Tag Archives: mexican

In The Absence of Tortillas, a Mexican Bowl

in the absence of tortillas, a mexican bowl

Who wants tortillas from a grocery store anyways? I find the politically correct mexican bowl to be one of my favourite dishes because it’s fast, flavourful, easy and reminds me of my mom.

This particular bowl consisted of:

Chipotlé lime baked tofu cubes
Roasted garlic potatoes
Pinto beans
Garnished with fresh tomato, lettuce, salsa, avocado and roasted zucchini.

You could replace the potatoes with rice or spanish rice, sautéed vegetables for tofu and black beans for pinto beans.

Try replacing salsa with a tomatillo sauce  or try adding guacamole.

chipotlé lime tofu

1/2 block extra firm tofu
Juice of 1/2 lime (about 1 tbsp)
1 tsp lime zest
1 small can of chipotlé in adobo sauce or  1 tsp chipotlé seasoning
1 tsp garlic salt
1/4 small yellow onion minced
1 tbs oil

Cut tofu into 1cm cubes and place into a medium sized bowl. If using canned chipotlé use one pepper and mince put into bowl with tofu along with all of the other ingredients. Let the tofu marinate for at least fifteen minutes and place in oven at 400 degrees for fifteen minutes. This recipe is spicy!

Chile Rellenos

tempeh and roasted acorn squash chile rellenos with daiya, cherry tomato and avocado salsa, pinto beans, julienned zucchini, purple potato chips

4 large Banana Peppers (or other large peppers)


1/4 block (about 1/4 cup) Tempeh, crumbled
1 small Yellow Onion, diced
6 White button Mushrooms, sliced
1/2 of an Acorn Squash, roasted until soft
4 cloves Garlic, minced
1 Cup Daiya

For The Batter:

1 Cup Pastry Flour
1 tsp Garlic Salt
shake of Cayenne
shake of Salt
1 Cup Beer or Soda Water


Sauté Onion & garlic until translucent and slightly browned. Add the sliced mushrooms, garlic, and crumbled tempeh, squash and continue to sauté until every thing is cooked throughly.

Roast the Banana peppers in the oven for about 7 minutes at 400 degrees. Once the banana peppers have had a chance to cool cut them vertically from top to bottom. Stuff your peppers with the filling and daiya just enough so no filling is coming out of the peppers. Seal the peppers shut by sticking toothpicks diagonally across the slit of the peppers piercing the flesh. Stick the peppers in the freezer and let freeze for at least an hour.

For the Batter:

Whisk the dry ingredients with the wet.


Heat a frying pan with a layer of vegetable oil. Take the toothpicks out of the peppers. Dip the peppers in the batter so that they are nicely coated and then fry making sure to rotate the pepper on all sides with tongs. Once the peppers are browned place them in the oven at 350 degrees for 5 minutes. Let cool and have a fiesta in your mouth.

Tempeh and Soy Chorizo Empanadas (Tempeh-Nadas)

tempeh and soy chorizo empanadas with green chile sauce

We based this off of a VegNews recipe that I ripped out of a newspaper I found in Portland, OR on my bike trip in April. [Here’s the story online.] We made the dough as the recipe instructed but we made our own filling. This recipe takes about an hour but you can make many at a time and refrigerate or freeze them.


2 cups unbleached white flour (plus some for rolling)
1 tsp salt
3/4 cup cold water
1 1/2 tbsp margarine at room temperature (we like Earth Balance)

Mix 2 cups flour, salt, and cold water in a bowl until a firm dough forms. Roll the dough up into a ball, wrap it in plastic, and refrigerate it for 20 minutes.

Prepare a cutting board (or your counter) by dusting it with flour; dust a rolling pin (or a long bottle) with flour. Lay the dough out and roll it until it’s less than a cm thick. Slather it with margarine; tuck the edges in to the center to cover up the margarined bits and re-roll out. Slather again; fold; roll again. Repeat this 2 – 3 times to incorporate the margarine. Roll the dough up again, wrap it in plastic (use the same plastic! Save the planet!), and refrigerate it for 20 minutes.

Now, prepare your filling.

