Browsing Tag

fall

Dairy Free, Recipes, Side Dishes

Butternut Squash, Kale, and Walnut Stuffing

November 20, 2017
Thanksgiving isn't complete without the stuffing. This Butternut Squash, Kale, and Walnut Stuffing combines all of fall into a delicious vegan version.

Thanksgiving’s when we go all-out right?!

I was thinking about it this morning while putting the finishing touches on my menu. I mean when else do we think 6, 7, 8 side dishes are acceptable? Christmas Dinner doesn’t even see such a spread. I mean it’s nice but by the 25th we usually put a kibosh on the fourth side dish.

Thanksgiving isn't complete without the stuffing. This Butternut Squash, Kale, and Walnut Stuffing combines all of fall into a delicious vegan version.

No matter, this year we’ll be having olive oil-garlic mashed potatoes, maple and sage sweet potato gratin, fluffy warm biscuits, cranberry sauce, gravy, green salad with pomegranates, and green beans almondine. We will of course be having stuffing too!! I mean Thanksgiving just isn’t Thanksgiving without the stuffing.

Thanksgiving isn't complete without the stuffing. This Butternut Squash, Kale, and Walnut Stuffing combines all of fall into a delicious vegan version.

I first made this rustic stuffing two years ago at a Thanksgiving that started off fancy AF and ended up chaotic AF when Louisa tripped Hiro, he slammed his forehead into the corner of the wall, and ended up in the emergency room. They were playing “Make You Trip”. Louisa won.

This stuffing though, was also a winner that evening. So earthy and full of autumn, with roasted squash, sage, and toasted walnuts. I think I put chorizo in that first version but I kind of like it better without. It’s nice to have a vegan side that is so robust and absolutely killer with cranberry sauce.

Thanksgiving isn't complete without the stuffing. This Butternut Squash, Kale, and Walnut Stuffing combines all of fall into a delicious vegan version.

Oh, and don’t do like I did and leave the crust on the bread. It is MUCH better with the crusts removed. Have a wonderful Thanksgiving everyone!!

Butternut Squash, Kale, and Walnut Stuffing
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Thanksgiving isn't complete without the stuffing. This Butternut Squash, Kale, and Walnut Stuffing combines all of fall into a delicious vegan version.
Author:
Serves: 8-10 servings
Ingredients
  • 1 loaf multigrain artisan bread (about 1 pound), crust removed and cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 1 small butternut squash, about 2 pounds, peeled, seeded, and chopped
  • ⅔ cup olive oil, divided
  • 1 large yellow onion, chopped
  • 1 (10 bag) chopped kale, tough stems removed
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 2 teaspoons dried sage
  • 4 cups vegetable or chicken broth
  • 1 cup walnuts, toasted
Instructions
  1. Heat oven to 450°F. Bake bread in a single layer until dry, about 5-7 minutes. Transfer to a large bowl.
  2. Place squash on same baking sheet, drizzle with 2 tablespoons of the olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Roast until just tender, about 20 minutes. Squash will continue to cook in the stuffing so its better for it to be a little underdone.
  3. Reduce oven heat to 350°F.
  4. Heat 3 tablespoons of the oil in a pan. Add onion and season with salt and pepper. Cook until tender, about 5 minutes. Add kale, garlic, and sage and cook until kale is wilted, about 10 minutes.
  5. Transfer mixture to bowl with bread. Add squash, broth, walnuts, and remaining oil. Season generously with salt and pepper. Stir to combine, taste and add more salt as needed.
  6. Grease a 9-x-13-inch baking dish. Transfer stuffing to pan, cover with foil, and bake 30 minutes. Remove foil and bake 30 minutes more or until crisp and browned on top.

 


A Thanksgiving Menu

Bay-Brined Roasted Turkey

Whiskey Cream Gravy

Jicama Slaw with Ginger Molasses Vinaigrette

Butternut Squash, Kale, and Walnut Stuffing

Fluffy Biscuits

Cranberry-Walnut Jell-O Salad

Roasted Carrots with Chipotle Honey Butter

Pumpkin Pie with Pepita-Gingersnap Crust

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One More Thing

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Also, don’t forget to sign up for my weekly newsletter, lots of good stuff there too!

 

Comida Latina, Condiments and Salsas, Dairy Free, Mains, Recipes, Side Dishes

Grilled Pumpkin Steaks with Black Beans and Jalapeño Pesto

November 15, 2017
Grilled pumpkin steaks are an excellent way to eat up that delicious Halloween Jack-O-Lantern with creamy black beans and spicy jalapeño pesto sauce!

I can tell it is starting to get cooler out when I start wearing a blanket like an elongated tube top around the house. I guess the shorter daylight hours just doesn’t give the sun enough time during the day to warm things up in here. It’s still not cold enough to turn the heat on, (I believe it was after Thanksgiving when that happened last year if I remember correctly), but still a slight chill in need of a blanket.

Grilled pumpkin steaks are an excellent way to eat up that delicious Halloween Jack-O-Lantern with creamy black beans and spicy jalapeño pesto sauce!

I was in touch with some friends back in North Dakota over the weekend and they filled me in on their recent snowfall. Comparatively I have nothing to complain about, just an observation that subtle seasonal changes do occur, even here in Southern California.

