Vegan Taco Party

Summer is officially here! I am fortunate enough to work for the public school system, and am now enjoying the next few months off of work. This definitely called for a celebration. I called upon the powers of Terry Hope Romero, via Viva Vegan and this month’s issue of Veg News, to throw a taco party.

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Terry was a contributor to the current issue of Veg News, and I made her recipe for crispy potato tacos, with queso (tofu) fresco and tomatillo sauce (I actually ended up pouring the tomatillo sauce over the black beans, for added heat and flavor), along with her cilantro lime rice, from Viva Vegan.

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I wish I would have gotten a better picture of the potatoes, but they were spicy and crispy, without being too greasy. They went fast and even my omnivorous friends enjoyed.

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The rice was flavorful and fluffy. The cilantro and lime add a nice element and transform it into a legitimate side dish instead of a boring afterthought.

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Taco fixings

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Queso fresco

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Chips and salsa

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The mojito station

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My favorite brewery’s seasonal release

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You can never go wrong with tacos and beer!

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The Book Chat 5.30.13 Cookbooks

I am super psyched to be co-hosting The Book Chat this week, especially because it is a topic I am pretty passionate about, Cookbooks!

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Along with vegan blogs, cookbooks are what taught me how to cook healthy, whole foods. I was raised on a pretty traditional Mexican-American diet that included many fatty animal products. Once I decided to cut animals out, I needed to re learn how to cook and start from scratch. I credit Isa Chandra Moskowitz and Terry Hope Romero with teaching me how to think outside of the Standard American Diet (SAD) box and experiment with new ingredients (seitan, tofu, tempeh, etc.) to still enjoy some of my old favorites. Most of my cooking is now done from scratch and I have mixed and matched so many of their recipes in new and diverse ways. I am determined to never let veganism get boring and I am committed to serving anyone who comes to my house to eat, a delicious and healthy meal so they can marvel how tasty and nutritious food can be, without having to cause harm to our animal friends and environment.

The recipe I chose to save for this post was my Mother’s Day meal I whipped up using inspiration from Terry Hope Romero’s Viva Vegan. I blogged about this book before and I am enjoying cooking my way through it (check back next week for a re-cap of the taco party I am hosting this weekend!)

I really appreciate the Latina love that Terry has given to our community and how dedicated she is to honoring and celebrating traditions within our culture, without including harm to animals. One of my favorite things about this book is how simple so many of the recipes are. I have had so many “why didn’t I think of that before?!” moments. I completely wrote off so many dishes because they are based on animal products, yet through her creativity, she makes easy swaps, and boom, I can enjoy pozole and ceviche again.

I made her ceviche recipe for our Mother’s Day appetizer.  Ceviche is typically made with fish, fresh veggies, spices and plenty of lime. It is a flavorful appetizer with crisp corn chips on a hot day, and is best when coupled with an ice cold beer.

Terry subs out the fish for diced hearts of palm. This has a similar consistency, and adds a nice fatty texture. It was the perfect substitute. After that, the ceviche came together as usual. I added in fresh tomatoes, red onion, cilantro, lime juice, olive oil, salt and chilled the dish. Right before I served it, I added in fresh dices of avocado.

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We started off with the ceviche, along with chips and guacamole.

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Our main dish was tacos with potatoes and soyrizo, one of my favorites! Of course, we topped them tons of guacamole.

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Click here for a few of my other favorite Terry & Isa cookbooks. Vegan or not, I highly recommend checking out their recipes (you can get a preview at their blogs, click here for Terry’s and here for Isa’s).

To join in today’s Book Chat, click here and follow the directions below:

1. Please follow the host and co-host

2. Visit a few other book chat links and show some support.

3. Link back here in your post.  Or use the button provided.

4. Old posts are always welcome if you have blogged on the topic before.

Viva Vegan

I recently bought Terry Hope Romero’s Viva Vegan book.  She makes amazing vegan versions of some of my Latin favorites. I am a huge fan of Terry. I credit her and Isa Chandra Moskowitz for teaching me how to cook and helping me maintain a vegan diet while never feeling deprived.

Viva Vegan has innovative creations and wonderful substitutions for classic favorites. The only thing I wish is that book was hardcover, so I could more effectively hit the next person over the head with it who says, “but how can you be vegan, you’re Mexican?”

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When I saw the Posole recipe, I knew it would be the first one I tried. Growing up in a Mexican family, Posole or menudo was a regular tradition on Sunday mornings.

Even as a young omnivore, I was grossed out by the large pieces of pig that crowded the bowls of those traditional dishes. I did enjoy all the side fixings (cilantro, onions, lime, radishes, etc.) plus tortillas with butter, which I would generally just dip in the broth of the dishes while poking around for hominy.

Terry’s vegan version brought back a traditional, comfort version of this meal without the animal ingredients. The recipe called for pinto beans, instead of pork and vegetable broth + beer instead of chicken or beef.

I served the Posole up with all the delicious fixings; shredded cabbage, cilantro, radishes, lime and avocado. I also warmed up corn tortillas with Earth Balance and dipped it in the Posole. Absolutely delish!

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I also made Portobello Feijoada. This is actually a Brazilian dish that I had never tried before, but it sounded amazing. It contained black beans with sliced portabella mushrooms, simmered in spices and liquid smoke.

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I served this over brown rice seasoned with cilantro and lime. This was a hearty and flavorful meal and with quite a bit leftovers to last throughout the week.

I am looking forward to trying more recipes from the book. They are absolutely packed with flavor and nostalgia.