I love sharing Vegan food that I’ve cooked with my coworkers. I’ve always enjoyed the act of sharing food as a means of extending friendship, love & community. Now that I eat a Vegan diet, it thrills me to see people react positively with wonder & shock at how good the food tastes. I love the conversation it creates surrounding the health of people, animals & the earth. It gives me great joy to teach someone different ways of cooking Vegan & seeing them absorbing this new information with ideas of possibility. I love that I work in an environment where people are open to ideas, even when they’re different from their own, & are always kind in their words and behavior regarding it.
So, remember from my biking post when I mentioned that I have incredibly supportive employers at Haus Salon???? Well, those rascals just continue to be all-around amazing.
After sampling one of my Vegan Tamales last week, my boss offered to financially sponsor a Vegan feast at work for Global Vegan Day!!! Yes, my bosses are THAT awesome. So, I teamed up with my coworker, Tanya, to provide some animal-free yumminess for all.
Staying true to my biking, I hitched up the Doggie Trailer to my bike, & transported the feast in to work.
We purchased this ridiculously expensive trailer 2 years ago with our eyes full of visions of bike rides that included our dogs & rainbows & gliding through nature trails while a whimsical soundtrack played in the background. Unfortunately, THIS is the closest any of our three dogs has ever been to actually riding in it. They hate it. But, at least we can use it for fabulous things like today.
Tanya created her homemade Vegan Tacos & Sour Cream. Her tacos are made from walnuts, sun-dried tomatoes and seasonings. Ummmmm, DELICIOUS. This is also the lovely lady who gave me decacant gifts of Vegan cheeses from Punk Rawk Labs after she learned I ate Vegan…so, clearly we vibrate on the same page when it comes to food sharing.
I decided to make my Tamales for our Vegan Day at work. In our house, my Husband & I used to have what we called ‘Tamale Friday’.
On Fridays, our friend Antonio, would often share Tamales with us (now, I think everyone can agree that that is a good friend to have!).
I will admit, going Vegan had little impact of ‘loss’ for me until we encountered a ‘Tamale Friday’ that we were unable to partake in. Seriously, so sad. I decided in that very moment that I would make the BEST Vegan Chicken & Salsa Verde Tamales that ever existed. And, with a little internet help, I do believe that I have accomplished this task. I found an exquisite recipe online for Chicken & Salsa Verde Tamales at Pati's Mexican Table.
It’s not a Vegan recipe, so I vegan-ized it, which I will share with you how I did so.
For the Salsa Verde: Make it exactly how Pati's recipe says to make it. It is a perfect Salsa Verde & naturally Vegan.
For the ‘Chicken’ filling of the Tamale: I used un-ripened Jackfruit in place of the chicken. Jackfruit is a fruit from Southeast Asia (another food my Islander Husband loves & eats often), that when ripened is sweet. However, you can purchase it in it’s non-ripened state in Brine, & it works kinda like magic as a meat substitute. It ‘shreds’ & has the texture of cooked chicken or pulled pork or tuna. It’s pretty bland, so you are able to adjust it’s flavor with seasonings for what you are cooking. The important piece is that is HAS to be the non-ripened Jackfruit as seen on the right side of the photo below. The sweet, ripened one in syrup works great for desserts (like Turon, which I will teach you how to make at a later date), but it is disastrous as a meat substitute. It can be found at Asian or Hispanic grocery stores. I get mine from United Noodle in Minneapolis for $2/can.
For this Tamale recipe, instead of using Chicken...
To make the masa for the Tamales: follow Pati's recipe, but use the two following Vegan substitutions:
Catherine’s Bonus Tips: