Culture

Take Your Holiday Food And Make Them Vegan With A Few Changes To The Recipes

thebronxvegan / Instagram

Vegans always have to do a little extra mental, physical and domestic preparation around the holidays. Your abuelita is still confused why pollo isn’t a vegetable and your dad is smirking at you like you’re about to come out of this “phase” any second. As Latinos, most of our indigenous food is already heavily plant-based. All that extra carne is total colonialism at work.

There are a few things that we’ll never veganize for the holidays (i.e. lechón). However, some of our absolute favorite nostalgia-inducing dishes, like flan, mofongo y pasteles can all be veganized with a few little twists. Vamos a ver que los salvarémos.

Plantain Cups

CREDIT: @wokefoods / Instagram

Instead of filling these with the traditional picadillo, you can opt for some sautéed purple cauliflower and potatoes, carrots, kale, onion and garlic instead. Yours will be so much prettier than everyone else’s.

Vegan Pozole

CREDIT: @chicanoeats / Instagram

Instead of having pork floating around in that delicious pozole broth, try Chicano Eats recipe which enhances the classic onion and garlic with sautéed Mexican oregano. Try it and tell us how it is!

Vegan Sancocho

CREDIT: @cocoverdevegan / Instagram

My Caribbean Latinos, you don’t have to toss seven types of meat to make this stew tan rico. It still has all our favorite root vegetables like yuca, yautía y auyama and a healthier alternative to a very drool-worthy classic.

Caldo de “Res”

CREDIT: @veganaxmexicana / Instagram

Volunteer to make the Caldo de Res this year and just substitute the beef with Gardein Beefless Bites. Promise nobody will notice and you get to use your family recipe!

Champurrado Vegano

CREDIT: @veganaxmexicana / Instagram

It’s pretty easy to veganize recipes like Champurrado. All you have to do is reach for coconut milk instead of dairy at the store, and you’ll be warming up with your crazy tías in no time.

It’s not Christmas without coquito.

CREDIT: @veggiejeva / Instagram

The true warmth is in the rum. Drinking vegan is simple at the holidays! Just sub all the same ingredients (condensed milk, etc.) with condensed coconut milk. Facil y rico.

Vegan Sopes

CREDIT: @veganaxmexicana / Instagram

You should be able to find all the ingredients for the vegan version of this Mexican dish at your local bodega. If you want to be extra, get vegan sour cream and try not to die when your family steals it all.

Vegan Mole

CREDIT: @veganaxmexicana / Instagram

Save yourself the trouble of making entirely separate meals by asking your fam to put their chicken broth mole on the side. Better yet, ask them to use vegetable broth and make sure the chocolate is dairy-free and it’s perfect for everyone.

Empanadas are a must.

CREDIT: @veganaxmexicana / Instagram

This blogger used camote (sweet potato) for the dough and filled them with arroz con leche. They’re dessert empanadas.

Alcapurrias

CREDIT: @veggiejeva / Instagram

This Puerto Rican based food blogger worked on this recipe with her abuelita, so you know its legit. Try using a plant-based ground beef and season it with the usual sofrito. The garlic sauce is made with blended tofu, garlic, salt, pepper, and parsley, so you’re getting protein in the sauce.

Canoas Veganas

CREDIT: @wokefoods / Instagram

It’s super easy to veganize the classic canoas. Just stuff them with your sofrito based veggie favorites and add a protein like lentils or go get yourself some Beyond Meat ground beef for picadillo.

Pasteles o Tamales

CREDIT: @wokefoods / Instagram

Claro, whether you’re Boricua or Mexicano, you can find dozens of veganizes versions of your countries holiday favorite. I always plan to consume at least 4-5 platanos at my meal, con canoas, and pasteles en juntos.

Vegan Mofongo

CREDIT: @veggiejeva / Instagram

That’s right. Vegan mofongo is within reach. Just stuff it with lentil ground “beef” or try replacing the beef with a crumbled Beyond Meat burger. People will be fighting for your version.

Vegan Conchitas

CREDIT: @veganaxmexicana / Instagram

Rumor has it, you can just follow a vegan sugar cookie recipe and add all the sugar and spices that make conchas, conchas. Vegana x Mexicana has the receta hook up.

Arroz con leche vegano

CREDIT: @veganaxmexicana / Instagram

That’s right. You can bet that we’re only going to be using coconut milk to replace dairy in all these recipes. Coconuts are our tropical native milk.

Yup, you can make vegan Gansitos.

CREDIT: @veganaxmexicana / Instagram

Anything dipped in chocolate is for me. Use coconut butter as the icing layer and your favorite jam to top it off. Refrigerator space is crucial for this one.

Churros not from Taco Bell

CREDIT: @chicanoeats / Instagram

True story: Taco Bell’s churros are vegan, but we’re not about that life. It’s pretty simple to veganize these guys, so just slip the recipe from Chicano Eats to your mami and beg her to make these instead.

Flan de Coco

CREDIT: @VeganTurnedOn / Twitter

Did I mention that coconuts are crucial for veganizing Latinx recipes? They are y Dios los bendiga a los animales y a nuestros estómagos.

