Papusas!



Not the most glamorous food pic I've ever taken, mostly because the bottom papusa is half eaten... (I forgot to photo them until I started dinner!).

These are from "Viva Vegan!". This version is filled with refried beans and left over chorizo from the sopas (HERE). It was my first time making homemade refried beans, and that's really the best part about having made this recipe- those were fantastico!

I must say, between the sopas and the papusas, I think I preferred the sopas. The papusas were great too, but the masa overpowers the other flavors of the fillings a bit more just because they're wrapped in it (versus sitting on top of it where you can pile your fillings up to the moon). Still, they're relatively easy, pretty darn tasty and really versatile.You could probably stuff them with almost anything that you'd put in a burrito or taco. And who doesn't love new incarnations of those?

Sopas!



These are good. They're from "Viva Vegan!" a book that I just got by Terry Hope Romero (co-author with Isa Chandra Moskowitz on a bunch of books). This recipe, and quite a few in the book, are similar to RFD's in that each recipe calls for ingredients made with other recipes in the book. For example, for the Sopas here, there was; the masa dough, the chorizo, pickled onions and cashew crema (skipped that one) and then, of course, the recipe itself. I also inadvertently skipped the onions despite having made them 2 days ago (forgot about them in the fridge, outta sight, outta sopa). So, to me now, this complexity in a recipe implies that it will be good. If I have the time, I'll go for the long, drawn out recipes because they generally are better. Short, fast and easy ones tend to reflex their simplicity in their taste (spoken like a true snotty foodie). Which is not to say that I still don't love me some pb&j and other quickie meals.

The crust/ tart/ tortilla-esque shell on this is great. The author likens making papusas to making clay ashtrays and that's exactly what this reminded me of. A masa ashtray. The spinach was perfect on it, it was creamy and moist, but I'd scale back on the lime juice next time. The chorizo, I am sad to say, I did not like as much as Isa Chandra's from the Vegan Brunch book (HERE). These are spiced differently (and more intensely) which is nice, but it was the method of preparation that I think made the difference. The others are steamed and these are baked. After cooling them for hours, I cut into them and they were really sticky and not firm inside, even though the outside was fully cooked and dried out. The Vegan Brunchers have a seitan-ish gluten meat texture, and these are way...puttier on the inside. Also, she instructs to pan fry them with garlic, which did not work out well. The chorizo had to be cooked so long to get some semblance of firmness that the garlic got charred (not a taste I'm fond of). So, next time, I'll probably make this with Isa Chandra's Chorizo- or a hybrid. Viva Vegans spices + the rest of the Vegan Brunch recipe.

I was surprised that the recipe didn't call for tomatoes with the toppings, but when I ate my tasty sopa, I found that it didn't need it. There was enough moisture in the spinach and crust and enough tomato flavor in the chorizo. I wish I had remembered the red onions on top (they turned a crazy neon magenta from the pickling process), but the rest (cabbage, radish and avocado) was amazing. This was one of those meals where you sit in silence and let all of the flavors bounce around in your mouth and think about how lucky you are to be eating like this. (i.e.- I highly recommend it) And, I have three chorizos left so I will try the papusas or something else from the book in the next few days too.

Vegan Chorizo




Craaazy! Vital wheat gluten is a thing of wonder.

To continue my trend of making things that I henceforth never considered actually making (bagels, seitan...) this is a homemade vegan chorizo from scratch, featuring the magic of vital wheat gluten and zero soy. The rest of the base of this is mashed pinto beans. Then there's a bunch of spices, veg broth and tamari (oh, a bit of soy, I guess).

This is from Vegan Brunch and for the life of me, I can't imagine how anyone could invent this- but I'm so happy that she did. It's magical. You make this springy dough and then form it into "sausages", roll it in tin foil and steam it for 40 minutes. Then, slice it, pan sear it a tad to get a nice crispy outside and a better, deeper color. This stuff is amazing. It's spicy, flavorful, eyes-roll-back into your head amazingly good. Plus, there's no intestinal casing involved (not to get grodie, but that's a pretty nasty component of real sausage.

This is used as a brekkie side (hence it's origin in the Vegan Brunch book), but we made tacos with it. Flipping. Amazing.