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!

I need your vote in YumUniverse’s The Big Kale Contest

Good morning my dears!  One of my favorite websites YumUniverse is having a recipe contest called The Big Kale Contest – fun right?  One of my yummy kale creations is in the running.  Check out my recipe for Kale, Red Cabbage & Pistachios in Coconut Sage Butter and vote for me on their Facebook Page!  While you’re on Facebook “like” Vegan Familia on Facebook.

Kale, Red Cabbage and Pistachios in Coconut Sage Butter

Don't forget to vote on YumUniverse on Facebook

Kale Contest Entry: Crystal’s Kale, Red Cabbage & Pistachios in Coconut Sage Butter

Ingredients:
8 cups of chopped kale
3 cups of chopped red cabbage
1 medium onion
1 clove of garlic
1/2 tbsp fresh chopped sage
1 1/2 tbsp coconut oil (divided)
2 Tbsp coconut butter
1/2 cup roasted salted pistachio pieces

Directions:
Sauté chopped onion in 1 tbsp coconut oil for approx 5 minutes, then add minced garlic and sage. Add remaining coconut oil and cabbage. Sauté till almost tender. Add coconut butter and mix well. Add chopped kale and cover until slightly wilted. Stir in pistachio pieces and enjoy.

Hello, my name is Crystal and I’m a snack-aholic.

Looking back on my posts I’ve realized that I am a snack-aholic.  It seems like all I post are yummy vegan snacks or treats.  I swear I do eat actual meals {shocking I know}.  Since I have most of my fun in the kitchen when the little one is napping it’s usually snack time – not lunch time or dinner time.  Here’s another one of my yummy snacky creations:

Spicy Roasted Red Pepper and Basil Hummus

1 can of garbanzo beans

1 Tbsp tahini

1 tsp sesame oil

1 Tbsp olive oil

3/4 cup roasted red peppers

2 drops doTERRA basil oil

pinch of salt

Sriracha hot sauce to taste {I like it HOT}

Directions: Combine all ingredients in a food processor and whizz.  Wah la!

I ate half of this myself with raw broccoli in one sitting – ok, it was my lunch that day.  I also had some with my homemade kale crackers.  Yum!

What do you like the pair your hummus with?

Green Ginger Berry Power Smoothie

Good morning lovelies!  My body was wonderfully sore this morning from Monday’s workout – yes,  I know it is Wednesday.  Monday’s workout was soo good I’m still feeling it.  One of my favorite muscles to workout is my hamstrings because I can always feel it .  What is yours?  Do you have any recommendations for a good bum workout?  I find that it is hard to really get my bum sore the way I get my hamstrings aching, and who doesn’t need more of a lift, right?  Help me out here folks…

So I felt like I really needed an extra boost this morning, so my smoothie was packed fully of goodness {and still tasted good}!

Green Ginger Berry Power Smoothie

1 handful of spinach

1 tsp chlorella

1 Tbsp maca

1 Tbsp hemp protein

3 strawberries

1/2 banana

1.5 handfuls of frozen berries

2 drops of doTERRA ginger

Add coconut milk to achieve desired thickness.

Whizz all ingredients in a blender/magic bullet and enjoy!

 

 

Black Rice and Orange Lentils with Avocado Salsa

Lentils are one of my favorites.  I love making a huge pot and eating it leftover meal after meal.  Lentils get better the next day…well at least I think so.  I’ve never tried the colorful varieties so I was excited when I bought some orange lentils in the bulk section at the health food store.  Buying this was is cheap and very non-committal.  You can get just enough for one meal…I love that. I always find that when I buy in bags I have enough for two meals plus a teeny bit extra and I find that annoying.   Because of this the bulk section is my new favorite place in the health food store. It’s the bargain smart way to buy.  Actually, yesterday was all about bargain shopping for me.  My local store gets delivery of their produce on Tuesday’s so I went to get some of the fresh goodies…well, I got there too early and the delivery hadn’t arrived yet.  But, what I did get was great prices on their existing produce – the organic broccoli was still in good condition and marked down to $.99 (normally $3.99).  Awesome, right?  I thought so!  I also bought a handful of vegan carob chips just to try.  They were good enough that I might commit to buying more to try in a recipe someday.  Watch out for that…

Here’s the vitamin packed meal we had last night…PS, orange lentils cook quite fast…I was surprised.

Black Rice and Orange Lentils with Avocado Salsa

Rice:

1 cup black rice (or brown rice)

1 3/4 cup water

1 clove of garlic chopped

salt to taste

Directions:  Combine ingredients in a pan and bring to a boil. Once boiling, turn down heat to low and cover.  Cook for 30 – 40 minutes.

Orange Lentils:

2 cups orange lentils

5 cups water

4 cloves of garlic chopped

1 tsp cumin

1/2 tsp black pepper

salt to taste

Directions:  Rinse lentils and discard any funny looking ones. 🙂 Add lentils, water, garlic, cumin and pepper to pot.  Don’t salt yet as it will make the lentils tough.  Bring to boil and then turn down heat to low simmer.  Cook approx 20 minutes or until lentils are done.  Then add salt. (I usually like to add onions to my lentils, but I didn’t have any…they were quite good without)

Avocado Salsa:

1 tomato

1/2 avocado

1 Tbsp chia seeds (for good luck and extra nutrients)

2 limes juiced

chopped cilantro

salt

Directions: Dice tomatoes and avocado.  Combine all ingredients.  I usually like to add chopped radish to my salsa, but I didn’t have any.  You need to make this fresh at every meal as it doesn’t keep.  Especially if you use radish.

Serve over a bed of organic spinach… and enjoy!  PS, Lennox loved the lentils too!

A few reasons why this meal is good for you…

Black rice is high in nutritional value and contains 18 amino acids, iron, zinc, copper, carotene, anthocyanin and several important vitamins.

Lentils are high in protein, dietary fiber, folate, vitamin B1, and minerals.  Serving with rice makes it a complete protein.

xoxo,

Crystal

 

Way too easy bean soup

Today was one of those days where dinner time came to fast and I hadn’t planned a thing.  The non-vegan family approved this meal too!

Way too easy bean soup

Olive oil

1 onion diced

1 clove of garlic

2 carrots diced

Saute onion, garlic and carrots in olive oil.

Add:

1 can vegetable broth

1 can of diced tomatoes w/chillies

1 can white beans

1 can black beans

1 cup chopped cabbage

Cook until veggies are at desired doneness.  Ta dah!  That is it.  I added avocado and a drop of doTERRA lemon essential oil to my bowl.  Delish!