Vegan Mexican Pop-up Cooking Class
I had such a great time at yet another vegan cooking class with Chef Jenn Felmley at Sea Rocket Bistro yesterday.
I’ve taken several classes with Chef Jenn & they keep getting better & better. The theme for yesterday’s class: Vegan Mexican. Yes! I love, love, love, Mexican food & it’s one of my favorite foods to veganize. I can’t think of a better way to spend a Saturday afternoon than drinking an ice cold craft beer while preparing a vegan Mexican feast with friends.
Vegan Mexican Menu:
- Mexican Red Rice
- Hand Mashed Pinto Beans
- Salsa Fresca
- Guacamole Sauce
- Calabacitas Tostadas
- Mini Sweet Tamales
Looks awesome, right? I just had one question - what is “calabacitas?” For those of you in the dark like I was, calabacitas is a traditional Southwestern dish of sautéed summer squash, corn, onions & peppers, & can be enjoyed either as a side or as a vegetarian filling for tacos, or in this case - tostadas! As local squash is abundant at the markets this time of year, this is the perfect recipe to learn as we move into the summer months.
The participants broke up into groups separately preparing the tamales, beans & rice, & tostadas as separate teams. My Mom & I - “team Vegenista” - along with another lovely vegan gal, tackled the tostadas, which required a lot of prep - chopping veggies, sautéing veggies, & frying up tortillas. This is the kind of prep work I find relaxing, especially with an adult beverage in hand. When all the components came together, we plated the food & got down to business - feasting!
As always, Chef Jenn facilitated a fantastic feast & I got to walk away with a whole bunch of new recipes to add to my inventory. Lucky for you, Chef Jenn is allowing me to share the tostada recipe. Please note that some of the tostada components were made as separate recipes in class, but I included some recommendations for substitutions.
"Chef Jenn’s Calabacitas Tostadas"
- 2 Tbsp. Coconut Oil
- 1 small zucchini, small diced
- 1 small yellow squash
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 roma tomatoes, seeded & small diced
- 1 cup onion, small diced
- 1/2 cup fresh corn
- 1/2 cup roasted poblano pepper, peeled, sedded & small diced
- 1/2 cup Daiya shredded cheese (we used the pepperjack shreds)
- 1/2 cup almond milk
- 2 tsp cornstarch
- 1 tsp fresh oregano, chopped
- Salt & pepper to taste
- Heat the oil in a large sauté pan over medium heat. Add squash mixture & lightly season with salt & pepper. Cook until the squash just begins to soften, about 5 minutes
- Stir in garlic, tomato, onion, corn, poblano pepper & 1/4 cup water. Cover, reduce heat to low, & simmer about 5 minutes (or until vegetables are tender).
- In a small bowl, combine almond milk & cornstarch; stir to dissolve.
- Increase heat to medium, remove lid & stir cornstarch & almond milk mixture into the sautéed veggies. Cook until the sauce begins to simmer & thicken.
- Turn off the heat & add in both types of cheese. Add oregano & season to taste with salt & pepper.
- 6 (6 inch) corn tortillas
- 1/2 cup peanut oil
- Heat 1/2 cup oil in a heavy small skillet over medium-high heat until it shimmers. Fry tortillas, 1 at a time, turning once or twice & pressing with tongs to immerse, until golden brown 45 to 60 seconds per tortilla. Drain briefly on paper towels.
- 1 1/2 cup mashed pinto beans (recipe made in class, I would recommend Amy’s refried beans as a simple alternative)
- 1 cup avocado sauce (recipe made in class, use your favorite guacamole)
- 1/2 cups Salsa Fresca (recipe made in class, use store bought or your favorite recipe)
- 1 cup cabbage, sliced thin
- 1/2 cup radishes, sliced
Spread tortillas with a layer of refried beans, top with Calabacitas & garnish with cabbage & radish slices. Serve with a dollop of guacamole & salsa fresca.
I cannot wait to make calabacitas again for tostadas, taco, or burrito filling, & as we do Mexican food themed birthdays in my family, I am excited to have a new recipe to add to the mix!
Chef Jenn teaches vegan classes at Sea Rocket every few months, & rumor has it the next class will be French themed (thanks to my Mom’s suggestion) in July, for Bastille Day. I’ll keep you posted, but in the meantime check out Chef Jenn’s website
for more info on upcoming classes.