Caution: Caveman Cooking

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Posts Tagged ‘Vegetarian’

Killer Queso (Cheese) Tamales

Posted by Caveman Cooking on May 14, 2015

Killer Queso (Cheese) Tamales
While this is a labor intensive recipe, and I’m all about the easy, it isn’t a very difficult dish to pull off. Besides, if you gather the whole Caveclan together for an assembly line when it comes time to actually fill and roll the tamales, it goes by very quickly. Plus, when you finally unwrap one and take a bite, you’ll forget about all the steps involved!


Masa (Dough):
3 Cups Tamal (Instant Masa Mix)
3 Cups Vegetable Stock
1 1/2 Teaspoons Baking Powder
1 Teaspoon Salt
1 1/3 Cups Vegetable Shortening
3/4 Teaspoon Cayenne Pepper

Relleno (Filling):
10 Ounces Mexican Melting Cheese – Shredded (I prefer Manchego or Oaxaca; can substitute Jack)
1/2 Cup Canned Chilies – Diced
1/2 Cup Salsa Verde

1 Package Hoja (Dried Corn Husks)


Cover the Hoja (corn husks) with cool water for 30-40 minutes. When thoroughly soaked, squeeze excess water out then place into a colander to allow rest of excess water to drip out. Do not let the husks dry completely – they must be moist and pliable when wrapping the tamales.
HINT: Place a heavy plate on top of the husks so that they stay completely submerged.
Soaking The Hoja (Corn Husks)

Place shortening into mixer and whip it until silky (3-4 minutes). Yes, Devo fans. I said, whip it. Whip it good!
Whipped Shortening

Meanwhile, place all the dry ingredients (Tamal, baking powder, salt, cayenne pepper) into a large mixing bowl and whisk together.
Dry Ingredients

Add vegetable stock to dry ingredients. Using your hands, mix well until evenly distributed.
Dry Ingredients With Vegetable Stock

Add ingredients from mixing bowl to whipped shortening. Again, whip it until smooth and creamy (3-4 minutes). And yes, again, whip it good!
Whipped Masa (Dough)

In the interim, place shredded cheese, diced chilies, and salsa verde into a medium mixing bowl and fold together until completely mixed.
NOTE: Believe it or not, now the real work begins! Gather your minions, if you can … or pop open the beverage of your choice and get ready to roll.
Cheese, Chilies, and Salsa Verde

Place one of the large Hoja (husks) on a flat surface and spoon about 2 tablespoons of the masa (dough) onto it. Now, this is where some tamale veterans may cringe, but I have found that this next step makes things go much faster and smoother. Take a small piece of plastic wrap and place it over the masa. With your hand, smooth and spread the masa out evenly, leaving several inches from the bottom of the husk, a couple inches from the top and far edge, and less than an inch from the near edge. The masa layer should be about 3/16″ thick. Remove the plastic wrap and set aside to use again. Then, scoop about 2 tablespoons of the relleno (filling) into the center of the masa.
HINT: If your Hoja are on the smaller side, just overlap two of them by a few inches to make one big leaf. Use a rubber spatula to spread a little masa on the near edge of the bottom husk to act as “glue”.
Making Tamales: Steps 1, 2, and 3

This is where a history of being a Rastafarian, or a teenager in the 1960’s, comes in handy. Take the near side of the Hoja and fold it over the the far edge. With your fingertips, lightly press the edges of the masa down to seal in the relleno. Then, while holding down the far edge of the husk, push down and draw back the near edge of the husk an inch or two so that the filling forms a sealed tube, of sorts. Now, fold up the bottom (narrow) end of the Hoja, making sure it is snug up to the bottom of the filling. Finally, roll the entire thing away from you, over the remaining flap, and …
Making Tamales: Steps 4, 5, and 6

… BOOM! You have a tamale!! Most folks say tying up the open end of your tamale is optional. But, with cheese tamales, the relleno has a tendency to bubble out, especially if you haven’t sealed in the masa well on the top end. Tying them up with a strip of Hoja not only solves that problem, but it also make them look better!
Finished Tamales

Once you have formed all of your tamales, fill the bottom of a large steamer pot with water, place the steam insert into the bottom, and cover it with several Hoja leaves. Stack the finished tamales standing up in the steamer. Bring the water to a boil and cover the steamer, allowing the tamales to steam for about 60 minutes.
HINT: You’ll notice that the one tamale I didn’t tie up leaked out the top. Which is why I strongly urge you to give them the “50 Shades Of Grey” treatment.
Steamer, Raw Tamales, and Steamed Tamales

When you think they are done, remove one to test. When it has cooled sufficiently, unwrap it and enjoy. If it has steamed sufficiently, remove the rest from the steamer. Serve with avocado, guacamole, pico de gallo, salsa, rice and beans … you name it! These also freeze very well for future use. Just re-steam them or nuke ’em in the microwave, once they have defrosted.
Killer Queso (Cheese) Tamales

For those of you who are dedicated carnivores, don’t worry. I’ve posted the carne (meat) version of these tasty bundles right here!

