By Lucia Rivera, VRG Intern
“Family, Tradition, Cultura. All gone vegan while preserving and celebrating Mexican regional cuisine,” is the opening line of Dora Stone’s video on the best vegan Mexican recipes. Founder of the blog Dora’s Table, Dora Stone is a Mexican food photographer and recipe developer that works to spread vegan eating within the Hispanic community.
One day, I stumbled upon Dora’s Table and was thrilled. As the only person in my Mexican family to be exploring veganism, I was eager to find something like this. I love experimenting with new vegan recipes, whether for dessert or dinner, but I had never tried out a veganized Mexican recipe.
After I spent hours pursuing the website and watching enthralling videos of chiles being cooked and tamales being steamed. I soon knew that I needed to try out a recipe from Dora’s blog, and chose the jackfruit vegan pozole rojo.
Throughout my early childhood, my paternal grandmother’s pozole had been just one of the many traditional mexican dishes that reminded me of my family and my heritage. But since I became vegetarian at the age of seven – now nine years ago – I hadn’t enjoyed a bowl of pozole. So as I excitedly planned to take on this veganized pozole recipe, I went in search of the necessary ingredients, which were not those I normally used on a day to day basis. White hominy, chiles de árbol, and chiles anchos might not have been in my pantry, but I was familiar with their presence in supermarkets in the Southwestern border community I am part of.
I easily recruited my father to take me to a nearby market and connected
with him as we learned the shapes and names of the numerous chiles and spices
that were arrayed in bins next to pan dulce. After I collected all my ingredients,
including the canned jackfruit that would replace the usual meat of pozole, I
arranged my workspace on my kitchen counter and began.
Several hours later I finished the simmering, sautéing, grinding,
chopping, and mixing required in the recipe and presented the soup to my
parents. While it was not perfect, and the spices may have been a little bit
off, I smiled wide when my dad proclaimed his satisfaction. Later that week my
abuela let me know it was a bit spicy for her taste, which was unexpected but
happily taken critique.
I never expected that a blog of vegan cooking would help me connect to
my Mexican heritage, but that is exactly what Dora’s Table helped me do. Generations of women before me cooked
with the same chiles and served their families dinner proudly, and with
veganized Mexican recipes, I can now do the same.
To read recipes from Dora’s Table, follow this link to her blog: https://dorastable.com/
For more vegan Mexican recipes written in
English from The Vegetarian Resource Group see: https://www.vrg.org/journal/CookingAndRecipes.htm#cr-ethnic-mexican
For vegan Mexican and other South
American recipes in Spanish from The Vegetarian Resource Group see: https://www.vrg.org/nutshell/information_in_Spanish.htm#Recetas