Greetings! A few weeks ago, I was asked to create vegan, gluten-free, nut-free meals for a woman and her family of five. One of the trickiest recipes to make vegan and nut-free is cheese! Cashews and almonds are a staple in most plant-based cheeses! This one uses flour and is like a béchamel but with nutritional yeast and seasonings. I like this recipe because it can be as thick or as thin as you want.
If you want a dip, skip the stock, or at least don’t use as much of it. Use all the stock if you want it thin for a drizzle on enchiladas or nachos. It makes an excellent base for a broccoli cheddar soup, too! I like it atop my veggie scramble!
I made this gluten-free using a 1:1 gluten-free flour. If you have no aversions to regular wheat flour, go for it! I am one of the unlucky 5% of people with a true wheat allergy (like hay fever) and a gluten allergy. Gluten is a super sticky protein and very inflammatory for some of us.
I added green Tabasco to mine, and the dip was gone within a few hours! Green Tabasco is a milder version of regular Tabasco, and I use it on everything, including popcorn! Anyway, enjoy this recipe! It’s a good one! And, as always, when you make it, tag me and let me know how you liked it!
This is a super easy recipe for making corn tortillas! I like the blue corn masa harina because it contains 20% more protein than its white corn counterparts. It is also gluten-free and has less starch and a lower glycemic index (GI) than white or yellow corn. Like blueberries, blue corn contains naturally occurring anthocyanin. Anthocyanin is the pigment that makes a plant or grain blue, red, purple, or black. These richly colored foods are high in antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties!
Once you make homemade tortillas, I promise you’ll never want to use storebought tortillas again! You can use masa harina for making tortillas, tamales, gorditas, corn chips, enchiladas and sopes! You don’t need a tortilla press, but they are super handy, especially if you’re like me and use a lot of tortillas. You will want to buy one.
It is essential to follow these directions implicitly. While the ingredients are simple, the process is precise. A few things to note– do not press the tortilla too hard, or it will smear. And remove the parchment from the tortilla and not the tortilla from the parchment. This prevents the tortilla from tearing. I typically remove the top sheet of parchment, place the dough side down on the comal, and carefully remove the second sheet. If the dough sticks to the parchment, spray with a tiny bit of oil.
Warm a cast-iron skillet or a comal over medium heat. Prepare a clean kitchen towel to wrap tortillas to keep them warm and cut 2 10×10-inch sheets of parchment paper.
Add masa to a medium-size bowl and, using your fingers, add just enough water until well combined.* (See note).
Knead the dough well (about 5 minutes) and roll into a large ball. Cut it in half lengthwise. Cut each dough half in half lengthwise once more. Finally, cut each half in half widthwise a final time, so you have 8 small pieces of dough.
Roll each piece of dough into a ball, place it on a plate, and cover with a clean towel to prevent drying.
Place each ball between the two sheets of parchment and press into a flat disk. Using either a tortilla press or a heavy baking dish, press dough into a 6″ tortilla.
Gently remove parchment from each side of the tortilla, place it carefully on the hot skillet/comal, cook for about 40-45 seconds, then flip it up and cook for another 45 seconds.
Flip tortilla again and cook for another 15-20 seconds or until it begins to puff. ** (See note).
Place tortilla between a kitchen towel to keep it warm. Repeat the steps with the remaining dough.
*If the dough is too sticky, add just a little masa until it no longer sticks to your fingers. If it is too crumbly, add just enough water to form a solid dough so that it sticks together when firmly pressed.
** If the tortillas do not rise, you have not kneaded the dough well enough.
Keywords: Blue corn tortillas, masa, blue masa, tortillas
I love tacos. And I’m pretty confident before I die, I will have made them in every possible way. Honestly, I could eat a taco variety every day and never be tired of them. And these tacos are my new favorite. I recently discovered the versatility of oyster mushrooms and decided that they would make an excellent filling choice for my next taco venture.
The word taco comes from the Nahuatl (Aztec) word ‘tlahco,’ which means “half or in the middle,” referring to how it is formed. It is believed that the origin of the taco started in Mexican silver mines in the late 19th century. To mine the silver, Miners added gunpowder to paper which was then folded in half and inserted into rocks before detonation. Taco de minero literally translates into “miner’s tacos.” The tacos then were very different from tacos today. Typically they were made using a soft corn tortilla filled with fish or organ meat. Nowadays, there are dozens and dozens of taco varieties.
