This is the perfect little nibble to stave off I-don’t-think-I -can-wait-any-longer pre-Thanksgiving Feast hunger pains!
I recently created this dip or spread and love serving it as a “shooter” with tiny little spoons a friend brought me back from a trip to India. But any small spoon will do–or mini-spreader with a side of crostini. My serving secret? My “glasses” are actually votive holders!
Food just doesn’t get much more delectably fall-like than this simple spread, so it is perfect for Thanksgiving. You really can taste the contribution of each autumnal ingredient: fresh(!) pumpkin, pecans, white beans and sage. Be sure to cook the pumpkin ahead of time so it’s cooled and ready to go when you are. (See my easy microwave directions below.)
Bind it all together with your favorite vegan creaminess–sour cream, mayo, or unflavored cashew cream–and you have a fabulously flexible shooter, dip for raw veggies or crackers, spread for a bagel, or even a filling for non-traditional quesadillas, stuffed peppers, etc.
(Where’s Minnie? Can anyone spot our female brindle Dane who is never far away when food is out?)
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 cup pecan pieces
1 cup diced onion
2 large cloves garlic minced
2 tablespoon dry rubbed sage
2 cans white beans, rinsed and drained
1 cup diced cooked fresh pumpkin (see super simple microwave directions below)
4 to 5 tablespoons vegan sour cream, mayo, or cashew cream
Accompaniments: raw vegetable strips or slices or crackers
Heat olive oil in a large cast iron skillet over medium-high. Add pecans and a pinch of salt, and toast, stirring continually, for a couple of minutes. Add onion and a pinch more salt, and continue sauteing and stirring for 2 to 3 minutes. Add garlic and sage and continue for another minute. Stir in beans, pumpkin and vegan sour cream or mayo and heat through, stirring continually. Serve warm with the accompaniment of your choice.
How to Microwave a Fresh Pumpkin (The Time-Pressed Woman’s Way)
1-2 pound pumpkin
Wash your pumpkin, pierce several times all-over with a sharp knife, place on a microwave-safe dish, and microwave on high for about 7 -10 minutes. Check for tenderness, by piercing with a knife. It if goes in easily, the pumpkin is ready. Allow to cool, then slip off the skin, ct in half, and remove seeds and pulp. If you prefer, you can halve and deseed the pumpkin first, but I find it puts up more resistance that way.
Yield: 6 servings
This Indian stew-like melange is so flavorful and satisfying that it is absolutely divine on its own, perhaps served with basmati rice, some cashews and maybe a little fresh cilantro. However, I can attest to it being luscious eaten cold right out of a carton!
For an exquisite–but super-easy presentation–use it as the filling in my Sweet Potato Stack. Though drizzling an Indian dish with maple syrup may seem out of character, there is something about the hint of maple combined with the other ingredients that is absolute autumnal perfection!
Maharaja Mung Beans and Kale :
6 cups water
2 cups mung beans (rinse, pick over, bring to a boil, let sit for 30 minutes and then simmer 45 minutes more)
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 small onion, diced
1 bunch kale, thick stems removed, and leaves torn into bite size pieces
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
1 teaspoon turmeric
1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom
1/2 teaspoon curry powder
1/2 teaspoon Amchur (dried mango) powder (optional; you may substitute lemon zest, but it’s not quite the same)
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves (or mace)
1 tablespoon coriander seeds
1 teaspoon mustard seeds
2 large Roma tomatoes, diced
1/4 cup thick coconut milk
In a covered 4-quart saucepan, bring water and salt to simmering over medium-high heat. Add mung beans, turn off heat, let sit for 30 minutes, and then return heat to medium-high, place lid ajar, and simmer beans for about 45 minutes or until almost all of liquid is evaporated, but beans are still very moist.
