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
Author: Jackie of Vegan Yack Attack
Recipe type: entrée
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.
I feel like I’ve been away for so long! When I go too long without posting, I get kind of anxious; I may have a problem. Now, I’m back for just a bit and then I’ll be off again. This month has been a roller coaster, and at the moment I’m in a low spot, unfortunately. Hopefully, things will soon look up, but if they don’t I’ll try my best to stay positive. Amongst the stress of deadlines and not having any time this April, I’ve learned that my remaining Grandparent has lung cancer. My grandmother has been a life-long smoker, so it’s no surprise; but it still isn’t something that you want to hear about your family member. Thankfully, she’ll be moving in with my parents and seeing the better doctors and specialists that Southern California has to offer; not to mention, I’ll be able to make her vegan food all of the time! (Yes, she is actually interested in vegan food!) So, here’s to hoping for the best.
Usually, I wouldn’t get very personal on my blog about this kind of thing, but it is weighing heavily on my mind. If you read all that, then thank you for listening! Now, I’m not sure how to transition from talking about family members with cancer to sweet potato dishes, so I’m not even going to try. I’ll just tell you that this idea has been brewing in my head for a couple of weeks and I have the stash of sweet potatoes to prove it.
Also, I got my Spiralizer in the mail a yesterday and had to use it IMMEDIATELY, even though what came of the sweet potato ringlets could have been done with another kitchen tool, I still had a blast using it. Another new “tool” that I used with this recipe is a homemade light box. I saw that Carrie on Vegan was making her own from Oh She Glow’s tutorial, and thought that I’d give it a try. How could I be mad at getting “good” photos at night, too? Let me know what you think about the photos, orange is a hard color to really get right for food and I’m still not used to editing the colors this way; but I think they turned out alright.
These sweet potato tots are baked instead of fried, and filled with tons of Vitamin A; pair it with a chipotle sun-dried tomato aioli and you’ve got a winning combination!
2 Large Sweet Potatoes
2 Tbsp. Coconut Oil, Melted
½ tsp. Cayenne Pepper
½ tsp. Ground Cinnamon
1 tsp. Sea Salt
⅔ Cup Warm Water
2 Tbsp. Ground Flaxseed
3 Tbsp. Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
⅓ Cup Vegan Mayo
⅓ Cup Raw Almonds, Soaked for 30 min.
¼ Cup Oil-free Sun-dried Tomatoes, Soaked in warm water for 30 min.
⅓ Cup Tomato Soaking Water
2 Tbsp. Maple Syrup
½ tsp. Salt
½ tsp. Crushed Chipotle Pepper
Preheat the oven to 350°F. Using a mandolin, spiralizer or just a knife, chop/slice/etc. the sweet potato into thin strips that are all consistent in size.
In a large bowl, toss the sweet potato, coconut oil, cayenne, cinnamon and salt together until evenly coated. Spread the mixture out on a baking sheet and bake for 15 minutes or until very tender (but not really mushy).
While that is baking, stir together the flaxseed and warm water until it creates a gel-like substance. Once the timer goes off, take the sheet out and dice the baked sweet potato shreds.
Using the same large bowl, stir together the sweet potatoes, flaxseed mixture and flour. Start shaping 1 tbsp.-sized tater tots, then place them onto a baking sheet about an inch apart.
Bake for 10 minutes, then turn over and bake for an additional 10-15 minutes.
In a blender, puree the mayo, almonds, sun-dried tomatoes, water, maple syrup, salt and crushed chipotle together until smooth.
Season the aioli with salt and pepper to your liking. Serve with warmed tater tots!
This combination is insanely good, I even talked my dad into trying some out after he had told me “I don’t like sweet vegetables”. Guess what? After he was done chewing he followed up with a, “this may be one of your best dishes yet!”. Take that with a grain of salt though, he doesn’t try that many of my recipes out. Regardless, this stuff is good and would be a great side dish at any BBQ or get-together!
This is a vegan food blog 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 me to photograph an event, test out a recipe, review your restaurant or just have a question you'd like me to answer email me at: email@example.com!