In honor of Cinco de Mayo, here is one of the quickest and easiest Mexican recipes that you will ever find! Okay maybe not ever but it’s at least got to be up there.
After four years of living in Oaxaca, Mexico, I have to say that there aren’t many authentic vegetarian recipes. Sure, you can adapt almost anything to make it vegetarian, but then is it really authentic? In my experience Oaxacan street food (trust me, I’ve got a TON of experience in the street food!) there are normally only three vegetarian options: an elote, which is corn on the cob, a quesadilla or water (or really any other beverage). Either way, not a ton!
A few weeks ago my husband and I were enjoying a night out on the town and stopped at a little whole in the wall restaurant (literally!). They had all the typical Oaxacan food AND a traditional vegetarian option!
I bring to you chileajo! Chileajo is a mix of vegetables in a tomato base sauce with added garlic and chiles. Hence the name chileajo. Its honestly one of the most simple Mexican foods to make other than fruit and chili powder. This is definitely one of my favorites and could be used as a meat substitute for any other Mexican dish.
Chileajo is basically a base that is typically seen paired with tostadas but can be used in a variety of ways. Chileajo tacos, chileajo enchiladas, chileajo taquitos. They are all good and all vegetarian!
This magic little mixture is super quick and easy to make. Three out of only four ingredients are sold in a can. Really how much easier can you get?! And if you are really running low on produce, you could use garlic powder instead of garlic cloves. The adobo sauce in this recipe is not enough to add any spice. It just adds a little smokey flavor. However, if you’re looking to heat things up, add an extra tablespoon or two!
Authentic, delicious and vegetarian, this chileajo is sure to be awesome for Cinco de Mayo!
(Which BTW is not even celebrated in Mexico. And no it is not their independence day!)
- 2 cans mixed vegetables
- 12 oz. tomato puree
- 3 cloves garlic finely minced
- 1-2 tablespoons adobo sauce (optional)
- guacamole or avocado
- queso fresco or cotija cheese for topping
- In a medium pan, add vegetables and sautee for a few minutes. Once heated through add tomato puree, garlic and adobo sauce.
- Simmer on low stirring occasionally for about 10-15 minutes.
- Add guacamole or avocado to tostadas. Add chileajo mixture and top with queso fresco or cotija cheese