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Barbacoa means so many different things to different people, as with any other Mexican dish it varies from state to state. This traditional vegan barbacoa Sinaloense uses Gardein beefless tips instead of pork or beef, but still holds all the chiles, spices, and flavors that characterize barbacoa in Sinaloa. 

Glass bowl filled with gardein beefless tips soaking in water

It is a hearty stew full of vegetables like potatoes, carrots, tomatoes, and olives simmered in a mixture of Anaheim, chile guajillo, cumin, oregano, and beer. In Sinaloa, it is served with cold macaroni salad and refried beans.

Stainless steel pot filled with dried chiles and water

Our Vegan Mexico Project

This recipe is part of an amazing project called Our Vegan Mexico, where 32 talented cooks will be showcasing, right here on Dora’s Table, 32 vegan Mexican recipes. Each recipe will be representing one state of the Mexican union.

White pot with onion, tomato, and anaheim chile.

With this project, I am hoping to encourage the Mexican community in the U.S., and the people of my country to take a chance and make the change to a plant-based diet. This recipe, which is representing the state of Sinaloa, is the creation of the talented Fabby Gastelum, and here she is sharing her story with us.

White pot with onion, carrots, tomatoes, and anaheim chile.

Fabby’s Story:

Hi my name is Fabiola Gastelum and I was born in Culiacán Sinaloa. My family and I moved here when I was 7 years old, we lived in Mesa Arizona and I spent all my childhood there. That’s Home! I currently live in Albuquerque New Mexico with my toddler and my husband.

Small saute pan with browned beefless tips

Growing up I remember hating the feeling of knowing where my food came from. I would cry after every zoo trip thinking of the animals incarcerated there. I always considered myself a “tree hugger” because I hated plastic and I would try and safe water. When I became a mother I became so conscious of what products I used on my son -all-natural plant-based products. He never had cow milk and very little red meats. I remember watching What The Health for the first time on August 2017 (knowing that I would come out of it feeling different) that day our lives changed.

Vegan barbacoa sinaloense in a blue and white pot with a wooden spoon in it

My inner wish of always wanting to be vegetarian finally made it out. And by vegetarian I mean growing up I watched a kids show where one of the girls was an animal activist and I dreamt of having her courage to fight for animal rights. Our vegan journey began 1 week after that. We stopped buying, wearing, eating and exploiting animals. As much as I wished our journey would have come sooner I’m happy to say we are one big happy vegan family! I have not left my culture, my food or my identity. I’m a true Sinaloense and I will continue to veganize my states dishes! #LosVeganosComenMejor

Vegan barbacoa sinaloense on a white plate with macaroni salad and refried beans, and flour tortillas

The Recipe: Vegan Barbacoa Sinaloense

  • If you can’t find Gardein beefless tips you can use mushrooms, TVP or seitan or your favorite meat substitute.
  • If you can’t find no-chicken or no-beef bouillon cubes you can use vegetable stock instead of water.
  • Adding beer is very common in the state of Sinaloa and I wanted to make this as traditional as possible. Yes it’s safe for children since it’s only a small amount and the alcohol taste disappears with all the other spices. I added Michelob.
  • The beefless tips are already seasoned, I didn’t want that flavor to overpower the barbacoa. I washed them very well and added a squeeze of lime juice and let it rest for 15 mins with lime juice and water. It helped, and the “meat” got the original taste of the barbacoa spices added but this is totally optional
A closeup of a flour tortilla scooping up vegan barbacoa sinaloense from a white plate
Vegan barbacoa sinaloense on a white plate with macaroni salad and refried beans

Vegan Barbacoa Sinaloense

This traditional vegan barbacoa Sinaloense uses Gardein beefless tips instead of pork or beef, but still holds all the chiles, spices, and flavors that characterize barbacoa in Sinaloa.
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Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Mexican
Keyword: gardein beefless tips, sinaloa, vegan
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Total Time: 35 minutes
Servings: 4 servings
Calories: 422kcal
Author: Dora S.

Ingredients

  • 1 package Gardein Homestyle Beefless Tips *see note
  • 5 Small russet potatoes (about 4 cups diced potatoes)
  • 5 Small carrots (about 1 ½ cups diced Carrots)
  • 3 Small tomatoes (about 1 ¼ cup diced tomato)
  • 1/4 White onion (about 1/3 cup diced onion)
  • 2 cloves Garlic
  • 1 Anaheim chile, fresh
  • 5 Guajillo chiles, dried
  • 1 Pinch Cumin (about 1/4 tsp.)
  • 2 Not Beef Bouillon Cubes
  • 1 Not-Chick’n Bouillon Cube
  • 1 tsp. Dried oregano
  • Salt & pepper to taste
  • 1/2 cup Manzanilla olives
  • 2 Bay leaves, dried
  • 1/4 cup Preferred beer, *see notes

Instructions

  • Fill a medium pot with water and bring to a boil. Add guajillo chiles and let simmer slowly for 5 – 8 minutes to soften the chiles.
  • Continue by dicing tomato, anaheim chile and onion in to very small-fine pieces.
  • Heat a large pot to medium-low heat and add 1 tsp. oil (optional). Add onion, Anaheim chile, and tomato and sweat for 5 minutes or until vegetables are tender,
  • Meanwhile chop carrots and potatoes into small-medium chunks. Add only carrots and olives to pot; cover and continue to cook for another 3-5 mins.
  • When guajillo chiles have softened, drain, and place in the blender with 1 cup of water, garlic, cumin, dried oregano, and a pinch of salt and black pepper, blend till smooth.
  • Take that chile mixture and strain it, add strained liquid to pot and simmer for another 5 mins
  • Add potatoes and both not-beef cubes, 1 chkn cube and 2 bay leaves. Increase heat to medium, cover, and keep cooking for another 10 mins depending how soft or hard you like your potatoes to be. (If necessary add more water.)
  • Heat a sauté pan to medium-high heat and add 1 tsp. of oil. Add beefless tips and brown them on both sides until golden brown.
  • Add the beefless tips to the pot with the vegetables, add another 2 cups of water, and ¼ cup of beer. Stir and let cook on low heat for 5 more mins. (You can add more than 2 cups of water. Today I did because I wanted my barbacoa to have plenty of broth. Add as much or little as you like.)
  • 1Season to taste with salt and pepper.
  • Turn off heat, make some frijoles puercos and sopa fria to go with it and voilà

Notes

*The beer is only for a different kick on the taste of this barbacoa, in Sinaloa (my Mexico native state) adding some beer to it is very common and I wanted to make this as traditional as possible. Yes it’s safe for children since it’s only a small amount and the alcohol taste disappears with all the other spices. I added Michelob. (of course I drank the remaining of it #bosslife #momlife #winning)
*The beefless tips are already seasoned, I didn’t want that flavor to overpower the barbacoa. I washed them very well and added a squeeze of lime juice and let it rest for 15 mins with lime juice and water. It helped, and the “meat” got the original taste of the barbacoa spices added but this is totally optional

Nutrition

Calories: 422kcal | Carbohydrates: 71g | Protein: 20g | Fat: 8g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 635mg | Potassium: 1708mg | Fiber: 11g | Sugar: 11g | Vitamin A: 14753IU | Vitamin C: 36mg | Calcium: 100mg | Iron: 4mg