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Vegan Mexican Shrimp Cocktail

What?? A vegan Mexican shrimp cocktail, how is that even possible? Well it is my friend, with a little creativity I was able to recreate my favorite cóctel de camarón. A mixture of artichoke hearts, onion, diced cucumber, avocado, and cilantro are tossed with a spicy lime tomato sauce. You can serve it with saltines or chips and it would be perfect with a light refreshing beer.

Vegan Mexican shrimp cocktail is a mixture of artichoke hearts, onion, cucumber, avocado, and cilantro tossed with a spicy lime tomato sauce.

Last week was the start of lent, and in Mexico this also means the start of the lenten season food. Almost like when you know it’s lent because everyone starts selling fish fillet sandwiches, but way better. Many of the lenten dishes are vegetarian, but most of them are seafood based. I am very excited about trying to veganize a lot of my favorite ones. In the mean time you can try these tempura cauliflower bites, cauliflower ceviche, hearts of palm aguachile, and this very traditional capirotada. 

Vegan Mexican shrimp cocktail is a mixture of artichoke hearts, onion, cucumber, avocado, and cilantro tossed with a spicy lime tomato sauce.

I was supposed to post this last week, but I got so busy with preparing my class and speech for the #weallgrow conference which was amazing by the way! I will be posting a recap of the whole experience soon. I’m still taking it all in. I have returned with renewed sense of purpose and I am very motivated to keep sharing recipes and helping spread the word about the vegan lifestyle.

Vegan Mexican shrimp cocktail is a mixture of artichoke hearts, onion, cucumber, avocado, and cilantro tossed with a spicy lime tomato sauce.

As far as my pregnancy goes, I am around 5 months along and I am hungry all the time!! All the time! It’s hard not to spend the whole day eating. The good thing it’s that I’m trying to avoid all the vegan junk food and focus more on whole foods. My blood tests have been completely normal, which is great, even though my mom keeps insisting I need more protein.

Vegan Mexican shrimp cocktail is a mixture of artichoke hearts, onion, cucumber, avocado, and cilantro tossed with a spicy lime tomato sauce.

The Recipe: Vegan Mexican Shrimp Cocktail

I used artichoke hearts, because I couldn’t find any hearts of palm and I was happy with the results. Ideally I think a combination of both would work better. To add a bit of fishiness to the recipe I chopped up some roasted seaweed and added that to the cocktail. This is completely optional, but a good choice if you are yearning for a seafood taste. Serve up your vegan Mexican shrimp cocktail with a light beer like Pacífico. Enjoy!

Vegan Mexican shrimp cocktail is a mixture of artichoke hearts, onion, cucumber, avocado, and cilantro tossed with a spicy lime tomato sauce.
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Vegan Mexican Shrimp Cocktail

Prep Time 20 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Servings 4 servings

Ingredients

  • 2 cans (14 oz.) Artichoke hearts, packed in water, drained
  • 1/2 cup Diced white onion
  • 1 cup Diced cucumber
  • 1 cup Diced avocado
  • 2 tbsp. Chopped cilantro
  • 1 tbsp. Chopped roasted seaweed (nori), (optional)

Sauce

  • 1 1/2 cups Tomato purée
  • 1/3 cup Ketchup
  • 1/2 cup Orange juice
  • 1 tbsp. Soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp. Vegan Worcestershire
  • 1 - 2 tsp. Hot sauce (Valentina)
  • 1/4 cup Lime juice, fresh

Preparation

  1. Cut off the bottom part of the artichoke hearts, if they are tough, and then chop the rest into chunks or medium cubes.

  2. In a large bowl, combine the artichokes, onion, cucumber, avocado, cilantro, and chopped seaweed
  3. In a separate bowl combine the tomato purée, ketchup, orange juice, soy sauce, vegan Worcestershire, hot sauce, and lime juice. Whisk together until incorporated
  4. Pour the sauce over the mix of vegetables and mix well. 

  5. Let sit in the fridge for at least 30 min. before serving
  6. Serve with saltine crackers, chips, or baked tostadas.

Chef's Notes

You can substitute the artichoke hearts for hearts of palm or use a combination of both. I was not able to find seaweed powder so I improvised by chopping my own seaweed. If you can’t find tomato purée, you can make some yourself by blending a can of diced tomato.

