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

I am going skiing for the first time! It’s not really my first time, but that one doesn’t count. I was thirteen, a tad pudgy, and not very balanced or graceful. For the life of me I could not figure out how to stop or slow down, and I kept knocking little kids over. This time might be better, I hope. I’m not looking forward to the cold though. Me and the cold are not friends. Give me a hot day, a margarita, some spicy zucchini and black bean tacos, a pool, and I’m set. I’ll try and get my husband to take a video of me falling on my butt, which I’m sure will happen, so you can laugh with me (at me).

These spicy zucchini and black bean tacos are delicious, protein packed, and very easy to make.

Next month I will be going to the We All Grow Summit, a latina blogger conference. I am really excited about it, and I’m hoping to learn a lot, so I can grow the blog. I’m a bit nervous though, I’m not so good with the small talk in large group situations. I have to really push myself to interact, but once I get comfortable you won’t get me to be quiet. Do you have any tips for me?

These spicy zucchini and black bean tacos are delicious, protein packed, and very easy to make.

Mexicans can make a taco out of anything. Tacos are very near and dear to our hearts and they have nothing to do with ground beef, taco seasoning, and a crispy shell. I will say, there are some weird tacos out there, like these ant larvae and egg tacos. I don’t think we are going to get to that level of weird here, but I definitely need more taco recipes.

The Recipe: Spicy Zucchini and Black Bean Tacos

These spicy zucchini and black bean tacos are delicious, protein packed, and very easy to make. Simply sauté onion and garlic, then add the zucchini and the black beans. They are topped with a chile de arbol almond sauce, which gives this dish a decadent and creamy touch. Serve on warm corn tortillas. Enjoy!

These spicy zucchini and black bean tacos are delicious, protein packed, and very easy to make.

These spicy zucchini and black bean tacos are delicious, protein packed, and very easy to make.

Spicy Zucchini and Black Bean Tacos

4.5 from 2 votes
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Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 25 minutes
Servings: 4 servings
Author: Dora Stone

Ingredients

  • 1 tbsp. Vegetable oil, optional
  • ½ White Onion, thinly sliced
  • 3 cloves Garlic, minced
  • 2 Mexican zucchini, large, diced
  • 1 can (14.5 oz) Black beans, drained

Chile de Arbol Sauce:

  • 2 - 4 Chile de Arbol, dried
  • 1 cup Almonds, raw
  • ½ Onion, white, large
  • 3 cloves Garlic, unpeeled
  • 1 ½ cups Vegetable Stock, Warm
  • 2 tsp. White or champagne vinegar

Instructions

  • Heat vegetable oil to medium heat in a large sauté pan. Add onion and sweat for 2-3 minutes or until the onion is tender and translucent.
  • Add the garlic cloves and cook for 1 minute.
  • Add the zucchini and cook until tender, about 3-4 minutes. Add the black beans and mix well. Let cook for 1 minute more. Season with salt and pepper.
  • To make the sauce: heat a griddle, comal, or cast iron pan to medium-high heat. Toast chiles on each side until lightly toasted, about 30 seconds on each side. Remove from pan and set aside.
  • Add the almonds to the pan and toast until golden, about 2 minutes. Remove from pan and set aside.
  • Toast the onion, and the garlic until slightly charred, about 4 minutes on each side.
  • Place the almonds, onion, garlic, and chiles in the blender. Add the warm vegetable stock and 2 tsp. of vinegar. Process until smooth. Season with salt and pepper. Sauce should be thick and creamy.

Notes

Chile de Arbol Sauce recipe adapted from Gran Cocina Latina

 

 

I’m still recovering from the Christmas and New Year celebrations. I can’t seem to catch up with the kid’s school work or any of my work for that matter. We spent almost 3 weeks in Mexico with my family, and it was incredible, as always. The kids were spoiled rotten by their grandparents and so was I. Since I didn’t have to cook, clean or do laundry while I was there, we spent many hours sitting around in our pijamas, sipping hot tea and chatting, while the kids ran amok like wild animals.

vegan potato and chorizo tacos. Serve the crispy bits of spicy chorizo mixed with the slightly golden potatoes on a warm tortilla and top with salsa.

The hubby and I were even able to get away for a couple of days and go to Austin. It had been 6 years since we had been without the kids for more than a day! We kind of fell in love with Austin a little bit. It’s a pretty cool town. Once we got back to California I was so sad. It hurts to be so far away from family, it’s not right. I miss them terribly.

Vegan potato and chorizo tacos. Serve the crispy bits of spicy chorizo mixed with the slightly golden potatoes on a warm tortilla and top with salsa.

Vegan potato and chorizo tacos. Serve the crispy bits of spicy chorizo mixed with the slightly golden potatoes on a warm tortilla and top with salsa.

However, I did return with a renewed mission or purpose for this blog. My mother (the reason I started this blog) has continued to have health problems. This is motivating me to keep going and to keep creating delicious vegan Mexican recipes that my mom would like to eat, in the hope that maintaining a vegan (plant-based) diet can help improve her health. Just like my mom and I, there are many others who would like to continue eating the foods they love and grew up with without sacrificing their health or the lives of animals. I hope this blog and these recipes can help other Latino families make the transition to a vegan (plant-based) way of life.

