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Vegan Rajas con Crema Tacos

Rajas con crema is one of those true Mexican comfort dishes. Poblano peppers are roasted over an open flame, peeled, cut into strips, then sauted with onion, garlic, and corn. A thick, slightly sour “crema” is poured over the whole thing. It is spicy, creamy, and incredibly satisfying. Of course, the best way to eat this is in a taco. These vegan rajas con crema tacos will even impress your omnivore friends.

Vegan Rajas con Crema Tacos is one of those true Mexican comfort dishes. Poblano peppers are roasted over an open flame, peeled, cut into strips, then sauted with onion, garlic, and corn. A thick, slightly sour "crema" is poured over the whole thing. It is spicy, creamy, and incredibly satisfying

There’s something about the smell of roasting poblano peppers that evokes so many food memories and recipes. Before going to culinary school my dad had me work at his restaurant for 6 months. Let’s just say the cooks weren’t too happy to have me around. I peeled a lot of potatoes and cracked a lot of eggs. I’ll never forget the time they had me roast and peel tray after tray of poblano peppers. They of course could do it without even thinking, no gloves, quickly, one after the other. I think it took me about 3 hours to get them done, and by the end I was almost crying (or maybe I was crying) because my hands were burning. I’m sure they had a kick out of that.

Vegan Rajas con Crema Tacos is one of those true Mexican comfort dishes. Poblano peppers are roasted over an open flame, peeled, cut into strips, then sauted with onion, garlic, and corn. A thick, slightly sour "crema" is poured over the whole thing. It is spicy, creamy, and incredibly satisfying

Vegan Rajas con Crema Tacos is one of those true Mexican comfort dishes. Poblano peppers are roasted over an open flame, peeled, cut into strips, then sauted with onion, garlic, and corn. A thick, slightly sour "crema" is poured over the whole thing. It is spicy, creamy, and incredibly satisfying

Poblano chiles are readily available almost anywhere in the United States. I am even able to find them here in Hawaii! They are very versatile and can be used in soups, tacos, pasta, enchiladas, stews, and they can even be stuffed and fried. They are relatively mild on the heat scale depending on where you live. Roasting and peeling them is not complicated, as you can see in this video. This is a perfect summer dish for using up all of the sweet, tender corn at your farmer’s market. If you are staying away from nuts, you can omit the “crema” and serve with a salsa instead.

Vegan Rajas con Crema Tacos is one of those true Mexican comfort dishes. Poblano peppers are roasted over an open flame, peeled, cut into strips, then sauted with onion, garlic, and corn. A thick, slightly sour "crema" is poured over the whole thing. It is spicy, creamy, and incredibly satisfying

The heat here in Hawaii is starting to rise and ice cream, paletas, and aguas frescas have been on my mind lately. What recipes would you like to see?

 

The Recipe: Vegan Rajas con Crema Tacos

This recipe is pretty straight forward. You can skip the roasting of the poblano peppers if you’re in a hurry, but they will not be as tender as if you had roasted them. The crema can me made without oil by substituting it with unsweetened almond milk. I use the almonds with the peel on because I prefer the flavor, but if you are looking for a really white crema, you can use blanched almonds instead. Enjoy!

Vegan Rajas con Crema Tacos is one of those true Mexican comfort dishes. Poblano peppers are roasted over an open flame, peeled, cut into strips, then sauted with onion, garlic, and corn. A thick, slightly sour "crema" is poured over the whole thing. It is spicy, creamy, and incredibly satisfying
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Vegan Rajas con Crema Tacos

Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 4 servings
Author Dora Stone

Ingredients

Filling:

  • 5 Poblano peppers,roasted, peeled, seeded, cut into strips
  • 1 tbsp. Vegetable oil, (optional)
  • 1 Onion, white, large, thinly sliced
  • 2 cloves Garlic, minced
  • 3 ears Corn, kernels sliced off
  • ½ cup Vegetable stock or broth

Crema:

  • ½ cup Almonds, raw
  • 1 clove Garlic
  • ¾ cup Water
  • ¼ cup Vegetable oil optional
  • 1 tbsp. Lemon juice fresh

Preparation

To make the filling:

  1. Heat vegetable oil in a large sauté pan to medium heat. Add the onion and sweat for 2-3 minutes or until it is tender and translucent.

  2. Add corn, garlic, and ½ cup of vegetable stock, cover and let steam until corn is tender, about 3 – 4 minutes.
  3. Add the poblano peppers and let cook for 1 minute more. Season with salt and pepper. Remove from the heat and let cool slightly.

Almond Crema:

  1. Place the almonds, garlic, water, vegetable oil, and lemon juice in the blender and process until smooth. Season with salt and pepper. Pour the almond crema over the cooled filling and mix well.

  2. Serve with warm corn tortillas.

Chef's Notes

To save time you can skip the roasting and peeling of the poblanos, but they will not be as tender or flavorful.
* You can substitute the oil in the crema with unsweetened almond milk with the same results.

Here are some other delicious taco recipes you can try as well:

25 Vegan Tacos for 5 de Mayo

Chickpea and Spinach Tacos

Spicy Zucchini Black Bean Tacos

Carrot and Sweet Potato Tinga Tacos

Potato and Chorizo Tacos

 

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Mexican Vegan “Tuna” Salad

We have been in Hawaii a little over a month now, and boy has it been a roller coaster. Finding a car and a place to live was stressful and crazy. For days I dragged the kids from one place to the next with no success. My husband started working right away, so it was just me and the kids trying to figure things out. It took me 2 weeks to find a place, but we really like it. It even has a little backyard! Our stuff miraculously got here pretty quickly, instead of the 4 weeks they said it was going to take. I’m not going to lie, it hasn’t been easy, but amidst all the stressfulness of moving, we have spent hours playing in the sand and swimming in the cristal clear water of Oahu. We have also been to the Dole pineapple plantation, the north shore, Waikiki, Honolulu, and we still have so much more to explore. The beaches here are amazing, the people are so friendly, and the culture is truly unique. I have so much to learn.

