Vegan Mexican Recipes easy to follow, delicious, and healthy.

Is plant based Mexican food an oxymoron?? I used to think so. Enchiladas without cheese, pozole without pork or tamales without chicken? It sounded frankly awful to me, and it seemed to daunting to give up my childhood favorites. Well it doesn’t have to be that way. Plant based Mexican food is delicious and good for you!!

Vegan vs Plant Based?

Vegan means that you avoid all animal products in your food, but also in everyday items such as clothes and shampoo. Most of the time people become vegan for ethical reasons (to end animal suffering), it’s not just a diet. Plant based or whole food plant based (WFPB) is talking specifically about diet. A diet free of animal products, processed food, and oil. Usually, people choose this lifestyle for its health benefits.

This blog has been vegan Mexican for 5 yrs. now and during that time I have gone back in forth between vegan and plant-based in my recipes. (I just can’t seem to give up chips!!) So you will find oil-free recipes, and recipes so deliciously full of fat and chips, lots of chips.

I know everyone has a different path, so that’s why I’ve compiled all of the whole food plant based recipes on my blog for you. All of these recipes are oil-free or easily adaptable to be, and are low in sugar or the sugar can easily be substituted for a low-glycemic sweeteners. Enjoy!

Tofu avocado scramble on a blue plate with a cup of coffee beside it

Breakfast:

Hearts of palm ceviche on a blue plate with chips, and a beer.

Salads and Appetizers:

Vegan pozole verde topped with lettuce, radishes, and avocado in a blue and white talavera bowl

Soups:

The perfect vegan Mexican brown rice, made with a very traditional recipe. It has just the right texture and balance of tomato-garlic flavor.

Sides:

side angle of vegan picadillo and mexican rice in a clay plate on top of a striped blue placemat

Main Course:

A close up of vegan arroz con leche with raisins with the spoon digging in.

Dessert:

Salsas:

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

Drinks:

Agua de Melon

Licuado de Plátano

Resources:

If you are looking for more plant based Mexican food I recommend the following bloggers.

Piloncillo y Vainilla

Mexican Made Meatless

Brand New Vegan

Thyme and Love

This post was created in partnership with California Strawberries. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

These stuffed conchas are filled with a creamy vegan nutella and sliced California strawberries. A sweet treat that the whole family will enjoy!

Avocado added to chocolate nut spread in food processor

What are conchas?

Conchas are a Mexican sweet bread in the shape of a shell. It one of the most well known “ pan dulce “. It is a pillowy pastry with a crunchy cookie top. It is perfect for dipping in hot chocolate or a hot cup of coffee.

vegan nutella (nut spread) in a mason jar on a white background

They are amazing eaten alone, but if you want to take your concha to the next level you have to try it with this homemade vegan nutella and fresh California strawberries.

Vegan nutella piped on a concha on a white and blue plate
Sliced strawberries on top of the piped vegan nutella

How do you make Vegan Nutella?

I chose to make this chocolate-nut spread with cashews instead of the traditional hazelnuts. The soaked cashews give it a mild nut flavor that lets the bittersweet chocolate stand out. The secret to the creaminess of this spread is a little bit of avocado! I promise you won’t even know it’s there.

stuffed concha with vegan nutella and strawberries on a white and blue plate with strawberries in the background on a pink and gray napkin

We Love Strawberries!!

We love strawberries in this house we like to add them to our desserts like this stuffed concha, but we also love to make paletas, salads, pancakes, and even tamales. The best part is that they are not only delicious but healthy! Strawberries are full of vitamins and nutrients. Did you know that one serving of strawberries has a full day’s value of vitamin C?? They are also packed with antioxidants, and potassium, folate, and fiber.

overhead shot of stuffed concha filled with vegan nutella and strawberries

California Strawberries:

California is the nation’s leading producer of strawberries. Which means that it’s probable the strawberries you are getting from your local grocery store are from California. California’s rich, sandy coastal soils, western ocean exposure and moderate temperatures are the perfect combination for a year-round strawberry growing season. We actually lived in California for about 3 years and we loved going strawberry picking at our local Orange County farm. California strawberries are so sweet and juicy right of the vine!

stuffed concha with vegan nutella and strawberries with a piece cut off to show the inside

The Recipe: Stuffed Conchas with Vegan Nutella and Strawberries

I used my vegan concha recipe for this, but you can also purchase your own conchas if you don’t feel like making them.

If you are allergic to cashews you can use almonds or go back to the traditional hazelnut.

I used my food processor for this, but you could also use a high powered blender.

little girl holding the stuffed concha with a smile on her face

This post was created in partnership with California Strawberries. THIS IS WHERE YOU CAN FIND THE RECIPE FOR THE STUFFED CONCHAS WITH CHOCOLATE NUT SPREAD AND STRAWBERRIES.

