Culture

The Laziest Food Hacks In All Of The Land Would Send Your Abuela To The Chancla

There is no way around it: the secret to good cooking is paciencia, letting things simmer, allowing the ingredients to melt together in perfect harmony. Ask any abuelita if she uses the microwave for cooking and she will give you a face of no mames, mijito. Latin American food, in particular, is deceptively complex and needs to follow both carefully written family recipes and plenty of panza. Yes, us Latinos cook not only with our hands but also with our spirit: every plate of mole or arepas is representative of culture and history. Each dish is the product of processes of colonization and mixing of indigenous and European cultures. Ingredients like corn, potatoes, tomatoes, and beans, which are endemic to the American continent, coexist with pork, beef and eggs, imported by the Europeans centuries ago. 

However, we seem to live in a day and age where having things ahorita, era para ayer, is wanted rather than rejected. Fast food and fast cooking are a response to our turbulent and fast-paced modern lives. It sucks, though. Cooking is about feeding our bodies and our souls, so nada de atajos en la cocina, chaparritos, porfas. Here are 20 folks who just don’t get that cocinar necesita paciencia and totally savaged tradition by employing lazy tactics and hacks. Shame on them! Also, using extra plastic in the kitchen is honestly terrible in this juncture of worldwide environmental crisis. 

Let’s make it clear right here and right now!  Tortillas DO NOT FREEZE WELL!

Credit: 21-ct-chickencheeseflour-taquito. Digital image. El Monterey

If you want to have a cardboard tasting thing that looks like a Mexican spring roll, go ahead. Or you can fry your own taquitos with fresh ingredients. 

Ketchup on Mexican Rice? Cue Laura Bozzo voice: QUE PASE EL DESGRACIADO!

Credit: Screenshot. https://tastykitchen.com/recipes/sidedishes/fantastic-mexican-rice/

This is an insult to tradition and an abomination. Who would cook Mexican rice with ketchup, which is basically sugar on steroids. Asquito

Packaged arepas are OK, we guess, but stuff them yourself!

Credit: 61Ep-K9T76L. Digital image. Amazon

Buying this atrocity is as silly as buying pre-made quesadillas. And in all honesty, pre-made food rarely uses the best cheese options. So just buy arepas (or make them fresh!), buy a nice queso and stuff them with tus dos manitas, que para eso te las dieron, chaparrito

Whoever freezes pico de gallo doesn’t deserve to eat it!

Credit: 71S9xIvyYFL._SL1500_. Digital image. Amazon

Pico de gallo salsa is delicious because of its freshness. Whoever is trying to freeze it here (using this lazy ass baggy opener, like yeah, let’s waste even more plastic and kill more marine life) deserves the soggy, stale mess they will eat when the pico de gallo thaws. 

The dude who uses instant oats for his version of arroz con leche

Credit: Instagram. @ed_edd_lalo

Ay, no manches. Really, oats will never taste like an arroz con leche that has been simmering on the stove for two hours. Never, ever, nunca de los nuncas. Please do not try at home. 

This person who used Doritos to make their own version of chilaquiles

@chefjedigaming

Can we barf already? If you can go to the shops to buy Doritos you can as easily buy tortilla chips! Or better still, buy corn tortillas, cut them in triangles and fry them. It is not that hard, seriously! 

Don’t be lazy and make a pastel azteca instead

Credit: Instagram. @jaren_diaryrecipecollection

Lasagna sheets are the laziest trick on the book. You can as easily buy flour tortillas and make a pastel azteca. And let us guess, you bought taco seasoning instead of actually making it yourself? Get off your trasero and stock your herbs and spices shelf, reinita.

Seriously, microwave quesadillas have to STOP! PERO YA!

Credit: k6vel0osj9z01. Digital image. Reddit.

Look at this gooey mess. Seriously, it is not that hard or time-consuming to hear up el comal and make your quesadilla there. A good quesadilla has a slightly crunchy tortilla and not this soggy, sad excuse of a wrap. GUACALA! 

We just can’t let this go! There are even video tutorials for microwave quesadillas!

Damn, how menso do you have to be to actually need a video tutorial on how to put two tortillas, cheese, and ham together. In the 2 minutes that this video lasts, anyone can actually make a proper queca! 

Seriously? A can of black beans for arroz con frijoles negros?

The Cuban abuelitas of the world would be disgusted at this! Black beans have to be bought raw, cleaned, left to rest in water overnight and then cooked slowly and tenderly, as garlic caresses their surface. Any good Latino knows this. 

Just stop it with fajita seasoning mixes!

