So now that we are in December you are probably in the midst of “bulking” season (a.k.a. annual weight gain due to holiday eating and not giving a fuck) LOL! And guess what we are just going to keep it going all through December because I have a bunch of sweets and delicious meals planned for this month! Today’s recipe is one of my all-time favorite desserts which I learned to make from my grandma. If you are Hispanic or are familiar with Latino culture (primarily food culture), you know that rice pudding, or arroz con leche is a classic sweet, loved by all! So if you are excited to see this turned vegan or you are simply intrigued, keep scrolling for the full recipe!
Born and raised in South Florida, Cuban food tastes like home to me. It’s funny because whether you are Hispanic, American, Asian, European, etc., if you are a South Florida local you know every Cuban dish in the book! Cuban cuisine was another very difficult thing for me to even think about giving up to go vegan. Luckily, most of the traditional sides are vegan or can easily be made vegan. With this specific meal it is actually extremely easy to include the pan-fried chicken because products like Gardien’s Chick’n Scallopini are a damn blessing!
Although from a Colombian family I love and appreciate foods from other Hispanic countries. One of my favorite snacks has always been Argentinian empanadas. The flaky, yet crispy crust and delicious fillings are something I constantly crave. In order to satisfy that craving I used to go and pick some up from the Argentinian bakery, but since they traditionally have meat and dairy ingredients, I now have to create my own!
Growing up I was fortunate enough to always have a home-cooked meal every night. My mom learned the basics from her grandmother and my sister and I have learned from her. One of those basic, traditional Colombian meals that I absolutely love is the Sudado de Pollo, or Chicken Stew. Every sudado is different because different families create their own versions. My family’s recipe includes: chicken, yuca, corn on the cob, white rice, and patacones, or fried green banana plantains. Of course I’ve had to make a few changes here and there to the original recipe to make it vegan, but if I may say so myself, it turned out pretty damn good!
Mexican food has always been in my top five favorite cuisines. Honestly, I think it’s in everyone’s top five favorites and if not, it should be! Because of Mexico’s proximity to the U.S., there are Mexican restaurants in almost every city of every state. We also have a bunch of “Mexican” chain restaurants booming across the states, but what many don’t realize is that most of these places are extremely americanized.
“Tex Mex” cuisine has the same basic ideas and names as the original Mexican dishes, but caters to what the typical American would actually eat or find more delicious. For example, true Mexican tacos do not have a hard shell, they are actually made with soft corn tortillas. Also, authentic tacos don’t include cheese, lettuce and tomato as toppings, which is how every Southwestern restaurant serves them. Don’t get me wrong, Americanized tacos are a munchies dream! But real deal Mexican tacos are a different type of fresh and amazing!
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….