Grilled pumpkin steaks are an excellent way to eat up that delicious Halloween Jack-O-Lantern with creamy black beans and spicy jalapeño pesto sauce!

Aside from snowy, long distance texts, this past weekend was filled with eating up our Halloween Jack-O-Lantern before it got too old and moldy to do something with. It goes without saying that I’m my spirit-decade is the Great Depression and I can’t bear to throw anything remotely edible and I remembered this idea from when I was the Pastry Chef at Firefly Restaurant in San Francisco. These grilled pumpkin steaks were a staple on their fall menu and I always thought it was such a genius idea.

Grilled pumpkin steaks are an excellent way to eat up that delicious Halloween Jack-O-Lantern with creamy black beans and spicy jalapeño pesto sauce!

They are good with any type of winter squash— kabocha, butternut, sugar pie pumpkin—but in my opinion if you are going to eat a big, honkin’ Jack-O-Lantern, there’s no other way. You see, normally, those bigger pumpkins are super stringy and watery and really not that good to eat, but throwing them straight on the grill, uses that extra water to their advantage. As it cooks over the hot, direct heat the water bubbles up inside the flesh of the pumpkin, evaporating from the surface as it cooks and intensifying its flavor, while making it tender at the same time.

Grilled pumpkin steaks are an excellent way to eat up that delicious Halloween Jack-O-Lantern with creamy black beans and spicy jalapeño pesto sauce!

Dealing with a big pumpkin is a tad bit cumbersome, but we’ve all carved one at some point and this is much easier than that. You need a sharp, heavy knife and just slice it open. Scoop out the seeds and use a Y peeler to peel off as much skin as you can. I find it’s easier to cut the pumpkin into 4-inch “steaks” first, then peel. Don’t worry if every bit of skin doesn’t come off. Pumpkin skin is actually pretty thin and edible.

Grilled pumpkin steaks are an excellent way to eat up that delicious Halloween Jack-O-Lantern with creamy black beans and spicy jalapeño pesto sauce!

Then on the grill it goes. Thirty minutes is all it takes for a delicious vegan main or the pumpkin with the pesto sauce would make a lovely Thanksgiving side dish. Give it a try!

Grilled Pumpkin Steaks with Black Beans and Jalapeño Pesto
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Grilled pumpkin steaks are an excellent way to eat up that delicious Halloween Jack-O-Lantern with creamy black beans and spicy jalapeño pesto sauce!
Author:
Serves: 6 servings
Ingredients
For the pesto:
  • 3 jalapeños
  • ¾ cup packed mint leaves, plus more for garnish
  • ½ cup packed cilantro leaves
  • ¼ cup raw pumpkin seeds
  • 1 clove garlic
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 6 tablespoons olive oil
  • juice from 1 lemon
For the pumpkin steaks:
  • 4 pounds pumpkin, peeled, seeded, and cut into 4-inch pieces
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • ½ cup toasted pumpkin seeds, for garnish
  • salt and pepper
For the black beans:
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 small yellow onion, chopped
  • 1 jalapeno, seeded and chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • ½ teaspoon cumin
  • ½ teaspoon coriander
  • ¼ teaspoon ground arbol chile
  • 2 (14.5 ounce) cans black beans
Instructions
For the pesto:
  1. Heat a dry skillet over high heat. Add jalapeños and char, turning occasionally, until blackened on all sides, about 10 minutes. Let cool, then remove stem, seeds, and charred skin. Chop and transfer to a food processor fitted with the blade attachment.
  2. Add mint, cilantro, pumpkin seeds, garlic, salt, and blend. With the processor running add olive oil and lemon juice. Stop blade a few times to scrape down the sides. Blend until very smooth, about 1-2 minutes. Taste and add more salt if needed. If pesto is very thick add a tablespoon or two of hot water to thin out. You want to be able to spoon it over the pumpkin.
For the pumpkin:
  1. Heat a gas or charcoal grill to medium-high. Remove as much peel as you can from the pumpkin with a Y-style vegetable peeler. It's okay if not all of it comes off, pumpkin skin is actually pretty thin and edible. Rub with olive oil and season with salt and pepper.
  2. Grill about 30 minutes or until pumpkin is easily pierced with a fork and is charred on the outside. Turn pumpkin about every 10 minutes or so.
  3. Meanwhile, cook the beans. Heat oil in a small saucepan over medium heat. Add onions and jalapeño. Season with salt and let cook until tender, about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  4. Add garlic, cumin, coriander, and ground arbol chile, and cook a minute more. Add black beans, juices and all and bring to a boil.
  5. Reduce heat to a simmer and let cook until slightly thickened, about 10 minutes. Mash with a potato masher until about ½ of the beans are broken up. Taste and add more salt if needed.
To Serve: Spoon black beans on plates and top with a pumpkin steak. Drizzle pesto over the top and sprinkle with more toasted pumpkin seeds and mint. Dig in!
Notes
To toast your own pumpkin seeds, heat a generous teaspoon of oil in a hot frying pan. Add raw pumpkin seeds and toss in the oil. Cook until starting to pop and golden, stirring often. Season with salt and remove from heat.

