Chipotle Style Vegan Tofu Sofritas

We almost never eat at fast food restaurants. But we do love Chipotle and Qdoba because eating at these Mexican fast food places makes us feel less guilty, I suppose. Everything looks and tastes fresh and its easy to add/delete ingredients in the assembly line to make it healthy and delicious. While Yumjay would always load his burrito bowls with chicken or steak, I wouldn’t have much options, except for rice and black beans and the add-ons. So when Chipotle introduced their tofu Sofritas sometime last year in Seattle, I was beyond thrilled. It was a dream come true for vegetarians/vegans.

tofu sofritas

Organic tofu is braised with chipotle chilis, roasted poblanos, and a blend of aromatic spices to make this delicious sofritas according to Chipotle website. You can try that or simply use Trader Joe’s Taco seasoning mix to get the same delicious taste. I cant tell you how simple and versatile this dish is. Be it for breakfast tacos or burritos, this tofu sofritas is definitely something that carnivores and vegans would love alike.


Between this and potato burrito, its really hard for me to say which tastes better but i suppose tofu is healthier than potatoes. This would make a lovely weeknight dinner or a great addition to your burrito bar at your next party.

sofritas bowl


1 block organic extra firm tofu

1 medium red onion, finely chopped

1 medium green pepper, finely diced

1 tomato, chopped

1/2 packet Trader Joe’s Taco Seasoning mix or make your own from here

2 teaspoons oil


Ingredients for Chipotle style burrito bowl

1 cup cooked white or brown rice

1 tablespoon cilantro, finely chopped

2 teaspoons lime juice


1 cup cooked or canned black beans

Pico de gallo


Hot salsa ( if you can’t make your own, i’d highly recommend Trader Joe’s Salsa Autentica)

vegan cheese (optional, use regular cheese for a non-vegan version)

vegan sour cream/plain yogurt (optional, use regular sour cream/plain yogurt for a non-vegan version)

Method for tofu sofritas

1. Heat oil in a pan and when oil is hot, add onions. Cook till they are almost brown.

2. Add green peppers and cook for 5-7 minutes, till they turn slightly soft.

3. Add chopped tomatoes with a pinch of salt, cook till they turn soft and mushy.

4. Add taco seasoning mix along with crumbled tofu and mix well.

5. Let it cook on medium flame for 5-7 minutes, till all the water is absorbed and the tofu mixture is thoroughly heated.

6. To assemble the burrito bowl, add cilantro, lime juice and salt to cooked rice, give it a good stir.

7. Place rice, beans and tofu sofritas in a bowl.

8. Top with pico de gallo, hot salsa and guacamole.

9. Add vegan cheese and sour cream (optional) and serve.



Chili Lime Peanuts

If there is one thing that is abundant in Mexico, it is definitely these highly addictive chili lime peanuts. From street vendors to restaurants, these peanuts are found everywhere in Mexico. They are tangy, spicy and perfect for munching by the pool side with a glass of your favorite drink. These peanuts are simple to make with everyday ingredients and you can follow the same recipe with other nuts as well. And they make a great vegan edible gift too.

chili lime peanuts


2 cups shelled, unsalted peanuts

1 tablespoon red chili powder

juice from 1 large lime

Freshly grated zest of one lime

1 teaspoon sugar

1 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper


1. Preheat oven to 250F.

2. Whisk together all the ingredients except peanuts in a large bowl.

3. Stir in the peanuts and coat them well with the spices.

4. Place the peanuts on a parchment sheet lined baking tray and bake for 30-45minutes or until the nuts are dry and fragrant.

Vegan Mango Salad With Cilantro-Lime Dressing

This cool and refreshing mango salad recipe is sure to be a summer favorite. Sweet, juicy mangoes combined with crispy lettuce, crunchy cucumbers, sweet red peppers, buttery avocado and tangy, spicy cilantro-lime dressing make this an all time favorite of ours. We don’t really wait for warm weather to make this beautiful, colorful salad. Organic frozen mango chunks work for us in winter. The inspiration for this recipe comes from Qdoba Mexican Grill’s summer mango salad. You could add black beans for protein and some tortilla strips on top for a nice crunch.

mango salad

Ingredients for Salad

2 ripe mangoes, diced

1 ripe avocado, peeled, pitted and diced

1 red bell pepper, finely chopped

1 medium red onion, finely chopped ( I used yellow onions, but red makes a difference)

2 cups lettuce

1 English cucumber, finely chopped

2 teaspoons cilantro (optional)

For the cilantro-lime dressing (makes about 1.5 cups)

1/2 cup packed cilantro leaves, thick lower stems removed

1/3 cup fresh lime juice

1/2 teaspoon grated lime zest

2 Serrano peppers

3/4 teaspoon salt

2 cloves garlic

1/2 teaspoon ground cumin

1/4 cup olive oil


1. Combine all ingredients listed under dressing in a food processor and process until smooth. Taste and add more salt, if needed. Refrigerate until ready to use.

2. Combine all the salad ingredients except cilantro in a large bowl.

3. Add 1/4 cup of cilantro-lime dressing. Mix well. Add more dressing, if needed.

4. Add finely chopped cilantro(optional) and mix well.

Pineapple Salsa

Warm weather calls for long hours in the pool sipping on favorite drinks and eating this amazing pineapple salsa with tortilla chips. Guys, I cant tell you how simple and tasty this salsa is. I can just eat a big bowl of this salsa for lunch minus the chips. Its that good. This salsa is pretty, colorful and the combination of juicy tomato, sweet pineapple and spicy jalapeño is something you have to experience for yourself. Give the traditional tomato salsa a break and celebrate cinco de mayo with this incredibly flavorful pineapple salsa. This salsa stores well for up to 3 weeks in the refrigerator. So make this ahead of the big day and celebrate Mexico’s victory over France during the Battle of Puebla in style.

Feliz Cinco de Mayo amigos!

pineapple salsa


2 large tomatoes, deseeded and chopped

1 medium pineapple, chopped

1 red, orange or green bell pepper, chopped ( I used orange)

2 jalapeño peppers, finely chopped

1 garlic clove, minced

juice from 1 medium lime

juice from 1 medium lemon

3 tablespoons fresh cilantro, chopped

1 tablespoon honey




1. Combine all the ingredients except salt and pepper in a large, heavy bottomed pot.

2. Bring the mixture to a boil over medium heat, stirring frequently.

3. Reduce the heat and let it simmer for about 10 minutes, till the mixture thickens and some of the liquid has evaporated. Add salt and pepper, mix well.

4. Store in clean, glass jars for up to 3weeks in a refrigerator.

Potato Burrito Bowl

This recipe was inspired by one of my favorite staples, the potato burrito at Acapulco Fresh Mexican Grill. These guys used to have branches in Redmond and Issaquah, now they only have a branch in Kenmore outside of the branch at my former workplace. On the days i didn’t carry lunch from home, I would head over to Acapulco to have my potato burrito and watermelon agua fresca. This was the only good vegetarian option on their menu and it was fresh and tasty too. You could wrap this up in a burrito, but to avoid additional carbs and messy eating I would always request this in a bowl. You could also have this on soft corn tortillas and make it a potato taco. Don’t let the list of ingredients intimidate you. You can make the Pico de Gallo , guacamole and salsa ahead of time and make this an easy weekday dinner recipe. Leave out the sour cream and cheese for a vegan version of this yummy burrito.

potato burrito

Take 1/2 cup of cooked rice mixed with chopped cilantro and lime juice in a bowl.potato burrito

Add 1/2 cup of cooked beans to the rice. I used red kidney beans that were begging to be used. You can be more authentic and use black or pinto beans. Season the beans with Mexican spices for added flavor.

potato burrito

Add 1/4 cup of roasted potatoes.  The picture doesn’t do justice, they tasted so good liberally coated with Mexican spices and caramelized onions.

potato burrito

Add pico de gallo, hot salsa and guacamole.

potato burrito

Top off with sour cream or non-fat yogurt and shredded Mexican blend cheese. potato burrito


1 cup cooked white or brown rice ( I used long grain brown rice)

1 russet potato, cut into cubes, covered with water and cooked in microwave for 7-10 minutes.

1 cup dry red kidney beans, soaked in water overnight and pressure cooked ( you can use canned black or pinto beans)

2 tablespoons finely chopped cilantro leaves

2 teaspoons store bought Mexican seasoning or you can make your own from here

1 small onion, finely chopped

Juice from 1/2 lime

2 tablespoons sour cream or non fat yogurt( I used yogurt)

Shredded Mexican blend cheese, as per taste


Pico de Gallo

1 medium tomato, diced

1/4 medium onion, finely chopped

1 jalapeno, finely chopped

1 tablespoon cilantro, finely chopped

juice from 1/2 lime

salt and pepper

Hot Salsa

1 tomato, blanched and peeled

1.5 teaspoons powdered chile de arbol ( available in most grocery stores) or red chili powder

2 tablespoons cilantro, chopped

1 tablespoon lime juice

1/4 cup onion, chopped

1 teaspoon red pepper flakes

Salt and pepper


1 medium avocado, peeled, pitted and mashed

1/4 cup onions, minced

1 Serrano chili, minced

1 tablespoon cilantro, finely chopped

1/2 tablespoon fresh lime juice

1/4 teaspoon salt or more if needed

few grinds of black pepper

1/4 tomato, chopped


1. Combine all the ingredients listed under Pico de Gallo in a small bowl and set aside.

2. Combine all the ingredients listed under guacamole except the tomatoes in a bowl, cover with a plastic wrap and refrigerate until use. Add tomatoes to the guacamole just before serving. Alternatively, you could double the Pico de Gallo recipe and add one half to mashed avocado for an easy guacamole recipe.