My crazy family

my crazy family

The Recipe: Vegan Potato and Chorizo Tacos

This is where these potato and chorizo tacos come in. Potatoes and chorizo or chorizo con papas is traditionally a breakfast dish, but I see no reason why this couldn’t be a good lunch or dinner option. You can use store-bought vegan chorizo or you could make the homemade version. Either way, as soon as you mix the chorizo with the potatoes you will understand why this is such a popular dish in Mexico. Serve the crispy bits of spicy chorizo mixed with the slightly golden potatoes on a warm tortilla and top with salsa. Make sure you have good tortillas though. My favorite tortillas right now are the Tortilla Land uncooked corn tortillas. It really is like eating your tortillas recién hechas (just made). Enjoy!

Vegan potato and chorizo tacos. Serve the crispy bits of spicy chorizo mixed with the slightly golden potatoes on a warm tortilla and top with salsa.

Potato and chorizo tacos. Serve the crispy bits of spicy chorizo mixed with the slightly golden potatoes on a warm tortilla and top with salsa.

Potato and Chorizo Tacos

4.56 from 9 votes
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Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
Servings: 4 servings
Author: Dora Stone

Ingredients

  • 1 tbsp. Vegetable oil, optional
  • 1 cup Onion, white, minced
  • 3 cups Potato, peeled, diced
  • 1 cup Vegan chorizo, cooked (see note)
  • 12 Corn tortillas
  • 1 cup Your favorite salsa

Instructions

  • Heat 1 tbsp. of oil in a large sauté pan at medium-low heat. Add onions and cook until soft and translucent, about 10 min. It’s ok if they brown a little bit.
  • While the onions are cooking, place your cut potatoes in a small saucepot with salted water. Bring the water up to a simmer at high heat. Lower heat to medium and let the potatoes cook for 5 minutes.
  • Drain the potatoes and add them to the pan with the onion. Turn heat up to medium-high. Cook potatoes and onions for 5 minutes or until the potatoes begin to brown. Add more oil if necessary.
  • Add cooked chorizo to the pan and mix well. Cook for one more minute.
  • Season with salt and pepper.
  • Serve with warm tortillas and the salsa of your choice.

Notes

You can buy vegan chorizo or try this homemade vegan version. 

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Chorizo is one of my comfort foods. Nothing beats a breakfast of huevos con chorizo, warm corn tortillas and salsa molcajeteada. Of course as a vegan, there aren’t many chorizo options. This recipe though, might change your mind about vegan chorizo. This has to be my most tested recipe. I tried many versions of this, one made with quinoa, one with tempeh, another with tofu, and one with just mushrooms. After many failed chorizo attempts, I give you the best homemade vegan chorizo recipe you will be able to find.

This recipe for homemade vegan chorizo is the only one you will ever need. It is spicy and crumbly, with notes of clove and coriander.

The recipe takes a little bit of time, but believe it is worth it. This chorizo is spicy and crumbly, with tons of umami flavor and notes of clove and coriander. To make this chorizo you first have to press the tofu for 30 minutes. Place in between two plates with a heavy object on top. This eliminates the excess water in the tofu, creating a better texture for the chorizo. Then crumble it into a large bowl.

chiles

Take your dry chiles, and remove the stems and seeds. Bring a pot of water to a boil and drop the chiles inside. Turn the heat down to the lowest setting and let sit for 10 minutes.

This recipe for homemade vegan chorizo is the only one you will ever need. It is spicy and crumbly, with notes of clove and coriander.

Remove the chiles from the water and place in the blender. Reserve ½ cup of the chile soaking liquid. Add the garlic, oregano, cumin, cloves, paprika, coriander, apple cider vinegar, and ¼ cup of soaking liquid to the blender and process until smooth. If necessary add the remaining ¼ cup of the soaking liquid to get things moving in the blender. Strain the chile mixture. Add half of it to the crumbled tofu.

This recipe for homemade vegan chorizo is the only one you will ever need. It is spicy and crumbly, with notes of clove and coriander.

Mince your mushrooms finely. I recommend you do this with a knife not a food processor. Sauté them until golden brown and a bit crispy. Add the remaining half of the chile puree and cook for a couple more minutes until the mixture has thickened.

This recipe for homemade vegan chorizo is the only one you will ever need. It is spicy and crumbly, with notes of clove and coriander.

Sauté the tofu until golden brown and crispy. In a large bowl combine the cooked mushrooms and tofu and check your seasoning. The chorizo possibilities are now endless. I will be making papas con chorizo, torta de chorizo, sopes con chorizo, and many more dishes. I can’t wait for you to try them. Enjoy!

This recipe for homemade vegan chorizo is the only one you will ever need. It is spicy and crumbly, with notes of clove and coriander.

