Vegan Spinach Corn Arepas

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Arepas, the South American cousin of the Salvadorian pupusa and Mexican gordita, is a thick corn patty that is a staple of Venezuelan and Colombian cooking.  My sources tell me the difference between a Venezuelan arepa and a Colombian arepa is that a Venezuelan arepa is stuffed with yummy fillings while the Colombian one is used more as accompaniment (like a tortilla or dinner roll would be used).  Either way this little corn patty sure is delicious. Continue reading

Watermelon Cooler

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Fresh watermelon.  Want an easy way to enjoy that summer staple?  For those of you who grew up eating watermelon (sandia) with lime, chile and salt -this drink is for you.  You get hit with a slew of flavors.  Sweet, salty, tart, spicy.  Not to mention it smells wonderful.  That fruity melon aroma just screams summer.  It makes you want to sit back, enjoy the breeze and feel the grass underneath your toes. Continue reading

Coconut-Lime Paletas

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Craving something light and refreshing?  Paletas are a good way to go.  A cold, icy treat to help stave off the heat.  Now paletas come in several different flavors (such as Pepino con Chile and Vegan Almond Chocolate) and the possibilities are endless.  However, when refreshing is what you want coconut water with fresh lime is the way to go.  Lime offers this great punch of acidity and flavor while coconut water counters it with a touch of sweetness.  Not to mention, coconut water can be hydrating.  Ohhhh yummy. Continue reading

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

Yucca al Mojo de Ajo (Yucca in Garlic Sauce)

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Yucca, or cassava, is a cousin of the potato.  More commonly used in tropical cooking, yucca is very versatile and can be used in numerous preparations.  Just because yucca does not get as much attention as the almighty potato does not mean it is not as delicious.  Trust me.

This Cuban recipe takes yucca from yummy veggie to extraordinary side dish.  This garlic sauce makes it.  The sweet garlic flavor complements the rich olive oil.  The addition of the lime cuts through the sauce and helps balance it out.  The end result:  Creamy yucca and a sweet garlicky sauce with a hint of citrus.  Yes, please. 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

Sopa de Albondigas (Meatball Soup)

finalComfort food staples for some Mexicans include sopa de albondigas, or meatball soup. Whether it starts a meal or is the main star, albondigas always satisfies in the nostalgia-takes-me-back-to-my-youth department.  The rich flavorful broth married with a spiced-filled albondiga (a.k.a. meatball) makes a great addition to any dinner…or lunch… or even breakfast (why not!).

So I have taken the meat out of the ball and instead used delicious, nutrient-dense chickpeas. The chickpeas really help create a dense, filling ball.  It is very similar to falafel, just with a few twists.  Not sure if I can call it a meatball if it technically is not made with meat.  Hmmm. Well whatever they are call they sure are tasty. Continue reading