One of my all-time favorite breakfasts are these vegan chilaquiles rojos! Crispy strips of corn tortilla are coated in a guajillo-tomato salsa, tossed with a mixture of vegetables, and sprinkled with vegan queso cotija, and almond crema.

guajillo chile sauce blended for chilaquiles

When I first decided to go vegan, I found breakfast to be one of the hardest things. Believe me, you get tired of oatmeal pretty fast, and sometimes you just want something hearty and savory. In the beginning, I was too scared to try a tofu scramble, but I love them now.  That’s where easy vegan chilaquiles come in. They are crunchy, spicy, and just the right amount of creamy.

a strainer set over a pot with a ladle pushing the sauce through

What are chilaquiles??

Chilaquiles are a Mexican dish served for breakfast and sometimes dinner. It consists of fried tortillas strips, a salsa, crema, and cheese. They can be red, green, or even made with mole. To make breakfast chilaquiles, you can they can serve them with a tofu scramble, and if you’re going to have them for dinner you can add a chicken substitute. 

tortilla chips coated in guajilllo chile sauce in a turquoise pot

For this vegan version, I’ve used an almond crema to off-set the heat in the dish. Why an almond crema? I’m going to tell you a little secret. I don’t like cashew cream, gasp! I know, I’m a pretty bad vegan, but it’s just too sweet for me. I don’t think it goes very well with Mexican food, that’s why I’ve come up with my own version of crema. I also make my own vegan cotija cheese but it is not really essential to the dish if you want to omit it.

vertical photo of vegan chilaquiles in a pink bowl drizzled with almond crema on a blue and white towel

The Recipe: Vegan Chilaquiles Rojos

  • For a healthier version bake your tortilla triangles at 350F for 30 min.
  • You can buy pre-made enchilada sauce to make a quick version of this. 
  • You can add any veggies you like, I simply added my favorites.
  • Place your chilaquiles in a casserole dish and top with vegan melty cheese to make this an easy breakfast casserole. 
a fork taking a piece of the vegan chilaquiles in a pink bowl
vegan chilaquiles rojos in a pink bowl over a white towel with blue stripes with avocado fan on top

Vegan Chilaquiles Rojos

5 from 1 vote
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Course: Breakfast
Cuisine: Mexican
Keyword: chile guajillo, red chilaquiles, vegan cotija, vegetarian
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
Servings: 6 servings
Calories: 444kcal
Author: Dora S.

Ingredients

Vegetable Sauté

  • 1 tbsp. Vegetable oil
  • 2 Zucchini, diced
  • ½ hd. Broccoli florets
  • 2 Tomatoes, diced
  • 2 Garlic cloves, minced
  • ¼ cup Vegetable broth or water
  • ½ cup Black beans, canned or home-made
  • 1 cup Spinach, chopped

Sauce

  • 4 Chile guajillo, devained and seeded
  • 2 cans (14.5 oz) Diced tomatoes
  • 1 Onion, white, chopped
  • 4 Garlic, cloves
  • 1-2 Arbol chiles,
  • 24 Corn tortillas, cut into triangles, 12ths
  • 1 cup Vegetable oil

Garnish

Instructions

  • Vegetable Saute: Heat 1 tbsp. of oil (optional) in a large sauté pan to medium-high heat. Once oil is hot, add zucchini and cook for 2 minutes, stirring often. Add the tomato, and garlic, and let cook for 1 minute more. Add broccoli and ¼ cup of water and cover. Lower heat to medium and cook for 1-2 minutes or until broccoli starts to get tender. Add black beans and spinach. Stir. Season with salt and pepper and set aside.
  • Sauce: Boil water in a small pot. Place the dried guajillo and arbol chiles in the water and simmer for 5 min. Drain and place in the blender with the tomato, onion, and garlic. Blend until smooth. Strain. Pour finished sauce into a large pot and simmer for 5 min. Set aside.
  • Pour vegetable oil into a heavy-bottomed pot , enough to cover about 2 inches of the bottom. Heat to about 350F at medium-high heat. Fry the tortilla triangles in batches until golden brown. Place the fried tortillas on a paper towel lined tray and let cool.
  • Assemble: Toss the tortilla chips with the tomato sauce in the large pot where it was simmered. The tortillas will begin to soften, but we don’t want them completely soft, so plate the tortillas and sauce immediately. Top with ½ cup of the veggie mixture, chopped cilantro, avocado slices, drizzle with the crema, and sprinkle with vegan cotija.

Notes

For a healthier version bake the tortilla chips in the oven at 350F for 30 min. or until crispy and golden brown.
  • You can buy pre-made enchilada sauce to make a quick version of this. 
  • You can add any veggies you like, I simply added my favorites.
  • Place your chilaquiles in a casserole dish and top with vegan melty cheese to make this an easy breakfast casserole. 