I used smoked paprika and an ancho chili powder to get a smoky cauliflower taste without pulling out the smoker. I thought the ancho chili powder would pair well with its daddy, the poblano. Made from dried poblano chilies, ancho chili powder is quite different from regular chili powder, usually, some form of a dried chili cut with cumin, oregano, and paprika. You could also obtain the same smokiness by using chipotle powder, but because it packs some heat, you need to cut the ingredient amount by half.
I have included the recipe for my blue corn tortillas. The only thing that I love more than a taco is a good tortilla. If you’ve never made them before, fear not. They couldn’t be easier to make! Only two ingredients, the key is a good masa flour, and to use only enough water to create a dough. I have a tortilla press because I generally always make my tortillas. But you don’t need a press. You only need something heavy to press them with, like a heavy baking dish. I promise once you start making your own tortillas you’ll never go back to store-bought again.
As always, tag me and let me know how you like them!
In a large mixing bowl, toss the cauliflower with 2 tablespoons of olive oil, chili powder, smoked paprika, cumin, red pepper flakes, and a generous pinch of salt. Spread the cauliflower on a lined baking sheet, and bake for 25 minutes, or until crispy.
While cauliflower is roasting, warm a large skillet over medium heat and add onion, poblanos, and broth. Sauté until onions and peppers are tender and lightly golden, about 15 minutes. Add the garlic and sauté for 30 seconds, or until the garlic is fragrant.
Add 1/2 cup salsa verde to mushroom/pepper mix and cook for an additional 1-2 minutes. Remove mixture from the heat and add lime juice. Adjust the seasonings as desired.
While mushrooms are cooking, warm a comal or skillet over medium-high heat. Cook each tortilla until lightly browned on each side. (To keep warm, cover cooked tortillas with a clean dishcloth)
To build each taco, add mushroom mixture, and top with roasted cauliflower to a tortilla. Garnish with cilantro, salsa verde, green onions, and vegan cojita.
A traditional Mexican pozole or posole is a stew made from beans, hominy, and meat. Slow-simmered in a soupy broth, a pozole is traditionally served on Christmas eve, and you can trace its roots back to the ancient Aztecs! This rich and hearty dish is so flavorful and delicious, and the best part is there were no pigs harmed! Don’t worry. The white Mexican hominy gives the stew a nice meaty chew!
Hominy, if you don’t know, is dried corn, or maize, treated with lime to help soften the tough outer shells of the kernels, making them easier to digest. Furthermore, in Mexican cooking, hominy is ground down to make masa flour.
If you’ve been following my blog for any amount of time, you know that Mexican food is my favorite food. I’m pretty sure I could eat it every day. I love the addition of diced raw onions, avocado, and cilantro as a garnish. You could also add vegan sour cream if you’re feelin’ it. This pozole is made in a red sauce (Rojo), but you can use tomatillos and have Pozole Verdes if you’d like.
I made my pinto beans in my instant pot, and they were ready in 50 minutes. You can soak your beans overnight and make them according to your package directions, or you can use canned beans. I prefer to make my own and generally keep 5 lb bags of beans in my pantry. I’m not too fond of the metallic taste of canned beans, and I like to control the texture myself. However, I did use canned hominy for apparent reasons. They are great the day you make them, and they are even better the next day!
Tag me if you make it and let me know how you like it!
If using dried beans, add beans to a bowl and rinse. Sift through beans to remove any grit or broken shells. At this point, you can either soak beans overnight to make on the stovetop (follow package directions) or add to an instant pot with 6 cups vegetable stock, onion, bay leaves, and salt and pepper—Cook at high pressure for 50 minutes. Let pressure reduce naturally, about 10 minutes. Set aside.
While pinto beans are cooking, add chilies, onion, and garlic to a small pot of boiling water. Use enough water to cover the chilies. Reduce heat and simmer until chilies and onions have softened about 7-8 minutes.
When chilies are done, carefully add all ingredients to a blender and blend until smooth. If the sauce is too thick, add stock or water to thin. It should have a paste-like consistency. In a colander, strain sauce into a bowl.
Carefully add pinto beans (do not drain), hominy, chili paste, and remaining ingredients in a medium stockpot. ** (See note)
Simmer covered on medium-low for 20-25 minutes until hominy softened but still firm.
Remove lid and taste for seasonings.
Ladle Pozole into a serving bowl and garnish.
*I like to use a flavorful stock to make my pinto beans, but if you use water, I recommend adding a teaspoon of garlic and onion powder to your beans!
