Stella’s Stuffed Baked Potatoes

Stella's Stuffed Baked Potatoes

I have been craving potatoes all week. In addition, I knew I had a whole package of LightLife Fakin’ Bacon in the fridge, taunting me. All day I struggled to decide between potato soup and baked potatoes on this cold, cold Central Texas night.

I decided on baked potatoes. Now, I always thought I hated skin on potatoes. Sometimes I leave them in when making mashed potatoes, because I know there are a lot of nutrients near the skin and because, frankly, I am lazy (you didn’t know?). Tonight I decided to try a new method I’d heard about, and I now love potato skins! The key is to bathe them in olive oil and bake them right on the oven rack. The result is puffy, crispy, tasty potato skins and light, fluffy, warm potatoes. Delicious. Yes, it took a while, but it was totally worth it.

Stella’s Stuffed Baked Potatoes

olive oil
vegan margarine
Sour Supreme
tempeh bacon
cremini mushrooms, thinly sliced or diced
white or yellow onion
minced garlic

The amount of ingredients you use will just depend on the number of potatoes and how much of the topping you want on them.

1. Preheat oven to 350°.

2. Cut sprouts and dark spots from potatoes. Scour them thoroughly under cold running water, either with a scouring brush or the abrasive side of a clean, unused sponge.

3. Poke about 6-8 holes in each potato with a fork.

4. In a small dish, roll each potato in a thin layer of olive oil.

5. Place each potato directly onto the oven rack, placing a cookie sheet on the shelf below to catch any drippings. Bake for at least an hour, perhaps longer for large potatoes or a large batch.

6. Meanwhile, in a small skillet, sauté onions and garlic in a little olive oil over medium heat until fragrant, about three minutes. Add bacon and cook until it begins to get crispy. Add mushrooms and continue to cook until they are well done. Remove from heat and set aside.

7. When potatoes are done (check my sticking a fork in one), carefully remove them from the oven using a large spoon, spatula, or tongs. Using your fork, perforate one side straight down the side horizontally, forming a line to break open. Push on the ends of the potato with your fingers, using the fork in the center if necessary, to pry open the potatoes. If they are done, this will be easy.

8. Spoon a dollop of margarine into each potato. Top with mushroom and bacon mixture and sour cream to taste. Serve immediately.

*Russet potatoes are best, but any will do in a pinch!

Cross posted from stellatex.

Stella’s Tex-Mex Hominy Bake

Tex-Mex Hominy Bake

Though it involves a rather long list of ingredients, this recipe is so quick and easy! It’s also hot with fire and warm with comforting Tex-Mex goodness. It’s really good, if I may say so myself.

Stella’s Tex-Mex Hominy Bake

16 oz pre-cooked white hominy
16 oz pre-cooked beans (pinto or kidney work well)
2 cups pre-cooked white or brown rice
1/3 cup white onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
1 tsp cumin
1/2 cup Sour Supreme
1/2 cup nutritional yeast
1 small jalapeno, seeded and finely diced (use less if you prefer a milder flavor!)
1 Tbsp olive oil
juice of one lime
1/4 cup vegetable broth or water
2 corn tortillas, cut into thin strips
salt and pepper to taste
1/2 cup vegan cheese, shredded (optional)
hot sauce to taste (optional)

1. Preheat oven to 350°. In a small pan, saute the onion, garlic, and olive oil for a few minutes until fragrant. Stir in cumin, red pepper flakes, cayenne pepper, and lime juice. Reduce heat and simmer.

2. Combine all other ingredients, except tortilla strips and cheese, in a large casserole dish. Pour in onion and garlic, including all liquids, and stir thoroughly until well mixed.

3. Sprinkle shredded cheese over top of dish, if using. Then top with latticework of tortilla strips. Bake for approximately 30 minutes or until nicely browned. Broil briefly at the end for extra crispy tortilla topping, but be careful not to burn them. Serve with hot sauce (I love Cholula brand!) or salsa and additional sour cream, if desired. A cilantro garnish would also be lovely, but alas, I do not have any.