The Recipe: Homemade Vegan Chorizo

The finished chorizo will keep in your fridge for 3-5 days, or you can freeze for up to 3 months. To increase the spiciness add more chile de arbol.

homemade vegan chorizo

Homemade Vegan Chorizo

This recipe for homemade vegan chorizo is the only one you will ever need. It is spicy and crumbly, with notes of clove and coriander.
5 from 4 votes
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Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Mexican
Keyword: homemade, soyrizo, vegan chorizo
Prep Time: 40 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 50 minutes
Servings: 15 oz. (almost a pound!)
Author: Dora Stone

Ingredients

  • 1 block (12 oz.) Tofu, extra firm
  • ½ lb. Mushrooms, finely chopped
  • 6 Chile guajillo, dried, seeded
  • 2 Chile ancho, dried, seeded
  • 4 Chile de arbol, dried
  • 4 cloves Garlic
  • 1 tbsp. Oregano, dried
  • ½ tsp. Cumin, ground
  • 2 Cloves, whole
  • 1 tbsp. Paprika, ground
  • ½ tsp. Coriander, ground
  • ¼ cup Apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tbsp. Vegetable oil, optional

Instructions

  • Remove tofu from package and place in between two small plates. Place a can on top of the plates and leave like this for 30 min.
  • Bring a small pot of water to a boil. Remove the stems and seeds from the chiles and discard them. Drop the chiles into the boiling water. Turn heat down to the lowest setting and let the chiles sit in the water for 10 min.
  • Remove the chiles from the water and place in blender. Reserve ½ cup of the chile soaking liquid.
  • Add the garlic, oregano, cumin, cloves, paprika, coriander, apple cider vinegar, and ¼ cup of soaking liquid to the blender and process until smooth. If necessary add the remaining ¼ cup of the soaking liquid to get things moving in the blender.
  • Season the chile mixture with salt and pepper and pass through a fine strainer. Set aside.
  • Drain the water from the tofu and crumble with your hands into a large bowl. Pour half of the pureed chile mixture into the bowl with the tofu and stir to combine. Set aside.
  • Heat a large sauté pan to high heat and add 1 tbsp. of oil. Once the oil is hot add the finely chopped mushrooms and continue to cook until the mushrooms begin to brown, about 6-7 min.
  • Lower heat to medium-low and pour in the remaining half of the chile mixture. Stir and continue to cook for 3-4 minutes, until the mushrooms begin to absorb the chile mixture. Remove from pan and place in a large bowl.
  • Heat a non-stick sauté pan set to medium heat, add 1 tbsp. of oil. Add the tofu mixture and continue to cook until the liquid begins to evaporate and tofu becomes crispy, 7-8 minutes. You can make the tofu as crispy as you like. (Be careful not to overcrowd the pan or the tofu will never get crispy.)
  • Pour cooked tofu mixture into the bowl with the mushrooms and mix well to combine. Adjust seasoning.

Video

Notes

The finished chorizo will keep in your fridge for 3- 5 days, or you can freeze for up to 3 months. You can add it to your tofu scramble, tacos, tortas, sopes, etc. To increase the spiciness add more chile de arbol.

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This past weekend I went to my first blogger conference. I learned so much and I met the most amazing people. The conference was hosted by Nagi from Recipe Tin Eats and I loved her insight on how she grew her blog from 0 to 1 million views in 18 months. There’s so much to do on this little blog, and I am incredibly motivated to get it done.

There was only one other vegan blogger at the conference, her name is Jenn and her blog is Veggie Inspired. Please go check out her site and don’t forget to follow her on Pinterest, she has some great recipes on there. There’s one other blogger I would love to mention and that is Mimi from Mimi Avocado, even though her blog is not vegan you should go over to her site and read a little bit of her story. She lives on an avocado ranch. If you live in California you could have Mimi’s avocados delivered right to your door through her son’s company: California Avocados Direct!

Me and Nagi from Recipe Tin Eats

Our ebook: Vegan Tamales Unwrapped is coming along nicely and I can’t wait for you to try all of the different tamal recipes. This recipe for vegan strawberry tamales is one of the best ones in the book. Apparently they taste like Capt’n Crunch’s Crunch Berries, according to my husband.

The Recipe: Vegan Strawberry Tamales

These strawberry tamales are soft, tender packets of ground corn, filled with sweet strawberry jam. The aroma of the tamales steaming is irresistible. They are great with a mug of Mexican hot chocolate or an atole. Enjoy!

Vegan Strawberry Tamales

5 from 1 vote
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Prep Time: 1 hour
Cook Time: 40 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 40 minutes
Servings: 18 tamales
Author: Dora Stone

Ingredients

  • 2 cups Strawberries, cut into chunks
  • 2 cups Almond milk, warm
  • 1 cup Vegan Butter, room temperature, 8 oz.
  • 1/2 cup Sugar, granulated
  • 1.5 tsp. Baking powder
  • 1 tsp. Salt
  • 4 cups Masa harina, 1 lb. 2oz
  • 1 cup Water, warm
  • 1 ½ cup Strawberry jam
  • 30 Corn husks

