Tag Archives: corn

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!

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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!

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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?

 

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

Barb’s Pesto

My neighbor Barb is one of the reasons I’m vegan.  She and her family have been low-fat vegan for a while and finally convinced Michael and I to give it a try.  We did, we’re more healthy, we love it!  Low-fat vegan cooking is a whole new beastie, when you’re used to olive oil and cheese and eggs.  Barb is my go-to girl when I have questions like, “but how do you saute?”  I love basil and make pesto every summer to preserve that lovely summery flavor all winter.  But pesto has cheese.  And oil.  So, I went to Barb with a “but how do you…” question and of course, she had the answer.  So yummy, so fresh.  And an added bonus–no nuts!  Barb’s allergic to tree nuts, so naturally, she makes her pesto without them.  How could it be yummy without oil and cheese and nuts?!  See for yourself:

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Here’s what you’ll need:

ingredients

  • 8-12 cloves of garlic, depending on the size and how much you like garlic, minced
  • juice of 2 limes (2/3 cup)
  • juice of 1 lemon (1/2 cup)
  • garlic salt to taste, or just regular salt–again, depends on your garlic tolerances  🙂
  • 1 bag (16 oz) frozen corn, thawed
  • black pepper to taste
  • enough fresh basil to fill your processor

Place everything in the bowl of a food processor with the chopping blade in place.

all in the processor

Process until smooth, scraping down sides as needed.

process til smooth

To freeze for later, place 1/2 cup pesto into containers–I use snack size ziplocs and then place them into a labelled freezer bag.

package to freeze

Or, enjoy right away:  on pasta, with crackers, with veggies, on a yummy garden-fresh tomato….

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What do you like to eat pesto with?

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Filed under Canning and preserving, dairy-free, dinner, food gifts, Garden produce, lunch, recipe, salad, side dish, Vegetarian

Chili-Stuffed Peppers

This year has been a very good year for peppers in my garden.  This is the Big Bertha Bell pepper I picked this week that inspired a cruise around my fave vegan blogs for a stuffed pepper recipe.

big bertha

Success!  The Fat Free Vegan to the rescue!  I modified her recipe just a bit and loved the result; definitely a keeper.  I grew up eating peppers stuffed with a burger mixture, which I always loved, and these are just as yummy!

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I had everything I needed in my pantry and garden:

ingredients

  • 1 medium onion, chopped fine
  • 1/2 package fresh mushrooms, diced
  • 1 jalapeño pepper, minced (or more to taste)
  • 2 cloves garlic, pressed or minced
  • 1 16-ounce can black beans, drained and rinsed well (or 1 1/2 cups cooked black beans)
  • 1 1/2 cup corn kernels, fresh or frozen
  • 1 15-ounce can diced fire-roasted tomatoes
  • 1 cup prepared rice (I cooked 2 cups, and saved the remainder for other recipes)
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon chili powder (or more, to taste)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 5 bell peppers

For toppings:

  • 2 green onions, thinly sliced
  • cilantro, chopped
  • fresh tomato, chopped
  • avocado, sliced

Preheat oven to 400F.

Saute onion in a bit of veggie broth or water until translucent, about 3-5 minutes.

saute onions

Add mushrooms, jalapeno, and garlic.  Cook until mushrooms soften, adding broth as needed to prevent sticking.

add garlic mushrooms jalapeno

While onions and mushrooms cook, cut an opening down the side of each pepper, leaving the stem end on.  Carefully remove ribs and seeds.

cut opening in peppers

Chop the pepper parts you just cut off and add them to the pan.  Saute for a few more minutes to allow them to soften.

add diced pepper

Add beans, corn, fire roasted tomatoes, and spices.  Stir to combine and cook for a minute or two to blend the flavors.

add beans corn tomato spices

Add cooked rice.  1 cup was what looked right to me, but add more or less to your own taste.  Stir to combine.

add rice

Spray a pan with cooking spray and arrange peppers in it.  Stuff each with the filling.  Don’t they look yummy?!

stuff peppers

Bake 30-40 minutes, until peppers are tender.

bake til tender

Arrange toppings next to a pepper to serve, or place them on top.  Enjoy!

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I couldn’t stop making the yum sound.  I was a bit worried these wouldn’t be as hearty as a meat-stuffed pepper, but turns out they are just as satisfying if not even more so.  I had a fair amount of stuffing left over, which we’ve made into some mighty yummy burritos.  I think it would also be fabulous as a squash stuffing, and as a topper for a tofu scramble.  Yum, yum, yummy!

