Healthy Baja Mediterranean Fusion Mexican Cuisine

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My Baja Kitchen

Healthy Baja Mediterranean Fusion Mexican Cuisine

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Host A Mexican Tapas Party and A Recipe For Chorizo Mushroom Tapas

Host A Mexican Tapas Party and A Recipe For Chorizo Mushroom Tapas

  Host a Mexican tapas party to celebrate being back on the Baja. Let’s get together. Ideas for hosting your own tapas party Make it a potluck You could suggest a small bite category or theme to each guest or be surprised when your friends […]

Easy Mexican Corn, Chic Pea Salad, Vegan

Easy Mexican Corn, Chic Pea Salad, Vegan

Try this easy Mexican Corn, Chic Pea Salad as a vegan main course or a side dish to any meal. Perfect for #MeatlessMondays. Healthy and inexpensive protein source. I cook chic peas most weeks in Baja. I haven’t seen canned chic peas and I prefer […]

Turmeric Ginger Cauliflower Rice

Turmeric Ginger Cauliflower Rice

 

Revisiting an injury and increasing the anti-inflammatories in my diet: Tumeric and Ginger

I wrote this post for turmeric ginger cauliflower rice 2 1/2 years ago at What’sForDinnerDoc.com after I suffered a hip injury.  Unfortunately I’m back to square 1 with the same hip so I need to re-introduce power house, plant based anti-inflammatories into my diet. I have bought turmeric, fresh ginger and cauliflower in Baja.

I’m a physician but I’m not a big fan of traditional medication. Did I hear you gasp?

Sometimes, at least for me, the cure is worse than the injury. Narcotic pain medications make me nauseated, NSAIDs like Ibuprofen and aspirin eat holes in my stomach and steroids make me insane. What about marijuana? Cannabis is legal in Nevada now but no thanks; I don’t like how it makes me feel but ask your doctor if it’s right for you.

Which leads to me my personal natural remedies for pain and inflammation. Please check with your personal physician to discuss natural remedies because some foods and supplements can affect blood clotting and interact with traditionally prescribed medications.

Glucosamine is reported to reduce pain and inflammation in joints. The best studies were done in dogs but there were a few studies in humans which showed that it does work in arthritis patients but takes longer than NSAIDS. I think it is really helping reduce my pain and I haven’t had any side effects.

Food is Medicine and this turmeric ginger cauliflower rice is loaded with anti-inflammatory spices.

Turmeric, ginger, rosemary, green tea and fish oil have anti-inflammatory properties and taste delicious so I’m adding even more of these foods to my diet. Turmeric is best absorbed with some fat and black pepper in the same meal.

Ice is an effective pain reliever that also reduces swelling and inflammation so I’m icing for acute pain.

Somatic movement is helping me increase my range of motion and is reducing the trauma response. Trauma response is when you injure one area, like your low back or hip, and then your brain tries to protect the injured area by contracting all the muscles around it causing lopsided posture and more pain. Read about it here.
That was a long winded introduction to this easy, anti-inflammatory packed delicious, low carb, Paleo, vegan side dish: Turmeric ginger cauliflower rice. You could make this a main dish by adding nuts, legumes and/or tofu. I served mine with salmon for an omega 3 boost.

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Turmeric Ginger Cauliflower Rice

Easy vegan, paleo cauliflower rice recipe with healthy ginger, turmeric and black pepper. 

Course Side Dish
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Servings 4

Ingredients

  • 3 Cups Cauliflower Riced
  • 1 Tablespoon Olive oil Extra Virgin
  • 1 Clove Garlic Minced
  • 1 Inch Fresh ginger, 1 tablespoon Minced
  • 1 Tablespoon Fresh turmeric Sub. 1 teaspoon dried
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Ground black pepper Or to taste
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Salt
  • 1/2 Cup Cilantro Chopped

Instructions

  1. Rice cauliflower by hand or with a food processor shredding blade. Heat olive oil in skillet and add olive oil. Sauté garlic, ginger and turmeric until fragrant about 3 minutes. Add cauliflower and a dash of water. Heat on medium until cauliflower is soft but holds its shape about 7 minutes. Add pepper, salt and cilantro. Heat an additional minute and serve. 

