Pandemic Tacos

Like a lot of families, the Hardwick household spent a good part of the 2020 pandemic lock-down re-evaluating and adjusting our lifestyle. For us, a big part of that involved food. Kristina hates to cook and I never learned how, so for most of our adult lives, we’ve eaten far too much frozen or take-out meals. That ended in 2020. I started cooking, at first to take stress off of others and make the most of the foods on hand or readily available, later for health and economy and the too-often neglected in modern life, simple sociability of the evening meal.

I bought a high-quality ceramic coated wok and a Japanese knife of Damascus steel for making stir-fry. I mastered Korean Gyeran-mari (or rolled omelette), and found a new love for ready-made Indian sauces, tofu, and a host of other light and tasty alternatives to the high-fat, high-carb working man’s diet our parents learned on the farm and bequeathed us.

We will never go back. I’ve lost 50 pounds and have developed a striking intolerance for most American convenience food. But of all our improvisations and experiments, none has been as big a hit and made as enduring an impressions as my new go-to lunch, the pandemic taco.


2 white corn tortillas (soft, 5 or 6″)

1 Slice, white pepper jack cheese (or American, if you want to be wrong)

2 MorningStar Farms Veggie Breakfast 9g Protein Original Meatless Sausage Links

2 handfuls of broccoli slaw or cabbage coleslaw (dry)

Siracha Mayo (Lee Kum Kee Sriracha Mayo Sauce)



  1. Place tortillas on a small plate and warm in the microwave for 10-15 seconds, just enough to soften them. Fold in half and drop in toaster (folded side down). Toast for long enough to just start to brown. They should come out cooked, pliable but not rubbery, and will stiffen and hold their shape as they cool. Experiment with your toaster to get it just right.
  2. The tortillas will need 3-4 minutes in the toaster. While you wait, put two MorningStar sausage links on the plate and microwave for 1 – 1.5 minutes till hot. Separate after heating, as they will tend to stick together.
  3. Fold the cheese slice into thirds, then fold one of these thirds in half lengthwise.
  4. As soon as the tortillas pop up, remove them with tongs and set them on the plate with the waiting sausages.
  5. Place half the cheese at the bottom of each tortilla. So one, 1/3 strip + 1/2 another in each one.
  6. Using the tongs, plop one MorningStar sausage link in each tortilla.
  7. Apply to each a stripe of Siracha mayo.
  8. Fill the rest of each tortilla with as much broccoli slaw (or coleslaw) as the laws of physics permit.
  9. Shape the cooling tortilla–if fully toasted it should pretty much stand up, filled, without falling over.



Serving size: 2 tacos.

Calories, about 280.

Goes well with flavored rice crisps.


You’re welcome.