Nutrition

Serving: 1serving | Calories: 444kcal | Carbohydrates: 61g | Protein: 10g | Fat: 28g | Saturated Fat: 17g | Sodium: 103mg | Potassium: 781mg | Fiber: 12g | Sugar: 6g | Vitamin A: 1696IU | Vitamin C: 25mg | Calcium: 121mg | Iron: 2mg

This post was created in partnership with California Strawberries. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

These mouthwatering pepinos locos will be the talk of your next party. Crisp cucumbers are made into cups, dipped in chile powder, then filled with juicy California strawberries, Japanese style peanuts, tamarind candy, and then drizzled with chamoy and lime juice.

cucumbers, peanuts, tamarind candy, chamoy, and strawberries on a white background

This snack is part of a Mexican party culture where “la botana” is king. Botana means snack, but when Mexicans talk about botana it encompasses all the delicious dishes that one prepares for a party with friends, and believe me there are lots of parties! Botana can be anything from chips, peanuts, and fruit to guacamole, gorditas, and queso fundido.

cucumber cups on a white plate with a dotted rim
a glass bowl with chamoy and a white plate with chile powder and cucumber cup being dipped in

Pepinos locos or crazy cucumbers are perhaps an unusual combination, but for us it has all of our favorite elements lime, chile, sweet chamoy, and fresh fruit. They are incredibly popular with the younger crowd (especially teenagers), but people of all ages enjoy them as well. The addition of strawberries to this Mexican botana makes it an extra special treat.

cucumber cups with chile rim on a white plate with dotted rim

We Love Strawberries!!

We love strawberries in this house we like to add them to our desserts like this carlota de fresa, but we also love to make paletas, salads, pancakes, and even tamales. The best part is that they are not only delicious but healthy! Strawberries are full of vitamins and nutrients. Did you know that one serving of strawberries has a full day’s value of vitamin C?? They are also packed with antioxidants, and potassium, folate, and fiber.

chile covered cucumber cups filled with peanuts and strawberries

California Strawberries:

California is the nation’s leading producer of strawberries. Which means that it’s probable the strawberries you are getting from your local grocery store are from California. California’s rich, sandy coastal soils, western ocean exposure and moderate temperatures are the perfect combination for a year-round strawberry growing season. We actually lived in California for about 3 years and we loved going strawberry picking at our local Orange County farm. California strawberries are so sweet and juicy right of the vine!

pepinos locos on a white plate with chamoy poured over them surrounded by strawberries and limes

The Recipe: Strawberry Pepinos Locos

  • You can add chopped mango for a pop of color and sweetness.
  • I recommend you use tajin chile powder which is widely available in grocery stores.
  • If you can’t find Japanese style peanuts you can add regular peanuts.
close up of pepinos locos, filled with peanuts and strawberries on a white plate.

This post was created in partnership with California Strawberries. THIS IS WHERE YOU CAN FIND THE RECIPE FOR THE STRAWBERRY PEPINOS LOCOS

Picadillo is one of those dishes that is a staple in every Mexican household. This vegan picadillo made with lentils is super easy to make and kids tend to love it. It was one of my favorites growing up. In northern Mexico, it is traditionally made with ground beef, onions, garlic, chiles, and potatoes. In southern and central Mexico they add raisins, olives, and even fruit. You can also find picadillo in other Latin American countries. Perhaps the most famous is the Cuban version, which consists of ground or shredded beef, onions, peppers, potatoes, olives, and capers.

stainless steel pot full of lentils, onions, and broth on a wood background
tomato chipotle puree in a blender container over a wood background

Honestly, I was a little doubtful if this recipe would work with the lentils, but it works! As I was making it I could smell all the flavors coming together. My husband walked into the kitchen and got all excited, ” You’re making picadillo!” That is until I told him it was vegan and made with lentils. He hates lentils for some reason.

cooked lentils being mashed by a fork in a red bowl
cooked onions and lentils in a cast iron enameled pot with a wooden spoon
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This Mexican chocolate horchata is the perfect drink to cool down this summer. The traditional combination of soaked rice and milk is given an upgrade with this artisanal Mexican chocolate tablillas from Hernan.

rice, water, and chocolate soaking in a plastic container on a wooden surface

What is Horchata?

Horchata is a traditional Mexican agua fresca that actually originated in Spain. In Spain this refreshing drink is made with chufa nuts (which are not actually nuts but a tuber). When the Spanish conquistadores came to Mexico they brought with them the recipe for horchata, but seeing as chufa nuts are not native to Mexico they began using rice.

view into blender with chocolate horchata mixture on white surface

How do you make horchata?

