Tag Archives: bell pepper

Muy Bueno Vegan Tamales

Yesterday, I made my favorite chili-stuffed peppers, which always leaves me with extra stuffing.  I’ve turned that stuffing into burritos, I’ve turned it into enchiladas; both delish.  This time I got to thinking: tamales!  My friend, the Google, provided me with lots of inspiration–recipes without lard or butter, but still used a fair amount of fat, and some that used very, very little fat.  I decided on one that used vegan margarine, thinking it might create a dough that would be closer to tamales I’ve enjoyed before.  I reduced the margarine by half and upped the other liquid.  The dough was super workable and the resulting tamales were, well, muy bueno!

yum2

Another reason to love this recipe is that it only makes 12 tamales.  Very do-able.

ingredients

  • 4 ounces dried corn husks
  • 2 cups masa harina (a corn flour–find it in most grocery stores)
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 cup vegan margine, room temperature
  • About 1 1/2 cups warm “no-chicken”  broth, plus more as needed
  • 2 cups of the vegan filling of your choice.  I used my pepper stuffing, there are a couple more that sound yummy here.
  • sauce of your choice

First, 15 minutes before starting the dough, soak the dried husks in warm water, using a plate to weight them down.

soak husks

Then, mix the masa harina with the baking powder and salt.  Set it aside.

Whip the margarine until it becomes fluffy.  Add the masa and broth alternately until a light, soft and non-sticky dough is formed.

whip butter, ad masa

soft dough

Pat each corn husk dry and place on a surface, the pointed end toward you.  Roll a two-inch dough ball and place it near the top of the husk.

2 inch dough ball

Smoosh (yes, this IS a culinary term!) the dough ball into a square about four inches per side.

smoosh to 4 inch square

Place 1 1/2-2 TBSP filling down the center and top with the sauce of your choice.  We like enchilada sauce.

add filling and sauce

Roll the husk from the side, encircling the dough and filling.

roll

Fold up the bottom and tie with a little strip of husk if you want.  If you’re making tons of tamales, they’ll hold each other together as they pack in the steamer.  I worried the ones on the edges might flop open, so I tied them.  They’re kinda cute that way; yummy little presents.  🙂

fold up bottom

tie

Place them into a steamer basket open side up, place it over boiling water and put a lid over them.  Steam for 50 minutes to an hour–until the dough firms and pulls easily from the husks.

stand up in steamer

all 12 in steamer

place lid

When they’re steamed, unwrap your yummy little presents and enjoy!

yum1

We had just a couple each, with a bowl of squash blossom soup.  We’re expecting a freeze tonight, so I picked all my squash and squash flowers.  The last time we’ll enjoy the soup until next summer, but I’m planning on LOTS of tamales!  Can’t wait to try all sorts of fillings!  Especially at Christmas–tamales are a Christmas tradition I thought I might need to do without. What will you fill your tamales with?

 

Advertisements

2 Comments

Filed under comfort food, dairy-free, dinner, Garden produce, Gluten-free, Holiday foods, recipe, side dish, Vegetarian

Perfect Peach Salsa

Peach season.  Farm stands loaded with luscious glowing orbs of yumminess.  Perfect for eating fresh.   The juice running down your arm?  No worries!  All hail the glorious peach!  Enjoy them fresh now, and save some to brighten the dark days of winter.  So many options to save peaches: canning, freezing, pie filling, jams, jellies, and butters.  One of my favs is the spectacular combo of sweet and heat, peach salsa.  Yummy as a dip and as the perfect condiment to Mexican foods, especially in my humble opinion, fish or chicken tacos!

yum1

Make it and store it in the fridge or can it to have all winter.  Peach salsa is an easy canning project–don’t fear the canner!  Recipe from the Ball Complete Book of Home Preserving

ingredients

  • 1/2 cup white vinegar
  • 6 cups chopped, peeled and pitted peaches
  • 1 1/4 cup red onion, chopped
  • 4 jalapeno peppers, finely chopped (seeded as well if you want to tone down the heat)
  • 1 red bell pepper, seeded and chopped (I used a green pepper, because that’s what I had on hand–red would make a pretty salsa, though!)
  • 1/2 cup loosely packed, finely chopped cilantro (Ok to leave this out if you hate cilantro)
  • 2 TBSP honey
  • 1-2 cloves garlic, minced or pressed
  • 1 1/2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper

Prepare your canner, jars, lids and rings.  Combine all ingredients in a large stainless steel pot and bring to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring constantly.  (Placing vinegar into the pot first and chopping peaches into it as you go will stop peaches from browning.)

chop and combine

Reduce heat and and boil gently, stirring frequently until slightly thickened, about 5-10 minutes.

Boil and simmer

Ladle hot salsa into hot jars, leaving 1/2 inch headspace.  Remove air bubbles and adjust headspace with more salsa if needed.  Wipe rim, center lid and screw band down to finger-tight.

ladle into hot jars

Process in hot water bath canner for 15 minutes for 1/2 pints, 20 minutes for pints.  Remove canner lid, wait 5 more minutes and remove jars.

process for 15 min plus 5

Let cool for lids to seal–you’ll hear a “thunk,” and the lid will be concave.

remove and let cool to seal

Label your pretty jars with the date canned.

label lids

Peach Salsa makes a lovely gift, but be sure to save some for yourself to enjoy!  Yum!

yum2

I’ve noticed people either love or hate the whole “sweet and heat” thang.  Which side are you on?

