New Mexican cuisine is certainly pork-centric, but I created this vegan adovada that still boasts all the spicy flavors we love, while swapping smoky grilled eggplant for the traditional protein. Try it on a warm corn tortilla and you won’t mind that this little piggy stayed home!

2 small or 1 large eggplant

⅓ cup olive oil

1½ teaspoons kosher salt, divided

½ teaspoon ground black pepper

¼ cup crushed Caribe chile*

2 tablespoons mild ground New Mexico red chile

2 tablespoons hot ground New Mexico red chile

3 cloves garlic, crushed

1 tablespoon toasted and ground cumin

1 teaspoon dried Mexican oregano

2 cups water

Juice of one lime, plus an additional lime, sliced for serving

Fresh cilantro springs

Creamy Cilantro Slaw


¼ cup vegan mayonnaise

¼ cup vegan sour cream (try the Tofutti brand)

1 teaspoon lime juice

2 jalapeños, seeded and minced

¼ cup chopped cilantro

1 small shallot, minced

¼ teaspoon kosher salt

¼ teaspoon ground black pepper

2 cups shredded cabbage coleslaw mix

Serves 6 as a side dish or filling for tacos

  1. Cut off the stem and bottom ends of the eggplant. Cut lengthwise into ½-inch-thick slices. Brush with olive oil and lightly season with ½ teaspoon each of salt and pepper. Prepare the grill or stovetop grill pan, then grill slices 4 to 6 minutes on each side until nicely browned and softened. Cut slices into ½-inch cubes.
  2. Place remaining ingredients in a blender and whir until smooth.
  3. Scatter eggplant cubes in a 3-quart baking dish and pour chile mixture over them. Stir and allow to marinate for 10 minutes.
  4. Cover dish and bake at 400° for 30 minutes or until sauce has thickened and coated eggplant. Serve topped with Creamy Cilantro Slaw, lime wedges, and fresh cilantro sprigs.

*Available in most markets or online at


  1. Combine first eight ingredients in a food processor and blend until smooth.
  2. Toss with coleslaw mix and chill until serving time.

Read more: This recipe originally appeared in "Sweet Surprise" by Chef Johnny Vee.