Horchata is commonly made by soaking rice, cinnamon, and sometimes almonds in water overnight. Some recipes call for boiling the rice with the cinnamon then letting it soak, but I prefer to pour boiling water over the rice, cinnamon, and in this case chocolate then letting it rest overnight. The following day the mixture is blended, strained, then milk and sugar are added to it.

a glass of chocolate horchata on a white surface with chocolate squares and cinnamon beside it

Hernan Mexican Chocolate Tablillas

For this recipe, I used my favorite Mexican hot chocolate: Hernán. Hernán is the real deal, real, authentic, Mexican chocolate sourced from Chiapas, and ground with sugar and cinnamon. In fact, the cacao used to make Hernan Mexican hot chocolate is organic and from a bio diversified plantation! The chocolate comes in three presentations tablillas (squares), skulls (which make an amazing gift since they are sold in small brightly colored hand woven palm leaf baskets), and small balls.

a glass of chocolate horchata with 2 squares of chocolate beside it and the box of hernan chocolate behind it

The Recipe: Mexican Chocolate Horchata

  • If Hernan chocolate is not immediately available to you, you can use Ibarra chocolate which is readily available in most grocery stores and is also vegan.
  • You can use the sweetener of your preference agave, coconut sugar, maple syrup, etc
  • Make sure to strain twice for a really smooth horchata.
  • Serve over ice and enjoy!!
two glasses of horchata de chocolate, two cinnamon sticks and two chocolate squares beside it
two glasses of horchata de chocolate, two cinnamon sticks and two chocolate squares beside it

Chocolate Horchata

This Mexican chocolate horchata is the prefect drink to cooldown this summer. The traditional combination of soaked rice and milk is givenan upgrade with this artisanal Mexican chocolate tablillas from Hernan.
5 from 3 votes
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Course: Drinks
Cuisine: Mexican
Keyword: aguas frescas, chocolate, horchata de chocolate
Prep Time: 10 minutes
1 day
Total Time: 1 day 10 minutes
Servings: 8 servings
Calories: 157kcal
Author: Dora S.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup Rice, long grain
  • 3 cups Water
  • 2 Hernan Mexican chocolate tablillas (2.6 oz)
  • 1/2 cup Sugar,
  • 1 stick Ceylon cinnamon (2 inch long)
  • 1 tsp Vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cups Soy, unsweetened (or your favorite plant milk)

Instructions

  • In a heat resistant container, combine the rice, Mexican chocolate tablillas, and cinnamon.
  • In a medium pot, bring the 3 cups of water to a boil. Pour over the rice and refrigerate overnight.
  • The following day blend the mixture until smooth and strain through a fine mesh strainer.
  • Add the vanilla, sugar, and soy milk and blend again until smooth.
  • Strain through a cheesecloth or nut bag.
  • Serve over ice and sprinkle with ground cinnamon. Enjoy!

Notes

If Hernan chocolate is not immediately available to you, you can use Ibarra chocolate which is readily available in most grocery stores and is also vegan. You can use the sweetener of your preference agave, coconut sugar, maple syrup, etc Make sure to strain twice for a really smooth horchata. Serve over ice and enjoy!!

Nutrition

Serving: 1serving | Calories: 157kcal | Carbohydrates: 33g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 1g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 1mg | Sodium: 28mg | Potassium: 89mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 14g | Vitamin A: 174IU | Vitamin C: 3mg | Calcium: 75mg | Iron: 1mg

There’s nothing better than warm whole wheat flour tortillas, just made and slathered in butter. These tortillas take the best of both worlds. The combination of all-purpose flour with wheat germ, and wheat bran result in a soft, yet not gummy tortilla that will conquer your heart.

stainless steel bowl with all purpose flour, wheat bran, wheat germ, baking powder, and salt
stainless steel bowl with flour mixture and vegetable shortening

This is a family recipe. My güelita Lolita is famous for her tortillas integrales (whole wheat flour tortillas), and she was more than happy to share the recipe with us. Northern Mexico is known for flour tortillas. Most people think flour tortillas are not Mexican, but this is totally not true. Flour tortillas are eaten all across northern Mexico, almost as much as corn tortillas!

a hand up close showing the texture of the flour mixture

History of Flour Tortillas

Wheat arrived in Mexico with the Spanish around 1543. The Spanish accustomed to eating wheat were not big fans of corn tortillas. However it wasn’t in central Mexico where wheat took its stronghold but in the north. Northern Mexico, specifically the state of Sonora, Southern California, and Arizona were once considered one of the breadbaskets of America.

water added to the stainless steel bowl with the flour mixture
a large ball of dough in a stainless steel bowl

Some believe the flour tortilla is the new world version of a Middle Eastern flatbread, a product of Jewish and Arab influence in Spanish cuisine. Flour tortillas in Mexico very in size from small and a bit thick like in Coahuila, to incredibly large and thin, like in Sonora. (There’s a tortilla in Sonora called la sobaquera (armpit tortilla), because it’s so large that when you’re stretching it it reaches your armpit.)

