What Is Vegan Picadillo?
Every Cuban family has their own traditional recipe for Picadillo. And today we are going to learn how cuisine author and vegan chef Raydel Hernandez creates an authentic vegan version with his original savory soy blend, Manzanilla olives stuffed with pimentos, fresh garlic, peppers, and spices on #LunchBreakLIVE. Let’s take a look at how it’s done…
Let’s Meet Our Cuban Chef
Raydel Hernandez is a first-generation Cuban American, home cook, and culinary author. His dishes are authentic, delicious, and distinctly Cuban. Heavily influenced by traditional Cuban cooking, Raydel’s culinary sensibilities were shaped by his family experience, primarily his grandmother, Pilar Mejido. After learning how to cook Cuban food using traditional ingredients, Raydel became a vegan and spent 10 years experimenting with plant-based ingredients to achieve a Cuban/Vegan fusion that maintains the integrity, and delicious flavors of the original recipes, all with the goal of promoting a long and healthy life through the foods we eat. Be sure to check out his cookbook “It’s Delicious, it’s Vegan, it’s Cuban: A Cookbook for people who want to be vegetarian/vegan but don’t know how to start.”
Vegan Picadillo. What Is It?
Picadillo is a traditional dish in many Latin American countries and is usually made with ground meat, tomatoes, and also raisins, olives, and other ingredients that vary by region. Picadillo is often served with rice or used as a filling in things like tacos. But today Raydel made vegan Picadillo using vegan beef crumbles by Gardein. His recipe is super simple to make, has an aroma that will fill your kitchen with love, and a taste that will wow anyone who tries it. The recipe is posted below, so give it a try. Pour it over rice, or use the Picadillo as filling for your tacos.
- 1 pound store-bought ground soy vegan beef crumbles
- 2 medium onions peeled and chopped
- 2 medium green bell peppers charred,cored, deseeded, and chopped
- 6 garlic cloves peeled and minced
- 1 8oz can tomato sauce
- ¾ cup Manzanilla olives stuffed with pimentos chopped (I use the Goya brand)
- 2 tablespoons capers
- 1 tablespoon salt
- ½ tablespoon black pepper
- 2 cups vegetable broth
- 2 cups water
- 2 tablespoons vinegar
- 4 tablespoons olive oil extra virgin
- Step-1 If you have a gas stove, place the green peppers right on the burner on medium to low heat and char the peppers black on all sides. Or place the peppers on a roasting pan and use the broil setting on your electric toaster oven or normal oven, to char the peppers black on all sides. Once you have charred the peppers if you’d like you may remove the black charred skin and then deseed, core, and chop the peppers or if you want to be more traditional you may leave the black skin intact and deseed, core and chop the charred peppers as they are.
- Step-2 Place the chopped onions and the 4 tablespoons of olive oil in a large pot. Mix the onions with the olive oil without using heat, and coat the onions completely with the oil. Begin to sauté the onions over medium heat until the onions become shiny and translucent, about 4 minutes. Stir in the garlic and cook for 3 minutes more making sure that the garlic does not brown. Add the charred peppers and keep stirring and cooking for about 2 minutes, then turn off the heat and allow the vegetables to sit for a minute.
- Step-3 Add to the sauteed vegetables the tomato sauce, chopped olives, capers, salt, pepper, vegetable broth, water, and vinegar. Bring all the ingredients to a rapid boil over high heat, allowing all flavors to mix together, rapidly boil for about 10 to 12 minutes, then lower the heat to medium and add the ground soy and soft boil for about 30 minutes or until the sauce thickens. Picadillo should be the consistency of a thick chili. Add more salt to your taste.
Thanks For Having Lunch With Us!
This was a great episode learning how to transform a traditional Cuban beef dish into a delicious vegan version. Your non-vegan friends or family wouldn’t even know the difference. So give it a try. And if you are looking for more easy vegan recipes to cook up, be sure to stop by the #LunchBreakLIVE page where we have a ton to choose from. Until next time…keep cookin’!
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Donna Dennison is an UnchainedTV writer, graphic designer, video editor, and IG contributor. Donna is also a creative in the film industry.