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The Best Vegan California Burrito

Have you heard of a California burrito? If you haven’t been to California you are seriously missing out. This vegan California burrito is stuffed with oven baked french fries, pico de gallo, portobello asada, spicy salsa, vegan cheese, and guacamole. It is the perfect meal after a long day surfing on a sunny beach. I must confess that when I first moved to California a couple of years ago, I was puzzled by this behemoth of a burrito, but somehow this strange combination works!

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I am still in Mexico, and finding a flour tortilla large enough to make this burrito was a huge challenge. None of the grocery stores seemed to have them. I had to go to a tortilleria and ask them to make them for me. Even then they were very confused. They kept telling me that the tortillas they already sold were perfect for burritos, and I’m sure they were, but they were pretty small. I had to demonstrate with my hands a tortilla the size of my head. They kind of looked at me like I was crazy, but they made a couple of tortillas for me. The burritos in my part of Mexico are more like slightly large flour tortilla tacos, nothing like the giant burritos you buy in the US, that’s why the ladies at the tortilleria were so surprised at my request.

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I hope you enjoyed the Easter holiday with your loved ones as much as I did. We had lots of family come in from out of town and had lots of fun and activities. I’m still exhausted! I had forgotten how wonderful and stressful it is to have a really big family. I had the opportunity to see some of my cousins that I hadn’t seen for years, and it was so nice to talk and have our children play together. I look forward to doing it again soon.

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The Recipe: Vegan California Burrito

I used portobello mushrooms, in place of steak, but you can use the recipe for the marinade on tempeh or seitan if you prefer. I also omitted the vegan cheese, because of my dislike for all vegan cheeses, but if you have a favorite brand you are more than welcome to add it to your burrito. (I would love to hear what your favorite brand of vegan cheese is.) Make your burrito as big or small as you like and enjoy!

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Here are some recipes for salsa that you can use in your burrito:

Salsa Molcajeteada

Roasted Tomatillo Salsa

Chile Morita Salsa

Chile de Arbol Salsa

 

This vegan California burrito is stuffed with baked french fries, pico de gallo, portobello asada, spicy salsa, vegan cheese, and guacamole.
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The Best Vegan California Burrito

Total Time 40 minutes
Author Dora S.

Ingredients

Portobello Asada

  • 6 Portobello mushrooms, rinsed, sliced ¼ in. thick
  • 1/4 cup Soy Sauce
  • 1/3 cup Water
  • 1 tbsp. Lime juice, fresh
  • 3 Garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tbsp. Chopped cilantro
  • 1 tsp. Chopped jalapeño or serrani

Oven Baked Fries

  • 4 Medium potatoes, peeled and cut into ¼ in. matchsticks
  • 1 tbsp. All-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp. Salt

Burrito

  • 2 Large flour tortillas or 4 medium ones
  • 3/4 cup Pico de Gallo (see note)
  • 3/4 cup Salsa of your choice
  • 2 Avocadoes, pitted, flesh removed
  • 1 Lime
  • 3/4 cup Vegan Shredded Cheddar Cheese (Optional)

Preparation

  1. Preheat oven to 450F

  2. Combine all the ingredients for the marinade in a Ziploc bac and add the sliced mushrooms to it. Let marinate for 1 hr. up to 24 hours. 

  3. In a large bowl toss the potatoes with the flour and salt. Arrange fries in a single layer on a sheet tray lined with parchment paper and bake for 15 min. then flip the fries and bake for 15 more minutes or until golden brown. Remove from oven and set aside. 

  4. Mash the avocadoes and season with salt and pepper and a splash of lime juice. 

  5. Heat a large sauté pan to medium-high heat, remove excess marinade from mushroom and add to the pan. Sauté mushrooms for 6-8 minutes or until almost all the liquid has evaporated and the mushroom are golden brown. Set aside.

Assemble Burritos

  1. Heat tortillas on a comal or griddle. Add baked French fries, mushroom asada, pico de gallo, guacamole, salsa, and vegan cheese. Roll into a burrito. If your burrito is really big you will have to secure it with aluminum foil. 