Meanwhile, heat olive oil in large cast iron skillet over medium-high. Add onion and a pinch of salt and saute, stirring frequently, for about 2 minutes. Add kale by handfuls, stirring and sauteeing until slightly wilted before adding the next handful. Stir in garlic and all remaining ingredients except tomatoes and coconut milk and saute, stirring, until heated through. Stir this mixture thoroughly into the mung beans followed by tomatoes and coconut milk. Heat through, stirring often, and serve immediately as is or in the Sweet Potato Stack.
Sweet Potato Stack:
Yield: 4 appetizer servings of 2 stack per person
2 slender sweet potatoes, baked (in a conventional oven or microwaved), cooled enough to handle, skin removed, and each sliced into about 8 1/2-inch slices
Generous 1/2 cup Maharaja Mung Beans and Kale, heated
4 teaspoons maple syrup
Garnish: 4 tablespoons chutney or the topping of your choice (I used 4 teaspoons prepared mint chutney plus 8 teaspoons chopped grilled apples because I had both on hand)
Optional: tiny pinches of sea salt as a “finishing salt”
Place 2 sweet potato slices on each plate. Top with rounded tablespoons of mung bean mixture and remaining 8 sweet potato slices. Drizzle each stack with about 1/2 teaspoon of maple syrup and then top with about 1 1/2 teaspoons of chutney or 1/2 teaspoon of prepared mint chutney and a teaspoon of chopped grilled apples as in the photograph.
I am so excited for my Vegan Savory Mexican Black Bean Cupcakes with Sweet Potato Frosting to have made “The Big List of Ghoulishly Good Dairy-Free Halloween Recipes” for 2013 on the Go Dairy Free website!
I created this recipe last Halloween and I’ve never run across anything else like it before or since. Beautiful, but simple, these savory cupcakes are like eating your deliciously moist sides and bread all in one festive little package.
For the rest of the list of beverages, snacks, savories, and sweets, click HERE.
Yield: 2 servings (easily doubles)
This quick, vibrant colored and flavored dish becomes a meal with the addition of tofu or tempeh cubes added during the last two to three minutes of cooking.
It’s my homemade version of one of my favorite dishes in Chinese restaurants. My secret ingredient? Chinese Black Bean Sauce!
1/2 pound fresh green beans, ends trimmed, lightly salted, and grilled over medium high in a grill pan for about 15 minute, turning periodically, or until lightly charred all over and very tender
1 tablespoon canola oil
2 teaspoons fresh grated ginger
3 medium garlic cloves, minced
1/4 cup soy sauce (I use a “lite” variety for less sodium)
1/4 cup rice wine vinegar
1 tablespoon sake (or mirin)
2 tablespoons Chinese Black Bean Sauce (available on international aisle of most grocery stores)
1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon Sriracha or your favorite hot sauce
1/4 cup water
1/4 cup lightly roasted and salted cashews (or halves and pieces) + a few more for garnish
While green beans are grilling, heat oil in a cast iron skillet (or wok) over medium-high. Add ginger, and stir fry for about 1 medium, stirring continually, just to soften and turn slightly more golden. Lower heat if cooking to fast. Add garlic, and stir fry for 30 seconds, still stirring continually. Add remaining ingredients except green beans and cashews and cook, stirring continually until thickened, about 2 to 3 minutes. Add green beans and cook another 2 to 3 minutes or until beans are well coated and have absorbed some of the sauce. Avoid over-cooking or the sauce will become too syrupy and tar-like. During the last minute, stir in 1/4 cup cashews. Transfer to a platter or a shallow bowl and serve with additional cashews for garnish. This dish is fun and quite easy to enjoy with chopsticks.
With fresh Smashed ‘Buttah Beans in the fridge following a trip to the farmer’s market, some of my new homemade goat cheese on hand for another purpose, some freshly made Smoky Nooch-Roasted Pepitas, AND some south’ren salsa that came as a gift, the creation of this super easy quesadilla was all but inevitable.
