The Official Viva Vegan! recipe review (to be updated).
New book by Terry! Very excited. It does look slightly more complicated than I'm used to, with the longer techniques, but I'm ready for a challenge!
A Few Essential Latino Vegan Recipes
Annatto infused oil
I was thinking that if I didn't notice a difference with the oil, I probably wouldn't do this again because it's a bit of a process; mainly because of the staining, and the fact that it's oil, so it sticks to everything. I doubled the recipe, because I wanted to use the bottle for the finished oil. It was a beautiful dark dark orange. I loved it in the rice! I'll do it again sometime. (AC)
Very purdy color! It made my rice purdy as well. I do agree with AC that it stains things so be careful but I thought it was very easy to make. (amymylove)
Basic onion pepper sofrito
I made a quarter of this recipe because I didn't want a ton, and it worked out pretty well (the same time on the stove worked). I used mini bells (red, orange, yellow) and red onion, and it came out very sweet. The bell pepper flavor mellows out a lot. It's so tasty (sweet + greasy) that I'd like to eat it alone or with bread, but it feels too decadent. (fb)
Maybe I didn't dice the veggies fine enough but I had way more than 1.5 cups. I would have blended it if my blender worked. Doesn't look or taste like the sofrito a PR co-worker gave me one time. Still it worked in the recipe I used it for, but now I have tons leftover. I might freeze it because that's what my coworker does. (tweety)
I made this once... It was alright, makes a ton, and i would rather just add bell peppers, onions, and garlic to recipes instead of making this... makes too much (amymylove)
Sofrito con aji
Sofrito con cilantro and achiote
Sofrito con tomate
Sofrito with spices
I added the cumin, coriander, and paprika. Yummy! I didn't taste any on its own (can imagine what it tastes like), but it was a great addition to the Venezuelan beans. Oily, but there's no other oil in the beans. I made a portion of the recipe, but I can see how it would be good to make a big batch to have on hand. (AC)
Chorizo seitan sausages
Easy to make. I made these to go in the Drunken Beans with Seitan Chorizo, but I had some extra sausages, so I froze them for later. This is really convenient as long as you take the time to defrost them in the freezer before mealtime. They have great flavor on their own...ate them sauteed in a little oil alongside Peruvian Potatoes with Spicy "Cheezy" Sauce. (kristinv)
These came out pretty soft, but not stretchy like raw gluten or anything. They're spicy, but not over the top, and go well as a fake meat in various things (so far, tofu scramble, taquitos, and pizza), and they have a pretty strong tomato flavor. (fb)
not that hard to make and very tasty. I followed the recipe precisely. I used the annatto-infused oil with grapeseed oil and crushed annatto seeds and used that. (Tweety)
The taste is delicious but the texture is a bit too soft. I tried frying it in slices but I just felt like it wasn't firm enough. Anyone else have the same sentiment? (intheend)
I like them, but everyone is right about the texture - a bit softer than I would have liked, and I baked them for an extra 15 minutes trying to avoid this....I used chipotle seasoning instead of cayenne because I was out and it was extremely smoky and spicy - next time I'd try to tweek it a little to get the texture a bit firmer... (erinmonster)
Very good! I may like these even more than the chorizo from VB. (dannibazaar)
(made by oww) Delicious, really enjoyed it. (shelloid)
I agree that they were a bit soft, but they fried up nicely. I loved being able to vary the flavours and spice. Delicious! I have used it with the Potato-Kale soup (Caldo Verde). (blinknoodle)
I've made these twice now, awesome flavor, but i think they cook better if you make them into 8 sausages instead of 6... they don't cook to the right texture in the specified time with 6 (amymylove)
Very good... not amazing but good enough to make again. (thirteenblackbirds)
Hot aji chorizo
This is the best seitan I've made! So good. I followed the directions using aji panca. I didn't measure the spices, and next time will add some more cayenne..or more heat. I used the annatto oil, which I love (it actually didn't stain my hands even with all the kneading). After first mixing, it really seemed to loose, so I added a bit more VWG. The measurement for the foil pieces is too big! I ripped mine in half, and that was plenty. Baked for 35, and planned to let them set until dinner, but P wanted some for lunch. They definitely didn't set out for 40 minutes, and were still warm, but great. I even liked it before sauteing (which I don't know that it needs). Flavor is good (just needs more spice), and the texture was great. P thought I bought them! Love. I think the texture might be better with the added VWG? Just a few tbs. (AC)
