E2: Chalupas

The name chalupa scares me, because all I think of are creepy tacos from Taco Bell, and a small dog insisting that I try them. Anyone else remember that? I’m terrified of Taco Bell because of both their mystery ingredients, and the way their food makes me feel after I eat it. UGGGGH.

But the Chalupa recipe from the Engine 2 Diet was undeniably amazing. Really. Of course I made a few changes to it (easy, easy changes). But I can’t express the joy this dinner brought to me. One bite of it was like being a kid again, at some favorite mexican restaurant with my family, eating something simple that a child would love: tortillas, refried beans and lettuce. See? Completely simple and easy.

So, to review the changes (or “upgrades” as I like to think of them) to this recipe:

  • Use two corn tortillas (I got a 12 pack from Trader Joe’s that were great) and sprinkle a tablespoon of cheddar daiya cheese in between. Then, broil following the steps in the book.
  • Salsa isn’t necessary. At all. I just topped ours with some additional green onion, lime juice and Tapatio. That’s all you need.

See? I’m pretty sure I actually made this easier than the original recipe, since you don’t have to go to all the trouble of making fresh salsa, or destroying this with jar salsa (ugh!). Also, I know this was a total success because my husband did not suggest that I put green chilies on it, and he wants green chilies on EVERYTHING.

Roasted Tomato Tortilla Soup

I didn’t come up with this soup in a vacuum. It’s really a crazy mash-up of two different tortilla soups that I really like, one from the Happy Herbivore, and the other from Appetite for Reduction. I just took the two easiest parts of each recipe and put them together into one terrific soup!

Roasted Tomato Tortilla Soup (makes 4 large servings, or 6 small servings):

  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 4 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1&1/2 tsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1/4 plus 1 cup veggie broth (keep a little more on hand if you need to thin your soup)
  • 1 28oz. can fire roasted whole tomatoes
  • 1 4oz. can green chilies
  • 2 tsp liquid aminos
  • 3 T tomato paste
  • 1 tsp agave nectar
  • 2 tsp hot sauce (I like Tapatio here)
  • 1 cup pinto beans
  • 1 cup crumbled baked corn chips
  • 1/2 cup frozen corn
  • cilantro to garnish

Place a medium-sized sauce pot over medium-high heat. Add 1/4 cup veggie broth and onions. Cook until onions are translucent, about 5 minutes. Add garlic and spices, stirring to coat. Now, douse with the rest of the veggie broth, the juice from the tomatoes, the green chilies, liquid aminos, agave nectar and tomato paste. Squeeze each of the tomatoes in your hand, then add to the soup. Lower to a simmer, and you can cook the soup for almost any length of time–I’d recommend at least 20 minutes.

Pour the soup into your food processor or blender when you are ready and pulse until combined. The soup will be HOT so take pains (ha) not to burn yourself. Return it to the pot, and add the corn chips, pinto beans, corn and hot sauce. Once they are nice and warm, the soup is ready to serve. Garnish with cilantro.

Southwest Pizza

After long debates with myself about calling this “Mexi-corn Pizza” I decided that was a) too racist, and b) too…corny to be posted on the blog. So, Southwest Pizza it is! Which is really more honest, anyway, since this doesn’t exactly resemble Mexican food in any fundamental way. Except for the cilantro and corn. And avocado.

This was one of those meals where I thought, “vegans get to eat this? And it’s healthy?” but it totally is. It’s weird when something feels sinfully good, but is also incredibly good for you. I suppose that’s what veganism is all about.

