Sometimes being a vegan is difficult. There are many things that vegans simply cannot eat. However, if you are creative and have the will to experiment. There is some excellent food out there. Today I'm going to show you how to easily make an excellent vegan corn pie.
I have lived in Chile for many years and one of my favorite Chilean dishes is "Pastel de Choclo" (click to make your mouth water). However, I went vegan a year or so ago and could no longer eat that dish. So my wife created a new vegan twist on it. Here is her recipe.
Step 1: What You Will Need
- 4 - 5 ears of corn
- 1 medium size onion (red onion is good too)
- 3 carrots
- 1/4 a good size bell pepper
- 1 1/2 cups of soy meat
- 4 leaves of basil
- 3 cloves of garlic
- 1 teaspoon of ground black pepper (to taste)
- 1 teaspoon of salt
- 3 - 4 tablespoons of olive oil
- 1 cup water
- 3 - 4 teaspoons of sugar (optional)
- Cutting board
- 1 or 2 good knives
- 14" frying pan (any frying pan will work, but the bigger the better)
- Measuring cups
- 8" Casserole dish or small clay pots (which we will be using)
Step 2: Husk, De-kernel and Blend the Corn
This is pretty self explanatory.
Remove the husk from the corn and de-kernel. Here is a good video on how to de-kernel the corn: Click Here!
Once the kernels have been removed from the corn add them to the blender. Along with the basil leaves and the 1 cup of water.
Blend well until it has a runny texture. Kind of like a runny bowl of oatmeal. The picture will help give you an idea of the consistency.
Step 3: Soften the Soy Meat
Put the 1 1/2 cups of soy meat in bowl and fill with water. This will help make the soy meat softer and easier to cook with. Don't worry, we'll remove the water later.
Step 4: Chop the Vegetables and Mash the Garlic
Chop the onion, carrot and bell pepper. You can make the pieces as big or small as you want. But we still to the smaller side, they cook faster and mix together better.
Don't forget to mash the garlic. (You can chop the garlic if you want, but mashing it gives off more flavor)
In the last picture you can see all the ingredients ready to be cooked.
Step 5: Cooking the Vegetables and the Soy Meat
Heat a frying pan to medium heat. Add some olive oil and the onions. Sprinkle over a little salt and pepper and stir it all together.
Next we are going to drain the water from the soy meat. I find using a strainer to the be best method.
Once the onions are starting to brown add the soy meat. Stir it all together with a little more olive oil, salt and pepper (Warning: Soy meat likes to absorb the olive oil, so it's okay to be liberal with it).
When the soy meat starts looking like browned ground beef add the rest of the vegetables (bell pepper, garlic, carrots). Add a bit more olive oil, salt and pepper. Cook a few more minutes until the carrots are nice and soft.
When everything is cooked, remove the mixture and place it in a separate bowl to cool for a bit.
Step 6: Cook the Corn Mixture
Using the same frying pan as before, heat to medium-low heat and add a little olive oil.
Once the oil is warm, add the corn mixture to the frying pan and start stirring. You need to stir constantly to keep the corn from burning.
You will need to cook the corn for around 5 minutes or until it starts to become difficult to stir and has a slight golden color. You can kind of get an idea from the final picture.
Step 7: Putting It All Together
Take your casserole dish or clay pots. Add the vegetable mixture to the bottom of the dish, filling it about half way full. Once the vegetable mixture has been added, put the corn mixture on top, filling the rest of the dish to the rim (make it as flat as possible).
The classic "Pastel de Choclo" has a spoon of sugar spread over the top. I like it this way but it is completely optional. To stay healthier I'd stay away from the sugar, it's still really good without it.
Step 8: Bake to Prefection
Preheat your oven to 350 degree Fahrenheit (175 Celsius).
Place the dish or dishes in the oven for roughly 20 to 30 minutes, or until you cannot see any moisture on top and the sides start to be golden brown.
Take out and let cool for 5 minutes. (Warning: These things will be hot for at least an hour, don't burn yourself!)