4 Comments

Filed under Canning and preserving, dairy-free, Garden produce, snack, Vegetarian

Louise’s Black Bean Soup

I’m so lucky!  We have friends we stay with fairly often on the Front Range, whether they’re home or not!  We like it best of course, if they’re there.  We dedicate our visits to what we call “chill and swill;” essentially hanging out, eating, visiting galleries, wineries, and breweries, laughing, and generally enjoying each others’ company.  Louise ALWAYS makes yummy meals for us, and now that we’re vegan, she planned a vegan feast that included this yum-yum-yummy soup from Busy Cooks.  What a great friend, right?!

yum3

Chop a few things, open a few cans and you have soup….pretty much, anyway!  🙂

ingredients

  • 1/4 cup veggie broth
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 3-4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 (15 0z) cans black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 2 cups frozen corn
  • 1 bell pepper, chopped  (The recipe sez green, Louise likes red, so pick whichever color you like!)
  • 14 oz (1 3/4 cup) No Chicken Broth (or veggie broth or real chicken broth if you’re not vegan/vegetarian)
  • 1 (14 oz) can diced tomatoes, undrained  (I like the extra flavor you get from “fire-roasted” tomatoes)
  • 1/2 tsp dried thyme leaves
  • 1 tsp dried basil
  • 1/2 tsp cumin
  • 1/8 tsp pepper
  • 1 bay leaf

Saute onion and garlic in veggie broth  in a large pot until onions are translucent, about 2-4 minutes.

saute onion and garlic

Open one can of beans, drain and rinse and then mash until they’re the consistency of refried beans.

mash beans

Scoop them into the pot along with the other (drained and rinsed) can of beans, corn, tomatoes, broth, bell pepper and seasonings.

add all to the pot

Stir,  cover, bring to a boil, and reduce heat to a simmer. Simmer for at least 10 minutes.

boil then simmer

Remove the bay leaf and serve with whatever toppings you like.  I topped with cilantro and a pinch of red pepper flake.  Avocado, green onions, sour cream, cheese and crumbled tortilla chips come to mind.

yum2

Add a couple pieces of bread or a tortilla or two and you’ve got dinner!  We opened a bottle of Tempranillo to pair with the soup–perfect.  A brown ale would be yummy, too.

yum1

This low-fat, vegan soup comes together quickly enough for a weeknight, and is hearty enough to satisfy the carnivores in your house.  Louise also served up an exquisite carrot-chipotle soup.  The weather has me in a soup mood, so I’m thinking it won’t be long for that soup to be blogged as well!

1 Comment

Filed under comfort food, dairy-free, dinner, lunch, Potluck, recipe, side dish, Vegetarian

Quick and Easy Fajitas

My husband Michael is a huge fan of Mexican food; he would eat it every day, every meal.  Yup.  I like to experiment with new things that don’t always end up hot and spicy.  So after a few days of not-Mexican food, it was time.  Leftover steak from Western Colorado Cheese Steak paninis was perfect for a big ol’ batch of fajitas.

Fajitas are super easy to make and come together quickly, especially if the meat you use is already cooked.

  • 2 bell peppers, thinly sliced, colors of your choice
  • 1 onion, thinly sliced, rings separated
  • 1 hot pepper of your choice, minced (This is a jalepeno and ended up WAY more spicy than usual!  Does it look threatening?  Not unusually so…)  
  • 2 tsp cumin
  • a shake or two of red pepper flakes (I opted out of these, as it became apparent that the jalapeno would be plenty, plenty hot enough!)
  • 1/2 pound meat of your choice, pre-cooked, thinly sliced.  Or tofu or mushrooms if you want to keep your fajitas vegetarian.
  • tortillas
  • toppings of your choice–the usual suspects–avocado, sour cream, cheese, tomatoes, green onions, black olives,….

Clean and slice bell peppers into thin strips.

Peel and slice onions thinly, separating rings, mince the jalepeno.  (Look at those teeny, tiny pieces of jalapeno.  Look at the pile of them compared to the pile of everything else.  Really seemed reasonable at the time.)

 

Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat.  When the oil starts to shimmer, add veggies and saute until they start to caramelize.  This was when I discovered the jalapeno was uber-spicy-hot.  The evil vapor steam rising off the tiny, tiny jalapeno bits rose up and jumped down my throat.  By then it was too late to reduce the amount of jalapeno, but I did opt out of red pepper flakes.  Good decision.

Add meat, cumin (and red pepper flakes if using), and heat through. 

Warm tortillas.  Pile a healthy bunch of yummy, fragrant fajitas into tortillas and top as you wish.

I’m here to tell ya that these fajitas were yummy, but hot-hot-hot because of that jalapeno!  I had to get more sour cream.  And water.  And a tissue.  Michael was happy-happy-happy with the heat.  Happy hubby=a very good thing.

If you have leftover meat from something, fajitas are one of the quickest ways to get a yummy dinner on the table.  Perfect for anyone with a super busy schedule or anyone (like me) who forgets to plan something for dinner, then happily remembers, “Oh!  I can make fajitas!  Yummy!”  Feel free to leave out the jalapeno altogether.  🙂

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

slideshow

1 Comment

Filed under dinner, lunch, recipe