So things are moving along. My food choices have not given me cause to hang my head in shame. I do need to make a conscious effort to drink more water and I need to start keeping that food journal again. I hadn’t really made a habit of it before I left on my trip and I completely forgot about it while I was gone. Conveniently? Maybe.
I hadn’t intended for these posts to include recipes, but I find that when I come across something I’m really enjoying, I like to share. Last night’s meal falls into that category. I modified my recipe for Tortilla Soup and made it vegan. It was, surprisingly, delicious. Through the last few weeks I have made two, not insignificant, discoveries about cooking vegan. First, it takes a lot less time to make dinner when you don’t have to cook meat all the way through. I like my veg crisp tender. I like the veg to retain that bite it has when raw. This takes much less time to achieve than when cooking meat. With that being the case, it takes double, or more, the amount of seasonings and spices to achieve the same density of flavor in the same dishes, and I’m not talking about salt here. I’m talking about using double the amount of garlic or ginger or cumin or chili powder. With less time to steep in the delicious tastes while cooking, more is more.
Anyway. My recipe for Tortilla Soup: Vegan Style::
- 1 can vegetarian black beans; drained and rinsed
- 1 tub extra firm tofu; remove as much moisture as you can as seen in this video then cut into cubes
- 1 28 oz can of diced tomatoes (I only had a can of whole, peeled tomatoes so I put them through my food processor for a few seconds)(You can use fresh tomatoes, but they require cooking down and salt adding to get them to release their juices.)
- 1 onion; diced
- 1 poblano pepper; deseeded and deveined and chopped finely
- 4 garlic cloves; minced
- 1 1/2 tsps Cumin
- 1 tsp chili powder
- 1 can chopped green chilies
- 2 cups vegetable broth
Preheat oven to 400ºF
- Sauté the onions, poblano pepper, garlic for 2 minutes in a small amount of coconut oil
- Add the tofu to the pan, followed by the cumin and chili powder. Salt to taste. Sauté for about 3 minutes.
- Add the chopped green chilies and the black beans. Saute for 2 minutes more.
- Add the tomatoes with their juices and the vegetable broth. Bring to a soft boil and reduce temp to low. Cover and simmer for 20 minutes.
- Cut small corn tortillas into 1/2 strips. Place them on a cookie sheet and bake them for 7 to 8 minutes until crisp. Keep a close eye on them because the time between not quite crisp and burned is very short.
- Serve with avocados and a squeeze of lime. If you aren’t vegan, you can sprinkle some Colby Jack over it. I like to assemble my bowl and put the soup over it: tortilla strips and avocado first, then ladle on the soup, and finally, top with cheese and lime juice. I like to decimate half a lime for my bowl, but you can do whatever you prefer.
Me? I don’t care much for the corn tortilla strips, but I love the avocados and lime. Seriously, you should try it with lime.