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, Low Carb, Real Food, really fast. My Baja Kitchen
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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
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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

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

Wet ingredients

  • 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.

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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.

Mexican Orange and Tamarind Glazed Chicken
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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.



When An Amiga Gives You Oranges… Make Magic. How To Use Fresh Orange Juice

10 Ways to Use Fresh Orange Juice/ MyBajaKitchen.com

Oranges are the fruit I most associate with Christmas. We never had much money at Christmas but my Mom always made sure we had a few gifts under the tree and a stocking filled with oranges and whole nuts. Oranges always make me think of her. So when my dinner guests arrived this week, bearing a crate of fresh Mexican oranges as a hostess gift, I was overwhelmed with citrus joy.

Angels come in many forms it seems. My friend, Ceci, could not have known that every time I cut into an orange I would think of my Mom and remember Christmases past.

Now, what to do with a crate of oranges besides making fresh squeezed oj? Let me tell you that oranges do not need to be delegated to breakfast alone. Here are 10 sweet and savory ways to use these vitamin C packed beauties. I’m taking my crate of oranges to Fiesta Friday with our tireless hostess, Angie where you can join our virtual fiesta. Continue reading “When An Amiga Gives You Oranges… Make Magic. How To Use Fresh Orange Juice”

Baked Vegan Mexican Falafel: Healthy Mexican Recipe

Baked vegan Mexican falafel / MyBajaKitchen

Holiday Challenge: Make a Healthy Vegan Mexican Meal

I’ve been exploring the vegan and vegetarian dining options in Loreto, BCS as part of a travel advice series. It’s interesting because it’s difficult to find healthy options other than salads. The only vegetarian protein source I’ve reliably seen is cheese. Don’t get me wrong, I love cheese but it isn’t actually a healthy protein source in large quantities. Cheese is high in saturated fat and there are many healthier vegetarian fats available. If you take meat out of traditional Mexican food and replace it with dairy cheese you haven’t gained much health wise. Consider making your own vegetarian or vegan meal at home as part of this week’s challenge.

Healthier Fat Choices

Nuts, olives and avocados are high in healthy monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats.  Nuts are a good source of omega 3 fatty acids.  This is a good article about healthy fats.

Healthy Protein Sources

Healthy protein sources include nuts, legumes like soy beans, chickpeas, pintos and black beans and seeds like quinoa, pumpkin, chia and flax seeds.

Healthy Vegan Mexican Meal

Baked vegan Mexican falafel / MyBajaKitchen

Here’s the recipe for baked vegan Mexican falafel that uses healthy chickpeas, spicy jalapeños, cilantro and olive oil. Serve with more vegetables and grains, like quinoa, brown rice or corn, for a protein complete vegan meal.

 

Try this recipe for Quinoa Tabboleah With a Poblano and Lime Twist from What’s For Dinner Doc?

I served my falafel with cumin and smoked paprika seasoned roasted cauliflower with jalapeños and homemade yogurt tzatziki.  You can bake the falafel and the cauliflower at the same time. Toss cauliflower and slice jalapeños in olive oil and season with ground cumin, smoked paprika and sea salt. Roast for 20 minutes at 375F .

These baked vegan Mexican falafel will pair well with tahini and lemon sauce, hummus or tzatziki.

Buen provecho.

Baked Mexican Falafel/ MyBajaKitchen
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Baked Vegan Mexican Falafel

Everything you love about baked vegan falafel with Mexican cilantro and jalapeño peppers. Spicy and easy to make at home. 

Course Main Course
Cuisine Mexican
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes
Servings 4
Author TraceyDelaplain

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 Cups Soaked chickpeas Do not substitute cooked or canned.
  • 1 Cup Chopped cilantro
  • 1 Cup Diced onion
  • 1 Cup Fresh cilantro
  • 2 Tablespoons Minced, seeded jalapeño
  • 2 Teaspoons Baking powder
  • 2 Teaspoons Ground cumin
  • 2 Cloves Garlic, minced
  • 1 Teaspoon Salt
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Ground black pepper
  • Tablespoon Lemon juice May substitute lime juice
  • 1/4 Cup Olive oil

Instructions

  1.  1.  Soak chickpeas 8-12 hours in filtered water. They should be soft enough to pull apart with your fingers.

    2.   Preheat oven to 375F.  Chop onions, garlic, jalapeño and cilantro and set aside. Combine chickpeas, baking powder, seasonings and lemon juice in a food processor or a mocajeta. Whorl or grind until finely chopped but not to paste. Add chopped onion, garlic, pepper and cilantro and whirl briefly to combine. 

    3.    Generously oil a baking sheet with olive oil. Shape 1/4 cup of falafel mixture into patties and place on baking sheet. Sprinkle more oil over each patty. Bake 20 minutes until lightly browned on the top and edges. 

    Serve with tahini and lemon sauce, hummus or tzatziki. 


Pin it for later. You might like my Vegetarian/Vegan Mexican recipe Pinterest Board.



Holiday Challenge: Dance As If No One Is Watching

MyBajaKitchen Holiday Challenge

Are you having trouble keeping your Maintain Don’t Gain promise? Maybe these strategies will help.

1) Crank up the holiday music and dance as if no one is watching. Close the drapes just in case.  If you need dance ideas, watch “White Christmas” with Bing and Rosemary Clooney and follow that weird sequence of modern dance in the middle that you usually sleep through. (Or is that just me?)