Prep Time = 90 minutes
Cooking Time = 60 minutes
Makes 22-24 Tamales

©2015 Caution: Caveman Cooking/UHearMe, Inc. All rights reserved. This recipe originally appeared on the Caution: Caveman Cooking blog at authored by Caveman. This recipe may be shared and reprinted as long as this entire copyright message accompanies it.

Posted in Appetizers, Christmas, Holidays, Latin, Main Course, Vegetarian | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

Veggie Wonton Soup

Posted by Caveman Cooking on December 9, 2010

Veggie Wonton Soup
While doing our recent REVIEW: Man Pans Stir Fry Wok & Steamer Set, I made some of this fabulous, veggie-friendly soup. I also promised to share the recipe. Since I never lie (well, almost never ;)) here it is! Oh, and by the way, this gets rave reviews from the Cavewoman, a lifelong vegetarian, as well as from the Cavekids and me, lifelong carnetarians! Though, as you’ll see, this is easily adjusted to satisfy the meat-only crowd.


6 Cups Vegetable Broth
1 1/2 Cups Sliced Mushrooms (Baby Bella or Shitake)
10 Ounces Firm Tofu
8 Ounces Water Chestnuts
5 Green Onions
12 Wonton Wrappers
1/4 Teaspoon Sesame Oil or Chili Sesame Oil
1-2 Tablespoons Corn Starch
Salt & Pepper to taste


Chop the green onions, water chestnuts, and tofu into small bite sized pieces. Then, take about 1/5 of each ingredient and chop that portion more finely for use inside the wontons. Set aside.
Chopped Ingredients

Thinly slice mushrooms. Set aside.
Sliced Mushrooms

Set up a work station with the wrappers; a glass of cool water; a clean, dry plate to make the wontons; a plate covered lightly in corn starch; and the finely chopped ingredients.
Wonton Making Station

To make the wontons, put a single wrapper in the center of the clean plate. Place an appropriate amount of each ingredient onto the wrapper (don’t overstuff the wrapper or it will tear when you take the next steps). With a slightly wet finger, moisten all for edges of the wrapper. Fold one corner of the wrapper up to it’s opposite corner, and firmly seal all edges together. Place the completed wontons on the corn starch plate, taking care not to lay them on top of each other to prevent them from sticking together.
NOTE #1: If you have any leftover wonton “filling”, just save it and throw it into the soup at the appropriate time.
Making Wontons

Place broth into properly sized sauce pan or wok and bring to a boil. While many recipes call for you to boil your wontons, I find that doing so tends to create very soft wontons that readily fall apart. To combat this, I like to steam them before adding them to the soup. It should only take 5-8 minutes to fully steam the wontons.
NOTE #2: By using this Man Pans Stir Fry Wok and Steamer Set, I am able to steam the wontons with the boiling veggie stock. Not only is this convenient and eco-friendly, I think it also adds to the flavor of the wontons.
Boiling Broth/Steaming Wontons

When wontons are fully steamed, remove the steamer insert and add the tofu, mushrooms, and water chestnuts. Return to boil for another 3-5 minutes.
Adding Ingredients

Reduce flame, add green onions and sesame oil. Gently add wontons. Salt and pepper to taste. Stir gingerly. Allow to simmer for 10 minutes.
NOTE #3: If you are adverse to any kind of spiciness, just go with the plain variety of sesame oil. But, if you like just a hint of tang, go for the “chili” version. It won’t make it very spicy at all, but it will add a nice essence.
Cooking Wonton Soup

Serve in bowls along with any of your other Asian favorites. It also makes a fine main course, too.
HINT: This soup is easily transformed into a carnivore version by using the filling from our Lamb Wontons instead. Just be sure not to fry them, as described in the recipe. Also, you may have to steam them for a few more minutes to make sure they are cooked enough. Add some shrimp or chicken chunks to the initial broth boil and you’ll have a delicious meat-lovers rendition of this soup.
Veggie Wonton Soup

If you’d like to win one of these Man Pans Stir Fry Wok and Steamer Sets, or even an entire set of their pans, be sure to enter our Want Pans? Giveaway. Hurry, though, because the contest ends 12/15/2010.

Prep Time = 40 minutes
Cook Time = 20 minutes
Serves 6

©2010 Caution: Caveman Cooking/UHearMe, Inc. All rights reserved. This recipe originally appeared on the Caution: Caveman Cooking blog at authored by Caveman. This recipe may be shared and reprinted as long as this entire copyright message accompanies it.

Posted in Asian, Main Course, Soups, Vegetarian | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | 25 Comments »

Cavemom’s Orange Yam Turkeys

Posted by Caveman Cooking on November 24, 2010

Cavemom's Orange Yam Turkeys
This is very exciting! Not only is this a great recipe for a unique spin on a Thanksgiving favorite, it’s also the first recipe shared here on C3 from the Cavemom!! She has been making this delicious version of Yams at our Holiday dinner for years. Now, you can, too!


