Pastel Azteca (Mexican Lasagna)

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Pastel Azteca is the Mexican answer to the lasagna.  Layers of tortillas, sauce, cheese and delicious fillings are placed in a casserole dish, then baked to golden yumminess is achieved. The tortillas soak up the sauce creating a soft, almost velvety texture. It is super easy to make and very satisfying. Continue reading

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Vegan Kale and Chorizo Empanadas

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You know, whoever decided to stuff dough with delicious fillings should really be honored.  And I mean a statue in the park, face on a stamp, day of acknowledgement kind of honored because bready dough wrapped around flavorful fixings is hard to beat.  It is tasty, easy to eat and-did I mention tasty? Continue reading

Yucca al Mojo de Ajo (Yucca in Garlic Sauce)

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Yucca, or cassava, is a cousin of the potato.  More commonly used in tropical cooking, yucca is very versatile and can be used in numerous preparations.  Just because yucca does not get as much attention as the almighty potato does not mean it is not as delicious.  Trust me.

This Cuban recipe takes yucca from yummy veggie to extraordinary side dish.  This garlic sauce makes it.  The sweet garlic flavor complements the rich olive oil.  The addition of the lime cuts through the sauce and helps balance it out.  The end result:  Creamy yucca and a sweet garlicky sauce with a hint of citrus.  Yes, please. Continue reading

“Huevos” Revueltos

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Huevos revueltos, or scrambled eggs, make for a quick and easy breakfast meal.  Usually huevos revueltos are kept simple with eggs and some salt and pepper.  But why stop there?  I say add some veggies for flavor and color.  And while we are on the subject of flavor, chipotle peppers add a ton of flavor.

This recipe turns scrambled eggs into a vegan-friendly, spice-filled dish.  Skip the eggs and make it with tofu instead.  Add peppers, onions and tomatoes to really kick it up a notch.  So filling, so tasty, so incredible.  Patting myself on the back now. Continue reading

Sopa de Albondigas (Meatball Soup)

finalComfort food staples for some Mexicans include sopa de albondigas, or meatball soup. Whether it starts a meal or is the main star, albondigas always satisfies in the nostalgia-takes-me-back-to-my-youth department.  The rich flavorful broth married with a spiced-filled albondiga (a.k.a. meatball) makes a great addition to any dinner…or lunch… or even breakfast (why not!).

So I have taken the meat out of the ball and instead used delicious, nutrient-dense chickpeas. The chickpeas really help create a dense, filling ball.  It is very similar to falafel, just with a few twists.  Not sure if I can call it a meatball if it technically is not made with meat.  Hmmm. Well whatever they are call they sure are tasty. Continue reading

Vegan Pozole

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When the weather turns chilly the best way to fill up on is with a nice, steaming bowl of soup. It warms you up from the inside out.  When looking a great vegan soup I think pozole is a good way to go.  Traditionally, pozole is a pork and hominy soup with a spicy chile base but it is just as easy to nix the pork and still have a delicious bowl to fill up on.  As a bonus, the vegan version is ready to serve in less than an hour.

This recipe keeps the heat level on the mild side.  Ancho chiles tend to have a bite to them without being too hot.  If you feel the need to bump it up a notch you can always add guajillo or dried chipotle peppers.

In addition the garnishes play just as much a role in the soup as the soup itself so don’t skimp on them.  I like mine with a lot of lemon, lettuce, onion and a few slices of radishes. Plus I always crush up tortilla chips into the bowl and let them soak up the spice-filled broth. Continue reading

Spicy Red Chilaquiles

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Sometimes the least complex dishes tend to be the tastiest.  A few simple, delicious ingredients is all it takes to make a great dish packed with flavor come to life.

Chilaquiles are a breakfast staple.  Smothered tortillas and eggs topped with cheese make for a scrumptious and hearty meal.  Sometimes a tangy green sauce is used but this time I am using a quick red tomato and chipotle sauce to soak the crispy tortillas in. Continue reading

Locro de Papa (Potato Cheese Soup)

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It is soup season.  Time to whip up a hearty, satisfying soup to help keep the cold at bay. What a better way to heat up those tummies then with some potato soup.  Creamy goodness is just a few minutes away.

Ecuadorian Locro de Papa is a rich soup made of potato, cheese and corn.  Meant to keep you warm while in the Andes, this soup screams comfort food.  It is creamy, starchy, cheesy and full of flavor.  The soup is usually garnished with avocado which makes it even more decadent.  All I can say is be prepared to be blown away. Continue reading

Mexican Cauliflower “Rice”

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For some time now I have seen several recipes for turning cauliflower into “rice”.  It seemed pretty simple and looked quite delicious so I decided to give it a try.  Good thing I did.  The method works best for turning any type of fried rice recipe rice-free (i.e. using cauliflower to make steam rice may not such a great idea).  As a bonus the cauliflower gives the rice dish more flavor and a better texture.  Plus it is ready to go a lot sooner than traditional rice.  I took a true and tried Mexican rice recipe, nixed the rice and brought in the cauliflower.  The end result is a bit spicy, a bit sweet from the bell pepper and a whole lot of yuminess. Continue reading

Mexico City Quesadillas

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For most people a quesadilla consists of an enormous flour tortilla stuffed with an insane amount of cheese, griddled, then topped with guac, sour cream and chunky salsa.  Well I am not sure what the folks in Mexico’s capital would have to say when they see that.  Out in Mexico City quesadillas look a lot different.  A lot.  For starters they are significantly smaller and use a corn tortilla as a base.  Second, fillings usually consist of something more than just cheese (although a cheese quesadilla is acceptable).  A variety of vegetables make for great additions to a quesadilla.  One of the biggest difference is these quesadillas usually get fried rather than just get thrown on a griddle.  The end result is half-quesadilla, half-turnover.  A crunchy outside that is filled with warm veggies and gooey cheese. Continue reading