I have always felt extremely lucky and proud of being hispanic, specifically Colombian, because I have been able to live and experience such an amazing culture every day. Living in South Florida you get to see everyone’s diversity manifest itself in so many awesome ways and of course food is at the top of the list! This was the main reason I thought for so long that a vegan life-style would not work for me. I would miss out on this cultural gift that I’d known my whole life. So I’d continue every day convincing myself that being a carnivore was necessary because it was all I knew….
Well ladies and gents, I am here to say I eventually and thankfully called BULLLLL SHIT on myself LOL! My mission from the beginning of my veg journey has been to continue enjoying the same foods I know but substituting the animal-based ingredients for the vegan alternatives. Guess what? It is not as crazy difficult as it seems!
Since I can remember my family has always had the same breakfast meal every Sunday morning: “Huevos Pericos” (tomato and onion omelet), “Arepas de Queso” (corn-flour patties filled with cheese), and Colombian hot chocolate.
Today I am sharing with you how easy it is to make this meal vegan and it even looks and tastes almost identical!
Usually the family dynamic is that my dad makes the eggs, my sister and I help my grandma make the arepas, and my mom makes the hot chocolate. But if its just one person making it all I would recommend making the arepas first because they take the longest to cook through.
Ingredients: 5 SERVINGS
- 1 Cup P.A.N. white corn meal
- ½ Tsp salt
- 1 ½ Cup water
- 5 Slices Field Roast Chao “Creamy Original” Cheese
- Vegan butter (I usually use Earth Balance’s Soy-free Buttery Spread)
- Pour water into a mixing bowl
- Add salt and corn meal gradually
- Knead until a smooth dough is formed and let sit for 3 minutes
- Separate dough into 5 portions
- Take one portion in your hands and shape into a ball
- With thumbs create a crater and continue pressing dough to the sides to make hole wider
- Cut each slice of cheese into smaller pieces and place inside the arepa dough crater
- Fold sides of the dough inward to close the arepa so that the cheese is inside, not to be seen
- press with palms to form a large patty shape
- Spread about a teaspoon of vegan butter onto a frying pan between low and medium heat
- When melted make sure the entire pan is coated and place arepas in frying pan
- Cook for 5-7 minutes on each side or until golden-brown
While the arepas are cooking you can get started on the “eggs” so that everything is ready at the same time.
Ingredients: 5 SERVINGS
- 6 Tbsp Follow Your Heart VeganEgg powder
- 1 ½ Cup ice-cold water
- 2 Long green onions, minced
- 1 Large tomato, minced
- 1 Tsp olive oil
If you haven’t tried Follow Your VeganEgg, you must go to the store and purchase it immediately! It is honestly mind-blowing how close to real scrambled eggs it not only looks like but tastes like as well.
- Pour olive oil on skillet over medium heat
- Add onion and tomato
- Let simmer over medium heat for 2-3 minutes
- Whisk VeganEgg powder and water until smooth
- Pour mixture into skillet and immediately begin to scramble with tomato and onion
- Scramble frequently and evenly with spatula for 6-8 minutes or until eggs are firm
Colombians drink this hot chocolate year-round for breakfast, or as a mid-morning or mid-afternoon snack! This might seem like a strange combination but hot chocolate is the perfect sweet touch to this delicious breakfast combination. Although there are a couple of brands available in the U.S. our favorite is the Corona brand. The chocolate comes in a hard bar form and melts into liquid when combined with water or milk.
Ingredients: 5 SERVINGS
- 5 bars of Corona Chocolate (TIP: can break off against an edge of a table or counter)
- 5 Cups of soy milk (TIP: always use soy milk because almond milk burns if boiled)
- Place chocolate bars in a medium sized sauce pan. We use something called an “olleta” which in Colombia is specifically used to prepare hot chocolate or other hot beverages (Pictured below)
- Pour soy milk into sauce pan and stir rapidly as the chocolate melts so that it does not stay/stick to the bottom
- Let sit over medium heat for 5-10 minutes while hot chocolate reaches boiling point
- Note: ALWAYS keep an eye on the hot chocolate because once it reaches its boiling point it rises very quickly and will probably spill over the edge of the sauce pan
- Once it boils, serve
At this point the three parts to this typical Colombian breakfast are warm and ready to be enjoyed by yourself or by your family. My family can spend hours around a table munching on this meal while telling stories, jokes, or even having a bit of banter HAHAHA! Although extremely cliché, this tradition always brings the family together on Sunday mornings. Perhaps next week you all can give it a go. Let me know how it turns out!