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Vegan Bacalao a la Vizcaína (Mexican Style)

Every country across the world has its own way of celebrating Christmas. Mexico has many wonderful Christmas traditions, but one of the most important is the food. It’s not Christmas without pozole, tamales, buñuelos, or ponche. Another one of those important dishes is this vegan Bacalao a la Vizcaína.

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Bacalao a la Vizcaína is a braised salt cod dish with tomatoes, garlic, olives, capers, roasted peppers, and potatoes. Depending what part of the country you are in they also add raisins and slivered almonds. For this vegan version I️ have used hearts of palm and artichoke hearts to replace the salt cod. The dish is an adaptation of a Spanish classic, and is mostly consumed in central and southern Mexico on Christmas Eve. Serve it with rice or crusty bread to soak up to the last drop of the stew.

What are some of your favorite Christmas foods? My favorite is without a doubt tamales, and the are super easy to veganize! My favorite Christmas traditions are decorating the tree as a family, pedir posada, and singing Happy birthday to Jesus, and then having the kids kiss little baby Jesus on Christmas Eve. Ok, so there’s a lot of stuff I️ like about Christmas! I️ would love to hear some of your traditions.

The Recipe: Vegan Bacalao a la Vizcaína

I have used one can of hearts of palm and one can of artichoke hearts, but feel free to use one or the other. To give this a fishy flavor you can use dulse flakes or finely chopped nori seaweed. Enjoy!

This vegan bacalao a la vizcaína is an adaptation of a Spanish classic, and is served in central and southern Mexico on Christmas Eve.
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Vegan Bacalao a la Vizcaína

This vegan bacalao a la vizcaína is an adaptation of a Spanish classic, and is served in central and southern Mexico on Christmas Eve.
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 3 minutes
Servings 6 Servings
Author Dora S.

Ingredients

  • 10 Plum tomatoes, medium, (3 cups roasted tomato puree)
  • 1 White onion, diced, (about 2 cups)
  • 6 cloves Garlic, minced
  • 1 can (14 oz.) Artichoke hearts, drained, roughly chopped
  • 1 can (14 oz.) Hearts of palm, drained, roughly chopped
  • 1/3 cup Sliced, pitted manzanilla olives
  • 1 tbsp. Capers
  • 3 Red bell peppers, roasted, peeled, cut into strips
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1-2 tsp. Finely chopped nori flakes
  • 1 lb. New potatoes, cooked, peeled, cut in half
  • 1/4 cup Parsley, chopped
  • 3 Pickled pepperoni or banana peppers whole or sliced

Preparation

  1. Preheat oven broiler to HI. Place tomatoes on a sheet try and place under the broiler for 4 minutes, until the tomatoes begin to brown and be covered in black spots.
  2. Turn the tomatoes and leave in oven for 4 more minutes. Remove from oven. Using your blender, process until you have a smooth puree. Strain and set aside.
  3. Heat a large pot to medium-low heat and add ¼ cup of water. Add onions and let cook until tender and transparent, about 4 minutes. Add garlic, and cook for 1 more minute.
  4. Pour in tomato puree, and bring it up to a simmer.
  5. Add hearts of palm, artichoke hearts, olives, capers, red peppers, bay leaf, and nori flakes. Continue to simmer for 5-6 minutes. Stir well.
  6. Add parsley, potatoes, pickled banana peppers. Let simmer for 8 more minutes. If the sauce thickens too much, adjust with vegetable stock or water.
  7. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Chef's Notes

If you are looking for a fishy taste use 2 tsp. of nori flakes. Serve with rice or crusty bread. The pickled pepper can be spicy or mild depending on your preference. In some states they add raisins and slivered almonds, you can add those as well. 

Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links, meaning at no additional cost to you, I will earn a commission if you click through, and make a purchase. Thank you for your support!

 

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Almond Atole (Atole Almendrado)

I never liked atole as a child, probably because we would have those artificially flavored packets of Maizena atole. This almond atole is something completely different. Almond milk, ground almonds, cinnamon. piloncillo, and masa harina combine to make this a warm, comforting, and sweet beverage.

Atole is a drink from pre-hispanic times that can be sweet or savory depending on the region in Mexico where you are. It was drank by the indigenous people of Mexico for breakfast or sometimes as a meal in itself. It was also used for medicinal and ceremonial purposes. Traditionally, it is made by dissolving ground dried corn in milk or water, and adding fruits or different flavorings to it. It is available all year, but is especially popular in the winter months.

Currently, atole is also made with cornstarch, rice flour, oat flour, or barley. Its consistency ranges from thin and milky, to very thick.  It is drank on special occasions like the Day of the Dead, Christmas, baptism, first communions, weddings, and feast days. Tamales and atole is classic pairing and one you should definitely try.

While doing research on atole I happened to find that almond atole is a favorite of my home state, Coahuila. I had never tried it before, so I decided to give it a try. I was pleasantly surprised at how delicious it was, and nothing like the packaged version of atole that you can find at Mexican grocery stores. Like always, I made way too much of it, and saved what we didn’t drink in the fridge. The next day I served it to the kids for breakfast, almost like a porridge, and they ate it all up.