Steamed red seitan
I like this one better, and it might just be due to the hefty amount of ketchup in the ingredients. It's more savory and has a stronger flavor. I could eat it on its own, in a sandwich... pretty good stuff. I used it for anticuchos and saltado. (fb)
This has a "softer", less chewy texture than the seitan recipes I'm used to. It was good, though! And best of all, it's another easy recipe that you can prepare ahead of time and have seitan ready to go for a quick meal. (kristinv)
This was alright. I'm not a huge fan of the texture and wouldn't make it again. (intheend)
was quite pleased with how this turned out because it was very moist going into the steamer. Like the reviewer above, it was a bit soft, but was good. (tweety)
I read on PPK that someone else steamed it for an additional 15 minutes and that it improves the texture. I did that and I am in love with it ever since. (intheend)
Wow AMAZING!!!! I only took a bite out of one of the "steaks" since I am saving these puppies for empanadas tomorrow but WOW! One of my new favorite ways to make seitan!!! The seitan was a bit different texture-wise as I was kneading it but it worked out. TRY THESE!!! (amymylove)
very good seitan. i can't really say a whole lot b/c it was my first time making seitan, but i was really pleased with the result. i think i added more wheat gluten than it called for, and i steamed it for like 45 minutes (based on the suggestion above). (thirteenblackbirds)
good, a tad bit on the soft side - very similar to the chorizo sausages, just less spicy....I halved the recipe, thinking it was going to make a ton and it really didn't - next time I'll make the full batch. (erinmonster)
This tastes great. I steamed it for 45 minutes, per the reviews above, and the texture is good. It's still extra moist though. It was so wet while I was mixing it, I thought maybe I measured something wrong. (veggydog)
Made it because Amy made me, (from all her delicious looking pics on her blog,) Yep, its awesome....I let mine totally cool overnight in the fridge, and the texture was firm, not at all spongy, thank goodness! I even made a double batch, used some for tacos, and some as breaded veggie nuggets. i steamed for about an hour, because I am lazy and I HATE spongy seitan, and it was perfect! (babysgotsauce)
Glad I finally had everything to make this, barely. I had to 1/2 the recipe due to low VWG, and had to use regular flour. I was afraid it wouldn't come out! It looked like it would be too bready, and too wet, but it came together. I tried to follow the directions closely. The flavor is great, and the color is beautiful. I also steamed for 45 minutes, and baked in the foil for another 15. It's 100% better after chilling, so don't skip that. Great as is, great fried and crispy. (AC)
I was very concerned when I made the dough as it was super super wet, but I persevered anyway. Once cooked I loved the flavour and soft texture. However on cooking it up in a sauce I found it did break down quite a bit. I will be making this again but will either add more gluten flour, wrap it tighter or cook for longer to firm it up a bit. I liked the addition of cumin, as I've never added that to seitan before. (shelloid)
These were okay. They did the job just fine, but by no means my favorite way to do seitan. I'll be trying the white ones soon, though. (andini)
I am reluctant to say that I did not like this at all. The texture was so awful to the extent that it nauseated me. Maybe I'll try making it again, increasing the steaming time. But I threw out this batch. Just plain...bad. Then again, I'm not really big on seitan, I mush prefer tofu and tempeh. (dannibazaar)
Steamed white seitan
Eh, it's cool I guess. I think it could use a little more seasoning... maybe some soy sauce as the liquid, more herbs? It has a bit of a subtle flavor that, when used in another dish, it pretty much gets covered up. It gets pretty firm by being steamed, but I still prefer baking seitan in a water bath; steaming makes it a little gummier. I do appreciate, though, that it's a functional, quicker recipe, and doesn't use a partial can of beans like the sausages from Vegan Brunch. (fb)
