Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Vegan Taquitos

This is the last week of pre-school for Noodle Nose and today my sweet baby will graduate from one. I have mixed feelings about a graduation from pre-school. I get it. I just don't get it.

Either way I'm afraid I will be a blubbering mess tonight because the thought of my angel child entering kindergarten next year is a little overwhelming. And I'm not overly neurotic or overprotective but kindergarten? With a cafeteria? And a library? And.... choke.... bus rides? Whoa, slow down. No. Not bus rides. Not ready for that one just yet.

So for Noodle's special last week, I am letting him select the nightly dinner menu. Macaroni and cheese anyone?? But not tonight... tonight he wanted my little vegan taquitos because they are small and delicious and eating with hands is kind of mandatory and that's just fun.


It is a bit of a cheater meal because it's more 'assembly' than 'cooking', but either way they are delicious and they make a fantastic quick lunch, dinner or snack. And if you have a well stocked vegan fridge and pantry, you can probably make these without even going to the grocery.

Yield: 8 taquitos (16 or 24 pieces depending on your cut size)

Need:
8 medium flour tortillas
1 pkg vegan 'chicken' pieces, chopped medium (I used Trader Joe's Chicken-less Strips. You could also make your own)
1 pkg Daiya mozzarella style shreds
2 teaspoons tapatio
1 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon pepper
Olive oil for baking

For the guacamole:
2 medium avocados
2 Tablespoons Vegenaise
2 cloves garlic, finely diced or pressed through a garlic press
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon pepper

Do:
Preheat oven to 450.

In a medium bowl combine chopped chicken-less shreds and Daiya mozzarella. Using a fork or spoon, stir to combine evenly.

On top of your chicken-less/Daiya combination, evenly sprinkle tapatio, cumin, salt and pepper. Stir/toss again, ensuring your seasoning is getting evenly distributed throughout your mix.

Now it's time to roll your taquitos:

With a flour tortilla in front of you, spread an even thin layer of your chicken-less combination in the center of your tortilla.

Fold tortilla end closest to you over top and squeeze/press/roll your filling until it is very tight inside. As you do this you will have filling coming out the side. Gently press it back in to both sides and continue until you have a tight little package.

Once you are satisfied with the 'compactness' of your filling in the tortilla, roll it up the rest of the way and place seam down on a baking sheet.

Continue for remaining tortillas and filling. Place them fairly close to one another on the baking sheet, to prevent any de-rolling.

Drizzle with olive oil and give them a gentle roll, to ensure even coverage across all sides of your taquitos. Place them back snug together if you need to.

Note: the more filling you put in your tortilla the larger your taquitos will be. It's completely up to you, but when I was making them I wanted to emulate the meat stuffed factory style taquitos that Noodle Nose saw at Costco. He wanted them and I told him I would make better ones at home. They were.

Put in oven and bake for about 10 minutes. At the 10 minute mark remove pan and roll the taquitos to the opposite side. Return to oven and bake for another 10 minutes. Remove from oven again, turn to one of the two unbaked sides and bake for 8 minutes. At the 8 minute mark, remove pan and flip taquitos to the final unbaked side and bake for a final 8 minutes.

The goal is to get the taquitos crispy and slightly toasty brown on all four 'sidess, like the fried factory version.

Remove from oven, let cool for about 5 minutes before slicing.

While your taquitos are baking, prepare your guacamole:

Slice both avocados vertically down the middle. Holding one side in each hand, give them a little twist in opposite directions to reveal the meat. Remove pit by whacking a knife into it and twisting gently.

Slice avocado meat in about 1/4 inch vertical slices, then slice horizontally the same, creating little cubes. Scoop cubes out into a smallish bowl using a spoon.

Add veganaise, garlic, salt and pepeper and mash/stir together with a fork. Add more or less veganaise as you so choose.


Set aside until your taquitos are ready to plate.

Serve:
Slice each taquito in half or thirds, arrange on a plate with a good amount of your delicious guacamole in a low dish and off you go.


