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MEXICO CITY REFRIED BEANS

In the time I spent in Mexico City, I realized a lot of restaurants were serving refried BLACK beans. Sometimes with a subtle flavor that I at first wasn’t able to pinpoint what it was. Until I asked, it turns out sometimes families will put a tiny bit of Mexican ground cinnamon to it. And I have to tell you, it’s so wonderful that when I went back home I made an attempt to recreate this batch of heaven. I stopped buying the canned refried pinto beans and was more than willing to make my own instead. It takes maybe 10 minutes to do and you can make this in a larger batch in about the same amount of time. I honestly don’t miss the standard stuff you find in most Mexican-American restaurants.

If you can’t find Mexican ground cinnamon, don’t worry! Using regular ground cinnamon is just fine. You’re only using a tiny bit anyways. I stayed away from the traditional lard and use olive oil just because I wanna keep it on the healthier side. There’s a give and take with everything with me if I want to enjoy amazing food and still reap healthy benefits. Also, you don’t have to use finely chopped onions (although it is pretty yummy this way), you can use onion powder instead. And of course, with these beans you can make your ideal nachos, put in a burrito of your choice, serve with eggs and chorizo. And if you’re looking for a healthy alternative to chorizo that is just as spot on in flavor, you gotta try my Tofu Chorizo. It only takes minutes to make too. Some times I’ll make a decent amount of both and have it available for the week, whether I incorporate both or one of them for breakfast, lunch or dinner. This is truly the beauty besides taste; of Mexican food right here. You can eat it anytime, with all kinds of things!

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MEXICO CITY REFRIED BEANS
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Ingredients
Servings
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Ingredients
Instructions
  1. Drizzle the bottom of a medium sauté pan with olive oil, enough to coat the bottom. Over medium-high heat, sauté the onions and epazote until translucent.
  2. Add the black beans, vegetable stock, garlic powder, cinnamon, and sea salt. Stir until everything is simmering.
  3. Reduce the heat to low and use a potato masher to mash the beans to your preferred consistency. Add additional vegetable stock a little bit at a time if it gets too dry.
  4. Taste to see if it needs any more seasoning before serving.

TOFU CHORIZO

This Tofu Chorizo tastes practically identical to the traditional Mexican chorizo we’re all familiar with at the store. The major difference which seems to be a huge deal is that the pork is replaced with tofu. It sounds absolutely ridiculous but it really isn’t. Chorizo is all about the combination of spices and of course the grease factor because it’s pork. But you can add all the same spices with your favorite oil (mine is olive oil) and make it just the same. The reward is that you can eat as much chorizo often, keep your waistline smaller, your cardiovascular system healthy and avoid the feeling of weighed down from heavy, greasy foods. For some people, eating high fat/greasy foods can result in gallstones and later on require removal of the gallbladder. With some dietary compromises, you can avoid a lot of trouble. Here are the many ways you can enjoy my chorizo…

I’m crazy for burrito’s. It must be a California thing, who knows but I love making my own homemade Mexico City Refried Beans to pair with this chorizo. Top it off with fresh watercress greens, some chopped cherry tomatoes and a little bit of queso fresco. SO GOOD! I’ve made scrambled eggs with the chorizo too and it’s amazing with hot sauce. You can do a chorizo omellete, make tacos, even a taco salad or a quesadilla with your favorite cheese and grilled onions. OH! Ever go to Chipotle and get a burrito bowl? Have you tried their sofritos? Last time I went there I realized how much my tofu chorizo tasted like their sofritos and so later on I made my own burrito bowl with all the goodies. It was amazing! As you can see your options are endless. I hope you enjoy this recipe as much as I do!


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TOFU CHORIZO
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Ingredients
Servings
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Ingredients
Instructions
  1. Remove the tofu from its container and slice it in about ½ inch thick slices.
  2. Cover a large surface with a few layers of paper towels and place the tofu on top. Place another few layers of paper towels on top of the tofu. Press on top firmly with your hands to remove excess water.
  3. In a large skillet over medium-high heat drizzle the olive oil and break the tofu up.
  4. Add all the spices to the tofu and use a wooden spoon to break apart the tofu finely as it cooks, stirring regularly. After 5 minutes, add the lemon juice and continue to stir everything together for another 5-7 minutes.

TRADITIONAL MANGO SALSA

Oh how I love how mango salsa is so versatile! It’s one of the main reasons why I make it often during the Summer. You can eat it with tortilla chips, serve it next to your favorite tomato based salsa and other salsas you love for parties. Put this over Salmon or any of your favorite seafood dishes. And my favorite of course is putting this on top of all kinds of tacos like my Cochinita Pibil. Also! You can give your egg scramble a fresh Mexican flare by adding mango salsa to it. I love options and I hope you do too!


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TRADITIONAL MANGO SALSA
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Ingredients
Instructions
  1. Mix everything together in a bowl. Let sit at least 30 minutes or over night.

MEXICAN INSPIRED PASTA

I remember it seemed so recent many of us were freezing our butts off and now the weather is heating up faster than I can even get anything done! Okay, so I’m exaggerating a little but seriously the heat seems to be kicking in gear quick. So let’s lighten things up a little why don’t we! I just spent a good amount of time home in California and it reinforced how much I miss the Mexican food there. A lot of it is very much so Baja Mexico influenced and so I wanted to bring that into the kitchen with a unique flare of fun all in one skillet.

There’s a lot of good health going on in this mix. If you’re watching your carb intake then just omit the pasta altogether. Or if you’re not feeling the pasta then replace it with your favorite rice. Keep it heart healthy by leaving out the cheese. I use a lot of ground turkey instead of ground beef for general health benefits but by all means it doesn’t mean you can’t use your choice of meat. On a busy day and not much of a desire to be in the kitchen for a long time, this is one of my latest favorite go to.  I hope you enjoy it as much as I do!

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MEXICAN INSPIRED PASTA
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servings
Ingredients
Servings
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Ingredients
Instructions
  1. Bring a pot of water to a boil and cook the pasta according to the directions on the package. Drain the pasta and set aside until you're ready.
  2. In a large skillet over medium-high heat drizzle about 2 tablespoons of olive oil and saute the onions for two minutes.
  3. Add the ground turkey, salt, ground cumin, and use a wooden spoon to break up the ground turkey into fine pieces. Stir occasionally until it's almost cooked thoroughly.
  4. Then stir in the salsa and tomato sauce until everything is heated through. After a couple minutes, add in the black beans and corn. Stir for another minute or two, again until everything is heated through.
  5. Lastly, mix in the elbow pasta, cheese, tomatoes, and avocado for a minute before serving.
  6. Garnish with chopped cilantro.