  2. If you prefer, you can place your rolled burrito on the griddle or plancha and brown a couple of minutes on each side. 

Chef's Notes

You can use the recipe for the marinade on tempeh or seitan if you prefer. The vegan cheese is optional if you are a no-oil vegan. You can find a recipe for pico de gallo here.

 

 

 

 

 

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5-Minute Salsa

Have you ever found that you are making dinner and you realize you don’t have salsa? In a Mexican household this could almost be considered a sin. It doesn’t matter what’s for dinner, you need salsa! This is where this salsa comes in. It takes 5 minutes to make, no really, 5 minutes. It’s so simple I don’t know why I hadn’t thought about it myself. The recipe for 5-minute salsa is from my new brother-in-law, Polo. His grandmother used to make this when there was a salsa emergency and she also used it to flavor her arroz a la mexicana. This salsa is fresh, tangy, spicy and   just a bit sweet. It is a great way to use up your summer tomatoes.

This 5-minute salsa is fresh, tangy, spicy and just a bit sweet. It's a great way to use up your summer tomatoes. It only takes 5 minutes.

Polo married my little sister Gaby, the baby of the family. They have been married for 7 months now, but let me tell you, they really do love each other. It’s so nice to see a newlywed couple going through their first hardships, and adjusting to life with each other. You can just feel the love, you know, not like us “old” married couples that have kids in diapers who are in survival mode and have been sleep deprived for about 6 years now. At first I kind of felt jealous I guess, like Polo was taking my sister away from me, but I suspect Polo will soon conquer our hearts just like he conquered hers.

When you welcome someone new into the family, you begin to share and integrate your beliefs and traditions. That’s why I’m very happy to introduce you to Polo in the most perfect way, a recipe. Hopefully as we get to know him, he will share more of his family recipes with us.

This 5-minute salsa is fresh, tangy, spicy and just a bit sweet. It's a great way to use up your summer tomatoes. It only takes 5 minutes.

I also want to take this opportunity to promote Polo and Gaby’s dental practice, Nu-Life Dental Clinic in Monterrey, Mexico. If you live near the border with Texas I recommend you check them out. They have affordable prices and great service. Gaby is an orthodontist and Polo is a DDS (doctor in dental surgery) with a specialty in endodontics. The practice offers orthodontic, endodontic, periodontal, and restorative services. (I just had to look all those up, so don’t feel bad if you have no idea what I’m talking about.) They’re good at their jobs, and they will take care of you. If you live in Monterrey you definitely have to go see them. Here they are, aren’t they cute.

This 5-minute salsa is fresh, tangy, spicy and just a bit sweet. It's a great way to use up your summer tomatoes. It only takes 5 minutes.

That ebook I’ve been working on is almost done, so be sure to subscribe a the top right so you can be the first to get it. Also don’t forget to follow me on pinterest. I have tons of vegan recipes on there. Enjoy!

The Recipe: 5-minute salsa

You can add some garlic, onion, and cilantro for extra flavor.

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5-Minute Salsa

Prep Time 5 minutes
Total Time 5 minutes
Servings 1 cup
Author Dora Stone

Ingredients

  • 3 Tomatoes, roma
  • 1 Serrano peppers

Preparation

  1. Grate the tomatoes, using the large holes on your grater, into a bowl.

  2. Grate the serranos into the same bowl using the small holes in the grater. Mix well.
  3. Season with salt and pepper.

Chef's Notes

To increase spiciness, add more serranos. You can also grate some garlic in there, add cilantro, or get creative and add as many ingredients as you like.

 

 

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Chile Morita Salsa

Last week the hubby worked mornings and my schedule was thrown way off. Hence my posting until now. Baby Karina is refusing to nap for more than 20 min. at a time, that and cleaning. Ugh, does the cleaning ever end? What’s up with boys and not aiming? I can’t get the smell of pee out of my bathroom! It’s been a tough week guys, but look at this sweet face. She’s lucky she’s so cute.