 

 

 

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Spicy Avocado Sauce for Tacos

This post contains affiliate links.

This creamy and spicy avocado sauce is a great for dipping flautas or for topping your everyday tacos. It is traditionally served with flautas or taquitos, but it would also make a great addition to some vegan enchiladas. You can also use it as a salad dressing, or as a perfect pairing to your chips and salsa. The best part is that is has absolutely no dairy and it’s delicious.

This creamy and spicy avocado sauce for tacos is a great for dipping flautas, as a salad dressing, and over your favorite vegan enchiladas.

I’m taking over this recipe post to make an announcement. I’m pregnant!!! I’m 16 weeks along with baby #3. This pregnancy took us completely by surprise, but we are more than happy to receive another wonderful little one into our lives. This time around the nausea knocked me completely off my feet. It was bad, really bad, but I’m so glad that part is over. Otherwise the pregnancy is progressing normally.

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We are a bit concerned about having another premature baby. My son was born at 34 weeks and my daughter at 33 weeks. They were both in the NICU for a little over two weeks without any serious complications. We are hoping this baby will make it past 34 weeks, so please keep us in your prayers.

This creamy and spicy avocado sauce for tacos is a great for dipping flautas, as a salad dressing, and over your favorite vegan enchiladas.

As far as being vegan and pregnant I had a really hard time with the nausea. All vegetables and legumes completely grossed me out, so I ate mostly almonds, fruit, and some tofu. Once it subsided I started adding back in vegetables, starting with the greens and squashes, and then with the cruciferous vegetables. I wasn’t able to start eating legumes until week 14. Oh how I missed my beans! I’m hoping to keep the rest of my pregnancy as vegan as possible. I will keep you posted.

This creamy and spicy avocado sauce for tacos is a great for dipping flautas, as a salad dressing, and over your favorite vegan enchiladas.

The Recipe: Spicy Avocado Sauce for Tacos

This sauce is seriously easy to make and won’t take more than 5 minutes. When I make this for the kids I omit the pickled jalapeño, but if you like spicy you can add as much jalapeño as you like. For another variation, you can add 1 cooked tomatillo for a more salsa verde feel. Enjoy!

This creamy and spicy avocado sauce for tacos is a great for dipping flautas, as a salad dressing, and over your favorite vegan enchiladas.
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Spicy Avocado Sauce for Tacos

Prep Time 5 minutes
Total Time 5 minutes
Servings 1 cup
Author Dora S.

Ingredients

  • 2 Avocados, large, seed removed, flesh scooped out
  • 1/2 cup Liquid from Mexican Pickled Jalapeños (see note)
  • 1 tbsp. Chopped cilantro
  • 1 Pickled jalapeño pepper (optional)

Preparation

  1. Blend all the ingredients until smooth. 

  2. Season to taste with salt and pepper. 

Chef's Notes

You can buy Mexican pickled jalapeños at almost any grocery store now. My favorite are La Costeña  or you can make your own.

 

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Vegan Mexican Meatball Soup

I didn’t think it was possible, but it is. You can make vegan Mexican meatball soup! I happened upon an instagram account @vegan_mexican and they kept posting pictures of vegan Mexican meatball soup. I almost lost it right there and then. My grandma used to make this soup for me growing up and I have very fond memories of this. So naturally I contacted the account to see if they wanted to share the recipe with you and they said yes! Here is a small interview with the author of the recipe and instagram account, Brianna García.

This vegan Mexican meatball soup is a hearty soup filled with carrots, potatoes, celery, and amazingly tender meatballs.

1.  Tell us more about yourself where you are from, and how you became vegan. 

My name is Brianna García and I’m from California. I reside in the Los Angeles/ Anaheim area. I became vegan after becoming interested in organic/natural living and knew that veganism was for me. I had previously gone vegetarian in my teens and had always wished I was vegetarian again didn’t think it was possible to go vegan until I made the plunge and I’ll never look back! I also love the animal and environmental friendly impact veganism has.

2.  What do you think is your biggest challenge as a vegan?

The biggest challenge I would say is convenience. It’s not difficult being vegan. There’s so many vegan options. I just wish there was vegan restaurants and vegan grocery stores on every corner like there is with a McDonalds.