Instructions

  • Soak the corn husks in hot water, in a large pot or in your kitchen sink. Place a plate over them to weigh them down so they are completely submerged. Let them soak for at least an hour.
  • Blend the 2 cups of almond milk and 1 cup of the strawberries until smooth.
  • To make the dough: beat the butter and sugar, on medium-high speed, with an electric mixer, until the butter has doubled in size and is nice and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add the baking powder and salt, and beat for 1 minute to incorporate into the butter.
  • Add half of the masa harina then add the strawberry almond milk. After it is completely incorporated, add the other half of the masa harina and the water. Add the remaining cup of chopped strawberries, and beat at low speed, until thoroughly mixed. It should have the consistency of a thick cake batter. If necessary add more water until you reach that consistency.
  • For lighter and fluffier tamales, let the dough rest for an hour in the refrigerator. Remove the dough from the fridge and rebeat it, adding enough liquid to get it to the consistency it had before.
  • Remove the corn husks from the water and set on paper towels. Reserve the largest husks to wrap the tamales and the small ones to line the steamer.
  • To set up your steamer, fill the bottom with water making sure the water is not touching the steamer rack. Line the rack and sides of the steamer pot with corn husks. Set aside.
  • Pull 24 pencil thin strips off of the corn husks and set aside. Take a husk and dry off the excess water on it with a paper towel. Place the husk in your hand with the tapered side away from you and the smooth side up. Using a spoon, spread 2-3 tbsp. of the dough (¼ inch thick) onto the corn husk, forming a 3 - 4 inch square. Leave a border of at least 3/4 inch on each side of the square.
  • Place 1 tbsp. of strawberry jam in the center of the dough. Bring the two long sides of the corn husk together, this will cause the masa to surround the jam, and roll them in the same direction around the tamal. (If the husk is too small, fold one of the long sides towards the center, and then fold the other long side on top.) Fold down the empty tapered section of the corn husk, forming a closed bottom. This will leave the top of the tamal open. Tie with a corn husk strip to secure the bottom of the tamal.
  • Place the tamal in the steamer vertically leaning against the side of the steamer, with the open end on top. Repeat this process until you run out of dough and all the tamales are in the steamer. Cover them with a layer of corn husks. If the steamer is not full, fill the empty spaces with more corn husks. Cover the pot and bring the water to a boil. Turn heat down to medium and cook for 40 minutes. Check the tamales, when they separate easily from the corn husk it means they are done. If they are not done, steam for 10 more minutes and check again.
  • Remove steamer from the heat and let sit covered for 10 minutes. Uncover and let cool for at least an hour. Don’t be alarmed if the tamales seem really soft. As they cool, they will firm up.

Notes

If you would like to make these with fresh masa, replace the masa harina with 2 lbs. of fresh masa and use only 1 cup of almond milk. To substitute the fat you can use 8 oz. of coconut oil. For tamales without fat, substitute with 8 oz of cooked, unsweetened pumpkin.

 

 

These vegan potato adobo tamales that I am sharing with you today are filled with a mixture of potatoes and peas tossed in a spicy adobo sauce. The adobo is smoky, spicy, tangy, and has an earthy quality to it. The masa that surrounds it, is fluffy and light, and it’s all wrapped in a corn husk and steamed until tender

Vegan tamales are delicious, and you can practically make them with any vegetable or green. If you need a little help in the tamales department, be sure to check out my ebook Vegan Tamales Unwrapped: The step-by-step guide to savory and sweet tamales. It has over 16 different vegan tamal recipes, and with picture and instructions on how to do every step so you can make tamales easily.

This vegan latino gift guide is inspired by our love of Latino culture, they are made or curated by Latino business owners and entrepreneurs.

I love Christmas. Yeah, I’m one of those people, and I don’t care about being politically correct. It’s so close! Can you feel it?  What’s not to like about Christmas? There’s family, good food, Christmas carols, cookies, and Jesus of course. Ok, ok, enough already. Just don’t stress out about family gatherings this time of year. Bring a vegan dish to share and enjoy yourself, I know I will.

The Recipe: Vegan Potato Adobo Tamales

You can use vegetable shortening or olive oil in this recipe instead of coconut oil. If you prefer to make tamales without fat you can substitute the coconut oil with unsweetened pumpkin puré. Letting the masa rest is key to light and fluffy tamales. Enjoy!

Vegan potato adobo tamales. They are filled with a mixture of potatoes and peas tossed in a spicy adobo sauce. The adobo is smoky, spicy, tangy, and has an earthy quality to it. The masa that surrounds it, is fluffy and light

 

Vegan Potato Adobo Tamales

Vegan Potato Adobo Tamales

Vegan Potato Adobo Tamales, tender tamales stuffed with potatoes and peas in a spicy adobo sauce.
5 from 2 votes
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Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Mexican
Keyword: adobo, potatoes, vegan tamales
Prep Time: 2 hours
Cook Time: 40 minutes
Total Time: 2 hours 40 minutes
Servings: 18 tamales
Author: Dora Stone

Ingredients

Dough

  • 1 cup (8 oz.) Coconut oil
  • 4 cups (1 lb. 2 oz). Masa harina
  • 1 ½ tsp. Baking powder
  • 1 ½ tbsp. Salt
  • 4 cups Vegetable stock or broth, warm

Filling

  • 1 ½ lb. Potatoes, peeled, cut into small dice
  • 1 cup Peas, fresh or frozen
  • 3 Ancho chiles, dry, deseeded
  • 1 ½ Pasilla chiles, dry, deseeded
  • 2 cloves Garlic
  • ¼ Onion, white
  • ½ tsp. Cumin, ground
  • ½ tsp. Oregano, dried
  • 1 Clove, whole
  • ¼ tsp. Cinnamon, ground
  • ½ cup Vinegar, white
  • ½ cup Chile soaking liquid
  • 30 Corn Husks

