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Carne en su jugo literally translates to meat in it’s juices. I never had this as a kid as my family was more charro bean fans but I was intrigued at how similar yet different this is than charro or borracho beans. The end result of this recipe is a delicious hearty bean soup-y sort of thing that is spicy, filling and surprising on the healthier side (given how fatty the animal alternative is).

Charro beans were a favorite as a kid but we didn’t have them often due to the pork content. My dad immigrated to America from Algeria in the 70’s. He was muslim so what did that mean? No bacon at breakfast and no charro beans at dinner. 

Luckily the recipe includes no meat but just in case, for my father, let’s start by placing HARAM loudly on your speakers. Next, take an onion and a handful of garlic. Dice that shit up as if you were dicing up trump’s cheeto head and add to stock pot with a bit of oil. Turn the fire on and cook for a few minutes.

While that’s cooking, take couple cups of textured vegetable protein also known as TVP crumbles and add to pot along with a few cups of water (enough to cover the crumbles entirely). The cool thing about TVP is it plays nice in water/soups and doesn’t get mushy but much like tofu, it’s a blank canvas for seasoning. So naturally, add a shitload of spices to mimic what you would get in a beef broth/beef fat. For me this was – a handful of nutritional yeast, a couple dashes of chili powder, a few generous pinches of smoked paprika, a few dashes of cumin, a bit of garlic and onion powder, a little tumeric, a couple of tablespoons of vegan worchester sauce, a splash of bragg’s liquid aminos, a couple teaspoons of no-chicken stock liquid bullion and salt + pepper to taste.

I brought my broth to a boil then simmered. While simmering, I preheated my oven to 400 and added 4 tomatillos and 1 whole white onion to a baking sheet and roasted for 15 minutes. I added the tomatillos and onion with cilantro, 2 serrano peppers (one with seeds, one without), a juice of 1 lime, a little soy sauce, few garlic cloves  to a blender and blended until smooth. Add to your stock pot and add a little more cilantro on top, and simmer for 20 minutes to develop flavors.

You could use dry or canned beans for this next step. I used canned because I was hungry as fuck and didn’t think to soak beans the night before.

I opened up a big can of pinto beans and dumped them in a small pot – juices and all. I added some spices but you don’t have to, they’ll be fine on their own then heated them up.

The thing I like about this bean dish is all the toppings – chopped onion, cilantro, peppers, radish, avocado and bacon bits. I made my bacon bits by crumbling a little tempeh and adding smoked paprika, some braggs and a few other standard spices. I cooked until they were a little burnt. Super fast + simple. Add whatever bacon-y seasonings you’d like.

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After everything has simmered for a bit, grab yourself a bowl. Start with beans then top with “meat” and spicy broth. Top with aforementioned dope as fuck toppings, squeeze a lil lime and enjoy.

PS. Check out this Ghost Ship benefit in Austin in a couple weeks!

Well, this is definitely not a traditional beef torta – that usually has fajita meat. It’s not a ground beef or chicken torta, either. I would say this is a mix between torta ahogada – which is a Mexican sandwich drowned in a tomato-y sauce, pork and pickled onions and a traditional torta. It has the crema, mayo, and toppings that a traditional regular ass torta would have but the spicy slightly sauciness of a torta ahogada. Oh yeah, and this is vegan as fuck. 

Let’s get right to it because I am slightly hungover from 2 band practices and 4 shitty beers from the night before. Yeah yeah YEAH. Side note: did you see the line up and schedule was announced for Everything is Not OK today? So. fucking. SIIIIIICK. 

Start out by preheating the oven to 400 degrees and grabbing a baking sheet. You’ll need a couple of large tomatoes, 1 jalapeño and 1 white onion. Prep your onion, deseed your jalapeño and cut the tops off your tomatoes. Add to baking sheet with a sprinkle of salt and pop that shit in the oven for 30 minutes or so.

At the same damn time, deseed 4-5 New Mexico chile pods but do kind of a shitty job at deseeding them and leave a few seeds in there. Toast those fuckers on a comal for a couple minutes then toss those into a pot of boiling hot water along with 4 or so cloves of garlic. Turn off heat. Steep in water for the same amount of time you’re roasting your oven stuff.

