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Vegan Potato and Chorizo Tacos

I’m still recovering from the Christmas and New Year celebrations. I can’t seem to catch up with the kid’s school work or any of my work for that matter. We spent almost 3 weeks in Mexico with my family, and it was incredible, as always. The kids were spoiled rotten by their grandparents and so was I. Since I didn’t have to cook, clean or do laundry while I was there, we spent many hours sitting around in our pijamas, sipping hot tea and chatting, while the kids ran amok like wild animals.

vegan potato and chorizo tacos. Serve the crispy bits of spicy chorizo mixed with the slightly golden potatoes on a warm tortilla and top with salsa.

The hubby and I were even able to get away for a couple of days and go to Austin. It had been 6 years since we had been without the kids for more than a day! We kind of fell in love with Austin a little bit. It’s a pretty cool town. Once we got back to California I was so sad. It hurts to be so far away from family, it’s not right. I miss them terribly.

Vegan potato and chorizo tacos. Serve the crispy bits of spicy chorizo mixed with the slightly golden potatoes on a warm tortilla and top with salsa.

Vegan potato and chorizo tacos. Serve the crispy bits of spicy chorizo mixed with the slightly golden potatoes on a warm tortilla and top with salsa.

However, I did return with a renewed mission or purpose for this blog. My mother (the reason I started this blog) has continued to have health problems. This is motivating me to keep going and to keep creating delicious vegan Mexican recipes that my mom would like to eat, in the hope that maintaining a vegan (plant-based) diet can help improve her health. Just like my mom and I, there are many others who would like to continue eating the foods they love and grew up with without sacrificing their health or the lives of animals. I hope this blog and these recipes can help other Latino families make the transition to a vegan (plant-based) way of life.

My crazy family

my crazy family

The Recipe: Vegan Potato and Chorizo Tacos

This is where these potato and chorizo tacos come in. Potatoes and chorizo or chorizo con papas is traditionally a breakfast dish, but I see no reason why this couldn’t be a good lunch or dinner option. You can use store-bought vegan chorizo or you could make the homemade version. Either way, as soon as you mix the chorizo with the potatoes you will understand why this is such a popular dish in Mexico. Serve the crispy bits of spicy chorizo mixed with the slightly golden potatoes on a warm tortilla and top with salsa. Make sure you have good tortillas though. My favorite tortillas right now are the Tortilla Land uncooked corn tortillas. It really is like eating your tortillas recién hechas (just made). Enjoy!

Vegan potato and chorizo tacos. Serve the crispy bits of spicy chorizo mixed with the slightly golden potatoes on a warm tortilla and top with salsa.

Potato and chorizo tacos. Serve the crispy bits of spicy chorizo mixed with the slightly golden potatoes on a warm tortilla and top with salsa.
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Potato and Chorizo Tacos

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 4 servings
Author Dora Stone

Ingredients

  • 1 tbsp. Vegetable oil, optional
  • 1 cup Onion, white, minced
  • 3 cups Potato, peeled, diced
  • 1 cup Vegan chorizo, cooked (see note)
  • 12 Corn tortillas
  • 1 cup Your favorite salsa

Preparation

  1. Heat 1 tbsp. of oil in a large sauté pan at medium-low heat. Add onions and cook until soft and translucent, about 10 min. It’s ok if they brown a little bit.
  2. While the onions are cooking, place your cut potatoes in a small saucepot with salted water. Bring the water up to a simmer at high heat. Lower heat to medium and let the potatoes cook for 5 minutes.
  3. Drain the potatoes and add them to the pan with the onion. Turn heat up to medium-high. Cook potatoes and onions for 5 minutes or until the potatoes begin to brown. Add more oil if necessary.
  4. Add cooked chorizo to the pan and mix well. Cook for one more minute.
  5. Season with salt and pepper.
  6. Serve with warm tortillas and the salsa of your choice.

Chef's Notes

You can buy vegan chorizo or try this homemade vegan version. 

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Homemade Vegan Chorizo

Chorizo is one of my comfort foods. Nothing beats a breakfast of huevos con chorizo, warm corn tortillas and salsa molcajeteada. Of course as a vegan, there aren’t many chorizo options. This recipe though, might change your mind about vegan chorizo. This has to be my most tested recipe. I tried many versions of this, one made with quinoa, one with tempeh, another with tofu, and one with just mushrooms. After many failed chorizo attempts, I give you the best homemade vegan chorizo recipe you will be able to find.

This recipe for homemade vegan chorizo is the only one you will ever need. It is spicy and crumbly, with notes of clove and coriander.

The recipe takes a little bit of time, but believe it is worth it. This chorizo is spicy and crumbly, with tons of umami flavor and notes of clove and coriander. To make this chorizo you first have to press the tofu for 30 minutes. Place in between two plates with a heavy object on top. This eliminates the excess water in the tofu, creating a better texture for the chorizo. Then crumble it into a large bowl.

chiles

Take your dry chiles, and remove the stems and seeds. Bring a pot of water to a boil and drop the chiles inside. Turn the heat down to the lowest setting and let sit for 10 minutes.

This recipe for homemade vegan chorizo is the only one you will ever need. It is spicy and crumbly, with notes of clove and coriander.

Remove the chiles from the water and place in the blender. Reserve ½ cup of the chile soaking liquid. Add the garlic, oregano, cumin, cloves, paprika, coriander, apple cider vinegar, and ¼ cup of soaking liquid to the blender and process until smooth. If necessary add the remaining ¼ cup of the soaking liquid to get things moving in the blender. Strain the chile mixture. Add half of it to the crumbled tofu.

