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Archive for the ‘Mexican’ Category

Meatless Mondays… and Tuesdays and then the rest of the work week is just WTF [literally], so why eat meat at all?  Clearly, we have already made the leap and adopted an entirely vegan lifestyle, but the reality that is dawning upon me is that I don’t think most people realize that there are food options outside of meat-centered meals.  That is why we have decided to jump aboard the Meatless Monday bandwagon and help contribute to its success and awareness to affect change.

I am a firm proponent of taking control of what you eat.  Personally, I don’t want industrially-processed substances that have been purposefully treated with chemicals engineered specifically in order to ring all the bells and blow all the whistles of human sensory organs.  It is manipulation, and it is wrong.  If Americans knew what it is that they actually eat and regard as food, they would be horrified.  At least I hope they would be; we certainly were/are.

Regardless of the ethics of the matter, Americans consume far too much meat.  It is affecting our environment and our collective health as a nation.  When elective surgical procedures that rearrange one’s digestive system become the norm,  yet eating five to nine servings of fruits and vegetables daily is considered extreme, something has clearly gone diabolically wrong.  It is time to step up and accept responsibility for ourselves and to take a good long look at how our actions and whims affect our health and our planet.  The least anyone could do is to abstain from consuming an animal one day of the week.  Please, spread the word and encourage those you know to support Meatless Monday.  Awareness coupled with action is a powerful thing.

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Yuba Asada

Yuba is also referred to as dried bean curd or dried bean curd sticks.  You can also sometimes find it as bean curd knots, which are very nice to use.  It is easily found in an Asian market and is worth the side-trip to have some on hand.

Ingredients:

1 package yuba, rehydrated in warm water until soft and then cut into 1/4 inch shreds [If you have knots rather than sticks, there is no need to cut, simply use whole.]

Juice and zest of one lemon, lime, orange and grapefruit

2 T cumin

2 T chili powder

1½ tsp dried oregano

1½ tsp ground coriander

5 garlic cloves, crushed

¼ cup soy sauce

2 jalapenos or one habanero [If you like it hotter], seeds and ribs removed and sliced thinly

1 onion, thinly sliced

Directions:

Place all ingredients into a zip lock bag or other container and add the yuba. [I prefer a bag because it’s easy to move the ingredients around occasionally to ensure it’s well marinaded.]

The following day, drain off the liquid in a colander.  Heat a bit of canola oil over medium –high heat and add the yuba asada.  Stir-fry until the liquid has evaporated and the yuba begins to brown.

Serve with black beans, pan-fried potatoes and some warmed corn tortillas.  Garnish with fresh cilantro, avocado, tomatoes and roasted garlic cloves.

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I have a very heartfelt thank you to send out to Marti who gave me a head’s up regarding this challenge.  Thank you Marti!

It’s actually been such a long time now since we’ve cooked with cheese that when we accepted the Teese Vegan Cheese Challenge, aside from the usual suspects like pizza and such,  it took us a while to think of something to use Teese in.  The only request they made was that it not be used in the same old, same old.  Then it came to us, something we used to love that was both cheesy and special…chile rellenos.  The vegan cheese actually worked perfectly in this dish and melted beautifully, which is why you use cheese in recipes to begin with, you want that rich creaminess that enhances both flavor and texture and Teese came through perfectly.

In addition to the chile rellenos, I used the mole and filling along with the Teese to make enchiladas.   [Using tortillas, roll filling and Teese into enchiladas and place in a baking dish.  Cover with mole sauce and bake at 350 degrees, covered,  until the Teese and sauce bubble.] Because they both freeze and reheat well for leftovers, enchiladas were a handy way to use  the rest of the filling and mole sauce.

Mole Verde with Edamame

Ingredients:

1/2 cup raw pepitas, toasted

1/4 cup raw sesame seeds, toasted

1 onion, cut in half

6 tomatillos, diced

1 cup edamame

4 cloves garlic, minced

1 ripe plantain, diced

1 tsp oregano

1 inch of canella [Mexican cinnamon, otherwise use ground]

1.5 tsp unsweetened cocoa powder

1 ancho chile

1 dried chile de arbol

1 dried guajillo chili

2 corn tortillas

salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

Remove the seeds and stems from the dried chiles and toast in a dry pan until slightly blackened.  Move to a bowl and pour 2 cups steaming water over chiles, cover until softened.