    Turmeric Ginger Cauliflower Rice/MyBajaKitchen.com

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Turmeric Ginger Cauliflower Rice, Vegan/MyBajaKitchen



Easy Pumpkin Pie, Just 4 Ingredients That You Can Find in Baja

Easy Pumpkin Pie, Just 4 Ingredients That You Can Find in Baja

Easy pumpkin pie made with sweetened condensed milk? I know, making pumpkin pie is never complicated but this recipe is so easy that you don’t even need to measure anything. I think I made my first pumpkin pie when I was 12 and believe me […]

When One Door Closes ….. IFBC in New Orleans 2018

When One Door Closes ….. IFBC in New Orleans 2018

I would love to report on the Sacramento IFBC but alas, I can not. I suffered a concussion last week and my pesky doctors would not let me drive or fly or think for a few weeks. Let me just say that being on the […]

Balsamic Glazed Green Beans and Almonds, Healthy Vegetable Side Dish

Balsamic Glazed Green Beans and Almonds, Healthy Vegetable Side Dish

Healthy balsamic glazed green beans will make a perfect vegetable side dish for Autumn and for Thanksgiving, if you are a planner. The almonds give it a healthy bit of protein and pizzaz.

BTW, in the foodie blogosphere, it isn’t too early to start talking about Thanksgiving.

I’m not gonna lie, I used to love my mom’s green bean casserole with mushroom soup and French’s deep fried onions. Totally classic, comfort food.

Fortunately my taste buds have grown up and I like the vegetable to be the star of my vegetable side dish. These balsamic glazed green beans are crisp tender with a hint of acid and sweetness so you can fully enjoy the flavor of the green beans. They aren’t hidden under layers of fat and salt.

Healthy and delicious.
These are easy to make on the outdoor grill for those of us celebrating in sunny Baja. You can also bake or stir fry them if it’s too cold to grill outside. However, the additional smoky flavor layer may well be worth you braving the cold weather.

Finding a fresh turkey is a challenge in Loreto.
Last year I found a smoked turkey that was very expensive by Mexican standards. Truthfully, I don’t even like smoked turkey. My friend didn’t know that she had purchased a smoked turkey (pavo ahumando) and she cooked it for 3 hours as if it were fresh. Oops, she made turkey jerky. Language barriers make for some hilarious cooking disasters.

Ahumando means smoked. I found that out when I thought I was buying fresh fish and came home with a strange smoked fish of questionable origin.

My smoked turkey did look pretty and reminded me of Thanksgivings at home but this year I may just roast a fat chicken instead.

Lemon, Thyme and Rosemary Roasted Chicken Recipe:

Rub a fresh whole chicken with butter, thyme, rosemary, salt, pepper, lemon juice and 2 gloves of garlic. Stuff with lemon and onion quarters. Bake at 350 for 1 1/2 to 2 hours with cubed carrots, potatoes and leeks.

Lemon thyme roasted chicken/MyBajaKitchen.com
It’s always best to eat locally for the freshest and least expensive meals but sometimes sentiment wins out and we want what we want and that’s ok too. What are your plans for Thanksgiving? I hope you spend time with family and friends giving thanks for the many blessings life brings.

Balsamic Glazed Green Beans With Almonds

October 1, 2017
: 20 min
: 15 min
: 35 min
: Easy

Grilled balsamic glazed green beans with almonds are an easy healthy vegetable side dish for any occasion.

By:

Ingredients
  • 1 1/2 pounds fresh green beans
  • 1 glove garlic minced
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons balsamic glaze
  • Dash of salt and black pepper
  • 1/4 cup slivered almonds, substitute any chopped nut
Directions
  • Step 1 Wash and prepare green beans, snap off the ends. Combine beans, garlic, vinegar and seasonings.
  • Step 2 Heat grill to 350 degrees. Grill beans on indirect heat for 15 minutes until beans are crisp tender and beginning to char. Toss in almonds and grill an additional 2 minutes.
  • Step 3 Serve warm or cold.

