Even though it’s one of my favorite types of food to make and eat, it seems I hardly ever post Mexican recipes. Why is this? Well, for one, most of the time when I make “homemade” Mexican, it involves opening a can of beans, chopping a few random veggies, maybe making some rice, popping open a can of tomatoes, indiscriminately dousing the whole thing with cumin, chili powder, and hot sauce, and calling it a day. Hardly post-worthy. Though this blog does contain a handful of Mexican oldies-but-goodies (like rainbow Mexi-quinoa medley, roasted potato wraps with black bean hummus, black bean-avocado enchiladas, and one of my all-time favorites, chilaquiles casserole), the overall lack of Latin-inspired posts has been mildly bothersome to me.
But no more. Since the publication of Terry Romero’s Viva Vegan, I have been on a Mexican food craze! I can’t seem to get enough of it (and that’s definitely not a complaint). I was excited about Viva Vegan from the moment I heard it was forthcoming – it’s about time we got a vegan cookbook geared toward Latin food aficionados – and I’m loving the book as much as I’d hoped I would. The first thing that caught my eye was the picture of yellow rice, Venezuelan-style black beans, and Cuban “ropa vieja”-style shredded seitan—a culturally mishmashed composite dish made up of three separate recipes plus sofrito, a slow-braised combination of aromatic ingredients which is a starter to many other Latin dishes. In a 3-hour marathon cooking session on a Monday night, I made the entire meal, all four components, but I don’t recommend that (it was exhausting!), so I’m going to spread out the recipes (my adapted versions of Terry’s) throughout this week. We’ll start with the sofrito, which will keep for a good two weeks in the fridge.
Per serving: 261 calories, 21.9g fat (3g sat), 16g carbs, 3g fiber, 2.2g protein
- 1/2 cup olive oil
- 2 large yellow onions, chopped
- 2 green bell peppers, chopped
- 1 red bell pepper, chopped
- 1 yellow bell pepper (or another green or red), chopped
- 5-6 cloves garlic, minced
- 1/4 tsp sea salt
- 1/8 tsp black pepper
- Heat the oil in a heavy pot or pan over medium heat.
- Add the onions, peppers, garlic, salt, and ground pepper and sauté, stirring often, for about 10 minutes.
- Turn the heat to low and continue to cook, stirring often, for 20-30 minutes, until the mixture is soft and reduced from its original volume by about 1/3.
- Use immediately, or cool and store in a glass jar in the refrigerator
I could honestly probably eat this as-is over rice, but it’s invaluable as a time-saving starter to the other recipes you’ll see here this week. In the meantime, ¡que tengan un buen día!