Ahem. But the real reason for this blog post is to give you guys delicious scrumptious recipes for vegan Mexican food. I didn't feel any loss eating Mexican as a vegetarian - veggie quesadillas! Veggie enchiladas! Veggie tacos! - but I did feel some pain when I went vegan because what is a quesadilla without cheese? What are nachos without sour cream? Noooooooooooooo!!!!! Do not fret, though. The solutions exist and they are, hands down, DELICIOUS. So, I have curated my favorite recipes for you to try at home. Long live Mexican food!
VEGAN MOFONGO (yes, it's really possible!)
2-3 peeled and sliced green plantains (serves about 3-4 people)
4 oz. tempeh, all crumbled up
4 T olive oil
1 T paprika
1/2 T smoked salt
1/4 t black pepper
Optional dash of liquid smoke if you can get it
4 minced garlic cloves
Preheat your oven to 400 F. Toss the plantains with the olive oil and bake 15 minutes. Flip them and bake another 15 minutes, until they are lightly browned and soft. In a bowl, combine all the other ingredients except the garlic and set aside. Heat some olive oil in a frying pan and sauté the tempeh mix until crispy and set aside. When the plantains are ready, take them out of the oven and mash them. Stir in the garlic and tempeh and press the mixture into small round mounds. Serve right away!
VEGGIE QUESADILLA (my ultimate favorite)
Brown rice tortillas
1 can of rinsed organic black beans (or other beans you like - optional)
1 small container of hummus with a bit of chipotle pepper and garlic if you like
A diced tomato or some salsa (see recipe below)
Onion/scallion/cilantro to taste
Avocado (or guacamole - see recipe, below - or vegan sour cream)
Vegan shredded cheese - I like Follow Your Heart Vegan Gourmet Shreds, which has the added bonus of being Rainforest Alliance Certified, which means they ONLY use sustainably grown and harvested palm oil that is NOT orangutan habitat. YES.
Any assortment of your fav veggies you want to throw in there - I love bell peppers, mushrooms, eggplants and onions)
Mix the above except for the cheese. Lightly grease a skillet with olive oil and warm the tortillas, flipping to be sure both sides are warmed up, put some veggies in there, sprinkle cheese on top to taste and fold the quesadilla over and let it brown slightly. Voila!
Ok, first start with your fav vegan chips - if you want to go healthy, don't go with plain bland white or yellow flour chips. Choose black bean, quinoa, brown rice, or lentil chips. Try a few first. They all have distinct flavors so pick your fav.
Now, grab a couple little green jalapeño peppers and some chopped up red onion and, if you want, guacamole ( ripe avocado + the juice of a 1 lime + a teeny pinch of sea salt). You can add salsa, whether you want to buy it or make it (chop up some tomatoes, cilantro, lime juice, a dollop of olive oil, red onion, hot sauce to your taste, and some finely chopped garlic to taste and you've pretty much got a nice salsa) and/or queso, recipe below. If you miss meat, here's a recipe for ground "meat" from Marc on No recipes: Ground "Meat." I crisp it a bit and I looove it.
Ahh, and for sour cream, my fav is Tofutti Dairy Free Sour Cream. Mmmmm.
QUESO (courtesy of the Minimalist Baker but with sour cream added by moi)
This is the bestest queso, like, EVER. I found it on Minimalist Baker when searching for a nut-free cheese. Usually vegan quesos are made with cashews and so many people are allergic to nuts so I wanted a nut-free queso. The Minimalist Baker brilliantly uses EGGPLANT! Here's how (or click on MB's link, above):
- 7-9 rounds of eggplant, sliced 1/4-inch thick (~half of a medium eggplant)
- Olive oil
- Sea salt
- 1.5-2 cups unsweetened original almond milk
- 2-3 Tbsp nutritional yeast (see instructions)
- 1/4 tsp finely minced fresh garlic (I used crushed garlic from Trader Joe’s)
- 1 tsp cumin
- 1 tsp chili powder
- 2 tsp cornstarch (optional for thickening | sub another thickener if desired)
- 1/4 cup chunky medium salsa, slightly drained (OR 1/4 10-ounce can of Rotel original diced tomatoes and green chilies)
- OPTIONAL: Smoked paprika and hot sauce for added color and flavor upon serving.
- Slice your eggplant into thin rounds just under 1/2 inch (not quite 1/4 inch), then sprinkle both sides of the flesh with a little sea salt and arrange in a colander to help draw out some of the moisture and bitterness. Let set for 10-15 minutes, then rinse with cool water and thoroughly pat dry between two clean towels.
- Preheat oven to high broil and place an oven rack near the top of the oven. Arrange the dried eggplant rounds on a baking sheet lightly spritzed with non-stick spray and drizzle both sides of the eggplant with a little olive oil. Sprinkle with a very small amount of salt.
