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.

2 Variations on Vegan Chocolate Cake with Dark Chocolate Ganache

Who doesn’t love chocolate cake? If you know someone, please reach out to them and force-feed them this recipe until they admit they love it. This recipe has a 86% success rate in converting non-believers. Vegans are often cheated of the fluffy, eggy texture of many baked goods, but this chocolate cake recipe is moist, fluffy, richly chocolatey and delicious. It is another recipe I have adapted from my Vegan friend Miyuki, but these are two versions with my own nerdy foodie twist on them. I made a blackberry chocolate cake and a salted caramel chocolate cake. I’ll include the recipes for the blackberry and caramel sauces for those interested.

The basic chocolate cake recipe is as follows:

3 cups white flour
2 cups sugar (I used half white sugar half raw brown sugar)
6 tbs cocoa (Hershey’s is fine)
2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
2 cups water
3/4 cup vegetable oil
2 tbs vinegar
2 tsp vanilla
(What I added was)
1 tsp cayenne pepper (for a subtle kick, most people won’t even notice)
1/2 tsp cinnamon

For the vegan chocolate ganache:
1/3 cup “milk” of your choice (I used vanilla almond milk and it was a taste success!)
2 tbs Earth Balance
1 cup vegan chocolate chips

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees FARENHEIT cause this is an AMERICAN cake

First off, mix your dry ingredients together and make sure your baking soda doesn’t clump. Make a crevas in the middle and slowly mix in the wet ingredients. Make sure you mix this thoroughly, there should be no clumps! Pour the mix into two well-greased circular cake pans and bake for about 40 minutes.

While this is baking you can make the ganache (icing) which is totally my favorite part. You can get creative with this stuff, if I was making it for myself I would have added more cayenne and cinnamon so the outside packed a bit more heat than the sweeter cake inside. Or I might have added Frangelico or Grand Marnier for a boozier sauce, but since I was making this for a birthday, I kept it classic. Use a “double boiler” method to melt the Earth Balance and mix with the almond milk and chocolate chips. For those of you unfamiliar with double boiling this is where you heat water in a bigger sauce pan and put your ingredients into a smaller saucepan immersed in the hot water. This keeps your ingredients from burning and just melts them nicely together. Mix these up until they are smooth and let the ganache cool a bit before icing the cakes (they will have to cool as well.) Make sure it stays smooth by stirring it if it begins to solidify.

The caramel sauce I made was done with a double boiling method as well. That combined 1 cup brown sugar, 2 tbs Earth Balance, a tsp of salt, 3 tbs flour and 2 tbs almond milk. Mix the flour, salt and sugar together first so they don’t clump in the liquid. Then add the milk and Earth Balance and melt everything together. It should be smooth and taste almost butterscotchy. You can totally add whisky or Frangelico if you’re feeling saucy, it’s up to you. Caramel sauce should be monitored just like the chocolate sauce, let cool, mix if it gets stagnant.

The blackberry sauce is just regular blackberry preserves, heated until they turn into a thinner syrup and poured warm onto the cake once it has cooled. This sauce should be poured right after heating as it coagulates pretty easily.

After you pull the cakes out, let them cool somewhere other than the hot stove top. Once they are relatively room-temperature-ish, you can slice the tops off so they’re both flat. Put a plate over top of each one to flip them over. Give it a couple of good taps and slowly lift the cake tin off. If you greased them with furious abandon, as directed, they should slide out no problem and have a super elegant shape to them. Let each cake cool for about another minute before icing.

If you’re just making the basic vegan chocolate cake, you’re going to use the chocolate ganache on top of one of the cakes and then put the other cake on top and coat both of them. Or you can always just make two and pour ganache on each separately. Your ganache is your business, that’s what I always say.

If you’re choosing to make a cake with the caramel or blackberry sauce, pour that sauce onto the cake and spread evenly before you put on the chocolate ganache. The ganache covers everything with a super smooth finish, so it goes on last. For the caramel sauce, you’ll have a lot of it, so save about half to drizzle over the slices themselves later. After saucing your cake up, you can pour the chocolate ganache over, as evenly as possible. It should spread over smoothly and drip down the sides, so you shouldn’t have to spread it much (you should avoid spreading it as it could disturb the cake underneath.) It will look amazing, shiny, velvety and enticing; but it will taste even better. For the caramel cake, feel free to drizzle a bit on top for looks, and then coat the whole top with semi-fine rock salt. This concludes the most delicious vegan chocolate cake recipe you will ever experience. You’re welcome.

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!

Ginger Carrot Bread W/Raisins, Toasted Walnuts, Wheat Germ & Flax Seed (Vegan)

Today I’m attempting a variation of my friend Miyuki’s Vegan Carrot Bread that I fell in love with and ate most of. Her recipe is great on its own but I wanted to really ginger-it-up and add some wheat germ, oatmeal and flax seed.

The recipe I started from is:

Miyuki’s Slow-Bake Carrot Loaf

2 cups wheat flour

1 cup tightly packed brown sugar

1 tbs cinnamon

2 tsps baking powder

½ tsp baking soda

½ tsp salt

3 cups grated carrot (about 3 moderately sized carrots)

¾ cup vegetable oil

¾ cup orange juice

1 cup raisins

1 cup chopped walnuts

What I added was:

1/4 cup wheat germ

1 tbs flax seed

2 tbs oatmeal

1/2 cup apple sauce

1 tbs honey

1 tbs shredded coconut

2 tbs pressed ginger juice mixed with some of the grated bits

2 tbs diced candied ginger

1 tbs molasses

And I substituted pineapple papaya juice for the orange juice.

Bake at 350 degrees for about an hour (check it by putting a knife through the middle and seeing if it’s still doughy)

Really I give all the credit for this recipe to Miyuki cause it’s pretty much perfect as is, I just wanted to hippie it up a bit more, San Francisco style. I sprinkled wheat germ on top of the dough when I put it in the oven and that was one of my favorite parts, it gets all crispy and has a great flavor and texture.

THIS TURNED OUT SO GOOD YOU GUISE

It’s really spicy and gingery and light and soft. I have already eaten two big pieces. Oh goddddd. Last time I ate this bread I made a fried egg and dipped it in the warm runny, salty yolk. That may sounds weird but it was SO GOOD. Just because this is really a pretty lightly sweet bread, it’s like a sweeter toast. Oh man I love this stuff, hope you do too.

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