 


Menu

La Bruja Cocktails (aka Tamarind Margaritas)

Pumpkin Steaks with Black Beans and Jalapeño Pesto

Grilled Achiote-Lime Chicken

Mexican Chocolate Pudding with Raspberries and Whipped Cream

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One More Thing

Did you love this post? I want to know! Leave me a comment and snap a photo for Instagram. Tag @holajalapeno so I can see your beautiful creation! Your feedback is super important to me. If you run into trouble shoot me a message on Instagram and I’ll walk you through it.

Also, don’t forget to sign up for my weekly newsletter, lots of good stuff there too!

 

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Comida Latina, Recipes, Sweets

Pumpkin Layer Cake with Dulce de Leche and Brown Butter Frosting

October 31, 2017
Pumpkin Layer Cake; Triple decker, rum-spiked pumpkin cake filled with dulce de leche and covered with brown butter-cream cheese frosting and topped with toasted pecans.

The kids and I spent all last week in Des Moines and it was lovely to be home. Crisp fall air, crunchy leaves, and the vivid colors bring back so many wonderful memories; it was nice to pause and take it all in. We even got a spattering of SNOW on Friday! Which for us California transplants was just perfect— especially since we got to leave the next day and come home to 70 degrees and sunny.

Pumpkin Layer Cake; Triple decker, rum-spiked pumpkin cake filled with dulce de leche and covered with brown butter-cream cheese frosting and topped with toasted pecans.

Now I’m back home, rested and ready to think about my favorite subject—the holidays! From now until eternity (or January, actually) it will be a non-stop holiday bonanza filled with recipes you are going to want to make at one point or another over the next couple months.

Pumpkin Layer Cake; Triple decker, rum-spiked pumpkin cake filled with dulce de leche and covered with brown butter-cream cheese frosting and topped with toasted pecans.

This celebration cake is the perfect way to kick it all off! If you are super ambitious or just have nothing better to do tonight, I encourage you to make this cake for the Dia de los Muertos festivities tomorrow and Wednesday. If not, keep it in mind as a spectacular way to end Thanksgiving, Christmas, or a holiday dinner party.

Pumpkin Layer Cake; Triple decker, rum-spiked pumpkin cake filled with dulce de leche and covered with brown butter-cream cheese frosting and topped with toasted pecans.

The lovely thing about this cake is it can be frozen—frosting and all— and keeps lovely in the freezer for up to a month! Make the cake and stick in the freezer uncovered until hard. Wrap tightly and freeze. Unwrap and defrost at room temperature for about 2 hours or so when you are ready to serve.

The layers of this cake are the essence of fall; pumpkin, warm spices, and a good dose of dark rum. Stacked tall in three layers they make a beautiful, enormous sandwich filled with milky dulce de leche caramel, and a brown butter-cream cheese frosting that is whoa, over-the-top good.

Pumpkin Layer Cake; Triple decker, rum-spiked pumpkin cake filled with dulce de leche and covered with brown butter-cream cheese frosting and topped with toasted pecans.

On top goes a one-sided blanket of toasted, chopped pecans that ups the level of sophistication to super-sheek.

Pumpkin Layer Cake with Dulce de Leche and Brown Butter Frosting
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Pumpkin Layer Cake; Triple decker rum-spiked pumpkin cake filled with dulce de leche and covered with brown butter-cream cheese frosting and topped with toasted pecans.
Author:
Serves: 12 to 14 servings
Ingredients
For the Cake:
  • 4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1½ teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon ground cloves
  • ½ teaspoon ground ginger
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 4 large eggs, at room temperature
  • ⅓ cup dark rum
  • 2½ cups dark brown sugar
  • 2 (14-ounce) cans pumpkin puree
  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 (13.4-ounce) can dulce de leche
  • 8 ounces pecans, toasted and chopped
For the Frosting:
  • 12 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into small pieces and softened
  • 1 cup packed dark brown sugar
  • ½ cup heavy cream
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 16 ounces (2 eight-ounce packages) cream cheese, softened
  • ½ cup powdered sugar
Instructions
Make the cakes:
  1. Heat oven to 350°F and arrange rack in the middle. Grease 3 (10in-by-2in) cake pans and line the bottoms with parchment paper. Grease the parchment paper.
  2. Whisk together the flour, baking soda, cinnamon, cloves, ginger, and salt in a large bowl.
  3. In a separate bowl whisk together the eggs, rum, brown sugar, pumpkin, oil, and vanilla until smooth.
  4. Add pumpkin mixture to the dry mixture an whisk until blended and smooth. Divide batter evenly between the cake pans and smooth tops.
  5. Bake for 40 minutes, until cake is firm to the touch and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Transfer to cooling racks and let cool 15-20 minutes. Remove cakes from pan, discard parchment and let cool completely.
Make the frosting:
  1. Melt 4 tablespoons butter in a medium pan over medium heat until fragrant and dark golden brown, about 6 minutes.
  2. Add sugar, cream and salt, gently whisking until sugar dissolves. Bring to a boil, whisking constantly, and cook for 3 minutes. Transfer to a mixer bowl, and let cool.
  3. With machine running, add remaining butter, a few pieces at a time, and beat on low until incorporated. Raise speed to medium, and beat for 2 minutes.
  4. In another bowl, beat cream cheese and powdered sugar on medium-high until fluffy and smooth, about 3 minutes.
  5. Add brown-butter mixture to cream cheese, and beat until smooth. Cover and refrigerate until chilled, about 2 hours.
To assemble the cake:
  1. Trim tops of 2 cake layers and top and bottom of third (this will be the middle) to create flat even surfaces.
  2. Place a large piece of parchment paper on a cake stand and spread ¼ cup dulce de leche over the tops of each cake layer.
  3. Lay the bottom layer on the parchment-lined stand and spread ½ cup frosting on top, then place middle layer on top (dulce de leche side down). Spread ½ cup frosting on middle layer, then place third layer on top (dulce de leche side down). Spread 1 cup of frosting on top and sides of cake and refrigerate until firm, about 1 hour.
  4. Spread remaining frosting on top and sides of cake. Press chopped pecans on one side. Use the straight line of a piece of parchment paper to get and even edge.
  5. Slide parchment from the bottom of the cake and refrigerate until firm, at least 2 hours.
Notes
The cake will need to chill in the refrigerator for about 6 hours in-between layers and before serving, plus plenty of time to cool so plan accordingly.


