Despite having bought Terry Hope Romero’s Viva Vegan many months ago, I’ve hardly made anything out of it. I haven’t had a lot of money lately so I’ve been eating pretty simply – chili, pasta, salads, etc.  However, my dear biology loving boyfriend has been pretty stressed lately over his studies, so I decided to make him a lovely Latin American dinner (it’s his favorite cuisine).

I flipped through the recipes looking for something that would not only taste good, but that would require a minimum of ingredients to be bought. I have a food-hoarding problem, so I have a very well-stocked pantry to go on. I settled on the drunken beans with seitan chorizo with the cilantro lime rice.

I made the chorizo first. It was good, but it didn’t come out as spicy as I would have liked. Also, I’m not used to baking seitan that doesn’t want to firm up – in this particular recipe, the seitan firms up after cooling. In the future, I’m probably going to use the seitan chorizo from Vegan Brunch.

Frying the chorizo

Next up, I started the beans. I forgot to soak some dried beans overnight, so I bought a couple cans of organic pinto beans to use.  I skipped both the epazote and tequila because I didn’t have either on hand. For the Mexican beer, I just bought a giant bottle of Corona from the gas station down the road. Cheap cheap cheap!

Starting the drunken beans

The beans were delicious. I taste as I cook because I adjust seasonings a lot, and I was skeptical since I could still taste the Corona until they were almost done, and it was not a pleasant taste. However, by the time they actually did get done, the beer taste was mainly gone, leaving just the slightest hint. The hunks of chorizo were delicious stewed down with the beans and tomatoes. The best part (other than the taste) was that the recipe made a ton of food – I ate one huge plate, my boyfriend two, and one or both of my roommates have ate from the bowl. And there’s still some left.

Starting the rice

The cilantro lime rice was really good and quick to make, so I’m sure I’ll be making it all the time. The slight hint of lime was delicious, and the cilantro gave the dish a pretty presentation.

To go alongside the beans and rice, I threw together some from fried corn. To spice things up, I added a secret ingredient: a dash of cinnamon. My boyfriend didn’t like the corn on it’s own, but he did enjoy it mixed with the rice and beans. I on the other hand liked the cinnamon mixed with the jalapeno.

Fried Corn with Jalapeno and Cinnamon
(Serves 3-4)

2 Tbs peanut oil
1 bag frozen corn
1-2 jalapenos, seeded and diced
1 tsp salt
3 tsp coriander
1/4 tsp cinnamon

In a skillet over medium-high heat, heat the peanut oil. When the oil is hot, add the corn (you could defrost the corn if you wish, but I didn’t) and jalapenos. Saute for a few minutes, then add the salt, coriander, and cinnamon and toss to incorporate the spices throughout the corn. Fry, stirring occasionally, for about 10 minutes, until the corn browns a little bit.

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