Now make vegan mayo! Vegan mayo is soon fucking easy to make, you’ll know exactly what’s going in it and never need to buy it again – unless you want to or you don’t care to make this then skip this step, same goes for the vegan sour cream/crema.

Take a little less 1/2 brick of silken tofu, a little more than 1/2 cup of vegetable oil (or less, but mayo is basically “bad” as fuck for you, vegan or not), juice of 1/2 small lemon, couple squirts of dijon mustard and salt to taste. Blend until smooth. Yeah that’s literally it. If it seems too water, add a little more oil but not too much. THIS MAKES A TON OF VEGAN MAYO. Set aside in bowl or jar for now. What are you going to do with the rest of that tofu you ask? Make vegan sour cream/crema, ya dummy.

This is also incredibly easy and quick to make. Take the remaining silken tofu, 1/2 tablespoon of olive oil, the juice of 3/4 of a lemon, a teaspoon of apple cider vinegar, a crack of some sea salt and blend until smooth.

Pop both mayo and sour cream each in jars or containers of some sort with a sealable lid and put them in the fridge to thicken while you do the rest of this damn thing.

Now go put on your favorite angry as fuck hardcore records and think about how fucking trump is going to be the POTUS tomorrow. And yeah, I refuse to capitalize that sick fuck’s name. He deserves nothing.

About 30 minutes later, add your roasted tomatoes, jalapeño, onion and chili pods (that have been chillin in water) to your blender and blend until smooth. Add a little of the chili water to thin if needed – I did just because it smelled good as hell.

Open 3 cans of jackfruit in brine. Drain, rinse realllllly well and .…this is where it gets tricky to explain. Canned jackfruit will come in triangles. Pick one up and look at it, you see a tough core part kind of where the tip is? Okay cool, start to pull apart the opposite side and you should to start to see something that resembles shredded meat. DO NOT SKIP THIS STEP. Don’t just add all your jackfruit to your pan because it will not be the consistency you want and there are also little seeds throughout. You’ll use about 1/2 or less of each triangle. There’s a lot of wasted parts and I feel kinda bad but I don’t want to eat that shit. This is why you use 3 cans but also because I like leftovers.

Alright so tear it up while listening to TEAR IT UP and set aside. Slice 1 whole onion then open that pit up aka cut rings into halves. You could easily just cut your onion in half and slice but this is how I did it for some reason. Chop some garlic – however much you like. I used 3 cloves. Add some oil to a big ass pan, add your garlic + onion then cook that for a few minutes until onion is a little brown. Add your jackfruit, add your blended tomato-onion-chili-garlic sauce, add a bunch of spices. I used: a palm of nutritional yeast, 3 dashes of cumin, a couple sprinkles of chili powder, a couple dashes of smoked paprika, a little garlic & onion powder and a few cracks of salt + pepper. I also squeezed a large orange and lime in.

Bring everything to a boil for a couple minutes mixing frequently then simmer. I simmered for around 30 minutes to really get it flavorful. While that’s about half way through simmering (assuming you simmer for 20-30 minutes), grab a can of pinto beans, cook with a bit of water and whatever spices you’d like then smash that shit with a potato masher or fork.

Now you’re going to slice an avocado, a tomato and shred some romaine lettuce. Grab some teleras (flat bread rolls – vegan at Fiesta, ya’ll), cut them in half like you would a roll to make two pieces of bread (your sandwich) and toast them lightly however you toast shit. I used my oven and rubbed a little olive oil on the inside of each piece.

It’s reaaaaaady! Take one side of the roll and spread mayo and beans on the other. Top with jackfruit meat, add lettuce & tomato then drizzle with sour cream/crema. Top with sliced avocado.

This makes around 4-6 sandwiches depending on how big your rolls are. Use the leftover jackfruit meat for Mexican style street tacos, eat alone topped with crema and avocado or make a sick fuckin’ ques-O-dilla.

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Here’s to our last day without trump. Smell ya later.

