janet @ the taste space

Cocoa Jerk Tofu Tacos + Cookbook Giveaway

In Book Review, Mains (Vegetarian) on February 14, 2015 at 10:36 AM

Cocoa Jerk Tofu Tacos + Cookbook Giveaway

Happy Valentine’s Day!

While the blogosphere blows up with desserts, here is a fun way to add even more chocolate to your meals. Cocoa jerk tofu tacos. No stranger to brightly flavoured jerk foods (e.g. Jamaican Jerk Plantain Soup and the ever classic Jamaican Jerk Tempeh Wraps), I have never seen it with the addition of chocolate.

The recipe is courtesy of Superfoods for Life, Cocoa which is a vegan cookbook devoted to adding more chocolate to your meals. The book explains the health benefits of chocolate and shows you ways to incorporate it into your breakfast, lunch and dinner, including desserts (obviously). Sweet and savoury.

This has been my favourite recipe so far, and I probably would not have tried it had Sayward not raved about it. The perfect balance of tangy, spicy (not too spicy) with flavourful spices (allspice, oregano, cinnamon) and the raw cocoa powder merely lent a deeper flavour. This did not taste like chocolate. It was also really simple to put together, with a quick marinade mixed in a baking dish which was then baked altogether. I served it as tacos with a spoonful of mashed avocado but Matt also recommends eating it with a side of rice, beans and/or plantains. Rob doesn’t like onions too much, so if you are like him, reduce or replace the onions with more bell peppers.

Cocoa Jerk Tofu Tacos + Cookbook Giveaway

It took me awhile to review this cookbook because I quickly realized it is hard to eat chocolate so often. Even with the savoury meals, sometimes I got tired with my leftovers prematurely so I had to space them out. I will also admit was not that adventurous to try all of Matt’s suggestions yet (bana ghanoush with cocoa powder, cocoa coleslaw, choco-spinach lasagna). However, it just goes to show you how novel some of these recipes truly are.

Cocoa Jerk Tofu Tacos + Cookbook Giveaway

I wish the cookbook was organized more intuitively for finding the recipes, but I cannot determine the method to their madness. I think they are organized based on health benefits (ie, preventing stroke, diabetes, etc). The chapters are labelled as such: Heart-Healthy Cacao: Little Bean, Lots of Benefits and Cacao on the Brain: From Stroke Prevention to Cognitive Function.

Here is a sample of the recipes shared elsewhere:

Aztec-Style Chocolate Drink (Two Ways)

Chocolate-Cocoa Za’atar Pesto Balls

Cocoa Mango Lassi

Coconut Shortbread-Double Brownie Delight

Raw Chocolate Carrot Cake

Rich Chocolaty Vegetable Tarts

Tamarind Chocolate Chili

Cocoa Jerk Tofu Tacos + Cookbook Giveaway

Thankfully, the publisher allowed me to giveaway the cookbook to a reader living in the United States or Canada. To be entered in the random draw for the book, please leave a comment below telling me about your favourite unusual way to enjoy chocolate. The winner will be selected at random on February 22, 2015. Good luck!

PS. I am sharing this with Vegetable Palette.

Tasty Cocoa Jerk Tofu

Matt’s note: Not too spicy,and full of flavor, cacao makes magic with Caribbean cuisine! Soybeans are full of isoflavones, the phytochemical that may be responsible for soybeans’ ability to lower cholesterol and reduce cancer risk. When you combine them here with cacao, you have a powerful phytochemical plate!


2 teaspoons curry powder
1 teaspoon chili powder
1/2 teaspoon each black pepper, cinnamon, and allspice
2 tablespoons (28 ml) hot sauce (I used sriracha)
1/3 cup (27 g) cocoa powder (use raw for a fattier, brighter flavor) (I used raw cocoa powder)
1/4 cup (60 ml) tamari
1/3 cup (80 ml) vegetable broth
2 to 3 crushed garlic cloves
1 tablespoon (21 g) agave nectar
2 tablespoons (28 ml) olive oil
1 tablespoon (15 ml) lemon juice or balsamic vinegar
2 tablespoons (32 g) hoisin or plum sauce, tamarind, or a similar sauce (I used tamarind concentrate)
1/2 teaspoon salt, or to taste
1/2 teaspoon ground oregano

16 ounces (455 g) firm tofu
1 onion, sliced
1 red and 1 green bell pepper, each sliced

1. TO MAKE THE SAUCE: Blend together the sauce ingredients in a blender and set aside.

2. To make the tofu: Cut the tofu block into 4 sections and then cut each of these into 4 strips. Mix the tofu with the vegetables and sauce in a casserole dish or other flat-bottomed vessel and allow to sit for an hour.

3. Preheat the oven to 400 ̊F (200 ̊C, gas mark 6).

4. Add the tofu and bake, turning once, for 30 minutes, adding a bit more liquid if you need to or want this dish to be saucier. Increase the heat to broil and broil for 5 to 7 minutes to finish.