A Late Fall Fancy Dinner Party Menu

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One More Thing

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Comida Latina, Dairy Free, Drinks, Recipes

Pick Your Poison Horchata Bar for Halloween

October 24, 2017
Make this fun horchata bar that is a hit with kids and adults alike for this year's Halloween party. Using syrups means everyone can make their own flavor!

Halloween is right around the corner and you might be thinking of gathering with friends for a little trick-or-treat bash. I partnered up with Torani Syrups for a fun horchata bar idea that is a hit with both ghouls and goblins.

Everyone gets to “Pick Their Poison” if you will, adding a shot of their favorite flavor to a homemade horchata base. For adults I like to stock the bar with some dark rum as well—adults can handle a little actual poison every once in a while.

As far as the syrups go, Torani has so many to choose from, and sugar-free ones too if you’ve got some health conscious folks in your midst. For Halloween I like to stock my horchata bar with fall flavors. Some of my favorites include:

Have a fun and safe Halloween everyone!!


Pick Your Poison Horchata Bar for Halloween
 
Prep time
Total time
 
Make this fun horchata bar that is a hit with kids and adults alike for this year's Halloween party. Using syrups means everyone can make their own flavor!
Author:
Serves: 6 servings
Ingredients
  • ½ cup sliced almonds
  • ½ cup long grain rice, like jasmine
  • 2 cups boiling water
  • 2 cups rice milk
  • Your favorite Torani Syrup (I like to choose fall flavors like Brown Sugar Cinnamon, Buttered Rum, and Salted Caramel)
  • Dark Rum, optional
  • cinnamon sticks, optional
Instructions
  1. Combine almonds and rice in a blender. Add boiling water and let sit 15 minutes.
  2. Cover loosely with a paper towel and blend on high 1 minute, or until smooth. Strain into a pitcher and stir in rice milk. Chill until cold.
  3. To serve, place bottles of syrup, horchata, glasses, ice, rum (if using), and cinnamon sticks on the bar.
  4. Let your guests make their own horchata flavor by filling a glass with ice, filling with horchata, and adding a shot (about 1 tablespoon) of syrup and a shot of rum (for adults), stir to combine with a cinnamon stick.

P.S. Torani is offering 10% off and free shipping for ¡Hola! Jalapeño readers! Sign-up for their newsletter to get your discount!

P.P.S. Other fun Halloween Party Recipes

One More Thing

Did you love this post? I want to know! Leave me a comment and snap a photo for Instagram. Tag @holajalapeno so I can see your beautiful creation! Your feedback is super important to me. If you run into trouble shoot me a message on Instagram and I’ll walk you through it.

Also, don’t forget to sign up for my weekly newsletter, lots of good stuff there too!

And Lastly, this post was not sponsored by Torani Syrups, but I’m partnering with them on other projects. Thank you for supporting the brands that support ¡Hola! Jalapeño. 

 

 

Comida Latina, Mains, Pasta and Noodles, Recipes

Baked Spaghetti Squash with Chipotle Cream

October 17, 2017
Baked spaghetti squash takes on a whole new meaning when draped in fiery chipotle cream sauce and sprinkled with toasted breadcrumbs and Cotija cheese.

We had a couple of crisp days last week. Well as crisp as the air gets in early October in Southern California, let’s just say I needed a sweater…a light sweater.

Anyway, during those slightly chilly evenings I got the urge for all things rich and creamy and belly warming. I rarely do cream-based things around here due to the fact that I’m the only one who likes it and/or can eat it, but when the urge strikes, I find it’s best to just go with it before it becomes unwieldy and wildly out of control and the next thing you know you’ve eaten a pound of pasta covered in straight cream, parmesan, and butter—not that I’ve ever done that, I’m just saying, it could happen.

What was I talking about?

Oh yeah, right. So I wanted something rich and creamy, but also spicy and soul-satisfying so I turned to my favorite thing about fall, squash, and got to work. Do you have a favorite fall fruit/vegetable? The thing you wait all year for? Mine is absolutely the hard-skinned squashes of fall..all of them.

Baked spaghetti squash is much lighter in texture than other varieties so it was the perfect vehicle for the smoky, spicy chipotle cream sauce. Baked spaghetti squash is super easy to pull off, the hardest part is cutting the darn thing open—a heavy, sharp knife is essential. Then just scoop out the seeds, rub with a little olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Place cut-side down on a baking sheet and let the oven do the work.