These make a fantastic appetizer or light dinner or lunch. Perfect for kids or grown up kids alike. They were a huge hit with us; I hope this simple meal will be a huge hit with your fam too.

Enjoy!

Seitan on FoodistaSeitan

Monday, May 23, 2011

Grilled Asparagus Salad

After a winter of total carbohydration, there is nothing more refreshing to me than ramping up the salads. The Salads of Summer! I'm the first to admit I am a total carb-a-holic. Like seriously. It's pretty bad. But I do love me a good salad as well.

This one incorporates several of my favorite things, such as asparagus and the chickpea. Ah, the glorious chickpea. Yes, we have already previously discussed my passionate love for the glorious chickpea.

I also threw in some fantastical tart little cherry tomatoes and fresh red onion. Because no recipe is complete without an onion in my opinion.


For the dressing, I combined another must-have ingredient: garlic, along with fresh squeezed lemon and a beautiful olive oil I picked up from one of my new favorite places in town: Drizzle.

Side note: Drizzle is a tasting room featuring gorgeous oils and vinegars. You can taste taste taste your way through the store and then buy what you lurve in whatever quantity you want. Their website is under construction at the time of this post, but if you're local you should go in for some tasting. It's super fun and a great way to get to know some new olive oils, etc. They're located in the Colophon Cafe building in Fairhaven.

Back to the salad: the tangy dressing paired with the barely roasted asparagus and chickpeas are a perfect compliment to the crunch of the fresh veg. Taste it up!


Need:
1 bunch organic asparagus, washed and ends trimmed
1 can organic chickpeas, drained and rinsed (you can also cook your own from dried)
About 1/4 cup plus 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
Juice from 1 lemon
Zest from the same lemon
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp fresh cracked pepper
1 garlic clove, finely diced
1 pkg cherry tomatoes, halved (or quartered if they are fairly large)
1/2 red onion, chopped fine
About 8-10 fresh basil leaves, finely julienned

Do:
Preheat oven to 450.

On a large baking sheet, arrange asparagus in a row on one side. On the other side spread chickpeas. Drizzle about 1/4 cup olive oil evenly on asparagus and chickpeas. Sprinkle evenly with salt and pepper.

Roast in oven for about 5 minutes then check, give them a turn and roast another 2 minutes. Turn oven off and remove. Note: you are barely roasting them. You want them to be basically uncooked, but with a touch of crisp, so don't over cook.

While veg is roasting, combine 1/4 cup olive oil, lemon juice, salt, pepper and garlic in a jar. Cover and shake very very well.

In a medium bowl, combine tomatoes, onion and basil leaves. Pour about half of your dressing on and toss to combine.

Once asparagus and chickpeas are out of the oven, add chickpeas to your tomato/onion mixture and toss to combine. Add a little more dressing at this point.

Now you're ready to plate for serving.

Serve:
On a large plate, arrange asparagus in a row. Pour a generous amount of the tomato salad combination across the top of the asparagus.

Drizzle a bit more dressing on top if you so desire.

Finish with lemon zest and you are ready to serve.

Enjoy!

Asparagus on FoodistaAsparagus

Friday, May 20, 2011

Vegan Soft Pretzels

These are just plain awesome. Relatively easy to make and much easier to eat. I like them on road trips, picnics, while watching movies. Or baseball, as we did last night. They also go great with beer.

Also, I hereby proclaim these to be my official 'carb' of the cursory 'carb-up' that I must do before any race, but particularly the half marathon of which I am officially petrified. It's all mental. I can do it. And these pretzels will help. I'm 42% sure.


Yield: 8 pretzels
Adapted from Alton Brown's pretzel recipe

Need:
1 1/2 cups warm water
1 Tablespoon sugar
2 teaspoons salt
1 pkg yeast (2 1/4 teaspoons)
4 1/2 cups unbleached flour
10 cups water
2/3 cups baking soda
Chunky sea salt
Do:
In a large bowl combine water, sugar, salt and yeast. Let sit about 5 minutes until foamy.

