Sunday, June 30, 2013

One More Mexican Dish: Menudo

People like to eat menudo as a hangover cure, or because it's a Sunday tradition, or because it's just really good. Hominy has a ton of fiber and all the dried herbs and spices are good for your immune system, not to mention the vitamins in the citrus juice and fresh cilantro. My dad told me that the broth is red from the milder spices and that you serve the soup with dried chile so the eater can choose their own heat level. I like my soup spicy so I use combinations of New Mexico, Ancho, chile de arbol, and chile California, but make sure to season your soup to your taste. 

Menudo with mushrooms:

In a separate sauce pan, make a masa roux. Fry a cup of masa harina in a generous amount of oil while stirring constantly. The roux will help keep your spices mixed well in the broth. 
In a large soup pot, sweat sliced button and baby bella mushrooms, then fry in oil. 
Add salt, pepper, dried cilantro, oregano, thyme, parsley, bay leaf, chile powder to taste, lots of paprika, and annatto and stir. 
Add a large can (read gallon) of hominy that has been rinsed well. 
Add the roux.
Add bouillon cubes dissolved in hot water, or veggie stock and bring to a boil. 
I like to serve the menudo with corn tortillas, lime halves, chopped cilantro and red pepper flakes. You could also use lemon, chopped onion and dried oregano. 

Serves everybody. 

This recipe reduces well. You could make a pot for just you and another person by reducing the amount of hominem, roux, and spices. 

If you want to make this IC Friendly, make a broth by warming the spices you can tolerate (sweet smoked paprika works well) in a pot of water, then blending (use a boat motor if you have one) in peeled roasted red peppers. Use limonolio with the canola oil, add kafir lime leaf to the broth, or serve your bowl with lime zest to add the bright citrus flavor one usually gets with menudo. Also, flat leaf parsley can be substituted (sparingly) for cilantro. 

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Because I still make Mexican food even though I eat vegan

Two recipes featuring +GOVeggieFoods vegan parmesan:


It's summer so when I hear that bell ringing or horn honking I go running to the door looking for the elote man.  The really good vendors will have steamed corn, chicharones de harina (like pork skin, but made out of flour, ask what's in them, aceite o manteca), raspados (sno-cones), and any number of goodies.  The elote man is probably not gonna carry vegan versions of his toppings, so I will buy a few ears of corn and prepare them at home for later eating.

Cover steamed or grilled ears of corn with lemon or lime juice, then Vegenaise, followed by +GOVeggieFoods parmesan, then salt and chile powder or Tapatio or Valentina.  You will need a soft drink and lots of napkins.

Sunday Breakfast

Sometimes after a long Saturday night you need a big bowl of menudo to detoxify yourself.  And there are other times when you want something comforting and maybe you haven't been grocery shopping yet.  This is when you need a big plate of chilaquiles.  Everybody has their own recipe and ingredients may vary depending on what you keep in your fridge, but here's one of my favorites.

For a panful of chilaquiles serving 2-4, depending on your appetites, takes about 6 corn tortillas, preferably stale or left to dry out for an hour.  Slice or tear into pieces then fry in oil until golden and crispy.  Season with salt and toss in 1-2 chopped chiles de arbol.  Add chopped garlic, if you like it, and stir until the chiles and garlic are ust warmed.  They burn quickly so watch your heat and stir often.  Add black pepper and +GOVeggieFoods vegan parmesan, maybe 1/4 to 1/2 a jar, and stir until softened.  You can add a few tablespoons of water or vegetable broth to get it going.

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Panzanella--A Fresh Summery Salad

You may have noticed that  I like salads, especially those you can take to a pot-luck or a picnic.  Panzanella is great because you can use leftover bread and extra veggies from your garden to stretch your budget or you could go out and buy the ingredients because it's a very refreshing lunch on a hot day. I have used leftover sourdough or rosemary bread; I don't usually have a lot of bread around the house so sometimes I buy something good just to make the salad.  When I'm sharing with others, I like to buy a bag of garlic croutons and let the salad sit overnight to soak up all the juices from the veggies.

You can add anything you think will work together.  I've used sweet peppers, tomatoes, vegan cheese cubes, basil, or whatever is lying around in the fridge.  My usual recipe includes tomatoes, cucumbers, olive oil, salt and pepper, vinegar and white wine.  For a party sized bowl of panzanella, peel and cube 4 large cucumbers.  Cube 4 roma tomatoes.  Dress the chopped veggies, then add a cup of hand shredded or cubed bread that has dried out and mix with the vegetables.  Using the bread dry allows the vegetables to release some of their water and soften the bread overnight.  If you are serving the salad right away, soak and squeeze the bread so that it's soft as you serve it.   

