Good Morning Fiesta - Show #305

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 Tofu Ranchero

 Makes 3 to 5 servings

4 whole-grain or gluten-free tortillas

2 large or 3 medium tomatoes, roughly chopped

1 medium onion, sliced

1 teaspoon dried cilantro or 1 tablespoon chopped fresh cilantro

1/4 teaspoon ground cumin

1/2 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil (optional)

1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper

1/8 teaspoon sea salt

1 yellow or orange sweet pepper, sliced

14 to 16 ounces firm or extra-firm regular tofu, drained

1 teaspoon turmeric

1/4 teaspoon regular or reduced-sodium tamari

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Wrap the tortillas in foil.

            Put the tomatoes in a blender and process until the texture resembles a chunky sauce. Put the tomatoes, onion, cilantro, ground cumin, 1/4 teaspoon of olive oil (if using), cayenne pepper, and sea salt in a large skillet. Bring to a simmer and cook for 7 minutes over medium-low heat. Add the sweet pepper, cover, and simmer for 5 to 7 minutes.

            Put the tortillas in the oven and heat for 5 to 10 minutes or until they are warm.

Meanwhile, combine the tofu, turmeric, tamari, and 1/4 teaspoon of olive oil (if using) into a medium bowl and mash with a potato masher or large fork until the tofu resembles the color and texture of cooked scrambled eggs. In a nonstick skillet, cook the tofu mixture for 5 to 7 minutes, or until heated through, stirring frequently.

            Remove the tortillas from the oven. For each serving, place a tortilla on a large plate. Spoon one-quarter of the tofu mixture over the tortilla and then top with one-quarter of the tomato sauce. Serve immediately.


Cornbread and Sweet Pepper Mini-Muffins

Makes 12 mini-muffins

1/2 cup plus 3 tablespoons fine ground cornmeal, plus more as needed (see note)

1/2 cup whole-wheat flour

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1/4 teaspoon sea salt

1/2 cup diced sweet red pepper

1 cup sliced banana

1/3 cup nondairy milk

1/4 teaspoon chili powder

1/4 cup maple syrup

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Oil a twelve-cup mini-muffin tin. Put the cornmeal, flour, baking powder, and salt in a large bowl and stir with a dry whisk to combine. Add the red pepper and stir gently to coat.

            Put the banana, nondairy milk, and chili powder in a blender. Process until the mixture is smooth. Pour the banana mixture into the flour mixture and stir just until incorporated. Add the maple syrup and stir briefly to incorporate. The batter will be quite thick. If the mixture seems too runny, gently stir in more cornmeal, 1 heaping teaspoon at a time, to achieve a thick batter that holds soft peaks when stirred.  

Divide the mixture among the oiled muffin cups. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, or until golden and a toothpick inserted in the center of a muffin comes out clean. Put the muffin tin on a wire rack and loosen the sides of each muffin with a knife. Cool for about 10 minutes. Carefully remove the muffins. Serve warm or at room temperature.

NOTE: Make sure to use fine-ground cornmeal, not coarse ground cornmeal, or your muffins will be inedible!


Pineapple-Banana-Strawberry Smoothie

Makes 2 to 3 servings

2 very large frozen bananas

2 cups chilled nondairy milk, plus more as needed (vanilla variety is preferable)

1 1/2 cups cubed pineapple, chilled

1 cup frozen strawberries

1 tablespoon maple syrup, plus more as needed (optional)

Put all of the ingredients in a blender and process until smooth and creamy. Taste and add more nondairy milk or maple syrup, if desired. Pour the mixture into pretty dessert dishes or glasses. Serve immediately.