This is my favorite seitan!! It is now my go-to recipe. (intheend)
Amazing seitan but I like the Red Seitan better. (amymylove)
tastes like seitan....I made 2 big loaves instead of 4 and steamed for 45 minutes - this was firmer than the red seitan, and I almost think I liked it better.... (erinmonster)
My head must have been somewhere else during cooking time, because I pretty much messed this up. It actually came out pretty tasty, but I didn't adequately measure ingredients (which I don't feel comfortable doing with seitan), I didn't have the time to let it chill after steaming, and it ended up almost burning in my pot. That being said, it was easy to put together, and the flavor is pretty good. Texture will probably get better overnight, but it's not my favorite. The steaming method is not my favorite because I don't have a good steamer, and I never understand why she calls for such huge foil pieces! (AC)
Salsas and Condiementos
This was okay on it's own but when it's on top of something it blends right in. (intheend)
Ughhh this was so disgusting... I wonder if I did something wrong?!? I took a little taste and ended up throwing the whole thing out. Yuck! (amymylove)
Chimichurri sauce with smoked paprika
holy moses this is garlicky. It's a very strongly-flavored sauce all over, and very thick. I like everything in it (cilantro, garlic, parsley, etc), so it's good, and I don't think you need a whole lot to flavor something. (fb)
I cut down on the garlic, because we just had the green sauce with is also really garlicky. I think I used 3 cloves..so still pretty garlicky. We don't normally like fresh parsley, but it works with everything else here. I don't have smoked paprika, so I used regular + a drop of liquid smoke. I added more red pepper flakes, because I wanted to use this in a soup to spice it up. I don't know that I would want to dip something in this (maybe), but it worked so well in a bean and veggie soup that I made. I thinned it down quite a bit with water. (AC)
Chocolate chile mole sauce (A oaxacan wannabe)
Very time consuming but it makes a lot so it's worth it. I grew up eating black mole imported from Mexico so I'm really picky. I liked this recipe and would make it again but I wouldn't say it's my favorite. But if you're not as discriminating as I am, I think you would really dig this. (intheend)
I didn't really like this. I'm pretty sure I got the proportions right, but I felt that there was (gasp!) too much chocolate. Not necessarily too much cocoa flavor, but it was too sweet. I used the Abuelita chocolate, so perhaps other brands are less sugary. Still, I would rather just use cocoa and then sweeten as needed. Also, this recipe makes a boatload of sauce. (fb)
Classic roasted tomatillo salsa
Pretty good. Sweet-sour, easy to adjust spiciness. I made this with large tomatillos, but I probably would have preferred the small type... the large ones have a fruitier taste. Good recipe, but nothing too "omg!" about it. (fb)
Be careful with this one...you really need a broiler-safe pan. I'm still trying to scrub all the burnt tomatillo juices off of one of my pans. The salsa tasted really fresh and green, probably due to the cilantro. Very yummy! (kristinv)
This is pretty good though not spicy enough for me (I used 3 jalapenos with seeds), I swear it tastes like it has lime in it but I guess that's how tamatillos taste? I give it 4 out of 5 stars but I probably won't hassle with making it again. (amymylove)
Roasted tomato salsa
Creamy avocado tomato salsa (Venezuelan guasacaca)
Yummy, yummy, yummy. This is not too, too different from a guacamole, but it's delicious. I didn't mash mine a lot, because I wanted to really taste the avocado. I love all the flavors, and used sriracha for the hot sauce. I used lemon juice and some white wine vinegar. No parsley, but cilantro. Will make again. (AC)
This is a bit closer to what I think of as guacamole. It's pretty well-balanced, so though I usually eat avocado-type things with salsa, it didn't need it here. (fb)
I really wasn't expecting much, other than a guacamole type salsa, but OMG the sum of these ingredients is equal to is parts because it came together so freakin' deliciously. I used lime juice and not vinegar and cut back on the onions some and used cilantro and not parsley and used tabasco for the hot optional hot sauce. Loved this. (tweety)
Fresh tomato salsa with roasted chiles
Dried chile salsa
Green onion salsa
I was afraid this would be too oniony. I mean, look at the name. But it wasn't. Instead, it was waaay too vinegary. I should have added vinegar/lime to taste, but oh well. Definitely needs to be combined with guacamole or something mild, or may otherwise be ulcer-inducing. (fb)