If you haven't seen the rest of my blog, I have recipes for garbanzo bean salad and tofu salad here too.  Sometime this summer I will make potato salad and post with pictures.

**Note:  To make this IC Friendly, omit tomatoes, wine, and vinegar.

Saturday, June 22, 2013

My First Vegan Cuts Box

I love it already.  Most of the samples in the box were new to me.  The first thing I did was eat the  Michy's Cran Rustica cookie, which I will be tracking down at +Whole Foods Market soon.  I love the  small single serving size because with a cookie that good, a whole box could get dangerous.  The next day I ate the Beanfields' nacho chips, which tasted like a super healthy and tasty version of the commercial seasoned corn chips, also going on my WF shopping list.  The Journey bar had an aromatic punch of sesame and just a hint of ginger.  It was a good size for an energy bar and the texture was much softer than some other bars I've tried.  There was also a full sized jar of +GOVeggieFoods vegan parmesan, which is such a great product.  I already had a half used jar in my refrigerator.  But it did give me a reason to make marinara this weekend and I'm saving the rest of it for a forthcoming pizza party.

Monday, June 17, 2013

Oatmeal Flax Pancakes

I added 2 Tb of +Bob's Red Mill ground flax meal and 1/3 C rolled oats to my basic pancake batter.  I enjoy the added fiber, omega-3s and it helps the pancakes hold together. These are best served with Earth Balance, maple syrup, and a +Silk latte flavored with your choice of Torani syrup.  And yes, that's  Tofurky in the background.

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Chocolate Stout Fudge Frosted Cake

I put beer in my cake batter.  Then I put some in the buttercream.  It's good beer and it made good cake. And I used my new +Wilton  1M frosting tip to get a more traditional cupcake look, and to cover the cake in stars.

For the chocolate cake, I substituted the eggs (2 eggs=1/2 to 3/4 C liquid) with very good English stout and baked according to the directions on the box.  I made buttercream with 3 sticks of Earth Balance buttery sticks, 1/4 cup of cocoa powder, 3 cups of powdered sugar, and a bag of chocolate chips (melted with a Tb of the butter and 1/4 C of the stout).  I added more stout for texture while mixing.

The buttercream has a very subtle fermented aftertaste, like when you hit foam at the bottom of a pint.  The cake on its own has a similar taste, but more from the top of the pint, when it's still cold.  Together they work well--chocolatey cake with sweet creamy frosting and a hint of the pub.

You should definitely try this at home.

Thank you +Wilton fo your iPad app.  The tutorial was very helpful.

Friday, June 7, 2013

Vegan Tacos--Diabetic Friendly

I found these amazing tortillas at +Whole Foods Market  Arroyo.  I went to La Gloria's website and these are not listed in their products category, but call your local market to see if they carry them.  The tortillas take great, have 10 grams total carbs per tortilla and 5 grams of fiber, and they don't make my stomach upset.  The +gardein Chipotle Lime Crispy Fingers are a nice size and have about 170 kcal for two pieces.  If you want to cut more carbs and fat you could use a different meat substitute, but I have found these to hit my metabolism very lightly.  I used Valentina hot sauce and a splash of Follow Your Heart Vegan Creamy Garlic Dressing, but you could use whichever toppings you like. So, 370 kcal plus your toppings is not bad for traditionally unhealthy meal.  

Saturday, June 1, 2013

Gnocchi and How to Make Marinara Sauce

I don't know what possessed me to buy shelf stable gnocchi from Target, but that's what I had in the pantry so that's what I ate for lunches that week.  I boiled the gnocchi according to the directions on the package, then added it to the marinara with diced Follow Your Heart Mozzarella.


1 can of steam peeled tomatoes
1+ clove fresh garlic
fresh basil
dry white wine 
red pepper flakes
salt and pepper
olive oil

Add oil to your sauce pot and heat on medium and warm the chopped garlic.  Salt the oil a little to reduce splattering and hand-crush the tomatoes one by one into the pot including the juice.  When it starts to boil, add wine and stir.  Stir in red and black pepper to taste, then shred about two full sprigs of basil by hand and let the sauce simmer, stirring occasionally until the liquid is reduced by 1/3-1/2.  The sauce is done when it has a fully cooked taste-no tinny tomato flavor, and it might have a bit of orange tinged oil on the top.  Salt at the end of cooking to avoid over-seasoning.