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

3/12/12:   We’re going on a date tomorrow!! A real date. We will be joining the ranks of civilized people who eat without having to wrangle a 2 yr old while trying to enjoy a decent meal. We haven’t had a real date in months. The last time we tried to spend some time alone we ended up dropping the munchkin off at the sitters and coming back home to watch TV. You can hardly call that a date. There is only one problem. I’m still not eating any kind of animal product. How will I be able to resist the cheese?? The soft and pungent  Robiola or the nutty Pecorino.

Eating out on a plant based diet hasn’t been difficult yet. In the past two weeks we have eaten twice at Native Foods in Aliso Viejo. Native Foods is a cafe that serves vegan food made from scratch. If it wasn’t for this lenten experiment that we’re conducting we would’ve never given Native Foods the time of day. Remember how I said I was going to try away from “fake” foods like vegan cheese and anything that slightly resembled a “real” food. Well, this restaurant has proved me wrong. They make an excellent seitan meatball sandwich, and their burger is not bad, not bad at all.

mushroom fajitas

 

We also ate at Seabirds food truck, which basically serves vegan street food. I had a fried avocado taco, with a garlic aioli, and cole slaw. Their sweet potato fries were good, but the kale, apple, and currant salad was the best. Even though a fried avocado taco isn’t exactly healthy it was a nice treat. Who knew vegans could be unhealthy as well??

 

This week we made:

  1. Falafel, Cucumber, Lettuce & Tahini Pita Pockets
  2. Spicy Red Lentil Daal and Brown Basmati Rice
  3. Ribollita
  4. Krispy Kale, Coconut, Tofu & Brown Rice in a Sesame Soy Dressing 
  5. Cocoa Peanut Vegan Cookies

I have been looking for good vegan recipe sites or blogs and I came across HealthyHappyLife. The pictures are beautiful and the recipes I’ve tried so far have been excellent. They have a huge vegan recipe index with everything from breakfast to dessert.

3/14:  Dinnner last night was great. I was weak and ended up eating all kinds of deliciousness. It was worth it.

mushroom fajitas

mushroom fajitas
5 from 1 vote
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Mushroom Fajitas

Course Main Course
Cuisine Mexican
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 4 Servings

Ingredients

  • 1 tbsp. Oil (optional)
  • 1 lb. Button mushrooms, sliced 1/4 in. thick
  • 1 lb. Portobello mushrooms, sliced 1/4 in. thick
  • 1 Yellow onion, thinly sliced
  • 5 Garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 1/2 tbsp. Soy sauce

Preparation

  1. Set a large sauté pan to medium-high heat. Pour in oil. Add mushrooms when pan is hot and cook for about 3-5 min, until all the liquid released by the mushrooms has evaporated and they are golden brown
  2. Remove mushrooms from pan.
  3. Add onion into the pan and cook for 2-3 min. until slightly browned. Add garlic and peppers. Cook for 3-4 min. more or until the peppers are tender.
  4. Place mushrooms back in the pan. Pour in soy sauce. Season with salt and pepper. Cook for 1-2 min.
  5. Serve with tortillas, guacamole and roasted tomato salsa.

Chef's Notes

Feel free to add any variety of mushrooms or make your own combination.

I love tequila!! I really do, and I hate the negative reputation is has in this country. I’ve been drinking tequila since I was 15 yrs old, with adult supervision of course. My parents decided it was best to teach me how to drink tequila properly, before I turned 18 and went out into the world. I never got drunk off of it, at least not until college, which I totally blame on you eager American college kids. I’ll spare you the drunk college stories for fear of embarrassing myself and others involved. Needless to say, I almost gave up tequila. Thankfully my mom started sending me bottles of sangrita to chase my tequila with, which reminded me that tequila, good tequila, is meant to be sipped and enjoyed. Sangrita is the best tequila chaser you’ll find. It is a combination of hot chiles, orange juice, onion, tomato juice, and just a touch of sugar. You can buy it pre-made, I recommend Viuda de Sanchez, or you can make it yourself.

The best sangrita recipe is spicy, sweet, and savory. It is the best chaser to any tequila. A vegan recipe.

Now, let me introduce you to the many wonderful ways in which Mexicans drink their tequila. First there’s the “bandera” or flag, it consists of 3 shots, one of lime juice, one of tequila, and one of sangrita. It is meant to be sipped but can also be shot. It’s called a flag because of the colors reflect those of the Mexican flag: green, white, and red. The shot glasses are not your regular shot glasses either. They are known as “caballitos” or little horses. If you would like to know why, you can visit the Mexican Academy of Tequila for some interesting facts. All you really need to know is that while a regular shot glass fits one fluid ounce of liquor, the “caballito” fits one and a half. Another way to drink tequila is with lime and salt, lick the space between your thumb and your forefinger, add some salt, lick salt, take shot, and suck on a lime. Please don’t call it training wheels, it drives me crazy, yes it’s supposed to lessen the harshness of the alcohol, but tequila shouldn’t be harsh. Surprised? This leads me to the final way of drinking tequila, which is, served in a snifter and sipped.

