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.

Filling:

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!

Enjoy!

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Way Delicious Vegan Tacos

Have you ever tried millet?  I had never even heard of it until yesterday while browsing the health food store.  I decided to give it a shot.  That has to be one of my favorite things about becoming vegan.  I’m trying new things way more often than I ever did before.  Food is so exciting to me.  If I had the time, I would spend all day in the kitchen trying new things {I’d probably get nice and plump too, good thing I don’t have the time}.

Yesterday I followed the directions and made some very bland millet.  Simply not impressed, but I knew that with some additions is would be a fun new staple.  I found some inspiration in my Thrive Foods book by Brendan Brazier and decided to make some tacos.  All I can say is YUMMY!

You can barely see the millet hiding under the black beans, but it's there I promise.

Way Delicious Vegan Tacos – with Green Millet, Black Bean, Guacamole, Tomatoes, Yellow Peppers and Pine Cheese Sauce

Green Millet

1 cup millet {cooked according to package directions}

2 Tbsp coconut butter

1 small clove of garlic

3 Tbsp spirulina

3 Tbsp Braggs liquid aminos

First, I took some cooked millet and sauteed it in coconut butter {my new favorite thing}, with a small clove of garlic.  Then I added spirulina and  Braggs liquid aminos.  This idea came from Thrive Foods by Brendan Brazier.  I added the coconut butter and garlic and toned down his recommendation for the amount of spirulina – this stuff is just stinky.  I have to admit this was way better than I expected it to be.  Even my totally NOT vegan step-dad tried it and he said it tasted good, although I couldn’t even get my mom to try it.

Yellow Pepper Pine Cheese – from Thrive Foods by Brendan Brazier

1 yellow bell pepper

1/2 cup pine nuts

3 1/2 Tbsp nutritional yeast

1 tsp sea salt

1 tsp tarragon {I didn’t have any so I used 2 drops of doTERRA thyme oil}

1 Tbsp olive oil

1 tsp apple cider vinegar

1 tsp agave nectar

1 small clove of garlic

Combine all ingredients in a blender and blend thoroughly.

 

Once you have made the above items.  Make some guacamole as you wish.  Dice some tomatoes and slice some bell peppers. 

Then, fry your tortillas {I used Trader Joes organic blue corn tortillas} in coconut oil. Build your taco and enjoy!

The combination was heavenly!  Let me know if you agree.

xoxo,

Crystal