September 16th is Mexican Independence Day, also known as “El Grito.” It marks the day in 1810 when the war that led to the country’s independence began. “El Grito,” which means “the cry,” references the “Cry of Dolores,” the shout by a priest named Miguel Hidalgo y Costilla that encouraged Mexicans to free themselves and defend their rights. After eleven years of civil war, the Treaty of Córdoba, which recognized Mexican independence, was signed in 1821. Sadly, Father Hidalgo never got to see it as he was killed by Spanish troops in 1811. He is considered the father of Mexico.

Today people celebrate Mexican Independence Day with flags, red, white and green flowers, lights, and parades. The historic bell from Dolores is rung by the Mexican president with shouts of “Viva Mexico” and “Viva la Independencia.”  Of course, there is also lots of delicious food.

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Mexican food is very popular but much of the food people eat today at chain restaurants is not authentic Mexican food. Mexican food is filled with fresh veggies, fruits, protein, and spices and is actually healthy and well-balanced. Rich in history, Mexican food has influences from many different cultures. It’s also a cuisine that is easy to veganize with its bounty of vegetables, tomatoes, beans, coconuts, peanuts, vanilla and chocolate. To learn how to make your own Mexican food at home, see How to Cook Veggies Mexican-Style, 10 Mexican Spices to Spike Up Your Meals and Tips for Making Ethnic Dishes Taste the Best.

September 16th is also National Guacamole Day and if you need recipes for your own Mexican celebration, we have plenty. Take a look at Try These Recipes for a Fiesta in Honor of National Mexican Independence Day, 10 Super Simple, Spicy Vegan Cinco de Mayo Recipes and Stop Paying Extra For Chipotle’s Guac, Here’s the Easy Recipe! Then celebrate both holidays with these 26 meatless and dairy-free Mexican recipes.

1. Spicy Bean Chili and Rice Tacos With Guacamole and Cashew Sour Cream

Spicy Bean Chili and Rice Tacos With Guacamole and Cashew Sour Cream [Vegan, Gluten-Free]

These Spicy Bean Chili and Rice Tacos with Guacamole and Cashew Sour Cream are so easy to make and so much fun, it makes every night feel like a fiesta. Big and small kids alike love building their own tacos at the dinner table and when delicious fillings ooze from broken taco shells, it’s guaranteed grins all round. Crunchy, messy fun.

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2. Triple Persimmon Nachos

Triple Persimmon Nachos [Vegan, Gluten-Free]

Here’s a fun twist on the usual nachos. Persimmon salsa, persimmon guacamole, persimmon nachos… it’s fall’s favorite fruit three ways to make Triple Persimmon Nachos. Fresh salsa and guacamole top it all off for a delicious and creative dish.

3. Poblano Chili Bowls

Poblano Chili Bowls [Vegan, Gluten-Free]

The aroma and flavor of broiled peppers as they come to life in the oven make each bite exciting and flavorful! In these Poblano Chili Bowls, poblano chili peppers, a vibrant orange bell pepper, and big onion slices are broiled and served over steaming hot rice with garbanzo beans.

4. Enchilada Fries

Enchilada Fries [Vegan, Gluten-Free]

Sometimes the same old oven fries just won’t cut it. Occasionally you just need some pizzazz…some zest…some enchilada sauce! These Enchilada Fries with a zingy sauce will have you looking at fries in a whole new light.

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5. Chipotle Sausage, Peppers, and Guacamole Flatbreads With Cilantro Cream

Chipotle Sausage, Peppers, & Guacamole Flatbreads with Cilantro Cream [Vegan]

These Chipotle Sausage, Peppers and Guacamole Flatbreads are worth celebrating just for themselves. Spicy sausages and bell peppers top flatbreads with fresh, homemade guacamole and are topped with a creamy, cashew-based cilantro cream.

