Month: May 2011

Cinco de Mayo

This month in honor of Cinco de Mayo, we did the veggie dinner Mexican style! Our host for this month’s dinner, yours truly, Eshé. I am a west coast girl so Mexican food is one of my favorites! The great thing about this dinner is that (with the exception of dessert), it’s vegan! What was on the menu? Glad you asked.

The Menu

  • Appetizer – Chips and Guacamole
  • Main Course – Veggie Tacos
  • Drink – Virgin Margaritas
  • Dessert – Cake and Ice Cream (okay so we deviated from the theme…)

Virgin Margaritas

  • Limeade
  • Orange Juice
  • 4 large grape fruits

Juice the grapefruits and combine with limeade and OJ to taste (Jennifer our fabulous bartender did an amazing job!)


Chips — Purchase your favorite tortilla chips from your local grocery store, I am partial to Red Hot Blues which are the best. chips. EVER!


  • 5 ripe avocados
  • 1/3 purple onion, finely chopped
  • 1 red bell pepper, finely chopped
  • 1 ear of fresh sweet corn, remove from the cob
  • 2 handfuls of cilantro, finely chopped
  • 2 limes, juiced
  • 1/2 cup black olives, chopped
  • Garlic powder
  • Seasoned Salt
  • Pepper

Skin the avocados and remove the seeds. Combine the avocados and lime juice in a large bowl and mash (a potato masher will do the job) until you have reached the desired texture (I prefer a little chunky). Add onions, bell pepper, olives, corn, and cilantro and mix. Add salt, garlic powder, and pepper to taste.

Main Course

Spices you will need:

  • Sea salt
  • Black Pepper
  • Cumin
  • Ground cayenne pepper
  • Garlic powder
  • Honey
  • Bragg (a must have for every veggie kitchen!)
  • Olive oil

Calabacitas (sort of — used as a taco filler)

  • 2 Jalapenos, finely chopped
  • 3 habanero peppers, finely chopped
  • 1/2 red bell pepper, finely chopped
  • 1 white onion, finely chopped
  • 8 cloves of garlic, finely minced
  • 1 pkg firm tofu, cubed and drained
  • 2 zucchini, chopped
  • 2 yellow squash, chopped

Add olive oil (~2 tbsp) in a pan and add tofu. Stir in Bragg, cayenne pepper and cumin to taste, allow to simmer on medium heat for ~10 minutes. Add garlic, onions, peppers, and bell pepper, stir and allow to cook for ~5 minutes. Add zucchini and squash drizzle on about 1/2 tbsp of honey, add additional seasoning to taste, continually stir and allow to cook for ~10 minutes or until squash and zucchini are tender, cover and remove from heat.

Black Beans (used as a taco filling)
A crockpot will be your best friend to make your black beans. Combine 1 lb of black beans (rinsed and sorted) with about 3 times as much water (I eyeball these things, apologies), and add salt, cayenne pepper, garlic powder, and black pepper to taste. Set your crockpot to cook on high for 6 hours.

Cilantro Lime Rice (also for taco filling)

  • 1 bag of long-grain brown rice
  • 2 handfuls of cilantro
  • 2 limes, juiced

A rice cooker is also a must-have! Combine the bag of rice with the appropriate amount of water (typically 1 part water to 2 parts rice). This will cook for approximately 40 minutes. When the rice is ready, stir in sea salt, pepper, and lime juice to taste!

Tortilla shells

  • 2 pkgs blue corn tortillas (purchased from Trader Joe’s)

In a pan on medium heat, add olive oil and fry the taco shell on each side, folding in half once it is soft enough to do so (otherwise it will break). When the taco shell is slightly crispy, remove from heat and shake excess oil. Place in a paper towel-lined pan to allow remaining oil to absorb. Repeat for as many taco shells as you need (we did 2 per person…well, Sheldon only got 1 taco…sorry Sheldon!)


  • 5 tomatoes chopped
  • 1/2 lb sliced spinach
  • Pico de gallo (you can make it fresh…we bought it from Whole Foods)

Build your tacos:

In your taco shell, combine beans, rice, calabacitas, tomatoes, spinach, guacamole, and pico de gallo IN THAT ORDER (small joke), and enjoy! Be prepared to get messy…

For dessert, we were treated to a very tasty whole wheat vanilla cake from Whole Foods and Banana split ice cream, topped with fresh bananas!

This dinner was truly an exercise in collective cooking. There was so much chopping that needed doing, we used ALL of my cutting boards! It felt like Iron Chef in that kitchen 🙂 Team work made the dream work, and what a tasty dream it was. Join us next month as we travel to the home of our next host…Sheldon!