Instructions

  • Soak the corn husks in hot water, in a large pot or in your kitchen sink. Place a plate over them to weigh them down so they are completely submerged. Let them soak for at least an hour.
  • To make the filling, place the diced potatoes in a medium pot with salted cold water. Bring to a simmer and cook for about 6 min. or until the potatoes are slightly tender. When the potatoes are cooked, remove from the heat and pour the cup of peas into the water with the potatoes and let sit for 30 sec. Drain and set aside.
  • To make the adobo, bring a small pot of water to a boil. Remove the stems and seeds from the chiles and drop them into the water. Turn heat down to the lowest setting and let the chiles sit in the water for 10 min. Remove the chiles from the water and place in blender. Reserve ½ cup of the chile soaking liquid. Add the garlic, onion, oregano, cumin, cloves, cinnamon, white vinegar, and ½ cup of soaking liquid to the blender and process until smooth. Season with salt and pepper.
  • Pour the adobo on the cooked potatoes and peas, adjust seasoning, and mix well.
  • To make the dough, beat the coconut oil, on medium-high speed, with an electric mixer, about 3 minutes. Add the baking powder, salt, and beat for 1 minute to incorporate into the oil.
  • Add half of the masa harina then add half of the vegetable stock. After it is completely incorporated, add the other half of masa harina and vegetable stock. Beat at low speed, until thoroughly mixed. It should have the consistency of a thick cake batter. If necessary add more vegetable stock until you reach that consistency. Taste the dough, and add more salt if necessary. It should be a little bit salty.
  • For lighter and fluffier tamales, let the dough rest for an hour in the refrigerator. Remove the dough from the fridge and rebeat it, adding enough liquid to get it to the consistency it had before.
  • Remove the corn husks from the water and set on paper towels. Reserve the largest husks to wrap the tamales and the small ones to line the steamer.
  • To set up your steamer, fill the bottom with water making sure the water is not touching the steamer rack. Line the rack and sides of the steamer pot with corn husks. Set aside.
  • Pull 24 pencil thin strips off of the corn husks and set aside. Take a husk and dry off the excess water with a paper towel. Place the husk in your hand with the tapered side away from you and the smooth side up. Using a spoon, spread 2-3 tbsp. of the dough (¼ inch thick) onto the corn husk, forming a 3 – 4 inch square. Leave a border of at least 3/4 inch on each side of the square.
  • Place 1 ½ tbsp. of the filling in the center of the dough. Bring the two long sides of the corn husk together, this will cause the masa to surround the filling, and roll them in the same direction around the tamal. (If the husk is too small, fold one of the long sides towards the center, and then fold the other long side on top.) Fold down the empty tapered section of the corn husk, forming a closed bottom. This will leave the top of the tamal open. Tie with a corn husk strip to secure the bottom of the tamal.
  • Place the tamal in the steamer vertically leaning against the side of the pot, with the folded part of the tamal on the bottom. Repeat this process until you run out of dough and all the tamales are in the steamer. Cover them with a layer of corn husks. If the steamer is not full, fill the empty spaces with more corn husks. Cover the pot and bring the water to a boil. Turn heat down to medium and cook for 40 minutes. Check the tamales, when they separate easily from the corn husk it means they are done. If they are not done, steam for 10 more minutes and check again.
  • Remove steamer from the heat and let sit covered for 10 minutes. Uncover and let cool for at least an hour. Don’t be alarmed if the tamales seem really soft. As they cool, they will firm up.

Video

Notes

If you would like to make these with fresh masa, replace the masa harina with 2 lbs. of fresh masa. To substitute the vegetable shortening, you can use 8 oz. of coconut oil. For tamales without fat, use 8 oz of cooked, unsweetened pumpkin.

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It’s that time of year again when the cold starts creeping in and we yearn for a nice mug of hot chocolate and a tamal. If you have never tried a sweet tamal you are in for a treat.  These vegan chocolate tamales are made by beating vegan butter and sugar, adding corn masa flour, ground Mexican chocolate, cinnamon, and warm almond milk. It is filled with bittersweet chocolate chips and chopped pecans. The best tamal is a warm tamal just out of the steamer, and the scent of cinnamon and the melted bittersweet chocolate interior of this tamal will surely conquer your taste buds.

Masa for tamales in a silver bowl

 

 

We love tamales in this house both savory and sweet. Our favorites are the red chile jackfruit tamales, potato adobo tamales, and strawberry tamales. We love them so much that two years ago I self-published an ebook to help you make all kinds of vegan tamales. The book is called Vegan Tamales Unwrapped and contains over 18 different vegan tamal recipes for you to enjoy this Christmas season, with a step-by-step picture guide to making the dough, wrapping the tamales, and placing them in the steamer. The recipes include both savory and sweet tamales.

This vegan latino gift guide is inspired by our love of Latino culture, they are made or curated by Latino business owners and entrepreneurs.