Add flour, 1 cup at a time, gently stirring to combine in between each cup.
Using a dough hook (or your hands) knead the dough until combined then turn out onto a lightly floured surface and continue to knead until you have a smooth, elastic ball of dough. About 3-5 minutes.

Note: in this particular instance I did not use my Kitchenaid, I just used my hands... something organic about getting back to basics.

Return your ball of dough to the bowl and drizzle with extra virgin olive oil. Cover your bowl and place it in a warm area to rise. Dough should rise to about double it's size; about an hour.

When dough is done rising, bing water and baking soda to a boil in a large pot on the stove.

Preheat oven to 450 and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

Get your dough out and divide it into 8 pieces.

With your first piece, roll it out into a 24 inch long rope making sure the thickness is even throughout the rope.

Holding ends, let dough rope fall into a 'U' shape, then twist, lay the twist down and press ends into the 'U'. Repeat with other dough balls.


Place dough pretzels in boiling water, cooking for 30 seconds then remove and place on baking sheet.

Sprinkle tops with chunky sea salt and bake in oven for 10-12 minutes until golden brown on top.

Note: I did four pretzels at a time because that is what my pot of water and baking sheet would hold.

When done, remove from oven to cool.
Serve:
Serve these little darlings warm with spicy brown mustard and a beer.

The pretzels have an amazing flavor and chewy texture. Fun for kids and adults of all ages and super easy to make. Store leftovers in a paper bag... if you put them in plastic the salt will 'sweat', disappear and leave you with a soggy topped pretzel.


You could easily freeze these by letting them cool completely, then put in freezer on a tray to freeze. Once completely frozen, put in freezer bags and return to freezer.

Enjoy!

Yeast

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Roasted Vegetable Pasta

Wait a minute... what is it I see out there in the sky? The... su... no. It couldn't be. Wait a minute... what is the weather man saying? Sunny and seventy? No. No no no. It couldn't be. But it is? For now? For now.

And so I'll take full advantage. And sit in on the back patio. With my sunglasses. And a glass of bubbles. Because that's how I roll.

And I will also take full advantage of the barbecue. As much as I can until this (dareIsayit) summer wonderland inevitably disappears and my old frenemie the piss ass rain returns.


For this meal I wanted to do two things: 1. Feature gorgeous colorful grilled veggies and 2. Keep it simple because hey, there is sunshine to attend to.

I did finish Honey's plate with a little fresh, local chevre, as pictured. The chevre is completely optional and the pasta is just as delicious without it. Mine was chevre free and pure barbecued veg heaven.

Need:
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
About 4 Tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1 Tablespoon spicy dijon mustard
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon fresh ground black pepepr
5-8 cloves garlic, whole
2 small zucchini, quartered lengthwise
1 small eggplant, quartered lengthwise
1 red onion, quartered then sliced into about 1/2 inch pieces
1 pkg (maybe 18-20) button mushrooms or small crimini mushrooms, whole
1 pkg large pasta, such as rigatoni (what I used)
8-10 fresh basil leaves, julienned
Fresh chevre, crumbled (OPTIONAL)


Do:
In a jar, combine olive oil, balsamic vinegar, mustard and salt and pepper. Seal and shake. Set aside.

Skewer onion, garlic and mushrooms then place in a low, wide pan along with zucchini and eggplant. Give your olive oil mix another shake then pour over veg. Let sit about 10-15 minutes.

Meanwhile, heat and clean your grill.

Once ready, grill veg on all sides until you see the lovely grill marks. Reserve remaining marinade for your pasta.

Note: The zucchini, eggplant and mushrooms will be done first. I left the garlic and onion on just a bit longer. Please do not over cook your veg.

While your veg is cooking, heat a pot of salted water and cook your pasta until al dente.

