Traditionally served in Hispanic cultures, tamales are steamed corn cakes filled with meat, poultry, fish, or vegetables and a variety of herbs and spices. Home cooks who do not have the time or patience to make individual tamales can still sample this tasty treat by making tamale pie. By incorporating some basic substitutions, a traditional recipe can easily be converted into a vegan meal.
Serve vegan tamale pie alongside a large tossed salad and a side of white or brown rice and you'll have a filling, nutritious meal sure to please the entire family! Serves 4 to 6.
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 15 ounces canned corn
- 1 cup chopped white onion
- 1 green bell pepper, finely diced
- 1 roasted red bell pepper, finely diced
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 jalapeno, ribs and seeds removed, minced
- 15 ounces black beans, drained and rinsed
- 15 ounces vegan refried beans
- 1 cup vegetable stock
- 1 cup salsa
- 4 ounces sliced black olives
- 1 tablespoon chili powder
- 1 tablespoon ground cumin
- 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
- 1 tablespoon flaxseeds, ground
- 1 cup soy milk
- 1/3 cup vegetable oil
- 1 cup cornmeal
- 1 cup flour
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
- 1 tablespoon dried parsley flakes
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup shredded vegan cheddar cheese
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Heat vegetable oil over medium-high heat in a large frying pan.
- Add onions, bell peppers, and spices to frying pan, cook for 4 to 5 minutes, or until all vegetables are soft.
- Add black and refried beans, corn, salsa, olives, garlic, vegetable stock and Worcestershire sauce to the frying pan, and cook for 5 to 6 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Gently mash filling with a potato masher until no large lumps remain.
- Cover frying pan with a lid, turn off heat, and set filling aside for later use.
- Combine flaxseed powder with 1 tablespoon water, and let rest for five minutes.
- Add soy milk and vegetable oil to flaxseed powder, and stir until thoroughly combined.
- Carefully mix cornmeal, flour, sugar, baking powder, dried parsley flakes, and salt into flaxseed mixture. Some lumps should remain.
- Grease an 8x8-inch casserole dish, and pour in half of cornmeal mixture. Use a large spoon to spread mixture out evenly on bottom of dish.
- Top the cornmeal mixture with the vegetable filling. Pat filling down smoothly, making sure it reaches all corners of the casserole dish.
- Sprinkle vegan cheddar cheese over vegetable filling.
- Pour remaining cornmeal mixture over top of vegan cheese.
- Place casserole dish in oven, and bake for 30 to 40 minutes, or until top crust is lightly browned.
To make any tamale pie vegan, alternatives for eggs and milk is a must. Fortunately, a wide variety of options exist when it comes to finding a quality substitute.
When combined with water, ground flaxseeds are an effective solution to eggs in most baked goods - such as the crust featured in tamale pie. According to Healthy Recipes for Your Family, applesauce and tofu can also be used to replace eggs while baking. For optimal results, use 1/4-cup of applesauce or extra-soft tofu for each egg called for in the recipe.
Non-dairy milk - including soy milk, almond milk, and so on - can all be used in place of cow's milk in a variety of pastry crusts. Use these products in a one-to-one substitution for optimal results when creating a vegan tamale pie.
A Delicious Vegan Entree
Finding tasty, nutritious ethnic foods - such as tamale pie - can sometimes be a challenge for vegans. Fortunately, by making some easy swaps, vegan tamale lovers can still include this food in their diet.