Barbacoa means so many different things to different people, as with any other Mexican dish it varies from state to state. This traditional vegan barbacoa Sinaloense uses Gardein beefless tips instead of pork or beef, but still holds all the chiles, spices, and flavors that characterize barbacoa in Sinaloa. 

Glass bowl filled with gardein beefless tips soaking in water

It is a hearty stew full of vegetables like potatoes, carrots, tomatoes, and olives simmered in a mixture of Anaheim, chile guajillo, cumin, oregano, and beer. In Sinaloa, it is served with cold macaroni salad and refried beans.

Stainless steel pot filled with dried chiles and water

Our Vegan Mexico Project

This recipe is part of an amazing project called Our Vegan Mexico, where 32 talented cooks will be showcasing, right here on Dora’s Table, 32 vegan Mexican recipes. Each recipe will be representing one state of the Mexican union.

White pot with onion, tomato, and anaheim chile.

With this project, I am hoping to encourage the Mexican community in the U.S., and the people of my country to take a chance and make the change to a plant-based diet. This recipe, which is representing the state of Sinaloa, is the creation of the talented Fabby Gastelum, and here she is sharing her story with us.

White pot with onion, carrots, tomatoes, and anaheim chile.

Fabby’s Story:

Hi my name is Fabiola Gastelum and I was born in Culiacán Sinaloa. My family and I moved here when I was 7 years old, we lived in Mesa Arizona and I spent all my childhood there. That’s Home! I currently live in Albuquerque New Mexico with my toddler and my husband.

Small saute pan with browned beefless tips

Growing up I remember hating the feeling of knowing where my food came from. I would cry after every zoo trip thinking of the animals incarcerated there. I always considered myself a “tree hugger” because I hated plastic and I would try and safe water. When I became a mother I became so conscious of what products I used on my son -all-natural plant-based products. He never had cow milk and very little red meats. I remember watching What The Health for the first time on August 2017 (knowing that I would come out of it feeling different) that day our lives changed.

Vegan barbacoa sinaloense in a blue and white pot with a wooden spoon in it

My inner wish of always wanting to be vegetarian finally made it out. And by vegetarian I mean growing up I watched a kids show where one of the girls was an animal activist and I dreamt of having her courage to fight for animal rights. Our vegan journey began 1 week after that. We stopped buying, wearing, eating and exploiting animals. As much as I wished our journey would have come sooner I’m happy to say we are one big happy vegan family! I have not left my culture, my food or my identity. I’m a true Sinaloense and I will continue to veganize my states dishes! #LosVeganosComenMejor

Vegan barbacoa sinaloense on a white plate with macaroni salad and refried beans, and flour tortillas

The Recipe: Vegan Barbacoa Sinaloense

  • If you can’t find Gardein beefless tips you can use mushrooms, TVP or seitan or your favorite meat substitute.
  • If you can’t find no-chicken or no-beef bouillon cubes you can use vegetable stock instead of water.
  • Adding beer is very common in the state of Sinaloa and I wanted to make this as traditional as possible. Yes it’s safe for children since it’s only a small amount and the alcohol taste disappears with all the other spices. I added Michelob.
  • The beefless tips are already seasoned, I didn’t want that flavor to overpower the barbacoa. I washed them very well and added a squeeze of lime juice and let it rest for 15 mins with lime juice and water. It helped, and the “meat” got the original taste of the barbacoa spices added but this is totally optional
A closeup of a flour tortilla scooping up vegan barbacoa sinaloense from a white plate
Vegan barbacoa sinaloense on a white plate with macaroni salad and refried beans

Vegan Barbacoa Sinaloense

This traditional vegan barbacoa Sinaloense uses Gardein beefless tips instead of pork or beef, but still holds all the chiles, spices, and flavors that characterize barbacoa in Sinaloa.
0 from 0 votes
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Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Mexican
Keyword: gardein beefless tips, sinaloa, vegan
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Total Time: 35 minutes
Servings: 4 servings
Calories: 422kcal
Author: Dora S.

Ingredients

  • 1 package Gardein Homestyle Beefless Tips *see note
  • 5 Small russet potatoes (about 4 cups diced potatoes)
  • 5 Small carrots (about 1 ½ cups diced Carrots)
  • 3 Small tomatoes (about 1 ¼ cup diced tomato)
  • 1/4 White onion (about 1/3 cup diced onion)
  • 2 cloves Garlic
  • 1 Anaheim chile, fresh
  • 5 Guajillo chiles, dried
  • 1 Pinch Cumin (about 1/4 tsp.)
  • 2 Not Beef Bouillon Cubes
  • 1 Not-Chick’n Bouillon Cube
  • 1 tsp. Dried oregano
  • Salt & pepper to taste
  • 1/2 cup Manzanilla olives
  • 2 Bay leaves, dried
  • 1/4 cup Preferred beer, *see notes

Instructions

  • Fill a medium pot with water and bring to a boil. Add guajillo chiles and let simmer slowly for 5 – 8 minutes to soften the chiles.
  • Continue by dicing tomato, anaheim chile and onion in to very small-fine pieces.
  • Heat a large pot to medium-low heat and add 1 tsp. oil (optional). Add onion, Anaheim chile, and tomato and sweat for 5 minutes or until vegetables are tender,
  • Meanwhile chop carrots and potatoes into small-medium chunks. Add only carrots and olives to pot; cover and continue to cook for another 3-5 mins.
  • When guajillo chiles have softened, drain, and place in the blender with 1 cup of water, garlic, cumin, dried oregano, and a pinch of salt and black pepper, blend till smooth.
  • Take that chile mixture and strain it, add strained liquid to pot and simmer for another 5 mins
  • Add potatoes and both not-beef cubes, 1 chkn cube and 2 bay leaves. Increase heat to medium, cover, and keep cooking for another 10 mins depending how soft or hard you like your potatoes to be. (If necessary add more water.)
  • Heat a sauté pan to medium-high heat and add 1 tsp. of oil. Add beefless tips and brown them on both sides until golden brown.
  • Add the beefless tips to the pot with the vegetables, add another 2 cups of water, and ¼ cup of beer. Stir and let cook on low heat for 5 more mins. (You can add more than 2 cups of water. Today I did because I wanted my barbacoa to have plenty of broth. Add as much or little as you like.)
  • 1Season to taste with salt and pepper.
  • Turn off heat, make some frijoles puercos and sopa fria to go with it and voilà

Notes

*The beer is only for a different kick on the taste of this barbacoa, in Sinaloa (my Mexico native state) adding some beer to it is very common and I wanted to make this as traditional as possible. Yes it’s safe for children since it’s only a small amount and the alcohol taste disappears with all the other spices. I added Michelob. (of course I drank the remaining of it #bosslife #momlife #winning)
*The beefless tips are already seasoned, I didn’t want that flavor to overpower the barbacoa. I washed them very well and added a squeeze of lime juice and let it rest for 15 mins with lime juice and water. It helped, and the “meat” got the original taste of the barbacoa spices added but this is totally optional

Nutrition

Calories: 422kcal | Carbohydrates: 71g | Protein: 20g | Fat: 8g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 635mg | Potassium: 1708mg | Fiber: 11g | Sugar: 11g | Vitamin A: 14753IU | Vitamin C: 36mg | Calcium: 100mg | Iron: 4mg

This vegan arroz con leche is creamy, delicious, and easy to make. It is topped with a sprinkle of freshly ground cinnamon and studded with raisins. I love it when it’s served cold on a hot day, but in the winter nothing beats a cup of warm arroz con leche. It’s one of those classic Mexican desserts that you make over and over again.