small balls of dough lined on a parchment lined sheet tray

In some regions flour tortillas are made with lard, in others with a combination of lard and vegetable shortening, and in some places only vegetable shortening. This whole wheat version of the tortilla is the Mexican equivalent of “healthy”, the wheat germ and wheat bran add some fiber and earthiness to this Mexican classic.

ball of tortilla dough rolled out really thin on a piece of parchment

The Recipe: Whole Wheat Flour Tortillas

  • My grandma uses vegetable shortening in her recipe, but this will also work with refined coconut oil.
  • The longer the dough rests the softer the tortillas will be. Leaving the dough overnight in the refrigerator is recommended.
  • Roll the tortillas as thin as you possibly can.
  • These tortillas are not meant to make burritos. They are perfect for tacos.
a stack of whole wheat tortillas on a white linen towel with green stripes
a stack of whole wheat tortillas on a white linen towel with green stripes, with the top tortilla folded over

Whole Wheat Flour Tortilla

There’s nothing better than warm whole wheat flour tortilla, just made and slathered in butter. These tortillas take the best of both worlds. The combination of all purpose flour with wheat germ, and wheat bran result in a soft, yet not gummy tortilla that will conquer your heart.
5 from 2 votes
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Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: Mexican
Keyword: butternut squash and mushroom tacos, shortening, wheat bran, wheat germ
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 5 minutes
1 hour
Servings: 12 tortillas
Calories: 124kcal
Author: Dora S.

Ingredients

  • 1 ½ cups All-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup Wheat germ
  • 3/4 cup Wheat bran
  • 1 ½ tsp. Baking powder
  • 1 tsp. Salt
  • 1/3 cup Vegetable shortening
  • 3/4 cup Warm water

Instructions

  • In a large bowl combine the flour, wheat bran, wheat germ, baking powder, salt, and mix well. Add vegetable shortening and use your fingers to to rub the shortening into the flour mixture until completely incorporated.
  • Pour water in and mix with a fork until. If the dough is too dry, add a bit more water.
  • Scoop mixture out into a cutting board and knead until smooth (about 3-4 minutes). The dough should be soft and stretchy, but not as soft as bread dough.
  • Cover dough with plastic wrap and let rest for at least 1 hour. (The longer the dough rests the softer your tortillas will be.)
  • Divide the dough into 12 equal pieces and roll into balls. Heat a cast iron skillet or comal to medium-high heat.
  • Sprinkle flour on your work surface, flatten the ball of dough with your hand. Using a rolling pin, begin to roll back and forth across the ball, rotating it slightly each time, and sprinkling more flour as necessary, until the dough has stretched out to make a large thin circle. Try to roll it as thin as you possibly can.
  • Lay the tortilla on the comal and flip after 30 to 40 seconds The tortilla should bubble up almost immediately. Cook 30 more seconds on the other side and remove from pan. Be careful not to overcook the tortillas or they will become crisp. Remove tortillas from pan and place in a tortilla warmer or kitchen towel.
  • Repeat this process with the rest of the dough.

Notes

  • My grandma uses vegetable shortening in her recipe, but this will also work with refined coconut oil.
  • The longer the dough rests the softer the tortillas will be. Leaving the dough overnight in the refrigerator is recommended.
  • Roll the tortillas as thin as you possibly can.
  • These tortillas are not meant to make burritos. They are perfect for tacos.

Nutrition

Serving: 1tortilla | Calories: 124kcal | Carbohydrates: 16g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 6g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Sodium: 161mg | Potassium: 143mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 1g | Calcium: 33mg | Iron: 1mg

This post was created in partnership with California Strawberries. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

Strawberry season is upon us and this easy vegan carlota de fresa is the perfect dessert to showcase those sweet juicy strawberries. Carlota de fresa is a strawberry icebox cake that is popular in Mexico, it consists of a silky strawberry-lime cream, and layers of Maria cookies. There’s no baking required so it’s super easy to make!!

Strawberries, tofu, sugar and lime juice in blender

As a child sometimes I would prefer the carlota de fresa or carlota de limon instead of birthday cake, since especially in the summer months this dessert is so refreshing!! What makes this dessert so special is another childhood favorite, Maria cookies. My grandmother used to love having them with her coffee, and I have so many fond memories of snacking on cookies at her kitchen table.

