Vegan Tamales

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I am ill.

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That’s not a metaphor for anything, I’m just a big, pitiful, sick baby.

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I have not been sick since going vegan. I don’t share that to sound like the annoying vegan I aspire never to be, I share to give you a frame of reference. It’s been a long time, I simply don’t remember how to conduct myself.

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I woke up Saturday unable to breath and had a scratchy throat and a dizzy head. I convinced myself hot yoga would release the sickly toxins, and boy was I wrong. I spent the entire class in child’s pose trying not to puke on my neighbors. It was totally zen. Then, I proceeded to spend the entire day wrapped in two blankets and a hoodie, practically drooling on myself from all the mouth breathing I was forced to do. Garr was a doll baby, though. He did the grocery shopping all by himself, and despite buying the wrong oatmeal and off-brand everything, he managed to surprise me with pumpkins and mums and cheer me up slightly. He also expressed minimal complaints during my Gilmore Girls marathon and put on my socks for me when my feet got cold. Oh, and the soup. The man made me soup. Though, he did seriously ask, “Do you want it heated up or out of the can?” Like.

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Now I will retreat back to my hole, I’m dripping snot on the keyboard.

 

Time: 4 hours (prep + cooking) | Serves: 3-4 dozen

Ingredients:

  • 1 package of dried corn husks
  • 6 cups of masa harina
  • 1 tsp. of baking powder
  • 6 cups of water
  • 1 cup of olive oil
  • 2 cans of vegan refried beans
  • 1 yellow pepper, chopped in squares
  • 1 red pepper, chopped in squares
  • 1 orange pepper, chopped in squares
  • 1 green pepper, chopped in squares
  • 1 yellow onion, sliced thin
  • 1/4 cup of salsa, + more for serving
  • A couple of slices of vegan pepperjack
  • S+P, to taste
  • Avocado, for serving
  • Cilantro, for serving

How to:

  • Preheat oven to 400
  • Arrange peppers + onion in an even layer on a couple of lined baking sheets
  • Drizzle evenly with 1/4 cup of olive oil + sprinkle with S+P, roast 20-25 minutes, tossing once
  • Place your husks in a large pot + cover with warm water, soak for 30 minutes, moving them around a lil about 15 minutes in
  • In a large bowl or stand mixer, combine masa harina + baking powder + 2 tsp. of salt, combine well
  • Add 3/4 cup of the olive oil, + mix on low with your stand mixer or hand mixer
  • Gradually add water, continue mixing on low until all water is added
  • Turn up to medium, beat for 10 minutes
  • Once you have a fluffy mixture, cover with a wet paper towel until you’re ready to use
  • Once your peppers + onion are done, add to a bowl + combine with salsa
  • To prepare, lay out a husk
  • Using a lil cookie scoop, add a lil masa to the center + spread into a thin rectangle, length-wise, in the middle of the husk
  • Add a lil scoop of beans + peppers to the middle of the masa + top with a lil corner of cheese – you don’t need much
  • Fold the husk in half vertically, so the masa covers all of the filling – this is tricky, took me few tries
  • Now wrap it like a lil burrito + fold one end in + wrap it in a bow with a lil piece of husk or cooking string, you can leave one end of the tamale unfolded or fold & try to wrap it all up – again, it can be tough, I am no master
  • Repeat with ALL them lil guys
  • Add water to the bottom of a large stock pot + top with a strainer
  • Add a handful of tamales – about a dozen or so at a time – to the strainer + steam for about 35 minutes, repeat with the remaining tamales
  • Serve a few warm with salsa + avocado + cilantro, freeze the rest – you’ll have tamales foreverrrrrr
  • Put a tamale in each hand + sing, “I got tamales, I got tamales, I got tamales, hey, hey, hey, hey”

 

Recipe + method from here!

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Barley + Brussels Bowls

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I don’t consider myself super vain.

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Just, like, a normal amount of vain.

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So this afternoon, when I discovered a glistening gray hair atop my head, my meltdown was only like an 8/10.

