Culture

Give Your Vegan Family Members Something To Eat At Noche Buena With These Amazing Dishes

Hola, hi, thank you so much for coming. Dear reader, I’ll be your vegan guide to an easy Noche Buena, where herbivores and omnivores alike leave happy. With Latinos being one of the fastest growing demographic of vegans, we know that you probably have at least a few more at your dinner table this year. I promise that most of us don’t even have any expectation that the host is going to accommodate our dietary needs. We’re Latinos, too, so we’re coming with a lot of baggage and guilt for the impending scene of turning down your food at Noche Buena. We really don’t want you to take it personally if it does happen.

The pressure is always on for the Noche Buena cena, but it doesn’t have to be any extra stress to invite your newly vegan prima.

CREDIT: @VeganNigerian / Twitter

You’re already making tostones, yucca, and mad mojo sauce. Here’s the thing. Vegans eat todo, except for animal products. So that means no meat, no eggs or dairy, boom. Think about how much of the food you make that is just straight up plants, , ice and beans. Facil.

Also white meat is still meat.

CREDIT: @CarDadReviews / Twitter

I can’t tell you how many times a sweet, sweet vieja offered me pollo after I told them ‘no como carne.’ I leave this truth that chicken is not a white vegetable with you either for some honest to God info or for laughs.

Your guest will probably bring one of these:

CREDIT: @fieldroast / Instagram

It’s called a vegan roast, and you can grab it at any Whole Foods or Trader Joe’s. If you have and extra $15 to spare, it would blow your vegan’s mind to just have one of these ready. But don’t worry, here are a few things you could do exactly like normal and be the hostess with the mostest.

Ponche is puro vegan.

CREDIT: @PresleysPantry / Twitter

Cinnamon, apples, guava, y nada de animales. Oh, and rum is vegan too. Salud.

While we’re at it, coquito will never disappoint anyone.

CREDIT: @valkyrie_art / Twitter

The only coquito I know is made with coconut milk and it’s the only coquito I want to know. Why? It’s rico, and vegan.

Tostones are plants, yay! ????

CREDIT: @Rnbfeelgood / Twitter

Even though we all know, spiritually, tostones are manna from heaven. Physically, they come from the plátano tree. Praise tostones.

Beans are the moneyyy.

CREDIT: @celisemccarthy / Twitter

Even if you make your beans using pork fat, just pop open a can of Goya beans and heat them up. Your vegan will shed tears of gratitude (if they know what’s good for them).

Then, there are simple solutions to automatically veganize a few other dishes.

CREDIT: @thekitchn / Twitter

No first time vegan even thinks to ask about what stock you used and no long-time vegan will bother asking, because we get that it’s not the first thing on hosts’ minds. This simple swap will make some hearty dishes vegan, so your guest can fill up.

Pozole, por siempre.

CREDIT: @chicanoeats / Twitter

We can’t imagine a Noche Buena sin pozole and you don’t have to veganize the whole dish. Just set aside the chili paste and garnishes and let the veganita fill their bowl with veggie broth.

A major move is to just tell everyone what’s vegan and what’s not. You never know who the closet vegan is.

CREDIT: “Arroz Verde Green Rice | This green rice, or arroz verde, is so rich and full of flavor… not to mention the vibrant green color! You can pair this rice with any main dish! | http://thechunkychef.com” Digital Image. The Chunky Chef. 10 November 2018.

It’s super uncomfortable to ask any host the ingredients in their food. My first Noche Buena vegan, my mom was so sweet in replacing the chicken stock in her famous rice with veggie stock.

Instead of using dairy butter, just sub it with Earth Balance.

CREDIT: @Earth_Balance / Twitter

You truly won’t be able to taste the difference, and everyone’s bellies will thank you, too. Cholesterol can only be found in animal-based products, so your brother with the high blood pressure will thank you, too.