Blended strawberry mixture in a pink bowl

Healthy Snacking:

While we enjoy strawberries in our desserts, there’s another way we enjoy strawberries even more, and that’s snacking on them! I have three kids, and if you have kids you know they want to snack ALL OF THE TIME! What better snack than a big bowl of strawberries with some chocolate hummus or some nuts. Strawberries are full of vitamins and nutrients. Did you know that one serving of strawberries has a full day’s value of vitamin C?? They are also packed with antioxidants, and potassium, folate, and fiber.

parchment paper lined glass baking dish lined with rows of Maria cookies

California Strawberries:

California is the nation’s leading producer of strawberries. Which means that it’s probable the strawberries you are getting from your local grocery store are from California. California’s rich, sandy coastal soils, western ocean exposure and moderate temperatures are the perfect combination for a year-round strawberry growing season. We actually lived in California for about 3 years and we loved going strawberry picking at our local Orange County farm. California strawberries are so sweet and juicy right of the vine!

Parchment paper lined glass baking dish lined with Maria cookies, strawberry cream, and fresh strawberries.

How to Choose the Best Strawberries:

I hate it when I get home from the grocery store and discover that a portion of my strawberries how somehow grown mold overnight. When choosing strawberries look for plump red berries with green leaves. Inspect the box for mold, and try to buy strawberries in the months of April to July when they are season.

Glass baking dish layered with Maria cookies, strawberry-lime cream, and fresh strawberries.

The Recipe: Carlota de Fresa

  • The Gamesa brand of Maria’s is not vegan, but I did find El Mexicano brand at my local HEB. If you can’t find them you can order McVities Rich Tea Biscuits which are vegan and is essentially a Maria cookie.
  • Agar agar is gelling powder similar to gelatin that thickens sauces. You can order agar agar HERE.
Vegan carlota de fresa, strawberry iced box cake topped with sliced strawberries, on a white serving tray with silver colored handles placed vertically
Close up of a slice of vegan carlota de fresa topped with sliced strawberries on a white plate
A golden spoon slicing into a piece of the Carlota de Fresa
a wide shot of a spoonful taken out of a slice of carlota de limon showing the different layers and topped with sliced strawberries on top and surrounded by strawberries

This post was created in partnership with California Strawberries. THIS IS WHERE YOU CAN FIND THE RECIPE FOR THE VEGAN CARLOTA DE FRESA.

This post was created in partnership with Valley Fig Growers. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

Mole is one of those traditional dishes that is passed down from generation to generation. It is a labor of love ground down on a metate and savored by the whole family.  This fig mole uses the earthiness and sweetness of Orchard Choice or Sun-Maid California Dried Figs to enhance the complexity and richness of the mole. Golden brown sautéed mushrooms are bathed in fig mole and served on warm homemade corn tortillas, topped with sliced red onion, and cilantro. 

dried chiles, corn tortilla, chocolate, tomatoes, tomatillo, peanuts, almonds, bolillo, and pumpkin seeds ingredients to make fig mole on a white wood background

The word mole comes from the nahuatl word “mulli” meaning sauce or stew. There are many varieties of mole: red, green, yellow, poblano, negro, and many more. They vary according to the region of Mexico you are in.

anise seeds, clove, and cinnamon toasting on a cast iron pan

Mole’s origins are pre-Hispanic. It is well known that the indigenous people of Mexico prepared complex sauces ground on their metate. Over the years and after the conquest, additional elements were added to these sauces that were not available before, like lard and bread.

peanuts, almonds, roasted tomates, roasted tomatillos, toasted bread, toasted tortillas and fried figs in a white saute pan with red handle

Why Dried Figs??
Well, to start off with I love figs, fresh and dried. There are many moles that use raisins or prunes to add sweetness to the sauce, so using dried figs instead gives this sauce a natural sweetness that pairs amazingly with the chocolate and nuts already in the sauce.

fig mole in an aqua colored cast iron pot with a wooden soon stirring the mole

California Figs

California supplies 100% of the nation’s dried figs.  They were introduced by the  Spaniards in the early 16th century. The priests at Mission San Diego were the ones who originally planted the figs, this is how the dark purple fig became known as “Mission.” For this recipe I used Orchard Choice California Mission Dried Figs.

aqua colored cast iron pan with mushrooms in fig mole

I love recreating and innovating traditional Mexican dishes to fit the vegan lifestyle. Mole is usually served with some kind of animal product, but I chose instead to use mushrooms to make these delicious tacos. The umami flavor and “meatiness “ of the mushrooms are the perfect way to honor the beautiful tradition of mole making that continues to be passed on from generation to generation.

fig mole mushroom tacos on wooden board with an embroidered Otomi placemat and orchard choice fig pack

The Recipe: Fig Mole Mushroom Tacos

  • You can find the dried chiles: mulato, pasilla, and ancho at your local Mexican market, or you can find them HERE.
  • I used Orchard Choice California Mission Dried Figs for this recipe.
  • You can pair these fig mole mushroom tacos with a marzen style ale.
  • I used a combination of cremini and portabella mushrooms, but I recommend the addition of oyster and maitake mushrooms.
  • This recipe makes about 1 quart and 1 cup of fig mole. You will only need about two cups of it for this recipe. You can freeze the rest for up to six months. 
close up of a hand taking a fig mole mushroom tacos on a wooden board with sliced figs and cilantro in the background
fig mole mushroom tacos on wooden board laid out at an angle with an embroidered Otomi placemat and orchard choice fig pack

