Jicama Orange Basil Salad

Jicama Orange Basil Salad/MyBajaKitchen.com

Unsure what to do with the ugly brown jicama that is showing up at the markets. You can peel it and eat it in sticks with hummus, salsa or all by itself. Serve it with a dash of chili pepper or add it to vegetable and fruit salads. Try it in this Jicama Orange Basil Salad. The taste is slightly sweet and mildly earthy. Buy a jicama at the farmer’s market  and try it, if you haven’t already.

Feed some bees.

Plant some basil plants on your deck. The flowers attract and aid bees. They are perennial in Baja if you water them over the hot summer months. Genovese basil doesn’t tolerate the summer heat very well but Thai, Holy Basil and Sweet Basil are tolerant.

Jicama Orange Basil Salad @MyBajaKitchen.com

 

Jicama orange basil salad @MyBajaKitchen.com

Orange Jicama Basil Salad

Try this 4 ingredient, versatile refreshing fruit salad with oranges, lime and jicama seasoned with basil; low in calories and high in vitamin C

A simple non-recipe

Peel and cube a jicama and two oranges. Chiffonade 1/4 cup of fresh basil of any type.  Combine and squeeze the juice from the third orange and a Mexican lime over the salad and mix.

Variations: Use fresh mint or chili powder. Substitute grapefruit for the oranges.

Serve with fish, chicken or alone as a side salad.

Jicama Orange Basil Salad/MyBajaKitchen.com

For more salad inspiration visit my Pinterest Mexican Salad Board. Or my Best Vegetable Side Dishes Board.



Swiss Chard and Quinoa Patties With Cilantro Yogurt Sauce, Vegetarian

Swiss Chard and Quinoa Patties With Cilantro Yogurt Sauce, Vegetarian from MyBajaKitchen.com

Swiss Chard and Quinoa Patties With Cilantro Yogurt Sauce, Vegetarian from MyBajaKitchen.comSwiss chard and quinoa are each super foods that are readily available in Baja. Combine them with egg for a complete vegetarian meal, loaded with fiber, vitamins, minerals and protein. Drizzle with cilantro, yogurt and garlic sauce for a pop of bright flavor. Make extra sauce because you will want to pour it on everything: fish, chicken, salads, roasted and raw vegetables.

Batch Cook, a Healthy Time Saver

I batch cook grains and beans early in the week for fast vegetarian lunches or dinners.  Quinoa is technically a seed but is cooked and served like a grain. These Swiss chard and Quinoa Patties are a snap to make with pre-cooked quinoa.

I wash and wash and wash my vegetables just before I use them. Greens can be refreshed by standing them in clean cold water for an hour before using unless you’re cooking them and then it doesn’t matter.

A Word About Food Safety

You do need to be aware that eating raw vegetables can expose you to bacteria and parasites in any country. Wash and wash and wash again with safe water. We add vinegar to our filtered water as a final soak for raw fruits and vegetables.  The science behind using vinegar as a mild disinfectant isn’t clear but it has worked for us and it’s non-toxic. My best defense against contamination is to grow my own greens with organic soil and natural pesticides.

Vegetarian Inspiration

I’m glad I found inspiration for Quinoa Patties, at Occasionally Eggs, an interesting vegetarian blog with gorgeous food photography. I’m imagining these with shredded zucchini, butternut squash, spinach and kale. I used Thai red curry spice but really any spice/herb combination could be used. Italian spices, Indian spices, Mexican chilies and Greek spices, to mention a few, would give you an endless array of possibilities.

Need vegetarian and vegan inspiration? You might like my newest Pinterest board, Vegetarian Lunch and Dinner Ideas Or Vegetarian/Vegan Mexican Recipes.

 

Swiss Chard and Quinoa Patties With Cilantro Yogurt Sauce, Vegetarian from MyBajaKitchen.com

Swiss Chard and Quinoa Patties with Yogurt Cilantro Sauce

Vegetarian patties with Swiss chard, quinoa and eggs, drizzled with yogurt, cilantro and garlic sauce. Perfect for a complete vegetarian lunch or dinner. 