Credit: sheet-pan-chili-lime-shrimp-fajitas-104-680×1020. Digital image. Creme de la Crumb

OK. Just open your cupboards and mix these eight simple ingredients instead of tasting preservatives with every bite: 

  1. 4 teaspoons chili powder.
  2. 2 teaspoon ground cumin.
  3. 2 teaspoon paprika.
  4. 2 teaspoon salt.
  5. 2 teaspoon sugar.
  6. 1 teaspoon garlic powder.
  7. 1 teaspoon onion powder.
  8. 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper

Simpler, and much cheaper. You are welcome. 

Talking about fajitas…. this is some lazy person. And seriously, salad dressing?

Credit: DSC_0017. Digital image. classyclutter.net

We have seen it all, but seriously… Paul Newman’s salad dressing on fajitas. Also… prepackaged veggies? So many wrongdoings here, in culinary and environmental terms! 

Ya en serio, y’all need a tutorial to open a jar?

Credit: YouTube. @Julie Y Familia

Granted, making mole from scratch is time-consuming and sometimes the best way to tackle the craving is opening a good old jar. But this is not cooking, in all seriousness, it is merely putting things together. If you need a tutorial to panfry some pollo and add broth and a jar of mole, perhaps you should not be allowed en la cocina

The people who use esta atrocidad 

Credit: 61kt-v8Y+iL._SL1500_. Digital image. Amazon

One of the greatest joys of Latin American cooking is feeling the ingredients on your hands. Corn is fun to cook with, so why use this horrible device instead of a knife. No sean flojos. And it probably takes longer to use this than actually using your manitas

Y miren esto! 

Credit: pqrqrr1420342263521. Digital image. Light in the Box.

Aguacates have been one of the biggest victims of the gentrification of Latin American food. Does anyone need a tool for cutting them? Those pinches hipsters.  NO MORE PLASTIC WASTE, PLEASE. 

Yeah, kill whales with your plastic empanada maker, no worries.

Credit: 81oOfHC4AjL._SL1500_. Digital image. Amazon.

Among the stupidest tools we have seen this must be high on the ranking. If you want to make a nice Argentinian empanada, use your fingers to create those lovely dobleces. One of the great things about Argentinian cuisine is how rustic it looks, so this is a travesty that, to add insult to injury, harms the planet. 

Cut your own dang mushrooms!

Credit: 62919011_0_640x640. Digital image. Ocado

If you want to make your quesadillas and enchiladas a bit healthier, you can always add mushrooms. Just sauté them with oil and garlic y chilito and you got it. But please, please, please, slice your own mushrooms and save the planet from more cochina plastic waste. 

And peel your own damn elotes!

Credit: th_husked_corn_95ddbfda-de7d-4c10-a914-c704df84ccef_1024x1024 (1). Digital image. Hudson Valley Harvest

The same goes for corn! Take the fresh corn. Take the husk off. Get those pelos de elote in the trash can and rinse the corn. Easy as you lazy ass! 

Poor guacamole, the victim of so many cultural appropriation crimes… yes, mayonnaise… 

Credit: bowl-of-guacamole-and-sliced-avocado-545875085-5828c12b5f9b58d5b11391e0 (1). Digital image. The Spruce Eats

This infamous recipe promises that it will only take you 5 minutes to achieve a creamy guac. But it uses mayonnaise, which we frankly think is disgusting. If you want creamy guacamole, add a bit of olive oil and mix, then add a bit more until it is to your liking. 

The famous spring pea and avocado guacamole recipe

Credit: merlin_143416878_62a82be1-3e63-4da2-ba43-06ec39b38ce6-articleLarge. Digital image.
Credit: merlin_143416878_62a82be1-3e63-4da2-ba43-06ec39b38ce6-articleLarge. Digital image. The New York Times 

This recipe triggered a national debate on what guacamole actually is. It promises a chunky texture, which can be achieved instead by adding chopped onion and tomato. This is a mix between pea mash and our Mexican staple dish, and we really take offense. 

Los Angeles Is Home To Some Of The Greatest Pupusas And Here’s Where You Can Find Them

Culture

Los Angeles Is Home To Some Of The Greatest Pupusas And Here’s Where You Can Find Them

At least once a month (the first of every month to be exact), Angelinos wonder why they’re paying $2,000 for a studio or sharing rooms with friends at the age of 28, and we will tell you why. La comida. The food in Los Angeles is abundant in Latinidad, and Salvadoreñas are only second to nearby México in repping Latin America in Los Angeles. 

Sure, you could move to  Denver and make a living wage, but you would be missing out on all these pupusas. Without further ado, here’s your guide to eating pupusas in Los Angeles, as told by the Latino people of Yelp.

1. La Pupusa Urban Eatery

Credit: lapupusadtla / Instagram

“Good Salvi food with a twist,” Carlos M. shared on Yelp. With 4.5 stars and over 200 Yelp reviews, La Pupusa’s Urban Eatery is most famous for their Pupusa Mexicana which is topped with steak and served with pico de gallo, guacamole, sour cream, and cotija cheese.  

