I was instantly captured by this dish created by Vogue Vegetarian! I love mexican food and it fit right within the lifestyle that I am “trying” to follow. I must admit that following a vegan lifestyle hasn’t been very easy for me the last few months – I found myself falling back into my old toxic eating patterns. I had to put my foot down and say “Darn it Michelle, you have come to far and you know the great benefits so don’t stop!! Seriously, sometimes we have to give ourselves a pep talk. I was reminded by someone who was very instrumental in my starting on this journey that I couldn’t give up on my plant-based dietary lifestyle….what would become of the “Emerging Vegan Sistah” if I did???? Well, it was enough to make me think and say this is part of my journey and that’s what this blog is all about – embracing the journey towards change.
I’ve learned that it brings me joy to create new dishes that align with this lifestyle. I rarely follow recipes to the letter, but I followed this pretty closely. I am not going to go through all of the ingredients and steps – visit Vogue Vegetarian’s blog for the original Vegan Mexican Pasta Bake Recipe. The recipe was much more than what I would eat so I cut it in half. I skipped the olives and I forgot the green onions (love them though!). I also have a few other changes: I added diced fresh jalapeno, i used roasted corn and red pepper pico da galo instead of just corn, I also used a spicy taco seasoning mix I found at wholefoods – just wasnt in my budget to by some additional spicy this weekend with my regular groceries. This is one of my new favs!!!
Here is all of the ingredients that I used:
I was initially overwhelmed by the amount of ingredients when I first read it. However, I was pleasantly surprised by how easy and quick it was to start this dish:
When I added the pasta I knew that dish was a winner!!!
I decided to add a little extra Daiya on top. You guys know I am a true Daiya fan – it was a life saver because I love cheese so much that I needed a great alternative & as you see this melted very nicely after baking. oh la la….
I must say take a bow Vogue Vegetarian this recipe gave me great inspiration! I had a nice light lunch today and I have enough for lunch and/or dinner. This was a great dish that I plan to make more. I guess I could have made the entire recipe and put half in the freezer – we live and learn. lol
I am so excited that I am exploring more and more with vegan cooking. I know that I can not practice this lifestyle unless without creating dishes at home. I also need room to explore in the kitchen as well. I enjoyed this time of kitchen creation. I was never a big fan of cornbread as a child, but about 2 years ago I began to incorporate it into my meals. Now, I’ve never made cornbread from “scratch” so this was truly a new experience. Well, I found a recipe on my VegWeb app and it turned out pretty good. I had to add my twist so I added fresh jalapeno. I think I’ll continue to explore, but it was pretty good for my first attempt.
Here’s the recipe (I used all organic ingredients):
1 cup of cornmeal
1 cup of flour of your choice (I used brown rice flour)
4 tsp of baking powder
2 tbsps of flaxseed meal + 6 tbsps of water
1 cup of non-dairy milk (i used coconut milk)
1/2 c of unsweetened apple sauce
1 fresh jalapeno (diced)
Mix all the dry ingredients together
Mix the flaxseed meal + water
Fold wet ingredients into the dry ingredients
The mixture will be doughy and think
Fold in the jalapeno
The dough had an interesting consistency. The recipe suggest placing it in a cold oven. I also decided to use a cast iron skillet that was first sprayed with olive oil cooking spray. The consistency was quite different from when I made my boxed corn meal. lol
I have tried mock tuna salad at two or three vegan locations. The last time I tried it was in the cafe at Kramer’s. It was on of the best I had, but it’s only made for sandwiches (and I didn’t want that). I convinced Rachel, the creator of this creation, to make me a small container to purchase. Rachel kindly agreed to my request, but she couldn’t promise me that this dish would be available weekly. She made her mock tuna with chick peas the first time I tried it. I visited the cafe again a week later, but she made the mock tuna this time with tofu. I liked the one made with chickpeas better. The flavor was great (it was the only one I tried that have fresh herbs and finely diced veggies), but the consistency was not as thick as I like it. I knew I this dish would be great for lunch or a light snack with crackers. I decided to search for a mock tuna recipe and I found quite a few. I didn’t find anyone recipe that seemed to describe exactly what my taste buds were yearning for. For this reason, I made a list of basic ingredients that appeared in most recipes: chickpeas, veganease (vegan mayo), dulce flakes (or nori) and scallions. I decided to add: jalapeno, diced red onions, diced celery, cilantro, nutritional yeast, HSS and fresh cracked black pepper. I do not care for finely diced veggies so my mock tuna is full of veggie that you can actually see and taste when you bite it!!!!
The top things, not only did I make my first mock tuna salad, I made my first mock tuna sandwich melt!!! I used low-sodium Ezekiel 4.9 bread and Cheddar Veggie Slices. I am extremely happy with the results. I love tons of veggies on my sandwich, as you will see from the photos below, so it didn’t need a lot of mock tuna salad to make a great sandwich. So, I also added cucumber, lettuce and tomato on my sandwich as well. I definitely plan to share this with one of my vegan friends