Tamales (Gf, V)

Ingredients:

  • 10 – 15 corn husks + 2 – 3 extra for ties
  • Warm water
  • 8 oz (230g) masa harina flour
  • 0.25 cup oil
  • 0.5 t salt
  • 0.5 t baking powder
  • 0.5 t baking soda
  • 1 – 1.5 cups + 1T water
  • 1 – 2 T lime/lemon juice (optional)
  • Filling of choice – some good options are beans, sweet potato, tofu, or TVP
  • Spices – the spices and flavors you choose should be a good combination that goes with your filling of choice. Make sure that your filling is very flavorful because that is what makes this dish tasty.

Special tools:

  • Large pan/bowl that fits the corn husks
  • Bamboo or metal steamer

Steps:

  1. In a large pan or bowl, soak your corn husks in warm water for 20 – 30 minutes, or until foldable and soft. Make sure that the water is covering all parts of the husks.
  2. Meanwhile, mix together the masa, oil, lemon/lime juice, and salt.
  3. In a separate bowl, mix the baking powder, baking soda, and 1T water.
  4. Pour baking soda/powder mixture into the masa.
  5. Slowly mix in about 1 – 1.5 cups water until the dough becomes a spreadable consistency, slightly resembling hummus.
  6. Cook your filling. Make sure that it is either mashed or in very small pieces so that it works in your tamales.
  7. Add desired spices/flavors to your filling. Make sure you add enough for it to flavor your whole tamale.
  8. After your corn husks have soaked for 20 – 30 minutes, drain the water and dry individual husks thoroughly.
  9. Place 2 – 3 T of the masa mixture onto the top (widest part) of the corn husk. Spread in a thin layer, leaving 2 – 3 in (5 – 7 cm) space, uncovered.
  10. Place a line of your filling in the center of the tamale, facing from the top to bottom.
  11. To fold, bring the left side of the husk and fold it over the filling, making sure that it stays. Next, bring the right side over the left to form a cylindrical roll. After that, fold up the bottom part (where there is no masa/filling) up onto the top. Rip a 1/2 in (1.5 cm) piece of husk, lengthways, and tie around the middle of tamale, holding the flap from the bottom together with the top.
  12. Repeat steps 9 – 11 will all corn husks, or until you run out of filling or masa.
  13. Once all tamales have been rolled, set up your steamer. Depending on how your steamer is made, your tamales may be laying down, but it would be better if they were standing up, so the filling does not spill out.
  14. Boil 3 – 4 in (8 – 10 cm) of water at the bottom of your steamer.
  15. Once the water has come to a rolling boil, place tamales in the steamer basket. Make sure that the water is not touching the bottom of the tamales in any way.
  16. Cook tamales for 1 hour, making sure that the water does not boil off, and the pan becomes dry. This can become a fire hazard, so watch it carefully.
  17. After the hour of cooking, carefully remove tamales from the steamer, being careful of the hot pan and steam. Let cool for 15 – 20 minutes before serving.

Chocolatey Christmas Balls (Gf, V)

Ingredients:

  • 6 oz baking chocolate
  • 1/2 cup + 2 – 3 T white sugar
  • 3 T maple syrup
  • 1/3 cup water/rum/coffee
  • 7 1/4 oz vanila wafers
  • 1 cup walnuts/pecans/shredded coconut

Special tools:

  • Double boiler or pot with heat safe bowl
  • Food processor or plastic bag w/ rolling pin or heavy pan

Steps:

  1. Melt chocolate in a double boiler or pot with a heat safe bowl.
  2. Once melted, stir in 1/2 cup sugar. Continue to stir over double boiler until sugar is melted and combined. The chocolate may look seized at this point, but that is not a problem.
  3. Stir in water/rum and maple syrup into chocolate mixture. Cook down for 1 – 2 minutes.
  4. In a food processor or plastic bag, crush up vanilla wafers. If using a plastic bag, place in bag and seal tightly and hit with a heavy pan or rolling pin until crushed. If using a food processor, pulse in intervals of 5 sec until turned into crumbs.
  5. If using nuts, crush/grind into small pieces. Measure out 1 cup. If using shredded coconut, just measure out 1 cup.
  6. Mix together nuts/coconut and crushed vanilla wafers.
  7. Stir together chocolate mixture into the dry crumbs. If the mixture is too wet, add 2 – 3 T more of crushed vanilla wafers.
  8. Shape into 1-inch balls and roll in extra sugar.
  9. Store in airtight container with parchment paper separating layers for 1 – 2 weeks before serving.