2. Sarita’s Pupuseria

Credit: saritas_pupuseria / Instagram

Jose Raul’s love for exclamation points is nothing in comparison to his love for Sarita’s: “This is one of those hidden gems! This place is awesome! Being in the central market, you can always find small places that pack a big punch! This is Sarita’s Pupuseria!” For him, it was the revuelta that “takes the win! It was super savory I can’t even explain!”

3. Drive Thru Pupusas

Credit: drivethrupupusas / Instagram

With over one hundred five star reviews, these pupusas are as authentic as it gets this far from El Salvador. You should be warned, Drive Thru Pupusas is a food truck, not a drive-thru eatery. 

Pro tip from Maryem C., “Very nice people and super delicious pupusas. You can even call to place an order and not wait the dinner rush.”

4. Atlacatl Restaurant

Credit: ulyrocks / Instagram

This East Hollywood joint is one of those “nice hole in the wall” types of places, according to its reviewers. Everyone also says that it doesn’t look like a restaurant from the outside. It looks like a home, and when you walk in, it feels like home, too. Be warned, their pupusas are as delicious as they are humongous.

5. Cafe La Praviana

Credit: hungrypandita / Instagram

While they’re not as good as his mom’s pupusas, Orlando M. says, “This place has the best pupusas in the neighborhood, hands down! Well.. they are second place after the ones my mom makes lol.”

6. Los Molcajetes

Credit: joey_anne / Instagram

A Salvadoreña took to Yelp with favor for Los Molcajetes, saying “their pupusas taste great; comparable to the ones you can eat in El Salvador. They especially remind me of a popular pupuseria in Santa Tecla.” Heads up though, with authenticity comes to a leisurely meal. Don’t expect a quick meal.

7. La Numero Uno

Credit: houstondjgabe / Instagram

This Hollywood spot is home to a delicious purple corn pupusa, and a Mexican-Salvadoran fusion. Enjoy both burritos and yucca alike!

8. Mi Bandera Pupusería

Credit: mibanderapupuseria / Instagram

South Central is also home to authentic Salvadoreña food that is easy to pick up and take home, as well. Tiana D. gave us all an inside scoop saying, “the pupusas a so good, not greasy at all, good size, and are full inside. All good for the price. They give you enough curtido and salsa too. They mark the containers so you can know what pupusas are inside.”

9. Gloría’s Cafe

Credit: altapeterson / Instagram

Before you even think anything of this Venice locale, listen up to Alicia: “I don’t normally like blended menus that feature more than one type of cuisine. Gloria’s does this (El Salvador and Mexican) but they’re both done well and authentically, so it’s chill.The most recent time I came here, I had the 7 Seas Soup. YOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!! Sooooo freakin good.” There you have it.

10. The Pupusa Stand

Credit: Luis D. / Yelp

Listen. This Van Nuys food truck is doing it right and Carolina E. is here with the pep talk: “These pupusas are the best I’ve tasted outside of El Salvador. The wait can be a little long, depending on what time you get there. The location is in a church parking lot; they set up a grill and hand make the pupusas to order. They do not skimp on the fillings. There are a few chairs but they’re usually taken up by regulars or large families, it’s cash only but you can place your order before finding an atm if you forget. The ladies are extremely friendly and helpful. The freshness and deliciousness are worth the wait.”

11. Es Con Sabor West

Credit: overoverunder / Instagram

Located in Palms, Jennifer O. gave it to us straight, “Food: this is the best place to buy pupusas on the west side PERIODT. They run about $3 a pop and are always fresh, bubbling over with cheese and goodness. My go to is pork and cheese which is fire, beans and cheese are a close second. The curtido is on point too.”

12. Jaragua

Credit: aveganandher / Instagram

Jerome W.’s solution to feeling overwhelmed with all the pupusa choices is to “order them ALL and chow down. They’re all good.” Plus, the meal you see above is all vegan!

13. Pupusas

Credit: Mayra F. / Yelp

We’re keeping names simple here in Northridge. You can get a pupusa grande for just $2. Do not expect social media or anything other than knowing they’re on the corner of Reseda Blvd and Rayen street, and that you’ll just have to go and try it for yourself.

14. Las Casitas Grill

Credit: Sofia A. / Yelp

Leticia C. is a regular at Las Casitas and here’s how we know: “I love this spot and all I ever get is that Papusas and rice! It’s so good ! On Mondays and tuesdays, they have a special for 99 cents and I’m in there like swimwear they are quick and fresh every time ! I’m sure I’ll make my way around the menu eventually but those have me coming back every time ! Very authentic and delicious as hell !”

15. Pupusería La Favorita

Credit: Nana M. / Yelp

This South Gate adjacent pupusería really is a fan favorite. Nana M. says the “pupusas are big and delicious. I didn’t know I live near a pretty good Salvadorean restaurant. I give it 5 stars for the good price.” That’s right, each pupusa is $1.50. 