The Recipe: Almond Atole (Atole Almendrado)

I have used masa harina or maseca for this recipe. but if you have access to fresh masa I would recommend you use that instead. You can buy fresh masa at some tortillerias or Mexican groceries. Also make sure the cinnamon stick is a true ceylon cinnamon (also known as Mexican cinnamon). You can use whatever sweetener you like, I used piloncillo, but brown sugar would also work well. I haven’t made this recipe too sweet, so feel free to sweeten it up. ¡Enjoy!

This almond atole combines almond milk, ground almonds, cinnamon. piloncillo, and masa harina to make a warm, comforting, and sweet beverage.
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Almond Atole (Atole Almendrado)

This almond atole combines almond milk, ground almonds, cinnamon. piloncillo, and masa harina to make a warm, comforting, and sweet beverage
Total Time 25 minutes
Author Dora S.

Ingredients

  • 4 cups Almond milk, unsweetened
  • 1 stick Ceylon cinnamon
  • 1 cup Masa harina, maseca
  • 1 ½ cups Raw Almonds or (1 2/3 cup almond meal)
  • ½-3/4 cup Piloncillo, brown sugar or maple syrup
  • 1 tsp. Ground cinnamon

Preparation

  1. Heat almond milk in a medium sauce pot, bring to a simmer.
  2. While the milk comes to a simmer, grind the almonds in your blender until they resemble a powder. Set aside.
  3. Dissolve the masa harina in a little bit of water.
  4. Add the masa harina to the almond milk, and mix well.
  5. Simmer for 5 minutes, stirring to make sure it doesn’t stick to the bottom of the pot.
  6. Add the ground almonds, cinnamon, and piloncillo to the saucepot. Simmer at very low heat for 15 minutes. Stir well.
  7. Serve hot. As it cools it will thicken, so add more almond milk if necessary.

Chef's Notes

I have used masa harina or maseca for this recipe. but if you have access to fresh masa I would recommend you use that instead. Also make sure the cinnamon stick is a true ceylon cinnamon (also known as Mexican cinnamon). You can use whatever sweetener you like, I used piloncillo, but brown sugar would also work well.

 

 

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Vegan Chocolate and Amaranth Skulls

The Day of the Dead is a celebration of life, and a mocking of death and the power it holds over us. The indigenous people of Mexico believed that death was not an end, but a passageway to another life. El Día de los Muertos is a homecoming festival, where we receive our loved ones with open arms, and party like only Mexicans now how to, with food, color, music, and dance.

 

Altars are used to honor those that have departed, and there are many traditional elements that must come together to create an altar worthy of our ancestors. One of these elements are candy skulls.The use of sugar or amaranth skulls can be traced back to pre-hispanic times, and historians believe that human blood might have been used to form the amaranth skulls. Today you can find colorfully decorated skulls made out of sugar, honey and amaranth, and chocolate and amaranth.

Over the years I have slowly found ways to veganize some of our food traditions. We have made vegan pan de muerto, sugar skulls, and candied pumpkin. This year we made vegan chocolate and amaranth skulls, which are decorated with colorful royal icing, are very easy to do, and are quite delicious! Unlike the sugar skulls which are used mostly for decorations, these are meant to be eaten.

To make these you will need a skull mold, vegan semi-sweet chocolate chips, and popped amaranth. You can pop the amaranth yourself, or you can buy it already popped. I found mine at a Mexican candy store and ended up buying way too much! The chocolate takes about 30 minutes to set, and they hold for up to 3 days if you store in an air tight container.

The Recipe: Vegan Chocolate and Amaranth Skulls

For the vegan chocolate you can use the enjoy life brand which is certified vegan or Guittards, if none of those are available in your area, there are other options. I bought my skull molds on mexicansugarskulls.com. Enjoy!

Vegan chocolate and amaranth skulls for the day of the dead with colorful royal icing, very easy to do, and are quite delicious!
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Vegan Chocolate and Amaranth Skulls

Vegan chocolate and amaranth skulls for the day of the dead with colorful royal icing, very easy to do, and are quite delicious! 
Total Time 1 hour
Servings 4 large skulls (front only)
Author Dora S.

Ingredients

  • 2 cups Vegan Semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 3 1/4 cups Popped amaranth

Royal Icing

  • 3 floz. Aquafaba (liquid from a can of chickpeas) (1/3 cup + 1 tbsp.)
  • 4-5 cups Powdered sugar
  • 4 Food coloring of choice

Equipment

  • 1 Skull mold
  • 4 Pieces of cardboard (4.5 X 4.5 inches)
  • 4 Disposable piping bags

Preparation

  1. Place the chocolate chips in a large bowl and melt over a double boiler until all the chocolate has melted. You can also melt it in 30 sec. intervals in the microwave, making sure to stir between each interval.

  2. Pour popped amaranth into the bowl with the chocolate and mix well. with a wooden spoon, to incorporate.

  3. Wet the mold a little bit with a moistened paper towel and press the amaranth chocolate mix into the mold. 

  4. Press the cardboard square against the mold and flip the mold, to have the skull facing you. Lift the mold, and carefully place the cardboard with the skull on it on a sheet tray.
  5. Repeat this process with the rest of the mix. Let chocolate set for 30 min.