Milk and rice cooking in a large pot with a cinnamon stick.

Mexican Arroz con Leche

Mexican rice pudding is the perfect combination of milk, sugar, cinnamon, rice, and raisins. Depending on what region of Mexico you grew up in you might have added fresh fruit, orange or lime zest, and even rum.

Raisins added to the pot with the rice and milk.

Did you know that there are many versions of arroz con leche? There is Dominican, Costa Rican, Cuban, Puerto Rican, Guatemalan….and the list goes on and on. Most of them are similar but each country has its own variation that makes it unique. In Puerto Rico they use coconut milk, in Spain they add orange zest, in Cuba, they add condensed milk, and in Jamaica, they add allspice or nutmeg.

A wooden spoon full of vegan Mexican rice pudding suspended over a pot.

But it doesn’t matter what country you are from, arroz con leche evokes memories of the smell of cinnamon and a big pot of boiling milk on the stove, and the song, “ Arroz con leche, me quiero casar con un señorita…..”

How to Make Arroz con Leche Vegan

To make this arroz con leche without dairy I did a test between three different types of plant milk: soy milk, oat milk, and almond coconut milk. I used the same recipe for all of them and had some really picky taste-testers (my children) evaluate the results.

Two glass cups of vegan arroz con leche surrounded by cinnamon sticks and raisins.

The Test: Soy milk, Oat Milk or Almond Milk

The clear winner of the taste test was soy, then oat milk, and in the last place was almond-coconut milk. Soy milk resembled cow’s milk the most because of the high-fat content. The one that was made with oat milk was deliciously sweet, but it gave it a yellowish color and it wasn’t as creamy as the soy milk. The almond-coconut milk was creamy but did have a distinctive taste of coconut. My kids loved all of them, but they preferred the soy by far. I know a lot of people don’t do soy, so if you don’t, I recommend the oat milk instead.

A close up of vegan Mexican rice pudding with raisins with the spoon digging in.

The Recipe

  • You can use any plant milk of your choice, but we found that soy was the one that mimicked the taste of cow’s milk the best.
  • Oat milk also makes a yummy arroz con leche.
  • You can add fresh fruit, orange zest, dried fruit, nutmeg, and even vegan condensed milk.
  • I decided to use long-grain rice because it’s what is most accessible, but using short-grain rice will give a creamier result.
Vegan arroz con leche in a glass goblet with a golden spoon inserted into the cup.

Vegan Arroz con Leche

Vegan Arroz con Leche, a traditional Mexican classic made dairy-free with soy milk, cinnamon. and raisins.
3 from 2 votes
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Course: Dessert
Cuisine: Mexican
Keyword: cinnamon, dairyfree, raisins, rice pudding, vegan
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 35 minutes
Servings: 8 people (Serving size 1/2 cup)
Calories: 311kcal
Author: Dora S.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup Long grain-rice
  • 1 Ceylon cinnamon stick 2 -inch
  • 3 cups Water
  • 4 cups Soy milk
  • ½ – 1 cup Sugar or your sweetener of choice
  • ½ cup of raisins optional

Instructions

  • In a large pot combine water, cinnamon stick, and rice. Bring water to a simmer and simmer slowly for 15 min.
  • Add soy milk to the pot and simmer for 10 more minutes.
  • Add ½ – 1 cup of the sugar (depending on desired sweetness), and simmer for another 10 minutes or until the arroz con leche has reached the right consistency.
  • Remove from the heat, add raisins, and let the rice cool slightly. It will thicken as it cools.
  • Sprinkle with ground cinnamon before serving. Serve warm, or let cool in the refrigerator and serve cold.

Notes

You can use any plant milk of your choice, but we found that soy was the one that mimicked the taste of cow’s milk the best. Oat milk also makes a yummy arroz con leche. You can add fresh fruit, orange zest, dried fruit, nutmeg, and even vegan condensed milk. I decided to use long-grain rice because it’s what is most accessible, but using short grain rice will give a creamier result.

Nutrition

Serving: 0.5cups | Calories: 311kcal | Carbohydrates: 68g | Protein: 5g | Fat: 3g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 68mg | Potassium: 268mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 40g | Vitamin A: 464IU | Vitamin C: 9mg | Calcium: 181mg | Iron: 1mg

Although dorastable.com attempts to provide accurate nutritional information, these figures should be considered estimates.

This vegan key lime pie ice cream is a play on my favorite Mexican dessert, carlota de limón. (In Mexico it is also known as pay de limón ice cream.) A tangy and sweet key lime-coconut milk base is churned until it is light and creamy and then mixed with crumbled vegan Maria cookies It has the perfect ratio of cookies to ice cream with that classic lime flavor that is a Mexican favorite.

Coconut milk and lime mixture in a blender container.

Ice Cream in Mexico

Mexico loves ice cream. You can find hand-churned ice cream made in huge stainless barrels and being sold on the street. Mexican ice cream is famous for being made with ripe and juicy seasonal fruit. You can find classic flavors like mango, strawberry, and chocolate, and some unconventional flavors like corn rose petal, and tres leches.

Carlota de limon is a deliciously decadent key lime ice box cake layered with Maria cookies and a sweet-tart lime custard cream.

Mexican Ice Cream is similar to gelato since the fat content is much lower than American ice cream, so it is creamy and delectable yet light and refreshing. You can also find ice cream at paleterias or neverías. The most famous one is La Michoacana. To find vegan ice cream simply ask for nieve de agua, which means it’s made with a water base.

Making vegan ice cream

Ice cream is one of my favorite things in the whole wide world and I’m so glad that there are many vegan options available at grocery stores. My favorite hands-down is Nada Moo, but if you want to make your own ice cream I recommend the FoMu Ice Cream cookbook. If you’re looking for an ice cream machine I use the Cuisinart 2-Quart Ice Cream Maker. What’s your favorite ice cream flavor???

Pay de Limon ice cream in stacked glass bowls with a golden spoon digging into it.

The Recipe: Vegan Key Lime Pie Ice Cream

Key Lime vs Persian Lime

For this ice cream, I recommend you use key limes which are small and have a stronger and tangier flavor than Persian limes.

Vegan Key lime pie ice cream in a quart container with a purple ice scream scoop digging in

Vegan Maria Cookies

If you live in Mexico the Maria cookies from the Soriana brand are accidentally vegan. If you live in the US I found that Mcvities Rich Tea Cookies are also vegan and can be found on Amazon. If you can’t find either of them you can use vegan graham crackers to make this ice cream.

Vegan Key lime pie ice cream in stacked glass bowls with a golden spoon digging into it.

Vegan Key Lime Pie Ice Cream

This vegan key lime pie ice cream is a play on my favorite Mexican dessert, carlota de limón. (In Mexico it is also known as pay de limón ice cream.) A tangy and sweet key lime-coconut milk base is churned until it is light and creamy and then mixed with crumbled Maria cookies.
5 from 1 vote
Print Pin Rate
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American, Mexican
Keyword: coconut milk, key lime, maria cookies
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
5 hours
Servings: 8 servings (1 quart)
Calories: 174kcal
Author: Dora S.

