How to Make a Vegan Tex-Mex Feast: Dips and Tortillas

Vegan food—that is, food that contains no animal products, whether meat, dairy, or egg—doesn’t have to be a chore, either to create or to eat. In fact, with just a few simple substitutions, anyone can make delicious vegan meals for any occasion.

Here is an easy set of recipes to make a Tex-Mex feast for everyone who is invited to your dinner party; the vegans and vegetarians at the table will be forever grateful for the wide array of choices that fit their dietary restrictions, and the omnivores will be amazed by the fact that every delicious dish is completely lacto, ovo, and carne-free.

Tex-Mexican Dishes that Require No Substitutions

There are a lot of Mexican dishes that are ready-made for a vegan diet, including two fundamental components of a Tex-Mexican feast: pico de gallo and guacamole.

Pico De Gallo

  • 2 cups cored, peeled, seeded, chopped tomatoes
  • 1 cup chopped scallions or onions
  • 1/2 tsp minced garlic
  • 2 tbsp lime juice
  • 1/4 cup minced cilantro
  • Salt and black pepper to taste
  • Chopped hot chilies, chili powder, or red pepper flakes, to taste
  1. Combine the ingredients together in a medium-sized bowl
  2. Let sit for at least an hour before serving

Makes about 2 cups.

Guacamole

  • 1 large avocado
  • 1 tbsp minced garlic
  • 1/2 cup chopped onion or scallion
  • 1/2 cup chopped Roma tomato
  • Juice of 1 whole lime
  • Salt and black pepper to taste
  • Chopped hot chilies, chili powder, or red pepper flakes, to taste

Combine the ingredients together in a medium-sized bowl.

Makes about 2 cups.

Tex-Mex Staples Made Vegan

Many other aspects of the Tex-Mex meal, however, are traditionally made with ingredients such as rendered pork fat or chicken stock. And, of course, many if not most dinner guests will not be satisfied without something approaching cheese or sour cream on the table. With this in mind, here are a few staples of the Tex-Mex meal that can be easily made vegan with some simple substitutions.

The traditional fat used to make tortillas is lard; the “updated traditional” ingredient is butter. Both, of course, are forbidden in the vegan diet. The easiest way to get around this restriction is to buy lard-free tortillas at the store; making your own tortillas, however, is a lot easier than you might think, and they taste so much better than store-bought that the small amount of extra work required is well worth it.

Making Your Own Vegan Tortillas

  • 1 and 1/2 cups flour
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 2 tbsp neutral vegetable oil, such as canola or safflower
  • 1/2 cup warm water
  1. Using either a food processor or in a large bowl, combine the flour and salt.
  2. Add the oil.
  3. Add the water a little bit at a time, until the dough holds together.
  4. Knead the dough on a lightly floured surface until it’s very elastic.You can add more flour, a little at a time, if the dough is sticking.
  5. Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and leave it at room temperature for several hours.
  6. Divide the dough into six pieces
  7. Roll each piece as thin as possible into a disc about eight inches across
  8. On a skillet pre-warmed over medium heat, cook the tortillas
  9. When those brown spots you see on store-bought tortillas begin to form, flip the tortillas and cook the other side.

Serve warm, or cut into smaller pieces and bake or fry in oil for your own homemade tortilla chips!


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