- Broil on high for 4-5 minutes on each side, watching carefully as to not let them burn. Flip at the halfway point to ensure even cooking. Once the eggplant appears tender and both sides have golden brown color, remove from the oven and wrap loosely in foil to steam.
- After a few minutes, unwrap and peel the eggplant skin away. It should come right off. If you pack your roasted eggplant into a 1-cup measuring cup, it will be almost 1 cup.
- Place eggplant in a blender with the 1.5 cups (to start) almond milk, 2 Tbsp nutritional yeast, minced garlic, cumin, chili powder and cornstarch and blend on high until smooth and creamy. Taste and adjust seasonings as needed. I added a pinch more sea salt and a little more nutritional yeast. To thin, add more almond milk.
- Transfer to a small saucepan and warm over medium to medium heat until slightly thickened and bubbly – about 5 minutes. The longer you go the thicker it will become.
- NOTE: If it isn’t looking as thick as you want, thicken with a slurry of cornstarch by adding an additional 1 tsp cornstarch to a small bowl with a little almond milk and 2-3 Tbsp of the cheese mixture. Whisk to combine and then stir back into the pot. This should thicken it right up.
- Once hot and thickened, remove from heat and stir in DRAINED salsa or Rotel. Don’t put the liquid in or it will make it runny. Pour into a serving dish and top with a little smoked paprika and hot sauce for flavor/color.
- Serve with chips, crackers or veggies. Keep warm in a mini crockpot or over a tea light warmer if you have one. Microwaves well.
- NOTE: When this dip sits out for a long time it loses its orange hue. It doesn't affect the flavor but it doesn't look as appetizing, so it's really best when fresh!
- Refrigerate and cover leftovers. Reheats extremely well in the microwave or in a saucepan. Will keep for up to a few days, but best when fresh.
- 1 cup of rinsed and cooked beans (black beans are mucho mas mejor)
- A cup of guac, dairy free sour cream and/or salsa
- Lime juice
- About 3/4 cup of sliced multi-colored bell peppers
- 1 seeded chipotle pepper
- A tablespoon of minced garlic
- a bit of olive oil
- Salt & pepper to taste
- Brown rice flour tortillas
Step 6:Remove tortillas from the oven and assemble tacos. Top as desired — avocado, green onion, cilantro, salsa, hot sauce, etc. — give a squeeze of lime, and serve.
Oh yes! I can't have a blog post entitled 'The Whole Enchilada' without an enchilada recipe! This one is a slight variation of Cassie's recipe from Vegan Insanity. To see her recipe without the (slight!) modifications, just click here.
- 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 2 tbsp brown rice flour
- 1 tsp finally minced garlic
- 1 tbsp oregano
- 4 tbsp chili powder
- ½ tsp salt
- 1 mashed up tomato
- 2 cups vegetable broth
- ⅓ cup raw cashews
- 2 tbsp lemon juice
- 1 garlic clove
- ¼ cup water
- ½ tsp salt
- ¼ tsp freshly ground black pepper
- ½ tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 1 small yellow onion, diced
- A handful of diced bell peppers - try combining red, yellow and green.
- 1 small zucchini, diced
- 1½ cups cooked black beans (or 1 15oz can) - optional
- 3-4 chopped scallions
- ½ cup chopped cilantro or parsley or both together!!
- Salt & pepper, to taste
- Brown rice tortillas
- In a small pot, heat your oil until warm, over low heat, then add in the flour and whisk until there are no clumps remaining. At that point, you can add in your spices, tomato and broth. Whisk until smooth. Simmer for about 10 minutes, or until thickened.
- Add all ingredients to a food processor or high-powered blender and process/blend until very smooth.
- Add your oil to a large pan, over medium heat. Once warmed, add in your diced onion, and cook until softened, about 5 minutes.
- Then, add in the bell pepper and zucchini. Cook for another 5 minutes, or until softened.
- Add in your cooked black beans, until it's all warmed through. Season with salt and pepper. Remove the pan from heat and set aside.
- Preheat your oven to 350F and add a big ladle-full of enchilada sauce to the bottom of a 9x13 baking dish.
- Add about 2 tablespoons of veggies to a tortilla, top with olives, scallions and cilantro/parsley. Roll it up tightly, and place seam-side down in your baking dish. Repeat with remaining tortillas.
- Pour the enchilada sauce over your enchiladas, making sure to cover everything well.
- Cover the baking dish with foil, and bake for 15-20 minutes, or until the sauce is bubbling around the edges.
- Serve with a drizzle of cashew cream or queso, chopped cilantro/parsley, and a few more chopped scallions on top.