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Earth Eats Celebrates An All-Vegan Cinco de Mayo

Today on Earth Eats: an all-vegan Cinco de Mayo menu including a quesadilla and two toppings...salsa verde and a fresh take on guacamole.

vegan quesadilla

Photo: Adam Schweigert/WFIU

The main dish, rounding out our all-vegan Cinco de Mayo menu. A quesadilla with tofu, basil, and tomatoes.

Today on Earth Eats we help you plan your Cinco de Mayo party. We’ve got a vegan quesadilla and two toppings… a salsa verde using tomatillos and roasted veggies, and a fresh take on guacamole using sweet peas and tofu.

And no Cinco de Mayo party would be complete without a tequila-based spirit. Hop behind the bar for a little mixology lesson.

Cinco De Mayo Cocktail: Basilica

basilica in a cocktail glass

Photo: Alycin Bektesh (for WFIU)

For a little twist on a classic margarita, try this refreshing early summer cocktail.

Martinis are fun because you can use lots of different flavors, ingredients, and sweeteners, such as simple syrup, sugar, agave nectar. You can also use soda or ginger ale.

Ingredients:

  • 3 ounces Don Julio Blanco Tequila
  • 2 lime wedges
  • ¼ ounce agave nectar
  • 2-3 large basil leaves

Directions:

  1. Muddle lime wedges, agave nectar, and basil leaves.
  2. Shake with ice & strain into cocktail glass.
  3. Garnish with a lime and a basil bud.

Sweet Pea Guacamole

Guacamole doesn’t always have to include avocado. Instead, add some sweet peas and tofu, and you’ve got yourself a great accompaniment to any Mexican or southwestern dish!

Sweet peas are great to use because they’re really low in fat, but still have a nice sweet flavor and the tofu is a nice source of protein. You’re going to love this guac.  It’s very lean but packed with flavor. Best of all, it’s simple… all you need is a good blender!

(Makes 3 cups)

Ingredients:

  • 1 pound sweet green peas – cooked until skins are tender and shocked in cold water.
  • chili pepper – your favorite, to taste
  • ½ pound silken tofu
  • ½ cup fresh mint
  • olive oil to desired consistency
  • 1 clove garlic – minced
  • 1 tablespoon fresh ginger
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper
  • hot sauce to taste

Method:

  1. Puree ingredients together in a blender until smooth.
  2. Season to taste with salt, cracked pepper, and favorite hot sauce.

Now you’ve got a tasty vegan guacamole that even the most adamant tofu haters will enjoy.

If you’re interested in growing sweet peas, plant them in your garden now as they don’t like it especially warm. You’ll have a batch ready to share with friends in 2 to 2 and a half months.

Connect with fellow gardeners and swap tips on our Facebook page.

Tomatillo Salsa Verde

Now that we’ve got the guac, it’s time for the salsa verde. The great thing about this salsa is that you can make it just as spicy as you’d like, by adding more chili peppers.

Ingredients:

  • 15-20 tomatillos
  • 1 white onion, chopped
  • 1 chili pepper, chopped (keep the seeds for extra heat!)
  • bit of lemon zest
  • 4-5 cloves of garlic
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 cup basil
  • salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

  1. Mix the chopped vegetables with lemon zest and olive oil.
  2. Roast the vegetables in an over-proof pan under a broiler. The vegetables will cook down and become caramelized.
  3. After broiling the vegetables, add the basil and an additional clove of garlic (chopped). Pulse the mixture in a food processor.
  4. Add raw vegetables after processing as you like, such as red onions or additional tomatillos. Feel free to add whatever flavors you especially enjoy.
  5. Choose a Chile pepper that will provide the heat and flavor you’re looking for (serrano, jalapeño, habanero, etc). Add remaining ingredients and pulse in food processor until desired consistency is reached. Add salt and pepper to taste.

  • quesadilla ingredients in a bowl

    Image 1 of 8

    Photo: Adam P Schweigert/WFIU

    In a large bowl, combine the spinach, tofu and tomatoes

  • quesadilla ingredients in a bowl

    Image 2 of 8

    Photo: Adam P Schweigert/WFIU

    Add pesto, olives, and pinenuts; season to taste with salt, pepper, and hot sauce.

  • tossing quesadilla ingredients

    Image 3 of 8

    Photo: Adam P Schweigert/WFIU

    Toss the ingredients until well combined.

  • adding quesadilla ingredients to the tortillas

    Image 4 of 8

    Photo: Adam P Schweigert/WFIU

    And place equal amounts on half of each tortilla and fold over. Brush olive oil on both sides or spray with non-stick spray.

  • quesadillas in the oven

    Image 5 of 8

    Photo: Adam P Schweigert/WFIU

    10 minutes before serving, place the quesadillas on baking sheet or stone and cook until crisp on bottom

  • quesadillas browned, being removed from oven

    Image 6 of 8

    Photo: Adam P Schweigert/WFIU

    Approximately 3-4 minutes.

  • quesadillas garnish and presentation

    Image 7 of 8

    Photo: Adam P Schweigert/WFIU

    Serve with salsa and tofu sour cream and garnish with herbs such as cilantro or parsley.

  • earth eats host annie corrigan eating the quesadilla

    Image 8 of 8

    Photo: Adam P Schweigert/WFIU

    Annie approves.

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups baby spinach
  • 1 pound firm tofu, diced
  • 1 cup tomatoes, diced (approximately 2)
  • ¼ cup basil pesto
  • ¼ cup black olives, chopped
  • ¼ cup pinenuts, toasted
  • salt, pepper and your favorite hot sauce to taste
  • 6 spinach flour tortillas (or your favorite flavor)
  • olive oil
  • salsa (try the recipe for tomatillo salsa above or make your own tomato salsa)
  • tofu sour cream (see recipe)
  • basil or cilantro to garnish

Method:

  1. Pre-heat oven to 450-degrees with baking stone or cookie sheet inside.
  2. In a large bowl, combine the spinach, tofu, tomatoes, pesto, olives, and pinenuts; season to taste with salt, pepper, and hot sauce.
  3. Place equal amounts on half of each tortilla and fold over. Brush olive oil on both sides or spray with non-stick spray.
  4. 10 minutes before serving, place the quesadillas on baking sheet or stone and cook until crisp on bottom, approximately 3-4 minutes. Serve with salsa and tofu sour cream.
  5. Garnish with herbs such as cilantro or parsley.

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Earth Eats Staff

Earth Eats Staff is a weekly podcast, public radio program and blog bringing you the freshest news and recipes inspired by local food and sustainable agriculture.

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  • http://karassoapbox.blogspot.com Kara

    I've got to say, I don't understand the reason for the alternate guacamole recipe. Traditional guacamole is vegan already, and the fats in it are natural, healthy fats which make you feel more full. This guacamole sounds ok, but not nearly as good as the original.

  • http://adampschweigert.com Adam Schweigert

    I really like the recipe, but (for me), it's not necessarily “guacamole-like”. If you go in expecting normal guacamole…let's just say you'll be a little surprised. If you just approach it as another dip recipe, it's really great. Very fresh, clean-tasting and the mint is a great touch.

  • http://twitter.com/pazapparel pazapparel

    Everything here looks amazing! Thank you from a true Mexican food raving fan.

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