Vegetable Dumplings (Gf, V)

Ingredients:

Filling

  • 2-3 T oil
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 1/2 in cube ginger
  • 1 medium sized onion
  • 1 brick tofu
  • 3 – 4 cup cabbage
  • 2 cup mushrooms
  • 2 – 3 carrots
  • Soy sauce/tamari/coco aminos

Dough

  • 2 cup all purpose flour or sub 1 1/2 cup rice flour & 1/2 cup tapioca/potato starch if gluten free
  • 3/4 cup hot water – if making gf version, you may need 2 – 3 T more water
  • Pinch of salt

Sauce

  • 1/3 cup soy sauce/tamari/coco aminos
  • 2 T rice vinegar
  • 1 – 2 T sesame oil
  • 1 – 2 t gochujang paste

Special tools:

  • Large dutch oven or heavy-bottomed pot

Steps:

Dough

  1. In a bowl, combine flour(s) and salt.
  2. Add in hot water and stir until combined.
  3. Knead dough, adding more flour or water if necessary, until smooth. About 5 – 10 minutes.
  4. Divide dough in two and let rest at room temperature, covered, for at least 20 – 30 minutes. While dough is resting, make filling.

Filling

  1. Chop garlic, ginger, and onion to desired size.
  2. In a pan, heat oil. Add in chopped garlic, ginger, and onion.
  3. Let cook until onions are transparent and aromatic.
  4. Chop tofu, cabbage, mushrooms, and carrots into small pieces, small enough to fit into small dumplings.
  5. Add tofu to aromatics in pan. Let cook until all water is cooked off from tofu.
  6. Next add in carrots and mushrooms. Cook for 1 – 2 minutes, or until slightly tender.
  7. Add in cabbage and cook until slightly wilted.
  8. Lightly pour desired soy/tamari/coco aminos to flavor filling. Let cook 1 – 2 minutes more to evaporate moisture.

Filling and cooking

  1. Divide rested dough into 32 even pieces, or 16 per half. It helps to weigh the dough and then divide by amount of pieces and use a scale to divide.
  2. Roll out each piece of dough to a very thin circle, about 4 inches across.
  3. Place a spoon of filling into each rolled out dough.
  4. Wet one side of the circle. Fold and pleat in desired way.
  5. Continue with all 32 dumplings.
  6. If steaming dumplings, line a steamer with cabbage leaves or parchment paper. Put over boiling water in a fry-pan. Steam for 8 – 10 minutes, or until fully cooked.
  7. If boiling, fill a sauce pan 3/4 full with water. Bring to rolling boil. Place dumplings in a single layer in water. Cook until the float, and then another 2 – 3 minutes.
  8. If pan-frying, heat a frying pan with additional 1 – 2 T oil. Place dumplings in and cook until crispy on all sides.

Sauce

  1. Combine all sauce ingredients until well mixed. Serve dumplings with this or a different sauce.

Veggie Loaded Chili (Gf, V)

Ingredients:

  • 1 medium-sized onion, diced small
  • 2 carrots, diced
  • 2 ribs celery, diced
  • 2 – 3 T olive oil
  • 2 cups other diced veggies of choice – any yummy veggie works like zucchini, summer/winter squash, sweet potato, parsnips, more carrots or peppers
  • 4-6 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 t salt, divided
  • 3 T chili powder
  • 1 T cumin
  • 2 t coriander
  • 1/4 t chipotle powder (or sub 1 t smoked paprika)
  • 2 t dried oregano
  • 3 1/2 cups (2 cans) diced tomatoes (canned or fresh)
  • 4 1/2 cups (3 cans) assorted beans of choice
  • 1/4 cup water
  • Optional 2 – 3 t soy sauce, GF liquid aminos, or miso paste

Special tools:

  • Large dutch oven or heavy-bottomed pot

Steps:

  1. Dice onion, carrots, and celery into desired size.
  2. Place in large dutch oven or heavy-bottomed pan with olive oil. Cook over medium heat.
  3. Chop the rest of your veggies of choice. Add in veggies and chopped garlic to pot. Add in 1/2 t salt and cook for about 15 minutes or until veggies are tender, stirring occasionally.
  4. While veggies are cooking, gather your spices, rinse and drain your beans, and if using fresh tomatoes, dice and save the juices.
  5. Once veggies are tender, add in all spices – chili powder, cumin, coriander, oregano, and chipotle powder/paprika.
  6. Toast spices with veggies for 1 – 2 minutes to bring out flavors.
  7. Add in tomatoes (with juices), water, beans, and remaining 1/2 t salt.
  8. Cover with a lid and simmer on low heat for about 15 minutes.
  9. Serve with optional toppings.

