Archive for the ‘Day of the Dead’ Category

Dia de los Muertos – Cornbread sugar skulls and black bean soup

November 3, 2010

Since I didn’t have time to make my Dia de los Muertos meal yesterday, I made time to make it today. I made jalapeno cornbread “sugar skulls”, black bean soup, and a Mexican chocolate spice cake. The cake is something I haven’t tried yet, and will probably put off decorating it until tomorrow. But, for now, I’ll post dinner:

Black Bean Soup

1 TBSP olive oil
1 small onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 med. red bell pepper, chopped
1/2 small green bell pepper, chopped
2 cans black beans, drained and rinsed
2 C vegetable broth
1 C water
3/4 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp chili powder
Pinch cayenne pepper
1 tsp salt
Garnishes: 1 lime, cilantro, avocado, vegan sour cream

– In a medium saucepan, heat olive oil over medium-high and add onion, garlic, and peppers. Saute until onions are transluscent. Add remaining ingredients (except for garnishes), bring to a boil and then reduce heat to medium. Simmer for 30 minutes. Allow to cool slightly and transfer 3/4 of the soup to a blender. Pulse until no large pieces  remain, and stir back into saucepan. Ladle into bowls and garnish with chopped avocado, cilantro, lime juice, and sour cream, if desired.

The jalapeno cornbread sugar skulls are from The Joy of Vegan Baking cornbread recipe, with the addition of 3/4 C corn kernals, 1 minced jalapeno, and 1/2 cup shredded Daiya cheddar cheese. They were baked in little skull pans I got a few months ago. I used (v) sour cream to pipe on the decorations, and used jalapeno slices for the eyes.

Kind of looks like that cute boy I’m friends with..

But, yeah. Totally tasty dinner! I’m pretty darn proud of that soup.

– Andrea


Dia de los Muertos festival- Vegan foods!

November 2, 2010

Me and my boyfriend went to the Dia de los Muertos (Day of the Dead) festival in downtown Birmingham tonight. It was a lot of fun, but I was starving by the time we got there. I put my make-up on two hours before we left, and I could barely open my mouth to eat. So I was really hoping there would be something I could eat at the festival.

Lucky me! A local restaurant/music venue that serves a good bit of vegan/vegetarian food was one of the vendors!

Bottletree Cafe

They were serving their award-winning vegan chili, along with rice and tortilla chips.

The only “fixin’s” available for vegans were raw onions and hot sauce. I added a bit too much, but I still enjoyed it and it kept me full! Not exactly a traditional Day of the Dead meal, but it fit in just fine. Non-vegan items available included tamales and tacos.

Me and my chili! : D


For some reason, there weren’t as many altars as there were last year. But I absolutely *love* altars that include food.  For Day of the Dead, you’re supposed to set up altars in remembrance of lost loved ones. You can include anything you want – pictures, clothing, trinkets, and favorite foods and drinks of the deceased. I think it’s so beautiful when food is included – especially pan de muerto and sugar skulls. They’re all just done so colorfully and creative. There was one adorable altar for a beautiful black cat that included cat food, water, and toys. Aw ❤

I was too busy packing up my Halloween decorations and getting ready for the festival to make my own Day of the Dead food today. But I’ll be doing that tomorrow. I’m making a Mexican spice cake, black bean soup, and jalapeno cornbread!

Viva la vida!

– Andrea

Eyeballs, Petrified Pumpkin, and Broken Glass

October 26, 2010

I find it hard to believe I haven’t made a single post all October. I guess it all started when we didn’t have our pumpkin patch picnic at the pumpkin patch and, instead, had it in my front yard. Wasn’t a good way to start off the Halloween season. 😦 I have made a few things throughout the month, though. And I had my Halloween party this past Saturday. I’m hoping to make up for lost Halloween food time this weekend, and extending it into next week for Day of the Dead.

Foods I’m planning on making before the Halloween season is over:

– Caramel apples
– Tofu tombstones with smashed spirits and graveyard gravy + “rotten” roasted vegetables
– Spooky-faced veggie pizzas with an orange pumpkin crust
– Chocolate Chick-o-stick tarts
– Scarecrow toastadas

For Day of the Dead, I’m thinking something along the lines of:

– Mexican-spiced calavera cake (anise seed, orange, and cinnamon)
– Cornbread sugar skulls (with sour cream and green onion decorations)
– Black bean soup with lime, cilantro, and avocado

I hate to admit that I’m ready for a new holiday season to start, but I think I got a little burned out on Halloween early this year. I still can’t wait to have some spooky fun these last few days, though! Here’s a few foods I’ve made this month:

Stuffed Shell Eyeballs

This is just a regular stuffed shell recipe, with olive and roasted red pepper added to make the eyeballs. I used tofu, non-dairy cream cheese, nutritional yeast, Italian seasoning, salt, and pepper for the filling. Then I just used a jarred pasta sauce. It’s easiest and less messy to put the filling into a plastic bag and cut the corner off to pipe it into the shells. These were covered and baked at 350 degrees until warmed through.

Petrified Pumpkin Enchiladas

I used this recipe for the sauce. For the filling, I used Gardein chick’n and steamed Yukon gold potatoes. Then I just made a face using Toffuti sour cream, olives, and chopped green onion.

Broken Glass Cupcakes

These are red velvet cupcakes from Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World. I used a store-bought vegan icing and I made a hard, clear candy to break up into glass shards. Then I added some red gel icing to make it look like the cupcakes were bleeding 🙂 If you make these – Don’t add the hard candy until you’re about to serve them. The candy will pick up the moisture from the cupcakes and start to “melt” and deteriorate after a few hours.

Hard Candy:

1 C sugar
3 TBSP light corn syrup
1/3 C water

– Coat a baking sheet (or sheet of aluminum foil) with nonstick spray. Put sugar, corn syrup, and water into a small saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring occassionally with a wooden spoon.
– Continue to boil until mixture reaches 310 degrees on a candy thermometer.
– Immediately remove from heat and pour mixture onto prepared baking sheet or aluminum foil, spreading thin with the back of a wooden spoon.
– Allow to cool and harden. Break into glass-like shards.

I hope you’ve all been having a wonderfully spooky October!

– Andrea

Dia de los Muertos Festival and Food

November 4, 2009

I’m a bit upset I only made it to 17 posts during Vegan MOFO. But I think I did pretty good for a first-timer! Hopefully I’ll have more time to post next year 🙂

But all of that is in the past! And so is everything in this post, because the holiday was two days ago! Dia de los Muertos (Day of the Dead) was celebrated on Monday. I had originally planned on making some of the traditional foods, such as tamales and pan de muerto (bread of the dead), but my day was already booked up as it was. Me and my boyfriend did, however, make it to the Dia de los Muertos Festival at the Bare Hands Gallery in downtown Birmingham.

Day of the Dead altars


All Hallow Eve is near.

Since I had already bought all the ingredients to make tamales and pan de muerto, I figured I would go ahead and make them. So that’s what I did today.

Butternut Squash Tamales

Butternut Squash Tamales

I got this recipe off the Food Network website. This was my first time making tamales, so I’m not sure if I did everything correctly. But they still tasted good! 🙂 I had these with some Spanish rice; made with white rice, a taco seasoning packet, and some frozen peas. (Hey! Tamales take a LONG time, so I deserved a few shortcuts! haha.)

Pan de Meurto - Bread of the Dead

 Pan de Muerto – Bread of the Dead

For the pan de muerto, I used this recipe. I halved the recipe to make two, small loaves. I added a teaspoon of ground cinnamon and accidentally didn’t halve the sugar. I replaced the egg with Ener-G egg replacer, and used a glaze of orange juice and agave nectar. I sprinkled some cinnamon sugar on the loaves before baking.

And that’s how I celebrated Dia de los Muertos! I was going to paint some paper mache skulls and masks, but I never got around to it. Again, there’s always next year! 🙂

– Andrea