Tex-Mex Hominy Bake

Cross posted from stellatex.

Tostadas Perfectos

Tuesday night tostada dinner

Tostadas Perfectos

2 fresh corn tortillas (small)
4 Tbsp refried beans
1/3 cup finely grated Follow Your Heart Monterey Jack Vegan Gourmet cheese
chopped raw onions, to taste
Stella’s Famous Guacamole
2 tsp Sour Supreme
1 Tbsp of your favorite salsa
handful of mixed leaves
1/4 tsp chili powder
1/4 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp Earth Balance
vegetable oil

1. Over medium-high heat, fry tortillas in vegetable oil until crispy and nicely browned. Drain on paper towels.

2. In a microwave-safe bowl, mix Earth Balance and beans, then heat for approximately one minute (of course, you can use a saucepan, if you prefer). Then stir in chili powder and cumin and microwave until heated through (probably about another minute, depending on your microwave).

3. On a big plate, assemble tostadas: on each crisp tortilla, spread half the beans, then sprinkle with cheese. Using a toaster oven (or microwave), heat for a few seconds until cheese begins to melt (this usually doesn’t take long at all with FYH cheeses). Then top with guacamole, onions, sour cream, lettuce, and salsa, to your taste. Enjoy!


Crossposted from stellatex.

Autumn Vegetable Fritters with Homemade Applesauce

For the fritters
2 sweet potatoes
1 large yellow squash
1 starburst squash
1 large carrot
1 large parsnip
1/2 white or Vidalia onion
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
~ 1/4 cup vegetable oil
salt and pepper, to taste

For the applesauce
2 apples, peeled, cored, and shredded (I put chunks in my food processor)
1 tsp sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
plash lemon juice

1. Roughly chop vegetables. Boil or steam until they are well softened and almost cooked through.

2. Meanwhile, mix applesauce ingredients in a saucepan over medium heat for about five minutes until warmed through and well combined. Pour in about 1/2 cup water and cover.

3. Place all the vegetables in a mixing bowl. Sprinkle them with flour and season with salt and pepper to taste.

4. On a cutting board or clean counter top, shape the vegetables into patties of whatever size you desire (I like them relatively thin, so they turn out on the crunchier side).

5. Place patties on a greased cookie sheet and bake for about 40 minutes at 350°, turning over once midway through.

6. Meanwhile, stir applesauce frequently until water has cooked off and a saucy consistency is achieved (probably about ten to fifteen minutes). Set aside.

7. Remove patties from oven when golden and crispy, but not burned. (Alternatively, fry patties in a little oil until lightly browned on both sides).

6. Serve with a side of applesauce.

This will make your house smell really good, too!

Recipe adapted from Vegan Planet’s Autumn Vegetable Fritters.

Cross posted from stellatex.


Another enchilada recipe!

This time, an enchilada pie!

green enchilada pie 2

Stella’s Green Sour Cream Nochicken Enchilada Pie

2 cups vegetable broth
1/2 package Soy Curls*
3 Tbsp canola oil
1.5 cups vegan cream of mushroom soup (I used vegan portobello soup; or make your own)
1 4 oz. can diced green chiles
1 cup spinach, washed and roughly chopped
1/3 cup cilantro, washed and roughly chopped
6 oz. sour cream (1/2 container of Sour Supreme)
1/4 cup diced green onions
2 Tsp cumin
8 oz. cheese, shredded (I used FYH Monterey Jack)
salt and pepper to taste
12 corn tortillas

1. Preheat oven to 350°F.

2. In a medium saucepan, bring vegetable broth just to a boil and reduce heat; add Soy Curls and allow them to expand over ten to fifteen minutes, stirring occasionally.

3. Meanwhile, in a large food processor or blender, purée soup, chiles, spinach, cilantro, sour cream, cumin, salt, and pepper, keeping some cilantro apart for garnish. Set aside.

4. Drain Soy Curls and add to pan with 1 Tbsp canola oil. Sautée over medium high heat, stirring often, until curls are nicely browned, and remove from heat.