Royal Icing

  1. While de chocolate is setting, in a large bowl, lightly beat the aquafaba until it starts to bubble. Add 4 cups of the powdered sugar and mix well. Test the consistency of the icing on a plate. It should be thick enough that it doesn’t slide down the plate easily. If it seems too thin, add 1 more cup of powdered sugar. The consistency should be considerably thicker than the icing used to decorate cookies.

  2. Separate the icing into 4 small bowls. Add your food coloring of choice and mix well.
  3. Pour each bowl of icing into a disposable piping bag. Secure with a rubber band, and cut a tiny bit off of the tip of the bag. Test the amount of icing that comes out before decorating your skull.
  4. Decorate your skull however you desire. The icing will take about 30 min. to set.

Chef's Notes

For the vegan chocolate you can use the enjoy life brand which is certified vegan or Guittards, if none of those are available in your area, there are other options. I bought my skull molds on mexicansugarskulls.com.

You can pop the amaranth yourself, or you can buy it already popped.

 

 

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Day of the Dead Vegan Sugar Skulls

Things are getting busy around here. Halloween is right around the corner, and so is the Day of the Dead. This has become one of our favorite family traditions, and so every year we make vegan sugar skulls, and pan de muerto for our altar. The skulls are very easy to do, and the kids really enjoy making them (the adults do too!)

Making vegan sugar skulls for the Day of the Dead is one of our favorite family traditions. The kids love it, and the adults too!!!

Last year I perfected the recipe for the vegan version of the sugar skulls, and I couldn’t be happier. Usually, the preparation requires meringue powder or egg whites, but I am using aquafaba with great results. It is definitely more affordable than using meringue powder, and you can make hummus with the chickpeas.

Making vegan sugar skulls for the Day of the Dead is one of our favorite family traditions. The kids love it, and the adults too!!!

This year I have been very conflicted. As you probably already know, el Día de los Muertos is going mainstream. I don’t know how I feel about that. A part of me is excited that more people can get to know Mexican culture, but another part of me wants to scream, ” No, this is cultural appropriation!” I don’t know, what do you think? I guess all I can do, is do my part in helping others understand the beauty of the tradition. Last year I invited some friends over to make the sugar skulls, and then we read the book The Day of the Dead by Bob Barner.

Ok, so let’s get down to business. I recorded a small video for you with the whole process.

The Recipe: Day of the Dead Vegan Sugar Skulls

We don’t usually eat the sugar skulls, but you can if you want to. We use them for decoration. I purchased my molds from mexicansugarskulls.com, way back when nobody else was selling them, but now you can easily find them on Amazon. If you live in a humid climate the sugar skulls will take longer to dry, and you will most likely have to add less aquafaba.

Making vegan sugar skulls for the Day of the Dead is one of our favorite family traditions. The kids love it, and the adults too!!!

Making vegan sugar skulls for the Day of the Dead is one of our favorite family traditions. The kids love it, and the adults too!!!
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Day of the Dead Vegan Sugar Skulls

Total Time 2 days
Servings 5 people
Author Dora S.

Ingredients

Skulls:

  • 6 cups Sugar, granulated
  • 4 tbsp. Aquafaba, (liquid from can of chickpeas)

Royal Icing:

  • 3 floz. (1/3 cup + 1 tbsp.) Aquafaba
  • 4-5 cups Powdered Sugar
  • 4 Food coloring of choice

Equipment:

  • 2 Sugar skull molds- front and back
  • 5 Card board squares 4.5 X 4.5 inches
  • 4 Disposable pastry bags
  • Sequins

Preparation

Sugar Skulls

  1. In a large bowl, lightly beat the aquafaba until it starts to bubble.
  2. Pour in the sugar, and use your hand to mix well and incorporate the sugar and the aquafaba. It should have the consistency of wet sand, almost like you are going to build a sand castle.
  3. Make sure your mold is clean and dry. Press the sugar mix into the mold. Use a spoon to scoop out some of the sugar from the back of the skull. This will make the skull less heavy.
  4. Press the cardboard square against the mold and flip the mold, to have the skull facing you. Lift the mold, and carefully place the cardboard with the skull on it on a sheet tray.
  5. Repeat this process with the rest of the sugar. If you want to make a complete sugar skull use both the skull molds.
  6. Leave to dry for at least 24 hours.

Royal Icing

  1. The next day, in a large bowl, lightly beat the aquafaba until it starts to bubble. Add 4 cups of the powdered sugar and mix well. Test the consistency of the icing on a plate. It should be thick enough that it doesn’t slide down the plate easily. If it seems too thin, add 1 more cup of powdered sugar. The consistency should be considerably thicker than the icing used to decorate cookies.

  2. Separate the icing into 4 small bowls. Add your food coloring of choice and mix well.
  3. Pour each bowl of icing into a disposable piping bag. Secure with a rubber band, and cut a tiny bit off of the tip of the bag. Test the amount of icing that comes out before decorating your skull.
  4. Decorate your skull however you desire. I like to use sequins for the eyes. Let dry 24 hours.

Making a complete skull

  1. If you are making complete skulls, leave some of the royal icing white, and use it to glue the front and back of the skull, after it has dried for the initial 24 hours. After you have glued it together, let dry a bit before decorating it.

