I rarely celebrate Cinco de Mayo (as is the case with most Mexicans), since Americans largely have turned it into a day to get drink tequila, and I don’t drink. I thought I would jump on the bandwagon this year (not the drinking bandwagon of course), and post a recipe apropos to the day. I have always liked enchiladas, and have always preferred the tang of a green sauce as opposed to the red sauce, which is how this recipe came to be.
2 cups of dried black beans, picked over, soaked for at least 4 hours, and drained
2 tablespoons oil
1 medium onion, diced
1 jalapeno, diced
2 garlic cloves
1 bay leaf
1 cup grated dairy-free cheese, divided
12 corn tortillas
Preheat oven to 425˚. Toss poblanos, tomatillos, jalapeños, garlic cloves, and onion with oil. Spread on baking sheet and cook for 15-20 minutes, flipping vegetables halfway through cooking. Take poblanos and put in a bowl and cover pool with lid or plastic wrap to cool (it makes it easier to peel the pepper). Remove stems from jalapeños (if you don't like heat, remove the seeds and ribs). Peel and remove stem and seeds of poblanos and place in food processor, along with the rest of the roasted veggies. Add lime juice, cumin, salt, honey, and cilantro. Pulse until combined, but still somewhat chunky. Set aside.
In a pressure cooker or pot, heat pan with oil over medium heat. Cook onion, and jalapeños until softened, about 8 minutes. Add garlic and cook for 1 more minute. Add bay leaf, beans, 1/2 tablespoon of salt and cover with water by at least an inch. Close pressure cooker and cook at high pressure for 8-10 minutes. Let pressure come down naturally (alternatively on the stove cook beans in covered pot for 1 to 1-1/2 hours). Drain, and stir in 1/2 cup of sauce and 1/2 cup of cheese. Taste for seasoning, add additional salt if needed.
Decrease oven 350˚. Place 3/4 cup of sauce on bottom of a 9x13 dish. Spray both sides of tortillas with cooking spray and put 6 tortillas on two separate cooking sheets. Put both sheets in the oven for 2-4 minutes to make the tortillas more pliable. Increase oven to 450˚. Take a tortilla and spread 1/3 cup of filling in the middle of the tortilla. Roll each tortilla tightly and place in baking dish, seam-side down. Top with remaining sauce and spread so each tortilla is covered. Top with remaining 1/2 cup of cheese and cover baking dish with foil.
Bake until heated through and the sauce is bubbly, about 20 minutes.
Both my grandmothers clipped recipes and subscribed to cooking magazines (usually the Taste of Home ones). Every Sunday my family would go and visit my grandparents, and more often than not I would spend my time looking through those magazines. One of the things I picked to keep of each of my grandmas after their passings was either a cookbook or a compilation of the Taste of Home magazines.
I don’t really subscribe to any magazines for recipes like my grandmothers, but I do have a lot of bookmarked websites that I like to visit regularly. One of those websites is Chef Chloe. As I was perusing through her recipes, I was intrigued by one for Sweet Potato Mac and Cheese and that inspired the following recipe.
2 pounds brown rice elbow macaroni or spirals (or just use one pound and freeze half of the sauce)
3 tablespoons olive oil (you need this amount for the roux to make the sauce)
1 medium onion, diced
1/3 cup sweet rice flour
1 garlic clove, minced
3/4 teaspoon dried thyme
1 cup mashed sweet potato
2-1/2 cups dairy-free milk (I used So Delicious unsweetened coconut milk)
2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon tamari (wheat-free soy sauce)
1/4 cup nutritional yeast
1 teaspoon white wine vinegar
Cook pasta according to package instructions, be sure have heavily salted the water.
Meanwhile, and the medium sauce pan heat oil over medium heat. Add onion and cook for 5 to 8 minutes until translucent. Sprinkle in thyme, and rice flour, and garlic. Cook for 2 to 3 minutes. Slowly whisk and dairy free milk. Add sweet potatoes, mustard, soy sauce, salt, and vinegar. Bring to boil whisking frequently. Reduce heat to simmer until sauce thickens. Transfer mixture to blender, and blend until smooth. Pour over pasta and stir to combine.
The recipe makes enough sauce for 2 pounds of pasta. Now I know that is a lot of pasta, so I typically do just 1 pound and use half the sauce, and freeze the rest for another night. You could just halve the sauce recipe, but I always find it ridiculous when a recipe calls for just half sweet potato, or half an onion. What am I supposed to do with the other half?
I have a few ‘cheese’ sauce recipes in my arsenal, but the thing that I like about this one is how light it tastes, and it is simple. The sauce actually freezes well which, of course, makes it even more simple.
I actually made this the other day for my parents. I had to give my niece piano lessons soon after it was done cooking, but I figured I would be able to have some and take a picture of it later. When I got done with piano lessons, however, this is what I found.
I guess they liked it.
According to my mom, my dad wasn’t too keen on having quinoa for dinner, but he ended up having 4 helpings (hence the empty skillet). Consequently, I had to make it again, but this time I took a picture immediately after it was done.
So I know that I have had a toasted quinoa dish before, but this one is a little different. This is one that uses ingredients that I always have on hand and that I would guess most people have in the pantry.
Put quinoa in a dry skillet over medium heat. Cook until quinoa smells toasty and begins popping (it should sound like a geiger counter found uranium). Once toasted, carefully pour water in, and stir in 1/2 teaspoon salt and dried basil. Bring to simmer, cover and cook for 15-20 minutes or until all the water is absorbed.
While quinoa is cooking, mix together vinaigrette. In a small bowl, whisk together oil, balsamic vinegar, honey, mustard, and salt. Once quinoa is done cooking, turn off heat and stir in vinaigrette, pecans, and peas. Serve warm, at room temperature, or chilled.