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Try this Vegetarian Red Pozole, packed with black beans and summer squash for a light, spring inspired twist on a traditional Mexican recipe.
I have called Texas home for most of my life… and honestly, I wouldn’t change a thing! There are so many things that I love about this great state! I love that we have a vast landscape that covers this enormous state. From the pine woods in north east Texas, to the sandy beaches of the Gulf coast, to picturesque rolling hills in central Texas, to the dry west Texas desert and the baron, cattle ranch land in the Texas panhandle, Texas is quite the sight!
I also love Texas because of the rich culture that has helped create this great state. From the deep rooted history and stories of my ancestors who planted roots in the red Texas soil; to those folks that “weren’t born here but got here as fast as they could” from all over the world.
Sure, Texans have their own way of doing things, like when it comes to Southern food and BBQ, but we have welcomed so many traditions from around the world. Like the pockets of central Texas settled by Germans that have amazing kolaches, and then there is south east Texas, right on the Louisiana border, that share many Cajun traditions and flavors; and of course all the Mexican traditions, culture and food.
Yes, second to BBQ, I think Mexican food, authentic and Tex-Mex, is the most popular food in Texas. Some could say Mexican food IS the most popular food, as for many of us, it is eaten for breakfast, lunch and/or dinner! Since I have spent most of my life in Texas, I have grown up eating Tex-Mex favorites like chips and queso, breakfast tacos, fajitas and enchiladas covered in shredded cheddar cheese.
As I have gotten older, I have longed to learn more about authentic Mexican cuisine. The past few years, I have worked at as a personal chef at a ranch in south Texas. Through my experiences there, I have learned secret tips to making tamales, passed on from a friend’s great-grandmother, and have eaten the best Mexican Mole and chiles rellenos, quite possibly ever!
Recently, when getting back from a trip down to south Texas, I was craving some Mexican food. Since I was exhausted from working and preparing to move, I needed something super easy. I’ll admit, that a lot of Mexican and Tex-Mex dishes require a lot of time and effort to prepare, like rolling enchiladas, lots of prep work, chopping and roasting vegetables, and simmering for hours. However, there are a few dishes that are super easy to prepare and still satisfy that Mexican/Tex-Mex craving!
One dish that we love is Pozole. Pozole, which means “hominy,” is a traditional soup or stew from Mexico. This Mexican comfort food is classically made with pork and hominy, which is dried maize kernels (field corn); and has a plump, chewy texture, which makes this soup/stew unique.
Today, I am sharing vegetarian version of this classic Mexican stew. To make it easier and the perfect meal for a busy week night, or when you are super tired but still need dinner on the table, I am taking a few “non-traditional” short cuts and using a few kitchen hacks (see my hacks for cutting onions without crying below!). Pozole can have a green or red sauce base; Green Pozole is made from green chiles and/or tomatillos and Red Pozole is usually made using ancho chiles. To save time, I created my vegetarian version by using some canned goods (like Rosarita Red Enchilada Sauce, Rosarita Premium Seasoned Whole Black Beans, RO*TEL Diced Tomatoes and Green Chiles, and canned Mexican hominy) from my pantry and paired them with fresh produce from Walmart. Since I live practically right across the street from a Walmart, running in there to quickly grab fresh groceries or restock my pantry staples, like canned goods, is super convenient. By combining canned goods and fresh produce, I can have a delicious Mexican inspired meal in no time!
This Vegetarian Red Pozole with Black Beans and Summer Squash, is not only super easy, it is spicy and flavorful! Since Pozole is traditionally topped with fresh cilantro and sliced radishes, this version, packed with fresh summer squash, is perfect for a rainy spring or summer day!
Check out my Pozole recipe and kitchen hacks for “How To Cut an Onion Without Crying” below! Since I’ve shared some of my favorite Mexican and Tex-Mex dishes, I’m curious, what do you serve for Mexican dinner night?
Vegetarian Red Pozole with Black Beans and Summer Squash
Prep Time: 15-20 minutes Cook Time: 25-30 minutes Serves: 6
A spicy hominy soup packed with black beans and fresh summer squash.
½ tablespoon canola oil
1 medium yellow onion, diced (see kitchen hack below!)
2-3 garlic cloves, minced
2 poblano peppers, roasted, seeded and diced (use canned, if needed)
2 small zucchini, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
2 small yellow squash, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1 ½ teaspoons dried oregano
1 teaspoon ancho chili powder
1 ½ teaspoons ground cumin
½ teaspoon each kosher salt and black pepper, or to taste
1 (25-ounce) can Mexican style hominy, rinsed and drained
2 (15-ounce) cans Rosarita Premium Seasoned Whole Black Beans, drained
2 (10-ounce) cans RO*TEL Original Diced Tomatoes and Green Chiles
1 (20-ounce) can Rosarita Red Enchilada Sauce
1 (32-ounce box) vegetable broth (4 cups)
Heat oil in a large stock pot over medium-high heat. Add onion and saute for 5-6 minutes, or until onions are translucent. Add garlic, poblano peppers, zucchini and yellow squash; and saute for an additional 2-3 minutes.
Stir in the oregano, ancho chili powder, cumin, salt and black pepper. Cook, stirring constantly, until spices are fragrant, about 30 seconds.
Add the hominy, black beans, diced tomatoes and green chiles, enchilada sauce and vegetable broth to the pot. Stir to combine and bring to a boil. Once at a full boil, reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer, uncovered, for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Serve topped with fresh cilantro, sliced radishes, diced avocado and fresh lime juice.
Note: For slow cooker version, omit canola oil and combine all ingredients in a 8-10 quart slow cooker. Cover and cook on high for 3-4 hours or on low for 6-7 hours.
How To Cut an Onion Without Crying:
Onions can add a TON of flavor to an entree and is a common ingredient in many recipes. However, chopping an onion without shedding a tear, can be quite challenging! Next time you are cooking dinner try one of these tried and true kitchen hacks for chopping an onion without crying:
1. Freeze a whole onion for 15-20 minutes before chopping. The cold onion helps prevent the release of its natural eye-irritating chemicals.
2. Turn on the oven vent. Chopping an onion near the stove top with the oven vent turned on high will help suck away some of those harsh, irritating fumes the onion releases as you chop.
3. Wear goggles. Yes, this tip may seem silly, but it really does work at blocking those eye-irritating chemicals! This hack is especially helpful for kids helping in the the kitchen!
4. Microwave a whole onion for 15 seconds. While this may soften the onion a bit, it is still easy to chop and helps prevent some, if not all, tears.
5. Use a food processor and chop in bulk. Using the chop feature on your food processor can allow you to easily and painlessly chop several onions at one time. Once you have several onions chopped (using a food processor or by hand), use what you need and then refrigerate the leftover chopped onion (in plastic food storage containers) to use for dinner prep throughout the week. Alternatively, chopped fresh onion can be frozen in freezer safe packaging for up to three months. Prepping a lot of onions in advance, will prevent future “crying” sessions throughout the week!
Click here to check out more easy to prepare Mexican dishes and helpful kitchen hacks! Plus don’t forget to take advantage of the current Ibotta offer for ConAgra products! Find all the ConAgra products featured in this recipe on the canned bean and vegetable aisles at your local Walmart.