These vegetarian baked sopes are a lighter take on a traditional Mexican dish of deep fried masa dough. Filled with black beans, avocado, feta cheese and drizzled with salsa verde!
Finally getting off my Asian and grilled recipe kick, I present these adorable little Mexican appetizers, mini corn cakes called sopes!
Sidebar: Typing that last sentence made me wonder, if I could only eat Mexican food or any kind of Asian food for the rest of my life, which would it be? I'm torn! You?
Sopes are a traditional Mexican dish made from deep fried rounds of dough made from masa, a flour made from corn treated with lime (aka hominy). Masa is what's used to create tortillas. So basically, sopes are fried fresh tortillas cakes. How can you not be excited about that?
My recipe for sopes is baked rather than fried. No, not because frying is "bad" or "unhealthy." Actually, from a nutrition standpoint, frying is no where near as awful as it's made out to be. When the oil is a hot enough temperature, it instantly creates a super crisp crust rather than absorbing all the oil. I just don't deep fry because it makes a huge mess in the kitchen! While my husband and I have worked out a nice working relationship where I cook, he cleans, I didn't want to push it with oil splattered all over the place.
You can find masa harina flour at most well stocked grocery stores or order it online. I had some leftover from my recent (successful!) attempt at making my own tortillas to see if it would be easy for some of my food sensitivity clients. Since I've started doing MRT food sensitivity testing, one of the hardest things is finding substitutes for bread. Again, bread is not "bad" or "unhealthy", but when I do food sensitivity testing, an individualized healing diet based on foods that aren't reactive is a necessity for a short(ish) period of time to allow the gut to heal. It sucks, especially because I loathe restriction, but when someone is really sick and struggling with chronic health issues, it's definitely worth it to feel better. And at least homemade corn tortillas are a yummy option for those who aren't reactive to corn! If you're wondering, I used The Lean Green Beans recipe.
Now, back to sopes, which are even easier than tortillas! I filled these sopes with a vegetarian filling of black beans, avocado, a sprinkle of feta, and a drizzle of salsa verde. Once you've mastered making these mini sopes, you could fill them with lots of other fillings:
- Chili, either canned (I love Amy's brand!) or homemade, like my quinoa chili or grilled vegetable chili.
- A dollop of guacamole, like my kale guacamole, and cherry tomato halves.
- Seasoned ground beef or experiment with my vegan take - ground walnut "meat", which weirdly has a cult following among a few of my husband's friends.
- Grilled vegetables and chimichurri sauce
- Shredded pork or chicken in mole sauce topped with melted jack cheese
- Potato and chorizo (try my potato and tempeh chorizo filling!) with a dollop of sour cream
- 3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons masa flour
- 1/2 cup white whole wheat flour
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup warm water
- Olive oil spray
- 1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
- 1/4 avocado, thinly sliced and chopped into 1 inch slices
- 1-2 ounces feta cheese, crumbled
- Salsa verde
- Chopped fresh cilantro
- Mix masa, wheat flour, baking soda and salt in a medium bowl. Stir in warm water and mix thoroughly with a spoon until well combined. Cover with a towel and let sit 15 minutes.
- When ready to make masa cakes, preheat oven to 400 degrees. Spray a mini muffin tin thoroughly with olive oil. Pinch off small golf ball sized balls of dough and press into the bottom of the mini-muffin tin wells. Press the center and even out the dough to make a "cup". Spray the tops evenly with olive oil, place in the hot oven and bake 20-25 minutes until golden. Remove from oven and let cool slightly before removing sopes to a serving dish.
- Fill each cup with a spoonful of black beans, crumble over a bit of feta, top with a slice of avocado. Drizzle with salsa verde and garnish with fresh cilantro.
More vegetarian Mexican dishes from the blog: