Category Archives: Get Your Grub On

Cook With A Cabrona: Vegan Menudo

I’ve been vegetarian since the summer before 9th grade. Don’t most coming of age tales take place around that age? It’s a tale as old as time. No, I didn’t visit a slaughterhouse or watch a disgusting PETA video nor did I find a rat in my burger, though I do remember this one time at Venice Beach where a man had a stall set up with photos of maimed livestock and dogs. He also sold t-shirts with McShit using the golden arch from Micky D’s.  I got to the point where the consumption of carcasses that were rotting and hanging out in cans, on beds of ice, and in freezers in supermarkets and restaurants across the world did not appeal to me. While studying abroad in Chile and backpacking across South America, I decided to adapt as people invited me to their homes for meals and veggie options became scarce.  I also made a point to learn how to cook for myself using fresh vegetables from the street markets. As many people are won’t to hustle in any big city, I was surprised to find vegetarian empanadas, veggie burgers, and soy milanesas sold on the streets, outside my university, and in parks everywhere.  Anthony Bourdain, eat your heart out.

"I think, then I eat..." Stencil graffiti from somewhere in Santiago.

“I think, then I eat…” Stencil graffiti from somewhere in Santiago.

As Fall slowly drifts over Los Angeles with crunchy leaves, the Santa Anas, and all kinds of pumpkin spice foolishness, nothing gets rid of the shivers or calms a hangover like a nice big bowl of menudo. I found this vegan menudo recipe from Chanfles, where he also includes a little bit about the triumphs and tribulations of being a vegetarian Chicano. His recipe is good, but I totally ignored the part about cilantro, which resulted in a slightly bland broth that became slightly more flavorful the next day. Other than that, things turned out ok and no houses were burned down. As a kid, I was always grossed out by the pork guts that go into menudo, so for me, the hominy has always been the star of the show. Not wanting to veer too far from tradition however, I achieved the gooey, slimy feel of pork by adding tofu. Don’t forget the fixins like onion, cilantro, and lemon.


Also, my favorite cooking music:


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All Oreo’d Out

I spent the whole day tracking down Philadelphia cream cheese and packs of Oreos for Hernan’s birthday. I went to Mercado Norte, which is a section of Cordoba that sells clothes, produce, and everything else for wholesale. I might have overdid it on the Oreos though, as I bought too many packs of mini oreos and Oreo alfajores.


Making crumbs with about 30 cookies.


Mixing the three packs of cream cheese, sugar, and eggs. Philadelphia cream cheese is expensive here, so next time I'll stick with Queso Finlandia.


Finally, I stir in the rest of the oreos, pour over the crust and into the over for an hour.


The top came out a bit burnt, though Hernan still wolfed it down.

 You can find this recipe here:

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