When pasta is al dente, drain then transfer to a large skillet. Drizzle left over marinade on top and toss. Turn stove on low.

Slice your zucchini and egg plant into about 1/2 inch bite sized pieces. Add to pasta. Remove onion and mushrooms from skewers and add them to your pasta as well.

For the garlic, remove them from the skewer and give them a rough chop. Add them to the pasta along with the julienned basil and toss everything together. The stove is on low so it will keep your pasta warm and allow the flavors to combine.

Serve:
Plate or bowl, scoop out an equal portion pasta and veg. Top with fresh, local chevre if desired. As I said, the pasta is fantastic without the chevre too.

This is a perfect, simple summer grillin' meal for your family or a dinner party. Super easy, incredibly flavorful and a great use of veg.


Also, if you want to bulk it up, add your favorite fake meat or more veg of all variety. Just be sure to make more marinade if you add more veg.

Enjoy!

Eggplant

Monday, May 16, 2011

Vegetable Fritters

Summer is just around the corner... right? And as I look longingly into the yard at my pathetic, decrepit, bare vegetable garden, I am reminded of all the delicious fresh veg that grows there in the summer.

This year I'm not even sure if I'll get out there. At this point I am usually at least planted. The torrential downpour of rain, however, has prevented me from venturing there. I learned my lesson several years ago. Eager to have a garden, I planted and then watched the rain wash all my hard work away.

Never fear though, should I continue to be severely (and possibly permanently) delayed, I have my CSA to look forward to! And with that I will have veggies coming out my ears, no doubt.

And so, whilst pretending like summer is coming and the incessant rain is either a: not here or b: going away soon, I have decided to make a delicious summer treat.


Veggie fritters are great because they are simple, you can add what you want, i.e. clean out the fridge, and it screams for zucchinni. And in the summer months when zucchini is e-very-where, you can put a hold on your 42 different zucchini bread recipes and make these for an appetizer, lunch or dinner. Score.


Yield: about 10 fritters
Need:
1 1/2 cups frozen corn, preferrably roasted (when in season, roast fresh ears of corn)
1 medium zucchini, grated
1 medium carrot, grated
1/2 sweet onion, chopped fine
1/4 cup fresh parsley, chopped fine
3-4 cloves roasted garlic (you can use raw garlic too, but cut it down to 1-2 cloves)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon fresh cracked pepper
1/2 cup flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 cup So Delicious unsweetened coconut milk
Vegetable oil for cooking

For the 'sauce':
1/2 cup Tofutti vegan sour cream
1/4 cup salsa (mine was canned by Autie Erin; you can also use jarred salsa or make your own)
1 Tablespoon sriracha sauce

Do:
Prepare a large bowl by placing one or two paper towels (or one kitchen towels) in the bottom. Grate zucchini and put it in the bowl on top of the towels. Cover with an additional towel and press the moisture out of the zucchini. You don't have to drive yourself crazy doing this, just get most of it out then remove the towels, leaving the zucchini in the bowl.

Grate carrot and chop your onion and parsley and add to the bowl. Add 1 1/2 cups frozen corn to the bowl as well.

Smash/chop roasted garlic into a small dice, or smash and add it to your veg along with salt and pepper and So Delicious coconut milk. Stir to combine.


In a small bowl, combine the flour and baking powder then add it to the vegetable mix and combine. Note: don't stir too much because it will become pasty, resulting in a more 'gummy' fritter.

Prepare your pan by adding oil and heating on medium/high heat. Make sure pan is hot before you start cooking.

When your pan is nice and hot, scoop some of your fritter batter (about 3 Tablespoons worth, give or take) into your pan. It will sizzle against the hot oil. I was able to get two or three, depending on size, in my pan at once.

Let cook on the first side for about 3-5 minutes then flip and cook the other side. Note: the 'fatter' your fritter is, the longer it will take to cook the middle... let them spread a little so they cook through evenly.

