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Vegan Tacos Al Pastor

Vegan Tacos Al Pastor

One of my collabs with Mitú went up on Friday! You can watch me make a refreshing watermelon cocktail inspired by the spicy watermelon paletas I grew up with here.

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The last time my parents came over to visit, my dad mentioned he wanted to take a family trip to Cancún, and to be completely honest I don’t know if I’d want to go. The last time we were there, we had an okay time..there was nothing about Cancún that left us wanting to come back. It’s been two years since we’ve visited, as it was my reward for losing the 40 lbs. I had put on during my last year in college.

I decided that February that I was going to finally make a change to my lifestyle, so I booked our flights and I told myself that I was going to take my shirt off at the beach regardless of what my body looked like. I was always the kid who never took his shirt off at the pool because I was super shy about my body, but I worked hard and trained my butt off and I actually managed to reach my goal weight a week before our trip.

Vegan Tacos Al PastorCancun has beautiful blue beaches and good food, but it is a very tourist heavy location and it lacked the feeling of being in Mexico. We decided to stay en el centro to get a more authentic experience while we were there but we never found quite what we were looking for. We did however, find amazing tacos al pastor. They were completely different than the ones I was used to. The pork was sweeter, and the taqueros really played up the pineapple, cinnamon, and the achiote notes which was different than the heavier guajillo flavor bomb I was used to.

We’re going to be recreating a vegan version of those tacos al estilo Cancún today because I finally started dipping my toes in the vegan pond. I have many friends who are vegan who’ve been asking me to write recipes for some of their favorite dishes and I was excited to finally incorporate TVP (meat substitute) into a recipe. As a non-vegan I didn’t really notice that the pork was missing, TVP has the texture of meat and stays moist and flavorful, unlike pork which can become tough and dry when it is slightly overcooked. If you’re vegan, I hope these tacos deliver an authentic experience, and if you’re not vegan, don’t be afraid to try something new. I promise you won’t be disappointed.

(Billy also has a recipe up today for tacos de pollo verde , you can check it out here)

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Tacos de Papa (Potato Tacos)

Tacos de Papa (Potato Tacos)

When Billy and I first started dating, I used to try to cook everything I could just so I could introduce him to all of the dishes I grew up cherishing. I really wanted him to get a sense of who I was through food, and I wanted him to learn about all of the bits and pieces of my culture and traditions he didn’t know. Last year, he finally had the opportunity to experience the place where my roots stem from–Colima. He got to taste all of the dishes I talked so much about, he got to meet the aunts that have always kept me laughing (and very well fed), and the loving grandparents who have taught me so much about life.

Traveling to Mexico at a young age was always bittersweet because my parents were undocumented when I was growing up. Not only did I have to travel by myself from time to time, but I always felt guilty that I had the opportunity to enjoy what they couldn’t– spending time with their family.

Tacos de Papa (Potato Tacos)

Mi grandma.

Tacos de Papa (Potato Tacos)

It’s super backlit, but it’s one of my favorite shots with my aunts/grandparents. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

I have a deep appreciation for my maternal grandparents because they’ve always treated me like their own child. They have provided me with an immense amount of love and support and they’ve always been really great examples of what I should aspire to be, a hardworking, humble, and appreciative individual.

To this day, my grandma has continually worked hard to help her household make ends meet. For as long as I can remember, she’s walked the pebble stoned streets of Colima selling the fresh cheeses she’s made every morning. She’d get on the ruta in Comala bright and early and walk around for miles and miles carrying various cheeses on her back and during the weekend, she’d transform her living room into a small restaurant and sell pozole, tacos de papa and sopes to everyone en la colonia

I really wanted to spend my Birthday in their company this year because I enjoy being surrounded by so much love, mis tí as las pericas, and all of the good food I could ever want. 

We were fortunate to swing by while my grandma was still selling food during our last day there. She offered us sopes, pozole and tacos, but I settled on tacos de papa because she makes them like no one else!

Tacos de papa are pretty basic. They consist of a deep fried tortilla shell stuffed with a mashed potato filling and they’re topped with shredded cabbage, sliced tomato, diced onion, heaps of cotija and a garlicky tomato sauce.

These tacos are a good reminder of my grandma, and they instantly transport me back to Comala whenever I have them. If you have the opportunity to make them, I hope you enjoy them as much as I do and I hope they bring you warm memories, just as they do to me.

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Beer Braised Ribs

Beer Braised Ribs

¡Hola!

How’s your week?

Am I the only one who feels like 2017 is coming at us full speed? It’s already April!

Easter is coming up, and so is Mother’s day, which means two things.

1: I still need to get my hands on a bag of peeps and those chocolate marshmallow eggs from Walgreens.

2: I need to make reservations for Mothers’ Day Dinner.

Spoiler alert: We’re probably going to do Mother’s Day at Lucille’s Smokehouse Bbq because my parents are weirdly obsessed with it. For the past few years we’ve been to Lucille’s for their birthdays, and Father/Mother’s day and we always end up spending too much money on really dry ribs with practically no meat on them.

I make waaay better ribs though. Trust and believe.

