Vegan Spinach Corn Arepas

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Arepas, the South American cousin of the Salvadorian pupusa and Mexican gordita, is a thick corn patty that is a staple of Venezuelan and Colombian cooking.  My sources tell me the difference between a Venezuelan arepa and a Colombian arepa is that a Venezuelan arepa is stuffed with yummy fillings while the Colombian one is used more as accompaniment (like a tortilla or dinner roll would be used).  Either way this little corn patty sure is delicious. Continue reading

Molletes

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Looking for a quick and easy breakfast idea?  Molletes are the answer.  They are fast, simple and delicious.  You are basically looking at bread, beans, cheese and salsa heated through to make one scrumptious and portable meal.  Yes, breakfast (or lunch or dinner or snack time) can be this easy.  Slice a roll in half, slather some garlicky beans, top with cheese, watch it become gooey then spoon some salsa on top.  Pretty easy!  Yum, yum, yum, yum, yum. Continue reading

Chipotle Tempeh Sopes

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Tempeh is a patty made of fermented soybeans and sometimes additions like barley, millet and rice.  It has a slight sour taste due to the fermentation.  Tempeh has a great crunchy texture which makes it a great choice as a ground meat substitute.

Sopes are thick fried masa cakes with a raised edge (to keep all the toppings on bay). Commonly sopes are topped with beans, meat, lettuce, tomato and cheese or sour cream. Yum, yum.

For this recipe I have made a spiced-filled chipotle tempeh filling.  A little heat, a little spice and some good crunch from the tempeh.  A simple mash to some pinto beans creates the perfect base for the tempeh filling.  Top with some crisp lettuce and cool tomatoes and you have a great combo of flavors. Continue reading

Chorizo and Bean Mexican Torta

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Picture this: a fresh, warm, crusty roll slathered with spicy chorizo and warm beans.  Crisp lettuce, sweet tomatoes, coooool avocado and creamy melt-in your-mouth cheese.  Oh yum. Summer just got better and it is all thanks to the mighty torta-the Mexican answer to the sandwich.  Tortas are not only yummy but versatile as well.  They can be served hot or cold and filled with just about any type of protein and veggies you have on hand.

For this recipe I took an authentic torta filling and turned it vegetarian (or vegan).  Most meat-free chorizo tastes just like the traditional beef or pork chorizo (a spice-filled sausage). I smashed it up with some beans to create a fantastic, flavorful filling (try saying that 5 times fast!).  With a well-seasoned filling it is best to keep the veggies simple.  Just a little lettuce, tomato, avocado and cheese to help cut through the spice and voila!  Lunch/dinner-heck even breakfast is served.  Don’t worry about any leftovers either.  The filling makes for killer tacos. Continue reading

Caraotas Negras (Venezuelan Black Beans)

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Venezuelans know how to make a good pot of black beans.  Mmmm, nothing like a pot of sweet, smoky, salty, hearty black beans simmering on the stovetop.  Caraotas Negras are very versatile as they can be served as a side dish, over rice or stuffed into cornmeal arepas.
And when black beans are this delicious and this easy to make then they are a must in my book.  Just a little chopping and a little spice and boom-tasty black beans! Continue reading

Mexican Macaroni Salad

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Summertime and macaroni salad go hand in hand.  Something about a nice cold salad during a warm day, don’t you think?  So how about a Mexican macaroni salad.  It is a perfect accompaniment to a great asada (good old fashion bbq).  Although most Mexican macaroni salads are composed of pasta and mayo this one adds fresh veggies and black beans to really bring out more flavor.  Add a hit of spices and wowy you got yourself a great side dish, main course or appetizer. Continue reading

Porotos Guisado (Argentinean Bean and Vegetable Stew)

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Hearty vegetables will always yield a delicious meal and this stew is no exception.  Good stick to your ribs veggies like potatoes, sweet potatoes and zucchini are simmered with a little sofrito (tomatoes, onions, garlic, spices).  Then beans and peas are added to the stew to create the ultimate in one-pot meals.  Did I mention the creation only takes about thirty minutes to make?  Can’t go wrong. Continue reading

Sonoran Hot Dogs

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The novelty of the Sonoran-style hot dogs is the bacon.  Oh and the toppings.  The creativity that goes into the toppings is amazing.  You can go as basic as ketchup, mustard, relish or venture into guacamole, beans, grilled onions, mayo and pickled jalapenos.  Pick and choose and see what you like.

So legend has it the Sonoran hot dog was invented to help banish those late-night munchies associated with a great night out.  Vendors would line up the streets with mobilized griddles and cook up loads of bacon-wrapped hot dogs and grilled onions.  Hmmm. Continue reading

Mushroom and Corn Tostadas

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Picture this: a crispy, crunchy tortilla slathered with warm beans, then topped with earthy mushrooms, sweet corn and a little punch of heat.  A mountain of lettuce, tomato, cheese and cool yogurt gone on next and voila!  Mushroom and corn tostadas.  What a fantastic meal for a warm day.  These mushroom and corn tostadas are easy to make and are very satisfying.  You got flavor and you got texture making these tostadas delicious. Continue reading

Frijoles Charros

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Frijoles Charros roughly translates to cowboy beans.  These yummy beans originated out on ranches as a way for cowboys to make a hearty, warm pot of beans.  Glad someone thought to do this because they are yum-my.  The key ingredient to frijoles charros (aside from the beans) is good old fashioned bacon.  It helps give it a smoky zing.  I have substituted it with vegetarian bacon but the salty smoky flavor is still there.  Add some onions, tomatoes and chilies and you got yourself one filling bowl of beans. Continue reading