Vegan Corn Pupusas W/Roasted Sweet Potato, Sauteed Mushrooms & Chipotle Mole Sauce

I never knew how easy pupusas were to make until I spotted a bag of “corn masa” mix at the Mexican market. I was like, “hey we could make vegan tamales, or PUPUSAS!” and we got all excited and subsequently I bought way too much food, as is my way. I also happened to have a jar of mole sauce in my cupboard so I decided to do sort of a pupusa/enchilada hybrid which turned out SO GOOD. These are super easy to make and you can top them with whatever veggies you want and smother everything in mole. Here’s what you’ll need:

For the pupusas:
2 cups corn masa (you should be able to find this at any Latin grocery)
1 1/4 cups warm water
1 tsp salt

Just mix all three together and knead until everything is soaked in. Let sit for at least 5 minutes before squashing them into pupusa-submission.

For the filling:
ANYTHING YOU WANT
You can use vegan cheese, spinach, broccoli, tomato, shredded carrot/zuchini, potato, vegan “meat,” tofu, pumpkin, even fruit like apple or banana/plaintain is great for a sweeter filling. I used sweet potato which I roasted with onion until it was soft and lightly browned. Should be lightly seasoned with salt, I also added paprika and cayenne pepper.

For the sauce:
Dona Maria Mole sauce (comes concentrated in a glass jar, totally cheap, so fucking amazing)
can of diced tomato (I used Muir Glen Organic tomatoes w/chipotle peppers)
3 cups water
salt to taste

You’ll have to dig out the mole paste and simmer it with the water for at least like 10 minutes, stirring until it has completely dissolved. Then you can add the tomato and however much salt you like. I also like to add some ketchup and tobasco because I’m a shameless gringa.

For the topping:
Cilantro (Put cilantro on EVERYTHING, and I’m not just talking today or this dish, I mean everyday on everything)
Saute whatever vegetables you fancy; we did a mushroom mix with onion.
You don’t really need to season these at all since it will be drenched in very flavorful sauce. You could seriously put anything on top of your pupusas: corn, zucchini, tomato, Libertarians, whatever tastes good to you. Traditionally pupusas are served with a light cabbage/pico-de-gallo-esque slaw, but since this was an enchilada hybrid, I left that part out. Feel free to slaw it up.

PUPUSA PROCEDURE:
When you’ve customized whatever filling you want for your pupusas, make sure it is precooked, as these will be fried relatively quickly and are better with a softer middle. Make sure your filling is cool too, so you don’t burn the shit out of yourself trying to pupusify it.

Heat some vegetable oil on medium in a nonstick pan. Put some of the dry masa mix down on a cutting board before rolling the dough. You want some dough about the size of a ping pong to smash down and roll out into a circle. I just used my hands because I’m ghetto-artisan like that, but you can use a rolling pin cause you’re so domestic-chic. Plop your filling in the middle of the flat circle of dough and squash another ping pong ball of dough down onto it. Then you just need to clean up the sides with your hands to make sure the filling is fully covered and the sides aren’t split. The dough is crumbly, so you really have to use your hands to make it your bitch and then a spatula to get it off the cutting board and into the hot oil. Be careful putting it in there cause it causes quite a wave. Let it cook on each side about 2-4 minutes each or until the sides start getting brown. When it’s done, scoop it out onto a paper towel and lightly press on it to remove excess oil. The mole sauce should already be fatty enough, fatty.

These are now crispy, warm and ready to eat topped with your sauteed veggies, a ladle full of your chipotle mole and a shopping cart’s worth of cilantro. SO GOOD YOU GUISE. Making these for guests makes you seem much more cultured, less racist and you can also say it’s “fusion” cooking or some bullshit. Make something up, their mouths will be full so they won’t talk back.

For side dishes we made lightly sauteed chard topped with toasted pumpkin seeds and warm smashed black beans. They go really well with everything and add more fiber to your already colon-motivating pupusas. But make it your own, so that if it sucks, you can’t blame me. Mine was fucking delicious.

Vegan Peach Cobbler with Toasty Almond Cinnamon Streusel

It’s easy to end up with basketfuls of fruit in the Summertime and there are so many fun things to do with them, especially a pile of juicy peaches! My favorite, having grown up in Seattle among the blackberry bushes, is to make a cobbler. My mother always made a classic blackberry filling with a crispy, crunchy cinnamon streusel topping that was TO DIE FOR, and a scoop of vanilla ice cream melting on top. However, I wanted to do a more cakey variation since I has never experimented with the crust of the cakier cobblers. I wasn’t willing to sacrifice my STREUSEL though, because it was always my favorite part, so I decided to make a cakey/streusel hybrid and DELICIOUSNESS ENSUED!