* 8 Small or Medium Yams
* 4 Thick Skinned Oranges
* 4 Tablespoons Butter, softened well
* 1 20 oz. Can Crushed Pineapple, drained (reserve 1/4 cup)
* 1 Cup Chopped Walnuts or Pecans
* 1 Cup Mini Marshmallows
* 2 Tablespoons Brown Sugar
* 1/4 Cup Orange Juice, reserved from oranges
* 1/4 Cup Pineapple Juice, reserved from pineapples
* Salt & Pepper to taste
* Tin Foil


Place yams and 1/2 a tablespoon of kosher salt into large pot of boiling water.
Yams in boiling water

While yams cook, slice oranges in half. Then, with a paring knife and a spoon, carefully scoop out orange flesh being sure not to cut or tear orange skins.
Scooped Oranges

Reserve 1/3 cup of the fresh orange juice. Eat the orange flesh at your leisure (they also make for a great fruit salad).
Reserved Orange Flesh & Juice

Once the yams are fully cooked, drain from water, allow to cool slightly, and remove skin. Place skinned yams into a large bowl or container along with butter, orange juice, pineapple juice, brown sugar, and salt & pepper to taste. Mash and mix well with a potato masher. Add pineapple and nuts, fold in well.
Mashed Yams

One of the great things about this recipe is that it can be prepared ahead of time and then finished a half hour before serving. If you don’t prepare them right away, bag up the orange skins, place the yams in an airtight container, and refrigerate both until ready for use. Also, DON’T add the nuts until just before you are ready to finish preparing them – you don’t want them to get soggy.
Orange Skins

This is the other great part of this recipe (other than the taste), especially if you team up with your grandkids to create a fun tradition. When you are ready to prepare them, evenly distribute the yam mixture into each of the eight orange skins. Then use some tin foil to make the Turkey’s feathers, and the marshmallows to make the bird’s face (we usually make them smile ;)). Place the yam turkeys on a large cookie sheet and place into an oven preheated to 350°. Cook until hot and marshmallows have browned slightly. Serve with the rest of your Thanksgiving fare.
Cavemom's Orange Yam Turkeys

A wish to you for a healthy, happy, and delicious Thanksgiving from the “Cavemom”.

Prep Time = 30 minutes
Cook Time = 20 minutes
Serves 8

©2010 Caution: Caveman Cooking/UHearMe, Inc. All rights reserved. This recipe originally appeared on the Caution: Caveman Cooking blog at authored by Caveman. This recipe may be shared and reprinted as long as this entire copyright message accompanies it.

Posted in Side Dishes, Thanksgiving, Vegetarian | Tagged: , , , , , , | 7 Comments »

Freezer Food Fest #11

Posted by Caveman Cooking on January 25, 2010

It’s official! We’re moving!! So, I have been given a “request” by the Cavewoman to empty the freezer before we hit the road. The pressure is on!

After being down for the count for nearly a week with a nice little bug passed on from one of my walking petri dishes, also known as my daughter, I was itchin’ to get back in the kitchen. Plus, I was long overdue for making another dent in this icy odyssey that only has a few weeks to go. As I was digging through the freezer, I found something I had bought for my Veggie wife to try after her obvious pangs of jealousy over not being able to indulge the last time I made my Easy Chicken Parm. Though, as I pulled it from it’s chilly sanctuary, I realized I had bought the wrong variety. Instead of the plain original MorningStar Chik Patties I had inadvertently picked up the Parmesan Ranch. I was afraid they might be too seasoned … But, these would have to do.
I whipped up a batch of Italian Sauce, dressed up the chicken breasts for the Parm, and got ready to prepare the faux-chicken using the “Oven Method” described on the box. My plan was to get them ready to get sauced and cheesed when I did the same to the real chicken the Cavekids and I would be eating. Surprisingly, everything went perfectly! About 5 minutes after completing the last steps I pulled it all out of the oven, served it all up with some spaghetti, and a nice salad the Cavewoman put together.

Vegetarian Chicken Parm

As usual, the short-people devoured their plates with the sounds of chewing being almost the only thing audible from their sauce-covered faces. The best sound, however, was my wife getting her first taste of Chicken Parm since before her 12th birthday and absolutely loving it. Though, after several bites she did note that the Parmesan Ranch Chik Patties were a bit salty. Ahhhhhh … bummer! My purchasing faux pas had ended up coming back to haunt me after all. I was quickly heartened, though, when my wife said she’d be eager to try it again with the original version of the product. She still somehow managed to “muddle” her way through the salty version.
Regardless, we all had a great dinner together (the first time this week we all sat together for dinner), and I was able to score another notch in my ice pick. Best of all, I also managed to make a couple extra “real” chicken breasts that will be perfect for leftover Chicken Parm Sandwiches. Guess what I’m having for lunch today?!?! 😉

©2010 Caution: Caveman Cooking/UHearMe, Inc. All rights reserved. This originally appeared on the Caution: Caveman Cooking blog at authored by Caveman. This may be shared and reprinted as long as this entire copyright message accompanies it.

Posted in Freezer Food Fest, Vegetarian | Tagged: , , , , | 9 Comments »