Don’t try to convince them to eat something porque “solo hay un poquito de mantequilla.”

CREDIT: @ohsnapitslili_ / Twitter

That works on your sister whose forever trying to diet, but, for vegans, the choice is based on a moral obligation for either animals, the planet, workers’ rights or their own health. Take their choices seriously and respect them, especially if they’re respecting yours.

Substitute milk with coconut milk in the champurrado.

CREDIT: @CoffeeFestShow / Twitter

I was lactose intolerant long before I went vegan, and I promise there are more of us around than you’d think. Most of us are in denial but you’ll be able to smell them a mile away later in the evening. Spare yourself.

Or if some dishes must be made with butter, just leave the butter on the side for folks to add themselves.

CREDIT: “Mashed Yuca with Mojo” Digital Image. Eating Well. 10 November 2018.

For every vegan, there’s a tío with a stomach of steel that’ll happily eat twice as much. Remember, somos Latinos. Nothing goes to waste.

One strategy is to skip assembling the sopes and let your guests do it themselves.

CREDIT: @bIueberryswamp / Twitter

That way everyone’s varying dietary needs can be met to suit them. Or maybe they just prefer ropa vieja instead of picadillo on their sope.

Are you my new mom and making mofongo this Noche Buena?

CREDIT: @veggiejeva / Twitter

Numbero uno: adopt me.

Numero dos: set the plantain base aside and let your veganos load up with all that delicious rice and beans you cooked up.

Don’t forget to remember what cooking oils you’re using.

CREDIT: @sall3n / Twitter

I know my tía will only cook with pork fat and understandably can’t remember if she fried the yucca in pork or coconut oil. These little details can open up your incredible cooking to the whole party.

Oh man, let’s talk pasteles.

CREDIT: @vickyscatering / Instagram

The holiest of foods. Frijoles or simply sofrito are always an easy, delicious filling. You can just tie them with a differently colored string and prepare to be adored and glorified.

Don’t forget dessert!

CREDIT: @santiac217 / Twitter

Another simple substitute like coconut milk in the arroz con leche instead of milk will make you a top level host. Just tell the family you’re making it Boricua style y por que no. Coconut milk is naturally sweeter than dairy milk, so the dessert will be sweeter and less heavy, perfect for your very stuffed guests.

Ultimately, only go as far as you want to to accommodate the vegans and vegetarians.

CREDIT: Will Ferrel Eating Gif / GIPHY

Don’t reach the point of resentment because, promise, it’s what we’re all most afraid of at family gatherings. We just want everyone to be happy, and usually bring food that will make us happy. Whether you make vegan pasteles or just tell the vegans that these three dishes are vegan, we’ll be happy. Because contrary to how we’re all raised, your self-worth isn’t in the food you make. We love you for reading this!


READ: Latino Food Is Getting The Vegan Makeover Thanks To These 11 Southern California Restaurants

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Mountain Dew Margaritas Are Apparently A Thing At Red Lobster Now?

Culture

Mountain Dew Margaritas Are Apparently A Thing At Red Lobster Now?

Matt Winkelmeyer / Getty

We’ve seen all kinds of takes on the timeless classic that is a Margarita. From frozen Margaritas to ones with cranberry juice and dashes of blue curaçao and twists of basil and ginger beer we’ve literally seen it all. Or so we thought.

Recently, Red Lobster announced that they’re doing a Mountain Dew-take on the beloved and salty tequila cocktail.

Red Lobster’s DEW-Garita promises to set you aglow.

The drink is the first official Mountain Dew cocktail and of course, it is bright lime green. While the cocktail’s recipe is being kept strictly under wraps, like everything at Red Lobster’s, it’s supposed to pair “perfectly” with Red Lobster’s iconic Cheddar Bay Biscuits.

“Red Lobster is thrilled to work with PepsiCo, not only because it has a great portfolio of brands, but specifically because of the food and beverage innovation possibilities,” Nelson Griffin,the Senior Vice President and Chief Supply Chain Officer at Red Lobster said in a statement about the drink.

