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A vegetarian Tlayuda for Cinco de Mayo
aka Mexican Pizza
Hola! I’m finishing up my Burrito Bowl and Avocado Lime Smoothie that we made in today’s v8well Cooking Club as I type this. (Reply to this email if you’d like to see the recording). And keeping with today’s theme, here’s another special Cinco recipe!
Last year in Mexico, I learnt to make a Tlayuda, which can be described loosely as a sort of Mexican pizza. Originally from Oaxaca, the base is a handmade corn tortilla. The vegetarian Tlayuda I ate at our resort had a black bean sauce, zucchini blossoms and Oaxacan cheese, along with white cabbage, avocado and cilantro. If you want to make that original version, head to this video.
My new take on this dish features the Chickpea Crepe from The Vegetarian Reset as the base, an addictive black bean sauce which is essentially a concentrated version of my Black Bean Soup, and shredded chayote. I finish it with avocado, radishes for color and cotija cheese.
What is chayote? It’s a type of summer squash, excellent when cooked or as I have recently discovered, raw. My dad is obsessed with it. You are likely to find it in Indian or Hispanic stores. I usually purchase mine from this online Indian grocery retailer.
Think of this recipe as a template and get creative with your toppings this summer. Personally, I can’t wait for fresh sweet corn to be out and about. Fajita-style veggies (bell peppers and onions) would also be amazing!
If you’re using the chickpea crepes, I would make the batter ahead of time (I’ve stored it in my fridge for weeks).
Chickpea Tlayuda (makes 4)
4 Chickpea Crepes from The Vegetarian Reset (page 18), or use a low carb tortilla, such as this Siete Foods Chickpea Tortilla
Black Bean Sauce
1 Tbsp olive oil
½ cup diced onion (50g)
1 bay leaf
1/2 cup diced green bell pepper/capsicum (50g)
1 small jalapeño pepper, diced and seeded to adjust spice level to taste
1 small plum or Roma tomato (60g), diced
1 Tbsp minced garlic
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp smoked paprika
1 tsp fine sea salt
1 (15-oz/400-g) can black beans, drained and rinsed
1/2 cup/120ml water
2 large chayote squashes, about 300g total, grated using the smaller holes of a box grater. (Or use cucumber)
Juice of one lime + zest, if desired
1/4 tsp fine sea salt plus more to taste
1/4 cup chopped cilantro/coriander, plus more for garnish
2 tsp nigella seeds or sesame seeds
4 small pink radishes, sliced thinly, optional
1 avocado, sliced as desired
1/4 cup/28g crumbled cotija cheese, or feta
Mexican hot sauce, such as this Siete Foods Jalapeno sauce, or Sriracha
Step 1 - Make the black bean sauce. Heat a medium saucepan over medium heat. When hot, add the olive oil, onion, and bay leaf and cook, stirring, until the onion is soft, about 5 minutes. Add the bell pepper and jalapeño, increase the heat to medium-high, and cook for 1–2 minutes. Add the tomato, garlic, cumin, oregano, paprika, and salt, reduce the heat to medium, and cook, stirring, until the tomatoes break down and start oozing, and the spices are fragrant, 3–4 minutes. Add 2–3 tablespoons of water to deglaze the pan if needed. Add 1/2 cup of water and simmer for about 15 minutes or until the water has mostly been absorbed. Remove the bay leaf and pulse with an immersion blender - I like it chunky so not too much.
Step 2 - Mix the shredded chayote, 1/4 cup cilantro, lime juice, 1/2 tsp salt and nigella seeds in a bowl and set aside.
Step 3 - Warm up the chickpea crepe or cook the tortilla per package directions.
Step 4 - Assemble the Tlayuda (Repeat 4x). Spread 1/4th of the black bean sauce over the crepe or tortilla. Sprinkle 1/4th of the prepared chayote over the black bean sauce. Dot with slices of radish, if using and 1/4 avocado. Garnish with cotija cheese and remaining cilantro.
Drizzle hot sauce and enjoy!
v8well Good Things
I made‘s famous The Stew. It really is that good and will be on my list of go-to dinners for some time to come. Plus, I can’t get enough of her Home Movies, they’ve become my go-to for both inspiration and unwind.
For those who couldn’t get enough cottage cheese from last week, here are 12 more ideas from A Couple Cooks. Notable mentions: lasagna and pancakes.
Cucumber salad two ways is just what you need for May. This is my AAPI month post from last year where I showcase the versatility of the humble cucumber and the commonalities between cuisines with two simple but elegant salads - a Kosambari from South India and a Korean Smashed Cucumber Salad adapted from My Korean Kitchen.
For those interested in learning more about their gut microbiome and how it influences everything from your immunity to your mood, I highly recommend The Good Gut. It’s written by a pair of Stanford scientists who are pioneers in microbiota research. Oh, and they’re married to each other too.
Did you know what the white dots on strawberries really are?
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EVENT alert! To celebrate AAPI month, I am hosting a cooking and tasting event + author chat with the amazing Maggie Zhu of the wildly popular blog Omnivore’s Cookbook on June 2nd! Maggie’s new cookbook, Chinese Homestyle, is a scrumptious plant-based take on Chinese home cooking. This event will be held in downtown Manhattan at the Yondu Culinary Studio, near the Brooklyn Bridge.
We will dish about our culinary journeys, Asian heritage, and what plant-based means to us. Most importantly, we will be cooking and serving bites from both cookbooks!
Signed copies of Chinese Homestyle and The Vegetarian Reset will be available for purchase at the venue, or can be reserved with your ticket (free admission if you purchase both books).
This is my first public event for the book in NYC and I really hope some of you in the area can make it. I’d love to meet you. xoxo
Gift a copy of The Vegetarian Reset for Mother’s day!
And cook one of these recipes for Mom to make it extra special. Reply to this email if you want a signed bookplate(sticker).
If you already have my cookbook
Join my cookbook group here on Facebook and share your pictures as you cook along from the book! You can also ask questions about recipes and I will help in any way I can.
Write an honest review for The Vegetarian Reset on Amazon or Goodreads and I’ll send you a copy of The Good Gut! (US/UK/AUS/CAN only - subject to availability). Reply to this email to send a screenshot of your submission and claim your book.