The one thing that has been truly shocking is how incredibly expensive groceries are. Of course, we had heard this before, but I was still shocked at the price difference. Some items are 3 to 4 times as expensive as on the mainland. To help with this I subscribed to a CSA at Aloun farms, which is a really good deal. We are definitely going to have to stick to a meal plan to try and save some money.

Mexican Vegan "Tuna" Salad, spicy, creamy and the perfect protein packed lunch, with smashed chickpeas, tomatoes, onion, chile, and mayo Mexican Vegan "Tuna" Salad, spicy, creamy and the perfect protein packed lunch, with smashed chickpeas, tomatoes, onion, chile, and mayo

Mexican Vegan "Tuna" Salad, spicy, creamy and the perfect protein packed lunch, with smashed chickpeas, tomatoes, onion, chile, and mayo

Mexican Vegan "Tuna" Salad, spicy, creamy and the perfect protein packed lunch, with smashed chickpeas, tomatoes, onion, chile, and mayo

 

Ko Olina Hawaii

Before coming here, I was unsure whether I would be able to get the Mexican ingredients I would need to continue posting vegan Mexican recipes, but I have been pleasantly surprised. Hawaii grows chayote and jicama locally. I quickly found my favorite hot sauce and chili powder. There’s a local tortilla factory which is a good tortilla option, but they are not as good as my favorite Tortilla Land uncooked corn tortillas that I found at a Safeway! There’s one thing though, salsa is expensive. One quart of fresh salsa is $6 -8 and the canned stuff is a little bit cheaper than that. This has me thinking I should start selling my own homemade salsa.

Mexican Vegan "Tuna" Salad, spicy, creamy and the perfect protein packed lunch, with smashed chickpeas, tomatoes, onion, chile, and mayo

I am still unsure about what we are going to do about school in the fall. You hear pretty bad things about the level of education in the public schools and the private schools are expensive. I can’t believe I am going to say this, but I’m considering homeschooling. The only problem with that is that I’m so scared of doing it. I have a very active 6 year old boy and 2 year old girl, I don’t know if I have the patience and the stamina to homeschool. I’m afraid there will be more bad days than good days. Homeschooling mamas help me! How do you do it?

I will keep you posted on our new Hawaiian adventures and in the near future incorporate a little Hawaiian flair into the recipes.

Dole Pineapple Plantation

Dole Pineapple Plantation

Mexican Vegan “Tuna” Salad

When I was a new vegan I kept seeing recipes for vegan “tuna” salad. I was never a big tuna salad fan so I wasn’t really interested in trying it, until finally I gave in and boy was I missing out! I first tried Post Punk’s Kitchen Chickpea Salad Sammiches and I loved it. For my version I smashed chickpeas, tossed them with tomatoes, onion, and serrano chile, a splash of lime juice and a dollop of vegan mayo to make an easy protein packed lunch. Instead of lime juice though I like to use the liquid from the jalapeños en escabeche, and that takes me straight back to my mom’s kitchen. This salad is best served in a sandwich or on tostadas topped with avocado slices. Enjoy!

Mexican Vegan "Tuna" Salad, spicy, creamy and the perfect protein packed lunch, with smashed chickpeas, tomatoes, onion, chile, and mayo

Mexican Vegan "Tuna" Salad, spicy, creamy and the perfect protein packed lunch, with smashed chickpeas, tomatoes, onion, chile, and mayo
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Mexican Vegan "Tuna" Salad

Prep Time 20 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Servings 2 servings
Author Dora Stone

Ingredients

  • 1 (14.5 oz) can Chickpeas, drained, rinsed
  • 1 cup Diced tomatoes, fresh
  • 1/4 cup White onion, finely chopped
  • 1 Serrano chile, finely chopped
  • 1 tsp. Vegan mayo *
  • 1/2 - 1 tbsp. Pickled jalapeño liquid or lime juice

Preparation

  1. Place chickpeas in a shallow bowl and use a fork to mash them up.
  2. Add tomatoes. onion, serrano and mix well.
  3. Add the vegan mayo and 1/2 tbsp. of pickled jalapeño liquid or lime juice. Mix well.
  4. Season and taste. If necessary add remaining 1/2 tbsp. of pickled jalapeño liquid or lime juice.
  5. Place salad in fridge for 15 to 20 min. (optional)
  6. Serve on a sandwich or on tostadas.

Chef's Notes

If you cannot find vegan mayo or don’t have it on hand, you can use mashed avocado instead. I prefer this salad cold, thus the time resting in the fridge, but it is not necessary. You can also add 1 tbsp. of nori flakes to make the salad more “fishy”.

Vegan Tamales Unwrapped

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The Vegetable Butcher Review and Jicama Grapefruit Salad

The Vegetable Butcher Review and Giveaway

This is the book I’ve been waiting for! Whenever somebody approaches me about wanting to transition to a vegan or vegetarian diet I can see the concern in their faces. Vegetables, all you eat is vegetables? The problem with vegetables is not that they are not tasty, it’s that hardly anybody knows how to prepare them. Vegetables are some of the most versatile of all natural food items. Just think of the countless dishes and recipes that you can make using just potatoes. This book does a great job of demystifying vegetables and offering practical ways of preparing them in your own home.

The Vegetable Butcher Review and GiveawayParsnip and Ginger Cake. Photo by Matthew Benson

The Vegetable Butcher was written by Cara Mangini. Cara comes from a family of old school butchers, and over the years found that her passion was in vegetables not meat. She trained as a professional chef and worked in New York, St. Helena, and now Columbus, OH, where she runs her own produce stand and vegetable centric restaurant, Little Eater Produce and Provisions. She has spent years devoted to teaching and helping others discover how to make delicious meals from vegetables.

The Vegetable Butcher Review and GiveawayGrilled Smothered Artichokes. Photo by Matthew Benson

Her book takes you through 53 vegetables from A to Z detailing the season in which the vegetable can be found, the varieties, and how to select and store them. There are also step-by-step pictures on how to prep and breakdown these vegetables, cooking methods that can be used to cook them, and several recipes where you can put your new found knowledge to use.