Yield: 1 serving (easily multiplies)
1/2 teaspoon vegan butter (I use Earth Balance)
1-6 to 8-inch whole wheat or flour tortilla
1/4 cup smashed butter beans (I whip cooked butter beans with vegan butter, fresh minced sage, and sea salt and pepper to taste)
1/4 cup + 2 teaspoons Vegan Goat “Cheese” (recipe follows)
1 tablespoon salsa, prepared or homemade (for this recipe I like a southern-inspired variety like Georgia Peach and Vidalia Onion)
2 teaspoons Smoky Nooch-Roasted Pepitas
Garnish: fresh sage sprig
To make each quesadilla, melt 1/2 tablespoon vegan butter in a cast iron skillet over medium high. Spread half of tortilla first with 1/4 cup goat cheese then with butter beans. Fold in half and saute 2 minutes on each side or until golden brown. Top with remaining 2 teaspoons of goat cheese, salsa, and pepitas. Garnish with a sprig of fresh sage and serve immediately. (Note: you may top with 2 teaspoons of vegan sour cream if you prefer.)
Vegan Goat Cheese
14 ounces extra firm tofu
2 tablespoons light miso
2 tablespoons beer
2 tablespoons nutritional yeast
Optional: 1/8 teaspoon garlic powder
Sea salt to taste
Process all ingredients in the bowl of a food processor until completely combined and creamy-stiff. Chill, covered, in refrigerator until read to use/serve. (When serving as an appetizer, may be formed into balls or logs and rolled in finely chopped cashews or parsley.)
Based on Actor’s Studio host’s James Lipton’s famous “Q & A”–after the Proust Questionnaire–“Vegan Q & A Tuesday” is The Blooming Platter’s new first Tuesday feature on a creative force in the vegan culinary world. Read more about “Q & A Tuesday” HERE.
Bryanna Clark Grogan
(See below for Bryanna’s Indian-Spiced Lentil Salad recipe.)
Vegan since 1988, author World Vegan Feast & 7 more vegan cookbooks, Bryanna has devoted over 40 years to the study of cooking & nutrition. She developed the recipes for Dr. Neal Barnard’s Program for Reversing Diabetes, & contributed recipes to Howard Lyman’s No More Bull! & Cooking with PETA. She has appeared at Vegetarian SummerFest, Vegetarian Awakening, Portland VegFest, McDougall Celebrity Chef Weekend, VidaVeganCon, & Seattle VegFest. She also runs a small library branch and likes to bellydance & read mysteries. She lives on Denman Is., Bc, Canada, with her photographer/baker husband Brian, dog Phoebe, & cats Ringo & Sadie. She has 4 grown kids, 2 stepsons and 7 grandchildren.
1. What is your favorite culinary word?
It would have to be “Umami”– the Japanese word for “The Fifth Flavor”, which means, more or less, “the essence of deliciousness”. Isn’t that wonderful?
2. What is your least favorite culinary word?
“Superfood”—there are no “superfoods”! It’s a marketing ploy.
3. What about cooking turns you on?
I think part of it is the creativity and inventiveness, which often leads to a wonderful dish or meal. Sometimes I wake up thinking about some idea for a dish that I want to make. One can compare it to painting, but we cooks can enjoy eating our creations! There is also the mystery—how will it turn out? Will it live up to expectations? And, in addition, there is the pleasure of discovery—learning the science of cooking, how ingredients work together, what methods improve the result, etc.
4. What about cooking turns you off?
Hmmmm… that’s a tough one. The clean-up, perhaps?
5. What cooking or dining sound or noise do you love?
There are many. The “snap” of breaking celery or snap peas; the sizzle of breaded marinated tofu sliding into hot olive oil; knife on wooden cutting board as one chops onions, etc.; the “glug” of wine being poured into a sauce; the quiet clinking of dining utensils during a lull in the dinner conversation, when guests are enjoying their food so much that they cease to converse.
6. What cooking or dining sound or noise do you hate?
7. What makes you curse in the kitchen?
Cutting myself; spilling something messy, such as oil or tomato sauce; finding out I turned on the wrong burner; burning something.
8. What cooking profession other than your own would you like to attempt?
Rather than being a cookbook writer, from the limited amount of teaching workshops I’ve done, it might be very satisfying to be a cooking teacher.
9. What cooking profession would you not like to do?
I would not like to do anything that entailed making the same thing, or few things, over and over.
10. If heaven exists, what would you like to hear God say when you arrive at the pearly gates?
“One of the perks here is that you can have anything you like to eat, you won’t get fat, and you can have full access to the Heavenly Kitchens, if you like.”
5 1/2 to 6 cups cooked or canned brown lentils, drained (or 2 cups dried)
4 small carrots, peeled and grated
6 large green onions, chopped
3 stalks celery, with leaves, chopped
1 red bell pepper, seeded and diced
1 medium cucumber, diced (I use the English type that you don’t have to peel)
1 cup Mango Salsa (see homemade recipe and notes below recipe)
3/4 cup Low-Fat Oil Substitute for Salad Dressings or broth from cooking chickpeas
6 tablespoons olive oil
1/3 cup cider vinegar
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
1 1/2 tablespoons brown sugar
1 tablespoon dried mint leaves (or 3 tablespoons fresh, chopped)
1 tablespoon dried cilantro leaves (or 3 tablespoons fresh, chopped)
2 teaspoons tandoor masala
1 teaspoon salt
If you are starting with dried lentils (which do not need pre-soaking):
Pick over the lentils to remove debris or shriveled lentils, rinse, and drain. Cover with water or broth and boil for 2 to 3 minutes (to aid in digestion). Reduce the heat and simmer gently, covered, until tender. Depending on the variety and age, cooking time may take anywhere from 10 minutes to 1 hour. They should be tender, but firm, so do not overcook them or let them get mushy. Drain them well (handling gently) and cool completely, then measure out.
To make the salad:
Combine the first 6 ingredients carefully in a salad bowl.
Whisk the Dressing ingredients together well, or mix them briefly in a blender or with a hand immersion/stick blender.
Fold the Dressing into the salad. Cover and refrigerate. Try to bring the salad to room temperature before serving.
To serve, I pile it on top of some organic greens and garnish each serving with sliced fresh mango and avocado.
Nutrition (per serving): 397.3 calories; 32% calories from fat; 14.6g total fat; 0.0mg cholesterol; 625.7mg sodium; 1194.7mg potassium; 53.1g carbohydrates; 17.8g fiber; 12.3g sugar; 35.4g net carbs; 18.6g protein; 8.4 points.
EASY MANGO (OR PEACH)-TOMATO SALSA
3 cups diced fully ripened tomatoes, roughly pureed in a food processor or with a hand immersion/stick blender
2 cups diced fresh mango (or use ripe peaches instead)
1/4 sliced green onions
1 tbs minced jalapeno pepper, seeds removed (optional)
2 1/2 tsp. grated fresh ginger or one tsp ground ginger
1 tsp salt
1 1/2 tbs. lime juice
Mix ingredients together well and refrigerate until using in a covered container.
Commercial Mango or Peach and Tomato Salsas:
D.L. Jardine’s Peach Salsa
PC [President's Choice, a Canadian brand] Mango and Lime Salsa
Victoria Fruit Salsa
Yield: 6 servings
I discovered a brand new and brilliant way to cook lentils, courtesy of America’s Test Kitchen: brine them to soften the skin and then bake them in a dutch oven so they don’t crash together and break apart while they simmer. You can find their method HERE, along with some tasty salad ideas. (Note: I obviously didn’t use chicken broth. I could have used vegetable broth, but water worked yielded lentils full of flavor.)
After trying that method, I had a beautiful bunch of them with which to do something. I also had local red onion, zucchini and orange Roma tomatoes from my trip to the farm market. There was nothing left to do but combine everything into a salad!