5. Grease a medium to large, oven safe dish (up to 12″ in diameter) with remaining canola oil. Pour in one cup of the soup mixture and top with three corn tortillas, fanning them out from the center if necessary to ensure they cover the diameter of the dish.

6. Add 1/3 Soy Curls, 1/4 of the shredded cheese, and 1/3 of the green onions. Repeat with three more layers, using all ingredients except 1/4 of the cheese.

7. Top with the remaining shredded cheese and any dribbles of the soup mixture which are left over.

8. Bake for about 25 minutes, or until cheese is golden brown and sauce bubbles, broiling for the last three minutes or so if necessary. Allow to cool for at least ten minutes before slicing.

9. Garnish with cilantro and serve with rice, beans, guacamole, salsa, and any other Mexican sides you desire!

melty cheese

green enchilada pie 2

soy curls

* Thanks to Alin for the Soy Curls, straight from Portland!

Cross posted from stellatex.

Grandma’s Homemade Flour Tortillas (sorta)

I may have mentioned that I spent a good bit of my childhood in my grandmother’s kitchen…mostly gossiping and watching her cook, but occasionally I would give her a hand. I remember using an old wooden rolling pin to help her whip out loads of tortillas for a table-full of hungry children. We’d load these magical discs (nobody made ’em like Grandma) with all sorts of things–beans, guac, butter, you name it…

So after years of trying, I finally got the magical recipe out of Grandma, veganized it, and made a batch of my own. And let me tell you–what these tortillas lack in beauty, they most certainly make up for in taste!

Grandma’s Homemade Flour Tortillas (sorta)
2 c unbleached white flour (plus extra for rolling)
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 teaspoon evaporated cane sweetener
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 c vegetable shortening
3/4 c unsweetened almond milk (luke warm)
In a large bowl, combine all dry ingredients and mix well with fork. Add shortening and mix with fingers until consistency is even. Add almond milk and knead well (about 3-5 minutes). Separate dough into 8 equal parts, creating small dough balls.
Generously dust a large, flat surface with flour. Using a rolling pin (or a sanitized wine bottle…not kidding), roll out each ball into a round, flat shape. Use additional flour to dust balls as you roll them out.
Heat griddle to medium-high heat. Thoroughly cook each tortilla (roughly 1 minute on each side).
Store uncooked tortillas on a large plate, separated by parchment paper. Cover plate with plastic wrap. Uncooked tortillas can be stored up to 3 days in refrigerator.
Feel free to load these up with whatever you like…or don’t. They’re great all by themselves, too!

Valentine’s Day Events and GF Chocolate Love Bites Recipe

(Cross posted from Vegan Vanguard)

Okay, I’m pretty busy keeping a lot of balls in the air right now, but I’m so proud of this gluten-free cake recipe that’s so moist and delicious you can serve it to anyone and they’ll ask for another slice, and these Love Bites which are as ubiquitous in my house around Valentine’s Day as bunnies and chocolate eggs are for Easter or flags and grilling are for Independence Day. They’re the definitive sign that Valentine’s Day is upon us. So I’m reposting the recipe for you to enjoy.

Or, if you’re in Austin, you could save the baking for another day and come out and buy a few Love Bites from The Natural Epicurean’s 5th Annual Bake Sale. I’m leading the baking this year, and I planned the menu as well as created most of the recipes. We’ll have three different kinds of Love Bites, including a chocolate mint mousse version, Cheesecake with Chocolate Hazelnut sauce, Blood Orange Coulis, Blackberry Coulis and Pineapple Ginger Coulis, and Hello Dolly Bites, all of which will be vegan, gluten free, and free of refined sugar, plus Carrot Cake Cupcakes with Cashew Créme Cheese Icing, Baklava, and Spanakopita, which will be vegan and free of refined sugar. Some of our items will also be soy free. The bake sale will be on the Casa de Luz Campus at 1701 Toomey Rd., Saturday, February 14, 10:00 am – 2:00 pm or until we sell out.

I won’t be able to attend the whole bake sale, though, as I’ll be teaching a the Annual Aphrodisiacs: Cook to Love, Love to Cook class, where Rachel Zierzow and I will be making showing how to make a luscious and seasonal meal of: Artichokes with Lemon Butter, Porcini Mushroom Soup with Chestnuts, Tempeh Italiano and Toasted Pine Nuts over Seasonal Greens, Risotto Milanese, Maple Roasted Winter Squash with Apples and Fennel, Chocolate Amaretto Mousse with Almond Tuile and Kumquats.

The class is Saturday, February 14th, 9:00 am – 12:00 pm at Casa de Luz in the Cielo Room, and the cost is $55.00 for a single attendee and only $27.50 for a friend or family member who enrolls and attends with you. Per couple, it is $82.50. To register, please call (512) 476-2276.

Love Bites
Christina Terriquez

Yields: 20 servings

Valentine’s Day is a perfect special occasion to indulge in something really decadent with your loved ones. However, one of the biggest problems with indulging is the indigestion and feeling of heaviness that accompanies most baked goods. Nothing ruins romance like an upset stomach or feeling bloated and too-full.

These Love Bites are gluten-free for easy digestion. They have a complex yet classic combination of flavors which is rich and satisfying, yet their petite size makes them a perfect end to your meal, that won’t leave you or your sweetheart’s tummies feeling overstuffed.

1 recipe Gluten-Free Chocolate Cake
1 recipe Crème Anglaise for garnishing, optional

1/4 cup organic juice sweetened raspberry preserves, diluted
with 1 or 2 teaspoons of water

3/4 cup organic unsweetened non dairy milk, like soy, oat,
coconut, almond, rice, etc.
1/2 cup organic grain-sweetened chocolate chips

organic fresh raspberries for garnishing, optional

Prepare Gluten-Free Chocolate Cake and Crème Anglaise according to recipes.

Place chocolate chips in a heatproof bowl. In a saucepan, heat soymilk over medium-high heat until soymilk just begins to boil. Pour hot soymilk over chocolate chips and let stand for two minutes. Whisk soymilk and chocolate together until a smooth homogeneous texture is achieved.

To assemble Love Bites:
Place a wire cooling rack over a cookie sheet.

Cut off any crisp or tough edges of Gluten-Free Chocolate Cake and set aside for other uses. Cut remaining cake into individual servings using a small heart cookie cutter, or cut into 1 inch squares. If using a cookie cutter, make sure it is no more than 2 inches by 2 inches.

Cut heart in half, so that you have doubled the amount of hearts.

Spread 1/4–1/2 teaspoon of thinned raspberry preserves over the top of half of the hearts, then place another heart on top, creating a sandwich.

Place heart sandwiches on a wire rack/cookie sheet set up. Slowly pour chocolate sauce over each heart, allowing some chocolate to flow down the sides of each heart If chocolate has thickened, heat it or whisk in a tablespoon or two of more nondairy milk. Decorate hearts with raspberries while chocolate is still soft, if desired.

Place chilled and whipped Crème Anglaise in a small plastic bag and cut the very tip of one corner off the bag. Use the bag to gently drizzle crème over each heart.

Allow chocolate and crème to set up. Share with your loved ones.

Try using a different flavor of preserves or Cashew Crème.

Substitute your favorite cake recipe for the Gluten-Free Chocolate Cake.

Add 1/4 teaspoon of almond extract to soymilk before boiling.

Gluten-Free Chocolate Cake
Christina Terriquez

Yields: 9–16 servings

1/3 cup organic quinoa flour
1/4 cup organic chick pea flour
1/4 cup organic white rice flour
1/3 cup organic, free-trade cocoa powder
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon organic ground cinnamon, optional
1/4 cup organic safflower oil
5/8 cup organic unsweetened soy milk or coconut milk (1/2 cup
plus 2 tablespoons)
1 1/2 teaspoons organic white wine vinegar
1/2 cup organic agave nectar
1/8 teaspoon unrefined sea salt, Lima or SI brand recommended
1 tablespoon organic ground flax meal
1/4 cup filtered or spring water
1/2 teaspoon organic vanilla extract
1/8 teaspoon organic almond extract, optional

Preheat over to 350° F.

