Author Topic: What will be in a vegetarian Mexican meal?  (Read 532 times)  

Offline antares

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What will be in a vegetarian Mexican meal?
« on: April 16, 2018, 04:57:16 PM »
I have a character of Mexican heritage. She is vegetarian. She is hosting friends for dinner. My idea is that the main plate shall consist of arroz mexicano (rojo), frijoles prietos refritos encima del arroz , y pico de gallo con rebanadas de aguacate encima de todo. She chose black beans vice the traditional pintos for the color contrast. Any dissent?

What shall she serve for a soup course (vegetarian) and a salad course? (A simple salad of greens seems boring. No nopalitos.)

What will make a striking chocolate dessert (not flan)?

Thank you.

Offline LilyBLily

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Re: What will be in a vegetarian Mexican meal?
« Reply #1 on: April 16, 2018, 05:15:09 PM »
Isn't lard the main cooking fat used in refried anything in Mexico? And isn't lard pig fat? How vegetarian is that? 

Offline idontknowyet

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Re: What will be in a vegetarian Mexican meal?
« Reply #2 on: April 16, 2018, 05:25:51 PM »
Traditionally yes
now maybe


Offline antares

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Re: What will be in a vegetarian Mexican meal?
« Reply #3 on: April 16, 2018, 05:39:23 PM »
Isn't lard the main cooking fat used in refried anything in Mexico? And isn't lard pig fat? How vegetarian is that? 
Yes, lard is traditional. She uses vegetable shortening and vegetable oil instead.

That is why I am asking for help. All the Mexican soups I know use chicken stock or beef stock or fish stock. And someone must know a of a good Mexican salad made with, say, cabbage . . . or perhaps squash.

Offline Crystal_

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Re: What will be in a vegetarian Mexican meal?
« Reply #4 on: April 16, 2018, 06:14:37 PM »
Ex vegetarian here. You're overthinking it. You can veggie-fy pretty much any dish that isn't a piece of meat (and even then there's faux meat).

Offline Rosie Scott

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Re: What will be in a vegetarian Mexican meal?
« Reply #5 on: April 16, 2018, 06:15:19 PM »
I don't know if this will help you, but my husband and I are both vegan, and he cooks everything from scratch. Most of the recipes he uses are "regular" recipes that he simply tweaks. As for the broth problem with the soup, there are multiple ways around this. Vegetable broth, mushroom broth, whether homemade or otherwise. Your solution of substituting vegetable shortening and oil in for animal lard is not only creative, but it is also realistic for most vegetarians. Such substitutions work in most recipes with most ingredients.

As for the salad question, I found some recipes for vegetarian Mexican salads that sound interesting:
Mexican Quinoa and Avocado Salad: https://minimalistbaker.com/mexican-quinoa-salad-with-orange-lime-dressing/
Black Bean/Corn/Red Pepper Salad: https://www.onceuponachef.com/recipes/black-bean-salad-with-corn-red-peppers-avocado-lime-cilantro-vinaigrette.html

For the chocolate dessert, here are some recipes I found that sound good:
Mexican Hot Chocolate Snickerdoodles: http://www.onegreenplanet.org/vegan-recipe/mexican-hot-chocolate-snickerdoodles/
Chocolate Cake with Chocolate Cinnamon Frosting: https://recipes.oregonlive.com/recipes/mexican-chocolate-cake-with-chocolate-cinnamon-frosting

There are many more than these. If you search for the type of dish you want to find on Google, tons of recipes pop up. I am not of Mexican heritage so I can't speak to how realistic these recipes are for your character's location/tastes etc., but hopefully, this helps or gives you some ideas to work with. Good luck!  :)

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Offline Paranormal Kitty

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Re: What will be in a vegetarian Mexican meal?
« Reply #6 on: April 16, 2018, 06:56:05 PM »
Well there are a lot of different foods eaten in Mexico...if you mean strictly traditional, it varies by region. There's a website that might help you, though not all of them are "traditional" if that's what you're looking for: http://www.comidamexicana.com/recetas/tag/61/vegetarianos There's the vegetarian section. Ensaladas are the top tab at the side; there's a chayote one on the first page. You could also do something like chile relleno instead of a salad. There is a cheese soup (caldo de queso) made in Northern Mexico which can be made vegetarian (but obviously not vegan) if you don't use chicken broth. Desserts...churros with chocolate sauce, chocolate cake (pastel de chocolate), hot chocolate (Ibarra and Abuelita are popular brands). Most Mexican recipes don't really "depend" on the meat component, so you could easily adapt them to be vegetarian. I wouldn't over-think it too much unless you plan on making a companion recipe book or something.