Fig Mole Mushroom Tacos

This fig mole uses the earthiness and sweetness of Orchard Choice or Sun-Maid California Dried Figs to enhance the complexity and richness of the mole. Golden brown sautéed mushrooms are bathed in fig mole and served on warm homemade corn tortillas, topped with sliced red onion, and cilantro. 
5 from 1 vote
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Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Mexican
Keyword: chocolate, fig, mole and mushrooms
Prep Time: 1 hour
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
Servings: 4 servings
Calories: 1018kcal
Author: Dora S.

Ingredients

Fig Mole:

  • 4 Dried chile mulato seeded, de-stemmed
  • 5 Dried chile pasilla seeded de-stemmed
  • 6 Dried chile ancho seeded de-stemmed
  • ¼ tsp. Anise seed
  • 3 Whole cloves
  • 10 Black peppercorns
  • 1 Ceylon cinnamon stick, 1 inch long
  • 1/3 cup Sesame seeds
  • 3 Plum tomatoes
  • 1 Tomatillo
  • 5 cloves Garlic, unpeeled
  • ½ cup Vegetable oil (optional)
  • 1 cup Orchard Choice California Mission Dried Figs
  • 1/3 cup Raw almonds
  • 1/3 cup Pepitas
  • ¾ cup Peanuts
  • 1 Stale corn tortilla
  • 1 Stale Bolillo (or 1 ½ cups stale baguette)
  • 1 tablet Mexican chocolate
  • 5 cups Vegetable stock

Tacos:

  • 1 tbsp. Vegetable oil (optional)
  • 1 ½ lb. Assorted mushrooms, sliced (shiitakes, portabellas, oyster, maitake)
  • 12 Corn tortillas
  • 1 Red onion, thinly sliced
  • ½ cup Chopped cilantro

Instructions

To make the fig mole:

  • Heat a large cast-iron pan to medium-high heat, add chiles to the pan and toast lightly, about 3-4 seconds on each side. Remove from the pan and place in a medium bowl. Cover with boiling hot water and soak for 30 min.
  • In the same cast iron pan set to low-medium heat, toast the anise seed, peppercorns, cloves, and cinnamon for 1-2 minutes until they begin to release their aromas. Set aside.
  • Use the same pan to toast the sesame seeds for 1-2 minutes, until golden brown and set aside. Use a spice grinder or food processor and grind all the toasted spices as fine as possible. Set aside.
  • Set your cast iron pan to medium-high heat and place the tomatoes, tomatillo, and garlic on the pan until they become soft and slightly blackened, about 7-10 minutes, Set aside.
  • Set a large sauté pan to medium heat and add oil. Fry the following ingredients separately: Orchard Choice California Mission Dried Figs until plump and golden brown, the almonds until slightly toasted, the pumpkin seeds until they pop and turn a golden yellow color, the peanuts until toasted and golden brown, the tortilla until crispy and black in certain spots, and the bread toasted a deep golden brown. Set aside.
  • Place the soaked and drained dried chiles in the blender with 1 cup of the chile soaking liquid, and the ground up spices, bread, and tortilla. Process until smooth. Add vegetable stock if necessary. Pour into a large bowl.
  • Now place the rest of the fried ingredients with the tomato, tomatillo, and peeled garlic. Add vegetable stock if necessary and process until smooth. Pour into bowl with chile mixture. Strain mixture.
  • Heat a large pot to low-medium heat and pour the mixture into the pot. Bring mixture to a simmer, add 3 cups of vegetable stock, and stir. Add a Mexican chocolate tablet and simmer slowly for 30 minutes. Stir continuously to avoid the mole sticking to the bottom of the pot. Season with salt and pepper. If the sauce is too thick, add the remaining 2 cups of vegetable stock.

To make the tacos:

  • Heat a large sauté pan to medium-high heat and add 1 tbsp. of oil. Sauté mushrooms until golden brown. Pour 2 cups of the finished mole sauce on top and stir to combine.
  • Heat corn tortillas on a comal or griddle. Place 2 tbsp. of mushroom filling on each tortilla and top with chopped cilantro and sliced red onion. Enjoy!!

Notes

This recipe makes about 1 quart and 1 cup of fig mole. You will only need about two cups of it for this recipe. You can freeze the rest for up to six months.

