Vegan Mexican Food

The Gaslamp has lots of great restaurants. Hotel rooms around here can be loud due to the police station. Also, there are Seaworld fireworks in the bay on summer weekend nights, which is strange to me because they are so loud I think it will disturb the marine life at the theme park and in the sea. If you are sensitive to noise then stay a few roads out if you need to be in the downtown area. Please don’t support named theme park. Read “War of the Whales” by Joshua Horwitz to see how marine mammals are captured and sold. Pic by M.C.

Someone was asking me where to find good, authentic Mexican food, but vegan. I recently had a cucumber and jalapeño margarita in Oregon. I guess that’s the trend. It was okay. So this is what prompted me to share my vegan, Mexican recipes—some old, some new.

Lucky for me, anytime I have eaten Mexican food in the southwest it has been good. Since I’m in California I can say most of the time the Mexican restaurants are pretty good up and down the state. I think you could throw a rock in San Diego and find a good Mexican restaurant. Just pick a mom and pop place not a franchise. If you can’t get to California then look at Rick Bayless’ recipes for margaritas, salsas, and main courses. Typically, his recipes aren’t vegan, but some of them can be veganized.

Options are limited when it comes to eating out, being vegan and gluten free, but not bad. The last time I ate at a Mexican restaurant I had a salad with avocado and vinaigrette at El Adobe de Capistrano. They also have veggie fajitas with corn tortillas. El Adobe has the best service and they have a banquet area for weddings where I have seen a harpist playing for a reception. So beautiful. Another great place that is out of the way is El Jardin in Fallbrook, North County San Diego. They have great fajitas and a margarita pitcher. I did look for vegan Mexican restaurants on Yelp. It looks like there are some in San Diego. Another thing that we used to do was go to a drive-thru hole-in-the-wall and ask for frijoles de la olla—boiled beans—and hoped to get beans cooked in water, salt, and onion not with pork bones. My dad taught us how to ask for simple beans. You know when the beans aren’t vegan—they taste super salty. When Oscar De La Hoya was fighting, Renaissance Man would ask for beans Oscar De La Hoya and get a smirk from the guy at the counter. I have also recommended El Indio on India Street that is near Old Town and not far from the San Diego airport. I’ve always loved their chips and salsa. They sell the chips by the bag. El Indio has a potato taco. I have noticed that the potato taco is trending in brewery restaurants for a vegan option. Whether the fried potato is gluten free I’m not sure. And of course there is always the slew of restaurants in Old Town San Diego not far from El Indio.

But in the end I enjoy home-cooked food. In future posts, I will share recipes of my family’s version of vegan Mexican food.

Happy Vegan!

From blog of

Copyright 2022 Melissa Crismon

GF Vegan Oatmeal Cookies

My Bitchin’ Gluten Free Vegan Oatmeal Cookies. Pic by M.C.

In the 80s we ate oatmeal cookies. It seemed like my mom made then once a week. The Old-fashioned Oatmeal Cookies recipe is from my mom’s 1960s Betty Crocker cookbook. I couldn’t tell you which one. There are a lot of versions of the cookbook. I took the recipe and made these bitchin’ gluten free and vegan oatmeal cookies.

I remember using the sifter with the flour for my mom. I didn’t sift the rice flour for this recipe. I don’t even have a sifter. I found that Bob’s Red Mill sweet white rice flour wasn’t very grainy.

I am telling you the specific ingredients I used so that the cookies come out the same. Don’t skip simmering the raisins. The raisin water makes the cookies tasty and moist.

1 cup raisins, Trader Joe’s organic Thompson seedless
1 cup water, filtered not tap
3/4 cup vegan butter, miyoko’s
1 1/2 cups organic brown coconut sugar, Big Tree Farms
2 egg replacers, Ener-G, recipe below
1 tsp. organic vanilla extract, Flavorganics
2 1/2 cups sweet white rice flour, Bob’s Red Mill
1/2 tsp. baking powder, Bob’s Red Mill
1 tsp. soda, Bob’s Red Mill
1 tsp. sea salt, Trader Joe’s fine crystals
1 tsp. cinnamon, Trader Joe’s
1/2 tsp. cloves, Sprouts
2 cups gluten free old-fashioned rolled oats from bulk
1/2 cup walnut pieces
1/4-1/2 cup chocolate chips, Enjoy Life semi-sweet mini chips

Egg Replacer for Two Eggs:
3 tsp. Ener-G Egg Replacer
4 Tbsp. warm water
Warm water in a kettle for about one minute. If the water gets too hot, let it cool. Beat the replacer and water until they are creamed.

Yield: 36 cookies

Simmer raisins and water in saucepan over low heat until raisins are plump, 25 minutes. Drain raisin liquid into measuring cup. Add enough water to make 1/2 cup. Heat oven to 400°. Cream butter and sugar. Make egg replacer. Add egg replacer and vanilla to butter and sugar. Stir in raisin liquid. Stir in flour, baking powder, soda, salt, and spices. Add rolled oats, nuts, and raisins. Drop rounded teaspoonfuls about 2” apart onto parchment paper covered baking sheet. Bake 8-10 minutes. I do not wait ’til they are golden brown.

You’re really going to love these oatmeal cookies. I want to make some now.

Happy Vegan!

From blog of

Copyright 2022 Melissa Crismon