I served my green beans with Instant Pot chicken and mushrooms over polenta but they would be delicious with barbecued turkey and chorizo crashed potatoes.

Balsamic Glazed Green Beans with Almonds/MyBajaKitchen.com
Vegetarians could serve them with more almonds and a Thanksgiving lentil meatloaf or vegan chorizo and grilled tortillas.

Easy Butternut Squash with Bacon, Sage and Rosemary

Easy Butternut Squash with Bacon, Sage and Rosemary

Cool weather and fall cooking. This easy butternut squash and bacon side dish smelled and tasted heavenly with fresh rosemary and sage. I served mine with a whole roasted lemon thyme chicken. The small amount of bacon was a savory treat with the sweet squash […]

American Snowbird Stops at IFBC on the Flight South

American Snowbird Stops at IFBC on the Flight South

Lake Tahoe Photo credit @Michael Ford I’m attending the International Food Bloggers Conference in Sacramento, California. This will be my first food blogging conference. I attended Blogher and learned a lot about blogging in general and had a great time meeting other bloggers. I have […]

Crispy Panko Crusted Grilled Jalapeño Poppers

Crispy Panko Crusted Grilled Jalapeño Poppers

I refuse to let summer go!

Don’t put your outdoor grill away yet. There’s plenty of time to grill up a party. Start with these crispy grilled jalapeño poppers. Grill a batch of margarita marinated chicken and roasted sweet potatoes and create your own end of summer fiesta.

I make these crispy grilled jalapeño poppers almost every week for a lunch snack or for an appetizer for guests. They are a little bit healthier than deep fried jalapeño poppers because they are grilled or baked. Serve with cold cerveza or a margarita.

Crispy Grilled Jalapeño Poppers

These are healthier grilled jalapeño poppers made crispy with a Panko topping. These are not spicy if you remove the seeds and ribs. Leave some ribs if you like it hot! The recipe showcases the ubiquitous jalapeño peppers and cheeses of Mexico. There are limited varieties of cheeses available in rural Mexico so I have learned to work with the substitutions and the results can be delicious. I do worry a little about buying raw goat milk cheeses from the open air market where I buy all of my produce. There is always a chance of bacterial contamination when consuming unpasteurized dairy products. As a precaution, if you are pregnant, I would advice against eating local raw milk cheeses. The freshest cheeses can be purchased directly from the local goat ranchers and you can see the adorable baby goats while you’re visiting.

Crispy Panko Crusted Grilled Jalapeño Poppers

September 17, 2017
: 12
: Easy

Perfectly crisp, healthier grilled jalapeño poppers. No need to deep fry.

By:

Ingredients
  • 12 jalapeño peppers, cut in half lengthwise. Seeds and ribs removed
  • 8 oz quéso crema (cream cheese), let soften on the counter for 15 minutes.
  • 1/2 cup shredded Chihuahua or Queso de Oaxaca (I found cheddar cheese at a specialty deli but it isn't widely available)
  • 2 tablespoons of crispy tocino (bacon)
  • 1 1/4 cup Panko
  • 2 tablespoons of olive oil
Directions
  • Step 1 Wash and slice peppers. Use gloves to keep your hands from burning. Leave 1/2 of the stem attached to each piece. Remove seeds and ribs.
  • Step 2 Mix remaining ingredients with a fork until combined.
  • Step 3 Fill each half pepper with a heaping spoonful of cheese mixture. Mix panko and olive oil and top each pepper with a scant tablespoon of the mixture.
  • Step 4 Grill in the barbecue on medium heat until peppers are soft, slightly blackened and the Panko is crisp. If your barbecue has a broiler element then you can quickly broil the peppers for a more crispy topping. Watch closely and don’t burn them.

Variations: Mix in 1/4 cup green onions chopped, chopped cilantro, sun dried tomato or minced sweet red pepper. Substitute chorizo for the bacon or leave out the meat for a vegetarian appetizer. If Panko is not available substitute dried bread crumbs.

