Heat up a skillet and add the sunflower oil. When the oil is hot, throw in the spinach. You may have to add the spinach a little at time if your pan isn’t big enough. Don’t worry the spinach will cook down making room for more. Toss in the garlic, and mix. Keep stirring so you don’t burn the spinach. Remove from heat once all the spinach is cooked. Add a little salt and pepper.
Cut the potatoes into wedges and season with rosemary, olive oil, and salt and pepper. Lay the potatoes out on a sheet pan sprayed with pan coating, and cook in a 400 degree oven for 15-17 minutes, or until the potatoes are crunchy on the outside and soft in the middle.
The late summer brings squash season. Yellow, green, crook necks, grey squash. Squash in all it’s abundance. But what can you do with these soft and delicious vegetables? New Mexico solved the problem by inventing this dish. Simple, yet full of the things that are good for you.
2 tbsp 4-6 garlic cloves, crushed 1 tomato, diced ½ bunch chopped cilantro Salt and PepperCooking oil
4-6Mexican Gray Squash, large dice
1Red pepper, medium dice
1Poblano/Pasilla chili, medium dice
1/2Red onion, medium dice
4-6Garlic cloves, crushed
1/2 cupRoasted corn
½ bunchCilantro chopped
Salt & Pepper to taste
Heat up a skillet, add the oil. When the oil is hot, add the peppers, onions, and garlic. Sautee until the veggies start to brown. Turn the heat down to medium, then add the squash. Cook until the squash becomes tender but not mushy.
I grew up calling Arroz Spanish Rice. This followed me into adulthood, and up into my 30′s. I found out not to long ago, that what I learned to call Spanish Rice isn’t so Spanish. It really doesn’t have anything to do with Spain, or how they cook rice in that country (think Paella). Arroz really is Mexican Rice, cooked in a tomato base with peppers, onions and garlic. I’ve been making this rice for as long as I remember, back to when I would stay with my grandparents on the farm. I’ve since perfected it, and made Arroz palatable for the Vegan.
Arroz is traditionally cooked with chicken stock. My version uses vegetable stock which when made right comes close to tasting like chicken stock. So try this recipe out on your non-vegetarian/vegan friends, and don’t tell them there’s no meat in it. They’ll come back for more.
Arroz (Mexican Rice)
2 tbsp Cooking oil
1 cup Rice (your choice)
2 Roma tomatoes pureed
1 ½ cupsVegetable stock
4Tomatoes, pureed (you can use canned tomatoes if you wish)
2 Jalapenos, diced
½ Yellow onion, diced
3-4 Garlic cloves, finely minced
½ bunchCilantro chopped
Salt & Pepper to taste
Soak rice in water for several hours, then drain.
Heat up a large skillet, and add the oil. When the oil is hot, stir in the rice. Toast the rice until it starts turning darker.
Add jalapenos, onions, and garlic. Sautee until the onions are soft and translucent. Pour in the liquid. Bring to a boil, then turn to a simmer and cover.
Cook the rice for 35-40 minutes, or until it is done. Take off the heat and add the chopped cilantro, lime juice, salt and pepper.
In traditional Southwestern cooking, the pinto bean is king. Pintos are in everything. Traditionally, they are the bean that makes up Refried Beans. But pinto beans are starchy, they have a high fat content. And when you add something like lard (traditional way to refry the bean), the calories go off the scale.
In developing Sonoran cooking for those who want no meat but all the flavor, I’ve come up with this little goodie. Smashed black beans. Cooked in a high heat oil like Sunflower, and you can add that flavor, without adding the fat. Beans are also traditionally cooked in some kind of meat stock. I cook mine either in just plain water, or in vegetable stock. Either way, because of the red chili sauce, there’s flavor in this side dish.
Smashed Black Beans
1 cupBlack beans, cooked
½ to ¾ cupsunflower oil (corn oil works better but I have an allergy)
¼ cup Red Chili Sauce
Salt to taste
Heat up a large skillet and add ½ the oil. When the oil is hot, but not boiling, add the beans. Mash with a potato masher until the oil incorporates into the beans. Add ½ the chili sauce, and salt. The beans don’t have to be mashed smooth, just until they are broken up and look close to refried beans. Add more salt if needed.
Heat the saute pan and add the margarine, add onions and saute until soft and translucent (use a lower heat for this), add squash, and saute until the squash takes on some color (5-7 minutes). Add the tomatoes, herbs and s & p. Stir, and serve with your favorite entree.
Next week, a base soup recipe for acorn, pumpkin or butternut squash.
One of the things I love are mashed, or whipped potatoes. As a vegan-minded person, I’ve learned to make a fair approximation of one that involves cream and butter. Substitute the butter for a vegan margarine of your choice, and use soy milk instead of heavy cream or whole milk.
I’ve tried other non-dairy milks, but soy milk has the most fat content to simulate the creaminess of whole milk.
4-5 yukon gold or creamer (white) potatoes, boiled
3-4 tbsp of margarine
4-5 tbsp of soy milk
s & p to taste
Boil potatoes until soft and tender. You don’t have to peel the creamers unless you want to. Drain and put into a bowl. Add soy milk and margarine. Whip to a consistency that you like. (some people like them chunky, some like them smooth). For a twist you can add roasted poblano chilis and corn.
Enjoy with Portabello Mushroom steaks, BBQ Tofu, Grilled Tofu, or any other entree of your choice.
I love chickpeas, and well, hummus is a result of cooked chickpeas ground up into a smooth paste and slathered onto pita bread, and typically eaten with cucumbers and olives. Although you can dip just about any vegetable into Hummus and have it taste good.
So many people tell me “I love hummus.” But they have no knowledge of how to make it. If you have a food processor or blender and the ingredients, it is really simple to make, and you don’t have to wait to go to your favorite Mediterranean restaurant to eat it.
Soak 1 cup of dried Chickpeas in water overnight. Drain and pour into a pot. Add 4 cups water. Bring to a boil, then turn to simmer and cover. Cook until the chickpeas are tender (about 2 hours). Drain, reserving about a 1/2 to 3/4 cup of the liquid. Cool the chickpeas and liquid for about 30 minutes in the refrigerator before processing.
In a food processor or blender, add all the ingredients except for the liquid and olive oil. Start blending, adding the reserved liquid a little at a time to smooth out the hummus. Blend to desired consistency.
Remove from food processor into mixing bowl. Mix in the olive oil until hummus starts to thicken. (do not add olive oil into the food processor).
Serve with Pita bread, cucumbers and salty olives.