**You can also finish the pozole in the instant pot by skipping the stockpot and cooking using the saute function. I didn’t do this because I like to control my heat. But this is a viable option.
Who wants Enchiladas Verdes? If you’ve been following my page for a while, you’ll know that Mexican food is my most favorite food. I know, I know, I say that every time. But it’s true, and there is an excellent reason. If you don’t believe me, make these enchiladas. I promise you’ll understand me then! I need to open a fully vegan Mexican restaurant!
Typically Enchiladas Verdes, Verdes meaning green in Spanish, is made with chicken. But I wanted to do something different and grabbed a pack of Hungry Planet beef instead. From there, everything is precisely the same. They were off the chart amazing! If I had them in a restaurant, I would have complimented the chef! You can find Hungry Planet at a market near you!
I have an excellent store-bought Verdes sauce that I like to use. I grated 3/4 of a pack of Miyoko’s mozzarella for the cheese and then crumbled the rest for garnish. These bad boys were on the table in 35 minutes! If you feel like cooking, then double the recipe and freeze a pan for later! If you decide to do that, set them out. I can’t wait to make them again! If you make them tag me and let me know how you liked them!
When I was a kid in the early ’80s, my parents used to take my brother and me to a Mexican restaurant in Kansas City called Manny’s. This restaurant helped form my palate as a child, with rich spices, flavorful and savory foods. It’s on my bucket list next time I go home! First, though, I always call ahead and speak with the chef about vegan options. It’s easier for everyone when a restaurant has a heads-up. You’re also guaranteed a much better dish when they’ve had a minute to think.
Fortunately, back then, my dad spoke pretty good Spanish, so we could successfully order! I think now they have English speaking service, but back then…! I’m pretty confident my love for Mexican food comes from these early memories. One of my favorite dishes was the Chili Relleno. I loved them. This recipe isn’t quite that, mainly because Relleno’s are stuffed with gooey cheese, beef, and then deep-fried.
Thankfully, the world of plant-based meats has come a long way, baby. The options are endless these days, and most of them are good. They are also very expensive and can easily be replaced with our good friend, the mushroom! Back in the ’90s, I would have used Texturized Vegetable Protein, or TVP, or in my early vegetarian life. TVP is easy to use, loves to absorb flavor, and is super inexpensive. Today, I would prefer to use the mighty minced fungi.
Happy Summer to all of you! Nos vemos pronto. Cuídate!
Preheat oven to 350°F. Lightly grease, or line, a large baking sheet with parchment paper. Arrange halved poblano peppers in a single layer on the baking sheet and bake for 10-15 minutes.
Meanwhile, heat a medium skillet over medium-high heat. When ready, add oil and when oil is shimmering, add the sausage or mushrooms, onion, garlic, and jalapeño. Sauté until sausage is cooked through, use a spoon or spatula to break up sausage as it cooks.
Add the spices and grain of choice to the pan, and stir well. Next, add red peppers and green chilies, mix well. Finally, add the black beans and corn, stir. Cook for 5-7 minutes, or until sauce has reduced a bit. Remove from heat and let cool.
Spoon mixture into the peppers, drizzle with queso, and return to oven for another 10-15 minutes or until peppers are tender and cheese is melted. Allow peppers to cool slightly before serving. Serve with minced cilantro and salsa.
It’s Cinco de Mayo, and I don’t have a lot of time to waste! I was in the middle of a lesson plan with my kiddos when I remembered this culinary holiest of holidays! Anytime I get a chance to eat Mexican food, I do! I also do it with extreme vigor, hence, these nachos! Served with my Queso Blanco, these babies will have you dancing in your kitchen! Why do you ask, are they so good?
Because the “jackfruit carnitas” is the star of the show. Not going to lie. I can be found eating it fresh out of the oven while it’s still on the baking sheet! I love this recipe and find that finishing it in the oven is why it goes from good…to out of this world! Even your hardcore meat-eating friends will LOVE these nachos!
Don’t be scared of the number of ingredients. They are primarily spices. If you don’t want to make the spice mix, you can always grab a premed Mexican spice mix at the grocery store. You can also make the carnitas in advance, then slow-warmed in a 350° F oven. Just sprinkle the jackfruit with 2 tbsp of water, and stir well. Add to a prepared baking sheet and warm in the oven for 20 minutes! ¡Ahí lo tienes!
Preheat oven to 425° F. Prepare a baking sheet with parchment paper.
Drain jackfruit in a colander and use your fingers, and shred jackfruit into pieces. (I generally pick out the seed pods and toss them). Set aside.