Chef's Notes

If you live in a humid climate the sugar skulls will take longer to dry, and you will most likely have to add less aquafaba. The longer you let the skulls dry the better. The sugar skulls are not meant to be eaten. They are for decoration. Royal icing recipe adapted from The Blenderist.

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Pipian Rojo Over Rice – Decolonize Your Diet

How did I not know this book existed until now! Decolonize your Diet by Luz Calvo and Catriona Rueda Esquivel is part manifesto, part cookbook, and part love story. It is a book that hopes to impulse a movement to help others heal their bodies, reclaim the culture of their ancestors, and revolt against the colonial systems that aim to suppress indigenous traditions.

Pipian Rojo Over Rice recipe is perfect for the coming fall and winter months. The sauce is very hearty and made with roasted pumpkin seeds.

It all begins when Luz is diagnosed with breast cancer. This forces her to reexamine not only what she had been feeding her body, but to come up with a plan to survive the cancer. This led to her doing extensive research on breast cancer in Latino communities and what she found began a whole new way of life for both Luz and Catriona.

Pipian Rojo Over Rice recipe is perfect for the coming fall and winter months. The sauce is very hearty and made with roasted pumpkin seeds.

In her research it was clear that immigrant Latinos had significantly lower breast cancer rates than those born in the US. Primarily, because immigrants led a diet closer to that of their ancestors, based on beans, corn, squash, wild greens, nopales, fresh fruit, nuts, and seeds. After this discovery, Luz and Catriona began to decolonize their diet.

Pipian Rojo Over Rice recipe is perfect for the coming fall and winter months. The sauce is very hearty and made with roasted pumpkin seeds.

The book also touches on how decolonizing your diet fits in perfectly with the Chicana/o movement, in that it aims to preserve our indigenous cooking traditions. This part in particular pulled at my heart strings. I am technically not a chicana myself, because I was born in Mexico, though I have been living in this country for 13 years. My children however are chicanos, and as a mom it feels like every day is a fight against a culture that is not my own. I speak only Spanish to them, I cook Mexican food at home, and we continue traditions that my mother taught me, and her mother taught her. I want them to be proud of their heritage and a big part of that is food. Just like Luz and Catriona say in their book, food is a nexus connecting generations.

Pipian Rojo Over Rice recipe is perfect for the coming fall and winter months. The sauce is very hearty and made with roasted pumpkin seeds.

There are over 120 recipes in this book, not all of them are vegan, but most of them include a vegan option. The recipes are wonderfully researched, the cooking techniques explained in detail, and there’s even a section with menu ideas. My favorite ones so far are Verdolagas & Nectarine Summer Salad, Chipotle Pumpkin Soup, and the Tlacoyos con Quelites.

Pipian Rojo Over Rice recipe is perfect for the coming fall and winter months. The sauce is very hearty and made with roasted pumpkin seeds.

Thank you, Luz and Catriona, for the inspiring me to continue to publish plant-based recipes that honor Mexican culture and traditions. I hope to meet you guys some day and maybe share a meal that honors our ancestors!

You can purchase Decolonize Your Diet on Amazon, Barnes & Noble and Indibound.

The Recipe: Pipian Rojo Over Rice

I have chosen this Pipian Rojo Over Rice recipe to share with you, because it is perfect for the coming fall and winter months. The sauce is a hearty, stick to your ribs kind of sauce, made with roasted pumpkin seeds, roasted tomato, and dried pasilla, arbol, and ancho chiles. The sauce is served over potatoes, green beans, and chayote. You can serve this over a bed of rice with a green salad. Enjoy!

Pipian Rojo Over Rice recipe is perfect for the coming fall and winter months. The sauce is very hearty and made with roasted pumpkin seeds.
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Pipian Rojo Over Rice

Recipe from the book Decolonize Your Diet by Luz Calvo and Catriona Rueda Esquibel. Recipe used with permission from author. 

Total Time 45 minutes
Servings 8 Servings

Ingredients

Sauce

  • 2 Corn tortillas
  • 3 Guajillo chiles, dried, deseeded
  • 5 Pasilla chiles, dried, deseeded
  • 1 Chile de Arbol, dried, deseeded
  • 1 White onion, peeled, and quartered
  • 2 Garlic, whole, unpeeled
  • 2 Medium tomatoes
  • 3/4 cup Pumpkin seeds, raw, hulled (pepitas)
  • 8 Allspice berries, whole
  • 6 Peppercorns
  • 1 tsp. Achiote, ground
  • 1/2 tsp. Sea salt
  • 1/4 tsp. Pepper

Stew

  • 5 Purple potatoes, medium-sized, scrubbed
  • 1/2 lb. Green beans, ends removed
  • 1 Chayote, peeled
  • 1 Onion, diced
  • 3 tbsp. Olive oil (optional)
  • 4 cloves Garlic, minced
  • 1/2 tsp. Sea salt
  • 2 tbsp. Pumpkin seed oil (optional)
  • 2 cups Cooked rice (white or brown)
  • 1/4 cup Pumpkin seeds, raw, hulled, for garnish
  • 1/4 cup Cilantro, leaves only

Preparation

To make sauce

  1. On a griddle on medium high-heat, toast corn tortillas until crispy and slightly charred. Set aside. On the same griddle, toast dried chiles for 1 minute on each side, taking care not to burn. Put chiles in a bowl and cover with boiling water. Use a small plate to keep chiles submerged for 30 minutes.