This recipe for homemade vegan chorizo is the only one you will ever need. It is spicy and crumbly, with notes of clove and coriander.

Mince your mushrooms finely. I recommend you do this with a knife not a food processor. Sauté them until golden brown and a bit crispy. Add the remaining half of the chile puree and cook for a couple more minutes until the mixture has thickened.

This recipe for homemade vegan chorizo is the only one you will ever need. It is spicy and crumbly, with notes of clove and coriander.

Sauté the tofu until golden brown and crispy. In a large bowl combine the cooked mushrooms and tofu and check your seasoning. The chorizo possibilities are now endless. I will be making papas con chorizo, torta de chorizo, sopes con chorizo, and many more dishes. I can’t wait for you to try them. Enjoy!

This recipe for homemade vegan chorizo is the only one you will ever need. It is spicy and crumbly, with notes of clove and coriander.

The Recipe: Homemade Vegan Chorizo

The finished chorizo will keep in your fridge for 3-5 days, or you can freeze for up to 3 months. To increase the spiciness add more chile de arbol.

homemade vegan chorizo
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Homemade Vegan Chorizo

Prep Time 40 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 50 minutes
Servings 15 oz. (almost a pound!)
Author Dora Stone

Ingredients

  • 1 block Tofu, extra firm, 12oz.
  • ½ lb. Mushrooms, finely chopped
  • 6 Chile guajillo, dried, seeded
  • 2 Chile ancho, dried, seeded
  • 4 Chile de arbol, dried
  • 4 cloves Garlic
  • 1 tbsp. Oregano, dried
  • ½ tsp. Cumin, ground
  • 2 Cloves, whole
  • 1 tbsp. Paprika, ground
  • ½ tsp. Coriander, ground
  • ¼ cup Apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tbsp. Vegetable oil, optional

Preparation

  1. Remove tofu from package and place in between two small plates. Place a can on top of the plates and leave like this for 30 min.
  2. Bring a small pot of water to a boil. Remove the stems and seeds from the chiles and discard them. Drop the chiles into the boiling water. Turn heat down to the lowest setting and let the chiles sit in the water for 10 min.
  3. Remove the chiles from the water and place in blender. Reserve ½ cup of the chile soaking liquid.
  4. Add the garlic, oregano, cumin, cloves, paprika, coriander, apple cider vinegar, and ¼ cup of soaking liquid to the blender and process until smooth. If necessary add the remaining ¼ cup of the soaking liquid to get things moving in the blender.
  5. Season the chile mixture with salt and pepper and pass through a fine strainer. Set aside.
  6. Drain the water from the tofu and crumble with your hands into a large bowl. Pour half of the pureed chile mixture into the bowl with the tofu and stir to combine. Set aside.
  7. Heat a large sauté pan to high heat and add 1 tbsp. of oil. Once the oil is hot add the finely chopped mushrooms and continue to cook until the mushrooms begin to brown, about 6-7 min.
  8. Lower heat to medium-low and pour in the remaining half of the chile mixture. Stir and continue to cook for 3-4 minutes, until the mushrooms begin to absorb the chile mixture. Remove from pan and place in a large bowl.
  9. Heat a non-stick sauté pan set to medium heat, add 1 tbsp. of oil. Add the tofu mixture and continue to cook until the liquid begins to evaporate and tofu becomes crispy, 7-8 minutes. You can make the tofu as crispy as you like. (Be careful not to overcrowd the pan or the tofu will never get crispy.)
  10. Pour cooked tofu mixture into the bowl with the mushrooms and mix well to combine. Adjust seasoning.

Chef's Notes

The finished chorizo will keep in your fridge for 3- 5 days, or you can freeze for up to 3 months. You can add it to your tofu scramble, tacos, tortas, sopes, etc. To increase the spiciness add more chile de arbol.

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Vegan Strawberry Tamales

This past weekend I went to my first blogger conference. I learned so much and I met the most amazing people. The conference was hosted by Nagi from Recipe Tin Eats and I loved her insight on how she grew her blog from 0 to 1 million views in 18 months. There’s so much to do on this little blog, and I am incredibly motivated to get it done.

There was only one other vegan blogger at the conference, her name is Jenn and her blog is Veggie Inspired. Please go check out her site and don’t forget to follow her on Pinterest, she has some great recipes on there. There’s one other blogger I would love to mention and that is Mimi from Mimi Avocado, even though her blog is not vegan you should go over to her site and read a little bit of her story. She lives on an avocado ranch. If you live in California you could have Mimi’s avocados delivered right to your door through her son’s company: California Avocados Direct!

Me and Nagi from Recipe Tin Eats

Our ebook: Vegan Tamales Unwrapped is coming along nicely and I can’t wait for you to try all of the different tamal recipes. This recipe for vegan strawberry tamales is one of the best ones in the book. Apparently they taste like Capt’n Crunch’s Crunch Berries, according to my husband.