We used a basic cobbler recipe and turned it vegan by substituting Earth Balance for butter and vanilla almond milk for dairy milk. It turned out DELICIOUS but quite sweet due to the additional sugar from the sweetened milk and our peaches being much sweeter than sour. It is a good idea to taste your fruit before baking with it since the flavors can be so unique and sometimes need more or less sweetening. I have tweaked our recipe a bit to rid it of the excess sweetness and assure you this recipe is ripe with SUCCESS.

What you’ll need:

6 cups freshly sliced peaches (we added a spatter of shredded coconut to this which was really fucking delicious, you could also add berries or ginger GO CRAZY!)

1 cup of sugar for the fruit, 1 cup for the batter, 3 tbs for the streusel

1/2 cup water (we used the almond milk but it was a bit sweet, though if your fruit is more sour I say use it cause it’s delicious)

8 tbs Earth Balance for the pan, 2 tbs for the streusel

1 1/2 cups self-rising flour (which is just regular flour mixed with 2 1/4  tsp baking powder and 3/4 tsp salt)

3 tbs flour for the streusel

2 tsp salt for the streusel

1 1/2 almond milk (we used vanilla but you can use plain)

1 1/4 tbs cinnamon for the steusel

4 tbs almond meal for the streusel (you can get this at Trader Joe’s for cheap)

4 tbs oats for the streusel


Heat your oven to 350 and set the cube of Earth Balance in your big ol casserole dish. Set your sliced peaches, sugar and water (or almond milk) in a saucepan until they boil, then let simmer for 10 minutes and set them aside. Put your butter boat in the oven to melt.

Now you can quickly make your streusel which is just equal parts flour and sugar (3 tbs each) with a good amount of cinnamon, some salt, 4 tbs almond meal, 4 tbs oats all mushed together with more Earth Balance. It should have a crumbly consistency and not stick too much, if it is still sticky you can add more flour and sugar. Set this aside for the topping.

Mix sugar & flour with milk very slowly to avoid clumps (you can add some cinnamon to this, it is up to you) and then pour it into the melted butter but don’t mix it in. Spoon the fruit and its syrup in by hand and just let it sit however it falls. Top with your delectable almond meal cinnamon oat streusel sprinkled generously and somewhat evenly. Bake for 30-45 minutes and show off to all your friends.

Goes great with a scoop of vanilla soy ice cream, or if you’re not vegan, a slice of brisket. Delicious!

So you’ve got leftover rotisserie chicken, eh?

I used to love buying those pre-made rotisserie chickens at QFC, especially at the end of the day cause they were like $5 and would feed me for a week with these TRICKS!

Usually I’ll eat a good portion of the chicken while it’s still warm and crispy. Maybe folded up in a baguette or with some mashed red potatoes and gravy. MMM! But then I’ve got half a fuckin’ chicken carcass sitting in my fridge making everything else smell like KFC and my creative culinary mind is the only thing that can get it out of there.

I have a few different methods I have employed, depending on what I’m in the mood for. Yesterday, Aurora told me the rest of her herb-roasted chicken was up for grabs and I decided to make some easy chicken vegetable soup with it. This shit is SO GOOD FOR HANGOVERS, I know because I just ate some and I have one. I feel better now, AND YOU WILL TOO ONCE YOU MAKE THIS GOD DAMN SOUP OK.

It’s super easy. You can pretty much just use basic shit you  have laying around in your fridge and cupboard too. Here’s what I used.

2 tbs olive oil

a diced carrot

1/2 cup onion

6 chopped mushrooms

half a diced sweet potato

1 cup diced cauliflower

really wish I had had celery cause then I would have used that too

some spinach

and I almost put in some zucchini but someone already had dibs on it

Saute the diced onion and carrot (and celery if you have it) in the olive oil until the onion turns a bit clear and smells REAL GOOD. Then you can throw your chicken in there and a bunch of water (you can really add as much water as the amount of soup you want to eat, this stock can go a long way.) I like to boil the chicken and then let it baste on medium low for about 20min or so. This will make the chicken all warm and soft again and you can pull it out, let it cool off, and start picking little pieces of the meat off and throwing them back in the soup.