Red Lobster’s DEW-Garita is due to debut at Red Lobster locations nationwide in September and by the end of 2020.

The Margarita is an iconic Mexican drink related to a drink called Rhe Daisy.

The classic Tequila sour cocktail is one of the most beloved cocktails in the world. According to Wine Enthusiast “One story claims that the drink was created in 1938, as Mexican restaurant owner Carlos (Danny) Herrera mixed it for gorgeous Ziegfeld showgirl Marjorie King. Supposedly, Tequila was the only alcohol that King would abide, so Herrera added lime juice and salt.”

To make your own classic Margarita check out this recipe below

Ingredients

  • Coarse salt
  • Lime wedge
  • 2 ounces white Tequila
  • 1 ounce orange liqueur
  • 1 ounce lime juice

Directions

Shake out coarse salt on a plate. Wet the rim of a glass by using the lime wedge. Press the rim of the glass in the plate of salt to coat. Add ice to the glass.

Fill a cocktail shaker with ice and add the rest of the ingredients. Shake well, and pour into the prepared glass over ice.

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El Pollo Loco Creates Hispanic Heritage Month Grant To Support Latina Small Businesses

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El Pollo Loco Creates Hispanic Heritage Month Grant To Support Latina Small Businesses

Ethan Miller / Getty Images

Covid-19 has devastated millions of Americans with job loss. Unemployment skyrocketed as the federal government failed to create and execute a plan to combat the pandemic. El Pollo Loco is stepping up and giving our community a chance to keep business doors open and community members employed.

El Pollo Loco is giving Latina business owners in the greater Los Angeles area a lifeline in these uncertain times.

The Latino community is the fastest-growing group of entrepreneurs and business owners in the U.S. According to a Stanford University study, Latino business owners grew 34 percent while every other demographic grew 1 percent over the last ten years.

However, Covid has changed things. Latina-owned business are some of the hardest hit and the sudden loss is impacting our community. According to the Pew Research Center, Latinas experienced a -21 percent change in small business ownership and jobs since the Covid downturn.

El Pollo Loco is offering $100,000 in grants to different Latina-owned businesses because of the pandemic.

The fast food chain has started a GoFundMe to keep the donations going. El Pollo Loco has already pledged $100,000 to help Latina small businesses and the GoFundMe promises to keep the donations flowing. For every $10,000 raised in the GoFundMe, El Pollo Loco will donate it to a Latina small business. The GoFundMe has raised over $100,000 at the time of this post.

#WeAllGrow Latina partnered with El Pollo Loco to give Latina business owners this lifeline.

#WeAllGrow Latina and El Pollo Loco are asking the Latino community to help find Latina small businesses that deserve the grants. Instead of making the decision themselves, #WeAllGrow Latina and El Pollo Loco want you to nominate your favorite Latina small business for the grant.

“This year has been unlike any other, leaving Latina-owned businesses disproportionately impacted,” Bernard Acoca, President and Chief Executive Officer of El Pollo Loco, said in a statement. “Given the critical role brands are expected to play during the pandemic and on the heels of Hispanic Heritage Month, we felt compelled to find a way to support the people and city we call home.”

In order to nominate a business, here is what you have to do.

Credit: weallgrowlatina.com/fundlatinafoodjefas

Using social media, nominate your favorite LA-based Latina small business and tag @elpolloloco and @weallgrowlatina while using #grantcontest and #FundLatinaFoodJefas. You can nominate the business up to five times.

People are already nominating their favorite food places in LA.

You have until Sept. 15 to nominate your favorite Latina small business. You can help them win $10,000 and mentorship from El Pollo Loco to help Latina business owners in LA keep their doors open. You can learn more here.

READ: California Is Poised To Become The First State To Offer Unemployment To Undocumented Workers

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