There are a few reasons that vegan Mexican food is growing in popularity.
Recent studies have shown a dramatic increase in veganism and vegetarianism over the past few decades. According to a 2013 poll, 13 percent of Americans follow a meatless diet, and that number is certainly rising.
While the rising popularity of veganism has brought with it a growing number of vegan options at eateries throughout the country, dining out as a vegan - in Texas or anywhere - can still present a challenge.
Fortunately, some of the world's best-loved cuisines, including ever-popular favorites like Mexican food, are full of delicious and satisfying vegan choices.
If you're wondering about how many vegan Mexican food options there could possibly be, these are just a few of the myriad tasty options that make up the enormously tasty world of vegan Mexican food in Grapevine, Texas.
Like some other popular Mexican food options, enchiladas are not necessarily the first thing that comes to mind when you think about vegan dining.
However, like nearly all of those popular Mexican food options, an enchilada is still an enchilada without meat, or even cheese. It's the spices that give enchiladas their singular brand of taste magic.
Sauce-infused sauces like the tomatillo and cilantro-based salsa verde are key to an excellent enchilada. These key ingredients are all vegan, and vegan fillings like vegetables and black beans can easily complete the enchilada picture.
Mesa Mexican Cuisine is a great spot for vegetarian enchiladas and a huge range of other classic Mexican options in Grapevine.
2. Tortilla Soup
Vegans and vegetarians are often, and understandably, skeptical of soup options in different cuisines. In some cases, soups are one of the less obvious places where vegan-unfriendly options can hide.
Luckily, authentic and delicious tortilla soup requires no meat or dairy. Like so many other staples of vegan Mexican food, good tortilla soup is all about the spices - namely chili powder and cumin.
3. Black Bean Soup
Black beans are another theme running throughout the vegan Mexican food universe.
With the basis of vegetable broth, black beans - along with corn, avocados, tomatoes, onions, chili powder and other flavorful vegan favorites - make this hearty Mexican soup satisfying and savory enough to be a meal in and of itself.
4. Taco Salad
One of the more delightful facets of Mexican cuisine is the wide range of ample, filling salads available. This is especially true in vegan Mexican food, when obvious cornerstones of vegan cuisine - namely vegetables - are combined with plant-based proteins such as beans and rice for a filling and nutritionally balanced dish.
With some tortilla added to this already wonderful mix, a taco salad could easily serve as a satisfying entree.
5. Vegetable Quesadilla
The flour tortilla base that makes up most quesadillas is vegan, and the choice of protein can easily be vegan - such as black or refried beans. While non-vegan cheese is a common ingredient, quesadillas can easily be made with nondairy cheese, or with no cheese at all. Throw some vegetables into that quesadilla party and you have a Mexican favorite that vegans can enjoy.
Nopal is a type of cacti often used in Mexican cooking, and being a plant it is completely vegan.
Nopal boasts a host of health benefits, and its culinary versatility has earned it a prized place in Mexican cuisine.
With all of this going for it, nopal is the foundation of numerous vegan Mexican food choices. It's delicious on its own or in a salad, or even better in a nopales taco.
No discussion of vegan Mexican food, or Mexican food in general, would be complete without mention of what is, without question, one of civilization's finest achievements.
At its heart, guacamole is simple, with avocado and sea salt being the only necessary ingredients. However, the other seasonings often added to guac, like lime, cilantro and onion, are nearly always vegan, making this one of the top vegan-friendly choices in Mexican cuisine.
Our own guacamole at Mesa in Grapevine is made with organic avocados and served with fresh tortilla chips.
8. Mango Salsa
Salsa is another pillar of Mexican cooking that vegans can enjoy. The sheer varieties of salsas now available ensures that Mexican food fans of all stripes will never get bored with their options for condiments.
Mango salsa is a bit of an outlier in this world of traditionally spicy sauces. The addition of fresh mango creates a unique flavor profile to add a kick to a variety of dishes.
9. Salsa Roja
For anyone interested in going a more conventional route with their salsa, salsa roja combines a list of traditional spices into a red sauce concentrated deliciousness.
With a base of tomato, as most salsas have, the added combination of chili, garlic and onion is simple yet remarkably effective in tying together a variety of vegan Mexican food dishes.
Tamales are yet another prime example of Mexican cuisine is a great choice for vegan diners. Tamales are generally made using corn flour and vegetable shortening.
Although they are built on a vegan foundation, tamales can be filled with non-vegan ingredients. However, plain corn tamales are a reliable and appetizing vegan Mexican food choice.
11. Vegan Flautas or Taquitos
The flauta is often confused with the similarly rolled-up and deep fried Mexican delicacy known as the taquito. There are some subtle differences between the two, mostly that flautas are longer.
