Friday, August 23, 2013

Quinoa Tortillas and Jalapeno Lime Slaw

Freshly made corn tortillas are a heavenly experience and once you've made fresh tortillas, tasted them hot off the stove, and fallen in love with them,  then you will always notice the difference between store bought and homemade.  As a child growing up in San Diego, Mexican food was abundant.  Living so close to the Mexican border meant a huge selection of authentic Mexican restaurants most of which would make tortillas from scratch on a stone mortar and hot plate out under the California sun.  These tortillas were so heavenly delicious that eating them plain or with a dab of vegan butter was enough since the sweet corn was fragrant on its own.  Today, I still love these tortillas but I also appreciate taking a step back from corn and wheat to try something new. 

Quinoa is a perfect substitute for making tortillas at home.  Since quinoa has a strong nutty flavor that lacks the sweet flavor of corn, I've also added in coconut flour for a complementary and mild hint of sweetness.  Like many gluten free breads and foods, these tortillas can be delicate and it is vitally important not to overcook them.  With practice, these babies turn out beautifully time after time.

In gardening news, yesterday I harvested my first ever homegrown cabbage!  I'm so proud and couldn't wait to make something with the first of many cabbages to come!


Since I wanted to incorporate raw cabbage, black bean tacos came to mind,  I decided to make fresh tortillas and the inspiration for my open face black bean tacos was born.  Just made tortillas have a weight and moisture to them that cannot be found in store bought tortillas.  Because of this, I decided to use my tortillas as the foundation of the dish and take the cabbage from inside the tacos to the outside and dress it up a bit.  This Mexican style cabbage slaw works well as a side dish for a variety of meals and can also be enjoyed alone since it is very lightly dressed like a salad.  For a denser variety, opt for using my Creamy Mayo instead of the flax oil and honey. 

Since slaw needs to sit and soak up the juices, it is best to make this first and allow it to sit for 20 minutes or make ahead and refrigerate overnight. If you've got a garden going or are interested in starting one we've got cabbage, cilantro and chives from the VV kitchen garden!  All incredibly easy to grow.  Cilantro and Chives are perfect choices for an apartment window or balcony since they grown well in containers.  You can actually buy store bought chives and put the root end in water and place in a sunny location and the chives will grow! (In case you're wondering, I've saved the large outer leaves for my Raw Sauerkraut recipe which I'll post soon!).

Jalapeno Lime Slaw
- 1 small head of cabbage or 1/2 a large head of cabbage, red or green or a mix of the two, washed, cored, and cut into wedges
- 4 scallions, thinly sliced on diagonal (white and green parts)
- 1/4 cup cilantro, chopped
- 1 jalapeno, seeded and minced (optional: leave some seeds in if you like it hot!)
- 1/4 cup lime juice, freshly squeezed
- 1 tsp. honey (or raw coconut nectar)
- 1 tsp. flax oil
- salt to taste (optional)
* If opting for a more traditional variety, swap the honey and flax oil for 1/4 cup plus 2 Tablespoons of my Creamy Mayo.

1. Thinly slice cabbage using a knife.  Using a knife instead of a food processor will allow you to control the length and width of your slices.  Place sliced cabbage in a medium sized bowl.
2. Add the cilantro, chives, and jalapeno to the cabbage.
3. In a small bowl, mix lime juice, honey, and flax oil.  Whisk to incorporate and then pour over slaw.  Toss to coat and set aside.  You can make this in advance and allow to refrigerate overnight for added flavor.

Quinoa Tortillas
- 1/4 cup chia meal (chia seed ground up in a coffee grinder)
- 2 Tbsp. melted coconut oil
- 6 Tbsp. warm-hot water
- 1/4 cup quinoa
- 1/8 cup sunflower flour (or almond or pumpkin seed flower are also good options. Use coffee grinder to make flour).
- 1/8 cup coconut flour
- 1/2 tsp. baking powder
- 1/4 cup tapioca flour
- a pinch of salt

1. In a small sauce pan, dry toast the quinoa for about 30 seconds.  This will remove the saponin coating and bitter flavor from the quinoa.  Remove from heat and allow to cool.
2. In a coffee grinder, grind toasted quinoa into flour.
3. In a medium bowl, combine chia meal and coconut oil. Mix well.
4. Add quinoa flour, seed/nut flour, coconut flour, baking powder, tapioca flour, and salt.
5. Begin to mix ingredients while adding the warm-hot water one tablespoon at a time until you have a pliable and thoroughly mixed dough.
6. Divide dough into 4 evenly sized balls.  Place a piece of wax paper on counter top.  Add one dough ball on top of the wax paper.  Cover with another piece of wax paper and gently push down to flatten.  Then use a rolling pin to roll tortilla to desired thickness and width (about 8"). Repeat for all  tortillas.
7. In a medium sized skillet (stainless steel) add a little bit of coconut oil and bring to medium or medium-low heat.  Once the oil is melted, your pan is ready for the tortillas.
8. Add a tortilla to preheated pan.  Cook for one minute and flip.  Cook additional 30 seconds.  Do not overcook as it will cause tortillas to break upon folding.  Repeat for all 4 tortillas.

Lay Quinoa Tortilla on plate and add to it cooked quinoa (I've added a dash of Mexican seasoning and lime juice to my cooked quinoa for additional flavor), black beans, red onion, avocado, cilantro, and optional Daiya cheddar shreds.  Add a healthy serving of the Jalapeno Lime Slaw and serve with hot sauce.  Happy Gluten Free and Non GMO eats!
Thank you for stopping by the Venturing Vegan blog! I love to share recipes and to hear feedback! If you love this recipe or if you hate this recipe, please let me know!  Feedback is blogger fuel.  As always, if you dig these vegan eats, please share the recipe with your friends and family! Vegan recipes should be like a warm summer breeze, always free and best when shared!

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