Saturday, October 17, 2009

Burritos! Ole!

Bienvenidos everyone! This time, it's time for a recipe!

I'll give you the recipe first, then afterwards I'll tell you more specifics, including cooking tips and other fun facts about the ingredients. Ready?

Let's go!

Dhiarling Vegan Burritos


1 can (425g/15oz) black beans
1/2 can kernel corn
1/2 block tofu
2 tbsp nutritional yeast flakes
flour tortillas

to taste:
cayenne/red chilli powder
paprika (optional)

1) Rinse the black beans and the corn and combine them in a pot. Lightly mash them, but only enough to mash some of the beans. Don't make them into a paste.

2) Open the tofu and drain the water. Slice the block in half and store the other half. Gently squeeze the half you're using, but don't worry about draining it completely. Place it in another pot and mash it thoroughly.

3) Add the nutritional yeast flakes and paprika to the mashed tofu. Blend thoroughly. If needed, add a little bit of water so that the flakes can be blended. Put on medium-high heat and stir regularly.

4) Add the rest of the spices to the bean mixture and stir thoroughly. Put on medium-high heat and stir regularly.

5) Once the tofu has fully heated, turn off the heat and keep stirring so it doesn't stick. Wait for the bean mixture to heat thoroughly and then pour the tofu mixture into it. Stir them together, blending them completely. Continue to heat.

6) When the combined mixture is sufficiently cooked, spoon it out onto flour tortillas. Roll it in the tortillas and place them in a baking pan, packed together.

7) Place under the grill/broiler on low. Alternatively you can heat them at around 300F/150C or so. Let them brown only slightly and then remove from heat.

8) Top with your favourite salsa or shredded corriander leaves! This recipe makes enough for 2-3 people.

Tips and Such

- Folding tortillas is really easy. If you don't know how to do it, I'll teach you!

First, you'll want to be sure not to put too much filling on each tortilla. Maybe about 1/4 of the size of the tortilla, and leave enough space from the sides, measure by about the top half of your thumb. Place the filling near the bottom, closest to you.

Tuck the sides of the tortilla inwards, towards the filling. Then, with your thumbs, move the bottom end of the tortilla up and over the filling. Tuck the bottom flap under the filling as you roll, and keep rolling until you have a cylindrical burrito!

It's basically kind of like making an envelope!

- 'To taste' means to add however much of the spice you like. You can even omit spices you don't like, or substitute ones that you do.

- If you want the tofu 'cheese' to look cheesier, add a little turmeric for a golden colour.

Ingredient Info

Cumin is basically the spice that gives most chili its distinctive taste. Cumin seed is typically used in Indian cooking, whereas cumin powder is more common in Western. It adds a dimension of heartiness to any food, although it is highly flavourful. Less is often more with this spice.

Corriander, also spelt coriander, is actually the same plant as cilantro. Cilantro is the Spanish name, and in casual cooking conversation it usually refers to the leaves only. Some people love the leaves, others are not so fond of them. The seed, which can be bought whole or in a powder, gives a refreshing sort of taste to dishes and is sometimes referred to as 'citruslike'.

Cayenne, or red chilli, is a kind of hot pepper. You can use whatever you want in place of this or, if you don't like heat in your dishes, just omit it. Comparable to cayenne in taste would be the elegant Japanese shichimi togarashi (a pepper blend) or white pepper.

Paprika is a kind of pepper as well, although its taste is comparatively mild. It is often used to give a colourful accent to foods, rather than to give it much flavour.

Garlic is an extremely popular savoury spice. Its health benefits are many, and its aroma makes most people's mouths water. Although it can override more subtle flavours if used in excess, generally garlic is a welcome enhancer of taste in most dishes. It does, however, linger as an aftertaste in some dishes.

Nutritional yeast flakes are a kind of nutritional supplement. Full of valuable nutrients, they are helpful to anyone on a special diet. However, that aside, they also have a very cheesy, enjoyable taste that allows even vegans to enjoy a completely guilt-free 'cheese'. Be careful not to get brewer's yeast or anything like that...only nutritional yeast flakes tend to have the buttery, cheesy flavour. Many of the rest have a bitter taste.

Tofu is soybean curd. It has been used for centuries in many kinds of food, and it is often used as a good source of protein for vegetarians and vegans. You can get it in a variety of firmnesses (oo-er), but I tend to use firm or extra firm. For 'cheese', you might want to get soft, since it is smoother.

Black beans are a type of bean that is often used in 'Southwestern' dishes and is popular in many Mexican dishes too. They have a distinctive flavour that lends itself well to other common ingredients of this sort of cuisine, plus they're very nutritious.

Kernel corn is corn that is, naturally, in the kernel. This is different to creamed corn.

So I hope you'll all enjoy this recipe, and I hope you'll let me know how it goes when you try it! It's a simple recipe that can give you a lot of enjoyment, as well as a lot of nutrition. The beans, tofu, and nutritional yeast flakes make it an excellent choice for anyone, but especially diet-conscious veg*ns.

Until next time...keep it cookin'!

};) Dhiar <3

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