Green tomatillo sauce
A pretty regular tomatillo sauce. I thought it might be too watery, but it worked fine for the purposes of the potato-chickpea enchiladas. It would probably need to have less water to be a salsa or something though. (fb)
I usually make my own tomatillo sauce and decided to try this one. I did not like it at all but my family did- so I guess it was just me. (intheend)
I am in love with this stuff. I skip some steps though. I just boil the tamatillos and throw them in the blender with the rest of the ingredients (I did this the first time and the second time I looked at the recipe I realized I had missed steps) and it tastes perfect to me... Amazing as salsa as well! (amymylove)
Habanero melon papaya salsa
Peanut sauce (Salsa de mani)
For the "milk" I used some leftover light coconut milk, and I added some salt and cayenne. It came out pretty greasy... ok, it's peanut sauce, but the coconut milk might have actually been a bad idea, and maybe I should have avoided using the oil called for in prepping the onions. But, I liked it (just very heavy - it's thick!). (fb)
this was just okay. i thought it mainly tasted too much of cumin and needed more flavors. i've only ever had asian-style peanut sauces, and maybe they are just my preference. i won't make this again. (thirteenblackbirds)
Pickled red onions
These are pretty good, kind of citrus-y flavored and not really onion-y. I have tried them on a sandwich and they were a good edition. I can't wait to try them as a taco topping. I also had them on nachos (with some Red Seitan and vegweb's melty cheese) and they were yummy. (amymylove)
Very citrusy, but other than the eggplant torta I made them for, I wasn't sure what else to do with them. (andini)
Pine nut crema
This is so delicious! It was about my favorite part of the whole meal. I was a little bitter buying pine nuts, because they are so expensive, and I've never loved them more than any other nuts, BUT the $6+ 1/2 cup was worth it for this. It gets much smoother than a cashew cream, and the flavor is perfect. I put lots of dollops on top of the spicy tortilla casserole, and had some leftover for topping. I tried to broil it, but my pine nuts got done before anything happened to the crema. I don't know if I love it that much more when it's baked, but I love it, period. Will make again. (AC)
Really good. The pine nuts add a nice richness normally absent from tofu, and because it's rich a little goes a long way. If pine nuts weren't so expensive, I'd probably use them instead of cashews for all 'cheesy' things because they went so well here. (fb)
Red chile sauce
This stuff is really good! I made it to go along with my tamales but yummmmm I wonder what else I can mix it in! (amymylove)
A bit different from the recipe because I used fresh garden chiles. I wasn't sure about the heat in them, so I removed the seeds in quite a few. I just sauteed them with the onions and stuff. I followed the directions otherwise, but added a splash of chipotle sauce. Yummy! Mine came out with just the right amount of heat, and the flavor is really good. (AC)
This was good even though we doubled the tomatoes by mistake. Deseeded the Ancho chilis so this wasn't spicy in the slightest! Worked well with the tamales. (blinknoodle)
Simple Latin tomato sauce
I made this to eat with the Farmer's Market tamales. I used canned stewed tomatoes, so it would up a little sweet. At first I was considering not adding the lime at the end, but I did, and I like that it adds a little bit (but not too much) of a tang. I think it depends on what form of tomato you use though... maybe if you use not-super-ripe fresh ones, it won't need it. Anyway, this seems like a pretty versatile sauce you could even use on pasta. Though it has cumin, it's not so strong that this couldn't go with anything. A whole recipe of this worked well for a half recipe of tamales. (fb)
I used crushed tomatoes and I loved the texture. The taste goes so well with the pupusas. I have some left over that I'm going to put on top of some fried tofu. (intheend)
So good, so green dipping sauce (Green aji sauce)
This sauce was pretty awesome! I used it as a dip for my new batch of Sweet & Spicy Seitan-Potato Empanadas (As advised by Terry). I added probably doubled the vegan mayo cause I love my sauces creamy. This also makes a yummy salad dressing! I would also wait to add the water to make sure you really need it. (amymylove)