The Vegetable Butcher Review and GiveawayPotato Gnocchi. Photo by Matthew Benson.

I really enjoyed the crisp pictures, the detail in which each vegetable is approached, and the recipes. Even though the recipes are not necessarily vegan, they can be easily adapted. I can’t really say I disliked any part of the book, rather I wish the less accesible vegetables like crosnes had been left out and more emphasis had been given to other vegetables, like how to prep and work with a greater variety of mushrooms.

The Vegetable Butcher Review and Giveaway

I loved Cara’s approach to being vegetable centric. There is no preachy speech on how you should eat more vegetables, there’s no mention of saving animals, and there is one (only one) reference to health. Vegetables are spectacular. They can be luscious, sexy, satiating, and this book is just what you need to make that happen in your kitchen.

The Vegetable Butcher Review and Giveaway

Jicama Grapefruit Salad

This jicama grapefruit salad with sweet soy dressing from The Vegetable Butcher  is refreshing, tangy, crunchy, and the right amount of sweet.

The Vegetable Butcher Review and Giveaway
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Jicama and Grapefruit Salad

Recipe courtesy of The Vegetable Butcher by Cara Mangini (Workman Publishing Company; April 19, 2016); reprinted with permission.
Total Time 40 minutes
Servings 6 servings
Author Cara Mangini

Ingredients

  • 1/2 head Red cabbage, cored, and neatly sliced (about 6 cups ; see Notes)
  • 1 tbsp. Sea salt, plus extra as needed
  • 3/4 cup Whole pecans
  • 2 tbsp. Canola or grapeseed oil, plus extra as needed
  • 2 tbsp. Brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup Soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp. Rice wine vinegar
  • 1 tbsp. + 1 tsp. Freshly squeezed lime juice, plus extra as needed
  • 1 tbsp. Granulated sugar
  • 1 tsp. Minced garlic
  • 1/4 tsp. Crushed red pepper flakes, or to taste
  • 1 Medium jicama, cut into matchsticks or shredded (about 3 cups)
  • 2 Medium carrots, cut into matchsticks or shredded (about 1 1⁄2 cups )
  • 1/2 cup Loosely packed fresh mint leaves, coarsely chopped
  • 2 Pink grapefruits, skin and membranes removed, cut into segments (see Notes)
  • Freshly ground black pepper

Preparation

  1. Place the cabbage in a large bowl, add 5 cups of water and 1 tablespoon of salt, and let stand for 15 to 30 minutes while you prepare the rest of the salad. (This will make the cabbage less chewy and more crisp.)
  2. Place the pecans in a medium-size skillet over medium heat, and toast, stirring frequently (watch them closely to ensure they don’t burn), until they become fragrant and golden, 4 to 6 minutes. Add 2 teaspoons of the canola oil and a generous pinch of salt and stir to coat the nuts. Add the brown sugar and continue to stir to melt the sugar and coat the pecans, about 2 minutes. Remove from the heat and spread out the pecans on a piece of parchment paper to cool. Coarsely chop them completely.
  3. Meanwhile, whisk together the soy sauce, vinegar, lime juice, granulated sugar, garlic, and red pepper akes in a small bowl.
  4. Toss together the jicama, carrots, and remaining 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon of oil in a large bowl. Drain the cabbage well, wrap it in a kitchen towel to absorb excess moisture, and squeeze it with your hands to encourage softening. Add the cabbage to the jicama mixture, then drizzle with the dressing to taste and toss to coat. Add about three quarters of the mint and three quarters of the grapefruit, half of the pecans, and salt, pepper, and lime juice to taste. Toss to combine.
  5. Transfer the salad to individual plates and top with the remaining mint, grapefruit, and pecans.

Chef's Notes

A food processor will cut down your prep time. For the cabbage, use the thinnest slicing disk and quarter cabbage half to fit in the feed tube. For the carrots and jicama, use the shredding disk. Cut the carrots into lengths to fit in the feed tube and stack them in the feed tube, horizontally, on their sides. Push them through to shred them. Do the same with the jicama, cutting it in half lengthwise, then cutting each half into thirds lengthwise to fit in the feed tube.
To segment (or supreme) grapefruit: Cut a small piece on both ends, and stand the grapefruit on its widest at end. Moving from top to bottom, slide your chef ’s knife just under the skin, between the fruit and the pith, cutting them away and turning the fruit as you go until peel and pith are completely removed. Then hold the fruit in one hand, and slide your knife at about a 45-degree angle, between the fruit segment and its membrane, releasing it from both sides. If your grapefruits are particularly juicy, release the segments over a bowl to catch the juices.

 

The Vegetable Butcher Review and Giveaway

The Vegetable Butcher Review and Giveaway

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Vegan Roasted Tomatillo Enchiladas

We are moving to Hawaii!!! I don’t even know where to begin. I am nervous, excited, sad, a little bit of everything. Are there any vegans in Hawaii? How about Mexicans? We have never been there, so I don’t know what to expect.

Vegan roasted tomatillo enchiladas, filled with sautéed onions, garlic, poblano peppers, and pinto beans. Bathed in salsa and almond crema.

The start date for my husband’s new job is the last week week of April. I know, so soon! The good thing is we have done this so many times before that the packing process does not seem daunting anymore. Nevertheless, there is a lot of work to be done.

Vegan roasted tomatillo enchiladas, filled with sautéed onions, garlic, poblano peppers, and pinto beans. Bathed in salsa and almond crema.

Our life continues to be a wonderful adventure, Maryland, D.C, Carlsbad, South Carolina, Orange County, and now Hawaii. I hope our kids remember it that way and don’t suffer too much from leaving their friends behind. All I have to say, is that this blog just got a whole lot more interesting! Sourcing ingredients might be a challenge though, but I plan to continue making delicious vegan Mexican recipes. Even if it’s on an island in the middle of the Pacific Ocean.

Vegan roasted tomatillo enchiladas, filled with sautéed onions, garlic, poblano peppers, and pinto beans. Bathed in salsa and almond crema.

