Anyone else LOVE tamales?

And I’m back.  Whew.  Over the weekend seemed like a good time to do a “internet detox”.  What?  I know, I’ve been overdosing on the internet lately, sad but true.  We are all guilty of this sometimes I’m sure.  I feel much better after a few days of giving my eyes a rest from that terrible computer screen – ahhh!  Now, I’ve gotta catch up on all my blog reading, I just can’t help it.

While I was detoxing I did some more adventurous cooking, some good and some down right terrible {like my vegan grapefruit cupcakes that were nauseatingly sweet}.  My overall favorite was not surprisingly my tamales.  Tamales remain one of my all time favorite foods.  My obsession with tamales started in high school.  Everyday at lunch time a sweet little man named Valentino parked his mini red pick up on Venice Blvd and sold fresh homemade tamales about of the back.  Back then, I was a vegetarian and fell in love with his chili and cheese creation.  At a $1 a pop, I would get two {ok maybe 3} each day and wolf them down with the other students, sticking out like a sore thumb.  I happily ate my tamales while the other kids gossiped in Spanish about me {there was no way a stupid little blonde like me understood Spanish, so they thought}.  After I graduated, I would still stop by sometimes for lunch this time stocking up and buying them by the dozens.  Years later I would still see Valentino selling his delicious tamales and would always stop – if not only to say hello.  He never forgot me.  So, on Friday I was doing some grocery shopping and saw some Maseca and decided to give it a shot.  I had always heard tamales were time consuming and not particularly easy to make but I had nothing to lose.  I was home alone and the little one was napping so I went for it.  Oooh, they were good too!

Vegan Tamales

Start by soaking your corn husks in water {about 16}.  I soaked mine for about 30 minutes while I was making the filling and tamale dough.


1 cup pumpkin seeds

1/3 cup nutritional yeast

3 tomatillos

1 jalepeno

2 cloves garlic

1 cup cilantro

1 lemon – juiced

Combine all ingredients and whiz in food processor.  There will be extra yummy filling to put on top of your tamales later.

Tamale dough:

2 1/2 cups Maseca

1 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp salt

2 cups lukewarm vegetable broth {or water}

2/3 cup coconut oil

3 drops doTERRA lime

In a large bowl combine dry ingredients.  Add broth and mix.  Add coconut oil and mix using hand mixer till dough is fluffy and looks like cookie dough.

Now here’s the hardest part…

Making the tamales – how I did it:

Taking approx. 1 heaping tbsp of dough, flatten in your hands then place in corn husk.  Add a dollop of filling in the center and roll to make a tamale {on some of mine I sprinkled some chopped spinach in there too}.  Tie the ends off with string or a strip of corn husk.  Repeat till out of dough.   Now, steam the tamales for about 30 to 45 minutes.  They are done with they are no longer mushy to touch.

Now, there are probably better ways to do this – this is just how I did it.  Next time I will research tamale making on YouTube to get a better technique for rolling and wrapping the tamales.  My ghetto method worked just fine given it was my first try.  Any tips are greatly appreciated!



Vegan Coconut Non-Curry

Surprising my non-vegan family with dinner on a night they were too busy to cook was the only way I was going to get my mom to give one of my creations a try.  She is very anti-curry {sad I know}, but I wanted curry.  I {sorta} weaseled my way into the meal I was craving, by making curry but omitting the curry.  Make sense?

Here’s what I did:

Vegan Coconut Non-Curry


1 tbsp coconut oil

1 sliced onion

1 clove of minced garlic

2 tbsp cumin

3 cups chopped cabbage

1 head of broccoli

1 green pepper

1 tomato

1 can chickpeas

1 handful chopped cilantro

2 or 3 cups coconut milk

3 drops doTERRA lemongrass

Braggs liquid aminos for salt (to taste)

hot sauce (to taste)

Directions: Sautee onion and garlic in coconut oil, add cumin.  Add other veggies except tomato and cover.  Cook for about  minutes, add tomato, chickpeas, cilantro and coconut milk.  Add lemongrass, Braggs and hot sauce to taste.  Serve over brown rice, quinoa or eat plain.

Ginger Pear Hemp Granola

Ginger Pear Hemp Granola

Poor pear, it had been sitting in the fruit bowl forgotten for far too long.  Only strawberries and oranges have been making it into Lennox’s belly lately.  He sees them {or anything red that resembles strawberries} and starts signing for … Continue reading

No excuses

It’s cold and windy outside.  Lennox will be cold.  Excuses excuses.  We can all make up some good ones can’t we.  I needed some motivation to get out of my jammies and into my running gear, so I called my husband.  He’s in Brazil and I’m in Utah {pretty sad huh}.  It’s blazing hot as always in Recife and he still gets out to run, makes my weather seem ideal.  Shoot.  Guess I better go run NOW!

I was mentally searching for an excuse.

Green Ginger Pear Smoothie

Green Ginger Pear Smoothie

Yesterday I did a little bit smoothie bashing {please forgive me smoothie gods}.  All it took was one day sans smoothie and I’m back and ready for more.  Smoothies are the best way for me to pack in some serious … Continue reading

Quick Mango Coconut Lime Soup


Today was one of those days – ya know what I mean.  After my workout and the usual evening routine of feeding and bathing the little one I just wasn’t up for anything big in the kitchen.  So, I just added a little bit of what I had in the fridge to make a yummy soup.  No measurements, but here is what’s in it:

Quick Mango Coconut Lime Soup

coconut milk

black bean

mango salsa

cherry tomatoes



hot sauce

doTERRA lemongrass oil

doTERRA lime oil

black rice

Rio Marathon 2012 – realizing a dream

Two years I fell in love again.  I fell in love with the most beautiful city on earth – Rio.  My husband and I were on a mini-vacation of sorts, that we quickly turned into a two week vacation – I simply did not want to leave.  While we were there we actually thought about not leaving and making Rio our new home, but reality set in, we had recently moved to Recife, Brazil to be closer to his family and well most of his family wasn’t in Rio so we decided not to move.  Bummer.  We were there during the marathon – had we known in advance we would have participated in some part of the race.  I was sad we couldn’t race.   We did however, wake early on race day, grabbed a juice and walked down to watch the race.  That day I promised myself {and my husband} I was going to be there the following year and not just as a spectator.   A miracle happened that didn’t allow me to keep my promise{ I became pregnant with Lennox and yes it was a miracle}.  Last year around race time, I still hadn’t forgotten my promise although Lennox was only one month old. Darn.  This year I am going to realize my dream!  And even better my two favorite guys get to do it with me.  Joe has promised to run with me so we can do it as a family, although going at my pace is truly going to kill him, we will cross the finish line together. 1 + 1 = 3  What dreams are you going to realize this year?