Ingredients

  • 2 cups Canned Coconut milk unsweetened
  • ¼ cup Granulated sugar
  • 1/3 cup Agave nectar
  • 1/3 cup Fresh key lime juice or regular lime juice
  • ½ cup Crumbled Maria cookies see note

Instructions

  • Place the coconut milk, lime juice, sugar, and agave nectar in the blender and process until smooth.
  • Let the mixture cool in the refrigerator for at least two hours, preferably overnight.
  • Once the mixture is cold, add it to your ice cream machine and churn according to the machine’s instructions. It could take anywhere from 15 to 25 minutes.
  • During the last couple of minutes of churning add the crumbled cookies to the ice cream.
  • Transfer the ice cream (it will look like soft-serve a freezer-safe container with a lid and freeze for at least 5 hours.
  • Enjoy!!

Notes

  • To crumble the Maria cookies, place them in a Ziploc bag and pound them with a rolling pin.
  • If after freezing the ice cream is too hard, leave it out at room temperature to soften a little bit.

Nutrition

Calories: 174kcal | Carbohydrates: 17g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 12g | Saturated Fat: 10g | Sodium: 37mg | Potassium: 144mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 13g | Vitamin C: 4mg | Calcium: 12mg | Iron: 1mg

 

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This sweet-yet-tart vegan raspberry ice cream is deliciously creamy, along with a crunchy almond-oat topping. It is made with full-fat coconut milk, fresh raspberries, agave, organic cane sugar, and sea salt. It’s amazing how just a handful of natural ingredients make an irresistible, all plant-based treat!

Cover of the book Incredible vegan ice cream, 3 balls of ice cream surrounded by cones on top of a chalkboard surface.

Incredible Vegan Ice Cream

This recipe is from the book Incredible Vegan Ice Cream by Deena Jalal. Deena is the founder and owner of the beloved Houston ice cream shop FoMu Ice Cream, and she has infused this book with the same creamy indulgent flavors you can find in her store.

Close up of two vegan raspberry ice cream cones on top of a black background surrounded by oatmeal crumble and raspberries

Ice cream is one of my favorite things in the whole wide world, so I was thrilled to receive this book! There are 60 vegan ice cream recipes, and we love every single one we’ve tried. I especially enjoyed that the ice cream isn’t overly sweet. Some of my favorite flavors so far are blueberry shortbread, bourbon maple walnut, chocolate stout, roasted banana cinnamon, and apple cider donut. All of the ice creams are made with coconut milk, so if you’re allergic to coconut this book isn’t for you.

Little girl with pigtails, blue eyes, and olive skin holding a sugar cone with raspberry ice cream topped with two raspberries

Mexico has a wonderful history of handmade ice cream made with natural ingredients, and I thought this vegan raspberry ice cream would fit perfectly with my collection of Mexican desserts. In Mexico, ice cream making dates back to pre-hispanic times when the Teotihuacanos would collect ice from the top of the volcanoes and serve it with honey and fruit. Today, ice-cream making is a craft passed down from generation to generation. I’m so excited to apply the techniques and recipes from this book to recreate my favorite Mexican flavors.

4 scoops of vegan raspberry ice cream in small cups with a silver spoon.

Making Vegan Ice Cream is Easy!

Making vegan ice cream is actually so much easier than making traditional ice cream because you don’t have to make a custard base, and when you follow the Mexican tradition of using the freshest and ripest fruit, your vegan ice cream will be nothing but luscious, rich, and sweet. All you have to do is blend the ingredients to make the base, then churn in an ice cream maker.

Boy in an orange shirt with a surprised face holding an ice cream cone with raspberry ice cream

The Recipe: Vegan Raspberry Ice Cream with Almond Crumble

  • Full-fat coconut milk is the best plant-milk to use for this recipe.
  • Use fresh raspberries for the best flavor.
  • You can use your favorite store-bought granola to save time.
  • After freezing, set the ice cream out for 5 – 10 minutes to soften before serving.
  • It will keep well in the freezer for a couple of weeks in an airtight container.

Two raspberry ice cream cones on top of a black background surrounded by oatmeal crumble and raspberries

Two raspberry ice cream cones on top of a black background surrounded by oatmeal crumble and raspberries

Vegan Raspberry Ice Cream with Oatmeal Crumble

This sweet-yet-tart vegan raspberry ice cream is deliciously creamy and speckled with a crunchy almond-oat topping, and made with coconut milk.
0 from 0 votes
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Course: Dessert
Cuisine: Mexican
Keyword: almonds, dairyfree, oatmeal, raspberry
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
5 hours
Total Time: 5 hours 25 minutes
Servings: 10 Servings (1 quart)
Calories: 277kcal

Ingredients

Ice Cream Base

  • 1 pint Fresh or frozen raspberries
  • 2 cups All-natural canned coconut milk
  • 3 tbsp Organic unrefined cane sugar
  • ¼ cup Agave
  • Pinch of sea salt
  • ¾ cup Oatmeal Crumble cooled to room temperature, or neutral granola

Oatmeal Crumble

  • 1 cup Whole Rolled Oats
  • 2/3 cup Oat flour (or oats ground into flour)
  • Pinch Sea Salt
  • 1 tbsp. Ground flaxseed
  • 1/3 cup. Light brown sugar
  • 1 tbsp. Melted coconut oil
  • 1/4 cup Organic agave
  • 1 tsp. Pure vanilla extract

Instructions

Ice Cream Base

  • Start by making the raspberry purée. In a high-speed blender or food processor, purée the fresh or frozen red raspberries until they’re smooth. Set aside ½ cup (120 mof the purée. Use a high-speed or immersion blender to thoroughly mix the remaining purée, coconut milk, sugar, agave, and salt. Chill the mixture for at least 1 hour, or overnight.
  • Add the chilled mixture to your ice cream maker and churn it according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Most machines take 10 to 15 minutes depending on the temperature of the mix, and it should look like soft serve when it’s finished. Transfer the churned ice cream to a large freezer-safe container. Wide and shallow containers work well for mixing, freezing, and scooping later on. Gently fold the crumbled oats into the base until they’re evenly distributed. You want to be sure to maintain the air that was churned into the base for the best texture. Smooth the top, cover the container, and freeze the ice cream for at least 5 to 6 hours, or until it is set. Don’t skimp on time—this ensures the best quality and shelf life of the ice cream.
  • For an ideal texture, set the ice cream out for 5 to 10 minutes before serving it. It will keep well in the freezer for a couple of weeks in an airtight container.

Oatmeal Crumble

  • Preheat your oven to 350°F. Grease a parchment-lined baking sheet tray and set it aside. Combine the whole oats, oat flour, salt, flax, and brown sugar in a large bowl. Mix the ingredients with a wooden spoon or spatula until everything is evenly distributed. Add the coconut oil, agave, and vanilla to the bowl and mix until all the ingredients are well combined.
  • Pour the crumble onto the baking sheet tray. Bake it for approximately 15 minutes, or until it is golden brown. Stir the crumble while it's baking at 5 and 10 minutes to help break it into small chunks.
  • Allow the crumble to cool completely before storing it in an airtight container. It will keep for 1 week at room temperature but can be frozen for up to 1 month.

Notes

  • Full-fat coconut milk is the best plant-milk to use for this recipe.
  • Use fresh raspberries for the best flavor.
  • You can use your favorite store-bought granola to save time.
  • After freezing, set the ice cream out for 5 - 10 minutes to soften before serving.
  • It will keep well in the freezer for a couple of weeks in an airtight container.

