If you’re a regular reader of this site you know that I love the Southwest. After a few visits over the years I’ve really come to embrace its energy and spend as much time as possible there. I even got married in Santa Fe a few years back (photos from that beautiful day!). What draws me to places like Arizona and New Mexico are the beautiful landscapes, the fascinating history and—of course—the amazing food.
Southwestern flavors are spicy, fresh and make so much sense together. The area is known for its chili peppers, and you can walk down just about any street—especially in New Mexico—and see at least one porch with what’s called a ristra of chili peppers hanging and drying in the sun. It’s both ornamental and functional, as this process allows you to use the peppers long-term, in case you don’t have an occasion that requires about thirty of them in the near future.
Other flavors of the Southwest include beans, corn and cilantro. The former two are native to the area, but the latter came via the Spanish in the sixteenth century.
OK, if you’re still with me I’m sure you’ve had enough of a history lesson. Suffice it to say I love the Southwest and hope to live there someday soon. In the meantime I’m going to keep making plant-based dishes like this one that are inspired by the region.
These Southwestern Pinwheels make a great party food. They’re small, made in bulk and perfect for passing around on a tray or stacking on a dish on the food table. They pack all the flavors of the Southwest that I mentioned above, and also include a spicy cream cheese base that’s really tasty. Plus they’re super simple to make. So put these out during your next party and your guests will thank you. And be sure to tag @nutfreevegan on social media to let me know how it went!
- 2 Tbsp. adobo sauce
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- 1 tsp. cumin
- 1 container 8 oz. vegan cream cheese
- 4 medium-sized or 2 large flour tortillas
- 1 red pepper sliced into thin strips
- ½ red onion sliced into thin strips
- 2 jalapeño peppers sliced into thin strips
- 1 can 15 oz. black or pinto beans
- 2 cups corn I roasted cobs and cut the kernels off, but canned or frozen would work, too, if you don’t want to take the time
- 1 cup fresh cilantro chopped
- 1 avocado sliced
- Mix adobo sauce, garlic and cream cheese in a large bowl.
- Spread cream cheese mixture evenly over tortillas, just enough to coat.
- Top with either 1/4 or 1/2 of remaining ingredients, depending on the amount of tortillas. Press everything down to get it as flat as possible.
- Roll the tortilla up, continuing to press down to keep everything flat. Cut into ½” slices and serve immediately or refrigerate for up to 2 days.