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

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Orange and Anise Vegan Hojarascas (Polvorones)

These vegan hojarascas, also known as polvorones, are scented with ground anise and orange zest, and dusted with cinnamon sugar. In the US these are known as Mexican wedding cookies, and are dusted with powdered sugar. In northern Mexico, where I’m from, they are very popular during the Christmas season. You can see them displayed in panadería windows, and are often given as gifts.

These vegan hojarascas, also known as polvorones, are scented with ground anise and orange zest, and dusted with cinnamon sugar. I This is the mother of all cookie recipes (cue angelic choir). It might just be one recipe, but you can make many different kinds of cookies, I made 3, apricot thumbprint cookies, hojarascas dusted with cinnamon sugar, and pecan hojarascas dusted with powdered sugar. On the other hand, if anise and orange isn’t your thing, you can add ground nuts, dried fruits, or even coat them in chocolate. Our favorite cookie out of the three was a small round one dusted in cinnamon-sugar.

These vegan hojarascas, also known as polvorones, are scented with ground anise and orange zest, and dusted with cinnamon sugar. I

Now that we live in San Antonio visiting family is so much easier, and I am very happy to be spending Christmas in my childhood home. My mom goes all out on the Christmas decorations, and the kids are so excited about Santa coming and are counting down the days. We are making tamales tomorrow for Christmas eve, and are planning all sorts of games and activities for the children. I hope you have a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!!

These vegan hojarascas, also known as polvorones, are scented with ground anise and orange zest, and dusted with cinnamon sugar. I

These vegan hojarascas, also known as polvorones, are scented with ground anise and orange zest, and dusted with cinnamon sugar. I

The Recipe: Orange and Anise Vegan Hojarascas

  • I used Earth Balance as a butter substitute, which is salted, so if you use salted butter omit the salt in the recipe.( I did try to make these with coconut oil, but I wasn’t a fan of the result.)
  • The recipe is so simple. You cream butter and sugar, then add the orange zest, anise, and vanilla extract.
  • You can add 1/4 cup of finely chopped pecans if you like nuts, then dust with cinnamon sugar or powdered sugar depending on your preferences. ¡Enjoy!

These vegan hojarascas, also known as polvorones, are scented with ground anise and orange zest, and dusted with cinnamon sugar. I

 

These vegan hojarascas, also known as polvorones, are scented with ground anise and orange zest, and dusted with cinnamon sugar. I
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Orange and Anise Vegan Hojarascas

These vegan hojarascas, also known as polvorones, are scented with ground anise and orange zest, and dusted with cinnamon sugar.
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 2 dozen
118 kcal
Author Dora S.

Ingredients

  • 5 oz. (2/3 cup) Sugar, granulated
  • 12 oz. (1 ½ cups) Vegan butter, room temperature
  • 16 oz. (3 cups) Flour, all-purpose
  • 1 tsp. Ground anise seed
  • 1 tbsp. Orange zest
  • 1 tsp. Vanilla extract

Cinnamon-sugar:

  • 1 ¼ cups Cane sugar
  • 1 tbsp. Freshly ground cinnamon

Preparation

  1. Preheat oven to 350F.
  2. Cream butter and sugar, in an electric mixer with the paddle attachment.
  3. Add vanilla, orange zest, and ground anise. Mix.
  4. Slowly add flour, with mixer at low speed. Mix until well combined.
  5. Line 2 sheet-pans with parchment paper. Roll out dough on a floured surface to ¼ inch thick and cut into desired shapes (you can also roll dough into 1 inch balls and bake them that way).
  6. Place cut dough on sheet-tray, 1 inch apart from each other.
  7. Bake for 15 minutes or until bottoms become golden brown.
  8. Remove from oven. As soon as they are cool enough to handle, dust with cinnamon sugar.
  9. Place on a wire rack to cool.

Chef's Notes

You can add ¼ cup of finely chopped pecans to the dough if you like and eat nuts. You can also use this cookie dough recipe to make thumbprint cookies. Dust with powdered sugar instead of cinnamon sugar for a more Mexican wedding cookies look. 