However, whether you refer to it as a flauta or a taquito, these fried, delectable gems are made using flour or corn tortillas, and are often filled with and served with beans. So far, so good for vegan diners.
However, to be on the safe side it's always a good idea to specify that you want your flautas or taquitos without cheese, crema or sour cream, as these ingredients are common with these dishes.
12. Black Bean Tacos
Sometimes you want to go on a culinary adventure and discover what new and interesting things that a cuisine has to offer. Fortunately, this is entirely possible with vegan Mexican food.
However, sometimes you just want to go back to the classics, which is also entirely possible with vegan Mexican food - like black bean tacos, for instance.
What could be more classic than tacos? With their hearty texture and a flavor that goes well with toppings like salsa and guacamole - not mention any type of soft or hard taco shell - black beans are not only vegan, they are one of the very best taco fillings imaginable.
13. Rice and Beans
A common concern among those choosing a vegan diet is protein. After all, it seems like most sources of complete protein are either meat or dairy based.
The good news is that getting complete protein from vegan sources is much simpler than many people realize.
Rice and beans, in combination, provide all eight essential amino acids. This means that getting a good dose of complete protein is as easy as ordering one of the most well-known and widely available vegan Mexican food dishes.
Rice and beans have the potential to be a filling vegan main dish. On the other hand, rice and beans - together and separately - serves as one of the more common side dishes in Mexican cuisine.
14. Quinoa Tacos
True, black beans are a good source of protein and a fantastic filling for tacos of all types. Yet, there comes a time in every taco eater's life when the need to branch out and discover new and exciting corners of the taco world.
This is as true for vegans as it is for everyone else. As luck would have it, vegans have options beyond customary black bean-based tacos.
Like the classic combination of beans and rice, quinoa is another plant-based source of complete protein. That's in addition to being a vegan source of iron, b vitamins and other essentials.
Its nutritional value is not the only reason for quinoa's growing fame. Quinoa's texture and subtle flavor makes it an effective meat substitute. Quinoa tacos are a must-try for anyone interested in delving into vegan Mexican food.
Fajitas, by definition, is not vegan - at least not traditionally.
However, like all cuisines, Mexican food is evolving and shifting over time as all cuisines do. Even for those concerned with authenticity, authentic Mexican cuisine is about much more than just staying with tradition.
For vegans wishing to savor some delicious fajitas there is an expanding list of options available. Some popular replacements for traditional fajita meat include corn, black beans, refried beans and Portabella mushrooms.
You can find our own carefully crafted vegetarian enchilada at Mesa in Grapevine, Texas.
So, what about dessert?
With so many aspects of the Mexican food experience open to vegans, dessert is no exception. Which is wonderful, because who would want to miss out on churros?
Many vegans are all too familiar with feeling left out of delicious desserts, with so many classics incorporating eggs and dairy.
With this vegan Mexican food icon, those days are now over. Traditional churros contain no eggs and no dairy. The enchanting churros contain only flour, sugar, water and, naturally, plenty of tempting, tasty, downright delicious sugar.
Like most dishes, when ordering at a restaurant be sure to ask if the churro preparation strays from the traditional and incorporates non-vegan ingredients.
Assuming that the churros are prepared in the standard, vegan way, it's time to churro away with this distinctive Mexican dessert!
17. Margaritas Are the real Cornerstone of Vegan Mexican Food
From tacos to taquitos to nopales to flautas, the variety of yummy Mexican food runs the gamut from the traditional to the more experimental.
All of it is delicious, but it's all on a plate - or in a bowl. By now, you may very well be wondering about what drinks are available to accompany this culinary grandeur.
As you may be well aware, drink choices generally friendlier to a vegan diet than food choices. In the case of Mexican food both are vegan-friendly.
There are Mexican food fans who follow the philosophy that a good Mexican meal wouldn't be complete without a good margarita or two.
Margaritas are vegan, and there are scores of different margarita varieties.
Mesa Grapevine offers many of those margarita varieties
Even with the dazzling range of margaritas available at Grapevine Mesa, the desire to switch it up from this Mexican classic can occasionally get to be too much - even for the margarita fan. For times like these, Grapevine Mesa offers cocktail alternatives like the Mojito.
Although the origins of the Mojito are more Cuban than Mexican, this lime and mint-infused gin cocktail pairs excellently with Mexican cuisine.
Great Mexican Vegan Food Is Never Far Away
For residents of Grapevine, Texas and the surrounding area, authentic, upscale Mexican cuisine for vegans and diners of all kinds is available at Mesa Grapevine.