This vegan Mexican meatball soup is a hearty soup filled with carrots, potatoes, celery, and amazingly tender meatballs.

3.  The recipe is your moms. Is your mom vegan? How about the rest of your family?

The non vegan recipe is my mothers. I asked her to show me how she made albondigas so that I could do my vegan take on it. I wanted it to be authentic as possible, but vegan. She isn’t vegan. However, I have helped her implement a lot more vegan/organic things into her diet. Nobody but my partner is vegan.

4.  What are some of your favorite go to vegan recipes?

My favorite go to vegan recipes are the ones that are quick to make when I’m lazy and hungry. I seriously love vegan potato tacos, and they’re so easy to make. All I had to substitute was the cheese for a vegan one. I usually make Gardein dinners quite often too. I also used to make organic vegan fruit smoothies a lot for breakfast. It’s amazing how delicious fruit tastes with no added terrible ingredients.

This vegan Mexican meatball soup is a hearty soup filled with carrots, potatoes, celery, and amazingly tender meatballs.

5.  Where can people find you and your recipes?

On my Instagram account at @vegan_mexican. 

Thank you Brianna for sharing your amazing recipe with us. My family really enjoyed it and it brought back sooo many memories.

This vegan Mexican meatball soup is a hearty soup filled with carrots, potatoes, celery, and amazingly tender meatballs.

The Recipe: Vegan Mexican Meatball Soup

Brianna did an excellent job at making this recipe very detailed, so you shouldn’t have a problem at all following along. The recipe calls for two things that no matter what, you cannot substitute. Those are gardein beefless ground and the new follow your heart vegan egg. (This is not an ad. No monetary compensation is being provided by gardein or follow your heart.) If you don’t use these, your meatballs might fall apart while cooking, like mine did the first time I made this soup. This vegan Mexican meatball soup is a hearty soup filled with carrots, potatoes, celery, and amazingly tender meatballs. Enjoy!

This vegan Mexican meatball soup is a hearty soup filled with carrots, potatoes, celery, and amazingly tender meatballs.

This vegan Mexican meatball soup is a hearty soup filled with carrots, potatoes, celery, and amazingly tender meatballs.
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Vegan Mexican Meatball Soup

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
Servings 6 servings
Author Brianna Garcia

Ingredients

  • 1 Tomato, medium
  • 1/4 White or yellow onion
  • 2 Carrots, regular size
  • 1-2 Celery stalks
  • 2-3 Caloro yellow peppers
  • 3 Potatoes, small, cut into quarters
  • 1 Mexican zucchini, small
  • 3 sprigs Cilantro
  • 6-8 Mint leaves
  • 1 tbsp. Avocado oil, Any cooking oil is fine
  • 1 package Gardein ground beef crumbles, defrosted (see note)
  • 1 package Follow Your Heart vegan egg package (You need about "2 eggs")
  • 1/3 cup White rice, long grain, raw
  • 1 tsp. Black pepper
  • 1 tsp. Garlic salt (garlic powder & salt works just 1/2 tsp of each)
  • Vegan flavorings (I use 2 vegan not chicken and vegetable bouillon)

Preparation

  1. First you will need to dice the tomato and onion. Make sure they are not large pieces. You're going to sauté that with the 1 tablespoon of cooking oil in a large cooking pot that you will also be cooking the albondigas in.
  2. After you're done sautéing the tomato and onion, you will add water. Depending on how large the pot you're using, add water to about 1/2 or 3/4 of the pot will work. Use your best judgement. (Remember you will be adding vegetables later so make sure there is enough water for the soup.) Bring to a boil.
  3. Once it's boiling, add salt, and vegan flavorings. Two of the not chicken and two of the vegetable bouillon cubes. (Depending on if you get the low sodium, you will need to add a lot more salt for flavor and taste until it's to your liking). Pepper is optional to add for flavor.

