Tag Archives: tomatillo

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Sadly I couldn’t exicute the original plan for this post. Alexa and I were going to do a joint post of us having a debate on tacos vs burritos. Alexa was all set to make a drawing of us and all. BUUUUT…. she had some issues at work where they were suddenly down a person. We’ve all been there with small businesses, someone is fired, has to leave suddenly, or your boss refuses to replace someone and you find yourself working over 40 hours. So she worked a lot of days in a row and needed a break. Then my husband had to work on an emergency project over the weekend and hogged the computer so I really didn’t touch it. I actually had to plug our old computer in to make the post on Saturday. But luckily I’ve been meaning to post this recipe on this tomatillo tofu burrito.

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I might be a little biased in the Taco and Burrito debate. I worked at Animo in the past, and their specialty is burritos. They get pretty creative with it, pretty much pushing boundaries between wrap and burrito. Hey I am cool with that because there is something very satisfying about having hot beans mixed with cold lettuce. I do like tacos, but oddly I don’t make them often. Maybe because I usually don’t plan a meal, and just kind-of pile stuff on. So the end results are too many flavors. But some days I get my shit together and hold back on making too many fillings with my Kohlrabi Kimchi & Adzuki Bean Tacos and Miso-Harissa Acorn Squash Tacos. Burritos are a little hard to add too much. Just rice, beans, salsa, and an add in (tofu in this case, but roasted veggies are pretty good too!)

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And what I love about burritos is the portability! If I wanted to have tacos for lunch I would have to store everything in their own containers. Then build them like a homemade lunchables. I wasn’t into them when I was little, so I am still not into it as an adult. But burritos are all wrapped up and ready to go. Just roll in tin foil and twist the ends. Burritos work with a lot of leftovers to hide them as something much more interesting. For example a lot of leftover stews and curries I wrap up in a burrito with leftover rice. That’s it! You can sometimes switch it up. For example I leftover chili and made various types of burritos using different leftovers, sometimes rice, sometimes with lettuce, sometimes with tofu, sometimes different salsa, etc. It makes the lunch fun and interesting.

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The secret to a good burrito is portions. If you are using rice and beans, I keep the ratio 43% rice, 52% beans, 5% salsa. Just a slight bit more beans than rice, and a little bit of salsa so the rice isn’t too dry. When you are having a filling like tofu or veggies I make it about 32% rice, 32% beans, 32% filling, 4% salsa. You will get a burrito that isn’t going to leak all over your hands. And there is enough rice to keep the burrito form. Check out that photo below! Keeping to the almost equal portions equation!

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These burritos take a good bit of time to make, but need very little actual active time. Sometimes I double the beans and rice so I can make leftovers with it. But this amount should be enough for about 4-5 burritos, depending on how much you stuff your flour tortillas. Learning how to wrap a solid burrito might take some time, but when you figure it out, you will really impress people, making this a great dinner for guests.

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salsamorado0

Ever wondered why there aren’t any blue foods? Aside from the sky and water, there aren’t many blue things in nature. Heck even the sky and blue aren’t really blue in the sense that you need a lot of it to appear blue. If you took a jar, and bottled the air or water, it would just look clear. So why is that?

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Well there aren’t too many different plants and animals that have a blue color. A lot of it has to do with the fact that blue is hard to make a pigment of. It hasn’t been until recently that blue pigments have been made synthetically. This is probably because to get blues from light, you need a higher wavelength frequency, needing more energy. For a pigment to “work” you need chemically stable compositions that stays the same color under various temperatures (think about how metals change colors when hot or how food kind-of changes color when cooked.)

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So why not blue animals or plants? Well blue pigments are probably the least stable color. If you look at old photos you probably see it morph into browns and red, as the colors get effected by UV lights. Animals have a hard time absorbing any blue pigments from plants compared to reds (think of flamingos who get their color from their diet). But animals have managed to get blue by “structural color,” including human’s blue irises. So pretty much pigments are absorbing light to create a specific color, but structural color is formed by diffusing light. Sometimes this light diffusion is obvious by it’s iridescent qualities like in bird feathers. Still confused? Well I still kind-of am, but D News has a fun video about why we don’t have blue hair.

