I’m counting down the days (less than three) until my husband D and I drive our daughter to college 796 miles away. Because of the anticipation, the dread, the planning, the shopping, and the packing (or at least the nagging E to pack, without much success), I haven’t been doing a lot of cooking, or at least not original cooking. I’ve relied on old standbys, like burritos made with canned beans, to get us through most days, though in the last week I’ve been honoring E’s requests for some of her favorites. At her going-away party last Friday, I served the sesame-peanut noodle salad she’s always loved (and which is much too high in fat to qualify for this blog). Last week we had Pasta and Vegetables with White Sauce, and last night she requested her very favorite meal, lasagna, garlic bread and salad. And don’t tell her but tonight I’m planning to surprise her with Ribz.
All of this is to say I haven’t had much time for experimentation, though I did have one idea floating around in my head that I wanted to try out. I’ve seen a lot of recipes lately for Mexican Street Corn, which looks beautiful, but since I’ve been vegan since the Dark Ages, I’ve never tasted. Traditional recipes involve mayo and cheese, but I thought it would be delicious to slather corn in a spicy, limey, vaguely cheesy, vegan sauce, so I did a little experimentation until I found a concoction I loved. The best news is you can put this sauce on anything to liven it up, so feel free to drizzle it on your potatoes and veggies or even toss it with some pasta. Anything goes.
Vegan Elote or Mexican-Inspired Corn on the Cob with Hemp-Lime Sauce
- 4 ears corn shucked and rinsed
- 1/2 cup plain unsweetened almond milk (or other non-dairy milk)
- 2 tablespoons hemp hearts (may substitute pine nuts sesame seeds, or sunflower seeds if necessary)
- 2 tablespoons nutritional yeast
- 1 tablespoon brown rice flour (I haven’t tested with other flours)
- 1 small clove garlic peeled
- 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper or to taste
- 1/4 teaspoon salt or to taste
- 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
- Minced cilantro or parsley, chopped jalapeno or other hot peppers, lime wedges, and/or chipotle powder/smoked paprika
Cook the corn in any way you want. Grilled tastes best, but I save time by using my Instant Pot or pressure cooker. Just put a rack or steaming basket in the pot, place the shucked corn on the rack, and add about 1 1/2 cups water–enough to cover the bottom by a good 1/2 inch but not rise above the bottom of the rack. Cook at high pressure for 4 minutes. Quick-release pressure manually.
While the corn is cooking, make the sauce. Combine “milk” and all remaining ingredients EXCEPT lime juice and garnishes in a blender and blend until smooth. Pour into a saucepan and cook over medium-high heat, stirring constantly, until it boils and thickens. Add the lime juice and continue to cook for another minute. If the sauce is too thick to drizzle or pour, add more non-dairy milk by the tablespoon to thin it out. Taste and add extra salt, cayenne, and lime juice, if you like, and remove from heat.
Serve the corn drizzled with the hot sauce and sprinkled with your choice of garnishes.
Nutrition (per serving, sauce alone): 67 calories, 26 calories from fat, 2.9g total fat, 0mg cholesterol, 166.2mg sodium, 39.4mg potassium, 6.4g carbohydrates, less than 1g fiber, 1.2g sugar, 4.7g protein
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After we drop E off at college, D and I are going to try to stave off empty-nest depression by taking our first vacation alone in 18 years. I’ll be posting photos on my Instagram account of the animals and pretty scenery of South Dakota as well as some of the vegan food we sample (a trip to a famous vegan cookbook author’s restaurant just might happen!) So please follow me there if you want to see what we’re up to.
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