6. Southwest Smoky Rolled Tacos

Southwest Smoky Rolled Tacos [Vegan, Gluten-Free]

Tacos really are just the perfect food. Think about it, they’re made up of delicious, versatile and interesting ingredients and come in an edible wrapper. These Smoky Rolled Tacos, also known as taquitos or flautas, contain protein rich black beans, a homemade smoky cream and fiber rich nopales.

7. Chipotle Gazpacho

Chipotle Gazpacho [Vegan, Gluten-Free]

Gazpacho is soup served ice cold so there is no need to turn on your oven in the hot weather. This Chipotle Gazpacho is filled with fresh veggies, chipotle peppers, adobo sauce, avocado and lime. Raise a glass of soup to toast the holiday.

8. Mexican Corn Pancakes With Homemade Salsa

Mexican Corn Pancakes With Homemade Salsa [Vegan]

Start celebrating at breakfast time with these Mexican Corn Pancakes that are light, fluffy and delicious. They are topped with vegan butter and a fresh homemade salsa made from tomatoes, onion, coriander and avocado.

9. Chili Lime Lentil Tacos With Spicy Grilled Pineapple Salsa

Chili Lime Lentil Tacos With Spicy Grilled Pineapple Salsa [Vegan]

Tacos can be made a bajillion different ways with numerous toppings and sauces. These Chili Lime Lentil Tacos are awesome on their own, some vegan sour cream or avocados make them even better and the spicy grilled pineapple salsa takes them all the way to incredible!

10. Churros With Lime Sugar and Caramel Sauce

Churros With Lime Sugar and Caramel Sauce [Vegan]

Churros are a magical treat and these Churros with Lime Sugar and Caramel Sauce are crispy, fluffy and perfectly delicious. In a little twist from the traditional, these are topped with lime sugar and there’s rich caramel sauce for dipping.

11. Green Tacos and Green Taco Salad

Green Tacos and Green Taco Salad [Vegan, Gluten-Free]

These Green Tacos are really delicious and offer a nice dose of plant protein and fresh vegetables. They use collard greens as the shells instead of tortillas or the fillings are delicious on top of salad greens as a green taco salad. This is a really filling, healthy and delicious meal.

12. Taco Cornmeal Pancakes

Taco Cornmeal Pancakes [Vegan, Gluten-Free]

These Taco Cornmeal Pancakes aren’t really tacos but all the taco fixings are stacked and smashed between delightfully spiced thick and firm cornmeal pancakes. This is a filling, ridiculously happy meal made with all natural ingredients.

13. The Ultimate Summer Gazpacho

The Ultimate Summer Gazpacho [Vegan, Raw, Gluten-Free]

There is still time to take advantage of summer’s bounty of vegetables. This Ultimate Summer Gazpacho is a raw soup that is light, fresh, tangy, and hits every single taste bud. It will make you dance with glee…

14. Mexican Style Pizza

Mexican Style Pizza [Vegan]

Fuse the American obsession with pizza with the love for Mexican flavors and you have yourself a perfect pizza! This Mexican Style Pizza has naturally spicy shiitake mushrooms, black beans, tomatoes and vegan mozzarella. Top with your favorites and you’ve got a great, easy and special pizza that puts a spin on the same old slice.

15. Mango Avocado Salsa

Mango Avocado Salsa [Vegan, Gluten-Free]

Sweet mango, creamy avocado, crunchy cucumber, and spicy jalapeno combine to make the most amazing dish that is bright and colorful and packed with flavor. This Mango Avocado Salsa makes a great side dish for lots of meals or would be refreshing all on its own.

16. Butternut Squash Fajitas

Butternut Squash Fajitas [Vegan, Gluten-Free]

Sometimes the simplest recipes are the most popular, which proves true with this veggie filled dish. These Butternut Squash Fajitas are highly customizable in that you can add or subtract pretty much anything you want in order to satisfy the tastes of the whole family. These fajitas are the perfect build-your-own solution for picky palettes and hungry crowds.