Pizza dough (Gf, V)

This recipe makes about 2 thick or 4 thin pizza crusts.

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 cups warm water – hottest tap water settings works great for me
  • 1 packet or 2 1/2 tsp active dry yeast
  • 2 T sugar
  • 4 1/2 cups bread flour (or white flour if necessary but the dough will not be as good)
  • 2 T oil
  • 1 tsp salt
  • Toppings and sauces of choice

Special tools:

  • Pizza cooking method and device

Steps:

  1. Mix together water, sugar, and yeast. Let sit for 10 minutes to activate.
  2. In a bowl, add flour, salt, and oil.
  3. After 10 minutes, stir yeast mixture well.
  4. Add yeast mixture into dry ingredients. Mix well.
  5. Knead for 5 – 10 minutes to activate the gluten.
  6. Let rise in a warm place for 1 – 3 hours, or until doubled in size. If it is cold in your house, you can turn on the oven for 30 seconds to get slightly warm and then turn it off and place dough in there for proofing time.
  7. After dough has risen, preheat oven to 400 f and divide dough in half if you want thick crust or four if you want thin crusts.
  8. Roll out into circles of desired size.
  9. Place desired toppings and sauces.
  10. Bake until crust is crisp and toppings warm, about 15 – 25 minutes, depending on how cooked you like your pizza.

Classic Cashew Pulao (Gf, V)

Ingredients:

  • 2 1/2 cups veggie broth or bouillon broth
  • Pinch of saffron threads
  • 2 – 3 T oil
  • 1 medium onion – chopped
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 4 – 6 cardamom pods
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 1/3 cup white or basmati rice
  • 1/2 – 2/3 cup cashews
  • Optional 1/3 cup golden raisins

Special tools:

  • 2 cup pyrex measuring cup
  • Large sauce pan or pot

Steps:

  1. Mix together veggie broth and saffron. Set aside until needed.
  2. Heat oil, onion, and garlic in a large saucepan or pot for about 5 minutes.
  3. Stir in the cinnamon stick, cardamoms and, and bay leaf. Let cook for 2 – 3 minutes.
  4. Rinse rice until the water going through is clear. Add to the pan, and cook, stirring, for 2 – 4 more minutes.
  5. Pour in veggie broth and bring to a boil.
  6. Give it a stir and lower the heat.
  7. Cook, covered, until rice is tender and no liquid is apparent, about 10 – 20 minutes.
  8. Meanwhile, in a small frypan or wok, heat 1 – 2 t oil.
  9. Brown cashews until toasty and slightly browned.
  10. Mix in cashews and optional golden raisins with cooked rice.
  11. Serve with optional naan bread.

Sugar Free Brownies (Gf, V)

Ingredients:

  • 2 ripe bananas, mashed
  • 1/3 cup nut/seed butter
  • 1/4 cup syrup (or sugar-free syrup)
  • 2/3 cup plant-based milk
  • 1 cup flour (can be gluten free)
  • 1/2 cup cocoa powder
  • 3/4 t baking soda
  • 1/8 t salt
  • Chocolate chips (optional)

Cooking directions:

350 f for 20 – 25 min

Special tools:

  • 9×9 pyrex container

Steps:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 f and grease a 9×9 pan.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together the bananas, nut/seed butter, milk, and maple syrup.
  3. Gently fold in all remaining ingredients until combined.
  4. Pour batter into the pan and bake for 20 – 25 minutes, or until the center is firm.

