holiday sombrero

Southwestern Vegetarian Fiesta

By Nanette Blanchard


holiday sombrero


Zucchini and Hominy Soup
Carrot Salsa
Whole Wheat Flour Tortillas
Green Chile Enchiladas
Green Beans with Piñon Nuts
Corn Olé
Apricot-Almond Empanaditas
Orange Sherbet
Mexican Coffee

Editor’s Note: these recipes appear in Nanette’s book ‘Tis the Season: A Vegetarian Christmas Cookbook.

'Tis the Season: A Vegetarian Christmas Cookbook

Christmas in the southwest is a wonderful time. Farolitos (paper bags filled with candles) line the streets on Christmas Eve and luminarias (bonfires) of piñon wood are lit to represent the shepherd’s fires in Bethlehem. Strings of dried chile peppers hanging in front of adobe homes are frosted with snow.

This menu is designed for eight people. All the recipes in this menu can be made in advance except the enchiladas and empanaditas. They can be assembled a day in advance but are best baked when your guests arrive.


Zucchini and Hominy Soup

Zucchini and Hominy Soup
This recipe doubles easily if you want to use it as a main dish. It is a vegetarian version of posole, a dish made by the Pueblo Indians and Hispanics for feast days and special celebrations. Most canned hominy is pretty high in sodium so I usually wait until after cooking to add sea salt to taste.

1 small onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon canola oil
2 medium zucchini, halved lengthwise and thinly sliced
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 cup chopped canned or thawed frozen green chile peppers
1 large potato, peeled and diced
3 cups homemade vegetable broth
1 (16 oz.) can yellow hominy, drained and rinsed
Sea salt to taste
Garnish: Chipotle powder or thawed frozen red chile puree

Saute the onion and garlic in the oil in a stockpot for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the zucchini, cumin, green chiles, and potatoes and cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, another 5 minutes. Add the remaining ingredients and simmer, covered, over low heat for 45 minutes. If desired, sprinkle servings with chipotle powder or stir in a teaspoon of thawed frozen red chile puree such as Bueno brand.

Serves 8 as a first course
Heat scale: mild


Carrot Salsa

Carrot Salsa
This colorful salsa spices up any winter meal. Serve it with bean dishes, egg dishes, or tortilla chips.

1 large carrot, grated
1/2 medium red onion, diced
1/4 cup chopped canned or frozen mild green chile peppers
1 clove garlic, minced
2 tomatoes, chopped
1 teaspoon fresh lime juice
1/2 teaspoon sea salt or to taste

Mix all ingredients together in a serving dish. Chill for 1 hour before serving.

Makes 3 cups
Heat scale: mild