Category Archives: Recipes

Skillet Cornbread

Recipe by Leah, perfected by Amani and Tagan

SKILLET CORNBREAD FOR A CROWD

  • 7 c cornmeal
  • 3 c brown rice flour
  • 2 c arrowroot powder
  • 4 t baking soda
  • 8 t baking powder
  • 4 t salt
  • 1.5 c sugar
  • 6 c coconut milk (42 oz)
  • 8 eggs
  • 1.5 c oil

Mix the wets. Mix the dries. Combine everything. Bake in a super huge cast iron skillet at 375 for 35-40 minutes. So good. 

Black Bean Truffles

VEGAN DARK CHOCOLATE TRUFFLES

(w/black beans!)

Courtesy of our dear friend Tagan Engel.

Makes 25

INGREDIENTS

1 – 15oz can black beans, drained and rinsed

3 tbsp coconut oil

2 tbsp maple syrup

2 tbsp raw sugar

6 Tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder or raw cacao powder

1 tsp vanilla

 

DIRECTIONS

  1. In a food processor fitted with a metal blade, puree black beans, coconut oil, maple syrup, and sugar until very smooth. Scrape down the sides and puree again for 1 minute.
  2. Add the remaining ingredients and puree until combined. Scrape down the sides and puree again until the entire mixture is completely smooth. Taste and adjust flavor/sweetness.
  3. If mixture is too soft to roll into balls, chill for 20 minutes. If it is firm, scoop 1 teaspoon-sized truffles and roll into balls with your hands. Place on a parchment lined baking sheet.
  4. Finish truffles with desired coating. For dry coatings like cacao or nuts, put ¼ or more in a small bowl or plate, and roll each truffle in it until it is coated. To enrobe in chocolate, melt about 12oz of chocolate in a double boiler or microwave. Using a fork or toothpick, dip each truffle in chocolate, shaking off extra and placing each truffle on a lined baking sheet to cool.
  5. Place the truffles in a resalable glass container and store in the refrigerator for 1 week, or freeze for 3 months.

Simple Gluten-Free Bread Loaf

Recipe courtesy of Nathan Rosenburg

Ingredients

1 cup almond meal or cashew meal (make in food processor or buy)
1 cup sifted Otto’s Naturals Cassava Flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 cup olive oil
1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
3 generous tbsps honey
6 eggs
1/2 teaspoon Redmond Real salt

Preparation            

Put dry ingredients in food processor and mix. Add wet ingredients and blend until creamy, it will be runnier than other homemade bread recipes.

Pour into greased loaf pan and bake in oven set to 350 till nice and brown..around 35-50 mins or so, depending on your oven. Top should be nice and brown.

Spiced Pumpkin Bread

Ingredients

  • oven roasted fresh pumpkin – scoop out 2 cups flesh
  • 1.5 cups natural sugar
  • 3-4 eggs
  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • 3 cups gluten free flour (equal parts cornmeal, arrowroot starch, rice flour)
  • 1 tsp ground cloves
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp nutmeg
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 cup coarsely chopped walnuts

Preparation

Blend the pumpkin, oil, eggs, and sugar in the food processor until smooth. In a separate bowl, mix the dry ingredients except for the walnuts. Combine wets and dries, then add the nuts. Bake in a 9×12 pan in the woodstove turning frequently  until done (just kidding, 350 degrees for about 40 minutes should be good.)

Rhubarb Coffee Cake (gluten free)

This recipe makes one large tray.

Combine dry ingredient in one bowl:

  • 2 2/3 cups gluten free flour (equal parts corn meal, rice flour, arrowroot powder)
  • 2 cups natural sugar
  • 3 tsp baking soda
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp ground cloves
  • 1 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1 tsp ground allspice
  • 1 tsp salt

Beat wet ingredients in a separate bowl:

  • 1 1/3 cups vegetable oil
  • 6 eggs

Mix wet and dry together and then add in

  • 3 cups chopped rhubarb
  • 2 cups walnuts
  • 2 cups raisins
  • 1 cup grated apple (or 2)

Bake it at 350 until a toothpick inserted into the middle comes out clean. Yum!

 

Herbal Salve

Herbal salve is essential to have on hand to soothe the calloused hands and chapped lips of the working farmer. It makes great gifts and is super simple to make.

  1. Infuse your dried herbs and flowers in olive oil. Use what you grow. My favorites are calendula, comfrey and yarrow. Pack a glass mason jar with dried herbs and cover with olive oil. Close the lid. Store in a dark place for about a month, shaking every few days.
  2. Strain the herb infused oil using cheesecloth, leaving behind the plant matter.
  3. Melt the oil together with its thickener. Beeswax is a great local choice and is used at a 1:4 beeswax:oil ratio by volume. Shea butter is used at a 1:1 ration with the oil. Either way, melt the oil and fat together in a “double boiler” – that’s a small pan holding the ingredients placed in a larger pan of boiling water.
  4. Once melted, you can incorporate any essential oils you enjoy smelling. (optional)
  5. Pour the mixture into small jars, put on the top, and let cool and set. Enjoy!