Nutrition Facts
Orange and Anise Vegan Hojarascas
Amount Per Serving (1 cookie)
Calories 118 Calories from Fat 51
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 5.7g 9%
Saturated Fat 1.1g 6%
Sodium 67.16mg 3%
Potassium 15.8mg 0%
Total Carbohydrates 15g 5%
Dietary Fiber 0g 0%
Sugars 8g
Protein 1g 2%
Vitamin A 5%
Vitamin C 0.5%
Calcium 0.5%
Iron 2.75%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

 

 

 

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Vegan Mexican Christmas Menu

Christmas is around the corner, and I’m sure you’ve been looking for options for your Vegan Mexican Christmas menu.  I have crafted this incredible menu for you with the help of some blogger friends, so you han have a feast this Christmas. I wanted the menu to be similar to what a Mexican family might have for their Christmas Eve dinner, so there are some non-Mexican dishes like lasagna on there, because I do  know families that make lasagna for Christmas.

Appetizer/Salad:

Nochebuena Salad

A refreshing salad of romaine lettuce, roasted beets, oranges, jicama, pomegranate, and peanuts.

Macadamia Nut Queso Fresco w/ Pineapple Chipotle Salsa

Make a cheese platter with these macadamia nut cheese. It pairs well with nuts, fruits, and crackers or toasted baguette.

Mexican Hummus with Chiles Toreados

This spicy hummus is perfect for dipping veggies or tortilla chips.

Potato and Spinach Croquettes

They are crispy and golden brown, but warm and satisfying. Great finger food!

Entrees:

Vegan Jackfruit Pozole Rojo

Jackfuit replaces the pork in this recipe with great results. Serve with tostadas, radishes, lime juice, and cabbage.

Vegan Pozole Verde

The green version of pozole is flavored with poblano peppers, tomatillo, and jalapeño.

Vegan Menudo

What?? It is possible. This recipe uses textured soy protein to replace the pancita.

Vegan Bacalao a la Vizcaina

A traditional salt cod dish, remade with hearts of palm, artichoke hearts, olives, tomatoes, potatoes, capers, and red peppers.

Espagueti Verde 

Spaghetti in a creamy poblano pepper sauce. It’s just the right amount of spicy.

Lasagna

Lasagna on Chritmas?? Yes, even Mexicans eat lasagna. It makes for a good entree.

Potato Adobo Tamales

Tamales filled with potatoes in adobo sauce. Serve just out of the steamer.

Red Chile Jackfruit Tamales

Jackfruit once again replaces pork in this northern Mexico version of tamales.

 

Dessert:

Buñuelos

Fried dough sprinkled with cinnamon-sugar. For sure a childhood favorite.

Hojarascas (Polvorones)

Also known as Mexican wedding cookies. I like them sprinkled with cinnamon sugar, but you can also do powdered sugar.

Vegan Tequila Truffles

Rich an boozy truffles that are great for gifting.

Strawberry Tamales

If you are not familiar with sweet tamales, you have to try these first.

Chocolate Tamales

Filled with semi-sweet chocolate chips, and pecans.

Drinks:

Ponche

A hot spiced fruit punch. Served with or without alcohol.

Champurrado

Unlike any hot chocolate you’ve ever had. It is thickened with masa or masa harina.

Atole Almendrado

A warm corn based beverage, meant to warm you up this winter.

Vegan Rompope

Mexican eggnog. Also a traditional Christmas drink.

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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.

This post contains affiliate links.

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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Ultimate Vegan Latino Gift Guide

Christmas time is here and your favorite vegan Latino(a) friend is going to love these gifts!! They are inspired by our love of Latino culture or they are made or curated by Latino business owners and entrepreneurs. It might sound cheesy, but this is the ultimate vegan latino gift guide. Así que ponte las pilas (get it together), and buy this for your significant other.

This post contains affiliate links.

Calaca Red Velour Turban

This one is so beautiful, I wish I could pull it off. Handmade by Mexican-born, San Diego native, Jessica Resendiz. She creates beautiful pieces inspired by her cultura, like this turban inspired by el Día de los Muertos. You can find out more about this gorgeous piece, and much more here.

 

Loly in the Sky Shoes

 

I can’t decide between these two, but Loly in the Sky has a wide variety of vegan shoes and bags that are incredibly fashionable. Founded by Mexican entrepreneurs Lorena and Eduardo Vazquez these shoes are handcrafted in León, Guanajuato. You can find more shoes here.