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So what are the available blue foods? Well the plant based foods are blueberries, blue corn, blue potatoes, star flowers and indigo milk caps. The latter two aren’t that common to eat since one is a flower and the other is a mushroom. There are lots of other blue mushrooms out there, they just aren’t edible. Which can be problematic when cooking up a blue dish. There are also some non-vegan “foods” like blue cheese, lobsters and crayfish, and lingcod which has turquoise blue muscle tissue.

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And you might be thinking most of these foods are kind-of purple… and they are. And that drives me nuts! Pretty much for us to get blue we need dyes, and I threw in my cooking towel here. I feel like using synthetic dyes is cheating, and it is. So I tried to work with the most blue item I got from my CSA- purple tomatillos. I was a little greedy about these yummy fruit and picked way too many. Now I am trying everything that I can to preserve them including salsa, jams, and shrubs.

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This dish uses a little bit of fermentation so it can stay fresh and edible over several months in the fridge. But if you are going to eat it fresh, it is really tasty! It definitely tastes different than salsa verde! It is like if you baked two apple pies, one using granny smith apples, and the other with golden delicious. One would be much more tarte than the other. The purple tomatillos give just enough sweetness. Serve with chips, tacos, or bake tofu in the salsa. Continue reading


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Anyone know where to get purple tomatillos? My CSA has them, and they are probably my favorite thing. But truthfully, outside of my CSA, I’ve never seen them for sale. I guess maybe at some diverse farmer markets? This recipe can be made with normal green tomatillos, but it won’t be as sweet, and a little more tart. You also won’t get such a lush purple color. But don’t worry, you can even see with my crisp that some mostly green tomatillos snuck in.

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Is this really a weird flavor combination? I am not sure. I actually got the idea from my CSA, as they have a big book of recipes according to the vegetable at hand. It happened to be opened to tomatillos one day and I saw the suggestion- strawberry-tomatillo crisp. I thought adding other berries to the mix would be perfect! A quick google search shows a few other recipes for tomatillo crisp, but it really isn’t as common as strawberry rhubarb pie.

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I think my husband was blown away by the flavor. The berries don’t over power the tomatillos but most people aren’t use to the flavor of cooked tomatillos. So the end result is something really unique. Guests will be scratching their heads about what flavor combination is going on.

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Sadly the purple tomatillos are reaching their end at my CSA so I won’t be making another batch of this. I can say that I will definitely be making this again next year!

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I am a little sad that I didn’t post this recipe during Vegan Mofo. But I am glad I participated, because it was tons of fun. We hit 20 posts this month (whooo group effort!) and we will be back next year, with hopefully a better theme. Maybe we will make a month of just ingredient pages! That was something I wanted to make a big focus on the blog and just haven’t gotten around to.

I am thinking I should be making pages for Tomatillos and Gochujang since there are a few recipes that use it on the site. They aren’t fully normal ingredients. And try and find a recipe for tomatillos that aren’t salsa verde related? Forget about it! This year my CSA has some great tomatillos and I’ve been unsure what to do with them. It is quite possibly the most frustrating thing. I have made Tomatillo and Chickpea Curry, which was pretty tasty. Now I take tomatillos in a totally different direction- sweet and savory.

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I think the reason why I didn’t post this recipe during Vegan Mofo was that the photos kind-of sucked. I made it at night, so the lighting blew. And I was originally going to make the recipe for burritos, but it was a little oozy. And I was so hungry I couldn’t be bothered to take a bad photo. So I just decided to post the tofu, since I’ve eaten it with tacos, burritos, and it would easily taste great in sandwiches or as is.

The major downside is that the recipe takes a LOT of baking. It takes about 15 minutes of your time overall, but will take at least an hour or more of baking time. Then you add on another hour for pressing the tofu. But like I said, it leaves plenty of downtime so you can make whatever sides that you need, do the dishes, or read a book.

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It has been a rough few weeks. My work schedule has been totally flipped upside down, and I found myself working mostly night shifts instead of morning. Which means that I’ve just been unable to make dinner for half of the week. Now, just the idea of cooking dinner feels like a chore. At the end of each day, I think about how someone has to cook otherwise our ingredients will go bad.

Luckily, I have the best husband who will cook dinner even though he gets home around 7pm at night. I become an early morning sous chef and pre-chop veggies to make it easier.  I’ll try to gather or bunch ingredients together in the fridge or cabinets, so he doesn’t have to hunt them down.  Sometimes all he has to do is toss a casserole dish in the oven and bake. But one night I wrote down a totally new recipe and let him work it out. 

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