Tag Archives: vegan Mexican

Vegan Corn and Black Bean Cakes


Every once in a while, the stars align — I get a recipe in my Inbox I think the whole family might enjoy and I happen to have all the ingredients. That happened recently with my weekly e-mail from Forks Over Knives. If you’ve never seen it, FOK is a documentary examining the belief that eliminating animal-based and processed foods from your diet can control or reverse most, if not all, degenerative diseases. Even if you don’t want to jump in 100 percent to a vegan diet, it’s a great film that might help you make better choices from time to time.

I have no idea if this recipe is in the FOK cookbook, which remains packed up in my garage, where it’s been since I moved to a new home four months ago. Yet another reason I’m glad I took the time to open this e-mail.  I’ve really enjoyed the recipes I’ve made from the book (including this Cheesy Baked Ziti I posted a year and a half ago) and will definitely make this one again.

Next time I think I’ll jazz it up a bit — more spices and maybe even a diced fresh jalapeño. The original recipe has zero spices in it. I try not to mess with other people’s recipes too much until I’ve tried them, but I saw the blandness coming. I put just a dash of a few spices in. Next time, I’ll start with 1/2 teaspoon of each and likely go up from there. I’ll include them in the ingredient list below. Also, I’m sure you could easily substitute gluten-free all-purpose flour in this and it would turn out just fine.

We topped ours with salsa and a little avocado. Next time I think I’ll definitely pick up some vegan sour cream. I served it with spiced roasted sweet and russet potatoes.

• 1 1/2 c. whole wheat pastry flour
• 1/2 c. cornmeal (I used a finely ground cornmeal)
• 1 Tbsp. aluminum-free baking powder
• 1/2 tsp. salt
• 1/2 c. unsweetened, unflavored plant milk (I used almond)
• 1/2 c. unsweetened applesauce (next time I might add a little more to try to moisten it up a little)
• 1 medium red bell pepper, seeded and finely diced
• 1 10 oz. package frozen corn kernels, thawed
• 1 c. cooked or canned black beans, rinsed and drained
• 6 green onions, white and green parts thinly sliced (I only had two…)
• 1/2 tsp. each cumin, coriander, chili powder, garlic powder
• sour cream, salsa, guacamole or avocado for serving
• chopped cilantro for serving, optional

1. Preheat oven to 200 degrees F. I was roasting the potatoes, so I didn’t do this. Since you can only fit 2-3 cakes on the griddle at once (they are large) it might have been nice to keep them warm in the oven until we all sat down to eat. Really, wasn’t a deal-breaker though.

2. In a large bowl, whisk together flour, cornmeal, baking powder, salt and spices until well combined.

3. Make a well in the center of the mixture and add the milk, applesauce, pepper, corn, beans and onions. Gently fold the ingredients together until just incorporated. Don’t over mix.

4. Heat a griddle or large nonstick pan over medium heat until a few droplets of water jump in the pan and sizzle. You can always use oil, etc., but it’s really unnecessary if you have a nonstick pan. The key is to not touch them once added for a few minutes and you’ll be fine!

5. Spoon 1/2 c. of batter for each cake onto the pan, making sure they don’t touch each other. Cook until the undersides are crisp and they can be flipped easily without falling apart — about 4 minutes.

6. Using a spatula, turn the cakes over and cook until the other side is lightly browned and crisp — about 4 more minutes. The cakes are quite thick — I patted mine down a little, though I don’t know if it was necessary.

7. Transfer to an oven-proof platter or pan and keep warm in the oven until you’re ready to serve. Top with whatever you like and enjoy!


Vegan Black Bean and Sweet Potato Quesadillas


When I first started dating my husband he pretended he had the desire to learn to cook, so that first Christmas I got him the Student’s Vegetarian Cookbook. All of the recipes are budget-conscious, have only a handful of ingredients and are easy to make. It’s a great, simple cookbook for both those just starting to cook or just starting to eat vegetarian.

