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Vegan for the Holidays

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Vegetarians in Paradise
 Vegetarian Cooking with Zel

Taquitos are one of lesser-known treasures of Mexican cuisine and deserve much more recognition. Basically, they're mini enchiladas filled with a small amount of seasoned meat, tightly rolled, and typically fried. Usually eaten as finger-food, they look like crisp, cigar-size rolls.

Because vegans have a knack for turning omnivorous foods into delightful delicacies, we've used a tasty vegan sausage-flavored meat substitute and sautéed it with a fresh sofrito of onions, tomatoes, garlic, and peppers to form the taquito filling.

Instead of frying the taquitos, we're baking them briefly at a high temperature to give the tortilla shells a nice, crisp texture. You can choose to add salsa or hot sauce to the filling or enjoy it as a topping.

After baking, the taquitos get pampered with toppings of mashed avocado and vegan sour cream to make them even more special. The finishing touch of olives and diced red bell peppers make them pop with color.

We thought it would be a fitting way to celebrate Cinco de Mayo with our version of taquitos. They're an easy prep if you have everything on hand and such a fun way to enjoy a tasty spring dish that's sure to make a hit with friends and family.

Be prepared for messy fingers-this is not something you eat with a knife and fork. Don't be timid! Just pick them up and start munching away.



Yield: 8 taquitos (about 4 servings)

    7 ounces (200g) Lightlife GimmeLean Sausage flavor
    2 medium tomatoes, diced
    1 medium onion, chopped
    2 cloves garlic, minced
    1/2 green bell pepper, diced
    1/2 red bell pepper, diced
    1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
    1/2 teaspoon chili powder
    1 tablespoon grapeseed oil
    Salt and pepper to taste

    Taquitos and Toppings
    8 corn tortillas

    2 large avocados, mashed
    1 1/2 cups (360 ml) vegan sour cream, homemade or prepared
    1/2 cup (120 ml) sliced black olives
    2 tablespoons diced red bell pepper

    Salsa, homemade or prepared
    Hot Sauce

  1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. and have ready a large, rimmed, ungreased baking pan.
  2. TO MAKE THE FILLING, combine the GimmeLean sausage, tomatoes, onions, garlic, green and red bell peppers, cumin, chili powder, and grapeseed oil in a medium skillet. Cook and stir over medium-high heat until the vegetables are softened and onions are transparent, about 3 to 4 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper and set aside.
  3. TO PREPARE THE TAQUITOS AND TOPPINGS, wet each tortilla by running it under water. Shake off excess water and put the tortillas in the toaster, 2 at a time. Warm them on a medium setting, or just until they are soft and pliable.
  4. Put 1 tortilla on a dish. Spoon 2 heaping tablespoons of the filling onto the closest edge and spread it horizontally across the width of the tortilla. Roll up the tortilla tightly and place it on the baking pan, seam side down. Wet, warm, and fill the remaining tortillas, rolling, and placing them on the dry baking pan. Bake for 15 minutes.
  5. Transfer the baked taquitos to a serving dish. Top each with a generous line of mashed avocado and dot generously with sour cream. Sprinkle the olives and red peppers over the top and serve the remaining guacamole and sour cream at the table. Serve the salsa and hot sauce on the side.

Click here for past cookingwithzel@home.comeonin recipes

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