The funny thing is, when I was a teenager I wanted to be a missionary. I had rose colored visions of traveling the world helping people and serving God. Sometimes I still think about it and how amazing it would’ve been. Well, it turns out I did become a sort of missionary. Maybe not quite the way I had in mind, but God has his ways and they are definitely a mystery. Everywhere I go I try to be a witness of God’s love and mercy, and help others as much as I can. Now I get to do that in Hawaii, and wherever else we might go next.

Vegan roasted tomatillo enchiladas, filled with sautéed onions, garlic, poblano peppers, and pinto beans. Bathed in salsa and almond crema.

I am sad though, because I’m going to miss our wonderful friends who have supported us and helped us out in so many ways. We will never be able to repay them. Fran & Ren, Marisa & Neil, and Kristen & Jeremy we love you and will miss you terribly, but don’t think because we are far away that you will be getting rid us. You are stuck with us forever. No matter how far away we are, you know you can always count on us.

I guess we should talk about the recipe now, but stay tuned to find out what it will be like for a vegan Mexican and her family to move to Hawaii. #mexicaninhawaii

Vegan roasted tomatillo enchiladas, filled with sautéed onions, garlic, poblano peppers, and pinto beans. Bathed in salsa and almond crema.

The Recipe: Vegan Roasted Tomatillo Enchiladas

One of my sisters has become vegan!!! Vegan I say!! Can you believe it? She requested a recipe for enchiladas and I was happy to oblige. Roasted tomatillo enchiladas are one of my favorites. The tortillas are filled with sautéed onions, garlic, poblano peppers, corn, and pinto beans. Then they are bathed in a savory roasted tomatillo sauce and drizzled in a smooth almond crema. Top them with thinly sliced onions and some chopped cilantro. You can make this a quick dinner by buying already made tomatillo salsa. Enjoy!

Vegan roasted tomatillo enchiladas, filled with sautéed onions, garlic, poblano peppers, and pinto beans. Bathed in salsa and almond crema.
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Vegan Roasted Tomatillo Enchiladas

Cook Time 35 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes
Servings 4 servings
Author Dora Stone

Ingredients

Filling

  • 1 tbsp. Vegetable oil, optional
  • 1/2 Onion, thinly sliced
  • 2 cloves Garlic, minced
  • 1 cup Corn, kernels
  • 1/4 cup Vegetable stock
  • 2 Poblano peppers, roasted, peeled, cut into strips
  • 1 cup Pinto beans, canned

Almond Crema

  • 1/2 cup Almonds raw
  • 1/4 cup Soy milk unsweetened
  • 1 clove Garlic
  • 1 tsp. Lemon juice

Garnish

  • 12 tortillas
  • 1 quart Tomatillo salsa (see note)
  • 1/2 Onion sliced into paper thin rings
  • 1 tbsp. Cilantro chopped

Preparation

  1. Preheat oven to 350F.
  2. To make the filling: heat 1 tbsp. of oil in a large sauté pan to medium-high heat. Once oil is hot, add onions and sauté for 3 - 4 minutes, or until almost the onions are tender and translucent. Add the garlic and cook for 1 more minute.
  3. Add corn and 1/4 cup of vegetable stock. Cover and cook for 2-3 minutes or until the corn is tender. Add poblano pepper and beans and mix well. Season with salt and pepper.
  4. To make the almond crema: place all ingredients in the blender until smooth. Season with salt and pepper and set aside.
  5. To assemble: Warm corn tortillas in the microwave for 30 seconds or in the oven at 350F on a sheet tray for 5 min. Just enough so that the tortillas are soft enough to be rolled.
  6. Spread 2-3 tbsp. of the tomatillo sauce on the bottom of a 9 x13 baking dish Place 1 tbsp. of filling on each tortilla. Roll and place on baking dish. Continue this process until you have used up all the tortillas and the entire filling.
  7. Pour the rest of the tomatillo sauce on top of the enchiladas and bake in oven for 5 – 10 min. or until the enchiladas are warm. Remove from the oven and drizzle almond crema on top.
  8. Garnish with onion slices and chopped cilantro.

Chef's Notes

To make this a quick weeknight dinner you can buy the sauce already made and skip the roasting and peeling of the poblano peppers. You can find a recipe for a tomatillo salsa here.

 

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Strawberry Paletas

It’s strawberry season here in SoCal and there are plenty of places to go strawberry picking. Every year we make a huge batch of strawberry preserves and popsicles or paletas. (To this day I sometimes call lollipops popsicles, because in Mexico paleta can mean both popsicle and lollipop.) The kids love them and so do we.

These strawberry paletas are 100% vegan and gluten-free. They are just the right amount of sweet and are bursting with chunks of strawberries.

Is there really a difference between a Mexican paleta and a popsicle? YES! A popsicle can be made with fruit juice, fruit concentrate, and depending on the brand you buy it can also have glycerine, maltodextrin, guar gum, food coloring, and natural and artificial flavors. A Mexican paleta is usually made with fresh fruit, sugar, and water or milk. They are made locally and sold in paleterias (popsicle shops) and popsicle carts. The flavors vary from region to region according to what is available and in season at each location. Some of the flavors are a little crazy or unusual like sweet corn, avocado, rice pudding, and cucumber and chile. They are well know for being very generously filled with cut fresh fruit.

These strawberry paletas are 100% vegan and gluten-free. They are just the right amount of sweet and are bursting with chunks of strawberries.

These strawberry paletas are 100% vegan and gluten-free. They are just the right amount of sweet and are bursting with chunks of strawberries.

Believe it or not, there are some paleterias in the Orange County/LA area where you can go experience first hand what a paleta really is. In the following months I will be posting many paleta recipes so you can make them at home yourself. My grandparents owned a paleteria more than 30 years ago in my hometown and I’m trying to track down pictures and recipes of that time for you.

These strawberry paletas are 100% vegan and gluten-free. They are just the right amount of sweet and are bursting with chunks of strawberries.

These strawberry paletas are 100% vegan and gluten-free. They are just the right amount of sweet and are bursting with chunks of strawberries.