Vegan Natilla

CREDIT: “Coconut custard without eggs and without vegan milk.” Digital Image. Recetas Sin Lactosa. 11 October 2018.

I could never tell my flan-obsessed abuela this, but I preferred her Natilla above all else. Recetas Sin Lactosa is an incredible Spanish-language blog that basically makes our normal food consumption feel normal in our bodies (unless a baby vaca is reading this).

Vegan Rosca de Reyes

CREDIT: Untitled. Digital Image. HazteVeg. 11 October 2018.

Three Kings Day is still on for vegans, and there are a surprising number of recipes out there. If your mom refuses to use anything but her own recipe, just swap out the milk for plant-based milk.


READ: 20 Foods And Drinks That Instantly Take Caribbean Latinos Back To Their Childhood

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Did You Know The First Happy Meal Was Invented By A Latina?

Entertainment

Did You Know The First Happy Meal Was Invented By A Latina?

David Paul Morris / Getty Images

Did you know that the first ever Happy Meal was created by a Latina? That’s right, in the mid-70s when Yolanda Fernández de Cofiño was operating various McDonalds in Guatemala, she invented what she dubbed the “Menu Ronald”. The “Menu Ronald”  was invented to help parents keep their kids satisfied when the family went out to eat. The original “Menu Ronald” included a hamburger, small fries and a small sundae. Naturally, word eventually got back to McDonald’s headquarters in Chicago they decided to adopt the practice as their own. They hired a white American man to develop the idea (and subsequently take credit for it) and voila! The Happy Meal was born.

It’s unfortunate that Fernández de Cofiño’s recognition has been lost to the American public, but it’s still inspiring to know that there were business-minded Latinx people in history whose achievements still impact our lives today. In honor of Hispanic Heritage Month, we’ve decided to celebrate the underrated Latina entrepreneur Yolanda Fernández de Cofiño for the marketing genius that she was. We’ve documented the evolution of Happy Meal toys from the idea’s inception and launch in the 1970s, to its continuing legacy today.

Take a look below for a nostalgic blast from the past!

1. 1979: The Very First Happy Meal

via Pinterest

Although the original concept of the Happy Meal was invented by Yolanda Fernández de Cofiño, the first official launch of the American Happy Meal happened in 1979. However, the gift wasn’t half as elaborate as it was now. According to records the toys were “a McDoodle stencil, a McWrist wallet, an ID bracelet, a puzzle lock, a spinning top or a McDonaldland character-shaped eraser”.

2. 1984: Ronald and The Gang

 thegoodtoyshop via Ebay

McDonalds Happy Meal toys evolved from spinning tops and erasers to more complex toys. Like, the above “Ronald and the Gang” wind-up cars that were defitenly a step-up from McDonald’s earlier toys. They weren’t as sophisticated as the toys would eventually get, though.

3. 1987: Mc-Transformers

Reddit User gnarrdan

The Transformers/McDonalds mashup was innovative in its day because it was blending the IP of two successful brands. Instead of McDonald’s using its Happy Meal to market other products, it was using its Happy Meal to market other products that were marketing McDonalds. It was a win-win situation.

4. 1988: McNuggets Buddies

EBAY USER MCJANTONE

In 1988, McDonalds hadn’t yet started to do marketing tie-ins with kids’ movies. Instead, they had prizes like “McNuggets Buddies”, which were chicken nuggets dressed in various outfits and costumes. This lasted until the mid-90s.

5. 1994: Sonic the Hedgehog

@NascaronReddit/Twitter

By the mid-90s, the powers-that-be recognized that there was a lucrative market to tap by using Happy Meals to advertise kid-oriented products directly to kids. It was around this time that the entertainment industry really began to see the potential for promoting movies and TV shows through fast-food chains. And if you look at the advertisement above, the Happy Meal only cost $1.99. Those were the days!

6. 1996: 101 Dalmatians

EBAY USER KINGDADDY50

Never the one to pass up an opportunity to advertise, Disney quickly hopped on board the McDonalds train as a means to promote their movies. One of the first Disney x Mcdonald’s ventures were the release of literally one-hundred-and-one collectible dalmatian figurines through their Happy Meals.

7. 1997: “Walt Disney Masterpiece Collection”

Youtube via FastFoodToyReviews

Off the success of their 101 Dalmatians toys, Disney and McDonalds continued their partnership by releasing tiny VHS boxes equipped with a a little toy character from the movie. People really began to see collecting fast food toys as a hobby around this time.

8. Mid-90s: “Teenie Babies”

EBAY User BDK84

Even McDonalds wasn’t immune to the Beanie Baby craze that swept the nation in the mid-90s. Convinced that they would one day be worth thousands, collectors flocked to the Golden Arches to get their hands on miniature versions of the popular plush toys. Unfortunately, most of the “Teenie Baby” toys aren’t worth anything these days.

