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Newsletter - Animal Writes sm
19 December 1999 Issue

Christmas Recipe Ideas
by PrkStRangr@aol.com

Vegan Eggnog

There are several vegan eggnog recipes at places around the web. This one works for me.

1 package Mori-Nu brand firm silken tofu
8 oz. vanilla soy or rice milk
1 tablespoon sugar
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
dash turmeric (add more as needed for a nice yellow color)
1/2 cup rum, or brandy
nutmeg

Mix all ingredients except nutmeg in a blender or food processor until smooth. Adjust to taste with extra vanilla and sugar. Sprinkle with nutmeg.

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Here on the border in El Paso, we like to prepare a fancy Mexican dinner on Christmas Eve. Red and Green Enchiladas lend their holiday colors to the plate. I like to prepare some green chili, onion and soy cheese enchiladas and cover one half with green chili sauce and the other half with red enchilada sauce. Corn with diced red and green peppers make a good side dish, along with homemade salsa, guacamole, refried beans and chips (not homemade). For dessert, try some traditional Christmas sweet tamales.

Sweet tamales

32 dried corn husks
1/2 cup light vegetable oil
1 teaspoon salt
3 cups masa harina mix (a corn flour that can be found in most
supermarkets either in the baking section or the Mexican foods section)
1 1/2 cups warm water
1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
2/3 cup chopped pecans
2/3 cup raisins (for a portion of the 2/3 cups you can substitute dried cranberries)

Soak husks by covering with warm water in a large pan; weigh down with a plate. Let soak at least 3 hours or overnight. (Pieces of wax paper can be used instead of corn husks, they should be about 6 by 4 inches)
For tamale dough: Alternately add masa mix and water in a large bowl and beat by hand or with an electric mixer. Add oil, salt, brown sugar, baking powder, cinnamon and nutmeg, mixing until well blended.

To assemble tamales: Drain corn husks; pat dry. Spread 2 tablespoons dough on center of husks, forming a 3 x 2-inch rectangle and spreading completely to right edge. Spoon 1 teaspoon each pecans and raisins lengthwise down center of rectangle.

To enclose tamales, fold the bottom edge of corn husk up over filling, tuck in the sides and try to roll it up. Husks can be trimmed with kitchen scissors. Secure by tying a string around center of tamale.
To steam tamales, place a rack 2 inches above gently boiling water in steamer or 4-quart Dutch oven. A metal steaming basket in a large pot works as well. Stack tamales, folded side down, on rack.

Cover, steam about 2 hours or until done. Keep checking to make sure the water doesn't boil away. To test for doneness, remove one tamale from center of steamer. Open husk, tamale should be firm and come away easily from husk. I know it sounds complicated if you have never made tamales before, but it gets easier with practice.

Makes 32 tamales and a big mess in the kitchen.

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For lots of holiday recipe ideas visit the sites below...

The VeggieLiving site has links to several elegant Christmas recipes...
http://www.veggieliving.net/christmasrecipes.htm by the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine, the Vegetarian Society of the UK, VegSource, VegKitchen, the Green Guide, the Vegetarian Resource Group, and the Good Karma Cafe.

About.com has many recipes for holiday including appetizers, drinks
and 20 vegan cookie recipes...http://vegetarian.about.com/home/vegetarian/

Go on to Unto Us a Savior is Born
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