While the squash is baking, sweat some onions and garlic and chopped chipotles en adobo in olive oil until soft and sweet, add the cream and thin a little with veggie broth so the cream isn’t overwhelming. If you don’t mind about keeping it veggie, you could use any kind of broth you want, also a little white wine would be nice here too. Once the sauce has simmered a little bit, you can blend it nice and smooth if you’d like. Leaving it as is, is just fine too.

Shred the squash into thin strands with a fork and gently mix with the sauce. Sprinkle each dish with crunchy toasted breadcrumbs, thin slices of scallion and a crumbling of sharp Cotija or grated Parmesan would be nice here too. Also cilantro, if you’re into to that kind of thing.

There you go. A dinner for when you need a little hug in the form of cream, spice, and cheese.

Baked Spaghetti Squash with Chipotle Cream
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Author:
Serves: 4 servings
Ingredients
  • 1 small spaghetti squash, about 2-3 pounds
  • 5 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt, plus more for seasoning
  • 1 medium yellow onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 4 chipotles en adobo, chopped
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1 cup veggie broth
  • ½ cup breadcrumbs
  • 3 scallions, thinly sliced
  • 3 tablespoons chopped cilantro
  • ½ cup crumbled Cotija cheese
Instructions
  1. Heat oven to 400°F. Cut squash in half lengthwise and scoop out seeds. Drizzle the cut sides with 1 tablespoon olive oil and season well with salt and pepper.
  2. Lay on a parchment-lined baking sheet, cut side down. Bake in oven until knife tender and shreds easily with a fork, about 20-30 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile, heat 3 tablespoons of the olive oil in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Add onions and season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until tender, about 5 minutes. Add garlic and chipotles and cook a minute more. Add cream and broth and bring to a simmer. Cook until slightly thickened, about 5 minutes. Blend with a stick blender until smooth. Add teaspoon of salt, taste and add more salt if needed. Cover and keep warm.
  4. Heat remaining tablespoon of oil in a small frying pan. Add breadcrumbs and season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring constantly until toasted and golden. Transfer to a bowl and set aside.
  5. To serve: Shred squash into strands, add to cream sauce and gently fold to coat in sauce. Divide between four plates, top with toasted breadcrumbs, sliced scallions, chopped cilantro, and Cotija cheese.

MENU

Seeded Pull-Apart Rolls

Roasted Beet and Green Olive Salad

Sweet Molasses Apple Pie

One More Thing

Did you love this post? I want to know! Leave me a comment and snap a photo for Instagram. Tag @holajalapeno so I can see your beautiful creation! Your feedback is super important to me. If you run into trouble shoot me a message on Instagram and I’ll walk you through it.

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Comida Latina, Dairy Free, Mains, Recipes, Side Dishes

Coconut Quinoa with Roasted Squash and Pumpkin Seeds

October 12, 2017
This coconut quinoa makes an excellent holiday side or vegan main dish with fluffy quinoa, big flakes of coconut, toasted pumpkin seeds, and roasted squash.

Here’s how you go big with quinoa: coconut, lots of fresh herbs, and roasted winter squash!

I’ll be the first to admit, quinoa doesn’t make me as jubilant as most carbs. It’s soapy nature doesn’t help. But I keep at it, because for one, it’s like megahealthy on the health charts and two, I think I’ve found the tastiest way to cook it yet.

I prefer the white quinoa to the other darker varieties. It cooks up light and fluffy and doesn’t squeak as much between your teeth. I simply boil the quinoa like you would pasta, then drain off any excess water. Toss the warm quinoa with coconut oil and here comes the best part: large slices of fragrant coconut. I find mine at Trader Joe’s but also Bob’s Red Mill sells bags of delicious big unsweetened flakes too and when I was living in North Dakota with not a Trader Joe’s in sight, those are the ones I would use.

This platter of goodness could be a healthy alternative for all the big holiday dinners coming up—working equally well as a side or a vegan main dish. But it also has #meatlessmonday written all over it.


Coconut Quinoa with Roasted Squash and Pumpkin Seeds
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
This coconut quinoa makes an excellent holiday side or vegan main dish with fluffy quinoa, big flakes of coconut, toasted pumpkin seeds, and roasted squash.
Author:
Serves: 6 servings
Ingredients
  • 1 small kabocha squash (about 2 pounds), peeled and seeded
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil or coconut oil
  • ½ teaspoon salt, plus more for seasoning
  • 2 cups quinoa, rinsed
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin coconut oil
  • 1 cup unsweetened coconut chips
  • ½ cup chopped mixed herbs, such as basil, cilantro, mint, or parsley
  • ½ cup roasted, salted pumpkin seeds
  • ½ cup pomegranate seeds
  • 1 large, ripe avocado, peeled, pitted, and sliced
Instructions
  1. Heat oven to 450°F and arrange a rack in the top of the oven.
  2. Carefully cut squash into 1-inch wedges with a sharp knife and place on a parchment-lined baking sheet (you can also cover it with a Silpat or nothing at all, this just makes clean up easier).
  3. Drizzle squash with the tablespoon of olive oil or coconut oil and season generously with salt. Toss to coat then place in the top of the oven to roast until knife tender, about 15-20 minutes. If you'd like a little extra char on the squash you can put them under the broiler for a minute or two once they are cooked through. Set aside.
  4. Meanwhile, place quinoa in a large saucepan and cover with water by 1-inch. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat and cook until tender, about 10 minutes. Drain and return to pan. Add coconut oil, ½ teaspoon salt, coconut chips, and herbs and stir to combine.
  5. Transfer to a large serving dish, top with squash, pumpkin seeds, pomegranate, and avocado and serve.
Notes
If you can't find roasted, salted pumpkin seeds you can make your own by heating 1 teaspoon of oil (coconut, olive, vegetable) over medium heat in a medium frying pan. Add ½ cup raw pumpkin seeds and cook, stirring frequently until toasted and starting to pop. Season with a pinch of salt and remove from the pan.