Meanwhile, make your 'sauce' by combining the Tofutti sour cream, salsa and sriracha sauce in a bowl. Taste it... if it needs a little salt and pepper, add it.

When your fritters are done cooking, transfer to a paper towel or other 'excess oil sucker aparatus' to soak up any extra oil.

Serve:
You can use a little kale or other leafy green for your 'base' then place two or three fritters on top. Serve the sauce in a little ramekin on the side... I did this because the fritters were so beautiful I wanted to be able to see the bright colors of the veg and lovely 'tan' of the cooking.

These make beautiful appetizers and a lovely light dinner. Loved by kids and big kids alike, it's a great way to use veg and eat healthy!


Enjoy!

Zucchini

Friday, May 13, 2011

Blueberry Coconut Almond Muffins

Instead of boot camp this morning I am writing about food. Delicious blueberry coconut almond muffins to be exact. I'd like to say it's helping cure my sour mood. But it's really not.


Alternatively it is reminding me that I'm not at boot camp, starting my morning with cardio, et. al. Which is no good for anyone. Especially me.

So here I am, awkwardly perched with a giant ice pack on my back, writing whilst occassionally staring longingly outside, wishing I was with my gang, running and push-uping and jump squatting and running and probably tricepping.

Because let's just face facts: My back and Billy Blanks are not friends. They just aren't.

And the sooner I come to accept this the better off I will be. Because I will be able to train. A couple years ago my back and Billy met for the first time. At first it seemed ok. And then the next morning I realized that nothing good came from it. I was laid up for at least two weeks.

After Honey came to the rescue and fixed me, I have come to learn (through actual experience) that any sort of simultaneous kicking and punching (usually at an angle) causes issues. And guess what I did at boot camp on Monday? Yes. Simultaneous kicking and punching. I thought I was being careful about my angles but according to my back? Not so much.

And so, as you might surmise from my eternally long story, I am (reluctantly) out of commission for the day. Which should probably be a few days, but get real folks; I'm training for a damn half marathon of which I am now terrified because of all the gi-normous hills. There are hills all over that damn thing.


So what about the muffins? You ask? Well, I contemplated making my amazing chocolate chip cookies and then eating all the dough while watching re-runs of Fringe. To make my back feel better of course. But I knew that would only be a temporary fix. One that I would no doubt regret immensely.

So I made muffins! And shared with everyone I came in contact with. Ah sharing... it's nice. And these are healthier than cookies so I didn't feel bad having three one.


Yield: About 18 muffins

Need:

4tsp egg replacer
4 Tablespoons plus 1/3 cup plus 4 Tablespoons So Delicious coconut milk (vanilla, original or unsweetened)
1 3/4 cup unbleached flour
1/4 cup oat bran
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup Earth Balance
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1/3 cup packed light-brown sugar
2 ripe bananas, mashed
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 cup fresh or frozen blueberries
1/2 cup slivered or crushed almonds
1/2 cup shredded coconut flakes

Do:
Preheat oven to 375 degrees and line your muffin tins.
In a small bowl, combine egg replacer and 4 Tbsp So Delicious. Whip with a fork really well then set aside.

In another smallish bowl, combine flour, oat bran, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.

Using your Kitchenaid (or manpower), combine Earth Balance and both sugars until smooth. Add egg replacer mixture and continue to mix.
When smooth, add remaining 1/3 cup plus 4 Tablespoons So Delicious and vanilla.

In a separate small bowl, mash the bananas with a fork.
With the Kitchen Aid on low, alternately add flour mix and banana to your Earth Balance mix. Mix until just barely combined then gently fold in almonds, blueberries and coconut.

Note: if you're using a Kitchen Aid, now is the time I go manual... I use a spatula to fold everything in.

Spoon the batter into the lined muffin tins, filling basically to the top.
Bake for 18 minutes, then check with a toothpick. If it comes out clean, you're done; otherwise bake for another couple minutes until your toothpick comes out clean.