Nutrition

Calories: 277kcal | Carbohydrates: 38g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 13g | Saturated Fat: 10g | Sodium: 12mg | Potassium: 252mg | Fiber: 5g | Sugar: 21g | Vitamin A: 16IU | Vitamin C: 13mg | Calcium: 39mg | Iron: 3mg

Disclaimer: I received a free copy of this book to write this review. That being said, all thoughts and opinions are my own.

Gallina Pinta is a beautiful thick stew of pinto beans, hominy, Anaheim Chile, and herbs. Served with a splash of lime juice, chopped cilantro, onion, and Chile chiltepin. It is a dish so local to the state of Sonora that you might not have heard of it before!

pinto beans soaking in a pink bowl on a stone surface

Traditionally it is made with beef, but for this vegan version, we are simply omitting it, and believe me when I say that it is equally delicious! What makes this recipe so special is that it’s made in the slow-cooker. Hours of slow simmering produces tender beans and bursting hominy (The real stuff here!! No cans were used in the production of this recipe).

beans, hominy, onion, garlic, anaheim chile in a slow cooker covered in water

Our Vegan Mexico Project

This recipe is part of an amazing project called Our Vegan Mexico, where 32 talented cooks will be showcasing, right here on Dora’s Table, 32 vegan Mexican recipes. Each recipe will be representing one state of the Mexican union.

Bean and hominy soup in a large pot

With this project, I am hoping to encourage the Mexican community in the U.S., and the people of my country to take a chance and make the change to a plant-based diet. This recipe, which is representing the state of Sonora, is the creation of the talented Natalia Vanegas, and here she is sharing her story with us.

bean and hominy soup in a large pot with a full ladle lifted up over the soup

Natalia’s Story:

Changing my diet has been a long process, it didn’t happen overnight. I began a diet to lose weight which recommended the elimination of all dairy products and red meats. I could only eat chicken or fish 1-2 times per week. I followed this diet for two months until I accomplished my weight-loss goal, but since I was feeling so great I considered the possibility of becoming vegetarian, consequently, I began to eliminate all meat from my diet.

Gallina pinta soup in a melon colored bowl with toast on the side

I continued to cook for my family as I always had, but when serving the food I would simply not put the meat on my plate, on occasion I would eat fish though. Around the same time, late 2010 I watched a video by the activist Gary Yourofsky, this caused a great impact in my life and it was the first time I heard the term “vegan”, but at that moment I didn’t know how to make such a drastic change. It was clear to me that consuming cow’s milk was completely unnecessary and in certain cases, it could be harmful to your health. I began consuming soy milk or almond milk, but every once in a while I would eat cheese when I was traveling, in restaurants or at social reunions.

Gallina pinta soup in a melon colored bowl surrounded by lime, toasted bread

It wasn’t until 2017, when I had more nutritional information at my disposal, that I decided to stop being a closeted vegetarian and become fully plant-based. I am now more conscious of the nutrients my body needs. I still cook my favorite foods but in vegan versions; I eat a lot of grains and legumes, that, of course, I had eaten before, but not often. I enjoy cooking so much more now, and I often experiment with new ingredients and different types of recipes. Blogs like Dora’s have been a great help with their recipes and stories of their daily lives, tips of places to eat, and products to use. This makes it easy to live vegan and still enjoy good food!

Lime being squeezed into gallina pinta bowl of soup

The Recipe: Gallina Pinta

  • If you can’t find dry hominy, you can use canned. Add it during the final ½ hour of cooking.
  • You can also make this in your instant pot on manual setting, high pressure for 40 min.
  • I recommend you slow cook this, it is well known that slow cooked beans are so much better!
  • If your slow cooker is small, half the recipe.
  • If you can’t find Anaheim peppers, you can use serrano peppers, but the flavor will change. Some people also prepare it with chile guajillo (chile Colorado) which is essentially dried anaheim pepper.
  • The original recipe contains beef, but you can substitute with jackfruit, mushrooms or your favorite meat substitute. I prefer to simply omit the beef and I quite enjoy it. Enjoy!!

Gallina pinta soup in a melon colored bowl surrounded by lime, toasted bread

GALLINA PINTA

Gallina Pinta Soup, a thick stew of beans and hominy made in the Sonora style, an authentic Mexican recipe gone vegan
4.12 from 9 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Soup
Cuisine: Mexican
Keyword: gallina pinta, vegan mexican recipes, vegan soups
Prep Time: 12 hours
Cook Time: 12 hours
Servings: 8 -10 people
Calories: 302kcal
Author: Natalia Vanegas

Ingredients

  • 14 oz. Pinto beans, dried
  • 14 oz. Dried Pozole, (prepared hominy)
  • 1 head Garlic, peeled
  • 1 White onion, cut into ¼’s
  • 1 Anaheim pepper, stemmed and deseeded (increase quantity according to taste)
  • 1 tbps. Coriander seeds
  • 1 gallon Water
  • Salt to taste, add at the end when the hominy has “burst”

Garnish:

Instructions

  • Clean the beans and soak them for 8 – 12 hours, discard the soaking water and rinse the beans.
  • Place the hominy in a strainer and rinse until the water is clear.
  • Place the beans, hominy, garlic, onion, Anaheim pepper, and coriander seeds in the slow-cooker. Add water (according to the instructions on your slow cooker). Cook on low for 12 hours.
  • Check periodically and add more water if necessary.
  • When the beans are cooked and the hominy has “burst”, remove the chile skins and add salt to taste.
  • Serve hot in large bowl. Place garnishes on the table so everyone can garnish their own plate.

Notes

I recommend you slow cook this, it is well known that slow cooked beans are so much better!
If your slow cooker is small, half the recipe.
If you can’t find Anaheim peppers, you can use serrano peppers, but the flavor will change. Some people also prepare it with chile guajillo (chile Colorado) which is essentially dried Anaheim pepper.
The original recipe contains beef, but you can substitute with jackfruit, mushrooms or your favorite meat substitute. I prefer to simply omit the beef and I quite enjoy it. Enjoy!!

Nutrition

Calories: 302kcal | Carbohydrates: 57g | Protein: 17g | Fat: 2g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 129mg | Potassium: 992mg | Fiber: 15g | Sugar: 4g | Vitamin A: 140IU | Vitamin C: 15.3mg | Calcium: 146mg | Iron: 4.5mg

Just so you know, we are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program and may collect a share from the links on this page.

This sweet and tender semita bread is designed to be eaten with your morning café de olla or a cold glass of your favorite plant-milk. Piloncillo, raisins, cinnamon, orange zest, and anise are studded throughout the semita, making it an incredibly fragrant and delicious Mexican pan dulce.

Flour, water, yeast in a large stainless steel bowl

Origin of Semita Bread

In the 16th century, a group of Semitic Jews came to the new world, brought by Luis de Carvajal y de la Cueva to settle what is now the state of Nuevo Leon, escaping the Spanish Inquisition that was in full force at the time. This Jewish community colonized the states of Nuevo Leon, Coahuila, and parts of what is now Texas, and continued to practice their faith in secret. It is thought that this community ate bread during Passover very similar to what we consider semita bread now, with the exception of the piloncillo and raisins. The origin of this bread, however, can be traced back to Spain and Islamic North Africa.

