Veggie Guy: Mexican Comfort Food

The On The Range piece about Machacado con Huevo last week brought back some old memories from my childhood.

I was born and raised in South Texas by immigrant Mexican parents. My mother was from Guanajuato, and my father migrated from San Fernando, Tamaulipas. Mom's home cooking mostly entailed easy American eats (Yeah, don't ask...), but Dad was all about Mexican comfort foods...mostly bizarre ones.

Some of Dad's funkier dishes were Huevo Perdido (a whipped porridge made of masa, water, and eggs), Arroz con Chorizo y Platano (a paella-like casserole of Mexican rice, chorizo, and banana slices), and Machacado con Huevo y Masa (cured beef sautéed with egg, and masa). I swear living with Dad was like a decade-long episode of something Anthony Bourdain would host.

But it wasn't all bad. In fact, a lot of the stuff Dad made for us growing up was downright badass!

And Chris' story gave me a hankering for some of my childhood faves.

Tamales: Over in Oak Cliff, Mexican food is aplenty, and at Veracruz, vegans can enjoy a cruelty-free taste of Mexico. Veracruz's Vegetable Tamales are made with masa, water, vegetable oil, and filled with carrots, corn, and broccoli. Tamales here are extra-tender, dressed with red salsa, and served with a side of refried vegan black beans.

Horchata: Horchata is an earthy drink made of almonds, sesame seeds, rice, barley, cinnamon, vanilla, and sometimes milk. At Bliss Raw Café & Elixir Bar, horchata is hemp seed-based, but has all of the characteristic flavors of traditional horchata. Superfood add-ins like maca and tocotrienols are supposed to boost health and vitality, but the biggest selling point is that Bliss' Hemp Horchata tastes like the real deal.

Bunuelos: To my brother Michael and me, jacket season meant one thing: Bunuelos! Yeah, they were a staple at our home any time the outdoor temp dropped below 60 degrees. Bunuelos are flour tortillas that are deep fried instead of grilled, then sprinkled with brown sugar and cinnamon. These crispy discs are typically served around the holiday season, but like flour tortillas, they often contain lard or butter. Fiesta's holiday bunuelos, however, contain no animal products. While they're not as good the ones Dad used to make, they definitely do in a pinch.

Now if only I could find some faux chicken mole around here. That would make me the happiest vegan on the planet!

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Eddie Garza