The Recipe: Vegan Strawberry Tamales

These strawberry tamales are soft, tender packets of ground corn, filled with sweet strawberry jam. The aroma of the tamales steaming is irresistible. They are great with a mug of Mexican hot chocolate or an atole. Enjoy!

tamales-fresa
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Vegan Strawberry Tamales

Prep Time 1 hour
Cook Time 40 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 40 minutes
Servings 18 tamales
Author Dora Stone

Ingredients

  • 2 cups Strawberries, cut into chunks
  • 2 cups Almond milk, warm
  • 1 cup Vegan Butter, room temperature, 8 oz.
  • 1/2 cup Sugar, granulated
  • 1.5 tsp. Baking powder
  • 1 tsp. Salt
  • 4 cups Masa harina, 1 lb. 2oz
  • 1 cup Water, warm
  • 1 ½ cup Strawberry jam
  • 30 Corn husks

Preparation

  1. Soak the corn husks in hot water, in a large pot or in your kitchen sink. Place a plate over them to weigh them down so they are completely submerged. Let them soak for at least an hour.
  2. Blend the 2 cups of almond milk and 1 cup of the strawberries until smooth.
  3. To make the dough: beat the butter and sugar, on medium-high speed, with an electric mixer, until the butter has doubled in size and is nice and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add the baking powder and salt, and beat for 1 minute to incorporate into the butter.
  4. Add half of the masa harina then add the strawberry almond milk. After it is completely incorporated, add the other half of the masa harina and the water. Add the remaining cup of chopped strawberries, and beat at low speed, until thoroughly mixed. It should have the consistency of a thick cake batter. If necessary add more water until you reach that consistency.
  5. For lighter and fluffier tamales, let the dough rest for an hour in the refrigerator. Remove the dough from the fridge and rebeat it, adding enough liquid to get it to the consistency it had before.
  6. Remove the corn husks from the water and set on paper towels. Reserve the largest husks to wrap the tamales and the small ones to line the steamer.
  7. To set up your steamer, fill the bottom with water making sure the water is not touching the steamer rack. Line the rack and sides of the steamer pot with corn husks. Set aside.
  8. Pull 24 pencil thin strips off of the corn husks and set aside. Take a husk and dry off the excess water on it with a paper towel. Place the husk in your hand with the tapered side away from you and the smooth side up. Using a spoon, spread 2-3 tbsp. of the dough (¼ inch thick) onto the corn husk, forming a 3 - 4 inch square. Leave a border of at least 3/4 inch on each side of the square.
  9. Place 1 tbsp. of strawberry jam in the center of the dough. Bring the two long sides of the corn husk together, this will cause the masa to surround the jam, and roll them in the same direction around the tamal. (If the husk is too small, fold one of the long sides towards the center, and then fold the other long side on top.) Fold down the empty tapered section of the corn husk, forming a closed bottom. This will leave the top of the tamal open. Tie with a corn husk strip to secure the bottom of the tamal.
  10. Place the tamal in the steamer vertically leaning against the side of the steamer, with the open end on top. Repeat this process until you run out of dough and all the tamales are in the steamer. Cover them with a layer of corn husks. If the steamer is not full, fill the empty spaces with more corn husks. Cover the pot and bring the water to a boil. Turn heat down to medium and cook for 40 minutes. Check the tamales, when they separate easily from the corn husk it means they are done. If they are not done, steam for 10 more minutes and check again.
  11. Remove steamer from the heat and let sit covered for 10 minutes. Uncover and let cool for at least an hour. Don’t be alarmed if the tamales seem really soft. As they cool, they will firm up.

Chef's Notes

If you would like to make these with fresh masa, replace the masa harina with 2 lbs. of fresh masa and use only 1 cup of almond milk. To substitute the fat you can use 8 oz. of coconut oil. For tamales without fat, substitute with 8 oz of cooked, unsweetened pumpkin.

 

 

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Vegan Potato Adobo Tamales

I love Christmas. Yeah, I’m one of those people, and I don’t care about being politically correct. It’s so close! Can you feel it?  What’s not to like about Christmas? There’s family, good food, Christmas carols, cookies, and Jesus of course. Ok, ok, enough already.

One month from today our first e-book: Vegan Tamales Unwrapped will be available right here on Dora’s Table. It will only be $6.99!! It contains 18 different vegan tamal recipes. During the following weeks I will be sharing with you some of the recipes that are in the book, so you can start making tamales today. Unfortunately, my family is done with tamales for the rest of this year. During the process of making this book, there were at one point 480 tamales in my refrigerator! We gave some away, froze half of them, and ate as many as we could. Now my 6 yr. old thinks I can make tamales in the blink of an eye.

tamales in my freezer

The Recipe: Vegan Potato Adobo Tamales

These tamales that I am sharing with you today are filled with a mixture of potatoes and peas tossed in a spicy adobo sauce. The adobo is smoky, spicy, tangy, and has an earthy quality to it. The masa that surrounds it, is fluffy and light, and it’s all wrapped in a corn husk and steamed until tender. Enjoy!

Vegan potato adobo tamales. They are filled with a mixture of potatoes and peas tossed in a spicy adobo sauce. The adobo is smoky, spicy, tangy, and has an earthy quality to it. The masa that surrounds it, is fluffy and light

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Vegan Potato Adobo Tamales
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Vegan Potato Adobo Tamales

Prep Time 2 hours
Cook Time 40 minutes
Total Time 2 hours 40 minutes
Servings 18 tamales
Author Dora Stone

Ingredients

Dough

  • 1 ½ cups (8 oz.) Vegetable shortening
  • 4 cups (1 lb. 2 oz). Masa harina
  • 1 ½ tsp. Baking powder
  • 1 ½ tbsp. Salt
  • 4 cups Vegetable stock or broth, warm

Filling

  • 1 ½ lb. Potatoes, peeled, cut into small dice
  • 1 cup Peas, fresh or frozen
  • 3 Ancho chiles, dry, deseeded
  • 1 ½ Pasilla chiles, dry, deseeded
  • 2 cloves Garlic
  • ¼ Onion, white
  • ½ tsp. Cumin, ground
  • ½ tsp. Oregano, dried
  • 1 Clove, whole
  • ¼ tsp. Cinnamon, ground
  • ½ cup Vinegar, white
  • ½ cup Chile soaking liquid
  • 30 Corn Husks