In the mean time there is one amazing book by a Mexican chef, Fany Gerson, that should be a part of your cookbook collection. The book is called Paletas. No surprise there!  It has many classic Mexican flavors of paletas, as well as aguas frescas, and raspados. One of the best ones are precisely these strawberry paletas which I have adapted for you. Fany Gerson suggests that if you don’t have special popsicle molds you can use shot glasses, and that is precisely what I did. Keep your freezer stocked this summer with these beauties for a refreshing treat. Enjoy!

These strawberry paletas are 100% vegan and gluten-free. They are just the right amount of sweet and are bursting with chunks of strawberries.

The Recipe: Strawberry Paletas

These paletas are 100% vegan and use only natural ingredients. I have made two versions, one with just strawberries and one with light coconut milk. They are just the right amount of sweet and they are bursting with chunks of strawberries.

These strawberry paletas are 100% vegan and gluten-free. They are just the right amount of sweet and are bursting with chunks of strawberries.
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Strawberry Paletas

Prep Time 25 minutes
Cook Time 5 hours
Total Time 5 hours 25 minutes
Servings 8 paletas
Author Dora Stone

Ingredients

  • 4 cups Strawberries, fresh, hulled, cut into quarters
  • 1/2 cup Sugar, granulated
  • 1/2 cup Cold water
  • 1 tbsp. Lemon juice, fresh

Preparation

  1. Place strawberries in a large bowl and sprinkle sugar over them. Mix well. Let sit for 20 minutes.
  2. Place strawberries in a medium sauce pot and add 1/2 cup of water and place over medium eat. Simmer softly for 5 minutes. Let mixture cool to room temperature.
  3. Once the mixture is cool, place in a blender, add the lemon juice, and process to desired consistency. Your paletas can be chunky or smooth.
  4. Pour into your molds, snap on the lids, and freeze for at least 5 hours.

Chef's Notes

If using shot glasses (like in the pictures) pour mixture into glasses and freeze for 1 - 2 hours. Insert popsicle sticks and freeze for 4 more hours. If your strawberries are not very sweet you can add 1/4 cup more of sugar. Recipe adapted from Fany Gerson’s book Paletas.

These strawberry paletas are 100% vegan and gluten-free. They are just the right amount of sweet and are bursting with chunks of strawberries.
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Strawberry Coconut Paletas

Prep Time 25 minutes
Cook Time 5 hours
Total Time 5 hours 25 minutes
Servings 12 paletas
Author Dora Stone

Ingredients

  • 4 cups Strawberries, fresh, hulled, cut into quarters
  • 1/2 cup Sugar, granulated
  • 1/2 cup Cold water
  • 1 cup Coconut milk, light, unsweetened
  • 1 tbsp. Lemon juice, fresh

Preparation

  1. Place strawberries in a large bowl and sprinkle sugar over them. Mix well. Let sit for 20 minutes.
  2. Place strawberries in a medium sauce pot and add 1/2 cup of water and place over medium eat. Simmer softly for 5 minutes. Let mixture cool to room temperature.
  3. Once the mixture is cool, place in a blender, add lemon juice, coconut milk, and process to desired consistency. Your paletas can be chunky or smooth.
  4. Pour into your molds, snap on the lids, and freeze for at least 5 hours.

Chef's Notes

If using shot glasses (like in the pictures) pour mixture into glasses and freeze for 1 - 2 hours. Insert popsicle sticks and freeze for 4 more hours. If your strawberries are not very sweet you can add 1/4 cup more of sugar. Recipe adapted from Fany Gerson’s book Paletas.

 

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Vegan Tamales Unwrapped

 

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Veracruz-Style Fava Bean Stew

My husband said something to one of our friends that I can’t stop thinking about. He said, “ Dora isn’t vegan, she just eats vegan.” I guess he was referring to my one cheat day a week. (He’s asleep as I am writing this so I will have to ask him tomorrow what he meant.) In his mind, if I really was vegan I wouldn’t cheat at all. Yes, I cheat once a week. I know some of you animal lovers will be horrified at this, but I’m just not quite there yet in my transition into veganism.

Veracruz-style fava bean stew, fava beans braised in onion, garlic, tomato, olives, capers, and pickled jalapeños. It is spicy and comforting

I could sugarcoat it and tell you that going vegan is easy, it is not. Especially if you are a die-hard carnivore or cheese lover like me. There can be many obstacles, like an unsupportive family, difficult access to fresh fruits and vegetables, and not knowing how to cook. One of the things that is not talked about enough is that you have to completely change your mindset. We are so used to seeing meat and potatoes on our plate that when someone gives us a plate of only potatoes it feels like we are missing something. This is why it takes time to change. Some people can quit animal products cold-turkey and that’s great, but there’s also many of us who do better with a gradual approach. Lindsay from Happy Herbivore has a great mantra, “Progress not perfection,” and I try to live it out everyday.

Veracruz-style fava bean stew, fava beans braised in onion, garlic, tomato, olives, capers, and pickled jalapeños. It is spicy and comforting

Veracruz-style fava bean stew, fava beans braised in onion, garlic, tomato, olives, capers, and pickled jalapeños. It is spicy and comforting

As time has passed (this is my 3rd year being an imperfect vegan) the health benefits of going vegan or plant-based have become clearer and clearer. When I do eat animal products I feel pretty gross, and now, even though I became vegan for health reasons, every time I take a bite of an animal protein I can’t help think about the suffering of the animals.

Veracruz-style fava bean stew, fava beans braised in onion, garlic, tomato, olives, capers, and pickled jalapeños. It is spicy and comforting

So yes, Mr. Stone, I am vegan. I might not be a perfect one, and maybe I will never be, but I like to think that my imperfect veganism contributes to making this world a little better. I know my health is definitely better, and I know yours can be too.

Veracruz-style fava bean stew, fava beans braised in onion, garlic, tomato, olives, capers, and pickled jalapeños. It is spicy and comforting

What are some of the things you struggled with while transitioning to a vegan lifestyle? Do you have any tips and tricks for other newbies?

