Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Give Your Favorite Dish a Vegetarian Makover


One of my mother's favorites.  She's from Texas and any chile you can grill, toast, cook or freeze is right up her alley.  I had a hard time figuring out what to use instead of the egg, flour, meat and cheese I normally use until I just left it out.

Here are things you can do if you're stumped in putting one of your favorite dishes together that includes meat and cheese.

1. Just forget it altogether
You've tried it all; egg replacer, avocado and even Xanthan Gum and nothing compares to the fluffiness of the egg.  How about just forgetting it?

2. Use it sparingly
Instead of mixing three or four eggs, maybe just use one and add water.

3. Substitute
Since eggs are a binder, what else can be used as a binder, mixed with flour and then sauteed?

I have learned that sometimes omitting it all together isn't so bad.  Why? Because the flavors typically make up for it.

We get into these habits sometimes and don't realize that it's just that.  They're habits and if you're like me who's constantly tweaking my habits, then you'll know that's what it's really all about.

4 Poblano Chiles
1 cup Barley
1/4 bag of Frozen peas, carrots, and corn
1/4 cup of a fresh pot of cooked red beans
1 bag of Red Beans
1 Garlic (all cloves) crushed and diced
Sea Salt to taste

1/4 cup of Molasses
2 tablespoons of Worstechire
1 tablespoon Tamari
1/2 tablespoon of Red Wine Vinegar
1 teaspoon of Horseradish
1 tablespoon Grey Poupon Mustard

Cook the beans in a pot with tomato stock (or some sort of vegetable stock) for about 3-4 hours.

Cook the chiles over a comal or dry pan and roast them on all sides leaving the stem in tact. Set aside and let them cool.

Make the barley - 1 cup barley to 3 cups water and cook like rice but after it boils, put a lid and let it steam for about 45 minutes in homemade vegetable broth

Mix the sauce ingredients and keep tasting it to make sure it's the right flavor for you

Add the frozen vegetables

When the barley is done, add about 1/2 cup in the sauce and vegetables.

When the beans are done, mix about the same amount of cooked beans together with the veggies and barley mix and set aside.

Put on some disposable gloves and peel the skin off the chiles and remove all the seeds. Cut a slit from the top of the stem to the bottom and remove everything inside. (The gloves are to protect you from the chile getting on your hands that can be very uncomfortable afterwards.)

Stuff the chiles with the mixture and add Cotija cheese if desired. Put in oven at 400 degrees for about 10 minutes.  They should be hot and steamy when taken out of the oven.

Here's what is important.  If you can add the right amount of flavoring to fresh cooked foods like beans, barley and chile poblanos, that is part of the secret.  Get out of using the canned products. The more fresh these ingredients are made, the better they will taste but you knew that. Who will argue with the frozen peas and carrots?

We served this with a Ceasar's salad with avocados and croutons.  It was really delicious!!