21-Day Vegan Kickstart

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Forums: September 2012 Kickstart Forum: Vegan Tamales
Created on: 11/07/12 06:15 PM Views: 4361 Replies: 9
Vegan Tamales
Posted Wednesday, November 7, 2012 at 6:15 PM

Vegetarian Times magazine arrived today with some delicious looking tamales recipe. My son requested that I make some. (Probably will only happen once or twice because I know the traditional ones are time consuming.) All the recipes have quite a bit of fat in them. I'm familiar with the substitutes for oil and butter but not sure they will adequately hold the masa together. Anyone have experience with this?

There's also a section of brussel sprouts recipes. Lucky me! I still have half of the stalk from Trader Joe's. I do like them simply steamed with a sprinkling of nutritional yeast, though.

RE: Vegan Tamales
Posted Wednesday, November 7, 2012 at 8:15 PM

I lived in Chile for eight years, and often enjoyed the local version of tamales. They are called humitas there, and have always been vegan, at least with the families I know. There are a number of recipes I found quickly on line, but they seem to have milk or butter. I never saw that in Chile. This one looks like what I remember, minus the butter: http://www.chilean-wine.com/how-to-make-chilean-humitas.

The women there told me that the secret was to put the corn through a grinder, not a blender, and to chop the onion very very fine.


madeline yakimchuk
Director: MEET IRENE - An Unlikely Vegan
GRYPHON media productions

RE: Vegan Tamales
Posted Wednesday, November 7, 2012 at 8:23 PM

Forgot to mention... they would have used what we call here a yellow banana pepper rather than a green chili; that is rather Mexican, and olive oil would be used over butter.

- madeline

madeline yakimchuk
Director: MEET IRENE - An Unlikely Vegan
GRYPHON media productions

RE: Vegan Tamales
Posted Wednesday, November 7, 2012 at 11:10 PM

I have a recipe I haven't tried yet. It is from the drmcdougall.com website, from a newletter. The recipe is by Alex Bury, and uses water, or stock, or stock, or some combo of them instead of the fat. I have also seen one that uses mashed potatoes instead of the fat/lard. I think that was also at mcdougall. There are a lot of good recipes there from newsletters. There is a list of them sorted by category - I think that is under quick links.

Edited 11/08/12 12:30 AM
RE: Vegan Tamales
Posted Thursday, November 8, 2012 at 2:33 PM


Is the following recipe any help ? I can't tell if it's the same thing you're talking about:

Recipe By: Susan Voisin
Serving Size: 6

1 medium onion — chopped
1 green bell pepper — chopped
2 cloves garlic — minced
16 ounces refried beans, fatfree — (1 can)
30 ounces pinto beans, canned — (2 cans)
1 cup frozen corn kernels
3/4 cup salsa
2 teaspoons chili powder
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon salt — optional
1 tablespoon nutritional yeast

Cornmeal Crust
1 cup cornmeal
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon agave nectar — or other liquid sweetener*
1 cup boiling water

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. In a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat, sauté the onion until it is just beginning to brown, stirring constantly. Add the green pepper and stir for 2 minutes. Add the garlic and sauté for one more minute. Add the remaining ingredients, except for the nutritional yeast and crust ingredients. Mix well and pour into a 2-quart baking dish. Sprinkle with nutritional yeast.

Mix cornmeal with salt and stir in agave nectar. Beat in boiling water until mixture is smooth. Drop by spoonfuls over nutritional yeast and beans and spread to cover the surface.

Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, or until crusty.

*Any mild-tasting liquid sweetener will do–including rice syrup, corn syrup, or barley malt syrup.
- – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – -

Per serving: 331 Calories (kcal); 1g Total Fat; (3% calories from fat); 16g Protein; 65g Carbohydrate; 0mg Cholesterol; 1729mg Sodium

Taken from here:


Wash your back

RE: Vegan Tamales
Posted Thursday, November 8, 2012 at 3:51 PM

Madeline- Your Chilean tamales sound yummy. I might try them modified - without the butter or oil. I've been trying to eat fat free.

loveheart - I should have thought of the McDougall website - always fat free.

theodore - thanks, that sounds what I'm looking for since it's from the Fat Free Vegan right? Have you tried it?

A favorite vegetarian Mexican restaurant in Houston, Radical Eats, serves delicous Spinach and Corn Tamales. Their chef generously shared her recipe (although not fat free) If anyone is interested -


You all are so helpful. I'll let you know how my tamales turn out.

RE: Vegan Tamales
Posted Friday, May 10, 2013 at 5:32 PM


My sweetheart wants to make fat free vegan tamales. Did you have luck with any particular receipe?

I used to love the tamales from Radical Eats but after I started eating fat free I would rather have them that way.

Karoline in Houston

RE: Vegan Tamales
Posted Friday, May 10, 2013 at 11:31 PM


I still haven't tried to make the tamales but was thinking about it the other day. If this week is a little quieter, I think I'll try a recipe I found in the McDougall newsletter index. I'll have to search for it again.

I've found vegan tamales in HEB but loaded with fat - put them back down. Do you have a favorite vegan restaurant in Houston? Field of Greens is a good one. No tamales on the menu, though. Very Happy


RE: Vegan Tamales
Posted Monday, May 13, 2013 at 3:33 PM


I sort of gave up on restaurants. I go to be with people. Most of the time, I eat a salad with vinegar. Last time at Baba Yega's, I ordered plain pasta and guacamole. The guacamole is enough for 2 orders of pasta but the combo was rather tasty - admittedly still on the calorie-dense side.

We, or better said my sweetheart, cook a lot from pizza to dosas. If you are interested in dosas, I'll get you the receipe. We bake them on flat non-stick pan without oil. Maybe not as crisp as with using oil but still tasty and decidedly healthy. For toasting the spices we use a few drops of oil.

For the tamales, I found one McDougall receipe: http://www.drmcdougall.com/misc/2007nl/aug/recipes.htm

And one making a bean & masa dough - no filling described: http://www.fatfree.com/recipes/mexican/maya-tamales

I sure hope that we'll be trying it out soon. Let me know if you get to it first and how it went!


RE: Vegan Tamales
Posted Monday, May 13, 2013 at 4:45 PM

Yes, that's how I feel about restaurants too unless I'm with my son who eats mostly vegan also. I'm just there to be with the people. Most restaurants that the family goes to have only one or two things that work. Have never tried Baba Yega but it looks nice - I was looking at the website. The vegetarian plates sound delicious. The patio area reminds me of the Gardens of Bammel Lane where we attended a wedding reception recently.

No rush if you have to type up the dosa recipe but when you have time, I'd be interested in it. I like the dosas at Madras Pavillion but I'm sure they're cooked in oil. Never tried to make them.


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