Recently, while doing some research on tamales I read that there is very little evidence that tortillas were part of the Mayan diet, at least not until 900 AD. However, tamales can be found in the Aztec and Maya civilizations as far back as 7000 BC according to their hieroglyphs. It is thought that they were often carried by warriors, hunters, and travelers since they are the perfect portable food individually wrapped in corn husks. Who would have thought???

tamales chocolate

The Recipe: Vegan Chocolate Tamales

  • If you would like to make these tamales with fresh masa, replace the masa harina with 2 lbs. of fresh masa.
  • I used Ibarra chocolate for this recipe, but there are many other vegan options. 
  • You can also make these with coconut oil or vegetable shortening.
  • If you would like to make these without fat, use unsweetened pumpkin puree to replace the fat.
tamales chocolate

Vegan Chocolate Tamales

Vegan Chocolate tamales filled with roasted pecans and chocolate chips.
5 from 1 vote
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Course: Dessert
Cuisine: Mexican
Keyword: chocolate, pecans, vegan tamales
Prep Time: 2 hours
Cook Time: 40 minutes
Total Time: 2 hours 40 minutes
Servings: 18 tamales
Author: Dora Stone

Ingredients

  • 1 cup (8 oz.) Vegan Butter, room temperature
  • 1/3 cup Sugar, granulated
  • 4 cups (1 lb. 2oz) Masa harina
  • 1.5 tsp. Baking powder
  • 1 tsp. Salt
  • 1 1/2 cups (9 oz.) Mexican chocolate, ground
  • ½ tsp. Cinnamon, ground
  • 2 cups Almond Milk, unsweetened, warm
  • 2 cups Water, warm
  • ½ cup Pecans, chopped
  • 2 cups Chocolate chips, bittersweet
  • 30 Corn husks dried

Instructions

To prepare the husks:

  • Soak the corn husks in hot water, in a large pot or in your kitchen sink. Place a plate over them to weigh them down so they are completely submerged. Let them soak for at least an hour.

To make the dough:

  • Chop the Mexican chocolate into small pieces and grind to a powder in the food processor. If you don’t have a food processor, you can grate the chocolate with a standard kitchen grater.
  • Beat the butter and sugar, on medium-high speed, with an electric mixer, until the butter has doubled in size and is nice and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add the Mexican chocolate, cinnamon, baking powder, salt, and beat for 1 minute to incorporate into the butter.
  • Add half of the masa harina then add the almond milk. After it is completely incorporated, add the other half of masa harina and water. Beat at low speed, until thoroughly mixed. It should have the consistency of a thick cake batter. If necessary add more water until you reach that consistency.
  • For lighter and fluffier tamales, let the dough rest for an hour in the refrigerator. Remove the dough from the fridge and rebeat it, adding enough liquid to get it to the consistency it had before.
  • Remove the corn husks from the water and set on paper towels.

To set up the steamer:

  • Fill the bottom with water making sure the water is not touching the steamer rack. Line the rack and sides of the steamer pot with corn husks. Set aside.

To wrap the tamales:

  • Pull 24 pencil thin strips off of the corn husks and set aside. Take a husk and dry off the excess water on it with a paper towel. Place the husk in your hand with the tapered side away from you and the smooth side up. Using a spoon, spread 2-3 tbsp. of the dough (¼ inch thick) onto the corn husk, forming a 3 - 4 inch square. Leave a border of at least 3/4 inch on each side of the square.
  • Place 5-10 chocolate chips, and a sprinkle of chopped pecans in the center of the dough. Bring the two long sides of the corn husk together, this will cause the masa to surround the filling, and roll them in the same direction around the tamal. (If the husk is too small, fold one of the long sides towards the center, and then fold the other long side on top.) Fold down the empty tapered section of the corn husk, forming a closed bottom. This will leave the top of the tamal open. Tie with a corn husk strip to secure the bottom of the tamal.
  • Place the tamal in the steamer vertically leaning against the side of the steamer, with the folded part of the tamal on the bottom. Repeat this process until you run out of dough and all the tamales are in the steamer. Cover them with a layer of corn husks. If the steamer is not full, fill the empty spaces with more corn husks. Cover the pot and bring the water to a boil. Turn heat down to medium and cook for 40 minutes. Check the tamales, when they separate easily from the corn husk it means they are done. If they are not done, steam for 10 more minutes and check again.
  • Remove steamer from the heat and let sit covered for 10 minutes. Uncover and let cool. Don’t be alarmed if the tamales seem really soft. As they cool, they will firm up.

Video

Notes

If you would like to make these with fresh masa, replace the masa harina with 2 lbs. of fresh masa. You can also use 8 oz. of coconut oil or 8 oz of cooked, unsweetened pumpkin to replace the fat.

 

Something strange is happening in our house. Our 6 yr old, Dylan, has been asking what vegan is. My husband is an omnivore, so I cook 3 vegan meals, 3 non-vegan meals and we eat out one day a week. We don’t really use labels with our food, so the kids don’t think about our meals as vegan or non-vegan. They will eat almost anything, as long as it’s good.

This recipe for Candied Pumpkin (Calabaza en Tacha), is another great dish you can prepare for the Day of the Dead celebration. The pumpkin

This recipe for Candied Pumpkin (Calabaza en Tacha), is another great dish you can prepare for the Day of the Dead celebration. The pumpkin

This recipe for Candied Pumpkin (Calabaza en Tacha), is another great dish you can prepare for the Day of the Dead celebration. The pumpkin

He has been hearing the word vegan a lot though, because of the blog, and my husband constantly asking if something I have prepared is vegan (possibly with a grimace on his face). I don’t want Dylan to think of vegan food as different or worse than other food, so I have been naming some of his favorite foods and letting him know they are vegan. He loves tofu! When he asked me what vegan was, the best explanation I could give him was that it was food that came from plants, not animals. He kind of nodded and moved on to the next distracting thing in his path.