2) Get wild in the Kitchen. Put cat food in your jello salad; a calorie bargain. No, I don’t have the recipe but watch “Christmas Vacation” and Aunt Bethany will show you how’s it’s done. Continue reading “Holiday Challenge: Dance As If No One Is Watching”

Holiday Challenge: Shop ‘til you drop and give me 10

Holiday Challenge: Shop until you drop at MyBajaKitchen

 

I’m pretty relaxed about Christmas here in Baja. There isn’t much consumer frenzy, although we do have several street side “pop up” Christmas stores. I shop on line for my kids and ship directly to them since we don’t have reliable mail service.  I don’t really miss the shopping mall shuffle but if you’re in the midst of holiday shopping by all means make it an exercise opportunity. Continue reading “Holiday Challenge: Shop ‘til you drop and give me 10”

What’s For Dinner at My Baja Kitchen, Weekly Meal Plan

What’s For Dinner? At My Baja Kitchen

Weekly Meal Planning, A Healthy Solution 

What’s for dinner?

I can’t always get what I want in Baja so I shop for the freshest ingredients and then build my menu for the week. Having a written menu ensures that I eat the produce that I carefully select each week before it goes bad. I also know when to soak the beans or thaw out a meat or seafood.  I list everything I bought so I can find an easy vegetable or fruit side dish or make a healthy snack.

What’s For Dinner at My Baja Kitchen

Recipes you might like in my weekly menu.

Vegan Mushroom Chorizo, this week I roasted the mushrooms with onions and jalapeño slices and whirled them with walnuts and cumin. A slightly different twist for Vegan Chorizo. Drizzle with cashew cream or add cheese if you’re a vegetarian.

Carne Asada, I’m using this orange and lime marinade with arrachera flank steak instead of tri tip because flank steak is easy to find. Grill the meat on high heat for a scant few minutes.

Confetti Shrimp grilled with red peppers and onions.

BBQ green beans.

Squash and bacon.

You might like my Mexican Recipe Boards on Pinterest.



Holiday Cocktail Challenge: And a Recipe for Margarita Mocktail

Margarita Mocktail from MyBajaKitchen

Holiday Challenge: Make a Signature Margarita Mocktail

Everyone should know how to make a signature cocktail. Why not make your’s a signature mocktail?

Here’s what I’m drinking this season- Margarita Mocktail with homemade lime simple syrup.

Margarita Mocktail from MyBajaKitchen
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Mocktail Margarita: Alcohol Free

A delicious margarita without alcohol made with lime simple syrup and sparkling water. 

Course Drinks
Cuisine Mexican
Servings 1 Drink

Ingredients

  • 1 Cup Cane sugar
  • 1 Cup Water
  • 4 Key or Mexican limes Juice and zest, divided

Margarita

  • 2 Tablespoons Lime simple syrup
  • 2 Juice of 2 Mexican limes
  • 8 Ounces Sparkling water
  • 1 Teaspoon Apple cider vinegar

Instructions

  1. Make lime simple syrup. Mix water, sugar and 1 tablespoon of lime zest. heat over medium heat until sugar dissolves. Add 1 tablespoon of lime juice, about two Mexican limes.  Let cool. Strain out solids. Refrigerate any remaining syrup up to 1 week. 


    2) Margarita Mocktail: Run cut lime over the rim of a margarita glass and roll the rim of your glass in course sugar. Combine 2 tablespoons of lime simple syrup, additional 1 tablespoon of lime juice, about two Mexican limes. Add a dash of apple cider vineger to taste. Trust me, a dash of vinegar replaces the alcohol flavor. Try a very small dash first and adjust to your tastes. Pour over ice and adjust sugar to desired level. Garnish with lime slices. 

    How to make killer salsas/MyBajakItchen.com

Drinking alcohol may not be your best choice when cutting calories.

Alcohol seems to flow freely during the Holiday party season. I like a cold glass of champagne as well as anyone but alcohol is not your friend if you are watching your waistline. Alcohol is fat-free and low in carbs although alcohols are worse nutrients than carbs. Alcohol is metabolized into fatty acids which cause fatty liver.

It’s  important to remember that calories count when it comes to weight management. Alcohol and dieting don’t mix well—your body processes alcohol first, leaving carbohydrates and fats to get stored as fat instead of getting used as fuel. There’s a reason that excess fat is called a beer belly in those who imbibe frequently.

Set a limit before you leave the house. 

If you plan to drink alcohol then set your limit before you start drinking because it is a fact that after you drink one or more adult beverages you lose your ability to make good choices about food and drinks.

Your best options, calorie wise,  are wine, champagne, and light beer, or hard liquor mixed with no calorie mixers i.e vodka and soda.

5 oz of wine, 1.5 oz of tequila or vodka, and 12 oz of light beer each have about 100 calories.
The worst calorie options include any drink in a tumbler made with sugar. If your drink is adorned with an umbrella or a sugared rim it is suspect. Unless it is my Margarita Mocktail which is calorie controlled.

Piña Coladas, Mojitos, Daiquiris and traditional Margaritas in an average serving (6-8 oz) will cost you between 500 and 1000 calories. Egg nog and brandy will set you back 300 calories for 1/2 cup. Yes, really. Mudslides? You don’t want to know. If you want a special cocktail, then plan for it and enjoy, but call it dessert and limit it to one.

Drink a glass of water after every alcoholic drink to stay hydrated and to sloooooow down your consumption. Don’t drink on an empty stomach. Have a meal or a snack before you drink to slow down the absorption of the alcohol.
Don’t drink and drive, ever.

Women have a lower tolerance for alcohol than men and a large pour of wine could put you over your legal limit to drive.

Drink wisely or not at all.

Nothing says, “I won’t be home for Christmas”, like a DUI or being locked up in a Mexican jail. Always agree in advance on a designated driver or take a cab.
Worried about how much you drink? See my post about Wine and Women for help.

Margarita Mocktail from MyBajaKitchen

You might like my Pinterest Board, Mocktails