3. Place all the ingredients listed under hot salsa in a blender and blend to desired consistency. It tastes better if allowed to sit for 24 hours in a refrigerator.

4. Heat oil in a pan and when oil is hot, add onions and cook till they turn golden brown. Add cooked potatoes, salt and a teaspoon of Mexican seasoning and toss well to coat the potatoes with onions and spices. Turn off the heat and set the potatoes aside.

5. Add lime juice and cilantro to cooked brown rice and set aside.

6. Add a teaspoon of Mexican seasoning and a pinch of salt to the cooked beans and mix well.

7. When ready to eat, take rice in a bowl and add beans and potatoes to the rice. Add Pico de Gallo, salsa, guacamole, sour cream and cheese. Mix well and enjoy your potato burrito bowl . Alternatively you could wrap everything in a tortilla to make a potato burrito.

Mango Agua Fresca

Hola!  Here’s a Mexican favorite for you all today. Agua fresca means fresh water in Spanish. Fresh water is infused with a fruit essence in this popular Mexican drink. Any pulpy fruit like cantaloupe, mango, pineapple, orange or water melon will work well for this drink. It shouldn’t taste like a smoothie, so strain the blended fruit pulp and mix it with water to give it a fruity taste. This is a  perfect, light and refreshing thirst quencher on a warm summer afternoon. Drink up amigos, after all its summer somewhere in the world.

mango agua fresca


1 ripe mango, pitted, peeled and cut into chunks

1.5 cups cold water

1 teaspoon fresh lime juice

3/4 teaspoon honey or sugar ( I used honey)

lime wedge for garnish


1. Combine mango and water and blend until smooth.

2. Pour through a strainer into a pitcher.

3. Stir in the lime juice and honey.

4. Garnish with lime wedges.

Chilaquiles With Salsa Verde

Chilaquiles is a traditional Mexican breakfast/brunch dish. Corn tortillas are cut, fried and topped with salsa and cooked till the tortillas turn soft. Red or green salsa can be used for this dish. It is topped with queso fresco( Mexican cheese), sour cream, pico de gallo and a protein, either egg or chicken. This chilaquiles with verde( green) salsa recipe is from Lisa Dupar’s Fried Chicken and Champagne cookbook. Lisa is the owner of the sassy Pomegranate Bistro located in Redmond, WA. It is one of my favorite brunch places on the east side of Seattle. Lisa mentions in her book that this dish was on her staff lunch menu which was unknown to her for many months. When she tasted the chilaquiles, she thought it wasn’t fair to keep this wonderful dish away from her customers at the bistro, hence included it in their weekend brunch menu. I haven’t seen this on their menu of late, so this recipe is perfect for those of us who love chilaquiles at Pomegranate Bistro.


Place the tomatillos and jalapenos in a large pot. Cover them with enough water and bring it to a boil.chilaquiles

Blend the cooked tomatillos and peppers with onions, garlic and cilantro.


Toss tortilla chips with salsa in an oven proof dish. Top with cheese and bake for 10-15minutes.


Serve hot, topped with pico de gallo and scrambled eggs.



14oz store bought or home made tortilla chips

16 tomatillos

3 jalapeno peppers

1 yellow or white onion, roughly chopped

2 cloves of garlic

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon ground black pepper

1 small bunch cilantro

2 cups cheese, a mix of shredded Mexican blend and queso fresco ( I used 1/4 cup of shredded pepper jack)

4 eggs, scrambled

sour cream for garnish ( I didn’t use)

pico de gallo ( a mix of finely chopped tomatoes, onions, cilantro, jalapeno mixed with salt, pepper and lemon juice)


1. Remove papery skins from tomatillos and rinse off any sticky residue on the skin. Cut each tomatillo into 4 pieces.

2. Place cut tomatillos and jalapenos in a large pot, cover with water and bring it to a boil. Boil for 10minutes, drain and reserve the cooking water.

3. Place 1/4 cup of cooking water along with boiled tomatillos and jalapenos in a blender. Add onions, cilantro, garlic, salt and pepper. Blend until smooth and set aside. This salsa can be stored in the refrigerator for up to a week.

4. Preheat oven to 350F.

5. Toss tortilla chips with the salsa in a baking dish. Top with cheese and bake for 10-15 minutes or until the cheese melts. Queso fresco is like the Mexican version of feta cheese, therefore it won’t melt fully but will turn soft when baked.

6. Top with scrambled eggs, pico de gallo and sour cream.

7. You can also cook this on stove top, transfer the blended salsa on to a skillet and toss in the tortilla chips. Cook on medium heat till the chips turn soft, not mushy.