Now, onto…

The Recipe: Veracruz-Style Fava Bean Stew

I’m sure by now you’ve heard of fish cooked Veracruz-style. The fish is baked or braised in a sauce of onions, garlic, tomatoes, capers, olives, and pickled jalapeños, but since this is obviously a vegan blog I did not use fish for this recipe. Instead I made a hearty stew of dried fava beans Veracruz-style. It is comforting, spicy, tangy, and it pairs perfectly with rice.

The fava beans take about 40 minutes to cook and you do have to soak them overnight, so this recipe can take a little bit of time to prepare. If you cannot find fava beans or do not like them you can substitute with potatoes. Enjoy!

Veracruz-style fava bean stew, fava beans braised in onion, garlic, tomato, olives, capers, and pickled jalapeños. It is spicy and comforting
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Veracruz-Style Fava Bean Stew

Prep Time 1 day
Cook Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 day 1 hour
Servings 4 servings
Author Dora Stone

Ingredients

  • 1 cup Fava beans, dried
  • 1 tbsp. Vegetable oil, optional
  • 1 Onion, white, thinly sliced (julienned)
  • 3 cloves Garlic, minced
  • 1 can (14.5 oz) Crushed tomato
  • 1/2 cup Manzanilla olives, sliced
  • 1 tbsp. Capers
  • 1 tsp. Oregano, dried
  • 1 Bay leaf dried
  • 2 Pickled jalapeños chopped
  • 1 cup Vegetable stock or broth

Preparation

  1. Place fava beans in a large pot and cover with water. Bring to a simmer and let cook for 40 minutes or until the beans are tender.
  2. While the beans are cooking, heat oil in a large pot set to medium heat. Add onions and sweat for 3-4 minutes or until the onions are tender and translucent. Add the garlic and cook for 2 more minutes.
  3. Pour the crushed tomatoes over the onions and simmer for 3 minutes.
  4. Add the olives, capers, oregano, pickled jalapeños, and bay leaf. Mix well.
  5. Drain the cooked fava beans and add them to the pot with the onion mixture.
  6. Pour 1 cup of vegetable broth into the pot and simmer for 15 minutes.
  7. Season to taste and serve with rice.

Chef's Notes

If dried fava beans are hard to find you can use potatoes instead.

 

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Mexican Potato Scramble

I’ve spent the last week feeling overwhelmed and incredibly empowered. The first weekend of March, I attended a conference for Latina bloggers called #WeAllGrow Summit. The conference was 3 days long and it was amazing! It is organized by Ana Flores and the team at Latina Bloggers Connect. Imagine over 300 Latina women (a couple of men too) in the same place. The conference tag line is, “If one grows, we all grow,”and that is precisely what it was meant to do and did. I was very nervous at first, because I was going alone and I am incredibly awkward in large social situations. I am a total introvert, and speaking to so many people can be intimidating. I had nothing to worry about though. Everyone was very welcoming and friendly and I met so many women that are doing remarkable things with their blogs and businesses.

#weallgrow summit

Photos by Robson Muzel and #weallgrow summit 2016

I’d like to introduce you to a couple of them. There’s Laura and her sister Catalina of Las Recetas de Laura and Spicy Latina Mom. They are both from northern Mexico like me, so it was great to meet other norteñas. They have a healthy Mexican food blog and a youtube channel. I finally got to meet Alejandra Graf from Piloncillo & Vainilla, a fellow vegan blogger, and a real sweetheart. I want to publicly say a huge thank you to two special ladies Diana Cortes and Ana Cruz. They embraced me and made me feel welcome when I didn’t know anyone, and was kind of wandering around trying to find someone to talk to. Diana has a really cool online boutique that curates Mexican made shoes, clothing, home goods, and accessories. All of their items are very unique and beautiful. Ana Cruz is a talented radio host, and lifestyle blogger at Rollos de Mujeres.

We All Grow Summit

Besides socializing and connecting with other bloggers I was also able to attend several conferences, and I learned quite a bit from them. We are now working on starting a youtube channel and seriously upping our social media game. There are so many things to do, and not enough time for all of them, especially when we are trying to run two blogs at the same time.

#weallgrow summit

Photos by Robson Muzel and #weallgrow summit 2016

Something did happen at the conference that impacted my life for the better and opened my eyes to a whole new world. I was born and raised in Mexico and came to this country about 12 years ago. It took me leaving my country to truly appreciate it, but leaving also gave me an increased sense of pride of where I came from. Let’s just say my “mexicaness” increased by 75%. In the beginning most of my sentences started, ” Did you know that in Mexico…” However, whenever I met someone who was 1st or 2nd generation American, but identified themselves as Mexican, I was quick to correct them and say that they actually weren’t. For me back then being Mexican meant that you were born in Mexico. Which technically is still true, but what does it really mean to be Latina now? Do you have to speak Spanish? Are you less of a Latina if you don’t? What if you don’t look Latina? The women at the conference answered all these questions for me with their beautiful selves, with their pride in their roots (even if their Spanish wasn’t perfect), and with their desire to pass the language and culture along to their children. There is no longer one definition of what it means to be Latina. I just hope my children will one day be like all the women at #WeAllGrow, and identify themselves as Latino, and proud of it!

Now that I’ve talked your ear off, let’s get back to the cooking.

This Mexican Potato Scramble is a spicy, savory and satisfying dish with all the flavors of Mexico. Serve on warm corn tortillas with salsa.

The Recipe: Mexican Potato Scramble

I really don’t like tofu scrambles. Maybe I just haven’t had a good one, or I enjoy real eggs too much to accept tofu as a substitute. The one thing I do enjoy is a savory breakfast every once and a while. When I am looking for something savory and satisfying I make this Mexican potato scramble. I just substituted the egg with potatoes, and followed a very traditional recipe for making Mexican scrambled eggs. The result is a spicy, savory and satisfying dish with all the flavors of Mexico. Serve on warm corn tortillas, and if you’re brave enough, some hot salsa. Enjoy!

This Mexican Potato Scramble is a spicy, savory and satisfying dish with all the flavors of Mexico. Serve on warm corn tortillas with salsa.

This Mexican Potato Scramble is a spicy, savory and satisfying dish with all the flavors of Mexico. Serve on warm corn tortillas with salsa.