Dough for semita bread mixed in a stainless steel bowl

Semita vs. Cemita

Semita is not the same as cemita, and to confuse things even more sometimes they are both spelled the same. Semita is the sweet bread recipe I have for you today, made with piloncillo, raisins, and sometimes nuts. Cemita is a savory roll, with sesame seeds on top, that is used to make tortas, huge tortas that are very famous in Puebla.

ball of dough in a stainless steel bowl with dough hook in it

Our Vegan Mexico Project

This recipe is part of an amazing project called Our Vegan Mexico, where 32 talented cooks will be showcasing, right here on Dora’s Table, 32 vegan Mexican recipes. Each recipe will be representing one state of the Mexican union.

dough hook stretching the dough to show the texture

With this project, I am hoping to encourage the Mexican community in the U.S., and the people of my country to take a chance and make the change to a plant-based diet. This recipe, which is representing the state of Chihuahua, is the creation of the talented Liliana Arellanes from @veganocosmico and here she is sharing her story with us.

Ball of dough resting in a stainless steel bowl

Liliana’s Story

My Name is Liliana Arellanes; I am from Chihuahua Mexico but have been living in Los Angeles, CA for the last 30 years. My path to Veganism began 25 years ago, for two fundamental reasons, respect, and compassion for all living beings, and respect for myself. Understanding above all, that it is not necessary to kill another living being in order to eat. In this way, we will be nourishing ourselves with Light and not death.

Pecans, raisins, orange zest and pilincillo are added to the dough in the bowl

 

I share the recipe of the famous “CHORREADAS DE PILONCILLO” a typical bread of the region, with a delicious flavor reminiscent of “small town” comfort food. I have added my personal touch, with raisins, nuts, and fragrant orange zest. It is an exquisite handmade sweet bread, with a spongy crumb that you can enjoy fresh out of the oven with a café de olla or a glass of almond milk.

 

dough mixed well and shaped into a ball again

The Recipe: Mexican Semita Bread (Semitas Chorreadas)

  • These semitas are the best when eaten still warm right out of the oven. If you eat them the next day be sure to warm them up before eating.
  • You can use ½ whole wheat flour and half unbleached white flour to substitute the bread flour.

four balls of dough on a parchment lined sheet tray

  • The nuts and raisins are optional, but I think they add a special touch.
  • You can substitute the coconut butter with vegan butter.
  • You can use plant milk instead of water in the recipe, just make sure it’s warm.

basket of mexican semita bread and a white plate with slices of semita

a closeup of a piece of semita bread being held in a hand

Three mexican semita bread rolls in a basket on a light blue background

Mexican Semita Bread (Semitas Chorreadas)

Mexican Semita Bread, studded with pecans, raisins, orange zest and piloncillo.
5 from 5 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Breakfast
Cuisine: Mexican
Keyword: pan dulce, semita bread, vegan mexican breakfast
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Resting Time: 1 hour 20 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 55 minutes
Servings: 4 Medium sized rolls
Calories: 824kcal

Ingredients

  • 3 ½ cup Bread flour
  • ½ cup Dark brown sugar
  • 1 tsp. Ground anise seed
  • 1 tsp Freshly ground cinnamon (Ceylon)
  • 1/3 cup Coconut butter, about 3 oz
  • 1 ½ cups Warm water
  • ½ cup Chopped pecans
  • ½ cup Raisins, soaked in the juice of one orange
  • 1 tsp. Orange zest
  • 1 tsp. Active dry yeast
  • 3.5 oz Piloncillo (about ½ cup)
  • ½ tsp. Salt

Instructions

  • In a large bowl, mix all the dry ingredients flour, sugar, anise, cinnamon, yeast, and salt
  • Add the warm water and coconut butter to the bowl and knead.
  • I use the hook attachment on my mixer at medium-low speed for 4-6 minutes or until the dough has come off the sides of the bowl and is stretchy but not sticky.
  • If you don’t have a mixer you can knead by hand for 10 minutes or until you reach the desired consistency.
  • Place dough in a lightly oiled bowl, cover with a kitchen towel and let rise for an hour.
  • To prepare your piloncillo, place it in a plastic bag, and crush it with the help of a hammer until finely ground.
  • Separate the crushed piloncillo un half. Place half of the piloncillo in a small bowl and mix with 1 tsp. Flour. This will be used to top the semitas before baking.
  • Once the dough is done rising, add the reaming half of the piloncillo, pecans, and orange zest and knead until all the ingredients are mixed evenly throughout.
  • Preheat oven to 350°F.
  • Divide the dough in four, roll the pieces tightly into rounds, and place on a sheet tray lined with parchment. Press down on the rounds lightly. Brush the rounds with your favorite plant milk, and top with the piloncillo and flour mixture. Press down slightly on the piloncillo topping with your hands.
  • Cover the sheet tray with a kitchen towel and let the dough rise for 20 minutes.
  • Bake for 20 minutes at 350°F.

Notes

  • These semitas are the best when eaten still warm right out of the oven. If you eat them the next day be sure to warm them up before eating.
  •  You can use ½ whole wheat flour and half unbleached white flour to substitute the bread flour.
  • The nuts and raisins are optional, but I think they add a special touch.
  • You can substitute the coconut butter with vegan butter.
  • You can use plant milk instead of water in the recipe, just make sure it’s warm.

Nutrition

Calories: 824kcal | Carbohydrates: 149g | Protein: 16g | Fat: 19g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Sodium: 263mg | Potassium: 381mg | Fiber: 8g | Sugar: 50g | Vitamin C: 3.1mg | Calcium: 82mg | Iron: 3.1mg

This vegan aguachile verde recipe (Aguachile Estilo Nayarit) is spicy, tangy, and designed to be eaten on the beach on top of tostadas with a nice cold beer! In this vegan version, oyster mushrooms are marinated in a lime juice, cilantro, and serrano pepper mixture then mixed with sliced crisp cucumber and sliced red onion.

Oyster mushrooms on a marble backdrop

What is Aguachile?

Aguachile (literally chile water) is a type of ceviche thought to have originated on the coasts of Sinaloa. It is traditionally made with shrimp and like ceviche consists of marinating fresh seafood in a lime juice-chile mixture. It differs from other ceviches in that the marinating time is much shorter and the marinating mixture is very spicy. You can find aguachile verde and aguachile rojo as well. It is usually served as an appetizer on tostadas.

Shredded oyster mushrooms in a glass bowl. A lime squeezer and lime beside it.

Our Vegan Mexico Project

This recipe is part of an amazing project called Our Vegan Mexico, where 32 talented cooks will be showcasing, right here on Dora’s Table, 32 vegan Mexican recipes. Each recipe will be representing one state of the Mexican union.

Green serrano-lime salsa in blender container.

 

With this project, I am hoping to encourage the Mexican community in the U.S., and the people of my country to take a chance and make the change to a plant-based diet. This recipe, which is representing the state of Nayarit, is the creation of the talented Kimberly Rosales from @vivaverduras and here she is sharing her story with us.

Serrano-lime salsa poured over cucumber and onion in large stainless steel bowl.

Kimberly’s Story:

I decided to change my diet in Junior high (age 13) to a vegetarian based diet after making a bet with a friend on who can go the longest. After discovering PETA and watching a few of their videos, I was motivated to make it an actual real diet of mine.

Salsa mixed with red onion and cucumbers in a large stainless bowl.