Course Main Course
Cuisine Vegetarian
Servings 4
Author TraceyDelaplain

Ingredients

  • 4 Cups Swiss chard, chopped
  • 2 Cups Quinoa, cooked
  • 2 Eggs
  • 1/2 Cup Flour
  • 2 Teaspoons Baking powder
  • 2 Teaspoons Curry powder, I used Thai red curry
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Salt
  • 1/4 Teaspoon Black pepper

Yogurt Cilantro Sauce

  • 1 Cup Plain yogurt
  • 1/2 Cup Chopped cilantro
  • 2 Tablespoons Mayonnaise Optional
  • 2 Cloves Garlic, minced

Olive oil for frying, 1-4 tablespoons. A non-stick pan without oil would work as well.

Instructions

  1. Make yogurt sauce. Combine all ingredients and whirl in a food processor until smooth.

    Rinse quinoa and cook in vegetable broth for 20 minutes. Let cool. Lightly beat eggs, add flour and seasonings of choice. Combine Swiss chard and drained quinoa with egg mixture. Let rest 30 minutes.

    Heat olive oil in a skillet. Drop 1/4 cup of batter into oil and fry until browned in small uncrowned batches. 

    Serve warm with sauce on the side. 

    Swiss Chard and Quinoa Patties With Cilantro Yogurt Sauce, Vegetarian from MyBajaKitchen.com

Recipe Notes

These can be made with a variety of greens or squashes. Try any combination of herbs and spices. Suggestions: Jalapeño minced and cumin, Italian spices and fresh parsley, Greek seasonings and fresh mint. Vegans, I haven’t tried these with a flax egg but it should work well. 



La Gringa’s Weekly Baja Menu and CSA Boredom

CSA boredom/Weekly Baja Menu

CSA BOREDOM?

It’s easy to get bored with Mexican winter vegetables; Swiss chard, beets, butternut and spaghetti squash, cherry tomatoes and peppers. Greens and squash, rinse and repeat. Making a weekly menu and adjusting your focus may help. I have to remind myself to feel gratitude. Boredom just means that I haven’t tried any new ways to eat the available vegetables.

It’s Fresh

The majority of my produce has been grown locally and was picked within a couple of hours to days of harvest. When you go to Whole Foods in the U.S. you will find a much larger and expensive selection of produce.

It’s Local

However those fruits and vegetables probably traveled hundreds to thousands of miles before they landed on your plate.

The transportation process robs us of ripe-picked produce and nutrients and the carbon footprint takes its toll on the environment.

It’s All Relative, Others Aren’t as Lucky

When I consider all of this and reframe the situation then I am happy to eat the same healthy fresh foods week after week in new and exciting ways.  I’m up for the challenge.

I feel sorry for anyone who doesn’t have access to any fresh produce or is eating a larger variety of warehouse ripened, flavorless vegetables that were picked a few weeks ago.

Powerful Nutrition

Cheers for greens and winter squashes.
Deep green leafy veggies provide an abundance of  folate, vitamins C, K, A, potassium, magnesium and other phytonutrients. Yellow squashes are filling and help you meet your daily requirement of vitamin A, E and Bs, calcium and manganese.

What’s For Dinner, Doc?

We have been blessed with excellent mild days so the fisherman can bring us delicious yellowtail, cabrilla (grouper) and red snapper; the stars of this week’s healthy menu.

Weekly Baja Menu/Whatsfordinnerdoc?

Cabrilla with Lemon and Thai Basil; Saute garlic in olive oil, basil, add fresh fish and cook until just opaque. Deglaze the pan with a squeeze of lemon.  Finish with a tablespoon of butter and serve with steamed snow peas and sesame seeds.

Spaghetti Squash and Mushroom Bolognese

Sesame seared yellowtail or tuna. Season fish with sea salt and pepper. Coat with black and white toasted sesame seeds. Briefly sear in hot coconut oil, serve with baked butternut squash and bacon. or Asian zucchini noodles.

Quinoa and Chard Patties

Moroccan Chicken and Cumin Carrots, Here’s a recipe for inspiration.



Easy Homemade Granola Without a Recipe

Homemade granola, No Need for Recipe/MyBajaKitchen.com

Healthy snacks start with fresh whole ingredients and developing a strategy for making your own homemade granola without a recipe is a big step towards eating real food. I’ve been making yogurt every week so making granola was a natural next step. I made all the mistakes so you don’t have to.

A word about Mexican snacks:

There are a lot of bad snacks in Mexico. Many are high in sugar and hydrogenated oils and don’t even get me started on the weird fluorescent red “sauce” the kids put on their chips and other “snacks”. Ugh. What ever happening to grabbing an apple or a piece of cheese for a midday pick me up?

In truth, America has many more scary snacks than Mexico so this homemade granola recipe will come in handy in the U.S. also. I blame the U.S. for introducing processed “snacks” to other cultures

Snacks for the adventure:

If you saw me packing for the Baja this year you would think that I was packing for a trek through the remote regions of Outer Mongolia. Continue reading “Easy Homemade Granola Without a Recipe”

La Gringa’s Weekly Menu, Made With Love

La Gringa’s Weekly Baja Menu/MyBajaKitchen.com

La Gringa’s Weekly Baja Menu/MyBajaKitchen.com

Made With Love

by T. Delaplain

La Gringa’s Weekly Menu is a useful tool to help me eat real food at home, use the abundance of fruits and vegetables that I buy and stop the “what’s for dinner?” woes. I’m trying to get back on the real whole food wagon and planning is everything for me.

Have you kept your New Year’s intentions?

I have definitely kept my workout schedule full but I can’t seem to shake the sugar “monkey on my back”. I think skipping meals and/or not planning a high protein lunch is my biggest downfall. If I eat a piece of toast on the run in the morning then I’ll be starving by noon and go foraging for granola bars, candy, tortillas, muffins: all carbs, all the time. Yuck, a high carb diet zaps my energy and I swear it causes more chronic pain.

So here’s La Gringa’s Weekly Menu with a few links to inspire you.

La Gringa’s Weekly Baja Menu/MyBajaKitchen.com

Chard and Potato Pie I think I’ll add a little bacon or chorizo for flavor but it would be a great vegetarian dinner.

Chicken in Salsa Verde, not really a recipe but add chicken pieces to prepared Herdez salsa verde or make your own with tomatillos and green chili’s, chopped cilantro, onion and ground cumin. Slow cook it 4-6 hours. Shred with a fork and serve with cumin rice or cauliflower cumin rice. I’ll save the leftovers for quick, high protein lunches on salad or with a small tortilla.

Zucchini Patties. These look delicious and I’ll serve them with Swiss chard topped with lemon and garlic tossed with toasted panko bread crumbs. Recipe in development.

Grilled flank steak, Carne Asada.  Served with rosemary butternut squash.

Carne Asada Tacos

Sheet Pan Chicken Fajitas

Sheet pan chicken fajitas/ MyBajaKitchen.com

Taco Seasoned Ground Beef and Quinoa One Pan Meal, recipe under development.

Lemon Piccata  

Lunches and snacks

I will fill in the gaps with lots of greens, baby lettuces that I’m growing on my deck, roasted beets, fresh pineapple salsa, roasted green beans,  peppers, cherry tomatoes, zucchini noodles and Brussel’s sprouts.

Market Fresh Mexican Produce

What’s on your menu this week? 

Pin it for later to your Pinterest Menu Board.

Baja Weekly Menu/#farm fresh, #healthy,#dinner ideas

Check out my Pinterest Paleo, Whole Foods  And  Taco Tuesday, All Taco Board for more dinner inspiration. 