I had him pick what he wanted to learn how to make first and he chose a simple black bean and sweet potato quesadilla recipe. Well, he opted to paint his daughter’s room during our “class” but popped out every now and again to check the status and pretend to be absorbing my instruction. Six years later, I’m still the one making the quesadillas, but that’s OK. I made some tonight inspired by that first simple recipe. Still delicious after all these years.

• 1 14.5 oz. can black beans, drained and rinsed
• 1 medium sweet potato, peeled and grated
• 1/2  med. yellow onion, diced
• 1 garlic clove, minced
• 1 1/2 tsp. cumin
• 1 tsp. coriander
• 1 tsp. chili powder
• salt and pepper to taste
• 1-2 handfuls fresh spinach
• your cheese of choice (I went with Daiya cheddar vegan cheese)
• olive or other oil

1. Dice, chop, etc. all vegetables as noted above. Feel free to add more or less of any given ingredient. For the sweet potato, use a box grater or the grater plate on your food processor. I finally got to use the grater on my new Magimix three-bowl food processor. Worked great and took about 5 seconds.

2. Add a small amount of oil to a saute pan (1 Tbsp. should do it). Saute onion until beginning to soften, then add garlic and cook for about one minute. This would be a good time to toss in some minced jalapeno or other hot peppers if you’re into that kind of thing.

IMG_50813. Add grated sweet potatoes and saute until soft (you can always smell when they’re done too — when it starts to smell like sweet potato fries, you’re good!). Add spices and spinach and cook until spinach is wilted.

4. Add beans and lightly mash with a potato masher or fork. This isn’t a must, but if you mash them they help form the glue that keeps the two sides of the quesadilla together/keep the ingredients inside the quesadilla AND it can be a vehicle to sneak other veggies in there. Oh — and feel free to use whatever peans you have on hand — black bean, pinto, white beans, you name it.

The more they’re all mashed together, the less the little ones in your life will take note of all the goodness they’re ingesting. I stopped here tonight, but you could finely dice just about anything and include it. If you’re trying to sneak things, you could use cauliflower, which smushes up really well with other things.

5. When it’s all cooked up to your liking, heat a griddle pan or another large sauté pan over medium heat (or if you’ve only got one pan, just remove the contents to a bowl and use the same one). You can spray the pan with an olive oil mister or something. but it’s not technically necessary. Then, build your quesadilla.

I lay one large flour tortilla down and put a small sprinkle of cheese down (again — more glue). Put a layer of filling from the other pan. I try to spread it out evenly and get pretty close to the edge. I then top with a good amount of cheese and another tortilla.

6. Let it sit until the bottom starts to brown. Using a large spatula, quickly flip over. If you’ve mashed the beans, etc., not too much stuff should fly out mid-flip. If you’ve got whole beans in there, beware!

7. Continue to cook until the cheese is all melty and the bottom tortilla starts to brown and get a little crispy. Remove onto a cutting board and cut into four wedges (I prefer using a pizza cutter).

8. Serve with salsa, hot sauce, guacamole or sour cream (I went with Toffutti Sour Supreme vegan sour cream tonight and Newman’s Own Medium Roasted Garlic Salsa. Delish! These store really well in the refrigerator and can easily heat up again in the microwave or on the stove top. You can even send them with the kids to school!

Black Bean and Sweet Potato Enchiladas

I’ve made these for a client and my own family this week — they are delicious. I made the vegan version for my family and that is what’s photographed above. The store was out of the “cheddar style” Daiya vegan cheese, so I got the mozzarella style version and it was still delicious. This recipe is really easy to make too. Enjoy!

Serves 4

•  28 oz. can of whole, peeled tomatoes
• 2 tsp. chili powder
• 1 large onion, chopped
• 3 Tbsp. canola oil or other high heat oil
•  salt and pepper
• 1 garlic cloves, minced
• 1 15 oz. can of black beans, drained and rinsed
• 1 medium potato, grated
• 2 tsp. oregano
• 2 c. cheddar cheese or vegan cheese
• 8 flour tortillas
• 2 green onions, thinly sliced/chopped

Preheat oven to 450

1. In a blender or food processor, puree tomatoes, chili powder, half the onion, 1 Tbsp. oil, 1/2 tsp. salt and 1/2 tsp. pepper or until smooth

2. Heat 1 Tbsp. of remaining oil in large skillet over medium-high heat. Add remaining onion and cook until softened, 3-5 minutes.

