What’s the first thing you think of when you hear it’s Cinco de Mayo? The first thing I think of is…chimichangas! I love mexican food. It’s full of flavor and color, and there are tons of vegetarian choices. But some don’t know the history behind the day, only the great excuse to eat some yummy Mexican food.
Here’s a little history, then we’ll get back to the food:
Cinco de Mayo is a Mexican holiday that celebrates the victory of the Battle of Puebla on May 5, 1862. Not to be confused with Mexico’s Independence Day which is celebrated on September 16, 1810. Cinco de Mayo is celebrated widely in the United States by sharing food and drinks with friends and family. Let’s continue this tradition and celebrate the awesome flavors Mexican food offers!
Remember that Chimichanga I was talking about? If you haven’t had one it is so good. You can make a vegetarian chimichanga by filling a flour tortilla with beans and vegetables and top it with fresh salsa and guacamole. Typically it’s fried, and on holiday’s you should let loose a little! If you are going to fix this at home regularly you can actually bake it and the taste is still great! Here’s a great recipe I want to try from vegweb.com
Baked Vegetarian Chimichangas
2 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 yellow onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 red bell pepper, seeded and chopped
1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 can pinto beans, undrained
1 can diced tomatoes with chilies, undrained
1 can mild chiles, undrained
chili powder-to taste
1 cup cooked instant brown rice
1 can vegetarian refried beans
In a large saucepan, sauté garlic and onion in 1 tablespoon oil over medium heat until onion is translucent. (Reserve rest of oil for later use.) Add bell pepper, stirring constantly. Add beans, tomatoes, chiles, and spices. Turn heat down to low and let simmer for 15 minutes uncovered.
Pre-heat oven to 450 degrees F.
Spread thin layer of refried beans on to each tortilla. Top with rice and bean mixture. Fold each side of tortilla towards each other and roll to form a closed burrito. Brush each burrito lightly with remaining oil.
Place burritos on nonstick or lightly greased cookie sheet.
Bake for 20-25 minutes or until golden brown.
Let cook slightly, then top with guacamole, salsa or any other toppings you like. Enjoy!
Serves: 4 Preparation time: 25 minutes
Other great vegetarian Mexican dishes include:
(to make vegan, exclude the cheese and sour cream)
- Vegetable Burritos, Bean Burritos (make sure the refried beans are not made with lard)
- Vegetable Enchiladas
- Vegetable Fajitas
- Beans and Rice
- Corn chips
- Bean dip
- Fried Plantains