This Mexican Potato Scramble is a spicy, savory and satisfying dish with all the flavors of Mexico. Serve on warm corn tortillas with salsa.
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Mexican Potato Scramble

Prep Time 6 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 21 minutes
Servings 4 servings
Author Dora Stone

Ingredients

  • 3 cups Diced, Russet potatoes
  • 1 cup Finely chopped, White Onion
  • 1 Chile Serrano, minced
  • 1 cup Diced, tomatoes
  • 1/4 cup Vegetable stock or potato water

Preparation

  1. Fill a large pot with cold water and the diced potatoes. Bring to a simmer over medium heat, and let cook for about 6 minutes or until the potatoes are tender, but not mushy.
  2. While the potatoes are cooking, heat a large sauté pan to medium-low heat and add the onion and serrano peppers. Cook the onion and peppers for 3-4 minutes or until the onion is tender and translucent. If the onion begins to stick add some water or vegetable stock to the pan.
  3. Add the diced tomatoes to the pan and cook for about 6 minutes, or until the tomatoes begin to break down and become more of a sauce.
  4. Drain the potatoes, but reserve 1/4 cup of the potato water.
  5. Add the potatoes and the potato water to the pan. Mix well and cook for 1 more minute.
  6. Season with salt and pepper and serve with warm corn tortillas and salsa.

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Cauliflower Ceviche

It seems like this year might be the year of cauliflower. It’s all I see in my pinterest feed, cauliflower tacos, cauliflower buffalo wings, cauliflower rice, cauliflower pizza crust, etc. This is my take on vegan ceviche, and of course I use cauliflower. Lent started two weeks ago, and if you are Christian you know that means seafood in abundance. Cauliflower is the perfect substitute for fish in this cauliflower ceviche. It of course does not taste fishy, unless you add kelp powder or something like that to it, but it makes a wonderfully satisfying dish.

This recipe for cauliflower ceviche is tangy, spicy, and refreshing. It is an easy to male appetizer. Serve with chips and avocado.

This recipe for cauliflower ceviche is tangy, spicy, and refreshing. It is an easy to male appetizer. Serve with chips and avocado.

Ceviche differs from country to country. In Mexico you can find ceviche in a hot sauce/ketchup base or with tomato, chile, and onion. I chose the version without the ketchup. First cook the cauliflower in boiling water for two minutes then drop into a bowl of ice water. Chop it up and mix with cut tomato, onion ,serrano pepper, cilantro, and lime juice. Let it marinate for 30 minutes. The result is a tangy, spicy, and refreshing appetizer. Serve with tostadas or chips, and avocado.

This recipe for cauliflower ceviche is tangy, spicy, and refreshing. It is an easy to male appetizer. Serve with chips and avocado.

Besides trying to make cauliflower taste like fish, this lent I am doing something called 40 bags in 40 days. The goal is to take a couple of minutes a day to fill a bag with the stuff you don’t need or no longer use. At the end of lent, you donate the items you collected, thus taking part in almsgiving. We live in a small apartment, so you would think there wouldn’t be much stuff to get rid of, but there is. Plus my 6yr old is an avid collector of junk. He saves everything! It is going well so far. It’s a bit liberating to let go all of the unnecessary items in our life.

This recipe for cauliflower ceviche is tangy, spicy, and refreshing. It is an easy to male appetizer. Serve with chips and avocado.

On a side note, don’t forget to start saving your eggs for cascarones (Mexican confetti eggs). I always forget. What are some other ways you like to enjoy cauliflower? Hope you like the recipe. Enjoy!

The Recipe: Cauliflower Ceviche

Let your ceviche marinate for at least 30 minutes to let the flavor develop. If possible a couple of hours before would be best.

This recipe for cauliflower ceviche is tangy, spicy, and refreshing. It is an easy to male appetizer. Serve with chips and avocado.
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Cauliflower Ceviche

Prep Time 20 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Servings 4 servings
Author Dora Stone

Ingredients

  • 1 hd. Cauliflower, large, cut into florets
  • 1 cup Tomato, diced
  • 1 cup Cucumber, peeled, deseeded, diced
  • 1 Serrano pepper, minced
  • ½ cup Onion, white, finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp. Cilantro, chopped
  • 3 tbsp. Lime juice, fresh
  • 4 Avocadoes

Preparation

  1. Bring salted water to a boil in a large pot set to high heat.
  2. Fill a large bowl with ice and water.
  3. Drop cauliflower into the boiling water and cook for 2 minutes.
  4. Drain cauliflower and place in the bowl with ice water. Let cool.
  5. Chop cauliflower into small pieces.
  6. In a large bowl combine the cauliflower, tomato, cucumber, onion, chile, cilantro, and lime juice and mix well.
  7. Season with salt and pepper, and let marinate for 30 min.
  8. Adjust seasoning and serve on top of avocado halves with chips or tostadas.

 

 

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Chickpea and Spinach Tacos

It has been a crazy two weeks. We went skiing for a couple of days and then helped some friends out by watching their 4 kids for the weekend! My husband is an avid skier and has been begging me for years to learn. I was reluctant, because I do not like the cold. Even with my hesitation I had a great time. I did fall on my butt a couple of times, but unfortunately we did not get a video of it.

This recipe for chickpea and spinach tacos is my go-to easy lunch. Serve on warm corn tortillas, topped with cherry tomatoes, avocado, salsa, and pepitas.

The first day was great, I took a lesson and found out that I wasn’t too bad of a beginner skier. I didn’t fall once. I kind of got a little cocky and began to think that skiing wasn’t so hard after all. The following day my husband made sure that I was brought down back to earth, quite literally. He, like myself, is an over achiever. However, I like to take my time and do things at my own pace. He would rather fall and try, try again, until he gets it. We did a green run and he was surprised that I didn’t suck, so he said we should do another green run, that was supposedly the same as the one we did before. It was not. I ended up curled up in a ball crying. It was steeper that he had thought and I couldn’t stop. I ended up falling and sliding several feet in the snow. I got pretty scared, but after a couple of minutes I put my big girl panties on, got up and tried it again. Nobody has ever pushed me as hard as he does, which is great and scary at the same time.

family

family

family

This recipe for chickpea and spinach tacos is my go-to easy lunch. Serve on warm corn tortillas, topped with cherry tomatoes, avocado, salsa, and pepitas.