  2. On same hot griddle, slightly char onions and garlic, about 4 minutes. Peel garlic and place it with onions in blender. Put whole tomatoes on griddle and turn often to char on several sides, then add to blender. When chiles have finished soaking, drain, and add to blender.

  3. On same hot griddle, toast pumpkin seeds until they begin to puff up. Reserve 1/4 cup of pumpkin seeds for garnish, and add the rest to the blender. On griddle, toast allspice and peppercorns for a few seconds and add to blender wth achiote, salt, and pepper. 

  4. Break charred tortillas into quarters and add to blender. Purée until ingredients form a smooth sauce. If necessary, work in batches or add a small amount of water to blender to process smoothly. Sauce should have the consistency of a tomato sauce or just a little bit chunkier. 

To make stew:

  1. Coarsley chop potatoes, green beans, and chayote into hearty, bite-sized chunks and set aside. In a large pot on medium heat, sauté onions in olive oil for 5 minutes. Add garlic and stir until fragrant. Add potatoes, green beans, and chayote and stir to combine. 

  2. Season vegetables with salt. Add just enough water to cover vegetables and bring to a boil. Stir in pipian sauce. Lower heat to medium simmer, stirring occasionally, for about 30 minutes or until vegetables are fork-tender. Adjust seasonings.

  3. Divide rice between bowls and serve pipian over rice. Garnish each serving with a drizzle of pumpkin seed oil, pumpkin seeds, and cilantro leaves.

Disclosure: I received a free copy of this book to complete this review. 

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Vegan Chiles en Nogada

These vegan chiles en nogada will transport you to the city of Puebla in the fall. This dish is one of the stars of Mexican cuisine, because it perfectly embodies why Mexican cuisine was declared Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity in 2010. It is painstakingly laborious, but don’t worry I have adapted it so you can make it at home in less than an hour. A roasted poblano chile is stuffed with a picadillo of pork (lentils in this version), sautéed in onion, garlic, and tomato puree with almonds, apples, olives, plantain, pear, capers, and raisins. It is bathed in a walnut cream sauce and sprinkled with pomegranate seeds.

chiles-en-nogada-02

The earliest versions of this dish can be found in cookbooks as early as 1817, and there are several theories or legends as to where it originated. Some say that the Agustinian Recollects of the Convent of St. Monica  created the dish in honor of the emperor Agustin Iturbide who was in town and had played an important role in the recently won war for Mexican independence. The dish was meant to symbolize the three colors of the Mexican flag green, white, and red.

Another version says that three soldiers of Agustin’s regiment were returning home to Puebla after the war was won, and their girlfriends wanted to prepare a special dish for them. They each found an ingredient that represented the colors of the Mexican flag and said a prayer to our Lady of the Rosary and St. Paschal Baylon, thus chiles en nogada were born.

chiles-en-nogada-01

Regardless of their true origin, chiles en nogada today is a very popular dish only available in the fall, since it uses completely seasonal ingredients found in Puebla. Chiles in nogada season is highly anticipated in Mexico as it is a reflection of our national pride and the celebration of Mexico’s independence which is celebrated on September 16. Mexican cuisine is deeply integrated into the history, culture, and the community identity of the Mexican people, and this dish is only one example of the beauty and richness of it all.

chiles-en-nogada-03

The Recipe: Vegan Chiles en Nogada

You can add peach to the picadillo, but I prefer to leave it out. Traditionally the walnuts are peeled, but this takes insanely long, so instead I have just soaked them the night before. Instead of lentils you could use beefless crumbles, TVP or jackfruit. ¡Enjoy!

 

Vegan Chiles en Nogada, roasted poblano chile is stuffed with an aromatic picadillo, covered in walnut cream sauce and pomegranate seeds.
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Vegan Chiles en Nogada

Total Time 1 hour
Servings 4 Servings
Author Dora S.

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups lentils dry
  • ½ Onion, large
  • 2 Garlic cloves, peeled, smashed
  • 2 Large tomatoes, (see note)
  • 4 Poblano peppers, roasted, peeled, seeds removed

Lentil picadillo:

  • ¼ cup Water
  • ½ Onion, minced (1 cup)
  • 3 cloves Garlic, minced
  • ¼ cup Pear, diced
  • ¼ cup Apple, diced
  • ¾ cup Peeled, diced green plantain
  • ¼ cup Slivered almonds
  • 2 ½ tbsp. Raisins
  • 8 Manzanilla olives, quartered
  • 1 tbsp. Chopped capers
  • 1/4 tsp. Clove, ground
  • 1/8 tsp. Cinnamon, ground
  • 1/8 tsp. Ground black pepper

Sauce:

  • 1 cup Walnuts, soaked in water the night before, drained
  • 1 cup Almond milk, unsweetened
  • 1 cup Baguette or bolillo, cut crust off, cut bread into cubes
  • 1 tsp. Sugar or sweetener of choice
  • 1 tsp. White wine
  • Salt to taste

Garnish:

