I am absolutely obsessed with Mexican food. I could eat it three nights a week, easy. As I write this, I just had tacos for dinner. However, since I don’t eat meat, I know there are a lot of delights I have never tasted before, including posole, because I had never seen a plant-based version of it offered.
As I understand it, posole is either rojo or verde – the rojo version made with pork and various dried red chiles and the verde typically fresh green peppers, tomatillo and chicken-based.
Since I’ve never tried it before, why not make a vegan version myself? Without knowing what authentic tastes like, why not just decide what I want it to taste like? Sounds like me, LOL. So I did it.
I’m crazy excited about this recipe. This is the kind of stew you’ll want to eat even in the middle of summer. It’s got a flavourful broth that has a nice weight to it, more stew than soup thanks to pureed roasted vegetables. I like it with plenty of lime juice so it tastes nice and bright.
Pulled jackfruit stands in for the texture of chicken, but the dietitian added pinto beans for protein…because that’s one thing that jackfruit can’t offer. This one’s a winner. Even my kids like it…and they typically don’t like anything that looks this healthy!
If you’ve never used hominy before, you can find it canned in most gourmet or Latin American markets. Here in Vancouver, Donald’s Market on Hastings typically carries it, but the most reliable source I’ve found is Mediterranean Specialty Foods on Commercial Drive. And if you want to go for the gold, the best hominy is soaked and cooked from scratch. If you can get it, Rancho Gordo is the best I’ve ever had.
So, let’s get cooking! This will come together in less than an hour. Perfect for a lazy weekend lunch on the patio.
Vegan Posole Verde
Dairy Free, Gluten Free, Nut Free, Vegan, Vegetarian
1 large yellow onion, peeled and chopped into 2 cm (3/4 inch) chunks
3 large green bell or poblano peppers, seeded and halved
1 jalepeno, halved *see note in method
2 lightly packed cups (500ml) cilantro leaves with tender stems, plus more for serving (about two smallish bunches)
¼ cup (60ml) raw pumpkin seeds (pepitas)
1/2 teaspoon (3ml) salt
1-14oz (400g) can jackfruit in brine, drained
¼ cup (60ml) extra virgin olive oil
5 garlic cloves, sliced
1 tablespoon (15ml) ground cumin
2 teaspoons (10ml) ground coriander
2 teaspoons (10ml) dried oregano (preferably Mexican), plus more for serving
3/4 teaspoon (4ml) salt
Freshly cracked pepper
1 vegetable bouillon cube
1-15 ounce (425g) can golden or white hominy, drained and rinsed
1-14oz (398ml) can pinto beans, drained and rinsed
Juice of 1-2 limes + lime wedges for garnish
Finely shredded cabbage or radishes, plus avocado for serving
Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit (205 degrees Celsius). Prepare a medium rimmed baking sheet with parchment. Trim a tiny piece off the jalapeño and taste. This is the first step in determining how spicy your stew will be. If the flesh is super mild and you want some heat, roast the jalapeño with half or all of the seeds. If it’s super spicy, de-seed…or let em ride…you renegade!
Place onion, jalepeno and peppers on cookie sheet, without oil and roast until completely soft and brown spots start to turn black, about 30-35 minutes. Remove from heat.
Meanwhile, ‘pull’ jackfruit into shreds with two forks and set aside.
In a food processor, puree the roasted vegetables with pipits, cilantro and ½ tsp salt until it forms a thick salsa, you should still be able to see some texture. Set aside.
In a large soup pot over medium heat, heat olive oil and then add garlic, stirring frequently for 1-2 minutes to soften and then add jackfruit, along with cumin, coriander, and oregano and cook for 4-5 minutes until the mixture is fragrant. Use your spatula to break up the jackfruit as you stir. Season with 3/4 tsp salt and pepper.
Next, in a small bowl, dissolve the bouillon in some hot water. Then, to the pot add 4 cups of water, the dissolved bouillon, and the roasted vegetable salsa and stir to mix. Scrape up the tasty bits from the bottom of the pot.
Finally, add hominy and beans, simmer for 15 minutes. Stir in the juice of one lime, taste and add more lime juice if you like (I like!). Season with salt and pepper to your taste.
Divide amongst bowls and garnish with radishes, sliced thinly on a mandolin, cilantro, avocado, and a lime wedge.