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Family Friendly Fridays: Vegetarian Tamales

Forgive me.  I have about a thousand more recipes for Christmas, but almost every one of them is something involving sugar.  I simply have to take a quick break – and I do mean quick because next week we’ll be up to our necks in Christmas cupcake competition craziness (try saying that five times fast!) – and bring back a bit of healthy on the blog before my teeth fall out from all the sugar and I gain an unsightly amount of holiday weight.  How’s that for a mental image?


This was my first time attempting to make tamales.  I even went so far as to head down to my local Mexican grocery store and pick up the corn husks and masa.  If I’m gonna do this, I gotta do it right, yea?  Let me tell ya, I am in love that grocery store.  Who knew that fruits and vegetables were so much cheaper at an international grocery store?  Not to mention the chile pepper selection!  Lets just say that I went in with a grocery list of two items and came out with mucho mas.

I will be honest and say up front, that this is not a recipe to use on a night when you don’t have a lot of time to spend in the kitchen or aren’t in the mood for a cooking challenge.  These tamales were more of a project than I anticipated.  The assembly proved to be a true endeavor and left me in need of a stiff drink and a lazy boy.  All that being said, when I sat down and took my first bite, it was most definitely worth all the work that went into them.

Are you up for the tamale challenge?  Here’s what you’ll need to grab:

Ingredients Needed:

1 Pkg. of Corn Husks
2 Cups of Masa
1 tsp of Baking Powder
3/4 tsp of Salt
2 tsp of Cumin
2 tsp of Chili Powder
21/4 Cup of Veggie Broth
1 Stick of Butter
1 Zucchini, Chopped
3 Green Onions, Chopped
2 Cloves of Garlic, Minced
1 Tbsp of Oil
1 Large Bunch of Chopped Cilantro
2 Roma Tomatoes, Chopped
1/2 of a Lime, Juiced
1/2 Cup of Shredded Cheddar Cheese

Start off by soaking your corn husks in water for at least 30 minutes.

While the husks are soaking, we’ll whip up a batch of masa.

To your bowl add in the masa, baking powder, 1/2 tsp of the salt, and 1 tsp of both the cumin, and chili powder.

Now add 2 cups of the veggie broth to your mixture and form a dough.

Pop your stick of butter into your mixer and whip it up for a minute or so.

Now add the masa dough in and mix it up well again.

Set your finished dough aside and let’s move on to the filling.

Grab your saute pan and cook up your zucchini, green onions, and garlic on medium heat in the tbsp of oil for 2 to 3 minutes.

Now add in the rest of your broth (1/4 cup), the cilantro, tomatoes, lime juice, and the remaining cumin, chili powder (1 tsp each) and salt (1/4 tsp).

Stir it together and add in the shredded cheese.

Are you ready to assemble cuz it’s time!  Grab up one of your soaked corn husks and slather a good amount of the masa mixture on top.

Now, take a spoonful of your veggie filling and place it down the middle third of your tamale. Make sure to leave a bit of space at the ends.

Ok here’s the fun part that nearly drove me to drink.  Wrap it up like you would a burrito and tie it off.  I used another corn husk to tie it up.

Grab a big pot and steam those beautiful rolled up veggie delights for about 90 minutes on medium high heat.  I didn’t have a steamer that big, so I used my large stock pot and placed my noodle strainer inside of it with the pot cover over the top.

Take note of how my wrapping became progressively lazier as time when on.  My last ones were wrapped more like Christmas cracker toys than tamales.

While the tamales are steaming, periodically check your water level to ensure you don’t boil it all away!

Pull one out after 90 minutes and unwrap it to see if it’s cooked through.  The masa should be firm.

Whew!  Here’s my final product.  Check out those beautiful tamales.

Sometimes it’s just worth the work.

I hope everyone has a great weekend and wish me luck at the cupcake competition this weekend!

I am linking this post up to Saturday Swap over at Quit Eating Out and Tickled Pink over at 504 Main.

Vegetarian Tamales

Total Time: 2 Hours 30 min

Ingredients:

1 Pkg. Corn Husks
2 Cups Masa
1 tsp Baking Powder
3/4 tsp Salt
2 tsp Cumin
2 tsp Chili Powder
21/4 Cups Veggie Broth
1 Stick Butter
1 Zucchini, Chopped
3 Green Onions, Chopped
2 Cloves of Garlic, Minced
1 Tbsp Oil
1 Large Bunch Cilantro
2 Roma Tomatoes, Chopped
1/2 Lime, Juiced
1/2 Cup Cheddar Cheese, Shredded

Directions:

Start off by soaking your corn husks in water for at least 30 minutes.

Grab a bowl and add in the masa, baking powder, 1/2 tsp of the salt, and 1 tsp of both the cumin, and chili powder.

Now add 2 cups of the veggie broth to your mixture and form a dough.

Pop your stick of butter into your mixer and whip it up for a minute or so.

Add the masa dough in and mix it up well again.

Set your finished dough aside and let's move on to the filling.

Grab your saute pan and cook up your zucchini, green onions, and garlic on medium heat in the tbsp of oil for 2 to 3 minutes.

Now add in the rest of your broth (1/4 cup), the cilantro, tomatoes, lime juice, and the remaining cumin, chili powder (1 tsp each) and salt (1/4 tsp).

Stir it together and add in the shredded cheese.

Are you ready to assemble cuz it's time! Grab up one of your soaked corn husks and slather a good amount of the masa mixture on top.

Now, take a spoonful of your veggie filling and place it down the middle third of your tamale. Make sure to leave a bit of space at the ends.

Wrap it up like you would a burrito and tie it off. I used another corn husk to tie it up.

Grab a big pot and steam those beautiful rolled up veggie delights for about 90 minutes on medium high heat. I didn't have a steamer that big, so I used my large stock pot and placed my noodle strainer inside of it with the pot cover over the top.

While the tamales are steaming, periodically check your water level to ensure you don't boil it all away.

Pull one out after 90 minutes and unwrap it to see if it's cooked through. The masa should be firm.