I wanted a special, but simple, dressing–some kind of vinaigrette–but I wasn’t sure what. Scanning the door of the fridge, my eyes alighted on an unopened jar–a gift–of pepper jelly made here in Virginia. Voila! Then, mentally reviewing the herbs in the garden, sage somehow sounded perfectly earthy and just the right note to counter the heat of the jelly. Voila again! But it seemed like it needed one more “warm” spice. The barest hint of clove or mace was just exactly right.
This combination of ingredients makes this recipe the perfect celebration of late summer (salad) while looking forward to the cool months ahead (dressing) because I always think of pepper jelly and sage in conjunction with the festive flavors of the winter holidays.
3 cups cooked French lentils
1/4 cup diced red onion (if desired, cover with soymilk and drain before using to remove a little of the bite)
2 orange Roma tomatoes, diced (red is fine; the orange ones were just so beautiful at the farm market)
1 6-inch zucchini, sliced in thirds lengthwise, lightly salted, grilled 2 to 3 minutes on each side, cooled, and diced (I used my Lodge indoor grill pan over medium-high)
Sea Salt to taste (don’t be stingy!)
Freshly ground black pepper to taste
Pepper Jelly-Sage Dressing (recipe follows)
In a large bowl, toss together all ingredients except dressing. Check for seasoning and adjust if necessary. Drizzle with dressing and gently toss to evenly distribute. Serve immediately, or cover and refrigerate to allow flavors to marry before serving.
Pepper Jelly-Sage Dressing:
1/4 cup pepper jelly (I use a locally made brand)
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
1/2 teaspoon mustard
6 tablespoons olive oil
Pinch sea salt
Pinch freshly ground black pepper
Pinch garlic powder
Tiny pinch of ground clove or mace (a bare hint is all you want but it adds a little somethin’-somethin’!)
3 tablespoons fresh sage, minced or chiffonade (I like the latter, simply stack and roll 3 to 4 leaves and thinly slice into tiny ribbons)
In a small bowl, whisk together pepper jelly, vinegar, and mustard. Whisk in olive oil in a slow stream and keep whisking until it emulsifies (thickens and comes together). Add salt, pepper, garlic powder and clove or mace to taste and then whisk in sage.
Don’t get me wrong: our cafeteria manager goes out of her way to make sure I have nutritious, fresh food to enjoy every day (usually, hummus with lots of raw veggies, or creamy baked sweet potatoes and cooked greens). But I’ve never seen anything like my Eggplant Stack in the lunchroom!
Born of ingredients from the farmer’s market, along with some white beans, this recipe is one that is scrumptious as is, but can be adapted a million different ways. My baked breaded eggplant is the base for your own imagination to take flight.
The trick to uniformly golden brown breaded eggplant slices that require no egg wash and no frying is a light coat of vegan mayo in place of the wash (which also adds great flavor!), and breadcrumbs that are toasted stovetop before being adhered to the eggplant. This America’s Test Kitchen trick prevents the eggplant from getting done before the coating gets brown enough.
If you prepare it as pictured, the key to this dish is to have my Beet Green and Roasted Almond Pesto and my Zucchini-Rosemary Salsa (recipe follows) made athead so the dish goes together quickly. Although, you have a half hour while the eggplant bakes to make the pesto and salsa if need be.
