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My Favorite Vegan Mexican Meals

Posted by at 5:59 AM | Permalink | Comments (3)


My Favorite Vegan Mexican Meals by Laura FriskLiving in Southern California, I’m exposed to lots of Mexican food. There’s an abundance of Mexican restaurants and fast-food places, and Mexican ingredients can be found in nearly all the grocery stores. I love Mexican food because it is so easy to veganize. Here are a few of my favorite recipes.

My Mexican lasagne was adapted from a recipe given to me by a friend. It’s a casserole layered with tortillas instead of noodles, and I simply substitute tofu for the meat:

1 jar salsa verde

4 to 6 whole wheat tortillas, warmed

2 packages of firm tofu, packed in water (drained, dried, and mashed with 1 tsp. salt)

2 cans pinto or black beans

1 7-oz. can diced green chilies

Some sliced tomatoes

  • Put a little bit of your favorite salsa in the bottom of a 9-inch-by-13-inch baking dish.
  • Place 2 or 3 of the tortillas in your baking dish, enough to cover the bottom.
  • Add half the mashed tofu, beans, chilies, tomatoes, and salsa.
  • Add another layer of tortillas. Add the rest of the ingredients, finishing with the salsa, and bake covered at 350°F for about an hour.

Makes 6-8 servings


For a meal for one, just cut the recipe in half and use a smaller baking dish. Like typical Italian lasagne, it is always best after it sits for at least 15 minutes or more.

Dog’s dinner burrito was the result of an adaptation of one of the meals I used to make for my dogs. It includes pinto beans and baked yams along with a few dandelion greens—a contribution from my house rabbit Bosco’s garden.

Dandelion greens, chopped

Vegetable oil

Garlic

Red pepper flakes

Pinto beans

Yams, baked and mashed

Whole wheat tortillas

Salsa verde

  • Sauté the chopped dandelion greens in vegetable oil along with the garlic and red pepper flakes, then gently stir in the pinto beans and yams.
  • Warm whole wheat tortillas on the stove, stuff with the bean-and-yam mixture, and roll into burritos.
  • Put in a baking dish, smother with the salsa verde, cover, and bake at 350°F for about 20 minutes.

Makes 5-6 servings

Topped with guacamole, these are irresistible to us (and the dogs too)!

My ranchero sauce recipe is easy to make and has a fun ingredient—peanut butter.

1 onion, chopped

1 clove garlic, minced

1 28-oz. can plum tomatoes

1 4-oz. can diced green chilies

1 Tbsp. fresh lime juice

1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper

2 Tbsp. creamy peanut butter

1/3 cup chopped fresh cilantro

  • In a medium pot, sauté the onion with the garlic.
  • Add the plum tomatoes (broken up a bit) and their juice as well as the green chilies, the fresh lime juice, and the cayenne pepper. Simmer for about 15 minutes.
  • Stir in the creamy peanut butter, turn off the flame, and stir in the fresh cilantro.

You can bake your burritos or enchiladas smothered with this sauce instead of salsa for a special treat. It’s also great on top of plain old rice and beans.

For a Mexican tofu quiche, substitute corn and green chilies for your more typical vegetables, such as broccoli and spinach, and sprinkle the top with a little cayenne before baking.

Tempeh tacos are also a big hit in our house. See my May 19, 2009, blog for the recipe.

Because beans, rice, salsa, and tortillas are the basis of many Mexican recipes, by adding tofu, soy cheese, vegan sour cream, guacamole, salsa, or other interesting sauces, you can create delicious Mexican meals that don’t have any meat or dairy products in them.

Do you have any vegan Mexican favorites?

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3 Comments

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    Antonio Barajas says...

    January 15th, 2010, 2:22 pm

    Enfrijoladas which are practically vegan enchiladas. Sub the salsa for bean cream and the cheese with tofu or your favorite vegan cheese.

    Gail Richardson says...

    January 15th, 2010, 4:14 pm

    Here’s mine for a Mexican casserole (also layered, sort of like lasagna but without the tortilla repeats):
    You can line the bottom of your casserole dish with tortillas if you like or not – or with tortilla chips or not.
    For the bottom layer, Gimme Lean! either sausage style or beef style is great – it sticks together and can be pressed into the bottom of the dish if you choose not to start with tortillas.
    Another alternative is to start with canned (vegan) refried beans on the bottom, which also stick together pretty well.
    If you don’t have Gimme Lean!, another tasty option is Fantastic (vegan) Taco Filling Mix – you just add water and oil and heat; it only takes a few minutes. If you use this, it should not be the bottom layer as it’s wetter and looser; it can go on top of the tortillas and/or the canned refried beans. The same goes for veggie crumbles, which can also be used for the “meat” layer.
    So it’s up to you and your ingredients whether the “meat” or the beans or tortillas are the bottom layer. This is a very flexible recipe!
    The next layer is seasoned Mexican or Spanish rice. This can be found in a can, which is the easiest and quickest (you just open it), or in a box mix which takes 15-20 minutes to cook with water. If using the mix, you can put in the first layers of beans and meat substitute and then be slicing up black olives while you wait for the rice to get done.
    After adding the rice layer, top that with a thick layer of grated vegan cheese, preferably a kind similar to the “Mexican” 3- or 4-cheese blends. (Lacto-vegetarians can use a milk-based cheese Mexican blend if they prefer).
    On top of the cheese, spread black olive slices.
    The best part is you can microwave this casserole for about 5 minutes and it’s done!
    I made this recipe up myself and I hope you all enjoy it.

    Ashley says...

    June 3rd, 2010, 2:01 pm

    Being from Texas, I discriminate against “Tex-Mex” recipes, but I have a couple of favorites. For the first one, sub regular cheese with soy cheese and I usually mince a block of tofu and mix it in for protein. If you like fall flavors, add a touch of cinnamon and cloves!

    http://www.wholefoodsmarket.com/budgetrecipechallenge/recipe2.php

    Another idea that my family loves: vegan tacos. Pan fry finely cubed tofu with taco seasoning, salt and pepper. Roll in tortillas or spoon in to hard taco shells and garnish with lettuce and tomato. When my friend and I lived together in Germany, we made this all the time… if we can pull off vegan Tex-Mex in Germany, it can be done anywhere! :)

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