When I think of this soup, I think of being at my grandma’s house and watching her lean over the stove with her walker stirring the soup. I think of the thick plastic covering her wooden kitchen table and her old beautiful brown hands chopping onions at it. I think about after my grandma died, laying on the living room floor as my mom laid on the couch above me and understanding at age 11 that I would never see her again.

She passed on my last day of 5th grade. I had to be picked up early from school that day. The nurse called my mom and my sister showed up to take me home. “What happened?” Wellllllll KARIMA – I was playing kick ball with my “friends” and Frank (the hottest boy in school) kicked the ball straight into my face. I ended up having the beginnings of a black eye and a bloody nose. Obviously, I was the most well liked popular 5th grader and no I did not get beat up by the girl who looked like Sonia from Mortal Kombat nor did I lose a game of “poker” and have a 4th grader shake me down in art class.

That summer, I played with a ouija board with my neighborhood friend Gina. I asked the board about my grandma and I swear I heard her call my name. We threw the board across the room and I think Gina moved away that summer.

CALDO DE RES aka Beef Soup

Start by roughly chopping 1 white onion and a few cloves of garlic. In a large stock pot, add a bit of oil and sauté your onion and garlic for a few minutes until the onion is a little brown. Add 4 cups of water and 1 can of diced or freshly diced tomatoes in its juices. I wanted to make this soup as “beefy” as possible. Traditionally, caldo is all about the meat but animals are my friends so let’s improvise. I did a bit of research and read a lot of different recipes before I figured out how I wanted to make this.

You may be wondering why the fuck I just put four damn cups of water and virtually no seasoning – I’m getting to that. I had vegetable stock but I didn’t want to use it, I needed something heartier tasting. It’s all about that broth, you know? I had better than chicken liquid bouillon but I’m trying to mimic beef, so here it goes. I ended up finding one better than beef bouillon cube hidden in my cabinet but that wasn’t enough, so I mixed some shit together after reading up. I added the bouillon cube to my water-onion-garlic along with a little cumin and chili powder, cooking it a little longer. After a couple minutes, I spooned a couple cups of water out of the pot and added it to a mixing bowl with a couple more cups of water (4 c total now). Next, I added a handful of nutritional yeast, around 2-3 tablespoons of vegan Worcester sauce, a couple tablespoons of onion powder, 1 tablespoon of garlic powder, a little ground ginger, a little braggs liquid aminos, fresh ground pepper and salt to taste. I mixed and added it back into my stock pot then mixed again. To me, this now tasted what I remember beef broth tasting and looking like – sort of a clear brownish color, salty but not too salty and “hearty”. Fuck yeah!

Now that I got my broth tasting right, I add 2 chopped carrots and 1 large potato peeled and cubed cooking until *almost almost* tender then I added 2 ears of cleaned corn cut in half and 2 chopped or quartered chayotes (it’s a squash – google that shit). Cook about 10 or so minutes then add 1/2 of a head of cabbage quartered. Make sure to really push the cabbage into the broth so it cooks. I put the lid to my stock pot on for a couple minutes to really make sure that shit cooked down. Do not over cook the cabbage and chayotes unless you’re into mushyyyyy. There’s a difference between tender and mush, remember that!

Uncover and add a handful of cilantro and a sprinkle of Mexican oregano. This step is optional really, but I fuck with all the spices if you can’t tell yet. You can give the soup a couple of swirls and you’re done OR you can add a meat substitute like I did.

I wanted a sub that resembled the consistency that meat on a bone would have. I didn’t want tofu or tempeh. I tried fucking with TVP but decided against it. I didn’t have any seitan. What the fuuuuuck to do?  Theeeeeen I remembered that I had Gardein meatloaf in the freezer and thought it would be the perfect texture! Normally, I would try to be more creative than using a prepackaged item like this but when it works, it works. So yeah, I cut into chunks, cooked in a fry pan then added that in.

Serve with fresh jalapeños, more cilantro, diced raw onion and of course LIME AND CORN TORTILLAS. I swear to fucking fuck if you follow any directions from this, it is to squeeze lime into your bowl of soup and dip your goddamn tortilla. Eat on a cold rainy day while listening to Brazil’s Rakta.