Southwest Pizza (makes 1 large pizza):

  • 1/2 recipe of pizza dough from Vegan with a Vengeance, or any kind of premade or other recipe dough you like.
  • 1 jar salsa (use as much as you like. I’d recommend getting something that seems saucy, as opposed to fresh salsa. I like Trader Joe’s.)
  • 1 small summer squash, sliced VERY thin
  • 6 cloves garlic, sliced
  • 1/2 of a small onion, sliced thin
  • 1/4 cup frozen corn
  • 1/2 package of Trader Joe’s fake ground beef (it’s awesome) or any brand you like. You need about 1/2 cup of total fake meat.
  • 1/3 cup daiya pepperjack flavor (you can omit this, but it is delicious!)
  • 1 avocado, sliced
  • cilantro for garnish. And flavor!
  • hot sauce (I recommend Tapatio for this)

Now, roll out your dough. Have I given instructions about how to make pizza before? Yes! The real difference between this pizza and the link is that you order the toppings different: salsa, onions, garlic, squash, corn, then beef. Bake until the squash is done, being careful not to overcook the crust (so if you need to turn down the temp a little, that’s fine). Add the daiya, and cook for 3 to 5 more minutes, until it’s nice and melted. Let the pizza cool and add the cilantro, avocado, and hot sauce.

Other toppings that would taste great: black olives, green onions (sprinkled on with the cilantro), green peppers, and diced green chilies.

My husband gave this pizza a rating of: “It made both my stomach and mouth happy.” Good enough for me!

 

Aztec Corn Soup

Is it the amaranth that makes this soup Aztec? I’m just excited to find a recipe that uses amaranth, which I adore. Even though I can’t make it without burning it, and myself, I love the taste and texture of amaranth. If you’ve never had it, it’s like tiny baby quinoa. Maybe with a little bit nuttier flavor, and if you manage to brown it a little, it tastes sort of like fried chicken. So, if you miss that taste–amaranth is your friend.

This soup is going into my dinner rotation STAT. It only has a few ingredients, and all of them are something I love. Not to mention that it’s a protein powerhouse as well–corn, amaranth and black beans. And the green chilies! So many chilies! We were in heaven over here.

Thanks Happy Herbivore!

 

Chilaquiles…what?

I had no idea what chilaquiles were until I made this. And I thought I knew a lot about Mexican food! Guess not.

These are the Tofu Chilaquiles from Happy Herbivore. I gotta say, it tasted a lot like a tofu scramble, but with a little flair thrown in. I’m not sure I loved it as a dinner, but as an enchilada filling or a breakfast burrito (with some roasted potato) this would be divine. And look at the tomatoes! God bless my friends out in the country. I couldn’t grow a decent tomato here if my life depended on it. And trust me, I’ve tried.

 

Don’t Keep This…Under Wraps…

 

When I bust out the puns, you know I’ve been reading a lot of Cake Wrecks.

This BBQ wrap is so much win. I don’t actually know what that phrase means, and I don’t actually like the term “wrap” for what is obviously a burrito, but I digress. The BBQ Chop Wrap from Happy Herbivore will change your life. I could eat this thing practically every day and not get bored with it. For one, BBQ sauce, ya’ll. But without all the UGH heaviness that usually comes from eating BBQ’ed food. You know? It’s all light and airy and full of beans and magic.

MAKE THIS FOOD.

 

Southern Home Cookin’

My husband thought this dinner tasted just like something your granny would make. But I guess she’d have to be your kick-ass vegan granny, which would be amazing. Of all the vegans I read about, senior vegans are the best. They went vegan in 1922, you dang whippersnapper!

Are you listening? I have two words for you. VEGAN. BACON. And BITS. Which makes it three, but you get the idea. Yeah. Happy Herbivore strikes again! I love these bacon bits. They were incredibly easy to make, totally fat free, and look and taste just like bacon. My clothes and hair even smell like bacon just like the (bad) old days!

So I smothered those bits all over some green beans. And made her baked beans (which seemed to be missing something, though I don’t know what), and hybridized the corn pudding/cornbread recipe. You see, I DID have silken tofu–yesterday. And then I went on some sort of crazed double-batch brownie extravaganza. Delicious,  unnecessary, and it stole my ingredients for corn pudding!

What I did was make half a batch of cornbread, added the full amount of jalapeño, corn, onion and turmeric, and baked it at 350 for 30 mins. That way both it and the beans were done at the same time. It turned out fairly well, if a little dense. I’ll try to get it right next time!