Vegan Tamales

Notice how I use avocado in place of lard or oil (see recipe below).

Here we are assembling my bro’s tamales… delicious fancy stuffing!

Here’s my own simple vegan oilfree recipe!



– masa flour
– red enchilada sauce
– saltfree veggie broth
– avocado

– tomato
– squash
– potato
– onions
– garlic
– saltfree veggie broth
– tomato-based salsa
– cooked pinto beans
– cooked brown rice


Soak dry corn husks in water to soften them. We will use them to encase the tamales while steaming them. (If husks are unavailable try using parchment baking paper.)

FILLING: (set these aside after preparation)
* Saute onions, garlic, tomato, squash (I used yellow & green), corn, cubed potato (may need to pre-bake potatoes a bit) in the following liquid – veggie broth, tomato salsa & a bit of water.
* Cooked/canned pinto or black beans (no added oil)
* Brown rice (I add some salsa while cooking)

Combine corn flour (masa harina, it’s basically corn flour treated with lime), enchilada sauce (I just use canned version, red or green), saltfree veggie broth, fresh avocado & water (as needed) to form a soft peanutbutter-like consistency.

Now spread this buttery dough on husks with the back of a spoon, place small amount of filling on top, then wrap like a burrito. (Check out this youtube masa spreading video demo that I found online.)

And here’s zippity-quick video showing us how to fold tamales in their corn husks. (Very similar to my method, but instead of using string I simply fold the top down.)

Now steam over water, not *in* water (on stove top pot w/ steam basket, or double boiler, or pressure cooker) for aproximately 2 hours. (In pressure cooker I set to “steam”, close the vent & go for approximately 1.5 hrs)

And don’t forget to remove husks when you eat them!

If all fails… book a flight to Mexico!

Very Veggie-ghetti!

There are many ways to prepare a thick ragu style vegan pasta sauce.

It is oil-free because I sautée the veggies in balsamic vinegar, or red wine, or just water.

The thickness comes from adding a grain or two (like quinoa, amaranth, barley, etc).

Sometimes I might also add a little small pea or beans for extra protein (split peas, lentils, etc) or  edamame (soybeans) or rice.

Here is one quick & easy preparation. Use your imagination to come up with your own variations.

Water sautée the following

  • 99 Cent Store frozen Pepper/Onion Stirfry

  • Whole Foods Engine 2 Fiesta Blend (frozen brown rice, black beans, peppers, onions, corn)

  • Trader Joe’s Chopped Veggie Mix

  • Sweet Kale  Vegetable Salad 

  • Costco frozen Organic Quinoa & Kale

  • and/or a few handfuls of Costco dry goods Ancient Grains (quinoa, amaranth, millet)

  • add jar of oil-free sauce (Prego LightSmart)

Simmer until grains are soft & serve over high fiber pasta

& sprinkle top w/ nutritional yeast (as parmesan)

And plate it up!


These are easy-peasy & taste  absolutely awesome! Each bite is a burst of summer sunshine in these cold winter months!






Brown Jazmine rice (cooked)
Quinoa (cooked)
Kale (cooked)
Rolled Oats (uncooked)
BBQ sauce (fat free)
(Note: Costco sells frozen cooked quinoa-kale for a quick meal)

* Combine rice, quinoa, kale in bowl & mix well.
* Add some dry oats & bbq sauce to acquire thick, pasty consistency
* Press mixture into burger molds & place molds in freezer for an hour.
* Remove patties from molds and grill.
* Store extra patties in sealed freezer bags.

Pozole (Hominy) Soup

Winter cometh! Let’s warm up the kitchen & our bellies with a lowfat, oil-free, plant based hominy soup.


3 ounces Soy Curls (dehydrated soy bean pods, available on Amazon)
2 medium diced red potatoes
2 medium diced carrots
1/2 small diced white onion
2 celery stalks, diced
4 garlic cloves, pressed
14.5 oz. can fire roasted crushed tomatoes plus the juice
15 oz. can hominy, drained and rinsed
3 C water
1 14 ounce can of vegan soup stock
1 T chili powder
1 T cumin
1 T cayenne
1 t oregano
Juice of 2 lemons
Chopped cilantro & onion, reserved for garnish

(For my batch I doubled this recipe)

* Soak soy curls in water to rehydrate.


* Water sauté pressed garlic & chopped onion, until translucent, in soup pot.


* Add cubed potatoes, carrots and celery, & sauté for 2 minutes.





* Add the can of tomatoes and its juice, drained hominy and spices.



* Stir to mix well.
* drain the soaking soy curls & shred with couple of quick, short pulses in blender.
* Add broth, water and the soy curls to the soup pot.


* Add juice of lemons.
* Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to low, cover & simmer for 45 minutes.
* Serve, garnished w/ chopped cilantro & raw chopped onions.
* Makes 6 servings, delicioso!


This is a variation of Chow Vegan’s recipe for vegan menudo:



2 t apple cider vinegar
2 c almond milk
1 1/2 c yellow cornmeal
1 c unbleached XL-flour
2 t baking soda
1 t XL-salt
3 T XL-sugar
1/3 c unsweetened apple sauce
1 T mashed XL-avocado
1/4 c frozen or fresh corn kernels

Preheat your oven to 400° F.

Combine vinegar, almond milk, apple sauce, avocado.

In separate bowl combine cornmeal, flour, baking soda, salt, sugar, corn kernels.

Combine wet and dry ingredients into one bowl and mix well.