Preparation

  1. Soak the corn husks in hot water, in a large pot or in your kitchen sink. Place a plate over them to weigh them down so they are completely submerged. Let them soak for at least an hour.
  2. To make the filling, place the diced potatoes in a medium pot with salted cold water. Bring to a simmer and cook for about 6 min. or until the potatoes are slightly tender. When the potatoes are cooked, remove from the heat and pour the cup of peas into the water with the potatoes and let sit for 30 sec. Drain and set aside.
  3. To make the adobo, bring a small pot of water to a boil. Remove the stems and seeds from the chiles and drop them into the water. Turn heat down to the lowest setting and let the chiles sit in the water for 10 min. Remove the chiles from the water and place in blender. Reserve ½ cup of the chile soaking liquid. Add the garlic, onion, oregano, cumin, cloves, cinnamon, white vinegar, and ½ cup of soaking liquid to the blender and process until smooth. Season with salt and pepper.
  4. Pour the adobo on the cooked potatoes and peas, adjust seasoning, and mix well.
  5. To make the dough, beat the vegetable shortening, on medium-high speed, with an electric mixer, until it has doubled in size and is nice and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add the baking powder, salt, and beat for 1 minute to incorporate into the shortening.
  6. Add half of the masa harina then add half of the vegetable stock. After it is completely incorporated, add the other half of masa harina and vegetable stock. Beat at low speed, until thoroughly mixed. It should have the consistency of a thick cake batter. If necessary add more vegetable stock until you reach that consistency. Taste the dough, and add more salt if necessary. It should be a little bit salty.
  7. For lighter and fluffier tamales, let the dough rest for an hour in the refrigerator. Remove the dough from the fridge and rebeat it, adding enough liquid to get it to the consistency it had before.
  8. Remove the corn husks from the water and set on paper towels. Reserve the largest husks to wrap the tamales and the small ones to line the steamer.
  9. To set up your steamer, fill the bottom with water making sure the water is not touching the steamer rack. Line the rack and sides of the steamer pot with corn husks. Set aside.
  10. Pull 24 pencil thin strips off of the corn husks and set aside. Take a husk and dry off the excess water with a paper towel. Place the husk in your hand with the tapered side away from you and the smooth side up. Using a spoon, spread 2-3 tbsp. of the dough (¼ inch thick) onto the corn husk, forming a 3 – 4 inch square. Leave a border of at least 3/4 inch on each side of the square.
  11. Place 1 ½ tbsp. of the filling in the center of the dough. Bring the two long sides of the corn husk together, this will cause the masa to surround the filling, and roll them in the same direction around the tamal. (If the husk is too small, fold one of the long sides towards the center, and then fold the other long side on top.) Fold down the empty tapered section of the corn husk, forming a closed bottom. This will leave the top of the tamal open. Tie with a corn husk strip to secure the bottom of the tamal.
  12. Place the tamal in the steamer vertically leaning against the side of the pot, with the folded part of the tamal on the bottom. Repeat this process until you run out of dough and all the tamales are in the steamer. Cover them with a layer of corn husks. If the steamer is not full, fill the empty spaces with more corn husks. Cover the pot and bring the water to a boil. Turn heat down to medium and cook for 40 minutes. Check the tamales, when they separate easily from the corn husk it means they are done. If they are not done, steam for 10 more minutes and check again.
  13. Remove steamer from the heat and let sit covered for 10 minutes. Uncover and let cool for at least an hour. Don’t be alarmed if the tamales seem really soft. As they cool, they will firm up.

Chef's Notes

If you would like to make these with fresh masa, replace the masa harina with 2 lbs. of fresh masa. To substitute the vegetable shortening, you can use 8 oz. of coconut oil. For tamales without fat, use 8 oz of cooked, unsweetened pumpkin.

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Vegan Chocolate Tamales

It’s that time of year again, when the cold starts creeping in and we yearn for nice mug of hot chocolate and a tamal. If you have never tried a sweet tamal you are in for a treat.  These vegan chocolate tamales are made by beating vegan butter and sugar, adding corn masa flour, ground Mexican chocolate, cinnamon, and warm almond milk. It is filled with bittersweet chocolate chips and chopped pecans. The best tamal is a warm tamal just out of the steamer, and the scent of cinnamon and the melted bittersweet chocolate interior of this tamal will surely conquer your tastebuds.

These vegan chocolate tamales are perfect for when the cold starts creeping in and we yearn for nice mug of hot chocolate and a tamal.

For the last 3 months I have been working like crazy to deliver our latest project in time for Christmas. I have poured my heart into this project and I am excited to share it with you. On Dec 12th we will be releasing our first e-book: Vegan Tamales Unwrapped. This book contains over 18 different vegan tamal recipes for you to enjoy this Christmas season, with a step-by-step picture guide to making the dough, wrapping the tamales, and placing them in the steamer. The recipes include both savory and sweet tamales.

These vegan chocolate tamales are perfect for when the cold starts creeping in and we yearn for nice mug of hot chocolate and a tamal.

In the next following weeks I will be sharing with you some of the recipes found in the book. I hope you like them!

The Recipe: Vegan Chocolate Tamales

If you would like to make these tamales with fresh masa, replace the masa harina with 2 lbs. of fresh masa.