  4. Next comes the making of the albóndiga. I recommend only Gardein ground beef. As it doesn't crumble as easily. Make sure you defrost it beforehand so it is not frozen.
  5. Grab a bowl, and add the package of Gardein beef. Then add 1 teaspoon of black pepper, 1 teaspoon of garlic salt, and 1/3 of the white rice. Mix all together and add about 5-6 finely cut mint leaves into the mix. Adding the vegan egg last is easier as it can become messy.
  6. You will need to make about 2 vegan eggs, and when mixed properly add it to the ground beef mixture. Make sure it's eggy enough to form an albóndiga that stays in shape. Mix all together and form the albóndigas (Meatballs).
  7. One bag of the gardein beef will make about 6 very large albondigas, or even 10 small albondigas. However small or large you shape them, that number can drastically change.

  8. As soon as the vegan flavorings, salt, and or pepper have been added and mixed in well and it's been boiling, add the albondigas.
  9. It's crucial that once you've added in the albondigas to make sure that when you stir it around you're not making very much contact with the albondigas as you don't want them to fall apart but to keep their shape. Cook for 15 minutes or so.
  10. Meanwhile chop up carrots, celery, and the calabaza. Do quarter cuts for the potato.
  11. Add the cut up carrots, celery, calabaza, potato and yellow peppers (do not cut). You can lower this from boiling to medium low until vegetables are cooked. Cover pot and let it thoroughly cook together for about 15 minutes then add cilantro for finishing touch and let cook for a few minutes and you should have vegan albondigas! Don't forget the warm tortillas! Or even avocado slices!

Chef's Notes

The recipe calls for two things that no matter what, you cannot substitute. Those are gardein beefless ground and the new follow your heart vegan egg.If you don't use these, your meatballs might fall apart while cooking

 

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Vegan Caldo Tlalpeño Recipe

It is the first week of homeschooling, I am coming down with a cold, and all I want is a caldo tlalpeño. Caldo tlalpeño is traditionally a chipotle chicken soup, with chickpeas, carrots, rice, cilantro, avocado, and cheese. For this caldo tlalpeño recipe I have created a vegan version that will keep you coming back for more.

This vegan caldo tlalpeño recipe will keep you coming back for more. Zucchini, potatoes carrots and rice simmer in a chipotle vegetable broth

Caldo tlalpeño is one of my favorite comfort dishes. My mom, to this day, still makes a version of it whenever anyone one of us is sick. After moving to the U.S. I searched high and low for a restaurant that would serve a good caldo tlalpeño, but none of them measured up. Until finally, duh, I realized that I should just make it at home. It is super easy to make and it’s another one of those dishes that kids love.

There’s a legend behind this special dish. It is said that Mexican president Santa Ana (you know, the one that signed away 1/4 of Mexico to the U.S.,) was very hung over after 3 nights of partying and was looking for a quick remedy. He happened to be in Tlalpan, the largest borough of Mexico City. The cook gave him a chicken soup and when the president asked what the name of the soup was, she said caldo tlalpeño.

This vegan caldo tlalpeño recipe will keep you coming back for more. Zucchini, potatoes carrots and rice simmer in a chipotle vegetable broth

Homeschooling is going well so far. There has been a bit of whining and tears, but I already expected that. It’s actually kind of nice to not have to wake up at 6am and rush out the door to drop kids off at school. On the other hand, by 3 pm mommy is desperate for some alone time. Thank goodness for naps and TV!

I want to say a special thank you to all of you that took the time to respond to my email about the recipes you would like to see on the site. Apparently all of you really like chile rellenos and miss them terribly, so I will be working on that. If there’s any other dish you guys would like to see send me an email or respond to this post. I read every single one!

Caldo Tlalpeño Recipe

Instead of chicken I have used vegetable stock, and added potatoes and zucchini. To serve, garnish with avocado slices and a splash of lime juice. You can add baked tofu cubes to it for a more protein packed meal.

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Vegan Caldo Tlalpeño Recipe

Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes
Servings 4 servings
Author Dora Stone

Ingredients

  • 10 cups Vegetable Stock
  • 3 cloves Garlic, crushed
  • 2 sprigs Cilantro, fresh
  • 1/4 cup Rice, long grain
  • 1 cup Potatoes, diced
  • 3/4 cup Carrots, diced
  • 1 1/2 cups Zucchini, diced
  • 1 cup Chickpeas, canned, drained
  • 1 ea. Chipotle chile, adobo, chopped
  • 1/2 Avocado, cut into cubes
  • 1 Lime, cut onto quarters

Preparation

  1. Pour vegetable stock, crushed garlic, and cilantro sprigs in a large pot and bring to a simmer.
  2. Add rice and simmer for 4 minutes.
  3. Add potatoes and simmer for 4 minutes.
  4. Add carrots and simmer for 4 minutes.
  5. Add chipotle in adobo and zucchini and simmer for 5 minutes.
  6. Add chickpeas and simmer for 6-7 minutes.
  7. Season with salt and pepper.
  8. Serve with avocado cubes and lime wedges.

