2: Cena Vegan

In Episode Two, I geek out on vegan tacos and burritos and learn how to correctly pronounce barbacoa with Gary from Cena Vegan. If you listened to Episode One with Sweet Simple Vegan and Conscious Chris, you know that Cena is the vendor of choice at all the SoCal vegfests…people wait over an hour just for a simple street taco. I sat down with Gary to discover what makes Cena’s products so addictive. Join the potluck and try not to drool as we discuss Cena’s plant-based Latin American meats, the best vegan Thai food, and how to maintain one’s culture by embracing vegan versions of traditional staples.

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Tanya’s Tip for salvaging baked goods:

  • If you end up with a bad batch of brownies or cake (dry, weird texture/flavor), crumble them in a large bowl and combine with a few splashes of non-dairy milk and a few scoops of nut/seed butter. The batter should be moist enough to form a ball.
  • Line a baking sheet or cutting board with parchment paper or plastic wrap.
  • Melt 1/3 cup chocolate chips with a teaspoon or two of coconut oil. It should be thin.
  • Roll the brownie batter into balls, about an inch around. Dip each ball into the melted chocolate to coat. Place on baking sheet. Option to add toppings such as crushed nuts, coconut shreds, cocoa powder, sea salt, etc.
  • Place balls in the fridge so the chocolate sets.
  • Boom! You have brownie bombs. Another perk is that they last longer than your brownie or cake would. Typically, baked goods only remain at their peak for a few days, but these last in the fridge for at least five days (perhaps longer; I just haven’t tested it).

Show Notes:

  • What Tanya brought to the potluck: Brownie Bombs. See Tanya’s Tip above.
  • What Gary brought to the potluck: Cena’s authentic Latin American vegan meats.
  • When Gary isn’t creating innovative dishes with Cena’s products, you can find him at his favorite local spot, My Vegan. Order the Vegan Beef Jerky…and pretty much everything else on the menu. According to Gary, you can’t go wrong.
  • Check out two of Gary’s favorite vegfest vendors, Charlie’s Brownies and Yoga-urt 
  • Need vegan date night plans in the LA area? Make your reservations at Crossroads Kitchen, Gary’s favorite sit-down restaurant.
  • Say hi to Gary and the Cena team at the OC Pride Festival on 4th Street in Santa Ana on Saturday, June 24th, 2017! Missed it? Follow them on Instagram to see where they’ll be next, or visit the cart in front of Block Party on York Blvd. in Highland Park on select Taco Tuesdays and Fiesta Fridays (check Cena’s calendar to confirm).


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