Tempeh Filling

1/2 onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
4 mushrooms (white button or crimini), diced
1 tbsp vegetable oil

Heat the oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add onions; sauté one minute. Add garlic. Add mushrooms. Sauté until soft. Add:

1 tsp cumin
Dash cayenne

Toss the spices around with the onion, garlic, and mushrooms for a minute before adding:

1/2 cup tempeh, crumbled
2 tbsp Braggs or soy sauce (use less soy sauce than you would Braggs – 1 tbsp should do)

Toss to coat. Sauté until tempeh has browned. Then, add:

1 – 2 tomatillos, diced
1/4 tomato (roma or vine size, not beefsteak), diced

Mix well and turn your heat down. Now your filling is ready. Alternately, instead of tempeh, use crumbled (or previously-frozen and crumbled) tofu, ground TVP, or some other meatlike product. If you want to get creative you can mix your spices up. If you don’t have access to tomatillos, try using just tomato. To add some spice try adding chopped green chilies or chopped jalapenos. Or, you can use the VegNews filling recipe.

Pull the dough out of the fridge and roll it out on a floured surface until it’s very thin – really, as thin as you can make it. Cut circles out using a pint glass or a large circle cookie cutter. If you hate circles you could try squares, or even star shapes. This is like making ravioli.

Put a teaspoonful or two of filling on each piece of dough and fold it over. Press it closed with your fingers and then crimp the edges with a fork.

Frying your Tempeh-Nadas

Either use a deep fryer, or, if you’re like us, use a small skillet. Add enough oil that the bottom of the skillet is coated and turn it up to medium-high. When the oil is hot (you can test it by throwing something in and seeing if bubbles immediately rise around it and it begins to cook – try a leftover chunk of dough or tempeh) you are ready to cook.

Prepare a plate or cookie tray beside the stove with layers of cheesecloth or paper towel or a teatowel you don’t mind washing in very hot water afterward. Cook your empanadas in small batches, on each side until they are golden-brown. Let the oil drain off afterward. Let the oil in the pan heat up sufficiently between batches, or you will have very oily empanadas and a pimply mouth which is always very uncomfortable in social situations.

Eat with green chile sauce, hot sauce, or without any dipping sauce at all.

(This post was written by Malloreigh but the recipe is Kaylie’s. She dictated it to me while she worked.)

Vegan Pupusas Filled With Black Beans, Faux Chicken, and Daiya

Pupusas are a traditional El Salvadorean stuffed masa flatbread dish. You basically make a masa mixture , roll it into a ball, flatten and pan fry.

black bean, "chicken", and daiya pupusas with fresh salsa, avocado and cabbage

I usually stuff mine with: Daiya, blackbeans, mushrooms, onions and “chicken”.  Served with curtido, a cabbage relish, homemade salsa and avocado, this dish is perfect for a quick summer meal!

Enough people commented asking for the recipe so here it is.

Vegan Pupusas

You can purchase prepared masa but it often has animal lard in it, so we make our own. You can buy masa harina or masa flour, which is traditional corn flour used in many Mexican and Central American dishes. To make the dough, you combine masa flour with liquid – 1 unit flour to 1/2 unit liquid. Here’s how we made our masa dough:

Masa Dough

1 cup masa harina
1/2 cup vegetable broth
Spices – we used chopped canned green chilies, salt, pepper, and a touch of soy sauce.

Most recipes call for vegetable shortening or margarine, but we didn’t use any. I’m sure that would taste really good but to lower the fat content of your masa, remember that you can just leave it out. Your masa dough should be easily workable, not sticky nor floury. Add more flour or liquid if necessary. You should easily be able to work it with your hands.

There are lots of other masa dough recipes online – here’s another one. Keep in mind that you don’t need much if you’re just making a small meal, but masa freezes really well and can be used anytime for a number of dishes.


I used black beans, fake chicken and Daiya vegan cheese. We got the fake chicken from T&T Supermarket, a local Asian grocer that carries vegetarian meat products. You could also use prepared TVP or any other faux meat, tofu, or tempeh. I used cheddar flavour Daiya. For other ideas for fillings, check out this VeganCooking post.

Black Beans
1/2 can black beans
1/2 small onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
1 tbsp vegetable oil
Spices – cumin, chipotle or whatever you have on hand

Heat the oil in a small saucepan or skillet on medium heat. Add onion and garlic; saute in oil until soft. Add beans and spices. Stir often over medium heat until the beans are soft and have absorbed the flavours.

To make pupusas, roll a ball of masa about the size of your palm or smaller. Make a well in the ball by pressing your thumb into it; put a spoonful of filling in. Close the ball and then flatten it.

I lightly pan-fried the pupusas, but I’ve seen them deep-fried as well. As soon as your masa dough turns golden on both sides you are ready to eat them.

Serve topped with salsa, fresh avocado, cabbage, or whatever you like.