Prepare one 8 inch square cake pan by lightly brushing with safflower oil, then lining with an 8×16 inch piece of unbleached parchment. Set aside.

In a medium sized bowl, sift flours, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, and cinnamon together.

In a large bowl, mix remaining ingredients together. Add dry ingredients and gently mix to incorporate.

Pour into prepared pan and bake for 30–50 minutes, until a toothpick comes out clean.

Allow cake to cool completely on cooling rack. Run a knife along the edges of the cake, and use long ends of parchment to gently remove cake from baking pan.

Double this recipe for a two–layer 8 inch square cake.

Frost with Creamy Chocolate frosting, chocolate ganache, Tofu Cream Icing, Cashew Creme, or serve with Orange Blossom Syrup.

Garnish with a fruit sauce made with fruit sweetened preserves diluted in apple juice or water and thickened with kuzu.

Crème Anglaise
Christina Terriquez

3/4 cup organic unsweetened soymilk
2 tablespoons agar flakes
1 organic vanilla bean
1/3 cup organic coconut milk
1/4 cup organic light agave nectar
1/4 cup organic amasake
1 tablespoon organic vanilla extract
1 tablespoon organic coconut oil, optional

In a medium saucepan, combine soy milk and agar flakes and let rest for 10 minutes.

While agar and soymilk are resting, split vanilla bean in half lengthwise. Scrape the tiny black seeds from each half, and put vanilla seeds and pod into soymilk.

Add remaining ingredients to saucepan and simmer for 10–15 minutes, until agar flakes have dissolved and sauce has thickened slightly. Remove vanilla pod from sauce. Remove from heat and blend in blender or with immersion wand once again. Use immediately for glazing.

If using sauce for garnishing, cool until set. After sauce has set, purée in blender or with immersion wand. Sauce should be soft custard consistency.

Crème Anglaise is usually made with cream, refined sugar, egg yolks and vanilla beans. This vegan version is much healthier for your heart.

Store it in a squeeze bottle (this is a perfect use for your agave nectar bottles when you’ve used all the agave inside), and use it to garnish any other desserts you make that week.

Make a double or triple batch and put it in an ice cream maker for a rich, French Vanilla-style ice cream.

Simple Migas…Brownsville Style

I spent much of my childhood watching cooking shows, experimenting in the kitchen, and gossiping with my grandmother while she prepared some fabulous meals! Not terribly exciting, but I grew up in Brownsville, Texas, after all. My grandmother is from a small Mexican village, where simplicity is valued, and native cuisine is a concoction of indigenous foods with a Spanish twist. One of my favorite breakfast dishes growing up was my grandmother’s simple, yet delicious migas! Grandma prepared her migas with freshly made corn tortillas, scrambled eggs, and a few Latin spices. Not overloaded with flavors, the simple dish made it possible for all of my family members to dress the dish to our own liking. My mother and aunt Sylvia usually topped theirs with a salsa picante and cheese (chilaquiles style), and my brother Michael and I often picked out most of the egg (we had a funny thing about eggs) and topped the remainder with ketchup…don’t knock it ’til you try it. A recent conversation with my mother about the dish inspired me to create a vegan version for myself…ketchup included! The dish is quite simple.

Migas Base
4 corn tortillas (cut in small squares)
1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil
1 pinch sea salt

6 oz Mori-Nu Extra Firm Tofu
1/2 teaspoon turmeric
1 small garlic clove (minced)
1 pinch cumin powder
sea salt to taste
black pepper to taste
1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil
In a small skillet, sauté tortilla squares until lightly crisp. In a separate skillet, combine scramble ingredients and sauté evenly. Combine all ingredients and top as you wish…get crazy, even!