Saturday, August 10, 2013

Chayote Rellonos...huh? .....Stuffed Chayote Squash with Vegan Chorizo/Quinoa!

Have you ever perused a local grocery store or farmers market and have come across something that you never seen or hear of before?  And then think- what in the world is that and what can I do with them?

 Well that happened 2 days ago.  Clearly, I had to grab a few.

I did a bit of research, and according to wikipedia, this veggie (technically a fruit) is native to Mexico/Central America.  It is similar to a combo of a pear and squash.  I discovered once boiled, the flavor is very subtle- similar to that of a mild pear and mild green bell pepper. 

Makes a great vessel for a Mexican version of stuffed green peppers!

If you cannot find Chayote, replace with a green, red or yellow pepper.  I personally like the very subtle and texture of the chayote.  Very unique and nothing like anything that I have ever cooked with!

Stuffed Chayote Squash with Vegan Chorizo/Quinoa

In order to make your own chorizo, you will need TVP (textured vegetable protein)  You can find this product in the bulk aisle of a health food store.  You can really emulate anything with this product by adjusting the seasonings.  Otherwise, you simply just add in boiling water and let it "cook" for about 10 minutes and viola!  You have fake meat.

Ingredients (serves 4-6)
3 chayotes
1 c dry quinoa (I used black quinoa)
2 chopped vine ripe tomatoes
1/4 yellow onion chopped
1/2 can yellow corn
s + p
curry powder
garlic powder
onion powder
1 c combination of salsa & tomato sauce
 tvp chorizo (see recipe below)
nutritional yeast

In large pot, bring salt water to a boil, and in chayotes and cover.  Cook for about 40 minutes.
In meantime, bring your 1 c quinoa to a boil with 2 c water.  Add in chopped onion and tomatoes and seasoning.  Cover and simmer until all liquid is absorbed
Once quinoa is cooked, add in corn, salsa/tomato sauce and tvp chorizo and mix thoroughly.  Add in additional seasoning if necessary.

Preheat oven 400.  Once chayote is cooked, drain and let cool for a few minutes.  Cut each one in half, lengthwise.  Remove pit and spoon out flesh.  Cut flesh into pieces and add to quinoa mixture.  Lightly brush evoo and salt on chayote and spoon in mixture.  Top with more sauce, panko crumbs and nutritional yeast.  Bake for 15 minutes.

Ingredients/Directions for Chorizo
1 c tvp
1 c boiling water
1 tbsp adobo
2 tsp oregeno
1 tsp thyme
1 tbsp nutrtional yeast
1 tbsp tamari (or soy sauce)
1-2 tsp cayanne
2 tsp liquid smoke
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp onion powder
1 tsp garlic powder

combine all ingredients and let sit for 10 min, stirring occasionally


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