Can you believe that it’s nearly June? This year is flying by quickly and May has been a complete blur! I’m not really mad about it, although I have some goals that I gave myself that I’m having trouble reaching. Namely, writing my own cookbook! After I’m back from vacation and am done with the cookbook that I’m currently taking photos for I am gettin’ that damn proposal DONE!
Until then, it’s work, work, work, plus a little play for the next couple of months. What’s really pressing at the moment is that I’m going to Italy on Monday! I’ve only been out of the country once, and it was to go to Mexico for a couple of days when I was 16. That being said, I’m a little anxious about not knowing any Italian and traveling there with my family for two weeks, while being the only vegan. Eek! So, if you have any tips, I’d be more than happy to hear them.
For the next couple of days I’m just trying to queue up some posts so that you guys will have some reading material while I’m gone! I think that you’ll really enjoy the posts that I have planned. But, today, I’m featuring my beloved Southwestern Kale Salad. I usually make this with one of two different dressings, Creamy Avocado Cilantro or Chipotle Tahini; both are SO good. I’ll be honest, though, I’m not dead-sure about the measurements for the Chipotle Tahini Dressing, so I’m going to give it to you approximately.
This salad is vibrant with color, has many flavors and textures, plus is very nutritious. We all know what a powerhouse kale is, but add some fiber and protein from the black beans and pepitas, vitamin C from the bell pepper and healthy fats from the avocados and you have yourself a well-rounded meal!
A good chunk of this past week’s weather involved drizzling and cool temperatures, and believe me, it was more than welcomed here. I was thankful that there was no torrential downpours or gale-force winds, just stillness and cloud cover. If it was extreme, I wouldn’t have been able to go outside a little and take some photos, and I love taking photos. This weather obviously calls for more comfort food! Which leads me to the 10 lb. sack of organic sweet potatoes that I got at Costco recently. That’s a lot of freakin’ sweet potatoes.
So, I decided to roast them, as I do with almost everything else in the Fall and Winter seasons. But, in the midst of doing so I get a text from my friend Tristan, “Soup Coffee Pie Let’s gooooo!!!”, to which I responded, “I’m actually making soup right now!” I then invited him over to join me in my feasting and decided that corn bread should be made, because duh, it’s cornbread. This is where I paused, because I don’t have a go-to cornbread recipe.
Using my favorite tool, Google, I came upon Pickles & Honey’s Simple Vegan Cornbread recipe and couldn’t wait to switch it up a bit. I honestly changed quite a lot of the recipe, using coconut oil instead of canola, adding 2 tbsp. pickled jalapeños, and using 1/2 cup water with 1/2 cup creamed corn instead of non-dairy milk. In the end I think I could have added a little more maple syrup or salt in it, and next time use a little more corn meal instead of a 1:1 ratio; but, it was still pretty tasty with a little vegan butter on top. It’s even better crumbled over this delicious, smoky sweet potato soup.
Hints of chipotle, smoked paprika and cayenne pepper for a kick, warm you up quickly. While a touch of maple syrup brings out the slight sweetness of the sweet potatoes and carrots. Roasting everything before letting it simmer in broth really caramelizes the veggies and gives their flavors more depth. I used an immersion blender for this recipe, but you can always blend in batches to reach a thickness and texture of your preference.
Crazy, crazy life… I feel like I might as well lay out a sleeping bag in my kitchen because of all of the food I’ve been making and recipes that I’ve been trying out for the cookbook. One thing, or person rather, that I need is a dedicated dishwasher. That’s my least favorite part of cooking, and believe me, the dishes are never-ending right now. Don’t worry, if you help me out, I’ll feed you lots and LOTS of delicious vegan food.
As far as everything else is going, the Beer Run 5K was pretty cool and I got to try out a new-ish vegan spot in Anaheim by the name of Healthy Junk (that was REALLY GOOD!) after I was done running. Overall, pretty fun weekend; but, right now, I’m still waiting to hear from the company I had my second interview with last week. Trying to stay optimistic, but at this point it’s a little hard! (that’s what she said)
So, this morning, I decided that I’d make a semi-elaborate savory breakfast. Usually, I reserve my more involved breakfast recipes for pancakes, waffles, and so on; but it has been a while since I’ve cooked up some seitan sausages. If you’ve never made your own seitan before, I highly recommend it. It’s super easy and you can really go whichever way you’d like with the flavor, while controlling the ingredients in it; unlike the processed seitan in stores most of the time. These smoky sausages have a chipotle kick and a tinge of sweetness that goes perfectly with the bell pepper in the hash. The aromas that fill your kitchen when you’re making this dish are Southwestern in nature and will have you drooling, anticipating the final product. (I know this first hand, oops!)