Take that, landlords.

READ: These 5 Restaurants Prove Latinos Have Left Their Mark On Washington D.C.

Here’s Why Activists And Parents Are Upset About A New Weight Loss App For Children

Culture

Here’s Why Activists And Parents Are Upset About A New Weight Loss App For Children

This week, WW, the ridiculously rebranded name for weight loss company Weight Watchers, proved that despite its new designation, the global brand is offering more of the same problematic trash to the world — this time, directed at children in particular.

On Tuesday, WW launched Kurbo, a nutrition and weight loss app for kids between the ages of 8 and 17 years old.

Not surprisingly health experts are furious about the danger it could pose to the physical and mental health of our young people.

https://www.instagram.com/p/B1HrLEtA2Dc/

“You NEED to Shut. This. Down,” Whitney Fisch, a social worker, school counselor and mom of three, wrote Wednesday on Facebook. “All bodies, especially growing + developing bodies, deserve respect + the ability to grow into whatever shape they’re meant to grow to be.”

The company describes the app, which is free, as a “scientifically-proven behavior change program designed to help kids and teens age 8-17 reach a healthier weight” that was acquired from Stanford University’s Pediatric Weight Control Program. It uses a traffic light system to instruct youth on foods that they should eat and those that they should avoid. Kids are urged to eat plenty of “green light” foods, including fruits and vegetables, to be “mindful” of their portions of “yellow light” foods, like lean protein, whole grains and dairy, and to lessen their intake of “red light” foods, such as sugary drinks and “treats.” The app also encourages users to track their daily physical activity and deep breathing.

With a paid, subscription-based plan, children can also receive through the app one-on-one sessions with coaches that are supposed to be experts in nutrition, exercise, and mental health. However, the Huffington Post reports that these coaches do not need to have any credentials in health or nutrition fields; though they do go through a minimum of six to eight hours of initial training.

Eating disorder treatment experts are concerned about the impact an app like Kurbo could have on a young person’s mental health, self-esteem and eating habits.

https://www.instagram.com/p/ByQhLpeAJzD/

“While the intention of the app is to promote health and wellness, there is the risk that it could do more harm than good,” Kathryn Argento, a registered dietician with The Renfrew Center, a national network of eating disorder treatment centers for women and girls, told the Huffington Post. “Targeting kids as young as 8 years old to focus on … their bodies can lead to an intense preoccupation with food, size, shape and weight.”

Aside from the damaging impact apps like this one can have on a children’s relationship with their bodies and food, public health organizations and pediatricians also doubt the efficacy of children’s weight loss programs altogether.

“The evidence suggests that these types of tools may be helpful adjuncts to weight management, but there are few studies in pediatrics to confirm that they lead to a ‘meaningful change in their weight trajectories,’” Dr. Ihuoma Eneli, director of the Center for Healthy Weight and Nutrition at Nationwide Children’s Hospital, told the news outlet.

As part of WW’s rebranding, the company and app have chosen to start focusing on overall health and wellness in addition to weight loss.

According to Gary Foster, chief scientific officer at WW, Kurbo “isn’t a weight loss app.”

https://www.instagram.com/p/B1FjjUQAmll/

“This is an app that teaches in a game-ified, fun, engaging way what are the basics of a healthy eating pattern,” he told the Huffington Post.

But parents still worry the app could be spreading an all-too-familiar message that they are unworthy as they are and must change their physical appearance to be accepted. While young people already receive these memos from a diet-obsessed mass media, parents fear that unrealistic beauty ideals are now being pushed on impressionable children in the name of health and wellness.

In response to these apprehensions, Foster said: “I think there could be some misperception that somehow we’re saying, ‘All kids should lose weight, you’re not OK as you are.’ What we’re saying to kids who are trying to achieve a healthier weight — kids and families — is that this is a reasonable, sensible way to do it.”

But despite this alleged kid-friendly wellness mission, Kurbo’s website sends another message.

https://www.instagram.com/p/B03-BhhA4V5/

Its landing page shows young people’s “success stories,” and they’re celebrating weight loss, not how often they meditate or how many ounces of water they drink daily.

“There’s no way that these kids don’t realize that the app is supposed to help them lose weight,” Ginny Jones, an eating disorder recovery activist, said. “No matter how hard it tries to market itself as a wellness company, WW is about weight loss. Kids are way smarter than we think they are, and every ‘big kid’ who [has been] put on a weight loss program knew exactly what their parents were trying to do.”

Read: She Shared Stories Of Being Fat-Shamed At The Doctor And Fear Of Wearing A Two-Piece Then, Jessica Torres Accidentally Built One Of The Biggest Body Positive Communities

Paid Promoted Stories