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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Your Zodiac’s Latino Soda Of Choice Is Your Spiritual Gasolina

Entertainment

Your Zodiac’s Latino Soda Of Choice Is Your Spiritual Gasolina

nataliedrawn / topochicousa / Instagram

While the rest of society is tapping into how nature is a significant signaler to our emotional and spiritual needs, Latinos grew up finding meaning in every change in the wind, and every dream. We’re superstitious AF, but we’re also highly in tune with nature.

We’re also chugging soda and eating Goya beans from a can because it’s 2019 and we have full-time jobs and three other gigs to get to. Whatever you have on your plate today, these zodiac-aligned sodas are destined to be more effective for you, hijo de las estrellas.

Aries (March 21 – April 19)

Credit: steph_joachim / Instagram

Honey, the arrangement of the stars this summer is signaling you to stay off the ‘gram. Get away from social media and get out of your head. There’s nothing like a sweet, tropical Jupiña to take with you to the beach or mountains.

Taurus (April 20 – May 20)

Credit: titan_doom / Instagram 

Taurus’s are often misunderstood as lazy, but the fact is that you are more in touch with your self and your needs than any other sign. You’re free from the shame of indulging as an act of self-love. So when you have a Malta, you definitely add condensed milk to it to maximize the effects of every self-treat. Plus, it reminds you of drinking Malta as a niño and feeling like you could kick your feet up with the beer-drinking adults.

Gemini (May 21 – June 20)

Credit: ztiworoh / Twitter

You’re represented by celestial twins–signifying a range of meanings, primarily to represent your many interests. The story goes that the goddess had so many passions, she doubled herself to get it all done. Cuba’s Iron Beer hasn’t decided whether it’s root beer or cream soda, and that’s because, like you, it can be both. 

Cancer (June 21 – July 22)

Credit: jarritos / Instagram

This summer, your space is yours. Whether you’re staying home to reflect and refuel your tank or burning up that gasolina on the dance floor, Jarritos stay with you. Nourishing both your home realm and your social side will be important for you. Pro tip: spiked Jarritos is even better.

Leo (July 23 – August 22)

Credit: @coastward / Twitter

Leo, your allure could be spotted from a mile away. Inca Kola’s neon yellow bubble gum flavors will make you glow in the dark. Don’t play like that doesn’t sound like your dream.

Virgo (August 23 – September 22)

Credit: topochicousa / Instagram

The energies of the lunar eclipse in Capricorn is still inspiring productivity like never before in you, hermit. Topo Chico is not a soda, per se, but it is a bubbly drink that you can enjoy anytime. Whether you’re drinking it straight from the bottle at your desk or adding your favorite fruits, Topo Chico is the only bubbly you need to keep you in the zone.

Libra (September 23 – October 22)

Credit: lovelovegoose / Instagram

Ooh, Libra, your summer is set to look very physically (read: so much sex) active. You always have many people vying for your attention, but as you work on building trust with your chosen partner, you’re going to need to hydrate. Materva is brewed with mate leaves, giving you a bit of caffeine (alongside 40 grams of sugar, but who’s counting) to fuel your love life.

Scorpio (October 23 – November 21)

Credit: CityandStateUS / Instagram

Like Mexican Coke, you, scorpion, have a cult following. But this month isn’t about what other people think of you. No matter the expectations of you, it’s time to turn inward and go back to old wounds that cause all the classic drama in your life. Don’t worry, when you let it go, you’ll still be a classic inside and out.

Sagittarius (November 22 – December 21)

Credit: squirrelseatnuts / Instagram

Travels are in your future, Sagittarius. There’s nothing more germane to its country of origin than Colombiana soda. Its bubble gum scented cream soda flavors will always remind you of the importance of honoring the place you visit.

Capricorn (December 22 – January 19)

Credit: sidralmundet / Instagram

Fellow sea goats–it has been un mes tan pesado. No te preocupes–instead of trying to find out where you fit, it’s time to realize you belong everywhere in this world. You’re not just a Mundet, you’re an elusive green apple cider. Embrace your individuality. It will set you free.

Aquarius (January 20 – February 18)

Credit: sylver907 / Instagram

You, Aquarius, are in a humanitarian activist mode. With Puerto Rico’s police force firing tear gas and rubber bullets at protesters, PR’s favorite soda, Kola Champagne, will be fuel for your fire.

Pisces (February 19 – March 20)

Credit: coco_ricooficial / Instagram

Our favorite water-lovers can take their game to the next level this summer with Coco Rico. This soda is here for you when you want to drink out of a coconut on the beach, but with more sugar and carbonation. It’s next-level water, básicamente.

READ: The Brief And Surprising History Of Tex-Mex Food That You’ve Never Heard

Every Foodie Should Familiarize Themselves With This List Of The Best Latin American Restaurants In The World

Culture

Every Foodie Should Familiarize Themselves With This List Of The Best Latin American Restaurants In The World

pujolrestaurant / rgborago / Instagram

As we reported a few days ago, Latin American chefs did pretty great at the World’s 50 Best Restaurant Awards in Singapore. Latin American fine cuisine got a total of nine spots in the list, and two in the top ten. This is quite an achievement for a region that is relatively new to fine dining. Cities like Mexico City and Lima have just become culinary epicenters thanks to visionaries that have translated tradition into modern masterpieces. However, credit is due to the centuries of cultural remix that has produced legendary dishes. Indigenous, colonial and other influences come together in the plate and wow judges and patrons. If these places have something in common, it is the inquisitive nature of their lead chefs. They went deep into the cultural roots of their countries, even finding new ingredients to achieve creativity and perfection.