*2-8 inch eggplants, ends trimmed, sliced into 1/3-inch slices (approximately 8 slices total, 2 to 3 per person)
3 to 4 tablespoons vegan mayonnaise (about 2 teaspoons per slice )
Approximately 2 cups Panko bread crumbs, toasted in a dry skillet for about 5 minutes, stirring frequently, or until golden brown, and transferred to a shallow bowl or cake pan
1/2 cup diced yellow or red onion
2-15.5 ounce cans white beans, rinsed and drained
1/4 cup Beet Green Pesto
Approximately 1 cup Zucchni-Rosemary Salsa (recipe follows)
Garnish: basil or rosemary sprigs
Preheat oven to 450 degrees. *Taste a little of the raw eggplant and, if bitter, lightly salt the both sides of the slices and arrange them on a paper towel-lined baking sheet. Let sit for 30 minutes, then rinse and pat the eggplant dry. Also rinse and dry the baking sheet, and either line it with Silpat or coat it well with non-stick cookng spray. Arrange the eggplant slices on the sheet, an inch or so apart. Spread about 1 teaspoon of vegan mayo on tops of all eggplant slices, and then place each, mayo-side down, in bowl of crumbs, pressing crumbs gently to adhere, and patting on more crumbs if desired. Place crumb-side down on baking sheet. Repeat with more mayo and crumb son opposite sides. Spray tops of eggplant lightly with non-stick spray and bake approximately 30 minutes. Cover loosely with foil if they start to get too brown.
While eggplant cooks, heat olive oil in large cast iron skillet over medium-high. Add onion and a pinch of salt, and saute, stirring frequently, for about 3 minutes or until softened. Add beans, stir to combine well, and heat through. Add Beet Green Pesto, and do the same. To serve, place two to three eggplant slices on each serving plate, top with 1/4th of the beans, dividing between slices, and then with 1/4th of the Zucchini-Rosemary Salsa. Delicious served warm or at room temperature. Garnish with a sprig of basil or, to stay truest to the dish, rosemary.
Grilled Zucchini-Rosemary Salsa
This quick and breezy Mediterranean-flavored salsa is the embodiment of summer and made entirely from a very few ingredients almost entirely gathered up at my go-to farm stand.
Besides topping the Eggplant Stack, I recommend it over pasta or simply served on crostini as a kind of bruschetta or with pita chips.
2-6 inch zucchini sliced lengthwise into quarters
2 large cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon minced fresh rosemary
16 cherry tomatoes, quartered (cut smaller if your tomatoes are larger than cherries)
1/3 cup finely diced yellow or red onion
1 teaspoon olive oil
2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
Plenty of sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
Optional: pinch red pepper flakes
Oil a grill pan and heat over medium-high. Lightly salt zucchini and lay in pan, grilling two to three minutes on each side or until nice grill marks develop and zucchini is crisp-tender. Cool just until it is easily handled, and then dice. Combine zucchini and all remaining ingredients in a non-reactive bowl, being sure to add garlic and fresh rosemary to the grilled zucchini while it is still warm, and toss gently to completely combine. Serve immediately or chill, covered until serving time.
This month, the award-winning VegNews magazine published my Vegan Steamed Tamale Pie in their online “Recipe Club” e-newsletter. (To receive your own issue, just go to the VegNews home page to sign-up for this free e-publication so you don’t miss anything!)
[Note: Skip to the bottom of this post for my recipe if you aren't interested in the back story!]
I adore vegan tamales, but they are a bit time-consuming, so I remembered that I had heard of “tamale pie.” However, all of the recipes I found online consisted of a filling topped with what amounts to a layer of baked cornbread. That sounded fine, but not what I was after.
Wanting a consistency more like true steamed tamales, I wondered if the “pie” couldn’t be baked in a bain marie (water bath), tightly covered with foil so that it would steam. I did a little more research and found a non-vegan (pork) recipe made in this way.
My filling went together in a snap as I ad-libbed with onions, bell peppers, garlic, spices, black beans, fire-roasted tomatoes, diced green chilies, fresh spinach, faux “chicken” (the first time) and spaghetti squash (the second time), cilantro, and lime zest.
However, it took me three tries to get the masa dough the correct consistency. The first two times, I tried it with cornmeal and ended up with 1) a-way-too-sturdy-and-dense top layer, and 2) something that had the unappealing texture of wet sand. For the third, final, and successful attempt, I stopped by a local tienda and purchased masa harina for tamales. The flavor, not to mention the texture, was VASTLY superior. Delicious and quite revolutionary in the tamale pie world!