Suggestions: Serve this dish with seasoned black beans and rice. Some fried plantains would work well, too! Garnish with grated chocolate and scallions if desired. (I used them as tacos with a side of mashed avocado)

Serves 4

  1. What a novel recipe…I might be able to sneak it onto our family table if I don’t way what’s in it. My kids automatically equate chocolate with SWEET. I guess that means we don’t have an ‘unusual’ recipe with chocolate…about as adventure-filled as we’ve gotten, thus far, is chocolate-banana bread.

  2. chocolate sweet potato oatmeal! 😀

  3. I haven’t ever really tried chocolate in an usual way, but I’m so intrigued!! The idea of cocoa in chili has always piqued my interest, but I’ve never taken the leap haha. This tofu looks incredible and I am definitely going to give it a try!!

  4. Thank you for sharing that recipe: it sounds like it will be a great addition to my repertoire. I like baking tofu and tempeh in a sauce or marinade, but I sometimes find myself turning to the same flavours again and again. This one will make for a delicious change!
    I’ve been meaning to try cocoa in a chili, but I keep forgetting while I’m doing it. I’ll try to remember next time, because I’m really curious to taste the depth of flavour that it apparently lends to the dish.

  5. I like the marriage between Coumadin and Coco. I often sauté a bit of Coumadin to bring out the nuttysmoky flavor, then add cocoa powder and put it in my black beans or refried beans yummy! Would love to try some of these other recipes

  6. I’d really like to try making mole – I never have! I could totally understand that you’d get weary of so much chocolate, especially in savory dishes. This tofu sounds really tasty!

  7. Really, I’ll out my unsweetened cocoa powder in ANYTHING!

  8. I love chocolate covered almonds. Probably my favorite way to enjoy it!

  9. Thanks for posting this and the links, Janet (I have my eye on the tamarind chili). This recipe is kind of like a Caribbean mole sauce.

  10. Love the look of this recipe and all the others you’ve listed so now I REALLY WOULD LOVE to win it! I don’t get too crazy with chocolate but I do love it best when in less sweet, or even savoury dishes. I put a healthy dose of cocoa powder in my home-made taco seasoning. And sometimes in chilli sauce. Some times I mix it with cinnamon for my mid-morning coffee. Oh yes, wait a minute… I do have an “unusual” way of using chocolate! I do a fantastic “chocolate salami” every Christmas. Well actually I make it at the end of November and it “cures” till Christmas. This year I turned it into a chocolate “chorizo” by adding more heat and reducing the sweet content. That recipe is on my blog by the way, but I’m not here to talk about my blog, I’m here to win this book! 🙂 Thanks!

  11. I make chocolate balls with avocados

  12. I don’t really have any weird ways I enjoy chocolate, but I’d love some ideas from this book. I think the weirdest way I’ve had chocolate is a chili recipe with cocoa.

  13. i also don’t think i have a weird way to use chocolate. (oops!) i did once try it in chili, but i think i might not have used enough, cause i couldn’t taste it. this book sounds awesome! thanks for the opportunity!

  14. This recipe is SO up my alley! I love chocolate in hot dishes (chili, mole), and bet it would be spectacular here, too. I must give it a try!

  15. Interesting sounding cookbook! This dish sounds, I love the idea of infusing a bit of a choco flavour to savoury foods like this. Yum. Perfect valentine’s fare.

  16. Thank you for this recipe – chocolate and tofu! I enjoy adding cocoa powder to a spicy red lentil puree for breakfast.

  17. So cool! That chocolate carrot cake is calling my name…

    The most unusual way I use chocolate? I mix cocoa powder with cornstarch and use it as a dry shampoo for my dark hair. Does that count? Haha

  18. i make a great avocado chocolate pudding. yum

  19. Just came back from Mexico where I bought several moles. Can’t wait to cook with them; absolute deliciousness!

  20. My favorite ways to eat chocolate usually just involve eating it straight up 🙂 But a couple more unusual ways I use it are in chilis and some sauces, like enchilada sauce. It’s not really identifiable as chocolate that way, but it does provide a nice flavor.

  21. Hi Janet,
    I just hopped over from Virtual Vegan Potluck to check out your wonderful cocoa jerk tofu tacos recipe. Cocoa is such a unique flavor to experience with tacos.I can’t wait to make them for my friends. They will be so thrilled. I subscribed to stay in touch. I’m pinning and sharing this recipe as well. All the best, Deborah

  22. I guess this is unusual to some people – I love chocolate bars with hot peppers. My favorite is Theo’s Spicy Chile Dark Chocolate. Yumm!!

  23. I don’t know that I’ve tried chocolate in an unusual way, but I look forward to trying a new recipe.

  24. I think the most unusual combination I’ve tried with chocolate is brownies with chili pepper mixed in. Just enough to give it a kick. =)

  25. The most unusual way I enjoy chocolate is in a face mask I made with yogurt and a few other ingredients. Since everything is edible, I have to taste it first. 🙂

  26. I hope I’m not too late! I mostly only use cacao powder in smoothies with maca… I need some inspiration for sure!

  27. I wish I could have entered but I live in the UK, may have to put this book on my wish list 🙂 The round up will be up later tonight, thank you for sharing such as curious recipe.

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