  • 1 Pomegranate, cut, peeled, and seeds removed
  • 1/4 cup Chopped parsley

Preparation

  1. Fill a medium pot with water and add lentils, ½ of an onion, and 2 smashed garlic cloves. Bring to a simmer over medium heat and cook until tender, about 20 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside.
  2. While the lentils are cooking, place the two tomatoes and the poblano peppers on a sheet tray. Turn your oven broiler to high and place sheet tray on the top rack of the oven. Let them cook for a couple of minutes on each side until the tomato and the chiles begin to soften and have black spots all over. Remove from heat. Place the tomates and chiles in a bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Let rest 5 minutes.
  3. Drain the lentils, reserve 1 cup of the lentil cooking liquid, and using a potato masher, mash them to break them up.
  4. Peel the poblano peppers, make 1 cut lengthwise with a knife, and remove the seeds. Set aside.
  5. Remove half of the skin off of the tomatoes, and using a blender process them into a puree. Set aside.
  6. Set a large pot to medium heat, add ¼ cup of water, and add onion. Cook for 4-5 minutes until onion begins to soften and look translucent.
  7. Add garlic and cook for 2 more minutes.
  8. Add cooked lentils, mix well, and pour in tomato puree. Let cook for 3-4 minutes or until the puree begins to bubble and change to a darker red color.
  9. Add clove, cinnamon, black pepper, plantain, apple, pear, almonds, olives, capers, and raisins. Stir mixture.
  10. Add 1 cup of the liquid you reserved from the lentils, and simmer for 20 min or until the plantain is cooke through. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

  11. While the picadillo is cooking, soak the cut bread in the cup of almond milk for 5 minutes.

  12. In a blender, place the soaked bread and milk, previously soaked and drained walnuts, sugar, and white wine, blend until smooth. Season to taste with salt. It should have the consistency of a cream sauce. If it is too thick, add more almond milk. Set aside.

  13. Stuff the chiles rellenos with the lentil picadillo. Place the chiles seam side down on a plate. Pour walnut sauce over them, and sprinkle with pomegranate seeds and chopped parsley.

Chef's Notes

To save time you can buy pre-cooked lentils, and substitute the tomatoes with 1 cup of pureed roasted diced tomatoes (canned). Do not heat up the walnut sauce. Instead of lentils you could use TVP, beefless crumbles or jackfruit.

 

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Sweet Potato and Carrot Tinga Tacos

I have fallen in love with sweet potatoes. I actually used to dislike them, but during my pregnancy I craved them and now I can’t get enough of them. These sweet potato and carrot tinga tacos are one of the many ways you can use sweet potatoes. The shredded carrots and sweet potatoes are stewed with onion, garlic, and a tomato-chipotle sauce. The sweet potatoes make this dish just a bit sweet, the chipotle-tomato sauce adds a tanginess that will keep you coming back for more, and the avocado gives it a luscious creaminess. Serve on warm tortillas for tacos or on tostadas smothered with beans.

Sweet potato and carrot tinga tacos are a bit sweet, the chipotle-tomato sauce adds a tanginess and spiciness that will keep you coming back.

Traditionally, tinga is a shredded pork dish that originates from Puebla. It is also commonly made with chicken or beef. For another vegan option you could use jackfruit or hearts of palm. The best thing about this recipe though is that it’s super easy to make and only requires a couple of ingredients. I make a less spicy version for my kids and they love it!

Sweet potato and carrot tinga tacos are a bit sweet, the chipotle-tomato sauce adds a tanginess and spiciness that will keep you coming back.

Our baby is now 2 months old, and I’m trying to get back into the rythm of things, testing recipes, posting, and recording videos. I am planning on finally launching a youtube channel in the next couple of weeks, but I have to say it makes me really nervous. If you have any suggestions, words of encouragement, or recipe requests I am all ears. Enjoy!!

Sweet potato and carrot tinga tacos are a bit sweet, the chipotle-tomato sauce adds a tanginess and spiciness that will keep you coming back.

The Recipe: Sweet Potato and Carrot Tinga Tacos

Make sure to cook the tinga until the sweet potatoes and carrots are tender. The texture should not be crunchy. Enjoy!

 

Sweet potato and carrot tinga tacos are a bit sweet, the chipotle-tomato sauce adds a tanginess and spiciness that will keep you coming back.
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Sweet Potato and Carrot Tinga Tacos

Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 4 Servings

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup Water
  • 1 cup Thinly sliced white onion
  • 3 Garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 1/2 cups Grated sweet potato
  • 1 cup Grated carrot
  • 1 can (14 oz.) Diced tomatoes
  • 1 tsp. Mexican oregano (optional)
  • 2 Chipotle peppers in adobo
  • 1/2 cup Vegetable stock
  • 1 Avocado, sliced
  • 8 Tortillas corn or flour

Preparation

  1. In a large sauté pan over medium-heat, add water and onion, cook for 3 -4 minutes, until the onion is translucent and soft. Add the garlic and continue to cook, stirring for 1 minute.

  2. Add sweet potato and carrot to the pan and cook for 5 min stirring often.

Sauce:

  1. Place the diced tomatoes, vegetable stock, oregano, and chipotle peppers in the blender and process until smooth.

  2. Add chipotle-tomato sauce to the pan and cook for 10-12 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the sweet potatoes and carrot are cooked through. If necessary add more vegetable stock to the pan. 

