Thursday, October 11, 2012

MN Wants Native Foods

This summer, we went to Oregon to visit my fiance's family. One night we went out to eat at Native Foods, an all vegan cafe with homemade delictable comfort foods. Since then, I've been dreaming of them opening up shop on the green line in Midway St. Paul. So far, no such luck. However, they're very generous with their recipes, so we opened up shop at our house tonight and made Native Foods' Chile Verde Vegan.

The verde (green) comes from anaheim peppers and tomatillos. Anaheim peppers are the long, lime green peppers (a little smaller than a banana) usually by the jalapenos in the grocery. They're a pretty mild "chili" pepper with some of the sweetness of the bell pepper. Tomatillos come in a papery husk and are a relative of the gooseberry with similar tartness and thickening properties when cooked down into a sauce. Raw tomatillos have a very citrusy tartness that mellows and sweetens as you roast or cook them.  We decided to omit the seitan and opted for pinto and black beans instead.

 It's a really flavorful, mild chili that's great in a bowl or a burrito. As usual, we served it with a ton of toppings options (we had guests over or this would all be on the cutting board for scooping into our bowls.)

I realize it might be awhile before Minnesota sees its first Native Foods, so as I wait patiently persistent I'll flip through Tanya Petronova's Native Foods Restaurant Cookbook. We recently had another house party where we served chili and I made Native Foods' cornbread....and the people...they went wild for it. :)

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