Pastel Azteca (Mexican Lasagna)

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Pastel Azteca is the Mexican answer to the lasagna.  Layers of tortillas, sauce, cheese and delicious fillings are placed in a casserole dish, then baked to golden yumminess is achieved. The tortillas soak up the sauce creating a soft, almost velvety texture. It is super easy to make and very satisfying. Continue reading

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Milanesa (Breaded “Steak”)

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OG milanesa consists of thinly sliced steak breaded and fried to perfection.  Nothing fancy.  Just simple ingredients placed together to form a simple meal.  So how does a vegetarian or vegan get to partake in milanesa?  Enter seitan, a wheat gluten meat substitute.  Although there are different varieties of seitan sold in markets (some come flavored, others come in chunks or even as a whole block) I used sliced seitan for this recipe. Continue reading

Vegan Kale and Chorizo Empanadas

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You know, whoever decided to stuff dough with delicious fillings should really be honored.  And I mean a statue in the park, face on a stamp, day of acknowledgement kind of honored because bready dough wrapped around flavorful fixings is hard to beat.  It is tasty, easy to eat and-did I mention tasty? Continue reading

Garlic Eggplant Gorditas

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Eggplant may never be considered a Mexican Food staple but it definitely is.  Whether you make tacos or tostadas with the mighty eggplant is up to you but one great way to use it is as a filling for gorditas, the soft, pillowy corn disc thicker than a tortilla.

A fragrant filling of garlic, onion and eggplant with just a hint of spice is created to fill these gorditas.  Simply top with lettuce and salsa or let your imagine run free and use other toppings like cabbage, jalapenos or shredded carrot.  Can’t get enough gordita goodness?  Well then, try the Spicy Tofu Gorditas as well. Continue reading

“Huevos” Revueltos

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Huevos revueltos, or scrambled eggs, make for a quick and easy breakfast meal.  Usually huevos revueltos are kept simple with eggs and some salt and pepper.  But why stop there?  I say add some veggies for flavor and color.  And while we are on the subject of flavor, chipotle peppers add a ton of flavor.

This recipe turns scrambled eggs into a vegan-friendly, spice-filled dish.  Skip the eggs and make it with tofu instead.  Add peppers, onions and tomatoes to really kick it up a notch.  So filling, so tasty, so incredible.  Patting myself on the back now. Continue reading

Vegan Coquito

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Coquito is a delicious Puerto Rican coconut drink served around Christmas and New Year’s Day.  The creamy, velvety beverage can be enjoyed either with the addition of rum or its own for those who want a non-alcoholic drink.

It is a great “something different” to drink during the holiday season when most festive drinks overdose on pumpkin or peppermint.  It is so easy to make and is just about as error-proof as it gets.  Sweet, creamy, coconutty, cinnamonny goodness.

So traditional coquito is absolutely not vegan as it usually involves condensed milk and eggs but all it takes is a couple of tweaks to make it a treat almost everyone can enjoy.  I used light coconut milk for this but if you long for a richer mouth feel feel free to use regular coconut milk (you want to use the one in the can not the coconut milk used as a milk substitute). Personally, I feel the rum is totally optional but if you feel it is a need I say bring it.  The rum could also be set to the side and mixed into each individual glass, as needed. Continue reading

Vegan Pozole

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When the weather turns chilly the best way to fill up on is with a nice, steaming bowl of soup. It warms you up from the inside out.  When looking a great vegan soup I think pozole is a good way to go.  Traditionally, pozole is a pork and hominy soup with a spicy chile base but it is just as easy to nix the pork and still have a delicious bowl to fill up on.  As a bonus, the vegan version is ready to serve in less than an hour.

This recipe keeps the heat level on the mild side.  Ancho chiles tend to have a bite to them without being too hot.  If you feel the need to bump it up a notch you can always add guajillo or dried chipotle peppers.

In addition the garnishes play just as much a role in the soup as the soup itself so don’t skimp on them.  I like mine with a lot of lemon, lettuce, onion and a few slices of radishes. Plus I always crush up tortilla chips into the bowl and let them soak up the spice-filled broth. Continue reading

Chipotle Tempeh Sopes

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Tempeh is a patty made of fermented soybeans and sometimes additions like barley, millet and rice.  It has a slight sour taste due to the fermentation.  Tempeh has a great crunchy texture which makes it a great choice as a ground meat substitute.

Sopes are thick fried masa cakes with a raised edge (to keep all the toppings on bay). Commonly sopes are topped with beans, meat, lettuce, tomato and cheese or sour cream. Yum, yum.

For this recipe I have made a spiced-filled chipotle tempeh filling.  A little heat, a little spice and some good crunch from the tempeh.  A simple mash to some pinto beans creates the perfect base for the tempeh filling.  Top with some crisp lettuce and cool tomatoes and you have a great combo of flavors. Continue reading

Spicy Red Chilaquiles

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Sometimes the least complex dishes tend to be the tastiest.  A few simple, delicious ingredients is all it takes to make a great dish packed with flavor come to life.

Chilaquiles are a breakfast staple.  Smothered tortillas and eggs topped with cheese make for a scrumptious and hearty meal.  Sometimes a tangy green sauce is used but this time I am using a quick red tomato and chipotle sauce to soak the crispy tortillas in. Continue reading

Locro de Papa (Potato Cheese Soup)

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It is soup season.  Time to whip up a hearty, satisfying soup to help keep the cold at bay. What a better way to heat up those tummies then with some potato soup.  Creamy goodness is just a few minutes away.

Ecuadorian Locro de Papa is a rich soup made of potato, cheese and corn.  Meant to keep you warm while in the Andes, this soup screams comfort food.  It is creamy, starchy, cheesy and full of flavor.  The soup is usually garnished with avocado which makes it even more decadent.  All I can say is be prepared to be blown away. Continue reading