Nutrition

Serving: 4servings | Calories: 1018kcal | Carbohydrates: 103g | Protein: 25g | Fat: 64g | Saturated Fat: 30g | Cholesterol: 1mg | Sodium: 1471mg | Potassium: 1653mg | Fiber: 22g | Sugar: 32g | Vitamin A: 2026IU | Vitamin C: 18mg | Calcium: 341mg | Iron: 7mg

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

This sweet potato and chickpea stew combines sweet potatoes, yukon gold potatoes, and chickpeas in a classic chile colorado sauce. The combination of chile ancho, chile guajillo, oregano, a pinch of cumin, and garlic add a smoky and savory flavor to the stew. This post is also available in Español.

This dish is inspired by a very northern dish called guisado de puerco in chile colorado. I have of course left out the pork and used a combination of potatoes and chickpeas. It is best served with rice and warm tortillas.

Chile guajillo and chile ancho on a dark wooden surface

I know working with dried chiles can be intimidating at first, but it is quite easy. All you have to do is remove the stems and take out the seeds. They can be lightly toasted to bring out the smoky flavor of the chiles, but it is not necessary to do so.

Dried chile sauce being poured over sweet potato and chickpea stew.

To use them you have to first reconstitute them in hot water. Simply drop the deseeded chiles in nearly boiling water and let them sit for about 10 minutes or until they are soft and pliable. They can be found in your local Hispanic market or now most grocery stores carry them in their Hispanic sections.

Over head shot of sweet potato and chickpea stew with white rice on a Mexican clay plate

I know a lot of new vegans will look at this and think that potatoes and chickpeas are not a substitute for pork, and you know what, they’re right. There are some recipes where I try to mimic the texture and flavor of meat, but there are others that I use vegetables to replace the animal protein.

My goal here is to recreate the flavors, spices, and aromas of traditional Mexican dishes and bring back all of those memories from my childhood and my family’s cooking. I encourage you to try a lot of different options to substitute meat in your dishes. With time you’ll find what works best for you!

The Recipe: Sweet Potato and Chickpea Stew in Chile Colorado

Instead of sweet potatoes you could use russet, yukon gold or any other type of potato. The chickpeas could be substituted with any other bean. Cauliflower or tofu would also be a great addition to this dish.

Sweet potato and chickpea stew in a clay Mexican pot on top of a red and white striped napkin. Rice in the background
Close up of Sweet potato and chickpea stew in a clay Mexican pot on top of a red and white striped napkin with a wooden spoon showing a bite. Rice in the background

Sweet Potato and Chickpea Stew in Chile Colorado

This sweet potato and chickpea stew with a Mexican twist is made with guajillo and ancho chile, cumin, oregano, and thyme.
5 from 2 votes
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Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Mexican
Keyword: chile colorado, guisado, pork substitute
Cook Time: 35 minutes
Total Time: 35 minutes
Servings: 4 servings
Calories: 278kcal
Author: Dora S.

Ingredients

  • 4 Ancho chiles, dried, deseeded
  • 4 Guajillo chiles, dried, deseeded
  • 1 Tomato, medium
  • 5 cloves Garlic
  • 1 tsp. Oregano, dried
  • 1 Bay leaf, dried
  • 1/2 tsp. Cumin, ground
  • 1 cup Onion, white, minced
  • 1 ½ cups (1 large) Diced Sweet Potato
  • 1 cup (1 medium) Diced Yukon gold potato
  • 1 can (14.5 oz) Chickpeas, drained
  • 2 Thyme sprigs
  • 1 cup Vegetable stock

Instructions

  • Bring a small pot of water to a boil. Add chiles, tomato and bay leaf and turn heat down to a reallt slow simmer. Let simmer for 8 minutes.
  • While the chiles are simmering, heat a large pot to medium heat and add ¼ cup of water. Add onion and sweat until tender and translucent, about 4 minutes.
  • Add potatoes and sweet potatoes and 1 cup of vegetable stock. Cover and let simmer for about 6 min or until potatoes are beginning to become tender, but are not fully cooked.
  • Strain the chiles, but reserve one cup of the chile soaking liquid. Place the drained chiles, garlic, tomato, oregano, cumin, and 1 cup of the chile soaking liquid in the blender and blend until smooth. Strain the sauce.
  • Add sauce, chickpeas, and sprigs of thyme to the pot. Let simmer slowly for 8-10 minutes or until the sweet potatoes are cooked through. If the sauce is too thick, add more vegetable stock accordingly.
  • Season with salt and pepper. Remove thyme sprigs before serving.
  • Serve with rice and warm corn tortillas.

Notes

Instead of sweet potatoes you could use russet, yukon gold or any other type of potato. The chickpeas could be substituted with any other bean. Cauliflower or tofu would also be a great addition to this dish.

Nutrition

Serving: 1serving | Calories: 278kcal | Carbohydrates: 62g | Protein: 8g | Fat: 3g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 326mg | Potassium: 1368mg | Fiber: 16g | Sugar: 22g | Vitamin A: 22955IU | Vitamin C: 31mg | Calcium: 91mg | Iron: 4mg

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