Beer Braised Ribs

Over the weekend, Billy, our friend Matt, and I went to Knott’s to check out the Boysenberry Festival and it was so much fun!

I grew up in Orange County, which means we always went to Knott’s for school trips–and I think this is why I love Knott’s so much!

Anyways, this was our second time at the Boysenberry Festival and we were excited to try some of the newer items on their tasting card—and I was also v excited to get my hands on their Boysenberry BBQ Sauce cause it’s just so damn good.

Beer Braised Ribs

Boysenberry Pizza

Beer Braised Ribs

Boysenberry Panna Cotta

I wish Boysenberries were a little more accessible so I could make the bbq sauce from scratch, but because they aren’t, Ina says store bought is fine.

The Festival is kind of cool because it happens inside and you get to walk around through the different areas of the park to access the different booths.

We had the opportunity to try Boysenberry: Ravioli, Meatballs, Panna Cotta, Pizza, Chicken Wings, Beer and Cider–and I was really surprised to see how well it all fit together!

The Boysenberry Festival is running through April 23rd, so if you live in SoCal, be sure to check it out.

Beer Braised Ribs

I’m gonna make these braised ribs with the Boysenberry bbq sauce for Easter in hopes that we can skip Lucille’s next month and have some really good bbq at my place instead.

If you’ve never braised ribs before, brace yourself. They’ll be nice and juicy and the meat will fall off the bone with the slightest pull.

Make these for your next quince/bautizo/primera comunión or carne asada, you won’t dissapoint!

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Mole Vinaigrette Chicken Tostadas

Mole Vinaigrette Chicken Tostadas

This post is sponsored by La Guelaguetza, all opinions are my own.

¡Hola!

How are you?

I don’t think my brain can comprehend anymore how so many bad things can keep happening this year!

It’s almost like they sit around and play a dangerous game of Russian roulette but with human/civil rights. ¿Verdad?

We’re only 2 months into the new year and we’ve already lost 5 trans women to hate crimes. Why was that necessary? #BlackTransLivesMatter

I don’t understand why some people are so insecure with themselves that they feel the need to lash out against what they don’t understand.

Mole Vinaigrette Chicken TostadasMole Vinaigrette Chicken Tostadas

When we were in college, Billy and I lived a few blocks away from Costco, and it was everything.

It literally was.

Costco was one of the few big box stores we had at Humboldt which kept us pretty sane and pretty well fed (we lived 5 hours away from the nearest city).  We used to buy a rotisserie chicken at least once a week which meant we had tostadas for dinner pretty often because we were on that broke college student budget.

The struggle was so real.

Today, I’m throwing it back to those days. We’ll be making those tostadas using rotisserie chicken for a quick dinner, and tossing the chicken in this mole negro vinaigrette to amp them up!

Pro tip: This vinaigrette would also be great in a salad!

I’m heading to Mexico next Thursday, so until then..keep up the good fight, y como siempre, stay chingonx!

Nos vemos pronto.

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Sopa de Letras

If you don’t speak Spanish, you might be a little confused about what I spelled out above.

“Eres Chingonx” translates into “You’re Cool.”  Which might not necessarily sound very meaningful en Inglés, pero en Español, it has a completely different connotation packing a stronger punch either way it is being used.

If you grew up with parents who spoke Spanish, you might have heard it used in various ways. “Como chingas” or “No estés chingando” might have been thrown at you along with a chanclazo if you were misbehaving, but you also might have heard “Está Chingón” or “Eres Chingón” to point out that someone or something was really fucking cool!

When I was thinking about the shots I wanted for this post, I knew I wanted to recreate a shot I had seen that said “Yass” but instead spelling out something stupid, I really wanted to incorporate these words of reassurance because we’re all chingonxs in different ways, and in these trying times I think it’s important for us POC’s to continually support and uplift each other.

You might have seen palabras en Español start popping up with an X here and there, and that is because Spanish itself is not a very inclusive language.  It is structured to give just about everyone and every object a gender, and it completely disregards those who might not have been blessed with the appropriate genitals at birth, or the gender they might currently identify with.

When I first encountered the X, I didn’t really understand why it was being used or why it was needed and I figured it was just a bunch of kids on Tumblr trying to tell me how to be politically correct. But after doing further research, I completely understood its importance.

En México though, the concept of the X hasn’t really permeated the culture.

Los chicxs de the Tamarindo Podcast and Latino’s Who Lunch touch on the topic in the Latinx, Si o No crossover episode where they dive a little further into the conversation. Escúchenla when you get the chance.

We are Mitú shared my picture on Facebook and although most comments were positive, there were a few people who expressed grief with the X at the end of chingonx.

What are your thoughts on the use of the X?

Sopa de LetrasCon este frío, I had been craving sopa de letras for a while now and I finally decided to make some over the weekend. Mi mamà used to make it with a much thinner broth and we always accompanied it con quesadillas but this time I was in the mood for a heartier base, so I decided to use Ina Garten’s tomato soup recipe and it was just as delicious. Pro tip: add one or two dried chiles de àrbol for a little heat.

Keep your little feetsies warm, make some soup and stay cozy this winter!

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