German Potato Salad (Gf, V)

Ingredients:

  • 2 lbs potatoes
  • 1/2 medium-sized onion or 1 small onion
  • 2/3 cup veggie stock or broth
  • 1 T vinegar
  • 1 T mustard
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Special tools:

  • Pot
  • Saucepan
  • Whisk or wooden spoon

Steps:

  1. Scrub and wash your potatoes. If you desire, you can peel them but it is not necessary.
  2. Cut potatoes into even 1/4s.
  3. Place into a pot with water just covering them. Bring to a boil.
  4. Once water is boiling, let cook for about 10 minutes or until tender.
  5. Drain carefully and let cool.
  6. In a large saucepan, add in onion, veggie stock, vinegar, mustard, salt, and pepper.
  7. Give it a stir with a whisk or spoon and cover and bring to a boil.
  8. Remove lid and cook down for about 5 move minutes.
  9. Cut potatoes into bite-sized pieces.
  10. Mix the sauce and cut up potatoes into a serving bowl.
  11. This dish is usually served at room temperature but it is yummy cold and warm as well.

Pupusas (Gf, V)

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups masa harina flour
  • 1 lime, juiced and zested
  • 1 – 1.5 cups water
  • Fillings of choice – traditionally beans with spices but any protein-rich fillings are great

Steps:

  1. Mix together the masa harina flour, lime juice and zest, and 1 cup water.
  2. If the dough is too dry or too wet, add in water or flour.
  3. Let the dough sit at room temperature for 15 – 20 minutes.
  4. While the dough is resting, prepare any fillings of your choice.
  5. Take about a 2 T ball of dough and roll into a ball. Flatten the ball in your hand to about 1 cm thick. Place about 1 – 2 t of filling in the middle of the flattened ball. Roll in the edges of the dough to incase the filling. Place on a baking sheet or other flat surface. Flatten the filled ball into about a 1/2 – 1 inch thick disk.
  6. Repeat process until all of your dough is used up.
  7. Now, you can either cook and eat the pupusas now, or freeze them for later use.
  8. If you are going to cook them now, heat up a cast iron pan with a small amount of oil.
  9. Place one pupusa in the pan and cook until golden brown. Flip over and cook until both sides are slightly crispy.
  10. Oil the pan in between pupusas and repeat until all pupusas are cooked.
  11. If you are going to freeze them for later use, spread out all pupusas on a baking sheet so that each individual pupusa is not touching anything else.
  12. Freeze until hard, about 10 hours, or overnight. You can then combine all pupusas into a bag or container and freeze until you plan to use them.
  13. To cook a frozen pupusa, follow directions as listed above. You may need to cover the cooking pupusa to warm up the center faster. These are great for quick lunches or preparing for a super simple dinner.

Idli (Gf, V)

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup urad dal
  • 1 cup idli rava (or idli rice)
  • 1/2 t non-iodized salt
  • 3/4 – 1 cup chilled water

Special tools:

  • Idli plates(like these) or stainless steel measuring cups
  • Steamer
  • 2 non-metal mixing bowls
  • Blender or food processer

Steps:

  1. Rinse and soak the idli rava and urad dal in separate non-metal bowls. Have at least 2 – 3 inches of water above the top of each bowl.
  2. Let soak for at least 6 – 8 hours.
  3. After 6 hours, drain and rinse both idli rava and urad dal.
  4. Add soaked urad dal and 3/4 cup water to a blender or food processor. Blend until smooth. If you need to add more water, do so.
  5. Add in soaked idli rava and salt. Blend just until combined.
  6. Set the idli batter aside in a warm place for at least 12 – 14 hours but can go longer. You may want to put a pie dish or something to catch any overflow just in case. The batter will ferment and should get thicker and smooth. If you start the batter in the evening, you can let it ferment overnight and continue on the next step just before dinner the evening after.
  7. Do not cover the batter while fermenting but you can put it in the oven turned off to keep it away from any bugs or dirt.
  8. After the fermentation process is over, prepare to cook the idli.
  9. Boil water in the bottom of the steamer basket.
  10. Lightly grease your idli plates or stainless steel measuring cups. Give the batter a light stir and fill the plates about 3/4 of the way full. The batter will rise so you do not want the cups to overflow.
  11. When the water begins to boil, place the filled idly stand and plates or measuring cups in the steamer. If you are using measuring cups, make sure the cups are sitting flat and not on an angle. Cover and steam for 10 minutes. Turn off the stove and leave the lid on for 2 minutes to gently lower the heat. after 2 minutes, carefully take the idli out of the steamer. It may be very hot to touch so you may want to be careful.
  12. Continue the process until all idli have been cooked.