Vegan Tamales Unwrapped

I couldn’t leave this one out. A practical guide to make vegan tamales step-by-step. There are more than 16 different vegan tamal recipes and over 50 detailed pictures on how to make them. This one is authored by yours truly, me, a Mexican born vegan chef and entrepreneur. Take a look inside Vegan Tamales Unwrapped

Don Ramon T-Shirt

Should I even explain who Don Ramon is? This cool t-shirt is made by No Manches Clothing a company started by two Latino Chicago natives,  Miguel Angel, Chris, and Jorge. Their designs are inspired by culture, humor, and satire. Find more designs here.

Virgencita Vintage Jacket

Oh my gosh! I want all of these gifts. Hint, hint….husband. This jacket is made by Hija de Tu Madre, founded by Paty Delgado. Hija de tu Madre is an online store for Latinx inspired clothes, purses, and accessories. Find more beautiful items here.

Lil’ Libros

Lil’ Libros was started by Patty Rodriguez and Ariana Stein, both CA natives. They have created beautiful bilingual first concept board books, using stories and imagery from Latino culture. They are super cute, and the kids love them. I have the Loteria, and the Virgencita one. Check out the rest of them here. 

Good Mexican Girl Cookies

An artisanal bakery that specializes in vegan and gluten-free selections. They ship to your home, but it is only available in the U.S. Their specialty are Mexican wedding cookies or polvorones. To find out more click here.

Chingona Bracelet

Lisa Ila Rocha, based in L.A design jewelry by Mexican and Native American culture. Her designs are delicate, colorful, and on point. I could probably add like 10 more pictures of her pieces that I really like, but go see them for yourself. Click here.

Petit Vour Vegan Beauty Subscription Box

Ok, so this is not Latino related, but I decided to include it anyway. The simplicity of the concept, and the quality of the products make this subscription service so worth it. Petit Vour curates vegan beauty products in sample sizes and sends them to you every month! The items are also available for individual purchase on their site. Go check them out.

Mexican Hot Chocolate Gift Set

 

This Mexican hot chocolate gift set includes artisanal Mexican chocolate, a wooden molinillo for frothing your chocolate, and a red clay pot to bring it all together. This gift is from Hernán, a company founded by Isela Hernández, who turns out it is from the border town across from where I grew up, Del Rio,TX. She works hand in hand with artisan producers in Mexico to create or curate these products and sell them in the U.S. They also have a really good mole paste that is vegan! Visit her site here. 

Hola Bitches Notebook

These notebook is for your artistic or journaling friend. Hola Bitches is the brand of the Mexican gift shop Artelexia, which was founded by Elexia de la Parra, a Mexican herself. She travels the country looking for unique products for her Mexican gift shop, and she also organizes food tours of Oaxaca and San Miguel de Allende. There are many more great items to choose from here.

Mango Enchilado Bath Bomb

The cutest bath bomb ever! They are made by Brewbles, the creation of Catheryn Estefania Rodriguez Rangel, a 24 year old Xilangx/Mexican Immigrant. They are Inspired by cultura, and the nostalgic memories of her childhood. There are many other options on her site, but go quick because they sell out fast.

Concha Earrings

I love conchas, and what better way to celebrate them than to wear them. They are hand made by Stephanie Figueroa of the Monocled Mermaid shop on Etsy. She is a local San Antonio artist, you can find her here.

 

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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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Tofu Meatballs in Chipotle Sauce

I have searched far and wide for a vegan meatball recipe that I didn’t hate, and that wasn’t super complicated. I finally stumbled upon this recipe from Connoisseurus Veg, and I have adapted it to make these Mexican tofu meatballs or vegan albóndigas. The meatballs are made with a mix of tofu, mushrooms, onion, garlic and seasonings, and they are bathed in a spicy chipotle tomato sauce. Serve with some brown rice studded with corn, and warm tortillas.

Tofu meatballs made with a mix of tofu, mushrooms, onion, garlic and seasonings, and bathed in a spicy chipotle tomato sauce.

I have been working like crazy on the launch of the YouTube channel in English and Spanish. Honestly, I don’t know why I am doing this, as if is there already wasn’t enough on my plate. But as my husband keeps telling me YouTube is the new TV, and that if I want to get my recipes out there, I should at least give YouTube a try. We will see, stay tuned.