After a couple of years struggling on how to eat without meat, and getting tired of pb&j sandwiches, I discovered my passion for cooking and creating recipes that catered to my diet. In 2011, I was convinced to incorporate seafood in my diet and I became pescatarian for a couple of years. After not feeling right, I watched a video from a Youtuber named FreeLee.

Mushrooms added to salsa, cucumber-onion mixture in a large stainless steel bowl.

Although I didn’t agree with a lot with her or her choices, I did come to a realization that I didn’t want to consume any fish or dairy products. I actually changed my diet cold turkey (no pun intended) and went fully plant-based. I had a few occasional slip-ups but fully committed this past year. After discovering the endless substitutes, I found there was no need to go back.  Now, I look to encourage and educate those in my community to try out a plant-based diet and show the versatility of recipes that one can create. My goal is to share my idea of, “Add the veggies, keep the culture!”

Vegan aguachile verde on a blue talavera plate on top of a melon colored cloth napkin.

 

The Vegan Aguachile Verde Recipe

To make this authentic Mexican recipe vegan oyster mushrooms are used to replace the shrimp. The earthiness and texture of the mushrooms make it the perfect substitute. Without a doubt, this is the best aguachile recipe out there!

Close up of vegan aguachile verde on a blue talavera plate

  • It might seem like this is way too much lime juice, but I promise it’s not.
  • You can reduce the number of chiles if you can’t take the heat.
  • If mushrooms aren’t your thing you can make aguachile with hearts of palm.
  • Serve this with tostadas, avocado, and a nice cold beer.

Vegan aguachile verde on a blue talavera plate on top of a melon colored cloth napkin.

Vegan Aguachile Verde (Aguachile Estilo Nayarit)

Vegan Aguachile Verde recipe, in this vegan version oyster mushrooms, are used to replace the shrimp. Serve with tostadas and avocado.
4.75 from 4 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Appetizer
Cuisine: Mexican
Keyword: aguachile, ceviche, vegan mexican recipes
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Marinating time: 4 hours
Total Time: 22 minutes
Servings: 4 Servings
Calories: 144kcal
Author: Dora S.

Ingredients

Salsa:

  • 2 Serrano peppers
  • 1 Garlic clove
  • ¼ White onion
  • 4 Limes
  • 1 cup Cilantro, stems removed
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Aguachile:

  • 7-8 King Oyster Mushrooms, medium size (about 1.25 lb.)
  • 2 Cucumbers, peeled and gutted
  • 1 Red onion, thinly sliced
  • 5 Limes
  • Salt & pepper to taste
  • 3 Small seaweed sheets crumpled and sprinkled before serving

Instructions

Preparing the mushrooms:

  • Clean mushrooms with a damp towel, do not wash since it will change the texture of the mushroom. Cut the mushroom stems, you can cut the top as well but I like the texture
  • Shred them with two forks so they have a "shredded chicken" look. Place them in a large bowl, and marinate with 4-5 squeezed limes and pink salt, refrigerate for about 4 hours (I marinated mine over night.)

To make the salsa:

  • Place the serrano peppers, garlic, onion, juice of 4 limes, and cilantro in the blender and process until smooth.

Making the aguachile:

  • Cut the cucumbers in half and gut the cucumber so they resemble a “c” shape, slice thinly. Cut the onion into thin slices. Add cucumbers and onions to a large bowl.
  • Pour serrano salsa over the cucumber/onion mix. Marinate for 2 – 4 hours. (I marinated it overnight.) Squeeze additional lime juice if needed, I like it very citrusy but this is optional.
  • After the marinating time is done, combine mushrooms and cucumber/onion mix, add salt to taste, and top with avocado and extra cilantro.
  • I like to add my seaweed right before serving so it doesn't get too soggy.

Notes

• It might seem like this is way too much lime juice, but I promise it’s not.
• You can reduce the amount of chiles if you can’t take the heat.
• If mushrooms aren’t your thing you can make aguachile with hearts of palm.
• Serve this with tostadas, avocado, and a nice cold beer.

Nutrition

Calories: 144kcal | Carbohydrates: 32g | Protein: 7g | Fat: 1g | Sodium: 40mg | Potassium: 1059mg | Fiber: 6g | Sugar: 6g | Vitamin A: 480IU | Vitamin C: 53.9mg | Calcium: 83mg | Iron: 1.4mg

This Strawberry Frose Margarita is the best of both worlds. Sweet strawberries are blended with rose wine, tequila, lime juice, and orange liquor for a frozen cocktail that’s so refreshing and delicious, that it will be impossible not to make it over and over again this summer.

tequila, cointreau, lime juice, strawberry popsicle in a blender for strawberry frose margarita

What is Frose??

Basically, frose is frozen rose. A slushy made out of rose wine, ice, and sometimes strawberries. It became super popular in 2018 for its simplicity and its pretty pink color. For this recipe, I chose to make the ultimate combination of frose and strawberry margaritas.

strawberry frose margarita mix just blended

It was actually my husband’s idea, but I wasn’t really convinced at first. I love tequila, so the thought of mixing it with rose kind of freaked me out. I was wrong!! I admit it. This is now my favorite margarita of all time. If this doesn’t make you break out into a happy dance I don’t know what will.

Margarita Week

Another year, another margarita week over at Hola Jalapeño! I know I’ve mentioned this before, but I will say it again, I’m a total margarita snob. I can’t stand sickly sweet, sour mix, fake margaritas, or crazy combination barely a margarita drinks.

salt rimmed margarita glass filled with crushed ice on top of a colorful napkink

This is my third year participating in margarita week, and it has definitely changed my perspective on what a margarita is. Even though I still love a classic margarita, there are some amazing flavor combinations you can do, and still make an excellent drink like this guava lime margarita, spicy raspberry jalapeño margarita, vanilla and piloncillo margarita, or this rhubarb citrus margarita.

strawberry frose margarita poured over margarita glass with ice

You can find my previous entries for Margarita week here:

Pineapple-Chile Margarita

Frozen Prickly Pear Margarita

Spicy Hibiscus Ice Margarita

Strawberry frose margarita in a salt rimmed margarita glass decorated with a lime slice

The Recipe: Strawberry Frose Margarita

  • When choosing your rose for this recipe choose the one you like to drink. I like my rose on the dry side, but if you prefer sweet rose use that instead.
  • I highly recommend Corralejo Tequila (reposado) for this. It’s my favorite for margaritas.
  • I made this recipe two ways, both ways are delicious. You can either process everything in the blender, the margarita will be like a slushy, or you can crush the ice with the blender or with a bag and mallet then pour the chilled margarita over it.
  • I used a salt rim, but a sugar rim would work as well.
  • I used a strawberry paleta (popsicle) instead of fresh berries, and I was very happy with the result. I totally forgot to buy the strawberries and I had paletas in the freezer!

Strawberry frose margarita in a salt rimmed margarita glass decorated with a lime slice

Strawberry frose margarita in a salt rimmed margarita glass decorated with a lime slice

Strawberry Frose Margarita

This Strawberry Frose Margarita is the best of both worlds. Sweet strawberries are blended with rose wine, tequila, lime juice, and orange liquor for a frozen cocktail that’s so refreshing and delicious, that it will be impossible not to make it over and over again this summer.
4 from 4 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Drinks
Cuisine: Mexican
Keyword: frose, margarita, strawberry cocktail
Total Time: 10 minutes
Servings: 1 Large Margarita
Calories: 235kcal
Author: Dora S.