Herbs for Salve

(courtesy Mountain Rose Blog)

You can make salve with a single herb or multiple herbs, depending on your needs.  It’s useful to make a variety of herbal infused oils so that you can easily craft salve whenever you need it!

Arnica flowers: Can help treat physical trauma, bruises, strains, and occasional muscle pain. Use immediately after strenuous exertion or injury to prevent, relieve, and reduce swelling, bruises and pain.

Burdock root: For skin infections.

Calendula flowers:  Wonderfully healing with all-around healing properties useful for a wide variety of skin irritations and conditions including wounds, insect bites, rashes, scrapes, abrasions, cuts, and much more.  Suitable for sensitive skin and babies.

Cayenne Pepper: Warming, good for occasional sore muscles, alleviates occasional pain, and itching.

Chamomile flowers: Minor abrasions, cuts, scrapes, and wounds.

Chickweed: Soothing, helps with skin conditions, minor burns, and other skin irritations.

Comfrey leaf and/or root: Relieves occasional pain, swelling, supports muscle, cartilage, and bone. Assists with healing a wide variety of conditions.

Echinacea herb and/or root: Beneficial for minor sores, wounds, insect bites, and stings.

Ginger root: Warming, use for occasional sore muscles.

Goldenseal leaf and/or root: Useful for treating minor wounds and skin conditions.

Lavender flowers: Soothing, calming, relieves occasional pain, has healing properties beneficial for minor wounds and numerous skin conditions.

Myrrh Gum powder: Used for cuts, scrapes, scratches, and abrasions.

Nettle leaf:  An effective herb for many skin conditions.

Oregon Grape root: Skin disinfectant for minor wounds.

Plantain leaf: Helps speed the recovery process, relieves and soothes insect bites and stings, poison ivy, itching, minor sores, bruises, blisters, and damaged skin.

St. John’s Wort: Craft the deep red-colored oil from fresh flowers. Beneficial for minor wounds, cuts, bruises, insect bites and stings, nerve support, scrapes, and minor burns.

Thyme: Used for cuts, scrapes, and occasional sore muscles.

Yarrow Flowers: Apply to bruises, minor wounds, cuts, scrapes, and areas with swelling and bleeding.

Atole

by Elizabeth, posted on AllRecipes.com
INGREDIENTS:
1/2 cup masa (corn flour)
5 cups water
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
5 tablespoons panela, brown sugar
cones
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
DIRECTIONS:
1. Place the masa, water, cinnamon and piloncillo in a blender. Blend until smooth, about 3 minutes.
2. Pour the contents of the blender into a sauce pan and bring the mixture to boil over medium heat, stirring constantly. When the mixture reaches a boil, turn the heat to low and continue to whisk for 5 minutes.
3. Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the vanilla. Pour into mugs and serve hot.

Sopa de guías

Sopa de guías

by Sara at Hispanic Kitchen


7-8 squash vines with leaves


10-12 squash flowers
4-5 huiche squash, sliced into thick wedges
4 corn cobs cut into rounds
1 medium white onion, sliced into wedges
6 cloves garlic, peeled
3-4 stems of chepil (wild mustard greens can be subbed here if you can’t find chepil)
2 ounces masa for making dumplings


Peel the squash vines. You can do this by scraping gently with your finger to get a bit of the skin to come off, and then pulling it down the length of the vine. This is critical because if you don’t get the hard shell off, chewing the cooked vines will be like chewing tough, resistant cardboard. On the other hand, if you do get the shell off, the vines will turn soft and lemony and absorb all of the soup’s flavors.

Chop the squash vines into 2-inch stalks. Leave the leaves whole. Pull the leaves of the chepil from the stems and discard the stems. Finally, form small dumplings (less than an inch long) with the masa and press gently into each dumpling to form a thumbprint. For added flavor, combine the masa with a spoonful of olive oil.

Boil the onion, garlic and corn in a large pot. Add enough water to accommodate all vegetables. When the water is boiling, add chicken bouillon (or use veggie bullion) to taste (I added one cube for about a liter and a half of water). Boil for around 10 minutes and then add the squash. Boil for another 10 minutes or so and then add the squash vines, flowers, and chepil. Turn on medium heat and cook for another 30 minutes. Add salt to taste.