soooo delicious!! my husband and I loved this. i didn't add the cilantro or water, and probably added more lettuce and more mayo (wasn't measuring). i can't believe how easy it is to make this sauce! (thirteenblackbirds)
This is the most vibrant green! I put it in my vitamix and it looked awesome on top of the mashed potato pancakes. The taste is perfect also. (intheend)
Really good! It's surprising that something mostly made of... lettuce... can be so tasty. The seasonings are spot-on. I used most of it as a salad dressing, which is weird, using lettuce as a dressing for lettuce, but it's tangy & herby so it works. The lettuce gives it a very "fresh" taste. (fb)
Made this for the empanadas. It's good! Nice and fresh and easy. I used 1/2 a large/hot jalapeno. It tasted spicy when I first tasted it, but then wasn't really that spicy over all..could have used more. I didn't add any extra water. My mom said she thought the romaine brought the freshness down a bit, but I liked it. I might have added a bit too much. I'd make this again. (AC)
Spicy salsa golf
The only guacamole recipe I ever make
I was slightly skeptical when I made this, because it doesn't have any garlic! I usually make my guac with garlic, and no onion, but this actually came out tasting quite similar. I used 1 jalapeno, and it was spicier than I wanted for guac. Pretty tasty, but I'll use my regular recipe. (AC)
I used 3 smaller avocados instead of 2 regular, didn't add the full amount of lime or salt, and it came out pretty limey/salty. Next time I'll just add to taste. Yeah, like any guacamole recipe, it's guacamole... pretty much always should be made to taste, right? (fb)
Like AC I was skeptical of a guac that doesn't contain garlic, as I always always add it. But it came out good without it, not great though, just good. I liked the addition of cilantro, which I don't usually add to guac. May use again, but would add a bit of garlic or garlic powder. (shelloid)
^ Love me some elotes! I cut mine off the cob <3
Didn't know that's what they were called. Never heard of them before. Loved them.
Amy, I bet there's a lot from this book you haven't reviewed?
stop calling me out today! geeseeeee <3
nah i haven't made her version of what is pretty much elotes... i prefer the easy method corn+mayo+pico de gallo (chili seasoning)... i'll double check though to see if i forgot to review some stuffs as this is my fave cookbook :)
Cilantro citrus vinaigrette: I made this, sort of. I used part oil-substitution (from Bryanna Clark Grogans Almost fat free cookbook) and parsley + coriander instead of cilantro. I liked the orange juice in this, this time I did half lime/half orange but next time I think I'll make it with just orange juice.
Classic cabbage: Very good! One of the tastiest cabbage salads I've made I think (that hasn't been coleslaw). Had it with gallo pinto, but I think it would work well with tacos too.
Basic beans from scratch: This was the first time I'd cooked beans, and I think it turned out very well. Definetely tastes better than canned beans! But I agree with the above reviews, the stated cooking time is too long. I cooked the beans for a little less than two hours and they were almost too soft. But I soaked my beans for longer than 8 hours.
Costa Rican refried rice and beans (Gallo pinto): Gallo Pinto is absolutely my favorite rice dish. I could easily eat this at least once a day for the rest of my life. But those of you who don't use salsa lizano, you're really missing out! I add about 3 tablespoons salsa lizano when cooking, and then top with some extra when serving. I also add a tablespoon of toasted sesame oil along with the beans and spices. This is what makes the perfect gallo pinto! My sister, who has lived in Costa Rica for quite some time always use toasted sesame oil when she makes gallo pinto. Try it! (And don't use quite as much oil for frying if you don't want too much fat). I also use home cooked beans, brown rice, 1 teaspoon liquid smoke instead of 1/2, an extra clove of garlic and more salt. Since I didn't have any cilantro (and don't like it much anyway), I subbed it with parsley and 1/2 tsp coriander.
Do tell Eldsjal, what is "salsa lizano".
Do tell Eldsjal, what is "salsa lizano".
It's like Costa Rican ketchup, liquid gold... I put it on everything, everything!
Never have seen that! Must have some now!
Never have seen that! Must have some now!
Yes, you must!
Mexican side street corn - i loved these. i used wildwood garlic aioli so mine was pretty garlicky and delicious. can't wait to make these again.