 

Pecan, Almond, Date Bars; Vegan, Real Food, Delicious

Pecan, Almond, Date Bars, Vegan, No Refined Sugar/ MyBajaKitchen.com

Pecan, Almond, Date Bars, Vegan, No Refined Sugar/ MyBajaKitchen.com

Day dreaming in San Ignacio, BCS, Mexico.

by T. Delaplain

We have the best dates in Mexico.  They are huge, moist and deliciously sweet. If are trying to eat a real food diet, then these Pecan, Almond, Date Bars are for you. They don’t fit into a Paleo or Whole30 diet as written because they have a few tablespoons of wheat flour but they are fiber and protein packed with no refined sugar. Let me know if you try another flour like coconut or almond flour. I might try them with almond flour because I believe the flour is just a binder in this case. The dates and agave are plenty sweet without cane sugar. I thought about leaving the agave out but it added moisture to the mix and helps bind also. Without the binders you would have granola. The original recipe called for maple syrup and honey would work as well.

Are these heathy? Continue reading “Pecan, Almond, Date Bars; Vegan, Real Food, Delicious”

Spicy Asian Zucchini Noodles, Lowcarb, Vegan

Spicy Asian Zucchini Noodles, Low Carb, Real Food, really fast. My Baja Kitchen

You don’t need a lot of gadgets to make great food but I do love my vegetable spirilizer.  It is important enough to take up precious cargo space in the car on the trip down the Baja so …. it’s important.

You can make these Spicy Asian Zucchini  Noodles with julienned vegetables or even long thin slices from a mandolin. Add any crunchy vegetables that you have; cabbage, snow peas, raw beets (although you’ll end up with a pink salad but that’s ok), and raw sweet potato are all good choices. Try this dressing on chopped kale and sliced apples or use as a marinade and dipping sauce for chicken kabobs. Adjust the spiciness by adding more or less pepper.

I had oodles of zucchini from the CSA that needed to be eaten and I was hungry for Asian flavors. I found all of these kingredients in town except for the Korean red pepper powder which was a gift from my soon to be daughter in law. You can use cayenne sparingly, red pepper flakes or sriracha instead of  pepper powder.

Peanut allergy: Try almond butter, sunflower butter or tahini paste.

I served my spicy Asian zucchini noodles with grilled lemon, garlic and basil tuna but vegans can add more nuts or serve this with quinoa or tofu for a main dish.

Spicy Asian Zucchini Noodles

Spicy low carb vegan Asian peanut noodle salad with zucchini, carrot and cucumber noodles. A delicious main or side salad. Real food, really fast. 

Servings 4
Author TraceyDelaplain

Ingredients

  • 2 Small zucchini Or 1 large
  • 1 Carrot
  • 1 Cucumber
  • 1/2 Cup Fresh cilantro
  • 1/2 Cup Green onions sliced

Dressing

  • 2 Tabelspoons Toasted sesame seeds, mixed black and white
  • 1 Tablespoon Natural peanut butter, sugar free Substitute almond or sunflower butter
  • 1 Tablespoon Soy sauce
  • 1 Tablespoon Rice vinegar
  • 2 Cloves Garlic minced
  • 2 Teaspoons Korean red pepper powder Substitute pepper flakes or 1/2 teaspoon of cayenne to taste
  • 2 Teaspoons Agave syrup Substitute honey
  • 1 Tablespoon Chopped peanuts to serve, optional.

Instructions

  1. Julienne zucchini, carrot and cucumber. I used a spirilizer. Thinly slice the green onions. 

    Combine remaining ingredients in a glass jar and shake or whisk together. Pour dressing over vegetables and toss. Sprinkle with chopped peanuts. Serve immediately. The vegetables will lose their crispness after dressed. 