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Filed under comfort food, dairy-free, dinner, Food memories, Garden produce, lunch, recipe, Vegetarian

Celine’s Favorite: Squash Blossom Soup

Aka: Sopa De Flor De Calabaza.  When Mom and Dad moved to New Mexico years ago, Mom immersed herself in all things Southwest, especially the flavors.  She and Dad had a favorite restaurant in Palomas, Mexico called The Pink Store, where she ALWAYS ordered their Squash Blossom Soup.  Last summer, as my plants produced more squash than I could keep up with, I decided a bit of flower pruning was in order and thought about Mom’ favorite soup.  A squash plant makes tons more male flowers than female (the ones with a baby squash at the base of the blossom), so you can gather the male flowers for this soup.  Or, if you need a break from squash, gather some female flowers as well.  Without the recipe from The Pink Store, I was on my own with my friend, The Google.  I selected a recipe that was attributed to Frida Kahlo–I think Mom would have liked the recipe with a history.  And, like Mom would have, adjusted it it to ingredients I had on hand that stayed within the intent of the original recipe.  So here you go, Mom:

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I made this prior to becoming vegan, but it will be super easy to veganize the recipe this summer.  I’ll place vegan substitutes in parenthesis.

ingredients

  • 1 white or yellow onion, peeled, and finely chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, peeled and minced
  • 4 TBSP unsalted butter  (use veggie or “No Chicken” broth for sauteing)
  • 2 ears of corn, kernels cut off, or one package frozen corn
  • chile peppers of your choice–I used 1 poblano and 1 jalepeno–finely chopped, seeded if you want less heat
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 2 cups chopped summer squash–I used 1 zucchini and 2 patty pans
  • 2 or 3 tomatillos, chopped
  • 1-2 cups squash blossoms, cleaned and rough-chopped
  • 4 cups chicken broth (No Chicken broth)

For toppings:

  • tortilla chips
  • plain yogurt (soy yogurt or skip altogether)
  • cilantro
  • lime wedges
  • avocado

In a large pot, melt butter (heat about 1/4 cup of broth) and saute onions and garlic until onions are translucent.  3-5 minutes.

saute onions

Add chile peppers, corn and cumin.  Cook for an addition 2-3 minutes.

add peppers and corn

Add squash and tomatillos, cook 2-3 more minutes.

add squash

Separate the stems and sepals from the flowers.

clean blossoms

Chop and add squash blossoms and continue to cook, 5 more minutes.

chop and add blossoms

Add broth (No chicken broth) and bring to a boil.  Simmer for 15 minutes.  Adjust seasonings to your taste.

add broth

Ladle into bowls, garnish with toppings and enjoy!

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Squash blossoms taste like squash, only more delicate.  They add a luxurious texture and flavor layer to this soup; and for me, a lovely memory of my Mom.

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Filed under appetizer, comfort food, dairy-free, dinner, Food memories, Garden produce, Gluten-free, lunch, recipe, restaurants, side dish, Vegetarian

Vegan Enchiladas

Today I was scrounging around for lunch and found a bunch of related leftovers: a bit of Spanish rice, a cup or so of cooked plain rice, half a lentil burger, less than a serving of black bean soup, a tiny bit of sauteed onions, mushrooms and green chiles.  I grabbed a couple tortillas, combined all the little bits of this and that and thought I’d whip up a couple burritoes.  As the mixture was heating in the microwave, something said enchiladas.  A clear picture of enchiladas appeared in my head.  I stopped the microwave, we had leftover “turkey” burgers for lunch instead and enchiladas for dinner!

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So scrounge around in your fridge for leftovers or make some beans and rice and you’re well on your way!

ingredients

  • 2 cups (or so) filling:  beans, rice, tomatoes, peppers, corn…..
  • 8 corn tortillas

For the enchilada sauce: (based on a recipe from The Happy Herbivore)

  • 2 TBSP whole wheat flour
  • 1 tsp unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 2 TBSP chili powder (I used chipotle chili powder and my sauce was HOT!  You may want to start with one TBSP and add more if you want it hotter!)
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 2 cups No Chicken broth (or veggie broth)
  • 1 cup water
  • 4 TBSP tomato paste
  • salt to taste

Preheat oven to 350F and spray an enchilada or other baking pan large enough to hold 8 enchiladas.  Set aside filling and tortillas for now.

Whisk flour, cocoa and spices in a pan without turning on the heat.

dry ingredients in pan

Add 1/4 cup of broth and whisk into a smooth paste.

whisk into a paste

Slowly whisk in the rest of the broth and water.  Bring to a boil over medium heat and add tomato paste.

add broth

Reduce to a simmer and cook until sauce has the thickness of tomato soup.  Remove from heat and add salt if needed.

add tomato paste

Set up an assembly line for your enchiladas with the sauce, tortillas, filling and  pan.  I also included leftover “cheesy sauce.”

set up assembly

Dip each tortilla in sauce, place in the pan and roll.  Place edges down.

dip in sauce stuff and roll

Continue rolling until you run out of filling.  Spoon a bit more enchilada sauce over the tops, making sure tortillas are sauced all the way to the edges of the pan.  Bake for 20-25 minutes.

spoon additional sauce

While enchiladas bake (they smell sooooo yummy!), dice a tomato, shred some lettuce, chop a few scallions and tear up some cilantro.  Serve up a couple enchiladas with a schmear of cheesy sauce, and topped with the tomato, lettuce, scallions and cilantro.

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OMG my sauce was HOT!  It was well flavored and super-yummy, but wow.  It was perfect for Michael, lover of all things hot-hot-hot, but for me, I’m cutting back on the chili powder or using a milder chili powder next time.  Leave it alone if you’re in the hot camp with Michael.  🙂

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Filed under comfort food, dairy-free, dinner, Gluten-free, lunch, Potluck, recipe, 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?!

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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.

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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.

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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!

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