Vegan MoFo

Vegan MoFo Day 10: ¡Dale!

Today we’re taking inspiration from a favorite show. I have a lot of favorite shows, but for this I chose the Netflix revival of One Day at a Time, focused on a Cuban-American family in Los Angeles. I wanted to do this even before hearing the news that Pop TV picked it up for a much-deserved fourth season, but now it’s all the more reason to scream from the mountaintops: Watch this perfect little show!! OK. On to the food.

Obviously I had to attempt a Cuban dish. Something Lydia might’ve made in an attempt to appease Elena whenever she insists she’s gone vegan, but not without a significant amount of side eye. Something Lupe would’ve been skeptical of trying and Alex would’ve teased his sister about. Something Schneider would’ve overenunciated in Spanish. You know. Mushroom ropa vieja.

Above: Tree oyster mushrooms fill the pot.

The recipe I found called for king oyster mushrooms, or trumpet mushrooms, but we got a deal on a giant sack of tree oyster mushrooms at the market, and I figured that would definitely have an intriguingly meaty texture in this dish.

Above: It also released a lot of liquid. Neat!

The dish came together easily and smelled fantastic. It even got me to eat green olives. I am not a fan of olives.

Above: Olive you so much.

To make a complete meal out of this, we cooked some rice (brown basmati; I’m sure Lydia would never approve, but we like it) and black beans with a quickie sofrito. Also a killer-smelling pot of food.

Above: Black beans, tomato, and sofrito.

So, without further ado…

A plate of food!

Above: Made with love.
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Pupusas with plantains and black beans and curtido

Oh, it makes a pretty picture…

I don’t think I’m quite adept with plantains yet. But this was a better outing than the Jamaican-style curry from a few weeks ago, where they were weirdly super dry. Probably helps that they’re in smaller pieces, stuffed inside a fat corn tortilla.

Anyway. I remember the first time I ate a pupusa–many years ago, at some restaurant in a part of the Portland metro area I forget–and it was fucking revelatory. I can’t make pupusas that taste anything like the experts’, but it’s fun to try. Plus I do like curtido, the vinegary cabbage slaw that goes with everything.

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I just lost my job. Their loss, I tell myself. Onward and upward. Until the next thing comes along, I’ve got plenty of time to reinvigorate my cooking. While I have grand plans about poring over my cookbook collection, pulling out recipes I always meant to try but didn’t have the time or energy to do, etc. etc., I decided to stick with what I know tonight. That is: homemade corn tortillas, fresh guacamole, vegetable saute (onion, mushroom, bell pepper, kale), and seasoned black beans. All from scratch – time! – and mostly from the farmers’ market. It feels good.

I hadn’t made tortillas in awhile, though I had gotten the technique down pretty well. Those damn grain-loving moths finally wormed their way in to my other masa harina stash, so I had to toss it. Anyway, I’ve been resupplied, and I observed some experts (i.e. the ladies filling endless orders for the Oaxacan Kitchen Mobile at the farmers’ market) press TWICE, flipping in between, so I gave it a whirl. It does seem to get them just a bit thinner, which is nice.

Anyway, more to come. Cooking keeps me sane–and fed–and posting about it gives me a nice daily objective. At least, until I get a new job. Fingers crossed.

Food Blog None Vegan MoFo

#VeganMoFo Day 10: Something blue

Technically, food isn’t blue. But you can get pretty close: blue corn, blue potatoes, purple kale, red cabbage, black krim heirloom tomatoes… so why not combine them all in one dish?

Organic blue masa becomes blue corn tortillas – yum.

Purple potatoes and kale are sauteed with onions and garlic, then deglazed with water and lime juice for tanginess and stuffed into said tortillas, then smothered in mole negro sauce (from Oaxacan Kitchen) and baked.

Served with black beans (seasoned with onion, garlic, and oregano), lime juice-marinated cabbage, and diced heirloom tomato.