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I think I’ve come to the realization I can only post one day a week. I’m trying, I really am, but life is kind of hectic when you have two little ones. Also, at the end of the night, after my kids are asleep, and the house is quiet, all I want to do is have a cold beer and watch some TV.

This recipe for chile morita salsa is a smoky and tangy combination of tomatillos, chile morita, garlic, and onion.

The Recipe: Chile Morita Salsa

Looks like I’ve gone on a bit of a rant there. What were we supposed to be talking about? Salsa, oh yeah, that’s right. We are really enjoying all the salsa making going on in this house. We’ve gone through 3 huge bags of chips in the last two weeks. This salsa is a little bit different than your average grocery store find. It’s a chile morita salsa and it is very smoky and tangy. When you smell these chiles the first thing you’ll think about is BBQ. So think sweet, smoky, and spicy. There’s also roasted tomatillos, garlic, and onion. Oh, and did I mention it’s super easy to make? Enjoy!

 

This recipe for chile morita salsa is a smoky and tangy combination of tomatillos, chile morita, garlic, and onion.

 

Chile morita salsa
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Chile Morita Salsa

Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes
Servings 1 cup
Author Dora Stone

Ingredients

  • 1 lb. (about 8 ea.) Tomatillos, husks removed
  • ¼ Onion, white, peeled
  • 2 cloves Garlic (not peeled)
  • 6 -8 Chile moritas dried. seeded
  • To taste Salt and Pepper

Preparation

  1. Turn oven broiler on HI.
  2. Place tomatillos, onion, and garlic cloves on a sheet tray lined with parchment paper.
  3. Broil in oven for 10 min. The tomatillos will begin to blacken and soften. After the first 10 min. remove the garlic and set aside.
  4. Flip the tomatillos and the onion over. Put back in oven. Broil for 10 more minutes.
  5. Boil water in a small sauce pot. Take the stems off of the chiles and remove the seeds. Add chiles to the boiling water and turn down to a simmer. Let simmer for 15 min. Drain and set aside.
  6. If using a blender, place all the ingredients in blender until you have reached the desired consistency.
  7. If using a molcajete, start off by peeling the garlic and grinding it to a paste with the salt. Add the onion and continue to grind to a paste. Add the chiles and continue to grind. By now you should have a thick red paste.
  8. Add the tomatillos one at a time and keep on grindin’ until the skins dissolve. At this point if the salsa is too thick you can add a little bit if water to loosen it up. Season with salt and pepper.

Chef's Notes

If you don't want to use the oven you can blacken the tomatillos on a comal or griddle.

 

 

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Pico de Gallo

Salsa month continues here at Dora’s Table. This is pico de gallo, a raw salsa that consists of jalapeño, tomato, onion, cilantro, and lime juice. That’s it! This is one of the first things I learned how to make. It really isn’t complicated at all, just chop the tomatoes, onion, jalapeño, and cilantro, add some lime juice, and season with salt and pepper. Done! It is great on its own with chips or you can make it a meal by adding chickpeas and avocado. 

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Sometimes I wish I could convince everyone I meet to at least try going vegan (plant-based) at least for 30 days. I was the last person you could think of that would become vegan. I was a meat lover through and through, and don’t even get me started on cheese. In fact, I made fun of vegans and vegetarians. We once invited our one vegetarian friend to eat at Animal in L.A. Yikes!

Being vegan in the food and beverage industry is not perceived as cool, I would say most professionals would think it’s pretty lame. You know, because vegans don’t indulge in the foie gras, and chocolate dipped bacon wrapped everything that has been going on lately. I admit I thought about it that way too.