Ingredients

  • 1 oz Corralejo tequila
  • 1.5 oz Your favorite Rose wine, chilled
  • 1 oz Fresh lime juice
  • 1 oz Cointreau
  • 1 Strawberry popsicle (made with real fruit)
  • 2 cups Ice

Instructions

  • Remove the popsicle from the popsicle stick and cut into 3 pieces. Place in the blender with the tequila, rose, lime juice, Cointreau, and ice. Process until smooth, like a slushy.
  • Pour into a salt-rimmed glass, and garnish with a slice of lime or strawberry.

Notes

• When choosing your rose for this recipe choose one you like to drink. I like my rose on the dry side, but if you prefer sweet rose use that instead.
• I used a salt rim, but a sugar rim would work as well.

Nutrition

Calories: 235kcal | Carbohydrates: 12g | Sodium: 6mg | Potassium: 42mg | Sugar: 19g | Vitamin C: 8.5mg

It seems that people either love or hate lentils. I love lentils, and this is my favorite lentil soup ever!! The lentils are simmered with serrano chile, onion, tomato, garlic, and cilantro until tender. It is a spicy and incredibly satisfying vegan lentil soup.

sauce pot filled with brown lentils, water, onion, and bay leaf

In Mexico, you can find it being made during the cold winter months, and it is especially popular during Lent. Depending on the region of Mexico that you’re in they are prepared a little bit differently. In Oaxaca, they serve their lentil soup with pineapple and plantains!! In other states, the lentils are cooked in a tomato-based broth. The vegetables vary according to the region, but you can find variations of this easy lentil soup with carrots, potatoes, celery, and spring onion.

saute pan with a cooked mixture of tomato, onion, garlic and chile serrano

Traditionally, this sopa de lentejas includes bacon, but to make it vegan I have omitted it. However, if you like vegan bacon you can add it to the soup.

vegan lentil soup cooking in a sauce pot

How to Make Lentil Soup?

First you have to clean your lentils. Spread them out on a sheet tray or flat surface and check them for tiny pebbles, dirt, and broken lentils, remove them, and rinse the lentils.

Cilantro added to the cooking vegan lentil soup

Place the lentils in a sauce pot with water, and add ½ onion and a bay leaf. Simmer until the lentils are tender. While this is going one sauté onion, garlic, tomato, and chile until soft. Add this mixture to the lentils with a couple of sprigs of cilantro, and let them cook for 8 more minutes.

a ladle full of vegan lentil soup suspended on top of sauce pot full of lentils

Instant Pot Lentil Soup

If you want to make this in the instant pot, start by sautéing the onion, garlic, tomato, and chile using the SAUTE button on the Instant Pot. Once the vegetables are tender, add the lentils, cilantro sprigs, and water or vegetable stock. Bring to a simmer. Turn off the instant pot, and place the cover on top. Adjust the setting to “Manual,” and cook for 18 minutes. Let it stand to release pressure naturally, at least 10 minutes. (Try these Instant Pot Poblano White Beans.)

Mexican vegan lentil soup in a white bowl surrounded by tomato, cilantro and onion

The Recipe: Mexican Vegan Lentil Soup

  • Make sure you sort through the lentils looking for pebbles, and dirt, then give them a good rinse.
  • You can leave the chile serrano whole or you can mince it and add it the vegetable mixture (it is spicier this way).

Mexican vegan lentil soup in a white bowl surrounded by tomato, cilantro and onion

Mexican vegan lentil soup in a white bowl surrounded by tomato, cilantro and onion

Mexican Vegan Lentil Soup

Mexican Vegan Lentil Soup, an easy recipe for healthy, comforting, spicy lentils with tomato, onion, garlic, and serrano chiles
4.6 from 5 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Soup
Cuisine: Mexican
Keyword: lentil soup, vegan mexican
Total Time: 35 minutes
Servings: 4 servings
Calories: 225kcal
Author: Dora S.

Ingredients

  • 1/2 lb. (1 1/4 cups) Brown or green lentils, cleaned, rinsed
  • 8 cups Water or vegetable stock
  • 1/2 White onion
  • 1 Bay leaf, dry
  • 1/2 White onion, diced
  • 2 Roma tomato, diced
  • 2 Garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 Chile serrano
  • 4 springs Cilantro

Instructions

  • Place your lentils in a medium sauce pot, add water, onion, and bay leaf. Bring to a low simmer and let cook for 20 minutes.
  • While the lentils are cooking, make a small incision using a sharp knife on the tip of the serrano pepper (like an X). Set a large sauté pan to medium heat and add the diced onion. Let the onions cook until translucent and tender, about 4-5 minutes. If it begins to stick to the pan add a little bit of water.
  • Add garlic and cook for 1 more minute. Add diced tomato and chile serrano (whole) and cook until the tomato has broken down, about 6 minutes.
  • Remove the ½ onion and bay leaf from the lentils, and add the vegetable mixture, and cilantro sprigs to the pot. Simmer slowly for about 8 minutes.
  • Remove the cilantro sprigs, and serrano pepper. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  • Cut the chile serrano into rounds and add it back to the pot to make the soup extra spicy. (optional)

Notes

• Make sure you sort through the lentils looking for pebbles, and dirt, then give them a good rinse.
• You can leave the chile serrano whole or you can mince it and add it the vegetable mixture (it is spicier this way). •
You can make this in the instant pot as well (see post above for instructions)

Nutrition

Calories: 225kcal | Carbohydrates: 39g | Protein: 15g | Sodium: 8mg | Potassium: 737mg | Fiber: 18g | Sugar: 4g | Vitamin A: 685IU | Vitamin C: 14.6mg | Calcium: 47mg | Iron: 4.4mg

 

Who knew death could be so colorful? Purple and orange tissue paper banners line altars decorated with marigold petals, colorful sugar skulls, and a bounty of fruit and vegetables. This is a celebration of life and triumph over death, the intermingling of the religious beliefs of the indigenous people of Mexico and the faith of the Spaniards that conquered them. The Day of the Dead is not only a holiday that honors those who have left us, but it is believed that on that special day the souls of the dead return to visit the living. Both the indigenous people and the Church of the Spaniards believed that death was not an end, but only a passageway to another life. That is why this is a joyous occasion, a homecoming festival, and at the same time a way to mock death and the power it holds over our bodies.

This vegan Day of the Dead bread (Pan de Muerto) is moist, airy, has a hint of orange zest, and is perfect for dipping in hot chocolate.

Before the arrival of the Spanish conquistadores, the Aztecs held rituals for the dead during the summer months in a joint celebration with the first days of harvest. The dead were traditionally buried with rich offering of ceramics, personal objects, and food. The offerings where meant to assist them in their journey to the afterlife. After the arrival of the Catholic missionaries their traditions and beliefs were merged with those of the indigenous people, and the festivities were moved to coincide with All Saints Day and All Souls Day, Nov 1st and Nov 2nd.

This vegan Day of the Dead bread (Pan de Muerto) is moist, airy, has a hint of orange zest, and is perfect for dipping in hot chocolate.

 

This vegan Day of the Dead bread (Pan de Muerto) is moist, airy, has a hint of orange zest, and is perfect for dipping in hot chocolate.