We have to pay respect to the traditional recipes and the many years (and sometimes centuries) of experimentation by everyday cooks that led to these awards. So, we have listed some of the traditional influences that these restaurants have had. Sometimes it was all there already, and chefs just took it a step further! The restaurants in this list range from the high end to a Brazilian eatery that is relaxed and not expensive at all.

At number 6: Central (Lima, Peru), Best restaurant in South America,
Influenced by: ancient, indigenous Peruvian food

Credit: thefoodcray / Instagram

This is the flagship restaurant of kitchen wizard Virgilio Martínez Véliz, who travels deep into each region of his home country to fund ancient ingredients. He collaborates with indigenous men and women to learn about traditional ways of cooking. He has introduced ingredients such as the Amazonian piranha into the menu. His drive to experiment has made him a celebrity chef the world over. You can learn about his journey in S3E6 of the Netflix show Chef’s Table

At number 10:  Maido (Lima, Peru), Influenced by: traditional Japanese cuisine with a Peruvian twist and local ingredients

Credit: mitsuharu_maido / Instagram

A testament to the ethnic diversity of Peru. The Japanese immigration in Peru has been constant and has led this ethnic minority to have a vibrant place in the social, cultural and political life of the South American country. This restaurant is let my “Micha” Tsumura, who offers a Nikkei experience that includes classic Peruvian seafood such as sea urchin and sea snail. Lima is certainly keeping up with cities such as New York, Tokyo, and Paris, which are usually the leaders of the pack. 

3. At number 12: Pujol (Mexico City, Mexico), Best Restaurant in North America, Influenced by: traditional Mexican food, particularly from Oaxaca

Credit: pujolrestaurant / Instagram

Enrique Olvera has established himself as one of the main voices of the global fine art circuit. In his flagship Mexico City restaurant he offers dishes that use indigenous ingredients, particularly from the colorful region of Oaxaca. His team makes tortillas by hand, grinding species of corn that are rare. Olvera is not shy to experiment with ingredients that might seem “weird” to Western patrons, such as chicatana ants. A delightful experience that needs to be tasted to be believed. 

4. At number 23: Cosme (New York City), Influenced by: traditional Mexican garnachas 

Credit: cosmenyc / Instagram

A New York restaurant with a 100% Mexican soul. Created by Olvera and led by Mexican chef Daniela Soto-Innes, who has revealed herself as a unique culinary voice and was named the World’s Best Female Chef 2019. She serves Modern Mexican food that is inspired by the crunchiness and glorious saltiness of Mexican street food, or garnachas. If you want to take your carnitas, infladitas, and tamales to the next level, then this is the place for you. Sinful delights all around. By the way, the kitchen is 50% female, which goes hand in hand with the chef’s ideas of equality. She also employs people from diverse ethnic backgrounds, both from the United States and overseas. 

5. At number 24: Quintonil (Mexico City, Mexico), Influenced by: traditional Mexican cuisine

Credit: rest_quintonil / Instagram

The brainchild of chef Jorge Vallejo (who used to work at Pujol) is a tribute to the postcolonial flavors of Mexico. If Pujol strived to bring back ancient recipes, Quintonil offers new interpretations of classic everyday dishes such as tostadas de cangrejo and the luxurious escamoles (ant eggs). Even dishes that your abuelita might have made, such as Huazontles or salpicon, are featured here. Look at their take on a flauta in the photo above. 

6. At number 26: Boragó (Santiago, Chile), Influenced by: ingredients from Chile’s geographical diversity

Credit: rgborago / Instagram

Rodolfo Guzman is a raising rockstar. Like Peru’s Central, this restaurant features ingredients from every corner of the country. Rodolfo gets ingredients from the Atacama desert, all the way down to the frigid Patagonia landscapes. Have you ever tasted flowers? Well, here you can: the signature dishes is a blend of roasted flowers, Van Gogh style! 

7. At number 34: Don Julio (Buenos Aires, Argentina), Influenced by: traditional asado techniques 

Credit: donjulioparrilla / Instagram

They say that if you are going to do one thing, you do it the best you can. This restaurant led by Pablo Jesus Rivero might make the best steak in the world. Following the traditional ways of cooking meat in the Pampas, cuts like rump steak and skirt steak are cooked to perfection. Sweetbread empanadas are also a standout. The decor follows the aesthetic of a 19th-century country estancia, when European pioneers made their way into the depths of the nascent country.

8. At number 39: A Casa do Porco (São Paulo, Brazil), Influenced by: Brazilian working class cooking

Credit: acadadoporcobar / Instagram

Pork is a relatively easy stock to raise, and it has been a staple in the diets of Brazilians for centuries. Chef Jefferson Rueda reimagines everything you can do with pork. He raises the pigs on a diet of vegetables, slaughters them in house and uses every single part of the animal, making items such as blood sausages. The degustation menu is a culinary experience that also includes beans, cabbage, and banana, other staples of Brazilian home kitchens. The owners strive to make the restaurant accessible to the community, so prices are far from exorbitant. You can dine for $13 dollars.

9. At number 49: Leo (Bogotá, Colombia), Influenced by: indigenous uses of local fruits and vegetables

Credit: tevedolinsky / Instagram

Chef Leonor Espinosa has become a celebrity thanks to her bubbly personality and her use of little known ingredients such as corozo fruit, arrechon (a supposed aphrodisiac) and bijao, a banana-like plant. She learns from communities and their gastronomic traditions, creating dishes that include, for example, a crunchy coating made from ants. The menu explores different Colombian animal and plant species. A map shows where each one was sourced. The chef also runs a foundation FUNLEO, which aims to identify, reclaim and enhance the culinary traditions in Colombian communities.

READ: Mexican Food Meets Japanese Food In These Next Level Mexican Sushi Creations

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