Vegan Meatless Monday, Cinco de Mayo Edition

Happy Cinco de Mayo, everyone!

As I wrote in my post last week, my special celebration this year will be getting take-out from our favorite local Mexican restaurant to help them stay in business during this very difficult time for the food industry. But I couldn’t let the holiday pass without making something special for the event.

So last night’s Meatless Monday dinner was Mexican-inspired. I call it a Fiesta Bowl because it is full of bright colors (well, at least it was before I put the sauce on top). I wanted to feature the fresh vegetables I got at the Cary Downtown Farmers Market, but I also wanted it to have a Mexican flare. Finally, I wanted to try making it completely vegan. This Meatless Monday apparently was Challenge Day.

On Saturday I had bought salad mix, orange bell peppers, red tomatoes, and green onions. I supplemented that some frozen organic multi-colored corn (that I cooked) and some homemade black beans, warm from the InstantPot.

The trick, however, was making a vegan Mexican sauce to give it the “kick” I needed to distract my family from realizing they were basically only having salad for dinner. I usually apply a store-bought chipotle ranch dressing on these kinds of meals, but that dressing has dairy. However, perusing the Internet, I found a substitute.

All I did was to use my hand blender to combine about half a can of chipotles in adobo sauce (we like things hot in our house) with a couple of avocados. It was thicker than our usual dressing, and the color wasn’t as appealing–but the taste was really good! I figured it would be OK since we usually just mix everything together. I served it with some tortilla chips on the side to give it some crunch.

It was healthy and filling and everyone liked it. I’ll try it again sometime and see what I can add to thin it out a bit without detracting from the taste or adding a lot of extra fat. But it felt good to have our pre-Cinco de Mayo meal without relying on any animal products and allowing the fresh Farmers Market ingredients to shine!

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