Once done, take out of oven and let them cool for about 5 minutes in the pan then remove and transfer to a cooling rack or plate.

Serve:
These are great on their own for breakfast, served with a little Earth Balance. They are also fantastic as dessert: simply slice, toast and add a little So Delicious coconut ice cream in coconut almond chip or regular coconut or any other fantastical flavor. Mmmm.


Enjoy!
Blueberry

Monday, May 9, 2011

Vegan Veggie Pot Pie

I hope Mother's day weekend was glorious for you all. I was treated to a glorious do-nothing day, which is exactly what I wanted.

Part of that glorious do-nothing day was a personal realization that I did not want to cook, and subsequently clean, because it's Mother's day. And so I didn't.

And Honey even cleaned the kitchen from the previous night's random festivities. And Noodle and Honey washed my car for me. And almost bought me a new Ipod because apparently mine has decided to go to the great beyond. I got Season Two of Fringe instead. Which was just as good.

So since I didn't want to cook and Honey's version of cooking usually involves an intriguing combination of chickpeas, lettuce and Tapatio, I pulled out some veggie pot pies I made about a month ago and froze.


And they were fantastic. A simple, sauceless, lighter and healthier version of a traditional chicken pot pie. Wildly flavorful from the vegetable mix and I got to use my fun Williams Sonoma pocket pie presses.

The pastry dough recipe is simply off the back of the pie press box, veganized, of course.

Yield: 6-8 pies

Need:
For the crust:
2 1/2 cups unbleached flour
1  teaspoons salt
2 Tablespoons sugar
16 Tablespoons cold Earth Balance (that's 250 grams), cut into chunks or cubes
6-8 Tablespoons ice water

For the filling:
1/2 sweet white onion, roughly chopped
5 cloves garlic, diced
5-8 small mushrooms, halved or quartered, depending on size
2 med carrots, quartered then chopped
1 small sweet potato, chopped into bite sized pieces
2 small celery spears, chopped
2-3 asparagus spears, chopped
1 small zucchini, quartered then chopped
3/4 fresh sage leaves, finely julienned
1 teaspoon fresh thyme, chopped fine
1 teaspoon fresh rosemary, chopped fine
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper

Do:
For the crust:
In a food processor, pulse together flour, salt and sugar until combined. Add Earth Balance and pulse until your dough looks like coarse meal.

Add 6 Tablespoons ice water and pulse a couple times. The dough should hold together when you squeeze it with your fingers; it shouldn't be too sticky though. If it's crumbly, add more water 1 teaspoon at a time, pulsing once or twice before adding more.

Once dough is ready, turn it out on a lightly floured work surface and divide in half. Shape each half into a disc and wrap with plastic wrap. Refrigerate for 2 hours or overnight.

Preheat oven to 400.

Remove dough from refrigerator and let stand at room temperature for about 5 minutes. Flour your work surface and roll one disk at a time into a round 1/16 to 1/8 inch thickness.

Cut dough to be slightly larger than your mini pie tins, or whatever you are baking your pot pies in. Gently press dough into tin and cut off excess, keeping a 'crust' around the edge of the tin. Repeat for all tins.

Cover lightly with tin foil and bake for 6-7 minutes until crust is basically cooked. Remove and set aside.


Reduce oven temperature to 375.

Roll the remaining dough disk out and make your pie tops. You can use the fantastic Williams Sonoma lattice pocket pie mold, or simply cut circles, using a pie tin as a template and create your own design.


For your filling:
In a pan, heat a little olive oil on med/high and add onions and garlic. Cook for about 1 minute then add mushrooms, carrot and sweet potato. Cover and let cook for 3-5 minutes, stirring intermittenly.

Reduce heat slightly and add asparagus, celery and zucchini. Stir, cover and let cook another 5 minutes or so. At this point, check your veg (particularly the sweet potato) to ensure it is softening appropriately.

Add sage, thyme, rosemary, sea salt and black pepper to your veg. Stir, then cover and let cook another 2 mintutes or so. At that point, taste your veg and add more salt and pepper as needed.

