Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Spicy Vegan Mexican Dinner

Let me preface this by saying we are not vegans but we do enjoy the odd vegan meal here and there. My diet is predominantly vegetarian however, I have eaten some meat during this pregnancy. Once Pecan arrives, it's back to my herbivore lifestyle. I cannot wait for August (more bump pictures to be posted very soon)!!!


Kidney beans are an excellent source of protein, folate, iron, and fibre for those who may be interested. They're excellent for cardiac health, provide energy and help to stabilise blood sugar levels. Some might agree they're kind of magic.

Time savers: We prefer to pre-soak and cook dried kidney beans, but tinned varieties may be used. You may also opt for tinned corn kernels as they are inexpensive, less messy and like the tinned beans, require less time to prepare. Fresh is best in our eyes so enjoy the following recipes and feel free to tweak them to adjust what you have readily available.


Spicy Mexican Beans
Vegan, gluten free

1 Tbs olive oil
1 small brown onion, diced
1 clove garlic, finely diced
1 red chilli, seeds removed, finely diced
1 jalapeño chilli (if you dare), seeds removed, minced
1/2 tsp cumin powder
1 can diced tomatoes
1-2 cups water
1 cup red kidney beans, pre-soaked*
1 ear sweet corn, kernels sliced away from cob**
Sea salt and cracked pepper
Fresh coriander to garnish

Preparing the beans:
Pour one cup of dried kidney beans over a tray, discard any stones and funky looking beans. Rinse thoroughly under cold running water, strain and pre-soak kidney beans in water over night. I use the 1:3 rule (1 cup beans in 3 cups of water, cover and refrigerate overnight). Rinse again and drain well before use.

Cooking the beans:
Place 1 cup pre-soaked beans in a saucepan with 3 cups of fresh water (enough to cover the beans by one inch). Do not season the water. Bring to the boil, then reduce to a simmer and partially cover. Skim any foam that develops and stir occasionally. Cook for 1 to 1/2 hours over low heat. You may choose to use a pressure cooker, which will reduce the cooking time to a third.

*If you prefer not to wait for the pre-soaking and cooking, use one tin of kidney beans, rinse and drain prior to use.

Heat oil in a large pan over medium heat, sauté diced onion until soft. Add the garlic, chilli and jalapeño (if you like the heat... We like the heat!), cumin powder and stir, cooking for 2 minutes.

Pour in the diced tomatoes and 1 cup of water, add the pre-soaked kidney beans and corn (** Again, you may opt to use tinned corn which has been rinsed and drained). Stir to combine, season with salt and pepper to taste and simmer for 10 to 20 minutes. If the beans are too thick, add a little more water to achieve the desired consistency. We like thick beans and tend to mash some of the beans prior to serving to thicken the sauce.

Cook until the beans are tender and serve with freshly chopped coriander.


Fresh Salsa

1 ripe mango
1 large Lebanese cucumber
1 large sweet red pepper (capsicum), stalk and seeds removed
1 small lime
sea salt and cracked pepper
*fresh diced chilli or dried chilli flakes optional

Wash and pat dry all fruit. Finely dice the mango, cucumber and red capsicum, add to a large bowl and stir. Add the zest and juice of half to one small lime (it depends on how much citrus flavour you want- We love lots of lime!) and season with sea salt and cracked pepper to taste. Stir until the fruit is evenly coated and serve immediately.

Sar from Love, Love Lady suggested fresh diced chilli or dried chilli flakes to add a bit of a kick and I'm really digging her suggestion, we tried it and luuuurrrved it!


Wedges

3 medium-large scrubbed potatoes
1/2 Tbs ground cumin
1/2 Tbs paprika
1/2 Tbs ground coriander
1/4 tsp ground chilli powder (+ 1/4 tsp if you like your wedges HOT!)
2 Tbs olive oil
sea salt and cracked pepper

Preheat oven to 190 degrees Celsius (375F). Wash and pat dry potatoes, slice into 1.5cm thick wedges, leave skin on.

In a separate bowl, combine spices and oil. Add potato wedges and thoroughly coat with spice mixture (use your hands, get your spice on!).
Line a large baking tray with greaseproof paper. Spread wedges evenly in a single layer over baking tray and generously sprinkle sea salt and a little cracked pepper to season.

Bake for 40 minutes or until the wedges are crispy on the outside and soft in the centre. Serve hot with the Mexican beans, salsa, and fresh guacamole.


Guacamole

1-2 large ripe avocado (we use Hass avos)
1/2 small red onion, finely diced
1/2 red chilli, deseeded and finely diced
1 small tomato, diced
1 small garlic clove, minced
sea salt
lime juice (just a squeeze)
small handful fresh coriander

Smash the avocado flesh roughly with the back of a fork, stir in diced red onion, chilli, tomato, garlic, sea salt and lime juice. Season to taste. Sprinkle with smokey paprika and freshly chopped coriander to serve.

This guacamole can be made up to an hour before serving. Cover with plastic film and refrigerate, stir before serving.


This is the HOT CHIPS! dance. She performs it for most cooked meals though...


If you would like to add some dairy to your meal, for a vegetarian option try sour cream or natural yoghurt on the side of the beans and melted cheese is also optional. We prefer to keep this meal vegan as it's fun, balanced, colourful, fresh and delicious as is.

What are your favourite Mexican dishes? Do you have any suggestions for vegan cheese? Puh-lease share it below as I'd love to try it!

Bella xx

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