    Spicy Asian Zucchini Noodles, Low Carb, Real Food, really fast. My Baja Kitchen

Pin It por favor! You might like my Zucchini and Spirilized Vegetables Recipes.   Best Vegetables Side Dishes.
Spicy Asian Zucchini Noodles, Low Carb, Vegan, MyBajaKitchen.com



Meyer Lemon Almond Yogurt Cake

Meyer Lemon Almond Yogurt Cake/MyBajaKitchen

It is Meyer lemon season in Baja. These little globes of sunshine are falling from my neighbors’ trees. They are pleasantly fragrant with a sweeter floral lemony taste. They’re delicious in desserts, marinades, salad dressings and drinks.

When in doubt, make a Meyer Lemon Almond Yogurt Cake.

Meyer Lemon Almond Yogurt Cake

Here are just a few recipes I want to try with these precious gems.

Meyer lemon kale salad
Meyer lemon chicken skewers and lemon salsa
Meyer lemon marmalade
Meyer lemon bars of course
Meyer lemon shrimp scampi
Meyer lemon creamy salad dressing

The inspiration for my cake is an old recipe torn out of Whole Living by Martha Stewart. I used my homemade Greek yogurt, fruity Spanish olive oil, almond flour and Mexican Meyer lemons.

Meyer Lemon Almond Yogurt Cake was easy to make. The batter is enough for an 8” round springform or three 6” springform pans. Drizzle with Meyer lemon simple syrup and powdered sugar and top with easy candied lemon slices.

Meyer Lemon Almond Yogurt Cake

Rich moist Meyer lemon cake made with almond flour and yogurt, drizzled with glaze and candied lemons. Perfect for a brunch or garden tea. Bake these in 6” springform pans for a perfect shared dessert for two. 

Servings 6
Author TraceyDelaplain

Ingredients

Dry ingredients

  • 1 Cup Flour More for dusting the pan
  • 1/2 Cup Almond flour
  • 2 Teaspoons Baking powder
  • 1/4 Teaspoon Salt

Wet ingredients

  • 1/2 Cup olive oil More for oiling the pan
  • 3 Eggs
  • 3/4 Cup Sugar
  • 1/2 Cup Plain Greek yogurt
  • 1/4 Cup Meyer lemon juice
  • 2 Teaspoons Meyer lemon zest
  • 1 Teaspoon Vanilla

Sugared lemon glaze

  • 1 Meyer lemon sliced
  • 1/2 Cup Sugar
  • 1/2 Cup Water
  • 1/2 Cup Powdered sugar

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Combine dry ingredients, set aside. Combine eggs and sugar and whisk until frothy. Add remaining wet ingredients and whisk until combined. Add flour mixture to wet ingredients and stir just until combined. 

    Pour into three 6” springform pans or one 8” Pan. Bake for 45 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. 

    Combine thin lemon slices, seeds removed, sugar and water. Bring to a boil and then reduce heat and simmer 7 minutes until syrup is thickened and lemons are translucent. Remove lemon slices. Whisk powdered sugar into lemon syrup.

    Allow cake to cool and then top with lemon glaze and lemon slices. 

You might like my Dessert Boards for Decadent or Healthy Desserts. Choices peeps, choices.

Pin it for later

Meyer Lemon Almond Yogurt Cake



Chicken Verde Pozole, Instant Pot Recipe

Chicken Verde Pozole, Instant Pot/MyBajaKitchen.com

Happy New Year from Baja Sur, Mexico.

How did the Holiday Wellness Challenge go for you?

I was pleasantly surprised that I didn’t gain any weight and I’m feeling stronger. I admit that I ate about 2 dozen homemade cookies by myself over the Christmas week. Ugh. When you don’t normally eat wheat and sugar, cookies can make you feel terrible. I swear that I had less energy and more pain than usual. Lesson learned.

Did you eat your 12 grapes for good luck on New Years Eve, Mexican tradition? Or just drink the grapes?