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I’m only 27, I have barely even lived! I simply don’t have the required wisdom to rock the salt and pepper look. I only recently came to grips with the mousy brown ‘do I’ve sported my entire life, it’s too soon for a change! I’m always in awe of women who rock their gray – they are always so gorgeous and confident and I idealize them. I want to be them one day. That day is just not today. I’m also not really interested in dying my hair. Can I dye a single strand? It legit looks like a silver Christmas tassle dangling from my noggin. I just don’t know what could have caused this. My diet and exercise haven’t changed and I have been in a perpetual state of crippling anxiety for 10 years now, so I can’t blame it on an increase in stress. Perhaps it’s time I come to grips with my mortality and embrace my old age.

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Specifically, I look most forward to finally receiving the early bird specials at my favorite chain restaurants.

 

 

Time: 1 hour (prep + cooking) | Serves: 3-4

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup of barley
  • 1 lb. of brussels sprouts, trimmed + halved
  • 1 honey crisp apple, peeled + cut in small chunks
  • 2 shallots, sliced thin
  • 1 cup of edamame, cooked
  • 1/4 cup of pumpkin seeds, toasted
  • 1/4 cup of dried cranberries
  • 1 tbsp. of agave
  • 1 tsp. of smoked paprika
  • 1/4 cup of balsamic vinegar
  • S+P, to taste
  • 2 tbsp. of olive oil

How to:

  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees
  • Cook barley according to package directions
  • Arrange brussels sprouts on a lined baking sheet + drizzle with 1 tbsp. of olive oil + sprinkle with S+P, bake for 15 minutes, remove from oven, toss with agave + bake another 10 minutes
  • Arrange apple + shallots on another lined baking sheet + drizzle with remaining olive oil + smoked paprika + S+P, bake 15 minutes, tossing once in the middle
  • Meanwhile, reduce vinegar in a lil sauce pan
  • To serve, combine barley + brussels + apples + shallots + edamame + pumpkin seeds + cranberries + stir with balsamic vinegar
  • Serve warm or room temp
  • Put baggiest sweater on + swaddle self in scarf, pour mug of hot tea + sit by a roaring fire with your sweetie, tossing brussels into one another’s pie holes

Grilled Veggie Clubs

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I am equal parts intrigued and wigged out by these DNA tests we all keep doing.

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Like, I spit in a tube and you all found 83 people that could be my third cousins. I’m just not understanding how this is possible.

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What does one use as an opening line to someone that may or not be related to you based on saliva compatibility alone?

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It is pretty interesting to finally know from where my peeps hail. No surprising results. I’m mostly English with some French and Norwegian mixed in. A splash of Irish/Scottish with even less German. However, I’m really holding tight to my 2% Greek and 1% Middle Eastern. Like, I will absolutely be claiming those. The best is I legit grew up thinking I was like 75% Italian and have told everyone that’s my background for as long as I can remember. Nope nada, can’t even fake it up in a Carrabba’s Italian Grill (no hate, their spaghetti is dope).

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Now I need to know – what do they do with my spit once they’re done testing it?¿

 

Time: 1 hour (prep + cooking) | Serves: 4 sammies

Ingredients:

  • 1 eggplant, peeled + sliced thin into rounds
  • 1 zucchini, sliced length-wise, thin
  • 1 squash, sliced length-wise, thin
  • 1 english cucumber, sliced thin
  • 1-2 roma tomatoes, sliced thin
  • 1 red pepper, roasted or 1/2 cup of store-bought roasted red peppers
  • 1 avocado, sliced thin
  • 1 cup of spinach
  • 12 slices of toasted bread (ezekiel bread used here)
  • 1/4 cup stone-ground mustard
  • 1/2 cup of hummus
  • S+P, to taste

How to:

  • Salt your eggplant rounds + place in a strainer, let water release for about 20-25 minutes, pat dry
  • Heat your grill or grill pan over medium heat + spray with cooking spray
  • Sprinkle eggplant + zucchini + squash with S+P, grill for 3-4 minutes on each side, flipping once
  • To assemble, spread some hummus on a slice of bread + top with a slice of eggplant + some zucchini + some squash + roasted red peppers
  • Spread mustard on both sides of another piece of bread + place on top
  • Add cucumbers + tomato + avocado + spinach
  • Spread some hummus on another slice of bread + place that on top, hummus down
  • Repeat with remaining sammies
  • Stick some toothpicks in the four corners of the sammies
  • Cut diagonally into fourths, making sure a toothpick remains in each fourth
  • Serve room temp or warm
  • Unhinge jaw + wrap mouth around this bad boy + enjoy all the crunchy fresh goodness that is about to happen up in there