I threw this together recently for dinner when it was over 100 degrees outside. Didn’t feel like a hot meal, and definitely didn’t feel like turning on the oven or spending a lot of time at the stove. The only cooking required is for the quinoa and that’s super quick, especially if you have a pressure cooker in which it quinoa takes 5 minutes at high pressure.
This is a great dish to share at a potluck, picnic, or for this coming weekend, a Labor Day BBQ. It holds up well in the fridge for a few days; the sauce/dressing soaks in quite a bit but the flavor is still there. Delicious on its own or on a bed of lettuce.
It’s been a long time since I posted a recipe! Not that I haven’t been creating in the kitchen – I’m always doing that. Just life. You know how it is. Anyway, I love tahini dressings but they are usually so high in fat. Tahini, or sesame seed paste, is high in fat of course because seeds are high in fat. Tahini, and other seeds and seed pates are very healthy but can easily be overeaten. However, there is a way to use tahini in dressing, still get that flavor, and cut the fat. The secret is in the BEANS. Yes, beans. They not only help cut the fat, they add creaminess, body, nutrients, fiber and protein.
I made this dressing with a salad in mind, but I ended up pouring some over my steamed kale and sweet potato, and it was tasty! You can use any kind of soft, white bean. I had made my own flageolet beans the day before because I like to have a batch on hand, but you can use cannellini, great northern, etc. If you use canned be sure to rinse and drain them. NOTE: I get a lot of my dried beans from Rancho Gordo. They sell the BEST heirloom beans! You can purchase from their website at ranchogordo.com.
I’m not proud of this, but when I was in junior high, I ate taquitos from the cafeteria nearly every day. I don’t even want to think about what they were filled with, but I just loved them; mostly for the crunchy corn tortilla and the green dipping sauce with which they were served. We won’t even talk about the Hostess mini crumb donuts I ate too. Geez. Gotta love the offerings in school cafeterias. Sad to say it’s no better 30 years later. Did I just say that? 30 YEARS? “sigh”.
Anyway, I digress…sorry. As we all know, traditional taquitos are deep fried. We also know deep fried foods = bad news. I set out to create a plant-based taquito that I could bake, but would still be crunchy. I don’t cook with oil as a rule, but for form and function, a small amount was required for this to work. I tried it without. Fail. However, I was amazed how such a small amount could make a difference. 1 tablespoon of olive oil or less for the entire batch of 12 taquitos. Not bad. Since these taquitos are filled with potatoes, I’m calling them paquitos. 🙂
Chili. Not the most creative dish, and almost everybody knows how to make it. There are a gazillion recipes out there, and I’ve tried many of them (the ones without meat, of course). For whatever reason, I’ve never been completely satisfied with any of the chili dishes I’ve made, whether I followed a recipe or made it up myself. I always felt like there was something missing, and I couldn’t describe or figure out what that something was. Also, I always made it too spicy, and as I’ve said many times, I’m a spice wimp. All this changed last night. Finally!
The mushrooms and cauliflower may sound like strange additions but trust me, they work. You can’t really taste them but they add a nice texture and I’m sure contribute to the overall flavor. The real secret in the great flavor, I believe, comes from the baked beans and liquid smoke. The fresh corn is a great addition, especially now when corn is in season. Add more chili powder and maybe some cayenne if you like your chili spicy. Try it and let me know what you think.