17. Super Simple Collard Burritos

Collard Burritos and Tortilla Chips [Vegan, Gluten-Free]

When avoiding gluten and most flours, it may seem difficult to make your favorite dishes. Collards are the perfect replacement for wraps that are just as easy to use, plus you get a serving of greens in. There are a million ways that you can fill them; these Super Simple Collard Burritos are bursting with flavor with black beans, peppers, rice, avocado and Mexican spices.

18. Strawberry “Unfried” Ice Cream with Cacao Crust

Strawberry 'Un-Fried' Ice Cream With Cacao Crust [Vegan, Raw, Gluten-Free]

This is a healthier twist on the classic dessert and it is way more delicious. This Strawberry “Unfried” Ice Cream is made with strawberry lime ice cream and coated with a crunchy spiced cacao crust laced with chipotle. It has all the Mexican flavors with none of the frying.

19. Mexican Shepherd’s Pie

Mexican Shepherd’s Pie [Vegan, Gluten-Free]

Change up the usual shepherd’s pie with this Mexican Shepherd’s Pie that has spicy chili and is topped with sweet potatoes. You can make the chili mild or kick up the spice blend with more chili powder, chili flakes or cayenne.

20. Baked Jalapeno Poppers

Baked Jalapeño Popper [Vegan]

That’s right — Baked Jalapeno Poppers with no dredging, no breading, no frying. Just beautiful jalapeno peppers stuffed with a flavor-packed mixture of vegan cheeses, scallions, and spices. They actually taste better than the fried version because you can really taste the jalapeno. These taste fresh, they actually taste healthy …well, healthier.

21. Mexican Bean Burger With Avocado Fries

Mexican Bean Burger with Avocado Fries [Vegan]

These Mexican Bean Burgers are made with kidney beans and lots of fiery spices. Top them with fresh salsa and serve with these amazing avocado fries for a new take on the old burger and fries.

22. Mexican Lasagna

mexican-lasagna-new-1 (1)

The layers of flavor of this Mexican Lasagna will make you smile in delight from the first bite. Mexican lasagna is like a taco casserole, or a layered soft taco. You can change up the fillings layers to anything you want and set the spice level to your taste.

23. Avocado Jalapeno Poppers

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One thing we can all agree on is really good food, and these Avocado Jalapeno Poppers are so scrumptious and addictive you might have trouble stopping. The creamy avocado, the crunchy fried won ton wrapper, and the kick from the jalapeno are a creative twist on the classic appetizer.

24. Mexican Spiced, Chocolate Covered Cashews

Mexican Spiced, Chocolate Covered Cashews [Vegan, Gluten-Free]

Indulgent desserts are great but sometimes you just want a little snack to satisfy that chocolate craving. These Mexican Spiced Chocolate Covered Cashews will crush that sweet tooth without being overly decadent. This chocolatey snack is spiced with cinnamon and just a hint of chili powder, giving it depth of flavor without adding heat.

25. Butternut Squash and Black Bean Enchiladas With Mango-Avocado Salsa

Butternut Squash and Black Bean Enchiladas With Mango-Avocado Salsa [Vegan, Gluten-Free]

These Butternut Squash and Black Bean Enchiladas are so good – crispy tortillas filled with creamy squash, bites of zucchini and black beans in a zippy black bean sauce topped with fresh tomatoes and cilantro. Yum!

26. Skillet Cheesy Enchilada Stew

Skillet Cheesy Enchilada Stew [Vegan, Gluten-Free]

This hearty, luscious Skillet Cheesy Enchilada Stew is an ode to the enchilada in all its glory. It’s easy to make because it’s all in one pot. It’s a perfect dish for sharing at a party, or around the dinner table with a bunch of your closest friends!

Independence and freedom are always worth celebrating and there’s no better way to do that than with dishes that are free from all animal products. Viva Mexico!

Lead image source: Chipotle Sausage, Peppers, and Guacamole Flatbreads With Cilantro Cream