 

tamales chocolate
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Vegan Chocolate Tamales

Prep Time 2 hours
Cook Time 40 minutes
Total Time 2 hours 40 minutes
Servings 18 tamales
Author Dora Stone

Ingredients

  • 1 cup Vegan Butter room temperature, 8 oz.
  • 1/3 cup Sugar granulated
  • 4 cups (1 lb. 2oz) Masa harina
  • 1.5 tsp. Baking powder
  • 1 tsp. Salt
  • 1 1/2 cups Mexican chocolate ground, 9 oz
  • ½ tsp. Cinnamon, ground
  • 2 cups Almond Milk, unsweetened, warm
  • 2 cups Water, warm
  • ½ cup Pecans, chopped
  • 2 cups Chocolate chips, bittersweet
  • 30 Corn husks dried

Preparation

  1. Soak the corn husks in hot water, in a large pot or in your kitchen sink. Place a plate over them to weigh them down so they are completely submerged. Let them soak for at least an hour.
  2. Chop the Mexican chocolate into small pieces and grind to a powder in the food processor. If you don’t have a food processor, you can grate the chocolate with a standard kitchen grater.
  3. Beat the butter and sugar, on medium-high speed, with an electric mixer, until the butter has doubled in size and is nice and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add the Mexican chocolate, cinnamon, baking powder, salt, and beat for 1 minute to incorporate into the butter.
  4. Add half of the masa harina then add the almond milk. After it is completely incorporated, add the other half of masa harina and water. Beat at low speed, until thoroughly mixed. It should have the consistency of a thick cake batter. If necessary add more water until you reach that consistency.
  5. For lighter and fluffier tamales, let the dough rest for an hour in the refrigerator. Remove the dough from the fridge and rebeat it, adding enough liquid to get it to the consistency it had before.
  6. Remove the corn husks from the water and set on paper towels.
  7. To set up your steamer, fill the bottom with water making sure the water is not touching the steamer rack. Line the rack and sides of the steamer pot with corn husks. Set aside.
  8. Pull 24 pencil thin strips off of the corn husks and set aside. Take a husk and dry off the excess water on it with a paper towel. Place the husk in your hand with the tapered side away from you and the smooth side up. Using a spoon, spread 2-3 tbsp. of the dough (¼ inch thick) onto the corn husk, forming a 3 - 4 inch square. Leave a border of at least 3/4 inch on each side of the square.
  9. Place 5-10 chocolate chips, and a sprinkle of chopped pecans in the center of the dough. Bring the two long sides of the corn husk together, this will cause the masa to surround the filling, and roll them in the same direction around the tamal. (If the husk is too small, fold one of the long sides towards the center, and then fold the other long side on top.) Fold down the empty tapered section of the corn husk, forming a closed bottom. This will leave the top of the tamal open. Tie with a corn husk strip to secure the bottom of the tamal.
  10. Place the tamal in the steamer vertically leaning against the side of the steamer, with the folded part of the tamal on the bottom. Repeat this process until you run out of dough and all the tamales are in the steamer. Cover them with a layer of corn husks. If the steamer is not full, fill the empty spaces with more corn husks. Cover the pot and bring the water to a boil. Turn heat down to medium and cook for 40 minutes. Check the tamales, when they separate easily from the corn husk it means they are done. If they are not done, steam for 10 more minutes and check again.
  11. Remove steamer from the heat and let sit covered for 10 minutes. Uncover and let cool. Don’t be alarmed if the tamales seem really soft. As they cool, they will firm up.

Chef's Notes

If you would like to make these with fresh masa, replace the masa harina with 2 lbs. of fresh masa. You can also use 8 oz. of coconut oil or 8 oz of cooked, unsweetened pumpkin to replace the fat.

 

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Candied Pumpkin (Calabaza en Tacha)

Something strange is happening in our house. Our 6 yr old, Dylan, has been asking what vegan is. My husband is an omnivore, so I cook 3 vegan meals, 3 non-vegan meals and we eat out one day a week. We don’t really use labels with our food, so the kids don’t think about our meals as vegan or non-vegan. They will eat almost anything, as long as it’s good.

This recipe for Candied Pumpkin (Calabaza en Tacha), is another great dish you can prepare for the Day of the Dead celebration. The pumpkin

This recipe for Candied Pumpkin (Calabaza en Tacha), is another great dish you can prepare for the Day of the Dead celebration. The pumpkin

This recipe for Candied Pumpkin (Calabaza en Tacha), is another great dish you can prepare for the Day of the Dead celebration. The pumpkin

He has been hearing the word vegan a lot though, because of the blog, and my husband constantly asking if something I have prepared is vegan (possibly with a grimace on his face). I don’t want Dylan to think of vegan food as different or worse than other food, so I have been naming some of his favorite foods and letting him know they are vegan. He loves tofu! When he asked me what vegan was, the best explanation I could give him was that it was food that came from plants, not animals. He kind of nodded and moved on to the next distracting thing in his path.

This recipe for Candied Pumpkin (Calabaza en Tacha), is another great dish you can prepare for the Day of the Dead celebration. The pumpkin

This recipe for Candied Pumpkin (Calabaza en Tacha), is another great dish you can prepare for the Day of the Dead celebration. The pumpkin

This recipe for Candied Pumpkin (Calabaza en Tacha), is another great dish you can prepare for the Day of the Dead celebration. The pumpkin

Now that the WHO (World Health Organization) has stated that processed meats can cause cancer, it is more important than ever to demistify plant-based food and show others, especially our children, how great you can feel from eating it and how delicious it can be.

This recipe for Candied Pumpkin (Calabaza en Tacha), is another great dish you can prepare for the Day of the Dead celebration. The pumpkin

The Recipe: Candied Pumpkin (Calabaza en Tacha)

This is another great dish you can prepare for the Day of the Dead celebration. A cinderella pumpkin is cut into thick wedges, and simmered slowly in piloncillo, cinnamon, clove, and orange peel. Once the pumpkin is soft and tender, it is drizzled in its own syrup. Traditionally it is served with milk, but this version is topped with decadent coconut whipped cream. Enjoy!