Chef's Notes

It is the first week of homeschooling, I am coming down with a cold, and all I want is a caldo tlalpeño. Caldo tlalpeño is traditionally a chipotle chicken soup, with chickpeas, carrots, rice, cilantro, avocado, and cheese. For this caldo tlalpeño recipe I have created a vegan version that will keep you coming back for more.

 

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Curried Beluga Lentil Pebble Bean Salad

Curried beluga lentil pebble bean salad combines ginger, garlic, lemon cilantro, red onion, curry powder, lentils for a protein packed salad.

A Whole Foods opened last month in Laguna Niguel. It’s shiny exterior, perfectly lined produce, and very cheerful staff keeps beckoning me from afar. This particular one is humongous. I’ve never seen a Whole Foods(WF) this impressive before!

Curried beluga lentil pebble bean salad combines ginger, garlic, lemon cilantro, red onion, curry powder, lentils for a protein packed salad.

Curried beluga lentil pebble bean salad combines ginger, garlic, lemon cilantro, red onion, curry powder, lentils for a protein packed salad.

Curried beluga lentil pebble bean salad combines ginger, garlic, lemon cilantro, red onion, curry powder, lentils for a protein packed salad.

Unfortunately for those of us penny pinching, the WF is actually pretty cool. I’ve been looking for any excuse to visit and look around or have a smoothie at their juice bar. Yet somehow I always end up buying something I didn’t realize I needed, like freshly ground nut butters or 10 different types of olives!

Among its many features, the store has a large bulk section where you can find recipes to help you delve into the possibilities of using the store’s items. Seizing the opportunity before me I decided to run a bit of an experiment. I chose a recipe from the pack and set out to compare the prices and produce selection to Sprouts. What I came up with was predictable, yet surprising.

Curried beluga lentil pebble bean salad combines ginger, garlic, lemon cilantro, red onion, curry powder, lentils for a protein packed salad.

Curried beluga lentil pebble bean salad combines ginger, garlic, lemon cilantro, red onion, curry powder, lentils for a protein packed salad.

Curried beluga lentil pebble bean salad combines ginger, garlic, lemon cilantro, red onion, curry powder, lentils for a protein packed salad.

As I suspected the prices at Whole Foods were consistently higher than those at Sprouts, but to my disappointment Sprouts did not have the beluga lentils or pebble beans that the recipe called for, thus rendering the experiment impossible.

Curried beluga lentil pebble bean salad combines ginger, garlic, lemon cilantro, red onion, curry powder, lentils for a protein packed salad.

Curried beluga lentil pebble bean salad combines ginger, garlic, lemon cilantro, red onion, curry powder, lentils for a protein packed salad.

I shop at Sprouts often because they have a great produce section with fair prices. In my opinion, after the farmers market, they have the best prices and selection of organic produce in the area, but with the advent of the new WF I might have to rethink my shopping preferences.

Once the novelty of the new WF begins to fade, even if I go crawling back to Sprouts for the prices, I will continue to admire WF’s commitment to supporting local agriculture. They are creating an important connection between the people behind the product and the consumer. I love that they are also making product available to the consumer that before would have only been available through a restaurant purveyor, like the spongy sea urchin tongues you usually see at sushi bars.

The Recipe: Curried Beluga Lentil Pebble Bean Salad

Anyway…..I did end up making the Beluga Lentil & Pebble Bean Salad. The curry and yogurt combination in the salad gives it a refreshing yet intense flavor. It was a hit with the munchkin.