I was in bed by 11 pm. Happily sober. Have you tried any non-alcoholic sparkling wines? I’m loving St. Regis’s Brut which I can almost make myself believe tastes like prosecco, almost.  The Kir Royale was particularly delicious but I couldn’t find any in Reno to bring with me. Total Wines carries St. Regis in the U.S.

Try this chicken verde pozole Instant Pot recipe for a comforting healthy Mexican soup.

You can make it on the stove top or in a pressure cooker, too. I bought a can of hominy with this recipe in mind and the Instant Pot was perfect to get dinner ready quickly. I used canned salsa verde because it’s easy but you could substitute tomatillos and green chilies for the salsa. I used Herdez brand which is readily available in Mexico and in the U.S. I presoaked the chickpeas to make falafel and I had leftovers so those went into the pot too. This would be a great vegan stew/soup without the chicken. Continue reading “Chicken Verde Pozole, Instant Pot Recipe”

Juicy Orange and Tamarind Glazed Chicken

Mexican Orange and Tamarind Glazed Chicken

Holiday Challenge: Cook with a “new to you” ingredient that you always wanted to try. When we’re bored with our “go to” menu it’s easier to forget our fitness goals and eat junkie foods or go out to eat. Try something new this week.

Tamarind paste? Tamarind is an ugly legume that grows in a brown pod on big trees. It’s used in Asian and Mexican cooking. A friend gave me tamarind paste that she lovingly cooked from tamarind pulp. I had never knowingly eaten tamarind. Tamarind is used in Mexican cooking and drinks like Ponche Navideño,  a warm holiday drink made with apples, pears and other fruits, cinnamon, and tamarind. It is also popular in aqua fresca. 

Orange and Tamarind Glazed Chicken should be in your recipe box. The tamarind is sweet and tart and the orange juice makes a nice marinade for juicy chicken and cooks down into a sweet glaze.  I added ginger and Serrano pepper for a rich spicy sauce.

Juicy Orange and Tamarind Glazed Chicken

Tamarind paste pairs well with fresh orange juice to give you a sweet and tangy marinade and glaze for grilled chicken. Easy Paleo, Whole 30, Real Food Recipe. 

Course Main Course
Cuisine Mexican
Servings 4 Servings
Author TraceyDelaplain

Ingredients

Manade

  • 1/4 Cup Olive oil
  • 1/2 Cup Orange juice
  • 2 Cloves Garlic, minced
  • 1 Tablespoon Fresh ginger, grated

Glaze

  • 2 Cups Chicken broth
  • 1 Cup Orange juice
  • 1/4 Cup Sugar
  • 2 Tablespoons Tamarind paste
  • 2 Tablespoons Butter
  • 1 Tablespoon Ginger grated
  • 2 Tablespoons Orange zest
  • 1 Teaspoon Serrano chili minced More or less to taste

4 Chicken breasts or thighs

  • 1/2 Teaspoon Salt
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Ground black pepper

Instructions

  1. Combine marinade and chicken. Marinade 2-8 hours. Discard marinade. 

    Combine chic broth, orange juice, sugar, orange zest, butter, tamarind paste, pepper and ginger in a saucepan and place over medium-high heat. Reduce sauce to 3/4 cup over medium heat, about 30 minutes.  Whisk often. The  sauce will be thick enough to coat a spoon. Remove from heat adjust the seasoning with salt and black pepper.

    Preheat an outdoor grill for medium-high heat. Put about 1/4 cup of glaze into a  bowl to baste the chicken while grilling. 

    Place chicken breasts onto preheated grill. Grill chicken until browned, the meat is no longer pink inside, and the juices run clear, about 4 minutes per side, basting with reserved tamarind glaze. Transfer chicken to a serving plate and serve with remaining tamarind glaze .


Pin this Orange and Tamarind Glazed Chicken
Orange and Tamarind Glazed Chicken

Check out my Mexican Chicken Pinterest Board for more tasty chicken recipes.