I think the finished dish was well worth the effort of experimentation and trust you will agree!
Vegan Steamed Tamale Pie
For the masa layer:
2 cups masa harina (Do NOT substitute cornmeal! Masa harina is widely available at Latin markets or tiendas and some grocery stores.)
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup canola oil
2 cups warm “no-chicken” or “veggie” broth
In a medium bowl, whisk together all ingredients until well-combined. The mixture should be the consistency of a soft cookie dough. Cover, and set the masa aside while you prepare the filling. Whisk the masa well just before using if necessary.
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 small onion, diced
Pinch sea salt
1/2 large orange bell pepper, stemmed, seeded and diced (red or yellow bell pepper would be nice too)
2 large cloves garlic, minced
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 teaspoon Ancho chili powder (substitute chipotle if you prefer some heat)
1 teaspoon dried oregano (Mexican, if available)
1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
1-15.5 ounce can black beans, rinsed and drained
1-14.5 ounce can diced fire-roasted tomatoes, including juice
1-4 ounce can diced green chilies, including juice
1/2 pound “chicken”-flavored seitan (I used an 8 ounce package Morning Star Farms Meal Starters Chick-n Strips, cut into bite-size pieces) OR 2 cups cooked spaghetti squash (halve lengthwise, scrape out seeds and pulp, microwave for 8 minutes, flesh side down, and scrape out spaghetti-like “threads” with a fork)
4 cups lightly packed fresh raw baby spinach
1/2 cup finely chopped fresh cilantro
Zest of one-half of a medium lime
For the Garnish: vegan sour cream and fresh cilantro sprigs, toasted pumpkin seeds, and/or a lime wedge.
Place a large pan like a turkey roaster or baking dish larger than 9 x 13″ on the middle rack of oven. Fill with two inches of water and preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease an 8- or 9-inch square baking dish (or two 5 x 8″ loaf pans) and set aside. Meanwhile make filling.
In a large cast iron skillet or Dutch oven, heat the tablespoon of olive oil over medium-high. Add the onion, bell pepper, and a pinch of salt, and saute about 3 minutes, stirring frequently, or until vegetables are softened and beginning to develop some color. Add the garlic and saute about 30 seconds to one minute. Add all of the spices and stir well to incorporate, lowering the heat if necessary. Then add the beans, tomatoes, green chilies, and seitan or spaghetti squash, stirring to incorporate. Add the spinach in two parts, allowing each to wilt slightly before continuing. Then stir in the cilantro and lime zest, and remove from heat.
Softly crumble half of the masa into the bottom of the prepared baking dish, gently pressing with your fingers to cover. Spoon the filling evenly over the masa and then softly crumble the remaining masa over the top, again gently pressing to cover the filling and seal to the edges. Cover tightly with foil. Slide oven rack out, place covered baking dish into the water bath, and then cover the water bath with more foil, sealing tightly, but being careful not to burn yourself. Slide the rack back in and bake/steam for 45 minutes. (Note: if using loaf pans, follow these instructions, but use one-fourth of the masa mixture for the tops and bottoms of each pan.)
Slide the rack back out, uncover the water bath and carefully remove the tamale pie. Uncover the pie and allow it to cool for 10 to 15 minutes so that it is easy to cut into squares. Be sure to do this immediately upon removing the pies from the oven or they will continue to cook.
Serve dolloped with vegan sour cream and the garnish(es) of your choice.
Quick! Before winter is a faint and distant memory, you will want to tuck into this amazing melange featuring kale and oh-so-much-more!
The balance of flavors and textures is exquisite…if I do say so myself.
When I created this recipe, it was without the spicy green olives. And it was so delicious. But the next time I prepared it, I decided to add them for a little zip, and it was beyond!
Serve up a healthy and heaping portion of this tasty tagine and feel good for all the right reasons!
Click HERE to go straight to my recipe as published by my pals at One Green Planet.