Black Bean Tamale Recipe with Spicy Tomatillo Salsa

With a spicy tomatillo salsa, this Black Bean Tamale recipe brings a healthy fire to your dinner table.

| March 2014

  • This Black Bean Tamale recipe includes a Spicy Tomatillo Salsa and fresh greens.
    Photo courtesy Chronicle Books
  • “Straight from the Earth” is a creative and delightful collection of delicious vegan recipes from Myra Goodman and Marea Goodman that is sure to delight any hungry eater.
    Cover courtesy Chronicle Books

The desire to be an environmentally healthful and thoughtful eater has increased as more people pile on the fruits and vegetables and forego animal proteins. Myra Goodman and Marea Goodman have answered the call with Straight from the Earth (Chronicle Books, 2014), a resource full of creative, delightful vegan recipes that will change your mind on what a plant-based diet can be. From the chapter “Entrées,” this Black Bean Tamale recipe is full of fresh kale and butternut squash, and is served with a spicy tomatillo salsa.

You can purchase this book from the Mother Earth Living store: Straight from the Earth.

I first tried tamales, a traditional dish in certain parts of Latin America, when I traveled to Mexico as a teenager. But it wasn’t until I was living in a vegan cooperative house in college that I learned to make them. One Sunday, my friends and I spent the entire day creating tamales to serve sixty people for a communal meal, and since then they are one of my favorite dishes to cook.

Tamales are made from steamed or boiled masa (a starchy corn dough) wrapped around a filling of meats, cheese, or vegetables. This recipe is not as heavy as meat-based tamales, but tempeh and beans provide ample protein. Anyone can help assemble tamales, and the long prep time makes them even more satisfying and special when you finally sit down to eat. If you don’t have a whole day to devote to tamale making, you can prepare the masa and the filling up to 3 days ahead. They cook faster and more evenly in two separate steamer pots; borrow an extra pot if you have only one. They also freeze extremely well—so don’t worry about making too many. Serve the tamales with my easy Spicy Tomatillo Salsa or your favorite store-bought fresh tomatillo salsa. —Marea

Black Bean Tamale Recipe with Spicy Tomatillo Salsa

Masa Dough
• 4 1/2 cups instant corn masa flour (Maseca is a popular brand)
• 2 1/2 tsp salt
• 1 tsp baking powder
• 1 tsp ground cumin
• 1 tsp garlic powder
• 1 tsp sweet paprika
• 2 3/4 cups low-sodium vegetable broth
• 1 cup extra-virgin olive oil
• 2 tbsp fresh lime juice

• 1/4 cup canola or sunflower oil
• 1/2 medium yellow onion, small dice
• 1 1/2 cups peeled small-dice butternut squash
• 1 1/2 cups diced or crumbled tempeh
• 3 cups packed stemmed and sliced dino (Tuscan) kale
• 1 2/3 cups cooked black beans (rinsed and drained if canned)
• 1 tsp ground cumin
• 1 tsp salt
• 1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
• 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
• 1/2 tsp sweet paprika
• 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
• 1 package (about 30) dried cornhusks
• Spicy Tomatillo Salsa (recipe follows)

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