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Nopales aka cactus can be bought fresh in paddles which requires de-prickling (is that a word?!), ready to use and canned. Yesterday afternoon I went to Fiesta (a local grocery store in Austin) and picked up a bag of ready to use freshly cut nopales unknowing what the fuck I was going to do with them.

Nopales have a special slimy place in my heart. They remind me of the days where Chaos in Tejas was something I looked forward to every summer. 100 degree heat, lots of punk bands from around the world and all my best friends in one city for a week. We’d spend the days at the green belt illegally drinking shitty lone star and floating in the springs (and dodging snakes and frat bros alike) before heading to Curra’s for avocado margaritas and food. One of Curra’s veg-friendly dishes are their nopale tacos. A mix of nopales, soyrizo and peppers in a fluffy white flour tortilla served with refried beans and like 20000 margaritas.

I sat down on my couch, queued up Limpwrist and thought about the first time I stage dove in a huge crowd to “I love Hardcore Boys” at age 16 some Chaos in Tejas years ago. Deciding I am going to attempt to prepare nopales two ways in the amount of time it takes me to listen to the entire Limpwrist discography. 41 songs in 34 1/2 minutes.

Up first, tacos de nopales.

Start by dicing 1 white onion, 4-5 cloves of garlic, 1 deseeded jalapeño, 1/2 of a red bell pepper and 1/2 package of tempeh. The goal here is to finely dice the tempeh so it resembles ground “meat”. Dice all your shit up. Add 1/2 of the diced garlic and onion to a pan with a little oil. Sauté for 2-3 minutes then add the tempeh and 1/2 of the jalapeño. This is where shit gets blurry because I was already 4-5 songs in and beginning to slam all over the kitchen with my dogs – I added a cup of fresh chopped nopales and a shitload of spices: some cumin, smoked paprika, nutritional yeast, garlic powder, onion powder, chili powder, turmeric, fresh ground salt and pepper….probably some other stuff I am forgetting but c’mon, I don’t need to tell ya’ll how to season, do I? Just taste and season, taste and season more. So anyway, I seasoned the shit out of all that then added 3-4 tablespoons of fresh salsa I had made a prior (feel free to use store bought or just skip this step if you don’t have any) and the diced bell pepper. Cook until nopales look a little burnt. Don’t freak out if they look sorta slimy, the heat will cook it out. Taste and set aside.

Onto nopales tostadas!

IN THE SAME PAN, add the remaining onion, garlic and a tiny amount of oil and sauté. While that’s cooking, open a can of black or pinto beans (I used black), drain, rinse and add to a pot with a little bit of water. Cook your beans as you would and go back to your onion and garlic. Add about a cup of fresh cut nopales, the rest of your jalapeño and cook.

Set your oven to 400 degrees, grab some corn tortillas and put them on a cookie sheet (covered in parchment paper). Rub a little oil each side and sprinkle salt. Check on your nopales and take some aggression out on your beans by smashing the hell out of them with a potato masher or fork and stir. I added spices to my beans such as nutritional yeast, cumin and a dash of hot sauce. You can do this too or just leave them be. By this time, your oven should be ready to roll. Add your corn tortillas to the oven and cook on each side for a couple minutes or until crispy. Warm some corn tortillas on your stove (if it’s gas – I don’t know how else you do this, this is the way my grandma taught me.) and get ready to fuckin mossshhhhhhh. Your second batch of nopales should be done, so now to assemble.

For the tacos, I just spoon a little of the tempeh & nopale mixture into a warm corn tortilla and added some grated Chao cheez, cilantro and a couple lime wedges. For the tostadas, I start with a crispy baked tortilla topped with a thin layer of beans then nopales + onion mixture followed by toppings! Raw veggies such as shredded kale, raw onion, tomato, cilantro and avocado.

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So if you’re wondering, I fucking did it (but I kind of cheated). I already had shredded kale, a little diced onion, and cilantro ready to go.