Bake in lined, or nonstick baking dish for 50 minutes, or until cornbread passes clean knife test.

Cool & serve.

Cmmt: XL indicates uncommon extravagantly luscious foods

The Great Facon Cook-Off!

This morning I made three varieties of facon (fake bacon):


Up top is fresh young coconut!
On left is shredded coconut!
On right is Soy Curls (dehydrated whole soybeans)!

For each just marinate in concoction of TAMARI, LIQUID SMOKE, PURE MAPLE SYRUP.

Then drain & bake at 400 degrees (turning often) until crispy. I actually pan fried the marinated Soy Curls.

They all had a unique texture & tasted great! Dryest leftovers store well in sealed refrigerator container several days

Results: I preferred Soy Curls, but family winner is shredded coconut!

Any of these varieties taste great along side vegan pancakes, in sandwiches, on vegan pizza, crumbled on oatmeal, in green salad, potato salad, pasta salad… even crumbled on dessert. Give it a try!

BBQ Pulled Porky-Pods


INGREDIENTS: (I buy curls on Amazon!)
1/8 package Butler Soy Curls (less than 3/4 C containing approx 4.5 g fat)
Barbecue sauce thinned w/ water

Soak dry Soy Curls
in water for 10 mins to rehydrate
Pulse in blender to shred
Add BBQ sauce
Warm & serve
This recipe made enough steamy Pulled Porky-Pods to ladle over two potatoes & top with my nacho cheez sauce. Soy Curls (available on Amazon) are simply boiled organic soybeans in the pod that have been dehydrated. What a magnificently easy recipe!


How are Soy Curls™ made?

“Our soybeans are grown in the USA on a family farm, certified Non-GMO and grown without chemical pesticides.

We soak the beans in spring water (no chlorine). Then the beans are stirred while being cooked. Soy Curls™ are dried at low temperature thus ensuring the natural goodness of the whole soybean high in fiber and omega-3. Soy Curls™ are one of the most pure, healthful products on the market containing no chemicals, additives, or preservatives.”

The Great Vegan Pizza Cook-off!

This cook-off is inspired by Mark Sutton of Heart Healthy Pizza . I just love this guy! 🙂

Raw doughs (displayed in this order: cauliflower/wheat/oat)
Topped & ready for oven:
Fresh out of oven:
SAUCE (veggies pre water-sauteed)

  • broccoli
  • carrots
  • green cabbage
  • red cabbage
  • bell pepper
  • radish
  • celery
  • sweet peppers
  • scallions
  • kale
  • tomato
  • tomato/pasta sauce
  • garlic & Italian seasonings


  • mushrooms
  • olives
  • avocado
  • nacho cheez sauce
  • vegan shredded soy cheez on half of wheat crust only

(Preheat oven to 450 degrees)

Oat Flour Crust

    • 1 c oat flour (may grind uncooked rolled oats)
    • 2/3 c warm water
    • 2 dates
    • 1 t yeast
    • 1 t ground flax seeds
    • 1 t Italian seasoning
    • 1/4 T salt

(add little water or flour to adjust consistency when kneading)

In food processor combine water, dates, yeast, ground flax, seasoning, oat flour.
Pulse to knead.
Hand press onto parchment lined baking sheet.
Put toppings on pizza.
Bake 450 degrees until browning begins (+/- 20 min)

Wheat (whole + unbleached) Crust

  • 1/2 c warm water
  • 1 t date sugar
  • 1 t yeast (half package)
  • 1/2 t salt
  • 1/2 c whole wheat
  • 3/4 c bread flour
  • 2 t ground flax seeds

Add water, sweetener, yeast & let stand 10 min
Add remaining dry ingredients
Kneed 10 min, cover & let rise 1 hr
Punch down & let stand 45 min
Roll dough on parchment covered baking sheet
Add toppings
Bake 450 degrees for approx 20 minutes

Cauliflower Crust (epic failure for me!)

  • 1 medium head cauliflower
  • 3 T corn starch
  • 4 T cold water
  • 1/2 c oat flour
  • 1/2 t garlic powder
  • 1 t Italian seasoning

Cook, drain, cool, squeeze tightly dry in cheese cloth the cauliflower
Combine water & cornstarch & set aside to thicken
Combine all ingredients into wet dough, mashing cauliflower
Press onto oat flour dusted parchment paper
Bake 450 degrees 30 min
Flip & bake about 20 min
Add toppings & bake additional 10+ min


Oat Flour Crust!! It was delicioso… like eating a wonderfully savory oatmeal crispy cookie! The Wheat Crust came in at a very strong second, but the Cauliflower Crust never fully crisped up. Soggy bottom dough! When I experiment some more and fix the recipe I’ll repost.

What a fun afternoon! 🙂


Nacho Cheez Sauce

Nacho Cheez Sauce




1 medium head steamed cauliflower
1 roasted red bell pepper
1 c cooked white beans
1/2 c uncooked oatmeal
2 T nutritional yeast
1/4 c apple cider vinegar
1 t garlic powder
Himalayan black salt (Indian Kala Namak) to taste
1 t smoked paprika
1 lemon’s juice
1/4(+/-) cup almond milk


Steam cauliflower to soften & drain
Cook white beans, rinse & drain
Roast red pepper
Blend all ingredients (except milk) until smooth
Add almond milk to reach desired consistency

The high sulphur taste of Kala Namak is the kicker in this amazingly simple & nutritious, very low fat, nut-free recipe. Go light on the salt & enjoy its guilt-free decadent flavor!