One More Thing

Did you love this post? I want to know! Leave me a comment and snap a photo for Instagram. Tag @holajalapeno so I can see your beautiful creation! Your feedback is super important to me. If you run into trouble shoot me a message on Instagram and I’ll walk you through it.

Also, don’t forget to sign up for my weekly newsletter, lots of good stuff there too!

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Dairy Free, Recipes, Snacks, Sweets

Gooey Chocolate Chai Zucchini Cake

October 5, 2017
This Gooey Chocolate Chai Zucchini Cake is the perfect combination of exotic spice and heavenly chocolate with hidden veggies and dairy-free to boot!

Sometimes a girl just needs a piece of chocolate cake—ya know?!!

Like, if I could do it and still maintain my dignity I would probably enjoy a nice piece of chocolate cake a couple times a day. The hours between 3pm and 9pm are rough, chocolate cake would really help.

But then I went and heard Paulette Lambert speak and she kept saying this thing about how the more sugar you eat, the more you crave it and how I should get my sugar fix from fruit and all this other nonsense that I should absolutely be listening to. She also said my evening glass or two of wine was a no-no so I’ve got work to do, anyhoo, back to the sugar thing.

I got to thinking that I eat way too much sugar and my husband eats way too much sugar and the worst….my kids eat way, way, way too much sugar. My daughter has a thing after school she calls her “candy snack.” #truth.

But instead of cutting everyone off cold turkey and risk breaking their collective heart, I decided to slowly reduce the sugar intake as well as make the sweet treats we do eat a bit healthier.

I fell in love with this cake from An Edible Mosaic the first time I made it about a year ago. It is utterly fluffy, tender, and filled with warm fall spices thanks to a healthy dose of chai tea.

It still has sugar, yes, but it also has over 2 cups of fresh zucchini puree, whole wheat flour, and no butter or dairy fat of any kind. Not that I’m a huge fan of hiding nutrition from my kids, but they have no idea there’s vegetables in there thanks to Faith’s genius tip of pureeing the zucchini instead of grating it. This gives the cake an impeccable crumb and FYI, zucchini puree is virtually flavorless.

So here’s to eating healthy-ish….the silky chocolate frosting doesn’t hurt either.

Gooey Chocolate Chai Zucchini Cake
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
This Gooey Chocolate Chai Zucchini Cake is the perfect combination of exotic spice and heavenly chocolate with hidden veggies and dairy-free to boot! Adapted from An Edible Mosaic
Author:
Serves: 16 servings
Ingredients
For the Cake:
  • 3 medium zucchini, peeled and chopped
  • 1¾ cup granulated sugar
  • ⅔ cup canola oil
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1⅓ cups all-purpose flour
  • 1⅓ cups whole wheat flour
  • ⅔ cups unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 Chai tea bags, I used Trader Joe's Spiced Chai
For the Frosting:
  • ¼ cup extra virgin coconut oil
  • 1 ounce unsweetened chocolate, chopped
  • 6 tablespoons unsweetened non-dairy milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 2-3 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 cup mini dairy-free chocolate chips
Instructions
For the Cake:
  1. Heat oven to 350°F. Grease a 9x13-inch baking pan and line with parchment, if desired. (If you plan on serving the cake straight from the pan, no parchment is necessary).
  2. Place zucchini in the bowl of a food processor fitted with the blade attachment. Pulse until you have a mostly smooth puree.
  3. Whisk together the sugar, oil, eggs, and zucchini puree in a large bowl. Sift both flours, cocoa powder, salt, baking powder, baking soda, into the egg mixture. Cut open the chai tea bags and add the tea straight to the bowl.
  4. Mix everything together with a rubber spatula until just combined—don't over mix.
  5. Scrape batter into the prepared pan and bake on the middle rack until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, about 45 minutes.
  6. Let cool on a wire rack at least 20 minutes. If you'd like to remove it from the pan, pull on the outer edges of the parchment paper to take out of the pan.
For the Frosting:
  1. Combine coconut oil and chocolate in a small saucepan over medium-low heat. Warm, stirring frequently, until chocolate has melted and mixture is smooth.
  2. Transfer chocolate mixture to a large bowl and whisk in milk, vanilla, salt, and powdered sugar until smooth.
  3. Pour frosting over cake and smooth to the edges. Sprinkle with chocolate chips and serve.
  4. Cake will keep covered, at room temperature, for 5 days.

One More Thing

Did you love this post? I want to know! Leave me a comment and snap a photo for Instagram. Tag @holajalapeno so I can see your beautiful creation! Your feedback is super important to me. If you run into trouble shoot me a message on Instagram and I’ll walk you through it.