  3. Serve on warm tortillas and top with avocado slices.

Chef's Notes

Increase or decrease spiciness by adding or removing some of the chipotle peppers. You can also serve on tostadas smothered with refried beans. 

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Refreshing Agua de Melón

This week this recipe for agua de melon has been generously provided by Douglas Cullen of the blog Mexican Food Journal. Douglas has lived in Mexico for over 20 yrs. and he brings his knowledge of Mexican food to his blog. His blog is not vegan, but you will find some very good vegan recipes on there like this Roasted Chile Poblano Soup. 

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Here are some of the vegan or easily veganized recipes you can find on Mexican Food Journal:

How to use Mole Paste 

Fresh Tomatillo Salsa Verde

Traditional Sopa de Fideo

Spearmint Lime Cucumber Water

Watermelon Agua Fresca

Habanero Salsa

Mushroom Soup

Mexican Red Rice

Tamarind Water

Spicy Pineapple Salad

Ensalada de Calabaza y Chayote

………and many more.

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When it’s scorching hot outside the best way to cool down is with an agua fresca, which is basically fruit, water, and a sweetener. The flavors are as abundant as you can imagine. My favorites are agua de tamarindo, pineapple, and watermelon. Traditionally they are sweetened with sugar, but they can also be sweetened with agave syrup or maple syrup.

Enjoy this refreshing agua de melon, which is easy to prepare, delicious and the prefect treat for a super hot day.

At home we drink water with our meals, but every once in a while as a special treat we make aguas frescas. Our 8 yr. old is going back to school next week, and all of us are looking forward to getting back into a routine and to start making some friends. Our little newborn is doing very well, growing like crazy, and keeping us up at night.

Enjoy this refreshing agua de melon, which is easy to prepare, delicious and the prefect treat for a super hot day.

I have started doing instagram stories everyday, just kind of showing what we cook everyday and sharing recipes. You can follow me at https://instagram.com/dorastable.

The Recipe: Refreshing Agua de Melón

Enjoy this agua de melon, or “melon water” prepared with ripe cantaloupe. A refreshing drink on a warm summer day. Traditionally, an agua prepared with seasonal fruit is the drink of choice to accompany the mid-day meal in Mexico. You can substitute the sugar with agave or maple syrup.

 

Enjoy this refreshing agua de melon, which is easy to prepare, delicious and the prefect treat for a super hot day.
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Agua de Melon

Total Time 10 minutes
Servings 4 people

Ingredients

  • 1/2 Caneloupe
  • 1/2 cup Sugar
  • 6 cups Water

Preparation

  1. Remove the rind and seeds from the cantaloupe.
  2. Cut the cantaloupe into 2” chunks.

  3. Add the cantaloupe, sugar and 2 cups of water to your blender. Blend for 30 seconds. 
  4. Add 1 more cup of water and blend for another 30 seconds.
  5. Pour the blended cantaloupe into a serving pitcher. Add the remaining water and stir well.
  6. Serve lightly chilled. Stir again just before serving.

Chef's Notes

Honeydew melon is a delicious substitute for the cantaloupe. If you prefer a sweeter drink, you can add an additional 1/2 cup of sugar. You can substitute the sugar with agave or maple syrup.

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Creamy Banana Pecan Paletas

Sometimes all you want on a blistering hot day is creamy banana pecan paletas. These banana popsicles have only 3 ingredients. are vegan, super easy to make, have no refined sugar, and are so deliciously creamy you will keep coming back for more.

These creamy banana pecan paletas (banana pecan popsicles) have only 3 ingredients, are vegan, and refined-sugar free!!

This year I’m participating in #paletaweek hosted by Lola’s Cocina, which is a Mexican recipe blog. It is not vegan, but Lola has a huge selection of agua fresca and paleta recipes that are almost all vegan. There are so many possibilities with paletas, the options are endless. Paletas in Mexico are usually made with fresh fruits that are in season. The paletas themselves have tons of fruit pieces and are just the right amount of sweet. Vendors sell them on the street in small refrigerated carts, and the flavors can range from classic strawberry to the unconventional sweet corn flavor.  My absolute favorite is coconut, and in second place mango con chamoy.

These creamy banana pecan paletas (banana pecan popsicles) have only 3 ingredients, are vegan, and refined-sugar free!!

One of my favorite ice creams is butter pecan or just plain pecan. When I set out to make these paletas I wanted them to be pecan flavored, but I didn’t want to add a ton of refined sugar to them. So I decided to use bananas instead of a plant-milk. The result surpassed my expectations! The banana gives this paleta its sweetness, but at the same time the pecan flavor doesn’t get lost in the mix. The heat here in San Antonio has been pretty intense, and testing these paletas several times this week definitely made things better.

These creamy banana pecan paletas (banana pecan popsicles) have only 3 ingredients, are vegan, and refined-sugar free!!

The Recipe: Creamy Banana Pecan Paletas

Make sure you freeze the bananas before hand, otherwise your paletas will turn a sad grayish-brown color. Feel free to add a bit more almond milk if your blender is having trouble processing the bananas. You can also roast the pecans in the oven for a more intense pecan flavor.

