Main Dish

Vegan “Carne con Papas”

Carne con papas means “meat with potatoes” in Spanish. But this recipe has no meat and it doesn’t even use potatoes!

I loved it when my mom would make carne con papas at home. It was a delicious meal but I didn’t realize until later that it was a great way to stretch a dollar.   A little bit of beef with potatoes and a savory tomato sauce. We usually had it with some beans and tortillas. It made for a great dinner that was light on the budget.

I wanted to try something a bit different and this is the result. Make sure to have it with some refried beans and corn tortillas. It’s a must-have combination.

Vegan Carne con Papas

Vegan “Carne con Papas”

1 pound cauliflower, cut to small size

1/3 cup water

1 8 –ounce cake of tempeh

1 tablespoon grape seed oil

½ medium white onion, chopped

1 serrano chile, minced

1 – 1 ½ cups salsa de jitomate

1 – 2 tablespoons cilantro, chopped

Salt and pepper to taste


In a sauce pan with a tight lid, add the water and the cauliflower and bring to a boil.


Once it boils, add the tempeh cake on top of the cauliflower and reduce the heat to a simmer. Cover and steam the tempeh for 10 minutes. You may have to add more water if the pan dries out. After 10 minutes remove the tempeh and set aside. Continue to steam the cauliflower until they are almost tender (just a few minutes). When ready, remove the cauliflower from the pan and reserve. Discard any remaining liquid.


Dice the tempeh into cubes. Add the oil to the pan over medium heat along with the onion and serrano chile. Sauté until the onion begins to soften. Add the tempeh along with some salt and pepper and cook, stirring occasionally, until the tempeh begins to brown.


Add the salsa de jitomate and stir to combine. Return the cauliflower to the pan and stir the ingredients until they are covered with the sauce. Reduce the heat to a simmer and cook until the cauliflower slightly firm.


Stir in the cilantro. Serve.

Note: If you don’t have time to make salsa de jitomate, you can use a good tomato-based salsa. But homemade is always better!

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