Also, don’t forget to sign up for my weekly newsletter, lots of good stuff there too!

Comida Latina

How To Make Marigold Smudge Sticks for Day of the Dead

October 3, 2017
How to make marigold smudge sticks to cleanse your environment and prepare your home to welcome loved ones for Day of the Dead celebrations.

It’s October! The season of welcoming guests into our homes is soon upon us, so before things get way to hectic let’s take some time to prepare.

Many of us have pre-holiday tidying rituals like getting the carpets cleaned or refreshing the linens but cleansing the spirit of your home and filling your space with positive, loving energy is another way to reset and start the holiday season off right.

Traditionally in Native American cultures, smudge sticks were used to correct the energy in the home. The smoke from the smoldering herbs will attach itself to the bad aura in the room and removes it as the smoke dissipates.

During Dia de los Muertos or Day of the Dead the smudge stick has a couple of other purposes. Lighting a smudge stick a day or two before the holiday will clear the air for loved ones so they may feel safe to return home from the land of the dead. During the actual Day of the Dead celebrations, smudge sticks can be used to perfume the air and guide our deceased loved ones back to us as well as speak to those who have passed through the sense of smell, giving us an herbal connection to those who have gone before us.

Mexican sage and sweet grass are most commonly used in traditional smudge sticks. The sage is used to clear the space of negativity and illness and the sweet grass fills it up again with tranquil positive energy. To my smudge sticks I have also added marigold flowers. Marigolds are the symbolic flower of Dia de los Muertos and are known to lead the dead back to us with their bright color and rich, intense aroma. Many people also believe their delicate petals represent the fragility of life.

Here’s What You Need To Make the Marigold Smudge Sticks

How to Make the  Marigold Smudge Sticks

Cut your sweet grass braid the length you’d like your stick then starting from the blossom, trim several marigolds the same length. Wrap the marigold stems around the sweet grass and twist the twine around to secure the blossoms to the sweet grass. The blossoms will shrink as they dry so make sure you wrap the twine around tightly.

Once you reach one end, repeat and go back down again until the bundle feels secure. Cut the twine, leaving a couple of inches at the bottom and tie it tightly to the bundle. Trim any excess string.

Let the sticks dry at least 2 weeks in a cool, dry place before burning. Smudge sticks will last up to a year.

One More Thing

Did you love this post? I want to know! Leave me a comment and snap a photo for Instagram. Tag @holajalapeno so I can see your beautiful creation! Your feedback is super important to me. If you run into trouble shoot me a message on Instagram and I’ll walk you through it.

Also, don’t forget to sign up for my weekly newsletter, lots of good stuff there too!

Apps, Dairy Free, Mains, Recipes

Meat-Stuffed Grape Leaves

September 21, 2017
These meat-stuffed grape leaves make a tasty appetizer or the spotlight to a special dinner with warm pita bread, lemony cucumber salad, and creamy hummus.

I’m always on the lookout for something different to switch up the dinner doldrums. Similar to I’m sure many of you I fall into weeknight ruts of either picking up something or making the same old things over and over again. So when the lovely Liz Della Croce asked if I would want to take a peek at the newest edition to her Food From Our Ancestors series: The Ultimate Syrian Sunday Dinner I jumped at the chance. This beautiful compilation of family recipes drive home why they are favorites; comfort food, full of flavor, the dishes our mothers have been making forever, for good reason.

I’ve a weakness for stuffed grape leaves so as soon as I saw Liz’s recipe I knew that those would most certainly make the cut. I’m the gal who buys the Trader Joe’s grape leaves for just about every summer picnic but have never actually made them myself. The recipe looked simple enough and culinary challenges are pretty much my jam so in I dove.

I’ve only ever eaten rice-stuffed grape leaves and was excited that I could actually rationalize these meat-stuffed grape leaves as dinner. Add a salad (I made Liz’s Syrian salad from the book) and a side (again Liz to the rescue with Lentils and Rice with Caramelized Onions—I told you this book was good!) and now, man I’m getting excited about dinner!

These meat-stuffed grape leaves weren’t even all that hard to pull off. The jar of grape leaves I found at Whole Foods and they easily unfurl to create perfect little wrappers for the meat and rice mixture. One jar was plenty and I even has some leftover, so you know whose going to be making stuffed grape leaves again. Yay, yes, ME!

As far as stuffing and rolling I fell right into rhythm. They were like rolling up tiny little burritos: two sides in, bottom over filling, roll, roll, roll.

Then you pile them in a pot, cover with water, and weigh them down with a plate. Simmer until the rice is cooked—they only take about 15 minutes! They are excellent hot, room temperature, or cold. It’s the lemon that I love, no the mint, no the lemon. Either way, so good.

Liz’s Food From Our Ancestors series are real treasures. You can get the Syrian ebook or buy a bundle of all four: Mexican, Jewish Shabbat, Italian, and Syrian for basically a steal.