You always want to plan when to add your veggies to soup so that they don’t get overcooked. Mushrooms are great to add whenever cause their texture doesn’t really change and they just soak up all the deliciousness of whatever they’re in more and more as they sit there. But things like the sweet potato, cauliflower, zucchini and spinach will get a bit soggy and gross if you’re boiling them up with everything else. If your soup is really hot when everything else is done cooking, just throwing the veggies diced up relatively small at the end should cook them without any additional heat.

Some other shit you can add to this to give it personality are: alphabet noodles, kidney beans, garbanzo beans, tomato, corn, peas, greens, sprinkle on some fresh-baked croutons (goodbye stale bread hello delicious multi-purposed topper) and, BTW, grated cheese and a bit of pepper never hurt anybody.

This stuff is so easy to heat up in a saucepan and eat with a piece of chewy toast or some tortilla chips or just on its own. Like I said, it is a bit of a miracle cure for a hangover and probably the reason why I haven’t puked on anybody today. It soothes the tummy and makes you feel all hearty, warm and full. It smells like what I bet heaven smells like. Mmm.

Roasted Corn & Black Bean Salad – High Fiber, Low Fat, Totally Fucking Delicious

Sometimes after BBQs a couple ears of corn go uneaten and end up in our fridges, neglected and under-appreciated. When I gaze upon this foresaken maiz, I see a world of opportunity, creativity overtakes me, and I am forced to concoct one of the most delicious dishes for Summer eats, ever. This is of course, my take on a roasted corn and black bean salad. Simple, light, high fiber, low-fat and vegan, even if you’re not a healthy hippie you will love the crunch of this dish.

For this recipe you will need:

– a can of black beans (salted or unsalted depending on your blood pressure)

– a few ears of corn (the corn to black bean ratio is up to you, I use at least 2 ears of corn)

– a red pepper & a green pepper

– cilantro

– a lemon

– olive oil, salt, pepper to taste

– Other things you can chop up and add are: onion (red onion looks especially nice), avocado (gives this a nice creamy taste I love and is really charming if you end up using it for salsa, just make sure to add it last so it doesn’t get mushy), sliced cherry tomatoes, jalapeno, diced orange or tangerine, pineapple, celery or quinoa. All delicious and add a different slant to this basic recipe.

I tend to like my corn re-roasted once I remove the husk. It gives it this nice brownish/charred look, which on top of the golden yellow, looks really fantastic in a salad. I lightly oil a skillet and rotate the corn on it about every 30 seconds. Once the corn has a nice color to it and smells good, I remove it and slice the kernels off with a paring knife. Then you can add your RINSED can of black beans, I rinse them so they don’t have that slimey liquid they come in. Dice your peppers and chop your cilantro and add them in too. Squirt lemon over everything to taste, and add your olive oil, salt and pepper if that’s your bag.

As you can see, this salad is so simple even cooking-impaired bachelors could make it, and it just happens to be really healthy and keep really well. It can be used in a variety of ways other than just a salad to be eaten with a fork. it makes a great salsa, is a great topper for burgers, is great fried up with eggs or wrapped up in a tortilla (with or without the eggs/bacon/cheese and some meat/tofu.) It is so versatile and such a great base for many other entrees, I really love to make it.

Hope you enjoy eating it as much as I love blabbing about it!

Roasted Corn Black Bean Salad The Morning After

Homemade Kombucha – Super easy, healthy and delicious

Making your own kombucha is so fucking simple I don’t know why anyone would pay $4 a bottle for it. All you need to make your own kombucha is:

– A bottle of kombucha

– a piece of a light cloth (something that breathes)

-a rubber band

– a bowl

– Black tea

– Sugar

-Bottles with a rubber top to trap carbonation

Basically, you can use the bacteria from a store-bought bottle of kombucha to grow more kombucha. All you have to do is brew a few bags of black tea in like 2 cups of water, add 1/4 cup of sugar, let it cool to room temperature and mix it with the liquid and chunky bits of your store-bought kombucha.

Then all you have to do is cover it with your breathable piece of fabric and secure it with a rubber-band. Set that in a cupboard in a warm area for 4-7 days until it has a nice little pancake of film (the scoby) resting on the top. Then  all you have to do is brew more tea w/ sugar and add it to the mix to continue to feed the kombucha (remember to let it cool or it will kill the bacteria.)

Should take about two weeks total to brew a batch and be able to bottle the liquid and keep the mother for additional batches. You can taste the mix as you go along and judge for yourself when you think it is done. It should be slightly carbonated and as sweet or sour as you like it (too sour? add more sugar!) I like to bottle mine with about 1/3 fruit juice and sliced ginger. Makes a super healthy and refreshing drink straight out of the fridge. YUM!