Offline Matt.Banks

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Re: What will be in a vegetarian Mexican meal?
« Reply #7 on: April 16, 2018, 07:18:28 PM »
I lived in Mexico for a while and you'd be surprised how vegetarian friendly it can be. In the major city I was in, there were many vegetarian eateries (Mexican/Indian/"Asian"/etc) and even a couple vegan places. There can be vegetarian, and even vegan, tacos of all varieties, soups, salads, even traditional dishes can be adapted, chile relleno is a poplar dish and it's common for it to just be filled with cheese and served with rice and beans. Plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables available in markets.

As mentioned previously, Mexican food varies from state to state. I'd say decide which state in Mexico the character is from and then research vegetarian dishes from that area.

Offline JRTomlin

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Re: What will be in a vegetarian Mexican meal?
« Reply #8 on: April 16, 2018, 07:49:22 PM »
Isn't lard the main cooking fat used in refried anything in Mexico? And isn't lard pig fat? How vegetarian is that? 
It is frequently done with fats other than lard now, although that is the traditional fat. You might be surprised at how varied actual Mexican food is. There are many vegetarian friendly dishes.
« Last Edit: April 16, 2018, 07:51:29 PM by JRTomlin »

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Offline antares

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Re: What will be in a vegetarian Mexican meal?
« Reply #9 on: April 17, 2018, 04:09:28 AM »
My first thought when I need help with a point in my wip is to ask the crowd here at Writers' Cafe. Before I google anything.

If you search for the type of dish you want to find on Google, tons of recipes pop up.
Thank you, Rosie Scott, for reminding me to google. Which I didn't.

Instead I went to YouTube (Google in Motion) and found Rick Bayless, Squash Blossom Soup. That led me to Fried Stuffed Squash Blossoms. I decided not to use the Squash Blossom Soup, but I want to work into the meal the Fried Stuffed Squash Blossoms.



There's a website that might help you, though not all of them are "traditional" if that's what you're looking for: http://www.comidamexicana.com/recetas/tag/61/vegetarianos
Thank you, Paranormal Kitty. This site helped a lot. I chose the Crema de Calabacin for the soup. Cannot figure why it is a crema, though. There is no cream or milk in it.

For the salad, I played a riff on the Ensalada de Zanahoria. Half the carrots, twice the watercress, and add rebanadas de yucca.

Dessert will be semi-sweet chocolate-coffee granita.

Isabella is of Mexican heritage. She is not Mexican. She celebrates her heritage, but she is not limited by it. She is not full vegan. Eggs and dairy she includes in her diet but no flesh.

Besides, the reader may not see every dish in the meal, but it is important that I know it. Makes the writing fluid and the reading easy.

Mexican chefs are quite inventive. I think few Americans know that their favorite salad was invented by a Mexican chef in Tijuana -- which most Americans pronounce Tia-wanna -- and is correctly spelled Cesar, not Caesar.

Anyway . . . muchismas gracias por todo su ayuda.

PS I'm thinking pinot noir to accompany the meal. How's that sound?

Offline antares

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Re: What will be in a vegetarian Mexican meal?
« Reply #10 on: June 14, 2018, 07:54:46 PM »
The final result:

Quote
The soup was crema de calabacin, potato-puree and zuchini. The main plate followed: black beans refritos on Mexican rice topped by pico de gallo and slices of avocado. The salad course followed: shredded carrot, watercress, and sliced celery and yucca on a bed of butter lettuce dressed with olive oil and lemon juice. A chocolate-coffee granita topped with a touch of sweet whipped cream comprised dessert. A Hollow Heights pinot noir accompanied the soup and main plate; sparkling water, the salad; and espresso, the dessert.

The first course was mixed berries with honeydew melon.

With the after-dinner port, Isabella served fried goat-cheese-stuffed squash blossoms.

Will that make my readers salivate?