This recipe for Candied Pumpkin (Calabaza en Tacha), is another great dish you can prepare for the Day of the Dead celebration. The pumpkin

candied pumpkin (calabaza en tacha)
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Candied Pumpkin (Calabaza en Tacha)

Prep Time 2 hours
Total Time 2 hours
Servings 10 servings
Author Dora Stone

Ingredients

  • 1 small (4 -5 lbs.) Cinderella pumpkin
  • 1 lb. Piloncillo, (2 cones)
  • 1 Ceylon cinnamon stick
  • 1 Clove, whole
  • 1 strip Orange peel
  • ¾ cup Water

Preparation

  1. Place the piloncillo, water, cinnamon, clove, and orange peel in a large pot or dutch oven set to low heat. Let the piloncillo slowly dissolve, stir frequently.
  2. In the meantime, rinse the pumpkin well to remove any dirt. With a small knife cut a circle around the stem of the pumpkin. Almost like you are carving a jack-o-lantern. Remove the stem and pull out the seeds and flesh attached to it. Leave the rest if the seeds and flesh inside.
  3. Following the natural vertical grooves of the pumpkin, cut it into wedges from top to bottom. The wedges should be about 2 ½ “ wide x 3 “ long. You do not need to remove the seeds, but you can if desired. Score the skin of the pumpkin wedges with a small knife to help them absorb the syrup.
  4. Once the piloncillo has completely dissolved, remove the pot from the heat and layer the pumpkin wedges skin side down on the bottom of the pot. Once you have covered the bottom of the pot completely, add a second layer of pumpkin wedges flesh side down, so that the pumpkin is touching flesh to flesh.
  5. Cover the pot and set it to medium- low heat. Let the pumpkin simmer for 1½ hours. Don’t worry about not having enough liquid in the pot. As the pumpkin cooks it will release a large quantity of water.
  6. Uncover the pot and let simmer for ½ hour more or until the pumpkin is a dark brown color and is completely submerged in the syrup. Take off the heat and let cool.
  7. Serve hot or cold and top with coconut whipped cream. (see note)

Chef's Notes

If you cannot find Cinderella pumpkins, use a sugar pumpkin instead. Here is  a super easy recipe for coconut whipped cream.

 

 

 

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Hearts of Palm Ceviche (Aguachile)

Halloween is right around the corner and it look like it’s going to be Star Wars crazy. Up until a couple of weeks ago I had never watched a single one of the Star Wars movies. I can’t blame this one on growing up in Mexico, because I know there are a lot of Mexican Star Wars fans out there. Maybe it’s because I have three sisters, and no brothers. However, ask me anything about Disney movies and I can probably answer in a heart beat. Since the new Star Wars movie is coming out in December my husband has been introducing me to the series. I’ve mostly enjoyed it, but I do have to say I find C-3PO very annoying. A lot of things make sense now though, like Indiana Jones and a thousand other cultural references. I can’t believe it took me so long to watch them.

Spicy Hearts of Palm Ceviche

I know most of you are already in full swing of pumpkin season, but I’m kind of still stuck in summer, since the heat doesn’t seem to want to die down here. What better to cool down the than a spicy hearts of palm ceviche or in this case aguachile?

Spicy Hearts of Palm Ceviche

aguachile de palmito

The Recipe: Hearts of Palm Ceviche (Aguachile)

Aguachile is traditional Mexican dish, similar to ceviche, served on the coast of Mexico. It is usually made with shrimp. For this vegan version I have used hearts of palm as the main ingredient. The tanginess of the lime intermixes with the spiciness of the serranos, and the crunchiness of the red onion really lifts up the hearts of palm. Eat it on it’s own or on a salad, but I think it’s best served on crispy tostadas with creamy avocado slices and a nice cold beer. Enjoy!

Spicy Hearts of Palm Ceviche

aguachile de palmito
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Spicy Hearts of Palm Ceviche (Aguachile)

Prep Time 20 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Servings 2 servings
Author Dora Stone

Ingredients

  • 1 can (14.1 oz) Hearts of Palm, sliced
  • 2 cups Sliced cucumber, peeled and without seeds
  • ½ Red onion, thinly sliced
  • ¼ cup Cilantro, chopped
  • ½ - 1 Serrano pepper
  • 2 tbsp. Lime juice, fresh

Preparation

  1. Drain the water from the hearts of palm can. Slice them in half lengthwise and slice them ¼ inch thick.
  2. Peel the cucumber, cut lengthwise, and use a spoon to scoop out the seeds. Do not discard the seeds and flesh.
  3. In a large bowl combine the hearts of palm, 1 cup of the sliced cucumber, and the sliced red onion.
  4. In the blender, combine the serrano pepper, lime juice, chopped cilantro, the additional 1 cup of sliced cucumber, the seeds and flesh that was scooped out of the cucumbers, and process until smooth.
  5. Pour this liquid over the hearts of palm mixture, season with salt and pepper, and let sit in refrigeration for 10 min.
  6. Adjust seasoning and serve on crispy tostadas with sliced of avocado.

Chef's Notes

You can add crumbled seaweed or seaweed powder to make this fishy. 

 

 

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Macadamia Nut Queso Fresco

Macadamia Nut Queso Fresco

What can I say about vegan cheese? I don’t like it. I’m sorry, but I just don’t. Maybe it’s because I was a passionate cheese lover before going vegan. Oh did I love cheese! The stinkier the better. The vegan versions of cheese just don’t live up to my expectations, so I prefer to do without it. However, I decided to give it a try once more with this macadamia nut queso fresco, because you can’t drink a good glass of wine without cheese.

