein Golden Fishless Filets!
Now, these are frozen and very authentic tasting, and the package may say something about baking being an optional cooking method. If you want to go down that path, I’m sure you’ll have a fine tasting result, but I’ve never done anything other than pan saute mine. When pan sauteing this and similar frozen items, I recommend using a tablespoon at least of oil and cooking over medium heat. To prevent getting oil all over your range top, I would put the oil in the pan, then your filet, then turn the burner on. This way the iciness thaws and splashing is much less than if you were to just stick a frozen filet in hot oil.
A great way to enjoy these beauties is in faux fish tacos. Here is how I recommend you go about doing this.
Salsa, your favorite store bought brand or homemade
These are a breeze to make. If you want your Daiya to melt, you’ll want to throw your filet strips into the tortillas while still hot and add the Daiya right away. To assemble, simply cover your tortilla in a damp paper towel then nuke it for about 20 seconds to make it soft and easier to work with. Take it out of the microwave then pour some salsa down the center, top that with filet strips then Daiya, but don’t get too overzealous, as it will be impossible to eat if it’s overstuffed. Top that with shredded cabbage and cilantro then fold it over, and voila! Faux fish tacos that will satisfy any landlubber!