The day ended with a soak in the hotel hot tub and dinner and drinks with friends. I liked it so much that I am going to start saving now, and maybe next year we can go to Jackson Hole.

This recipe for chickpea and spinach tacos is my go-to easy lunch. Serve on warm corn tortillas, topped with cherry tomatoes, avocado, salsa, and pepitas.

The Recipe: Chickpea and Spinach Tacos

I’m still on a bit of a taco kick and these tacos are my favorite go-to quick lunch recipe. I always have chickpeas on hand for making hummus, and spinach for smoothies so it seemed only natural to put them together in a tortilla. It’s so easy it’s kind of silly to post a recipe for it, just sauté the spinach and garlic and add the chickpeas. Just like I mentioned before the quality of your tortillas matters a lot. Right now my favorite are the Tortilla Land uncooked corn tortillas. Serve on warm corn tortillas and top with cherry tomatoes, avocado slices, your favorite salsa, and  toasted pepitas for some crunch. Enjoy!

This recipe for chickpea and spinach tacos is my go-to easy lunch. Serve on warm corn tortillas, topped with cherry tomatoes, avocado, salsa, and pepitas.
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Chickpea and Spinach Tacos

Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Servings 3 servings
Author Dora Stone

Ingredients

  • 1 tbsp. Vegetable oil, optional
  • 3 cloves Garlic, minced
  • 8 oz. Spinach, cleaned, 1 bag
  • 1/8 cup Vegetable stock
  • 1 can (14.5 oz) Chickpeas, drained, rinsed
  • 1 Avocado, sliced
  • 1 pint Cherry tomatoes, sliced in half
  • ½ cup Pepitas, toasted
  • 9 Corn tortillas

Preparation

  1. Heat oil in a large sauté pan to medium heat. Add the garlic and cook for 1-2 minutes until the garlic begins to release its aroma.
  2. Add the spinach and the 1/8 of a cup of vegetable stock. Cover and let cook for 3 – 4 minutes until the spinach has wilted and cooked down.
  3. Add the chickpeas, stir, cook for 1 minute to ensure they are warm, and season with salt and pepper.
  4. Serve with warm corn tortillas and top with cherry tomatoes, avocado slices, your favorite salsa, and toasted pepitas for some crunch.

 

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Spicy Zucchini and Black Bean Tacos

I am going skiing for the first time! It’s not really my first time, but that one doesn’t count. I was thirteen, a tad pudgy, and not very balanced or graceful. For the life of me I could not figure out how to stop or slow down, and I kept knocking little kids over. This time might be better, I hope. I’m not looking forward to the cold though. Me and the cold are not friends. Give me a hot day, a margarita, some spicy zucchini and black bean tacos, a pool, and I’m set. I’ll try and get my husband to take a video of me falling on my butt, which I’m sure will happen, so you can laugh with me (at me).

These spicy zucchini and black bean tacos are delicious, protein packed, and very easy to make.

Next month I will be going to the We All Grow Summit, a latina blogger conference. I am really excited about it, and I’m hoping to learn a lot, so I can grow the blog. I’m a bit nervous though, I’m not so good with the small talk in large group situations. I have to really push myself to interact, but once I get comfortable you won’t get me to be quiet. Do you have any tips for me?

These spicy zucchini and black bean tacos are delicious, protein packed, and very easy to make.

Mexicans can make a taco out of anything. Tacos are very near and dear to our hearts and they have nothing to do with ground beef, taco seasoning, and a crispy shell. I will say, there are some weird tacos out there, like these ant larvae and egg tacos. I don’t think we are going to get to that level of weird here, but I definitely need more taco recipes.

The Recipe: Spicy Zucchini and Black Bean Tacos

These spicy zucchini and black bean tacos are delicious, protein packed, and very easy to make. Simply sauté onion and garlic, then add the zucchini and the black beans. They are topped with a chile de arbol almond sauce, which gives this dish a decadent and creamy touch. Serve on warm corn tortillas. Enjoy!

These spicy zucchini and black bean tacos are delicious, protein packed, and very easy to make.

These spicy zucchini and black bean tacos are delicious, protein packed, and very easy to make.
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Spicy Zucchini and Black Bean Tacos

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes
Servings 4 servings
Author Dora Stone

Ingredients

  • 1 tbsp. Vegetable oil, optional
  • ½ White Onion, thinly sliced
  • 3 cloves Garlic, minced
  • 2 Mexican zucchini, large, diced
  • 1 can (14.5 oz) Black beans, drained

Chile de Arbol Sauce:

  • 2 - 4 Chile de Arbol, dried
  • 1 cup Almonds, raw
  • ½ Onion, white, large
  • 3 cloves Garlic, unpeeled
  • 1 ½ cups Vegetable Stock, Warm
  • 2 tsp. White or champagne vinegar

Preparation

  1. Heat vegetable oil to medium heat in a large sauté pan. Add onion and sweat for 2-3 minutes or until the onion is tender and translucent.
  2. Add the garlic cloves and cook for 1 minute.
  3. Add the zucchini and cook until tender, about 3-4 minutes. Add the black beans and mix well. Let cook for 1 minute more. Season with salt and pepper.
  4. To make the sauce: heat a griddle, comal, or cast iron pan to medium-high heat. Toast chiles on each side until lightly toasted, about 30 seconds on each side. Remove from pan and set aside.
  5. Add the almonds to the pan and toast until golden, about 2 minutes. Remove from pan and set aside.
  6. Toast the onion, and the garlic until slightly charred, about 4 minutes on each side.
  7. Place the almonds, onion, garlic, and chiles in the blender. Add the warm vegetable stock and 2 tsp. of vinegar. Process until smooth. Season with salt and pepper. Sauce should be thick and creamy.

Chef's Notes

Chile de Arbol Sauce recipe adapted from Gran Cocina Latina