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Curried Beluga Lentil Pebble Bean Salad

Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Servings 6 servings
Author Dora Stone

Ingredients

  • 3 cups Pebble Beans, cooked
  • 1 cup Black Beluga Lentils, cooked
  • ½ Red onion, medium, sliced
  • ¾ cup Celery, chopped
  • 1 Garlic clove, minced
  • 1 tsp. Ginger, fresh, grated
  • 2 tbsp. Cilantro, chopped
  • ½ Lemon, juice of
  • 1 tbsp, Yogurt optional, greek style
  • 1/3 cup Olive oil
  • 1 1/2 tsp, Curry powder

Preparation

  1. In a large bowl combine the beans, black lentils, red onion, and celery.
  2. To make the curry vinaigrette: in a small bowl whisk together the garlic, curry powder, fresh ginger, lemon juice, yogurt, and olive oil. Set aside.
  3. Pour half the dressing over the beans and toss to combine.
  4. Season to taste with salt and pepper and adjust quantity of dressing as desired.
  5. Sprinkle cilantro over salad and serve.

Chef's Notes

When cooking the beans make sure they are cooked until tender, but not falling apart.

Recipe adapted from Whole Foods Market Cooking

 

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Chile de Arbol Salsa

conos de cajeta

         I’m beginning to think maybe I should call this a Mexican food blog. It’s my last couple of days in Mexico and I’m sad to leave, but sooo looking forward to Cali. Everytime I come home I try to eat a little bit of everything, like the tacos al pastor they sell on the corner in front of Merco (a grocery store), the yukis (shaved ice) in front of the car wash on Hidalgo street, the mangonadas (mango and chile popsicles) at the Paleteria Aguirre (ice cream shop), and the elote en vaso (steamed mexican corn served with a chile mix, crema, butter, lime juice, and cheese), they sell outside of the Narvaez Hospital. Well, you get my point, I could go on and on. It’s not a coincidence that all the foods I just named are street foods, street food is king in Mexico. In fact, some of the best food in Mexico is street food. Of course there are nice restaurants, cafe’s, and taquerias (taco shops), but there’s just something about simple, hot, just made, delicious food, that’s hard to resist. It’s the ultimate non-processed fast food.

Mexican corn

Food truck assembling my corn deliciousness

 

Chicharrones

Once I leave Mexico, it seems that I spend the rest of the year, in my kitchen, trying to recreate every Mexican dish possible. This week’s recipe is a simple salsa and a couple of cocktails. Chips and salsa in Mexico are not quite like chips and salsa in the U.S. Don’t get me wrong, I actually like both versions, but they’re just different. You can make your own authentic chips and salsa in less than 20 min. or as they’re called in Mexico: totopos con salsa.

Fruit cups sold on the street.

Sweet potato candy

 

Man in crutches pushing and ice cream cart

 

Carnitas sold by the kilo

For the chips, buy a pack of corn tortillas, not the frozen ones please, and cut into quarters. Fry them in 350F oil until golden brown. Remove the chips from the oil and sprinkle them with salt.

chile de arbol salsa

The Recipe: Chile de Arbol Salsa

chile de arbol salsa
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Chile de Arbol Salsa

Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Servings 2 cups
Author Dora Stone

Ingredients

  • 8 Tomatillo, husks removed
  • 3 Garlic, cloves, unpeeled
  • 1/2 oz (3/4 cup) Chile de Arbol
  • 1/2 Onion. white chopped
  • 2 tbsp. Cilantro, chopped

Preparation

  1. Heat cast iron pan or griddle to high heat. Place tomatillos and garlic cloves in pan. Let the tomatillo’s skin burn and blacken on all sides. The garlic needs to be only lightly toasted on each side, about 1 -2 min.
  2. Remove garlic from pan, peel, and set aside.
  3. Once the tomatillos are soft and mostly black, remove them from pan and place in a medium bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and let sit for 5 min.
  4. Bring 3 cups of water to a boil in a small sauce pan.
  5. Remove the stem and seeds from the chiles. Place them in the pot of boiling water and simmer from 5 to 7 minutes or until chiles are soft.
  6. Drain the chiles from the water.
  7. Place the tomatillos in the blender with the garlic, onion, cilantro, and chile de arbol. Blend, season, and add water is necessary to thin out sauce.

Chef's Notes

As an alternative you can place the tomatillos under the broiler in your oven for 15 to 20 min. until blackened and soft all over.