I was embarrassed to be a vegan at first. I tried to hide it or avoid mentioning it all together, but as I learned how to adapt in social situations and plan my meals better I began to care less and less what others thought of me. As you can see from my now very public vegan blog.
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Honestly, I just feel better when I drop meat and dairy from my meals. I have more energy, I’m back to my pre-baby weight, and I can eat guilt-free. I was a bit chunky as a kid and eating was always associated with guilt. Even after a lost all my weight I couldn’t shake the guilt, not until going vegan. For me it’s not about being compassionate towards animals, thought that is a very important cause, it’s about taking care of my body and myself. Am I 100% vegan? no. I do have cheat days, but it’s about progress not perfection.

The funny thing is I don’t feel deprived at all because I can’t eat this or that. Just like James Beard says, “You can omit and still enjoy eating.” I enjoy all of my meals whether or not they are organic, non-gmo, raw, vegan, paleo, etc. Life is too short to eat bad food.

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Stop by my pinterest page for some vegan recipes from around the web.

Also take one look at Kathy Patalsky‘s Finding Vegan so you can see that you can eat healthy, delicious, and even indulgent meals without a trace of animal products.

Finally, subscribe to our email list (top right corner below the slide show) to receive updates, cooking tips and behind the scene photos. Enjoy!

The Recipe: Pico de Gallo

Add more jalapeño to this to make it extra spicy. To make this a quick lunch add 1 cup of chickpeas and some avocado.

A fresh salsa so easy to make.
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Pico de Gallo

Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 10 minutes
Servings 2 servings
Author Dora Stone

Ingredients

  • 4 Plum tomatoes. diced
  • ½ White onion, chopped finely
  • 1 Jalapeño, do not remove seeds, minced
  • 1 Juice of lime

Preparation

  1. Combine all ingredients, add lime juice, season with salt and pepper.

Chef's Notes

Add more jalapeño to make it extra spicy.

 

 

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Spicy Bean Avocado Toast (Molletes)

This recipe for spicy bean avocado toast (molletes) was one of my favorite dishes as a child, of course not the vegan version I’m sharing with you now, but the ones slathered in cheese. Oh cheese, melty, fatty, wonderful cheese! Sometimes I really miss cheese, but the avocado in this recipe makes up for it. I have a love hate relationship with vegan cheese, mostly hate, that’s why I don’t use it very often. Last week I tried making an almond cheese and the result was unfortunate. It looked like cheese, smelled like cheese, but it definitely was not cheese. I think I’ll just stick to nut sauces from now on.

Summer is creeping along, and we’ve exhausted our list of things to do. Bluffton is a small town and Hilton Head is a tourist trap right now. I briefly considered going home to Mexico for the rest of the summer, but the plane tickets are crazy expensive.

One if the things I’m really enjoying right now is cooking with the munchkin. He helps out with peeling vegetables, grating cheese, mixing, tossing and stirring. We are focusing on reading recipes, following directions, and cleaning. So far our favorite recipes are chocolate cupcakes,       carrot cake pancakes, and alphabet soup. It’s easier to involve him in baking, and it keeps him away from the stove. I really like that he’s proud of our creations. The other day we had our neighbor over to play and he said, ” Do you want to try my famous alphabet soup?” Things can get a bit messy, but what’s life without a little mess to it.

Spicy Bean Avocado Toast (molletes) is perfect for breakfast with toast slathered in refried beans, avocado slices, and salsa molcajeteada.

The Recipe: Spicy Bean Avocado Toast (Molletes)

You only need a couple of ingredients for this quick breakfast or lunch. They secret is really good bread! Slather the bread with beans, avocado, and top with salsa molcajeteada. You could also add slices of tomatoes or radishes. Enjoy!

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Spicy Bean Avocado Toast (Molletes)

Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes
Servings 4 servings
Author Dora Stone

Ingredients

  • 3 Bolillos, whole wheat
  • 1 ½ cups Refried beans
  • 2 Avocado, pitted, sliced
  • 1 1/2 cups Salsa, homemade

Preparation

  1. Preheat oven to 350F
  2. Cut bolillos in half and place them on a sheet tray.
  3. Toast in oven, face up, for 3 to 4 min or until golden brown on top.,
  4. Remove from oven and spread warm beans on each half.
  5. Top with avocado and homemade salsa.
  6. Serve immediately.

