Monthly Archives: January 2015

Mexican Fiesta!

Over Christmas, “Tom” and I were fortunate enough to go to Mexico for a week. We stayed in a beautiful resort on the Mayan Riviera with a large family group. This was our first visit to Mexico. Some highlights of our trip were hiking along the stretch of wild beach next to the resort,

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swimming in cenotes in the Jungle Maya,

Splash!

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attending a Mayan cleansing ceremony,

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watching Mayan dancers,

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and eating authentic Mexican food. Ah, Mexican food … I love it! And you would think a trip to Mexico would mean plenty of it … not so in our case. You see, the resorts have to cater to a wide variety of clientele and so the food choices were all over the place, but with an emphasis on what you could call “western”. I had no problem eating vegan what with all the salads and fresh fruit, but it was very difficult to find good Mexican food on the resort. There was a Mexican restaurant, but it was very meat heavy and very spice light. The main buffet had Mexican food – tortillas in green or red sauce, refried beans, fresh salsa (with no chili spice), avocado sauce – but only at breakfast.

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Our best Mexican food experience was in the Jungle Maya where we were treated to authentic Mayan cooking prepared over charcoal stoves in clay pots and pans. Yum! (Unfortunately, no photos.)

When we got home from Mexico, I knew I wanted to cook up a Mexican meal. Seeing as it was our turn to host the dinner party (see here for more info on that), I decided to do a Mexican theme.

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Here is the menu:

mojitos

make your own tacos:

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roasted chipotle cauliflower

imageroasted poblano vegie toss

“black nachos” – roasted portabello mushrooms

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refried black beans

lime rice

roasted corn rounds

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fresh salsa

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guacamole

chipotle crema

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fresh fruit

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And here’s how I made it:

 Roasted Chipotle Cauliflower

(adapted from Two Peas and Their Pod)

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1 head cauliflower, separated into florets

2 tsps. chili powder

1 tsp cumin

1/4 tsp garlic powder

1/2 tsp salt

1 tsp chipotle paste

juice of 1 lime

1 tbsp. olive oil

1 tbsp. water

Mix all ingredients except cauliflower together in a large bowl. Add the cauliflower florets and toss to coat all pieces. Spread the cauliflower out on a baking pan and bake at 400 degrees for 15 minutes, toss, bake another 10 minutes or so depending on the size of the florets. Bake until fork tender, but not too soft as they will become mushy as they cool.

Roasted Poblano Vegie Toss

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1 poblano pepper, roasted and diced

2 zucchini, cut into 6 cm long strips

2 bell peppers, diced

Roast the pepper by spraying it with oil, placing under the broiler for 5 minutes with the over door ajar. Turn the pepper over using tongs, broil for another 5 minutes, turn, another 5 minutes, etc. until blackened. Let the pepper rest for 5 minutes or so, then peel off the skin and scrape out the seeds and membrane.

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In a large pan, saute the zucchini and peppers together. As they begin to soften, add in the diced poblano pepper and saute and toss everything together.

Roasted Portabello Mushrooms – or BLACK NACHOS as “Tom” nicknamed them!

(adapted from Keepin’ It Kind)

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12 baby portabello mushrooms

2 tbsps. Bragg liquid

1 tbsp. balsamic vinegar

1 tsp liquid smoke

1 tsp dried thyme

1/4 tsp garlic powder

1 tbsp. chili infused olive oil

Mix all the ingredients except the mushrooms in a large bowl. Add the sliced mushrooms and toss to coat all the mushrooms. Do this quickly before the marinade is absorbed completely be the bottom layer of mushrooms only. Spread mushrooms out on a large baking pan. Bake at 400 degrees for 10 minutes, toss, bake for another 10 minutes.

Lime Rice

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1 cup rice of your choice (I think we used white basmati)

1 lime, zested and juiced

Cook the rice. At the end of the cooking time, stir in the zest and the juice from the lime.

Salsa

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4 plum tomatoes, finely diced

1/2 white onion, finely diced

4 stalks green onions, finely diced

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 bunch cilantro, chopped

1 jalapeno pepper, finely diced (seeds and membrane removed)

splash of lime juice

1/2 tsp salt

Combine everything together. Taste and adjust by adding more salt or lime juice.

Chipotle Crema

(adapted from Oh My Veggies)

3/4 cup cashews, soaked for 4 hours

1 clove garlic, minced

juice of 1 lime

1 tsp chipotle paste

1/4 cup + water

salt and pepper

Combine everything in a blender and blend until smooth. Keep adding water until you get the consistency you desire, either thick or more thinned out. Blend for at least 5 minutes.

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