 

These creamy banana pecan paletas (banana pecan popsicles) have only 3 ingredients, are vegan, and refined-sugar free!!
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Creamy Banana Pecan Paletas

These creamy banana pecan paletas (banana pecan popsicles) have only 3 ingredients, are vegan, and refined-sugar free!!
Prep Time 20 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Servings 8 Paletas

Ingredients

  • 5 Bananas, ripe, peeled, cut into rounds, and frozen overnight
  • 1/2 cup Almond milk, vanilla, unsweetened
  • 1/3 cup Chopped pecans

Preparation

  1. Freeze peeled and cut bananas overnight in a Ziploc bag.

  2. The following day place the bananas and almond milk in a blender or food processor and process until smooth.

  3. If the mixture is too thick you can add some more almond milk. 

  4. You must work quickly otherwise your bananas will start to turn brown.

  5. Pour the banana-almond milk mixture into a cold bowl. 

  6. Add half of the chopped pecans and mix well with a spatula. 
  7. Scoop the banana mixture into your popsicle molds and top with a generous sprinkle of chopped pecans.

  8. Insert popsicle sticks and freeze overnight. 

Chef's Notes

Make sure you freeze the bananas before hand, otherwise your paletas will turn a sad grayish-brown color. Feel free to add a bit more almond milk if your blender is having trouble processing the bananas. You can also roast the pecans in the oven for a more intense pecan flavor.

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Bionico Mexican Fruit Salad (Vegan)

This Bionico Mexican Fruit Salad is a refreshing, satisfying, and perfectly sweet and creamy breakfast or special treat. Sweet papaya, pineapple and orange chunks are layered with an almond banana yogurt, and topped with granola and coconut.

This Bionico Mexican Fruit Salad is a refreshing, satisfying, and perfectly sweet and creamy breakfast or special treat

The bionico is thought to have originated in the early 90’s in Guadalajara, Jalisco. It is a very popular breakfast item and is usually sold in the juguerias (juice bars). Traditionally it is made with crema and condensed milk, but this is a lighter vegan version served with a homemade, no-fuss, almond-banana yogurt. You can use whatever fruit you wish, but you can will most likely find it made through out Mexico with cantaloupe, apple, papaya, bananas, and strawberries. The toppings vary, but are usually granola, raisins, nuts, coconut flakes, and even chocolate chips.

This Bionico Mexican Fruit Salad is a refreshing, satisfying, and perfectly sweet and creamy breakfast or special treat

The last two weeks have been pretty hectic, but I’m happy to report that we have now moved in to our San Antonio home! This is a big change for us, not because of the actual move (this is our 7th move), but because this is the closest we have ever lived to family. My parents and sisters live a 3 hour drive away, and I have two first cousins who live here in San Antonio. With baby number 3 on the way this will be a great help.

This Bionico Mexican Fruit Salad is a refreshing, satisfying, and perfectly sweet and creamy breakfast or special treat

As a matter of fact something unprecedented happened. Two of my sisters and a close family friend drove to San Antonio to help unpack. We were unpacked in less than a day!! I just couldn’t believe it, usually moves are so stressful and demanding, it’s amazing what a little help can do. The kids and I have been busy exploring San Antonio visiting parks, museums, and libraries. Do you have any recommendations on where we should go next?

The Recipe: Bionico Mexican Fruit Salad

Feel free to use cashews instead of almonds for the yogurt. If you do not have a high powered blender I would recommend soaking the nuts overnight in water. Use whatever fruits and toppings you prefer (try this oil-free granola). The possibilities are endless. Enjoy!

This Bionico Mexican Fruit Salad is a refreshing, satisfying, and perfectly sweet and creamy breakfast or special treat
5 from 1 vote
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Bionico Mexican Fruit Salad (Vegan)

This Bionico Mexican Fruit Salad is a refreshing, satisfying, and perfectly sweet and creamy breakfast or special treat
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 2 servings
Author Dora S.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup Pineapple, peeled, cut into cubes
  • 1 cup Papapaya, peeled, cut into cubes
  • 1 cup Orange, peeled, cut into cubes
  • 1/2 cup Granola, oil-free
  • 1 tbsp. Coconut, shredded, unsweetened

Almond Yogurt

  • 1/2 cup Almonds, blanched
  • 1/4 cup Almond milk, unsweetened
  • 1/2 cup Banana, ripe, sliced into rounds
  • 1/3 cup Water
  • 1 tbsp. Maple syrup
  • 1 tsp. Lemon juice

Preparation

  1. Place all of the ingredients for the yogurt in the blender. Process until completely smooth. Pour into a container, set aside and refrigerate for 15 minutes. (It will thicken slightly in the refrigerator.)
  2. Begin layering your fruit into a cup or bowl, by alternating with 1 tbsp. of almond yogurt, until you have filled your cup ¾ of the way.
  3. Top the fruit and yogurt with granola and shredded coconut.

Chef's Notes

Feel free to use cashews instead of almonds for the yogurt. If you do not have a high powered blender I would recommend soaking the nuts overnight in water. Use whatever fruits and toppings you prefer (try this oil-free granola). Some options include nuts, raisins or chocolate chips. The possibilities are endless. Enjoy!