Costa Rican refried rice and beans (Gallo pinto) - excellent. I definitely want to make this again.
Cilantro lime rice - very good. it's an easy way to dress up rice so I will likely make this again.
So, my fella and I threw ourselves a housewarming/surprise wedding party in September. He - and most of our friends - are omnivores, so we wanted a menu that was a) easily vegan and b) wouldn't alarm our more tofu-phobic relatives. Latin American cuisine was an easy answer and Viva Vegan was an absolute lifesaver. Olé!
Bean, Rice & Sweet Plantain Empanadas: I made roughly a million of these things for my wedding - attended largely by omnivores - and they (along with the Creamy Corn Empandas) were a hit! No leftovers and lots of requests for the recipe.
Creamy Corn Filled Empanadas: My husband and I love, love, love these things. I made a ton of them for my wedding (along with the Bean, Rice & Sweet Plantain Empanadas) and they were the clear favorite. I make and freeze large batches for easy lunches; they reheat in the office microwave incredibly well.
Curdito: For our party, we made a mega-batch of this in a thirteen-gallon garbage bag. There were mere shreds of it left over - shreds! - by the end of the night. So good!
Cilantro Lime Rice: We've made this a few times. Pretty good (if not a bit mild) as-written, but a little coconut milk punches the flavor up quite nicely.
Red-Chile Seitan Tamales: Very Good. My mom thought it was real meat. It was very convincing and had the same taste as the ones my family made when I was younger minus all the lard and animal products :)
Farmer's Market Tamales: These were awesome!! I had never seen or heard of a tamale like this and wasn't to sure about them but, they were excellant and loved by all. Not to mention they were very easy to make by tamale making standards.
Pineapple-Raisin Sweet Tamales: Initially I thought the idea of a sweet tamale was gross and I had no hope for these but, I made them anyways and I'm glad that I did. The flavor was wonderful. Again everyone loved them.
Salvadorian marinated slaw (Curdito): I love this so much, I pretty much eat it on a daily basis! I usually half the recipe because I don't have that large plastic bags, but if I could, I'd triple the recipe so I could have it all week long. It only gets better and better the longer it sits. I eat it with any kind of food, not just latin/tex mex.
Homestyle refried beans: A bit boring. I didn't find them very flavorful even though I used home cooked beans, so I added more spices but it still wasn't great. Don't see any reason to use this recipe again.
Classic stovetop long grain white or brown rice: I've never really liked rice, but since I first tried this recipe I think I love it! I think it's the margarine that does it, plus the half teaspoon of salt, which is more than I've used before when I've cooked rice.
Taking a clue from Eldsjal above, I made the Salvadorian marinated slaw (Curdito) - Quite good. I was impressed that a few ingredients came together well. I followed her technique of weighing them in two plastic bags in the fridge. I this really helps to bring the flavors together so the vinegar doesn't overpower it. The only change I made was I used 1 tsp of regular table salt because I don't have "coarse salt". Salt is important in this to draw out the juices but I think 1 tsp worked just fine. I made it very spicy with a whole fresh jalapeno rather than pickled ones.
Creamy potato peanut stew - I'm with Tweety on this dish, I freaking loved it. I thought the peanut butter was fantastic in this and nothing was out of place. I even put the lime juice in it (I'm really picky with lime juice) and I have to say that it balanced it out perfectly and livened it up. The TVP chunks in this give it a fantastic chewiness that appeals to omni's so this was a big hit. Definitely serve with a side of greens!
It's all right. I think kimchee is way better.
AC, how did yours end up dry? Did you follow the bag method exactly (pressing all the air out, tightly seal it and place a heavy object on top)? As the cabbage soaks in the vinegar and salt, it should actually release some liquid and get soggy, especially under the weight.
I should also note that when I made it, I shredded fresh green cabbage and measured out about 8 1/2 to 9 cups instead of going by weight.
Mine came out quite juicy. I liked it because I like vinegary things and this fit in with my personal tastes, but can understand how someone wouldn't like it because there isn't a whole lot of flavor there. I have about six different kinds of vinegar in my cabinet.