I’ll admit, I’m a huge fan of the show “Chopped” on Food Network; although I obviously don’t care for the meat. But, I was totally ecstatic when I found out that Isa Chandra of Post Punk Kitchen made an announcement that they’d be hosting an online, vegan version! The dish needed to take around 40 minutes to make, be an entrée and include black-eyed peas, mint, blackberries, and bittersweet chocolate.
My first thought, wow, I could make a stellar dessert with those ingredients! But, of course that’s not an entrée so it won’t work. Upon thinking for a couple more minutes, and really concentrating on using the bittersweet chocolate in a savory way, I thought of mole sauce. Soon everything fell into place, I’d do a spicy chipotle ancho mole sauce, a mushroom and black-eyed pea filling and a sweet salsa made with mango, blackberries and mint.
I’ll admit, this took closer to 50 minutes, but I’d say that with taking pictures and writing down the recipe you could probably cut me just a little slack. What I ended up with was a great, healthy (untraditional) Mexican dish with intense spice and flavor. If you recreate this at home, make sure to get every part combined in each bite, because it is most exquisite that way. Keep in mind that the directions are written exactly as I made the dish, so it may seem like intense multi-tasking, but in reality is very easy.
Healthy Black-Eyed Pea Enchiladas with Mole Sauce & Mango Mint Salsa
Rating 5.0 from 1 reviews
An untraditional Mexican dish that is healthy and full of spice and flavor!
2 tsp. Coconut Oil
1 Cup White Onion, Diced
1½ Cup Vegetable Broth
¼ Cup Blackberries
2 Tbsp. Canned Chipotle Peppers
2 Tbsp. Ancho Chili Powder
⅓ Cup Bittersweet Chocolate Chips (mine were 65%)
2 Tbsp. Roasted Almonds
2 Cloves Garlic
1 tsp. Ground Cumin
½ tsp. Salt
½ tsp. Smoked Paprika
¼ tsp. Ground Cinnamon
1 tsp. Coconut Oil
½ Cup White Onion, Diced
3 Cups Button Mushrooms, Sliced
1 Can Black Eyed Peas, Rinsed Thoroughly
1 tsp. Ground Cumin
½ tsp. Smoked Paprika
¼ tsp. Ancho Chili Powder
Pinch of Cayenne
Salt to taste
4 Large Leaves of Swiss Chard
⅔ Cup Mango, Diced
¼ Cup Blackberries, Diced
1 Tbsp. Packed Fresh Mint, Finely Diced
Get one medium and one large pan warm over medium heat, once they reach temperature, melt 2 tsp. of Coconut Oil in the larger one, and 1 tsp. in the other.
In the large pan saute 1½ cups of white onion, in the smaller pan saute ½ cup of White Onion, until they start to clear.
Once clear, take the larger pan's contents and place them in a blender. Add in vegetable broth, ¼ cup blackberries, chipotle peppers, 2 tbsp. Ancho Chili Powder, bittersweet chocolate, roasted almonds, garlic, 1 tsp. ground cumin, salt, ½ tsp. smoked paprika, and cinnamon. Puree until completely smooth, though little chunks of chocolate are okay.
Return mole sauce mixture to the large pan and simmer on low-medium heat for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.
In the smaller pan, add the sliced mushrooms, black-eyed peas, 1 tsp. cumin, ½ tsp. ancho chili powder, and a pinch of cayenne. Saute together until the mushrooms reduce to nearly half of their size and add salt to taste.
Prep the large leaves of Swiss Chard by cutting out the large rib in the center, so that you can easily roll them up.
Mix the mango, ¼ cup blackberries and fresh mint together in a small bowl and set aside.
Take the mole sauce pan off of the heat and let it cool for 5-10 minutes.
Take roughly ½-2/3 Cup of mushroom mixture and place it into a chard leaf. Roll it up and set it on its loose end, put two on each plate.
Pour ½ cup or more of the mole sauce on top of the "enchiladas" then top it off with a few spoonfuls of mango salsa.
This is a vegan food blog, run by Jackie Sobon, that covers everything from indulgent desserts, to healthy dinners, and even raw recipes! I also write up restaurant reviews and am sort of a beer snob. You'll find that there is something for everyone, here!
If you would like to contact me about photography jobs, testing out a recipe, review your restaurant or just have a question you'd like me to answer email me at: [email protected]!