Turn to high heat and bring soup to a rolling boil. Add dumplings. The soup should be hot enough to cook them through in a minute or two. I made the mistake of adding them too early and they disintegrated, which actually added a pleasant consistency and flavor to the soup but destroyed the pleasure of a bite of warm broth and greens with a juicy dumpling in the middle of it.

Serve with tortillas or bread and fresh lime slices.

Corn Tortillas from Scratch

Making Nixtamal (allow 18-24 hours)

By Luz Calvo

Ingredients:
  • 2 cups dried dent corn
  • 2 tablespoons cal (slaked lime)
  • 6 cups water
  •      Rinse 2 cups dried dent corn.
  •      Use a large non-reactive pot (stainless steel, glass, or clay are all good). Read about non-reactive cookware here: http://www.thekitchn.com/food-science-explaining-reacti-73723
  •      Add 6 cups cool water to the non-reactive pot.
  •      Mix in 2 tablespoons “cal” to the water to create a “slurry”
  •      Add rinsed corn to the slurry. It will look like this:
      Cook corn on medium heat for 45 minutes. Ideally, you want the water to just *barely* begin to come to a boil at exactly 45 minutes. This is not as hard as it sounds. The first couple of times you do it, you need to watch carefully. If it starts to look like it is about to boil before 45 minutes, turn the heat down a bit. If at 30 minutes, it is not even close, turn the heat up a bit.

After 45 minutes, turn off the stove and cover the pot. Allow the corn to soak in the pot overnight and preferably for about 24 hours.

      After 18-24 hours, your corn will look like this:
Rinse the corn thoroughly under cool water.

Fill a deep bowl or pot with cool water. Add the corn and using your hands, rub the corn vigorously between your palms. You are trying to remove the outer layer of skin (the hull)—it should fall off pretty easily. Do NOT attempt to clean each kernel one at a time. That would be insane. Just use your hands to massage the corn. It might seem like nothing is happening because the skin is pretty thin but you should begin to see little bits of skin floating in the water.

Pour off the top of the water along with the little pieces of skin that have been removed. I repeat this step about 10 times, until the water I pour off is almost completely clean. Strain the corn one last time.

After rinsing several times, your corn should now look like this:

Now, you are ready to grind the corn. Put a pan under the grinder to catch the masa. Put the strained corn in your grinder. I run my corn through the grinder a second time to get a softer dough.

This is what the freshly ground nixtamal corn will look like:

Take your freshly ground nixtamal and add ½ to 1 teaspoon of salt (I add 1 teaspoon but other recipes say 1/2 teaspoon). Start working the dough with your hands and add about 1 tablespoon of water at a time. Work the dough and add water until you have a nice ball of dough that sticks together, is smooth, but is not pasty. Take care not to add too much water or you will have a mess. I think I add between 1/4 cup and 1/2 cup of water.  I’ve heard if you add too much water, you can add some masa harina to get the masa back to the right consistency. But really, just add water in small increments and you will be fine. Your ball of dough should look like this:

Form balls about the size of a golf ball (or a wee bit smaller). I have found that this recipe (2 cups of dried corn) produces about 1 dozen medium sized corn tortillas.

Prepare your tortilla press and heat your comal(griddle). You want the comal hot when you put the first tortilla on. After the comal is hot you can turn the heat down from high to medium high.

Line the tortilla press with two pieces of plastic. Thin plastic from a produce bag works best. Use scissors to deconstruct the bag into two equal pieces. Press the ball of dough between the two pieces of plastic. Push the lever down. Flip over and press again.

 

      Carefully peel the plastic off the top. Flip the tortilla so you are holding the tortilla on your left hand (if you are right handed) and the remaining plastic is facing up. Remove the plastic.

You now have a raw tortilla on your hand. (Kind of embarrassing that I used a Whole Foods plastic bag. I swear, I hardly ever go there. But their bags really work for this purpose. Ha!)

Ever so carefully, place the tortilla on a hot comal. This is the part that I have found takes practice. Don’t despair. It gets easier with practice and over time you won’t even remember why you thought this was difficult. I think it might be easier with freshly ground corn than with the masa you buy at thetortilleria. You’ll develop your own technique for getting that tortilla perfectly placed on the comal. (I know some people are laughing at me right now. That’s OK. Decolonization is a practice in humility. I messed up a bunch of tortillas before I got the hang of it.)

After the edges of the tortilla start to turn up slightly, flip the tortilla. Continue cooking for a few minutes. You can flip the tortillas a few times until they look done.

Put the finished tortillas between a folded clean dish towel.  Don’t worry too much if you think the tortilla is still slightly raw in the inside. Make more tortillas and let them rest together in the clean towel. They will continue cooking on the inside. By the time you serve them they will be perfect. ENJOY!