Chef's Notes

Bolillos are easily found now in the bread department of local grocery stores, if you cannot find them whole wheat French bread will work as well.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Salsa Molcajeteada

It seems every time I go home I see Mexico in a different light. Last time it was Christmas and everything seemed so beautiful under the twinkling lights, our traditions so rich, and our heritage great. This time, under the sweltering heat of summer things seemed a bit more bleak. Nevertheless, the company and the food were as good as always.

I’m from a small border town in Mexico called Acuña. [I have written about it in previous posts.] I try to visit as often as I can, but this year for some deranged reason I decided to go in August. Due to the 106F weather, going around town delighting in street food was not at the top of my list of priorities. Instead I ate at the family restaurant as often as I could, where there was air conditioning and delicious free food. What else could a girl ask for?  However i did manage to visit a couple of street vendors before the trip was over.

My first stop was at Chilakas Burger. (Yes, Mexicans eat burgers too!) Their signature sauce is made from chile chilaca, which is a mildly spicy green pepper. The chile sauce and the mashed avocado smeared on the bun, gave the burger a unique Mexican touch.

Next I stopped at Helados Aguirre for a mango popsicle. This was not an ordinary mango popsicle, it had mango, chamoy, lime juice, and a touch of cucumber. It was cold, sweet, tart, and a bit salty. My mouth is watering just thinking about it. What amazes me the most about this place is the variety of flavors that they offer and the way they use fresh fruit in their preparation. Some of their flavors include coconut, tamarind, rice pudding, banana, cantaloupe, watermelon, pineapple, and strawberry.

I made a quick stop at Loncheria el Lechon which serves roast pork sandwiches with avocado, onion, mayo, mustard, pickled jalapeños, and tomato.

Finally after a long hot day what could be better than a yuki? Yuki is just another word for snow cone or shaved ice. I really enjoy this particular stand, because they use fresh fruit to make their syrups. My favorite is the tamarind yuki topped with lime juice and chile powder.

So there you have it, another trip to my hometown described mostly in food. This time around I tried to savor the small details of the trip, like the smell of chiles roasting on the comal (cast iron griddle), the joy felt when Mexico won the gold medal in soccer at the Olympics, kids having fun in the sun, and honestly just relaxing. It was nice to be able to take a break from the routine, spend time with loved ones, and eat.

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The Recipe: Salsa Molcajeteada

This salsa molcajeteada combines pan roasted tomatoes, garlic, and peppers to make a spicy and hearty salsa. They are pureed in a molcajete.

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Salsa Molcajeteada

Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Servings 4 cups
Author Dora Stone

Ingredients

  • 5 Plum tomatoes, small
  • 1 Beefsteak, tomato
  • 1/2 Banana pepper chile güero
  • 1/2 Chilaca pepper
  • 3 Serrano Peppers
  • 1/2 Poblano Pepper
  • 3 Jalapeños
  • 1 Garlic cloves

Preparation

  1. Heat a griddle or cast iron pan to high heat. Place all of the peppers, tomatoes, and garlic on griddle until they become soft and slightly blackened, about 7-10 min.

  2. Flip peppers, tomatoes, and garlic and continue to char for another 5- 7 minutes.
  3. Remove ingredients from griddle and set aside. Peel most of the dark burnt skin off of the tomatoes and chiles. You can leave a little bit for the smoky flavor.

  4. Start grinding ingredients in molcajete one at a time. Once the desired consistency is reached, add the next ingredient and keep grinding. Season with salt and pepper and serve.
  5. If you do not have a molcajete you can use a blender or food processor. Simply place all the cooked ingredients in the machine and pulse until the desired consistency is reached. I prefer it on the chunky side.

Chef's Notes

Polita has been working for my parents for years. In fact, she was my nanny for some time. This is her recipe, and she likes her salsas hot so be careful!