Mexican cuisine, like many of the others I’ve covered in this series, is quite diverse. Living in the southwest, though, I’ve come to associate Mexican cuisine with the food of northern Mexico and the American southwest. When I ate meat, I loved making barbacoa, carnitas, and tacos. When I went vegetarian, I knew that these would be some of the things I missed the most. However, giving up meat doesn’t mean giving up everything you want.
Tacos are popular throughout Mexico, and depending on where you are you might find them with meat, seafood, even insects! Veggie tacos can also be made in a variety of ways. Transitioning vegetarians might enjoy tacos made with soy meat and taco seasonings. You could also try beans, mushrooms, or tofu in place of meat. I love enchiladas (a dish that, incidentally, dates back to Mayan times), and though I usually make them now with beans and cheese, for this blog entry I tried out a new recipe for Sweet Potato and Black Bean Enchiladas.
I loved this recipe, which was filling and pretty easy. If you’re making it at home, though, adjust the recipe accordingly. The web page says it makes 16 enchiladas, but I halved the recipe and still came out with enough filling for a dozen! I also used store-bought enchilada sauce as a shortcut, and while I was simmering the sweet potato filling I even had time to cut up some squash and zucchini for a side of calabacitas. I improved on this basic recipe with some corn and garlic. The entire meal was finished off with wedges of avocado and lime, and torn fresh cilantro.
If you want a use for some leftover tortillas and enchilada sauce, you can also try chilaquiles or experiment with soy chorizo! Seriously, if you like chorizo you’ll be amazed by some of the vegetarian versions out there. The texture may be different than what you’re used to, but the flavor is spot-on. In Mexican cuisine, it’s often the spices that make the meal–and now you can enjoy those meals healthy and guilt free!