Heat a medium skillet (I use cast-iron) over medium heat. When the pan is warmed, add oil. Add onion and cook until softened, translucent, and lightly caramelized, about 7-8 minutes. Add sliced garlic and cook until soft and fragrant, about 1-2 minutes.
Add spices. Mix well and sauté for 30 seconds to a minute.
Add tomato paste and stir well.
Add prepared jackfruit and soy sauce, maple syrup, liquid smoke, citrus juices, and cider vinegar. Stir well—season with salt and pepper. Simmer the mixture gently for another 10-15 minutes. Carefully remove from pan and add to prepared baking sheet. Add to the oven, and slow roast jackfruit for 20 minutes, or until edges begin to crisp and brown. While the jackfruit is in the oven, prep your toppings.
Chop avocados, green onions, and tomatoes. Shred the lettuce.
Remove jackfruit from the oven and immediately season jackfruit with fresh lime juice, 1/2 tsp smoked paprika, salt, and pepper. (Mix spices together in a small bowl and sprinkle over the top).
Assemble nachos, add your favorite ingredients, and enjoy!
I love this rice dish! It’s super simple to make and goes with just about everything! My daughter loves the cilantro rice at Qdoba, so I decided to make a homemade version just for her! I prefer brown basmati for general use, but for this dish, I opted for white basmati. With a high protein content and very low GI ranking, brown basmati rice can be a healthy option if you use grains. I have not tried this with cauliflower rice, but I would imagine it would be an easy swap!
I like to toast my rice before boiling it. Toasting grains before cooking can enhance the nutty depth of the grains, lending an extra layer of flavor to a final dish! This dish pairs well with my BBQ Tofu Bowl!
If you’ve been around me for a while, you know that I love Mexican food. It is hands down my greatest joy and my greatest weakness. We were in Colorado on vacation a few years ago, and we had Mexican food 9 out of 11 days! These enchiladas are an homage to my grandma, whose enchiladas were (next to her biscuits and gravy) my most favorite meal.
Grandma’s enchiladas were pretty basic—ground beef, diced onion, and tomato sauce with cheese. They were simple but divine. These are a little bit more complex but equally delicious. These are a staple in our house and one of my daughter’s favorite foods! I like to dice a little extra sweet onion and use it as a garnish and avocado, sour cream, and salsa. I’m getting hungry just thinking about them.
You can use a store-bought enchilada sauce if you’re in a hurry or don’t want to make it. But I have to warn you it will not be as good! I like to double it and then refrigerate the remainder. It’s good on tofu eggs, burritos, tacos, nachos, and of course, these enchiladas! I like the addition of the Impossible Meat because it reminds me of my Grandma’s recipe. You can easily skip it if you are avoiding plant-based meats. I would, however, add another can of beans. These enchiladas also freeze well. Just assemble them and then freeze. Enjoy!
If you make them, please tag me on Instagram and let me know how you like them!
3 tablespoons flour (I used brown rice flour for a GF sauce)
16 oz vegetable broth
1 (6oz) can tomato paste
3 Tbsp cilantro, finely chopped
3 Tbsp chili powder
1 Tbsp cumin
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 tsp smoked paprika
1 tsp oregano
1 ½ tsp salt
½ tsp black pepper
pinch of cinnamon
1 lime juiced
Daiya Cheddar Cheese block, grated
Vegan Sour Cream
Preheat oven to 350° F.
In a small bowl, mix flour, chili powder, cumin, garlic powder, smoked paprika, oregano, salt & pepper, and cinnamon.
In a medium saucepan over medium heat, bring 1/2 cup vegetable stock to a boil. Slowly, add dry spice and constantly whisk until the mixture is smooth and fragrant for about one minute. Add tomato paste and stir well until combined. Slowly add broth and whisk until smooth. Add lime juice and cilantro. Stir to combine. Remove from heat and set aside.
Warm a large skillet over medium heat. When warm, add onion and sauté until translucent—about 7 minutes. (If the onions begin to stick, add 2 tablespoons of water and stir).
Add garlic and jalapeño and cook until fragrant, 1-2 minutes.
Add plant-based meat if using: Cook for about 5 minutes or until lightly browned.
Add black beans and stir well to incorporate.
Add canned tomatoes, spices, and add 1/2 cup of enchilada sauce. Stir well and cook for 2-3 minutes. Remove from heat.
Wrap tortillas in a wet cloth or paper towel. Put on a microwave-safe plate and warm in the microwave for one minute. Keep tortillas wrapped while assembling.
