Simple Migas…Brownsville Style


I spent much of my childhood watching cooking shows, experimenting in the kitchen, and gossiping with my grandmother while she prepared some fabulous meals! Not terribly exciting, but I grew up in Brownsville, Texas, after all. My grandmother is from a small Mexican village, where simplicity is valued, and native cuisine is a concoction of indigenous foods with a Spanish twist. One of my favorite breakfast dishes growing up was my grandmother’s simple, yet delicious migas! Grandma prepared her migas with freshly made corn tortillas, scrambled eggs, and a few Latin spices. Not overloaded with flavors, the simple dish made it possible for all of my family members to dress the dish to our own liking. My mother and aunt Sylvia usually topped theirs with a salsa picante and cheese (chilaquiles style), and my brother Michael and I often picked out most of the egg (we had a funny thing about eggs) and topped the remainder with ketchup…don’t knock it ’til you try it. A recent conversation with my mother about the dish inspired me to create a vegan version for myself…ketchup included! The dish is quite simple.

Migas Base
4 corn tortillas (cut in small squares)
1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil
1 pinch sea salt

Scramble
6 oz Mori-Nu Extra Firm Tofu
1/2 teaspoon turmeric
1 small garlic clove (minced)
1 pinch cumin powder
sea salt to taste
black pepper to taste
1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil
In a small skillet, sauté tortilla squares until lightly crisp. In a separate skillet, combine scramble ingredients and sauté evenly. Combine all ingredients and top as you wish…get crazy, even!

Swiss "Chicken" Enchiladas

I recently took a road trip to Austin with some friends and was lucky enough to sample some great vegan Tex-Mex food. Consequently, I returned to Dallas with a craving for more, so I decided to pull out an old favorite. Feel free to get creative with fillings. The basic recipe works well with baked tofu, tempeh, or any other meat alternative. For a healthier twist, try using a variation of mushrooms or hearty greens.

10 small whole wheat or multi-grain tortillas

Swiss Sauce
14.5 oz can of diced tomatoes with green chilies
8 oz tub of Tofutti Better Than Sour Cream

Enchilada Filling
2 tbsp high-heat oil such as sunflower or canola
1 large red onion (finely diced)
1 large green bell pepper (finely diced)
1 tbsp whole cumin seeds (or 1 tsp ground cumin powder)
2 large cloves of garlic (minced)
1 tsp red pepper flakes
8 oz diced seitan
4 oz tomato puree
½ block (5 oz) shredded Follow Your Heart Monterrey Jack Cheese Alternative
sea salt and pepper to taste

Topping

Additional ½ block shredded Follow Your Heart Monterrey Jack Cheese Alternative
Smoked Spanish paprika

Pre-heat oven to 325 degrees. Set tortillas aside in a relatively warm area to make more pliable upon filling.

In a medium blender or food processor, combine canned tomatoes/green chillies and sour cream alternative. Process until consistency is even in color and texture and set mixture in the refrigerator.

In a large skillet, sautée diced onion on medium heat until onion is almost translucent. Add bell pepper, cumin, garlic, and red pepper flakes until bell pepper becomes a bright green color. Add seitan and increase heat to med-high, constantly stirring to brown seitan evenly. Add tomato puree and 5 oz. shredded cheese alternative. Mix thoroughly until “cheese” is mostly melted. Remove skillet from heat and turn heat off. Add sea salt to taste and mix thoroughly.

Lightly coat 2 small roasting pans with high-heat oil. Fill tortillas with enchilada filling and roll taut, placing tortilla folds at the bottom of each pan. Repeat process until all tortillas have been filled. Generously coat filled tortillas with Swiss Sauce. Top evenly with the remaining shredded cheese alternative. Bake for 10-12 minutes. Set oven to broil and watch enchiladas closely. Broil ONLY until cheese alternative is lightly browned and melted. Remove pans from oven and lightly sprinkle with paprika.

Austinist runs my post about vegan enchiladas

It’s a tough job, but someone’s got to do it. I’ve spent the last eight months on a quest to try as many vegan enchiladas as possible, and here are the results.

Plenty of Austin publications routinely print lists of the best and most popular (which aren’t always the same thing) Mexican and Tex-Mex restaurants in town. When was the last time anyone bothered to ask vegans?

Right, right – the words “vegan” and “enchilada” are mutually exclusive. After all, vegans don’t want enchiladas con carne, or with sour cream sauce, or even with cheese. But being vegan does not preclude being a hungry Texan, and for lucky Austinites, the options are perhaps shockingly numerous.

Continue reading here.

Guero’s grilled veggie enchiladas, rice, beans, and guacamole.

Queso: the Holy Grail of vegan Tex-Mex?


Wheatsville Deli at Wheatville Food Co-op in Austin has vegan queso. Ingredients include Ro-Tel tomatoes, nutritional yeast, organic unbleached flour, vegan margarine, garlic powder, cumin
sea salt, and water. If you’ve been vegan a little while and like nooch, you’ll love this. I usually reheat it in a little bowl like this and lustily scoop it up with tortilla chips with both hands.