- Spinach, 5g
- Peas, 9g
- Quinoa, 9g
- Tofu, 11g
- Black beans, 15g
- Buckwheat, 24g
And there’s more, trust.
- It’s really easy to put together.
- It’s a unique, delicious way to get protein and consume one of my favorite kinds of beans.
- It’s easy to make a big batch to eat throughout the week. (Though I have been known to make a double batch only to eat most of it in one day.)
- The cutlets have a slightly chewy toothsome texture is really satisfying. (Yep, I just used the word toothsome. So what?)
- It’s versatile! You can dress these little cutlets anyway you want. They’re excellent with a vegetarian gravy or tossed in buffalo sauce.
A week ago I learned how easy it is to make corn tortillas at home and how absolutely delicious they are fresh off the griddle. Want to guess how many times I’ve made them since then? Let’s just say it’s definitely closer to 7 than I care to admit…
All you need is masa corn flour (Maseca), water, and a little salt. That’s it. I pour a cup of masa into a bowl, add about 3/4 cup of warm water, throw in a pinch of salt, and mix to make a soft dough. I break off about 6-8 pieces and roll into balls. Then I tear two square sheets of plastic wrap, place a ball in between and press. I don’t have a tortilla press (YET) so I just use my cutting board and a rolling pin to flatten it to about 1/8 inch thick. Heat a griddle or pan, carefully peel the tortilla off the plastic wrap, and place into the pan. Heat it for about 1 minute then flip over to the other side for another minute. Repeat with the rest of them and you have a hot stack of delicious corn tortillas that are much better than any cardboard imitations in the grocery store.
There’s also something really therapeutic about pressing the dough into a delicate disk and placing it carefully in the pan. The attention it requires helps me slow down (even if I am moving fast) and clear my mind, like pressing pause on life outside my kitchen.
Now that I know how easy they are, corn tortillas will now be in my regular rotation. The first time I made them, I used them for tofu breakfast tacos by making a tofu scramble and pairing with a sweet potato hash and Cholula.
The second time I made tempeh tacos by crumbling up some tempeh and sautéing it with kale, tomato, and spices like adobo seasoning, chili powder, and oregano.
I even made buffalo pear blue cheese tacos, which I regret not taking a picture of and will definitely have to revisit. I topped a couple corn tortillas with sliced pears, crumbled blue cheese, and slashes of buffalo sauce, and then placed it under the broiler until the cheese melted. The combo of sweet pears, tangy blue cheese, and spicy buffalo sauce on a base of a fresh corn tortillas was a symphonic blend that put me in a state of pure bliss.
So in conclusion: Go out and buy Maseca. Make some corn tortillas. Change your life. Most delicious life hack ever.
A lot has changed since I last wrote. Well, really one thing has changed but it’s a big thing: I adopted a dog! He’s retired racing greyhound named Dreamer, to be exact. I adopted him through a great organization called Greyhounds Only that rescues retired racers from tracks in Florida. I had been thinking about adopting a dog for about a year; then I finally went to a Meet & Greet and fell in love with this guy. It’s been 2 and a half months and I already can’t imagine life without him. He’s a big sweetheart who just wants to nap and be friends with everyone.
I can’t believe that it’s already 2014. What’s harder to believe is that I only wrote 2 blog posts last year. When WordPress sent my 2013 stats and I read that, I was horrified. I thought, how did I let this happen? I swear I cooked in 2013!
This jolted me to revive this blog as part of my 2014 resolution to get back into writing. I’ve neglected my creative side too long, and this is the year to change that.
So as a little warm-up, here’s a few recipes that I’ve had on repeat the past few months, as well as a creation of my own:
Vegan Chocolate Chip Pancake for One from Food.com. I went through a pancake phase, indulging myself in a different kind of pancake every Sunday, and it escalated to me finding a single-serving recipe I could quickly make during the week. I just omitted all the optional ingredients in this recipe including the sugar and added chocolate chips. It is really simple; I had the recipe memorized by my 3rd personal pancake breakfast.
Vegan Black-Bean Quesadillas from Love My Vegan Life. This quesadilla recipe has chipotle hummus instead of cheese and, strangely enough, it’s an perfect substitute! The hummus lends it the creaminess you’d get from the cheese so you don’t even miss it. I didn’t have pre-made chipotle hummus so I pureed a couple of chipotle peppers in adobo with red pepper hummus.
Tofu Popcorn “Chicken” from The Vedge. This. Just…this. I made this quite a bit towards the end of 2013. I never got it to look quite as “chicken-y” as she does in the blog, but I loved the flavor. The coating is spot-on and when you have these the next day, they’re so close in texture (and almost taste!) to the animal version, it’s scary. (I added a little hot sauce droplets to mine and dipped them in soy sauce.)
BBQ Seitan Stuffed Sweet Potato with Mojo-Marinated Kale from ME! I love sauce. When I wasn’t a vegetarian, I loved barbecue and wings so much simply because the meat was a receptacle for delicious tangy, spicy sauces. Once I learned how to make my own seitan, it wasn’t long before I started dressing it up in my favorite sauces.
Making seitan is actually not too intense of a process. I use Terry Romero’s recipe from Viva Vegan, my go-to cookbook, but there are countless recipes out there. You can also just buy ready-made seitan at some grocery stores. I try to have some loaves on hand to make throwing together recipes, like BBQ stuffed potatoes, very quick and easy.
First I poked holes in my sweet potato and put it in the microwave to “bake” it. Then I heated a tablespoon of oil in a frying pan and sauteed the seitan until it was browned. Then I turned the heat off, added barbecue sauce, and sauteed it for a few more minutes so that the seitan absorbed some of the sauce. Next I split open my sweet potato and used a fork to mash the insides up a bit. Finally I stuffed the seitan inside the potato and swooned over the delicious smell of slightly caramelized bbq sauce.
The mojo-marinated kale is also easy if you have the pre-made marinade. Mojo is a citrusy garlic marinade used in Cuban cooking, and you can sometimes find it in the Latin section of the grocery store. While I’d prefer to make my own to control the salt content, I had Goya brand marinade in the fridge so I put it to use. I heated a couple tablespoons of olive oil in a sauce pan over medium heat and then added some shredded kale. I sauteed that for a couple minutes til it cooked down slightly. Then I added a few splashes of mojo, put the heat on the lowest setting, covered the pot, and let it simmer for a few more minutes. The citric bite of the marinade made kale way more exciting and tasty than I’ve ever experienced, and it seemed to pair well with the smoky bbq stuffed sweet potato.
…Now I realize that I haven’t really written a recipe. Since this is something I just threw together a few times, I don’t quite have exact measurements to share; but I’ll definitely be eating this probably another 5 times, so I’ll be sure to update this blog sometime with an actual recipe. Nevertheless, I hope it’ll inspire someone to do a culinary experiment of their own. :)
Cheers to a new year!