Tofu meatballs made with a mix of tofu, mushrooms, onion, garlic and seasonings, and bathed in a spicy chipotle tomato sauce. #veganmexicanrecipes

The highlight of my week was this amazing email I got from a reader, it was so honest and heartfelt. Here is a excerpt from it:

“I am writing you because I wanted to thank you for this website. I love the recipes you make and I just love that now I can make all these recipes I grew up eating in a healthy vegan way. It has been hard for me and my wife to find true Vegan Mexican recipes and we have tried some of your recipes and we absolutely love them…… I was born and raised in Mexico City and I just want to share with you that your recipes really do have a special touch and they taste just the way I remember them.”

It’s emails like this that keep me going, that motivates me to do things like start a YouTube channel. I just wanted to say thank you to all of you who have supported me over the years, and send me beautiful emails and messages. You make it all worth while.

Tofu meatballs made with a mix of tofu, mushrooms, onion, garlic and seasonings, and bathed in a spicy chipotle tomato sauce. #veganmexicanrecipes

The Recipe: Tofu Meatballs in Chipotle Sauce

The key to the texture of this recipe is chopping the mushrooms by hand. If you don’t have much time you can do this in the food processor, but be careful not to over process. Also, don’t forget to drain the excess liquid out of the grated onions. I used cilantro as a garnish, but you can also add it to the meatball itself. If you want to make the sauce spicy add at least 2 chipotle chiles. When I make these for my kids I only use one. Enjoy!

Tofu meatballs made with a mix of tofu, mushrooms, onion, garlic and seasonings, and bathed in a spicy chipotle tomato sauce. #veganmexicanrecipes

Tofu meatballs made with a mix of tofu, mushrooms, onion, garlic and seasonings, and bathed in a spicy chipotle tomato sauce. #veganmexicanrecipes
5 from 1 vote
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Mexican Tofu Meatballs in Chipotle Sauce

Tofu meatballs made with a mix of tofu, mushrooms, onion, garlic and seasonings, and bathed in a spicy chipotle tomato sauce. Recipe adapted from Connoiseurus Veg.

Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 50 minutes
Servings 4 -6 servings
Author Dora S.

Ingredients

  • ½ lb. Tofu, extra-firm, drained
  • 2 cups (6 oz.) Cremini mushrooms, stems removed
  • ½ Onion, grated, squeeze excess liquid out
  • 1 clove Garlic, minced
  • 1 ¼ cups Panko breadcrumbs
  • 2 tbsp. Almond milk, unsweetened
  • 2 tbsp. Soy sauce
  • 1 tsp. Vegan Worcestershire
  • 1 tbsp. Flaxseed, ground

Sauce:

  • 5 Roma tomates, large, chopped
  • ½ Onion, chopped
  • 2 Garlic cloves, peeled
  • 1 - 2 Chipotle chiles in adobo
  • ½ cup Vegetable stock or water

Garnish

  • ¼ cup Cilantro, chopped

Preparation

  1. Preheat oven to 375°F.
  2. Press tofu between two plates and place a couple of cans on top to drain excess liquid for 20 minutes.
  3. In the meantime chop the mushrooms very finely and place in a large bowl.
  4. Add the garlic, onion, breadcrumbs, almond milk, soy sauce, vegan Worcestershire, and flaxseed to the bowl.
  5. Use your hands to crumble the pressed tofu into the bowl, season with salt and pepper, and mix well.
  6. Roll the mixture into 15- 18 balls and place on a sheet tray covered with parchment paper. (You can add a little bit of oil on the parchment paper so the meatballs don’t stick, but this is optional if you are oil-free.)
  7. Bake for 30 minutes, turning them halfway through.

Sauce:

  1. While the meatballs are baking, using your blender, process all of the ingredients for the sauce until smooth.
  2. Set a large sauté pan to medium heat and add sauce. Season with salt and pepper, and simmer for 7-8 minutes or until the sauce thickens slightly and changes to a dark red color.
  3. Remove meatballs from oven and add to the pan with the sauce. Cover meatballs in the sauce. 

  4. Serve over brown rice, and sprinkle with chopped cilantro.

Chef's Notes

Make sure to squeeze all the liquid out of the grated onion. If you would like to make this gluten-free you can substitute the breadcrumbs for oat flour. Annie’s sells a vegan Worcestershire or you can make your own. The key to the texture of this recipe is chopping the mushrooms by hand. If you don't have much time you can do this in the food processor, but be careful not to over process.  I used cilantro as a garnish, but you can also add it to the meatball itself. If you want to make the sauce spicy add at least 2 chipotle chiles. When I make these for my kids I only use one

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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.
5 from 1 vote
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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.
5 from 1 vote
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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.