This recipe for Candied Pumpkin (Calabaza en Tacha), is another great dish you can prepare for the Day of the Dead celebration. The pumpkin

This recipe for Candied Pumpkin (Calabaza en Tacha), is another great dish you can prepare for the Day of the Dead celebration. The pumpkin

This recipe for Candied Pumpkin (Calabaza en Tacha), is another great dish you can prepare for the Day of the Dead celebration. The pumpkin

Now that the WHO (World Health Organization) has stated that processed meats can cause cancer, it is more important than ever to demistify plant-based food and show others, especially our children, how great you can feel from eating it and how delicious it can be.

This recipe for Candied Pumpkin (Calabaza en Tacha), is another great dish you can prepare for the Day of the Dead celebration. The pumpkin

The Recipe: Candied Pumpkin (Calabaza en Tacha)

This is another great dish you can prepare for the Day of the Dead celebration. A cinderella pumpkin is cut into thick wedges, and simmered slowly in piloncillo, cinnamon, clove, and orange peel. Once the pumpkin is soft and tender, it is drizzled in its own syrup. Traditionally it is served with milk, but this version is topped with decadent coconut whipped cream. Enjoy!

This recipe for Candied Pumpkin (Calabaza en Tacha), is another great dish you can prepare for the Day of the Dead celebration. The pumpkin

candied pumpkin (calabaza en tacha)

Candied Pumpkin (Calabaza en Tacha)

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Prep Time: 2 hours
Total Time: 2 hours
Servings: 10 servings
Author: Dora Stone

Ingredients

  • 1 small (4 -5 lbs.) Cinderella pumpkin
  • 1 lb. Piloncillo, (2 cones)
  • 1 Ceylon cinnamon stick
  • 1 Clove, whole
  • 1 strip Orange peel
  • ¾ cup Water

Instructions

  • Place the piloncillo, water, cinnamon, clove, and orange peel in a large pot or dutch oven set to low heat. Let the piloncillo slowly dissolve, stir frequently.
  • In the meantime, rinse the pumpkin well to remove any dirt. With a small knife cut a circle around the stem of the pumpkin. Almost like you are carving a jack-o-lantern. Remove the stem and pull out the seeds and flesh attached to it. Leave the rest if the seeds and flesh inside.
  • Following the natural vertical grooves of the pumpkin, cut it into wedges from top to bottom. The wedges should be about 2 ½ “ wide x 3 “ long. You do not need to remove the seeds, but you can if desired. Score the skin of the pumpkin wedges with a small knife to help them absorb the syrup.
  • Once the piloncillo has completely dissolved, remove the pot from the heat and layer the pumpkin wedges skin side down on the bottom of the pot. Once you have covered the bottom of the pot completely, add a second layer of pumpkin wedges flesh side down, so that the pumpkin is touching flesh to flesh.
  • Cover the pot and set it to medium- low heat. Let the pumpkin simmer for 1½ hours. Don’t worry about not having enough liquid in the pot. As the pumpkin cooks it will release a large quantity of water.
  • Uncover the pot and let simmer for ½ hour more or until the pumpkin is a dark brown color and is completely submerged in the syrup. Take off the heat and let cool.
  • Serve hot or cold and top with coconut whipped cream. (see note)

Notes

If you cannot find Cinderella pumpkins, use a sugar pumpkin instead. Here is  a super easy recipe for coconut whipped cream.
 
 

 

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

Every altar has several key symbols which are:

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

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

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

incense– to elevate our prayers to God in heaven

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

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

a picture of the person who the altar is dedicated to

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

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

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

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

fruits and vegetables– an offering from the earth

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

a dog– to protect and guide the spirits.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Sources:

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

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

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

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

pan-de-muerto2

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

pan de muerto

 

pan de muerto

Vegan Day of the Dead Bread

This vegan day of the dead bread or pan de muerto is tender, sweet, and delicious. Perfect for dipping on hot chocolate.
4.5 from 2 votes
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Course: Dessert
Cuisine: Mexican
Keyword: day of the dead, pan de muerto, vegan
Prep Time: 1 day
Cook Time: 45 minutes
Total Time: 1 day 45 minutes
Servings: 4 loaves
Author: Dora Stone

Ingredients

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

Topping

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

Instructions

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

Video

Notes

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

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

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

Aguachile is traditional Mexican dish, similar to ceviche, served on the coast of Mexico. It is usually made with shrimp. If you had been wondering how to make aguachile vegan look no more. For this vegan version I have used hearts of palm as the main ingredient. The tanginess of the lime intermixes with the spiciness of the serranos, and the crunchiness of the red onion really lifts up the hearts of palm. Eat it on it’s own or on a salad, but I think it’s best served on crispy tostadas with creamy avocado slices and a nice cold beer.

Spicy Hearts of Palm Ceviche

I know most of you are already in full swing of pumpkin season, but I’m kind of still stuck in summer, since the heat doesn’t seem to want to die down here. What better to cool down the than a spicy hearts of palm aguachile or ceviche??

 

Spicy Hearts of Palm Ceviche

Halloween is right around the corner and it look like it’s going to be Star Wars crazy. Up until a couple of weeks ago I had never watched a single one of the Star Wars movies. I can’t blame this one on growing up in Mexico, because I know there are a lot of Mexican Star Wars fans out there.

aguachile de palmito

Maybe it’s because I have three sisters, and no brothers. However, ask me anything about Disney movies and I can probably answer in a heart beat. Since the new Star Wars movie is coming out in December my husband has been introducing me to the series. I’ve mostly enjoyed it, but I do have to say I find C-3PO very annoying. A lot of things make sense now though, like Indiana Jones and a thousand other cultural references. I can’t believe it took me so long to watch them.