Macadamia Nut Queso Fresco

The Recipe: Macadamia Nut Queso Fresco

This cheese is perfect for a fruit and jam cheese plate, but also topped with a chipotle-pineapple salsa and some chips. The texture is light and easily spreadable. It has a touch of sweetness, but is savory in all the right ways.

Macadamia Nut Queso Fresco

Macadamia Nut Queso Fresco

The best part of it is that it is so easy to make. First you soak the macadamia nuts in water overnight. The following day you grind them in the food processor with garlic, oil, salt, and a bit of lime juice. This makes a sort of paste with the consistency of ricotta cheese. You wrap this paste in cheese cloth, squeeze out the excess liquid and leave in the fridge overnight. That’s it, your cheese is ready to eat.

Macadamia Nut Queso Fresco

 

Macadamia Nut Queso Fresco

macadamia-nut-queso-fresco5
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Macadamia Nut Queso Fresco

Prep Time 25 minutes
Cook Time 1 day
Total Time 1 day 25 minutes
Servings 3 servings
Author Dora Stone

Ingredients

Queso Fresco

  • 1 cup Macadamia nuts, raw
  • 1 clove Garlic, peeled
  • 1 tsp. Lime juice, fresh
  • 1 tbsp. Olive or vegetable oil
  • 2 tbsp. Water
  • ½ tsp. Salt
  • 1 piece cheesecloth

Chipotle Pineapple Salsa

  • 1 Tomato, large
  • 1/4 Onion, white
  • 1 clove Garlic, unpeeled
  • ¼ cup Chopped pineapple
  • 1 Chile chipotle adobo (1 pepper)
  • 1 tbsp. Cilantro, chopped

Preparation

  1. For the queso fresco: soak the macadamias in water at room temperature overnight. The following day, drain the nuts and place in a food processor with the garlic, lime juice, oil, water, and salt.
  2. Process 1-2 minutes or until the nuts turn into a paste that resembles ricotta cheese. Taste and adjust seasoning.
  3. Wet a large piece of cheesecloth, approximately 12” X 12”. Place the paste in the center and a form it into a ball by gathering the edges of the cheesecloth around the cheese.
  4. Twist the top edges of the cheesecloth to tighten, give shape, and get rid of excess water in the cheese. Place the cheese bundle on a plate and let sit overnight in the refrigerator.
  5. The next day unwrap your cheese and serve.
  6. To make the salsa: boil water in a small saucepot. Drop tomato in and lower heat to a simmer. Simmer for 3-4 minutes or until the tomato begins to soften.
  7. While the tomato is simmering, set a large sauté pan to medium-high heat. Place the onion and garlic in the pan and let the high heat char them for 2 minutes on each side. Remove from pan, peel the garlic, and place them both in the blender.
  8. Remove the tomato from the water and add to the blender. Add the chipotle, cilantro, and pineapple to the blender and process until you reach the desired consistency. Season with salt and pepper.

Chef's Notes

If you cannot easily find raw macadamia nuts, you can substitute with blanched almonds.

 

 

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Mexican Pickled Jalapeños and Radishes

This past week was rough. School started on Monday and it couldn’t come soon enough, except I now have to wake up at 6:15 am in order to make it out the door with two dressed and fed children. I am not a morning person, not at all, so I was barely functioning all week. I did however enjoy the quiet that came with the baby’s uninterrupted nap and some much needed morning alone time. By the end of the week I knew things were bad when I sent my hubby to pick up Dylan, and it turns out he didn’t get out until two hours later and I forgot to pack his lunch!

This recipe for Mexican pickled jalapeños and radishes is tangy, spicy, and just the right amount of crunchy. The radishes add a nice pink hue

It seems like no matter what I do I’m always one step behind. It kind of feels like all I have to do is give one more push and the race will be over, but the race never ends. Just the other day I was looking for school lunch ideas on pinterest for a newsletter I do for my local moms group, when I got a case of the mommy-chef guilt. I usually pack him pb & j, veggies and fruit, and some goldfish. It’s practically the same everyday, nothing cute or artsy about it, and honestly it’s all I can muster that early in the morning. Sometimes I think, ” All that money that went in to culinary school and all I can make is pb & J?” So I asked Dylan (6yrs old) if he would help me plan his school lunches. I told him one day we could have veggie sushi, maybe another day hummus cucumber pinwheels, and another day noodles. He just kind of stared at me with a blank face. So I said, ” Or, we can just have peanut butter and jelly every day.” The boy responded with an enthusiastic yes, so pb & j it is. I proudly declare we will not be making any fancy school lunches this year!

This recipe for Mexican pickled jalapeños and radishes is tangy, spicy, and just the right amount of crunchy. The radishes add a nice pink hue

The Recipe: Mexican Pickled Jalapeños and Radishes

This month is what we call in Mexico, el mes de la patria (patriotic month). It’s the actual month of Mexico’s independence. I still don’t know how we will be celebrating, but I finally perfected the Mexican pickled jalapeños recipe (jalapeños en escabeche). I was having trouble getting them to taste just like the canned ones. My favorite brand is La Costeña. I had used a combination of cider and white vinegar, and the problem was solved when I completely eliminated the cider vinegar. I water canned them, but you can make refrigerator ones, and skip the canning process. I chose to use radishes in this case, because we kept getting them in the CSA basket every week. The result was jar after jar of slightly pink hued jalapeñ0s. The jalapeños, radishes, onion, and carrots are infused with the flavors of fresh oregano and thyme. They are tangy, spicy, and just the right amount of crunchy. Enjoy!