Meat-Stuffed Grape Leaves
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Author:
Serves: 6 servings
Ingredients
  • 1 (2-pound) jar of grape leaves (roughly 50 leaves)
  • 1 pound ground sirloin
  • ½ cup lon-grain white rice, rinsed
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 1½ teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon pepper
  • juice of 2 lemons
  • 2 celery stalks, cut into thirds, optional
  • 5 cabbage leaves, optional
  • 2 tablespoons dried mint
Instructions
  1. Line a large pot with celery stalks and loose cabbage leaves (I used extra grape leaves).
  2. Place grape leaves on a plate and trim any large, thick stems off bottom.
  3. In a large bowl, combine ground meat, rice, juice of 1 lemon, garlic, salt, and pepper.
  4. Working one grape leaf at a time, place the leaf flat on a plate and add 1 tablespoon of the meat mixture near stem.
  5. Form meat into thin cigar shapes, then roll the grape leaf starting at the stem all the way to the top. No need to fold in sides but they'll look nicer if you do.
  6. Line stuffed grape leaves in pot, alternating direction with each layer, until the pot is filled ¾ of the way or you've used all your leaves.
  7. Cover the grape leaves with water, making sure there's at least one inch of liquid above the grape leaves. Pour in remaining lemon juice and add dried mint.
  8. Cover grape leaves with a small plate turned upside down to keep them from moving and to weigh them down.
  9. Cover pot with lid and bring to a simmer.
  10. Reduce heat to low and simmer for 15 minutes or until rice is fully cooked. Serve with pita bread and cucumber laban.
Notes
Liz suggests lining the cooking pot with celery stalks and cabbage leaves. I didn't have either, so I used a few of the torn and tiny grape leaves instead

One More Thing

Did you love this post? I want to know! Leave me a comment and snap a photo for Instagram. Tag @holajalapeno so I can see your beautiful creation! Your feedback is super important to me. If you run into trouble shoot me a message on Instagram and I’ll walk you through it.

Also, don’t forget to sign up for my weekly newsletter, lots of good stuff there too!

Apps, Comida Latina, Dairy Free, Recipes, Snacks

Mayo-Free Guacamole Deviled Eggs

November 30, 2016
Guacamole Deviled Eggs Recipe

Hi! Hi! And Happy Monday. Do you remember a couple weeks back when I made you Butternut Squash and Maple Empanadas and told you about the new e-cookbook that myself and whole slew of other talented food bloggers contributed to called The Casual Veggie?  Well, guess what? The book is now available! And to celebrate I made you guacamole deviled eggs!

Guacamole Deviled Eggs

 

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The Casual Veggie Cookbook

This is a extensive compilation that features over 150 veggie-centric recipes from 45 food bloggers. Each of the 29 most common veggies from asparagus to eggplant to Brussels sprouts have their own chapter with details on how to buy, store, and cook them. The digital format is easy to navigate from any device but all the recipes are also printable so you don’t have to take your iPad into the kitchen if you don’t want to. The book is available for download right here from my site and every copy of the book bought from ¡Hola! Jalapeño helps support my blog, which means more delicious recipes for you…and maybe a glass of wine for me, I won’t lie. To purchase your very own copy click on the image of the book on the right-hand side of this page!

Deviled Guacamole Eggs

To celebrate several of us contributors are throwing a virtual party full of autumn nibbles and drinks.

Click on the links below to find all the details. My contribution to the shindig is a combination of everyone’s two favorite hors d’oeuvres; Deviled Eggs and Guacamole to make the world’s best guacamole deviled eggs (in my opinion). If the words deviled eggs have you thinking gloppy mayo-laden gut bombs then think again. These are light and creamy without using any mayonnaise at all. The avocado acts as the fat here which means less guilt for me when I accidentally devour half a dozen.

Guacamole Stuffed Eggs

Even better guacamole deviled eggs are super simple to put together. Here’s how…

Ingredients for deviled eggs

First you get the hard part out of the way; boiling and peeling the eggs (I give you a detailed rundown in the recipe for how I boil eggs, follow them and you will have perfect eggs every time). Then combine the yolks and the rest of the ingredients in a food processor and pulse until the filling is smooth. If you don’t have a food processor you can chop all the filling ingredients super small and then mash them together with a fork.

Pureeing the filling for eggs

Pipe or spoon the filling into the egg white shells, top with some thinly sliced jalapeños or red chiles if you’d like and serve!

Prepping Guacamole Eggs

For the rest of the party check out these fancy veggie-inspired autumn drinks and appetizers:

Guacamole Deviled Eggs Recipe

51

Prep Time: 30 minutes

Cook Time: 10 minutes

Total Time: 40 minutes

Yield: 4-6 servings

Ingredients

  • 6 large eggs
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons of salt, divided
  • 1/2 large, ripe avocado
  • 1/4 cup cilantro leaves
  • 1 jalapeño, sliced, plus 1 for garnish (optional)
  • 1 scallion, chopped
  • Juice of 1/2 a lime
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper

Instructions

  1. Place eggs in a medium saucepan and cover with cold water. Add 2 tablespoons of the salt and place over medium heat. Bring to a boil then remove from heat, cover, and let sit 12 minutes. Drain and rinse in cold water until cool enough to handle.
  2. Peel eggs and slice in half vertically. Remove yolks and place in the bowl of a food processor fitted with the blade attachment.
  3. Add remaining ingredients to the food processor and pulse until smooth, stopping to scrape down the sides occasionally.
  4. Pipe or spoon filling back into the cooked egg whites, top with thinly sliced jalapeños if desired and serve.
http://www.holajalapeno.com/2016/11/guacamole-deviled-eggs.html