Nutritionist Rania Batayneh shares the vegan version of Hispanic food classics
Plant-based ingredients

Nutritionist Rania Batayneh shares the vegan version of Hispanic food classics

From a Pistachio Chimichurri to a mouthwatering flan; find here plant-based alternatives to your favorite meals

The Hispanic and Latinx community is known for its delicious meaty foods. Still, throughout the years, the population are embracing vegan food and finding ways to substitute meat with plant-based ingredients.

Nutritionist Rania Batayneh, MPH Bestselling author of The One One One Diet, exclusively shared with HOLA! USA her vegan take on Hispanic food classics. From a Pistachio Chimichurri, you can spread on cauliflower “steaks” to a mouthwatering flan; find below plant-based alternatives to your favorite meals.

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Pistachio Chimichurri

vegan version of Hispanic food classics©Rania Batayneh

A fun twist on the already healthy and classic chimichurri is to add plant protein-powered pistachios. Pistachios are great for a vegan diet as they are a complete plant protein and provide all nine essential amino acids. They’re a good source of plant protein and fiber, too – a serving provides 6 grams of protein and 3 grams of fiber.

If the idea of cracking open pistachios when preparing this yummy sauce seems like it will be too much work, look for Wonderful Pistachios, No Shells. I keep Wonderful Pistachios No Shells Roasted Lightly Salted in my kitchen to add plant protein and a crunch to any dish, anytime. I used Wonderful Pistachios No Shells Chili Roasted, which gave this chimichurri recipe an added pop of flavor!

I love using this sauce on meatless dishes like grilled portobellos or quesadilla.


  • 1/2 bunch parsley
  • Four cloves of garlic
  • 1/2 cup Wonderful Pistachios No Shells Chili Roasted
  • Three tablespoons white wine vinegar
  • 1/2 cup avocado oil
  • One teaspoon red pepper flakes or to taste
  • Salt and pepper to taste


  1. Combine the parsley, garlic, pistachios, white wine vinegar, and avocado oil in a food processor.
  2. Pulse until well blended but still coarse. Remove to a small bowl and stir. Salt and pepper to taste.
  3. You can make it ahead and store it in the fridge overnight.

Vegan BBQ Jackfruit Tacos

vegan version of Hispanic food classics©Rania Batayneh

These easy vegan BBQ Jackfruit tacos are cooked in Sky Valley Taco Sauce, a flavor-packed, vegan, and gluten-free sauce that spices up all your meals. Serve with radishes, avocado, and quick pickled red onions to resemble vegan pulled pork tacos – this is a spicy, tangy and delicious bite of food that will make you forget all about the meat!


For Quick-pickled Onions:

  • 1/2 c. Apple Cider Vinegar
  • 1 tbsp. Sugar
  • 1 1/2 tsp. Kosher Salt
  • 1 Red Onion, Thinly Sliced

For Jackfruit Vegan Pulled Pork:

  • 2 (14-oz.) Can in a bowl or jarMix Jackfruit In Water Or Brine, Drained And Rinsed (Not In Syrup)
  • 2 tbsp. Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1 Small Yellow Onion, Finely Chopped
  • 2 Cloves Garlic, Minced
  • 3/4 c. Sky Valley Taco Sauce
  • 2 tsp. Dried Oregano
  • 1 tsp. Ground Coriander
  • 1/2 tsp. Paprika
  • 1/2 tsp. Kosher Salt
  • 3 tbsp. Lime Juice

For Serving:

  • Corn Tortillas
  • 1 Red Onion, Thinly Sliced
  • 1 Ripe Avocado, Thinly Sliced
  • 4 Radishes, Thinly Sliced
  • 1/3 c. Cilantro Leaves, Roughly Chopped
  • 1-2 Jalapeños, Sliced (Optional)
  • 1 Lime, Cut Into Wedges


  1. Quick pickle the onions: Mix apple cider vinegar with salt and sugar in a bowl or jar. Add thinly sliced onion and stir well to coat. Let onions sit for at least 10 minutes, and ideally up to 1 hour.
  2. Place the drained jackfruit in a large bowl. Remove the tough core portions of the jackfruit with a knife, and discard. Using your hands or two forks, pull apart the remaining chunks of jackfruit into shredded pieces that resemble pulled pork.
  3. Bring a large pan to medium heat. Add oil and onion, and sauté for 5 minutes until the onion begins to turn golden. Add garlic and jalapeño, and sauté for an additional 1 minute.
  4. Add the shredded jackfruit to the pan and stir well. Add the Sky Valley Taco Sauce, cumin, oregano, coriander, paprika, and salt. Mix well until spices are all combined. Cook for 5-10 minutes until jackfruit begins to brown around the edges. Add in lime juice.
  5. As your jackfruit is cooking, mash it into smaller pieces, or use two forks to shred it thoroughly until it looks sufficiently like pulled pork.
  6. Lightly toast your corn tortillas in a separate pan. Keep them covered with a towel or wrapped in tin foil until everything is ready to eat.
  7. Top each taco with BBQ jackfruit mixture, a few avocado slices, a few radish slices, and a few slivers of pickled purple onion. You can also add some optional jalapeño slices. Finish with a generous sprinkling of fresh cilantro. Serve with lime wedges.

Vegan Flan

vegan version of Hispanic food classics©Rania Batayneh

Flan is recognized as one of the most popular desserts in all Latin America. This creamy and delicious traditional recipe is typically made with eggs and whole milk with its silky texture. However, with a few tweaks to the ingredients, you can turn this into a vegan dessert that still has all the flavor you would expect from the flan you enjoyed growing up.



  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1-2 tbsp water


  • 1 cup of canned coconut milk (shaken)
  • 1 cup Oat milk
  • 3-4 tbsp maple syrup
  • 2 tbsp cornstarch
  • 2/3 tsp agar powder
  • Pinch of sea salt
  • 2 1/2 tsp vanilla extract


  1. For the caramel, add sugar and water to a small saucepan. Bring to a simmer, stirring frequently. Once it starts boiling, turn down the heat, let simmer until it‘s dark golden brown and thickens, then turn off the heat.
  2. Quickly pour the caramel into four small ramekins and spread the caramel around the bottom with a spoon or simply by tilting the ramekins. Set aside while you make the custard.
  3. For the custard, add coconut milk, oat milk, maple syrup, cornstarch, agar powder, vanilla extract, and sea salt to a medium-sized saucepan and stir with a whisk.
  4. Once combined, bring to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring frequently. As soon as it starts boiling, turn the heat to low and let simmer for 2 minutes to activate the agar, then remove from heat.
  5. Pour the custard into the four ramekins and refrigerate for at least 3-4 hours or overnight.
  6. To serve, place the bottom of the ramekin in a container with hot water for 1 -2 minutes to release the flan.
  7. To unmold the flan, gently slide a knife around the edges of each ramekin. Invert a platter on top of the ramekin and turn the ramekin and platter over.
  8. Store leftovers covered in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.