Before bring trying this at home, I suggest you also read this informative blog post:
http://www.cookingissues.com/2011/03/09/mesoamerican-miracle-megapost-tortillas-and-nixtamalization/

I welcome questions, comments, and suggestions. Find me at https://www.facebook.com/DecolonizeYourDiet

Luz

Vegetarian Tamales

Corn Husks

  • 1 8-oz. pkg. dried corn husks

Filling

  • 4 jalapeño or serrano chiles, stemmed, unseeded and minced
  • 8 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 white onion, minced
  • 1 cup chopped fresh coriander stems and leaves
  • ½ cup chopped fresh epazote leaves, or 3 Tbs. dried
  • 12 grinds black pepper
  • 2 tsp. kosher salt
  • 2 lb. Monterey Jack cheese or quesillo de Oaxaca cheese, shredded or grated (You can also use re-fried beans for a vegan tamale)

Masa for Tamales

  • 1 cup solid vegetable shortening
  • 1 Tbs. kosher salt
  • 2 tsp. baking powder
  • 3 ½ cups masa harina for tamales with 2 ¼ cups warm water or more as needed, or 4 cups fresh masa with 1 cup water or more as needed
  • 2 Tbs. dried Mexican oregano
  • 1 Tbs. dried thyme
  • Zest of 1 lime
  1. To prepare Corn Husks: Place husks in large stockpot, and cover with hot water. Weight down with plate to keep husks submerged, and let soften for 2 hours or as long as one day.
  2. Select 24 of largest husks at least 6 inches wide. If needed, select smaller ones, and overlap to make wide surfaces for spreading masa; stick together with daub of masa. Tear smallest husks into 1/4-inch-wide x 8-inch-long strips to tie packets together.
  3. To prepare Filling: Combine filling ingredients, and mix well. Set aside.
  4. To make Masa for Tamales: Beat shortening, salt and baking powder with heavy-duty mixer on medium speed until fluffy, about 3 minutes. Turn mixer to low, and add masa a little at a time. Turn speed to high, and beat 3 minutes more, stopping to scrape down sides of bowl. Turn mixer off, and add herbs, zest and 1 1/4 cups water. Turn speed to low, and slowly mix ingredients. Increase speed, and beat masa mixture at least 3 minutes more. Turn mixer off, and add remaining 1 cup water. Slowly increase mixer speed, stopping to scrape down sides of bowl, and beat 3 minutes, adding more water as needed, until mixture is soft and resembles thick pancake batter.
  5. To assemble tamales, arrange corn husks, corn husk ties, filling and masa in easy reach. Place soft, wet corn husk on work surface. Spoon and spread about 1/3 cup masa on husk, leaving 2-inch border all around. Place scant 1/4 cup filling in center of masa. Fold one long side of husk over filling, and roll to enclose masa. To prevent leaking, roll tamale with second husk if masa is not fully enclosed. Fold wider end under, and tie closed with strip of husk. Leave pointed “top” end open. Prepare remaining tamales.
  6. Stand tamales on their folded and tied bottoms in steamer. Do not crowd because tamales need room to expand as they steam.
  7. Cover tamales with some of remaining husks, and pack empty spaces of steamer with wadded husks or foil to prevent tamales from falling over during steaming. Cover steamer tightly, and, over high heat, bring water to a boil. Reduce heat to medium, and steam for 1 1/4 hours. Uncover after 45 minutes, and add more boiling water if needed.
  8. After 1 1/4 hours, remove one tamale, and check for doneness. Masa should pull away from husk easily. If done, remove from heat and set aside for 5 minutes to firm. Open, peel tamales and discard husks. For maximum flavor, cool tamales, and reheat before serving.

The success of tamale making depends on assembling the right steamer. Select a container with a lid that is large enough to easily hold all tamales, and use a stainless steel steamer rack, steamer basket or a Chinese metal or bamboo steamer, making sure that the water does not touch the rack. Line the steamer basket with corn husks. Pour 1 inch of water into the container, and add three to five coins to the water—these rattle during steaming so you know enough water remains in the bottom of the pot. For the corn dough for tamales, buy from a tortilla-making shop if possible. Do not buy masa preparada for tamales because it contains fat. Instead, buy masa harina (masa flour) from a well-stocked supermarket to reconstitute with water into a dough.Tamales freeze well. Place cooled tamales in a single layer on a cookie sheet. Freeze for 30 minutes. Remove from the freezer, and fill plastic freezer bags with cold tamales. Put back into freezer. Do not thaw before resteaming, about 30 minutes. Or wrap cold tamales in heavy-duty foil packages, and freeze. Reheat in a 350F oven, still frozen, for about 40 minutes, but these are best if resteamed. The filling calls for epazote, a popular Mexican herb sold at Hispanic markets.

 

Courtesy of Vegetarian Times