Aguachile in a molcajete, how to make aguachile vegan

The Recipe: How to make Aguachile vegan??

  • You might have to try several brands of hearts of palm and see which one you like best. Some are more tender than others.
  • The recipe calls for 1 serrano pepper, but if you don’t eat a lot of spicy food I would only use 1/2 or even a 1/3 of a pepper.
  • Enjoy!

 

Aguachile in a molcajete, how to make aguachile vegan

Hearts of Palm Aguachile (How to make aguachile vegan?)

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Prep Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes
Servings: 2 servings
Author: Dora Stone

Ingredients

  • 1 can (14.1 oz) Hearts of Palm, sliced
  • 2 cups Sliced cucumber, peeled and without seeds
  • ½ Red onion, thinly sliced
  • ¼ cup Cilantro, chopped
  • ½ - 1 Serrano pepper
  • 2 tbsp. Lime juice, fresh

Instructions

  • Drain the water from the hearts of palm can. Slice them in half lengthwise and slice them ¼ inch thick.
  • Peel the cucumber, cut lengthwise, and use a spoon to scoop out the seeds. Do not discard the seeds and flesh.
  • In a large bowl combine the hearts of palm, 1 cup of the sliced cucumber, and the sliced red onion.
  • In the blender, combine the serrano pepper, lime juice, chopped cilantro, the additional 1 cup of sliced cucumber, the seeds and flesh that was scooped out of the cucumbers, and process until smooth.
  • Pour this liquid over the hearts of palm mixture, season with salt and pepper, and let sit in refrigeration for 10 min.
  • Adjust seasoning and serve on crispy tostadas with sliced of avocado.

Notes

You can add crumbled seaweed or seaweed powder to make this fishy. 

 

 

Macadamia Nut Queso Fresco

What can I say about vegan cheese? I don’t like it. I’m sorry, but I just don’t. Maybe it’s because I was a passionate cheese lover before going vegan. Oh did I love cheese! The stinkier the better. The vegan versions of cheese just don’t live up to my expectations, so I prefer to do without it. However, I decided to give it a try once more with this macadamia nut queso fresco, because you can’t drink a good glass of wine without cheese.

Macadamia Nut Queso Fresco

The Recipe: Macadamia Nut Queso Fresco

This cheese is perfect for a fruit and jam cheese plate, but also topped with a chipotle-pineapple salsa and some chips. The texture is light and easily spreadable. It has a touch of sweetness, but is savory in all the right ways.

Macadamia Nut Queso Fresco

Macadamia Nut Queso Fresco

The best part of it is that it is so easy to make. First you soak the macadamia nuts in water overnight. The following day you grind them in the food processor with garlic, oil, salt, and a bit of lime juice. This makes a sort of paste with the consistency of ricotta cheese. You wrap this paste in cheese cloth, squeeze out the excess liquid and leave in the fridge overnight. That’s it, your cheese is ready to eat.

Macadamia Nut Queso Fresco

 

Macadamia Nut Queso Fresco

macadamia-nut-queso-fresco5

Macadamia Nut Queso Fresco

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Prep Time: 25 minutes
Cook Time: 1 day
Total Time: 1 day 25 minutes
Servings: 3 servings
Author: Dora Stone

Ingredients

Queso Fresco

  • 1 cup Macadamia nuts, raw
  • 1 clove Garlic, peeled
  • 1 tsp. Lime juice, fresh
  • 1 tbsp. Olive or vegetable oil
  • 2 tbsp. Water
  • ½ tsp. Salt
  • 1 piece cheesecloth

Chipotle Pineapple Salsa

  • 1 Tomato, large
  • 1/4 Onion, white
  • 1 clove Garlic, unpeeled
  • ¼ cup Chopped pineapple
  • 1 Chile chipotle adobo (1 pepper)
  • 1 tbsp. Cilantro, chopped

Instructions

  • For the queso fresco: soak the macadamias in water at room temperature overnight. The following day, drain the nuts and place in a food processor with the garlic, lime juice, oil, water, and salt.
  • Process 1-2 minutes or until the nuts turn into a paste that resembles ricotta cheese. Taste and adjust seasoning.
  • Wet a large piece of cheesecloth, approximately 12” X 12”. Place the paste in the center and a form it into a ball by gathering the edges of the cheesecloth around the cheese.
  • Twist the top edges of the cheesecloth to tighten, give shape, and get rid of excess water in the cheese. Place the cheese bundle on a plate and let sit overnight in the refrigerator.
  • The next day unwrap your cheese and serve.
  • To make the salsa: boil water in a small saucepot. Drop tomato in and lower heat to a simmer. Simmer for 3-4 minutes or until the tomato begins to soften.
  • While the tomato is simmering, set a large sauté pan to medium-high heat. Place the onion and garlic in the pan and let the high heat char them for 2 minutes on each side. Remove from pan, peel the garlic, and place them both in the blender.
  • Remove the tomato from the water and add to the blender. Add the chipotle, cilantro, and pineapple to the blender and process until you reach the desired consistency. Season with salt and pepper.

Notes

If you cannot easily find raw macadamia nuts, you can substitute with blanched almonds.