The best sangrita recipe is spicy, sweet, and savory. It is the best chaser to any tequila. A vegan recipe.

All of these ways of drinking tequila would be greatly improved if you invest in a good tequila. Try Corralejo or Don Julio Blanco for margaritas, the “bandera”, and the salt-shot-lime version, or for any other mixed drink. Don Julio (my lover), also comes in Reposado, Anejo, and 1942. Don Julio 1942 is for sipping, and while quite expensive you should definitely try it t least once. If you’re looking for a surprisingly smooth tequila try Clase Azul, plus it comes in a really unique bottle. I hope this helps and maybe persuades you to try tequila one more time before vowing never to touch it again.

The Recipe: The Best Sangrita Recipe

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Sangrita

Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes
Servings 1 quart
Author Dora Stone

Ingredients

  • 2 cups Tomato juice
  • 1 1/2 cups Orange juice, fresh
  • 1/2 cup Lime juice, fresh
  • 2 tsp, Onion white, large, minced
  • 1 tsp. Worcestershire Sauce, vegan
  • 4 tsp. Valentina, Mexican hot sauce

Preparation

  1. In a large bowl, combine all ingredients, whisk them together, and season.
  2. Refrigerate.

Chef's Notes

Serve cold. The quality of the sangrita depends on the quality of the tomato juice, so get a good one.

 

 

conos de cajeta

         I’m beginning to think maybe I should call this a Mexican food blog. It’s my last couple of days in Mexico and I’m sad to leave, but sooo looking forward to Cali. Everytime I come home I try to eat a little bit of everything, like the tacos al pastor they sell on the corner in front of Merco (a grocery store), the yukis (shaved ice) in front of the car wash on Hidalgo street, the mangonadas (mango and chile popsicles) at the Paleteria Aguirre (ice cream shop), and the elote en vaso (steamed mexican corn served with a chile mix, crema, butter, lime juice, and cheese), they sell outside of the Narvaez Hospital. Well, you get my point, I could go on and on. It’s not a coincidence that all the foods I just named are street foods, street food is king in Mexico. In fact, some of the best food in Mexico is street food. Of course there are nice restaurants, cafe’s, and taquerias (taco shops), but there’s just something about simple, hot, just made, delicious food, that’s hard to resist. It’s the ultimate non-processed fast food.

Mexican corn

Food truck assembling my corn deliciousness

 

Chicharrones

Once I leave Mexico, it seems that I spend the rest of the year, in my kitchen, trying to recreate every Mexican dish possible. This week’s recipe is a simple salsa and a couple of cocktails. Chips and salsa in Mexico are not quite like chips and salsa in the U.S. Don’t get me wrong, I actually like both versions, but they’re just different. You can make your own authentic chips and salsa in less than 20 min. or as they’re called in Mexico: totopos con salsa.

Fruit cups sold on the street.

Sweet potato candy

 

Man in crutches pushing and ice cream cart

 

Carnitas sold by the kilo

For the chips, buy a pack of corn tortillas, not the frozen ones please, and cut into quarters. Fry them in 350F oil until golden brown. Remove the chips from the oil and sprinkle them with salt.

chile de arbol salsa

The Recipe: Chile de Arbol Salsa

chile de arbol salsa
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Chile de Arbol Salsa

Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Servings 2 cups
Author Dora Stone

Ingredients

  • 8 Tomatillo, husks removed
  • 3 Garlic, cloves, unpeeled
  • 1/2 oz (3/4 cup) Chile de Arbol
  • 1/2 Onion. white chopped
  • 2 tbsp. Cilantro, chopped

Preparation

  1. Heat cast iron pan or griddle to high heat. Place tomatillos and garlic cloves in pan. Let the tomatillo’s skin burn and blacken on all sides. The garlic needs to be only lightly toasted on each side, about 1 -2 min.
  2. Remove garlic from pan, peel, and set aside.
  3. Once the tomatillos are soft and mostly black, remove them from pan and place in a medium bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and let sit for 5 min.
  4. Bring 3 cups of water to a boil in a small sauce pan.
  5. Remove the stem and seeds from the chiles. Place them in the pot of boiling water and simmer from 5 to 7 minutes or until chiles are soft.
  6. Drain the chiles from the water.
  7. Place the tomatillos in the blender with the garlic, onion, cilantro, and chile de arbol. Blend, season, and add water is necessary to thin out sauce.

Chef's Notes

As an alternative you can place the tomatillos under the broiler in your oven for 15 to 20 min. until blackened and soft all over.