3. Add garlic and saute 1 minute more. Add black beans, sweet potato, oregano and salt and pepper (about 1/4 tsp. each). Cook, tossing frequently, until sweet potatoes are cooked, about 5 minutes.

4. Transfer to a large bowl and let cool slightly. Stir in 1 c. of cheese.

5. Spread one cup of tomato sauce  in bottom of 9×13 pan. Roll up bean mixture in the tortillas (about 1/2 c. each) and place seam side down in pan.

6. Top with remaining tomato sauce, cheese and green onions. Bake on top rack of oven until cheese is belted and bubbly, about 10 to 15 minutes.

Vegan Black Bean Tamale Pie

Look at me! Two posts in two weeks! I’m really on a roll, aren’t I? I decided I better post this ASAP or my week will get away from me. I made this for a client last week and have been craving it ever since. I finally got around to it tonight.

This can be vegan or just vegetarian, depending on what kind of cheese, milk and eggs (or egg replacers) you use. I chose to make it vegan. This is a really simple dish you can make with a few things you can keep in your pantry. If you have a bit of onion and some kind of bell pepper, that’s about the only produce you need (although I think I did throw some minced garlic in tonight because I can’t seem to leave garlic out of anything).

This got high marks from my better half too — he couldn’t stop himself from taking extra helpings. It’s really rich and filling, kind of like eating chili with cornbread all in one dish. It’s definitely a crowd pleaser and very easy to adjust the heat — throw some freshly minced jalapeno or habaneros in the early stages to kick it up a few notches.

• 1 tsp. olive oil
• 1/2 c. chopped onion
• 1/3 c. green pepper (I used yellow because it was what I had)
• 1 15 oz. can black beans
• 1 8 oz. can tomato sauce
• 1 c. corn canned, cooked fresh or frozen
• 1 1/4 oz. taco seasoning mix (or throw some cumin, coriander, garlic powder, onion powder, etc. in and season to taste).
• 1 1/4 c. cornmeal
• 1 c. grated cheese (I used Daiya pepper jack style grated cheese)
• 1 1/4 c. milk (I used almond)
• salt and pepper to taste (Oops, I forgot this entirely today… it was fine)
•  2 large eggs, beaten or equivalent egg replacer (I used 3 tsp. egg replacer powder mixed with 4 Tbsp. warm water).
• Minced jalapenos or habaneros (optional)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees
1. Heat oil in a medium saucepan over medium-low heat. Add onions and bell peppers and cook until vegetables are softened, about 5 minutes. Throw your minced hot peppers in at this point too if you’re using.  (Just before the next step is when I threw in the garlic and cooked for 1 more minute).

2. Add undrained beans, tomato sauce, corn, taco seasoning or spices, 1/2 c. of the cornmeal and 1/2 c. of cheese. Cook over low heat, stirring often, until thickened and cornmeal is cooked through, approximately 15 minutes, then put in 1 1/2- or 2- quart casserole dish.

3. Meanwhile, heat milk with remaining 3/4 c. cornmeal in a small saucepan and season to taste with salt and pepper. Cook over low heat, stirring constantly (Well, close enough. I stirred it often…) until all of the milk is absorbed. Remove from heat. Slowly add eggs or egg replacer and stir in the remaining 1/2 c. of cheese.

4. Spread over top of bean mixture and bake uncovered for about 40 minutes or until top begins to lightly brown. Mine didn’t get that far, because there were hungry mouths to feed, but it was 40 minutes and good enough.

I can’t believe I waited this long to make this for my own family — I have a feeling it will stay in the winter-time rotation!