Early in November, I asked Hector what where some of the traditional Mexican recipes that his family made during the Christmas Holidays. I was surprised by some of his answers. I am slowly learning that his family isn’t super traditional when it comes to Holidays. They like to do their own thing. For instance, Hector’s Mom only made tamales one time for Christmas. That is it! I thought it was traditional that most families made tons of tamales during December. He mentioned that sometimes they would make tinga for Christmas. I thought tinga? I knew that tinga was a traditional recipe that usually uses shredded chicken in a tomato base sauce with chipotles and sometimes tomatillos. It is served with tostadas or tortillas. I never would have thought that tinga would be made at Christmas. Well at least is Hector’s family they make tinga every so often.
I made a vegan version of tinga a few years ago when we where living in Chicago. From what I remember, it came out too liquidly. It was still tasty, but too much liquid for my taste. Every since Hector told me about serving tinga at Christmas, I knew that I had to remake my original vegan version before this Christmas.
For this vegan version, I used seitan as the replacement for shredded chicken. I really love using seitan when I am trying to recreate some of Hector’s childhood favorites.The sauce is really easy to make and perfect for an easy weeknight meal. You don’t have to make your own homemade seitan. It is easy to make; however store-bough seitan is really good. I happen to really love using Upton’s Naturals Seitan when I’m back home in the U.S.
Hector couldn’t believe how much this recipe tasted like the authentic meaty tinga. I love veganizing traditional recipes that Hector grew up eating. It makes being vegan a little easier when you have that same authentic experience as you did growing up.