This recipe for Mexican pickled jalapeños and radishes is tangy, spicy, and just the right amount of crunchy. The radishes add a nice pink hue

pickled-jalapenos2
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Mexican Pickled Jalapeños & Radishes

Cook Time 40 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
Servings 4 pints
Author Dora Stone

Ingredients

  • 1 lb Red radishes, sliced ¼ inch thick
  • 1 lb. Carrots, peeled, sliced ¼ inch thick
  • ½ lb Jalapeños
  • 1 Onion, white large, sliced thinly
  • 4 sprigs Oregano, fresh
  • 3 sprigs Thyme, fresh
  • 1 Bay leaf
  • ¼ cup Olive oil
  • 2 tbsp. Salt, kosher
  • 5 cups White vinegar
  • ½ cup Water

Preparation

  1. Heat ¼ cup of olive oil in a large pot to medium heat. Once the oil is hot add the onions and cook for 1 minute.
  2. Add the carrots, jalapeños, and radishes and let cook for 1- 2 minutes. Add the vinegar to the hot pot with the vegetables. (Be careful. When the vinegar touches the oil there will be some splashing.)
  3. Add the water, thyme, oregano, bay leaf, and salt. Let simmer for 8- 10 minutes or until the vegetables are tender, but not completely soft.
  4. While the vegetables are cooking, sterilize your jars by boiling them in water for 5 min. When your vegetables are ready, use canning tongs to remove the jars from the water, pouring the water in the jars back in the canner.
  5. Bring the water in your canning pot back to a boil. Pour the vegetables into the jars using a ladle and a canning funnel, but be sure to leave ½ inch of headspace at the top.
  6. Use a chopstick to release air bubbles by running it around the inside of the jar. Clean the rims of the jars with a moist paper towel. Put on the lids and screw the rings on until finger tight. Do not force it.
  7. Transfer the jars to the pot, making sure they are vertical and that there is at least one inch of water covering them. Bring water to a boil and process cans for 10 minutes.
  8. Remove jars from water and place on top of a wire rack. Let cool. You should hear a pop when the lids seal completely. Leave undisturbed for 6 hrs. If the lids are not sealed properly you will have to process them again.
  9. Remove the rings and store jars in a cool, dark place. Refrigerate after opening.

Chef's Notes

Recipe yields 4 pint jars.

 

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Mangonada (Mango and Chamoy Slushie)

Hot sticky summers, clothes drenched in sweat, and the almost unbearable burn of the sun on your skin can only describe a summer in northern Mexico, ok and probably Arizona and Texas too. Those were the summers of my childhood, but summer in Mexico also means dozens of paleta flavors to explore and the perfect yuki o raspado(slushie) to cool you down. One of the most memorable raspados is the mangonada, a combination of sweet mango puree and ice, layered with spicy chamoy, lime juice and chile powder. It is a classic combination of sweet, sour, and spicy, which is a popular flavor profile of Mexican cuisine, and one of my favorites.

mangonada

This mangonada was made with homemade chamoy which means it has no added sugar! What no sugar? That’s right. (Chamoy is a sweet and spicy sauce made from dried apricots that is used as a dip for fruit or in paletas and raspados.) The only sugar in this mangonada is the natural sugar found in the mango and dried apricots. You can also buy chamoy bottled at your local hispanic market or on amazon. Just writing about this is making my mouth water.

mangonada

mangonada

We will not be spending this summer in Mexico. Instead two of my nieces are coming to visit. We will be enjoying the beautiful California weather and beaches  while they are here. There will be swim lessons, vacation bible school and possibly a road trip in July. I’m looking forward to a long summer spent with family and friends. Enjoy!

The Recipe: Mangonada (Mango and Chamoy Slushie)

mangonada
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Mangonada (Mango and Chamoy Slushie)

Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 2 servings
Author Dora Stone

Ingredients

Chamoy

  • 1 cup Apricots, dried
  • 2 cups Water
  • 2-3 tbsp. Chile ancho powder
  • 2 tbsp. Lime juice, fresh
  • 1 tbsp. Apple cider vinegar

Slushie

  • 1 cup + 2 tbsp. Mango, diced
  • 1 cup Ice
  • 6 tbsp. Chamoy
  • 1 Lime, juice of
  • Chile powder To Taste (tajín)

Preparation

  1. To make the chamoy, place the dried apricots and water in a saucepot and bring it up to a boil. Lower heat and simmer for 30 min. Set aside.
  2. Reserve ¾ of a cup of the apricot cooking liquid.
  3. Take the simmered apricots, reserved cooking liquid, chile ancho powder, lime juice, and apple cider vinegar and blend until smooth. Add more or less water for a thinner or thicker consistency. (I left mine a little on the thick side.) Let cool.
  4. To make the slushie, place ½ cup of mango in the bottom of the blender container, add a layer of ice, continue to alternate the layers this way with the rest of your ice and 1 cup mango.
  5. Blend on medium speed until you are left with a slushie consistency. The pieces of ice, though small, should still be seen.
  6. To assemble, take to glasses and pour in a tbsp. of chamoy in the bottom of each one. Add a layer of mango slushie, followed by another tbsp. of chamoy. Repeat one more time.
  7. Sprinkle 1 tbsp. of diced mango on the top of each finished slushie. Squeeze half of a lime into each glass and top with as much chile powder as you desire. Serve with a spoon and a straw.

Chef's Notes

Makes 2 (8 oz.) glasses. Use 2 tbsp. of ancho chile powder for a mild chamoy, use 3 for a spicier version.