The festivities have evolved over the years and differ from region to region. Some of the most popular ones include altars in honor of loved ones who have passed, preparing the dead’s favorite foods, and gathering at the cemetery to decorate a loved one’s grave, share a meal and reminiscence. My favorite tradition is the elaboration of the altars. The symbolism incorporated into the altars is so rich and meaningful that it truly honors the dead, those we keep in our hearts, but somehow with the passing of time fade in our memories.

This vegan Day of the Dead bread (Pan de Muerto) is moist, airy, has a hint of orange zest, and is perfect for dipping in hot chocolate.

This vegan Day of the Dead bread (Pan de Muerto) is moist, airy, has a hint of orange zest, and is perfect for dipping in hot chocolate.

Every altar has several key symbols which are:

water– as an offering to the soul to quench their thirst in their long journey

salt– as a symbol of purification and to preserve the body so it will not wither

fire– to represent the light of the faith and guide the spirits in their journey

incense– to elevate our prayers to God in heaven

flowers– marigolds, their color represents the radiance of sunlight and life

bread– as a symbol of the body of Christ, usually round loaves with topped with “bones” and known as pan de muerto

a picture of the person who the altar is dedicated to

religious images– to symbolize God as an intermediary between the living and the dead

the favorite foods and drinks of the departed– to delight the souls who will be visiting (the most common being Mexican hot chocolate, tequila, atole, mole, tortillas and rice

candy skulls– the indigenous held the skull as symbol of death being a part of life

tissue paper banners– purple to symbolize christian mourning and orange to symbolize Aztec mourning

fruits and vegetables– an offering from the earth

personal objects of the person being honored– to accompany them on their journey back

a dog– to protect and guide the spirits.

This vegan Day of the Dead bread (Pan de Muerto) is moist, airy, has a hint of orange zest, and is perfect for dipping in hot chocolate.

This vegan Day of the Dead bread (Pan de Muerto) is moist, airy, has a hint of orange zest, and is perfect for dipping in hot chocolate.

Every year we make an altar in our home to a loved one lost. It is our own special way of introducing our deceased loved ones to our children. We talk about the things that they liked to eat, do, and why they are important to us. On November 2nd we say a prayer for them, and keep hoping for the day we will be reunited in the afterlife. For years now, we have also been attending the Day of the Dead Festival in Oceanside, CA. The festival takes place in the Mission San Luis Rey. There are a variety of traditional foods such as tamales, tacos, tortas, aguas frescas, and pan de muerto. There is also face painting, sugar skull decorating, and regional dances. However, the highlight of the festival is the showcase of the altars, some representing various Mexican states and built by whole communities and families.

This vegan Day of the Dead bread (Pan de Muerto) is moist, airy, has a hint of orange zest, and is perfect for dipping in hot chocolate.

This vegan Day of the Dead bread (Pan de Muerto) is moist, airy, has a hint of orange zest, and is perfect for dipping in hot chocolate.

Out of all the wonderful Mexican traditions, the Day of the Dead might be the one that still holds firm to its pre-Hispanic roots. The loved ones lost, who we cannot see or hear, make themselves present in our homes, share our food, and partake in the rejoicing of life and the conquest of death.

Sources:

Los Dias de Los Muertos, Smithsonian Institution National Museum of the American Indian and National Museum of American History, 2010

Simbolismos en el altar del Dia de los Muertos, Tanatologa Aida Maria Castro Morales, 2007 (http://www.slideshare.net/internatoni/simbolismos-en-el-altar-del-da-de-muertos)

The Recipe: Vegan Day of the Dead Bread (Pan de Muerto)

This recipe might be better than the non-vegan version, according to my husband. I have substituted the eggs with potatoes, resulting in a moist, soft, and sweet bread. It is perfect for dipping in hot chocolate or coffee.

pan-de-muerto2

Bake at 350F for 40- 45 minutes. Brush with butter and sprinkle with sugar.

pan de muerto

 

pan de muerto

Vegan Day of the Dead Bread

This vegan day of the dead bread or pan de muerto is tender, sweet, and delicious. Perfect for dipping on hot chocolate.
5 from 5 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: Mexican
Keyword: day of the dead, pan de muerto, vegan
Prep Time: 1 day
Cook Time: 45 minutes
Total Time: 1 day 45 minutes
Servings: 4 loaves
Author: Dora Stone

Ingredients

  • 1 pack (.25 oz) Active dry yeast
  • ½ cup (3.5 oz) Almond milk, room temperature, 3.5 oz
  • 3 1/3 cup (17.5 oz) Bread flour
  • ¾ cup (5.5 oz) Sugar, granulated
  • 1 tsp. Salt
  • 1 tsp. Orange zest
  • ¼ cup Orange juice
  • ¾ cup (6 oz.) Potato, Yukon gold, cooked, mashed
  • ½ cup + 1 tbsp. (4 ¼ oz.) Vegan butter room temperature, cut into 1 inch pieces,

Topping

  • 2 tbsp. Vegan butter, melted
  • ½ cup Sugar, granulated

Instructions

  • In a medium bowl, dissolve the yeast in the almond milk and add 2 tbsp. of the flour. Whisk to incorporate and let rest in a warm place for 20 min.
  • In the bowl of a mixer, with the dough hook, combine the dry ingredients: the rest of the flour, salt, sugar, and orange zest. Mix.
  • Add the wet ingredients: the orange juice, mashed potato, and yeast-flour mixture. Mix on low until the dough begins to incorporate.
  • Add the ½ cup + 1 tbsp. of softened butter little by little and increase speed to medium. Mix for 15 min. until the dough has come off the sides of the bowl and is stretchy but not sticky.
  • Place the dough in a large oiled bowl, cover with a towel and let rise for 1 to 1 ½ hours, or until doubled in size. Punch down the dough and fold the side over unto each other and flip. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.
  • The next day take the dough from the fridge, remove the plastic wrap and cover with a towel. Let rise in a warm place (70-75F) until the dough comes to room temperature, about an hour.
  • Take a piece of dough, weighing about 3 oz., and set aside. Divide the remaining dough into four pieces. Roll them tightly into rounds and place on a sheet tray lined with parchment. Press down on the rounds lightly.
  • Use the reserved dough to make 4 small balls the size of a quarter and set aside. Use the remaining dough to roll out eight strips long enough to cover the rounds. Place two strips on top of each round forming an x, use your fingers to press lightly on the strips to form knobs, they should resemble bones. Repeat the process with the rest of the rounds.
  • Cover with a towel and let rise for 1 ½ hrs. in a warm place (70- 75F) or until double in size.
  • Meanwhile preheat the oven to 350F. Place the small balls in the center of the rounds with a little bit of water. Bake for 20-30 min. until the rounds have become a rich brown color. Cover with foil and bake for 10 to 15 min. more, until the bread reaches an internal temperature of 190F. Remove from the oven and let cool on a rack.
  • While the bread is still warm melt 2 tbsp. of butter and brush the bread with it. Sprinkle evenly with sugar.
  • Let bread completely cool before eating.

Video

Notes

My favorite vegan butter is Earth Balance. This recipe is a combination of my dad’s recipe and Fanny Gerson’s method for Pan de Muerto in My Sweet Mexico.

This vegan Day of the Dead bread (Pan de Muerto) is moist, airy, has a hint of orange zest, and is perfect for dipping in hot chocolate.

This vegan Day of the Dead bread (Pan de Muerto) is moist, airy, has a hint of orange zest, and is perfect for dipping in hot chocolate.