9. 1997-Now: Barbies

EBAY User PERFECTSHIP

In 1997, McDonald’s started a lucrative partnership with the Barbie line of toys that would last until today. What young girl doesn’t have memories of getting this in their Happy Meal box (whether they liked it or not) while their brother got a Hot Wheels car? It’s safe to say the ’90s weren’t progressive, gender-wise.

10. 2004: Hello Kitty Keychains

Youtube via Lucky Penny Shop

Into the 2000s, McDonald’s took advantage of the Hello Kitty trend by offering plush Hello Kitty key chains in their Happy Meals.

11. 2015: Minion Fever

Ebay user BOB_THE_SPY

Do you remember the time when you couldn’t escape “Despicable Me” minion merchandising, no matter where you went? Well, that included McDonalds. Nowhere was safe.

This Glass Gem Corn Is Blowing Minds All Over Twitter Right Now And I Want Some ASAP

Culture

This Glass Gem Corn Is Blowing Minds All Over Twitter Right Now And I Want Some ASAP

While the Internet might call it “Ghey Corn,” this rainbow-colored corn variety is officially dubbed Glass Gem corn. Not only are there a rainbow of colorful kernels, but they’re also shiny, prompting the ‘Glass’ description. The person responsible for our new favorite, gay-friendly corn is a man by the name of Carl Barnes, who passed in 2016. Barnes enjoyed his life in Oklahoma and cultivated his own personal seed bank passed down from his Cherokee ancestors. Barnes chose to save and replant the seeds from the cobs with the most color, and eventually developed strains of vibrant corn.

One day, Barnes decided to move and asked his friend, Greg Schoen, to protect the seeds. Schoen grew a small handful of the seeds and was shocked when he peeled back the corn stalk to reveal rows and rows of shiny, rainbow-colored corn. Schoen was so excited, he posted the image to his Facebook, and it promptly went viral. Soon, the two cultivated enough seeds to sell online, and people around the country have grown gorgeous varieties.

Green thumbs around the world bought satchels of the precious seed and the following season, were “blown away.”

Credit: @watermicrobe / Twitter

While Schoen may have initiated the first viral sensation over Glass Gem corn in 2012, Ameet Pinto’s viral post has become Mother Nature’s best queer bait yet. With over 7k likes, “I STAN GAY CORN” is the most liked comment. Then, “Taste the rainbow.” 

Some people literally cannot believe this is corn, accusing Pinto of creating a jelly bean cob.

Credit: @mr_plantgeek / Twitter

“Those are just jellybeans ur not foolin me!!!!!” commented one unbeliever. Someone else seems to think that a profitable venture would be to sell the kernels as jelly beans as a scam. Still, others are bringing the negativity to this rainbow party, assuming that because the cob looks different from the mono-crop, that it must be a GMO frankencorn. “Glad to see people trying to live in Chernobyl,” tweets one disbelieving Shane. 

Glass Gem corn is not a GMO crop.

Credit: @Rainmaker1973 / Twitter

In fact, this variety likely healthier than the corn you might buy at a store, which may have been genetically modified rather than artificially selected. Barnes artificially selected the prettiest corn from his crop and decided to grow from those seeds the following year.

When folks hear the story of Carl Barnes, it just adds a whole new depth to the color.

Credit: @CwdickD / Twitter

“Fun fact about these is that they were discovered by a dude who was half-Cherokee and he started growing a sh**load of different corn types to reconnect with his heritage,” tweeted one person. As Barnes was artificially selecting which corn kernels he’d store as seeds for the next year, he grew closer with his Cherokee heritage.

For those of you expecting rainbow colored popcorn, don’t.

Credit: Glass Gem Corn / Facebook

All that’s left of the kernel when you pop the corn is usually that brown kernel skin that gets stuck in your teeth. In the case of Glass Gem corn, you can sort of make out the varying colors of popped kernels, but the popcorn itself is the same color as regular Joe Schmoe popcorn.

The Glass Gem corn isn’t that sweet.

Credit: @SlowFoodUSA / Twitter

According to Pinto, the corn isn’t sweet like yellow corn, so it doesn’t make for good fresh esquites or elotes. All popcorn comes from different varieties of corn that you have to dehydrate to turn into cornmeal or popcorn. “We’ll be eating some colorful popcorn this winter,” Ameet tweeted.

There’s even a Facebook group for Glass Gem growers to share their growing tips and cooking tips.

Credit: Glass Gem Corn / Facebook

In case you were wondering, the Facebook group “Glass Gem Corn” says you can prepare creamy Glass Gem polenta by following these instructions: “Pour into a shallow pan to cool. Cut into squares and lightly brown in a sauté pan.” We don’t know how you do it but keep on making gay polenta, please.

All in all, the Internet is pretty a-maize-d by the gay corn.

Credit: @DonConklin5 / Twitter

“Corn says lgbtq rights,” tweeted one stan. We’re with them. This is one of those moments that we’re allowed to be in wonder over how indigenous folks cultivate the land.

READ: Oaxaca Is Mexico’s Cultural Capital And Home To Its Largest Indigenous Communities, Here’s What You Need To Know