When your veg is appropriately seasoned, turn off stove and prepare to fill your tins. Fill each tin to the top, slightly heaping, with an even representation of all the veg and herbs.

Gently lay your top crust over the veg. Press excess top crust gently into the crust on the side of the tin.

Cover lightly with tin foil and return to the oven. Bake for 20 minutes then remove tin foil and bake for another 10-12 minutes until crust is golden brown and slightly flaky.


Remove from oven and let stand for 5-8 minutes before serving.

Serve:
I served these in their tin alongside a gorgeous green salad. From there, I removed mine from the tin, Honey ate his directly out of the tin. If you allow them to cool appropriately, you can absolutely remove them from the tin before serving.


Hearty and healthy with the flavor of fresh herbs, I will make these again soon and freeze for the next do-nothing day.

Enjoy!

Sweet Potato

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Super Crunch Burritos

It's been one of those weeks. One of those weeks where apparently I'm just plain grumpy. And apparently no amount of dirty martini or hot pink nail polish can cure me.

People keep saying it's the weather. I'm not entirely convinced but let's go ahead and blame it on the weather anyway.

But it's Cinco De Mayo! And who can be grumpy on the Cinco of Mayo? Because that would be tragic. And so I'm putting on my smiley face panties and making burritos. Because they're super crunchy. And super. And crunchy. And will probably make me feel better.


I feel an eensy bit bad, because these burritos are more about the 'assembly', vs. the 'cooking'. So simple a five year-old could make them. I don't feel that bad though, because they are delicious. Oh, and I got the idea from a little restaurant in town: Casa Que Pasa. Not sure if they're exactly the same but they are delish either way.

Enjoy! And happy Cinco of the Mayo :)


Need:
2 cups water
1 Tablespoon Earth Balance
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1 cup brown rice
Homemade or store bought pico de gallo - I'll post my 'famous' recipe
1 can black beans (or you can make your own: soak for 24 hours, then cook)
Homemade or store bought guacamole - this is a good recipe
Baby spinach leaves, cut or shredded into small (bite sized-ish) pieces
Fresh cilantro, roughly chopped
About 3/4 cup three-bean munchies
Large flour tortillas
Tortilla chips, crushed up
Tofutti sour cream
Daiya 'cheese'
Tapatio sauce

Do:
Preheat oven to 375. In a pan, bring water, Earth Balance and salt to a boil. Place rice in an oven safe dish with a lid. If it doesn't have a lid, use tin foil.

When water boils, pour over rice, cover dish with lid or tightly with tin foil and put in oven. Bake for 1 hour. That's how Alton does it. And it is hands down, the best way ever.

While your rice cooks, combine black beans and about 1/2 cup pico de gallo. Heat on low on the stove. When just warm, taste and add salt and pepper as you so desire.

Meanwhile, prepare your guacamole by following this recipe.

In a small bowl, combine spinach and cilantro. Set aside for assembly.

When rice is done, remove from oven and fluff with a fork. When your beans are hot you can get your assembly on.

Assembly:
Start with a tortilla. If you warm it up a bit, it rolls better. On the side closest to you, spread some Tofutti sour cream 3/4 of the way across the tortilla, leaving both ends and a little area closest to you bare. Repeat with guacamole.

Top that with rice in a line, down the tortilla side closest to you. Top that with beans.

On top of the beans, add crushed tortilla chips, three bean munchies and a little more salsa.

Top that with your spinach cilantro mix and add some hot sauce if you feel like it.

Now it's time to roll.

Start by folding the small end of the tortilla (closest to you) over the filling. Roll once then fold both ends inside, on top of where the filling is. Finish rolling. Note: Be aware of the rolling factor when you're filling your burrito.

Serve:

Alongside a lovely green salad or simply in your nand. Over the sink. Perhaps with a Corona nearby.

Enjoy!




Black Bean



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