Add ranchero sauce to a pie pan or other deep bottomed plate.
Add one cup of ranchero sauce to the bottom of a 9 x 12 pan, coating the pan evenly.
Remove one tortilla and dip it in the ranchero sauce. Place tortilla in 9 x 12 pan.
Add about 1/4-1/3 cup of filling (depending on your shells’ size, you may want to add more or less).
Add 2 tablespoons of Daiya cheese.
Carefully roll the tortilla and place seam side down.
Repeat with remaining tortillas if you run out of space using another pan. I fit 8 to a pan (6 side by side and then two end to end at the bottom of the pan). I used a smaller 8×8 pan to fit the rest. I covered them with wrap and froze them for later.
When you have finished assembling the enchiladas, pour the rest of the ranchero sauce over them and sprinkle with shredded cheese.
Cover with foil and bake for 25 minutes.
Carefully remove foil. Turn oven to broil and cook for 2 minutes or until cheese is bubbling. DO NOT WALK AWAY!
Remove from oven and serve with avocado, salsa, cilantro, and sour cream!
*I like Daiya block style cheddar and grate it myself. I NEVER use pre-shredded vegan cheese because they add an anti-caking ingredient that simply ruins the taste of the cheese.
**I used Impossible Meat because it has a great texture and flavor. You can also use Gardein beef crumbles, or Hungry Planet beef. You can also skip the meat if you’re not a fan of meat substitutes, but you may want to add an additional can of beans. I would add a can of pinto beans with my black beans for variety.
These freeze well. When I know I’m going to use them I remove them from the freezer and refrigerate overnight. Always be careful putting a frozen, or super cold glass pan in the oven. They can break.
I have an obsession with tacos, and my love for them is deep. Before I became a vegan, my absolute favorite taco was a simple Carne Asada taco with cilantro and white onion. A traditional Asada is made with flank steak. But alas, with those meat-eating days behind me, I’ve searched long and hard for a reasonable substitute. Enter the mighty portobello mushroom.
Mushrooms work great in this Asada because they love to soak up the flavor of a marinade. And flavor they shall have! My first version of this recipe used a whole chipotle pepper that I minced and added to the marinade. As a girl who likes her food spicy, I have to say the heat overshadows the mushrooms’ delicious umami flavor. So I cut back on the heat and kept it simple. This recipe goes down as one of my all-time favorite taco recipes using fresh cilantro leaves, freshly squeezed orange and lime juice, cumin, and chili powder.
If you don’t like cilantro, no worries, you can use epazote, another aromatic herb with notes of oregano, anise, citrus, and mint. You can find it at most Hispanic grocery stores or, of course, on Amazon! You can use a steak portobello mushrooms or I just used some sliced Cremini mushrooms that I already had. I will make these again when the weather warms up and throw some marinated portobellos on the grill! Enjoy!
Yummy Mushroom Asada tacos! I used a pineapple jalapeño salsa as a topper and it was divine!
16 oz sliced portobello mushroom caps, or cremini mushrooms, stemmed and cleaned
1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro leaves, or epazote
1/3 cup olive oil
1/4 cup Tamari, or liquid aminos
Juice of 1 orange
Juice of 1 lime
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 teaspoons chili powder
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon oregano
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
Whisk cilantro, orange juice, lime juice, aminos, olive oil, garlic, chili powder, cumin, oregano, salt, and pepper in a large bowl or shallow dish to combine.
Add the mushrooms and gently toss until they’re fully coated. Marinate in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes to an hour. (These can be made up to 24 hours ahead). Give the mushrooms a good toss every 10 to 15 minutes.
With a slotted spoon, remove mushrooms and reserve 1 cup of the marinade.
Heat a cast-iron or other large non-stick skillet over medium-high heat. When the pan is heated, add olive oil. Once the oil is shimmering, place the mushrooms in an even layer and cook, making sure not to touch them until most of the moisture has cooked out of them, about 10 minutes.
While the mushrooms are sautéing, warm the tortillas on a comal or other small non-stick skillet on the stovetop. Once tortillas are warmed and slightly browned, cover with a paper towel and place on a baking sheet in a low oven, or use the “warm hold” feature on the microwave.
When most of the moisture has evaporated, add 1/2 cup of the marinade and stir. Continue to cook and repeat with remaining marinade, stirring often for another 5 to 10 minutes. The mushrooms should be caramelized and slightly crisped around the edges.
Serve on warm tortillas and top with salsa, cilantro.