Blacken the onion and tomato in a pan and move to a blender.  Drizzle some canola oil into the pan and sauté the plantain, garlic and tomatillos until the edges have carmelized.  Move to the blender.  Add broth, canella, oregano, cocoa and tortillas to the blender and blend until homogenous.  Return to a pot on the stove and heat on low for about 15 minutes, season with salt and pepper, set aside.

Teeming with Teese Chile Rellenos

I used both flavors of Teese in this dish because I was sent both flavors to try out and happen to like white cheeses in melty Mexican food.  You could certainly use one or the other rather than both in this recipe.

Ingredients:

1/4 cup  Teese Cheddar Vegan Cheese, grated

1/4 cup Teese Mozzarella Vegan Cheese, grated

4  poblano peppers, roasted and skin removed

3  blue Peruvian potatoes [can substitute red potatoes], small dice

1 carrot, small dice

1/2 chayote squash, small dice

1 onion, small dice

3 cloves garlic, minced

1 nopalito, spines removed and grilled, diced

1/4 of a pineapple, grilled and diced [I cut have a pineapple into wedges and grilled them beside the nopalito.  I then kept back 2 wedges of pineapple for garnish; they are so delicious grilled.]

wooden skewers

vegetable oil for frying [You want the oil around 350-360 degrees.]

Batter:

8 oz  all-purpose flour

1 bottle vegan beer

Whisk beer into flour until well combined.

Directions:

Sauté the onion and garlic until softened and slightly carmelized, set aside.  In same pan, sauté the potatoes and carrot for about 10 minutes and then add in the chayote and sauté until all the vegetables have softened.  Add in the grilled nopalito and pineapple.  Set aside to cool.

Slice the poblanos once to create an opening and gingerly remove the seeds taking care to keep the pepper intact.  Insert filling into the pepper with a small amount of the mole and add 1/4 of the cheese [Cheddar and Mozzarella combined].  Close the pepper and stitch together with a wooden skewer.  Repeat until all peppers are filled.  Dredge in flour and gently knock off excess.  Dip into batter and immediately place  into heated oil to fry.  Fry until golden brown, remove and drain on paper towels.

Black Beans with Coconut Milk and Canella

I wanted some richly-flavored black beans to compliment the grilled nopalito and pineapple in the chile rellenos and this is what I came up with.  They turned out really well.

Ingredients:

1 lb. dried black beans

1 can unsweetened Thai coconut milk

1 stick canella

2 large roma tomato

2 dried bay leaves

1 kaffir lime leaf

1 clove garlic

2 cups No-Chicken Broth

4 dried guajillo chilis

2 dried chile de arbol

1 dried ancho chili

salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

Remove seeds and stems from dried chiles and toast in a dry pan.  Cover with 1 cup steaming water until softened.  Add chilis and water along with garlic clove and one tomato to a blender.  Blend until smooth and set aside.

Cover beans with water and bring to a boil.  Cover, turn off heat and let sit for an hour.  Drain and rinse beans.  Return to pot and add remaining ingredients, including the blended chilis.  Bring to a simmer and cook, covered until beans are soft.  [This should take about an hour to an hour and a half.]

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So…leftovers, eh?  I have the guajillo chili sauce and corn tortillas from here and a crisper full of vegetables taunting me.   Time for some improvisation. 

This turned out amazingly well.  It was savory and fresh, full of different textures and an entirely satisfying meal for one. 

1 cup guajillo chili sauce [found here]

1 cup vegetable stock 

1 radish, finely diced

1/4 avocado, diced

1/4 ripe tomato,  diced

a scallion, sliced

a few fingerfuls of shredded purple cabbage

a few cilantro leaves

crispy tortilla strips [tortillas cut into strips and quickly fried in a bit of canola oil]

lime wedge

vegan sour cream [I used a homemade version which I’ll include in a post shortly]

Directions:

This is as easy as it gets.  Simply mix the guajillo sauce and vegetable stock together in a pan and heat.  When hot, ladel into a bowl and garnish with the remaining ingredients.  Mix the sour cream through the soup and squeeze the fresh lime juice over the entire enterprise.  Delicious!  This would also be wonderful chilled as a gazpacho-style soup.

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