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Crispy grilled jalapeño poppers/MyBajaKitchen.com



How to Make Fresh Killer Salsas, Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Baja Salsas

How to Make Fresh Killer Salsas, Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Baja Salsas

Anyone can make fresh killer salsas with a few mix and match ingredients from the market. Pick one or two ingredients from each category, chop, dice, mix and adjust seasonings. You’ll have a fresh salsa on the table in 15 minutes. Serve with anything or […]


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Host a Mexican tapas party to celebrate being back on the Baja.

Let’s get together.

Ideas for hosting your own tapas party

Make it a potluck

You could suggest a small bite category or theme to each guest or be surprised when your friends intuitively bring a variety of dishes with no predetermined theme. I think potlucks so are magical because they always come together beautifully.

Do everything yourself

I like to include a meat or meat substitute appetizer, a seafood dish, crisp crudités – carrots, jicama, cucumbers, a creamy dip like hummus, lettuce cup salads, a cheese course and fruit for dessert. Serve Mexican wines and/or a tequila specialty drink. Always have a non-alcohol beverage available, make it special. Here are a few ideas for mocktails.

A few ides to try 

Easy spicy tuna sushi towers

Easy Sushi Recipe, Towers of Spicy Baja Ahi Tuna /MyBajaKitchen.com

Peel and eat shrimp with citrus ponzu:

Boil and chill fresh shrimp. Mix together orange juice, lime juice, fresh basil and soy sauce for dipping.

Fruits and veggies:

Slice jicama and melon, arrange on a platter, add a squeeze of lime and a dusting of chili powder. Watermelon slices pair well with spicy foods too.

Caprese skewers: 

Thread mozzarella cheese onto toothpicks with fresh basil and cherry tomatoes , drizzle with olive oil and balsamic glaze. An easy salad alternative.

Caprese Salad skewers

Tabbouleh lettuce cups

Tabbouleh Lettuce cups

Broiled Parmesan artichokes: Wrap water packed or oil package artichoke hearts with serrano jamon, sprinkle with Parmesan or aged cotija cheese and broil until golden brown.

artichoke, prosciutto, Parmasan appetizer

 

Cilantro chipotle hummus and tortilla chips 

Cilantro Chipolte Hummus

Ideas from the Web
You might like my Pinterest page “Tapas” where I’ve organized and saved recipes for small bites and traditional Spanish tapas.

Gastroteca Azul, a quick restaurant review.

We have a new upscale Mediterranean restaurant in my village, Gastroteca Azul. The chef, Mario Lopez is using local ingredients, inventive preparations and engaging flavors to create a gourmet experience in Loreto Bay, Mexico. I have to say that the best meals I’ve eaten outside of my kitchen have been at Azul. The wine list is delicious and pairs well with the menu. I never miss out on his amazing desserts. Azul is my go to restaurant for date night and to impress my out of town guests.

I confess, I’m picky. Don’t bury my food in melted cheese, rich cream sauce or overwhelming salsa. Give me fresh fruits and vegetables, lean meats and/or seafood and don’t skimp on the flavor. I thrive on a Baja-Mediterranean style diet with real food and an abundance of fruits, veggies and seafood. Chef Mario understands healthy food and it’s apparent in every meal he creates.

Finally the recipe! 

I have openly stolen and re-created Chef Mario’s Chorizo y Champiñones appetizer. Never fear, I always tell him when I see him at the Sunday produce market that I’m stealing his ideas. I’m also free with my newest recipes ☺️. I haven’t seen any of my genius recipes on the menu yet but I remain hopeful. Ha Ha  The Chef uses portobello mushrooms and a dash of sherry. I added scallions and cilantro for a fresh green flavor. Adjust the herbs to your taste.

You can make this simple Mexican tapas recipe with any readily available spicy meat. For example: Spanish or Mexican chorizo, any flavor of spicy sausage or vegan chorizo for vegetarians. I love the mushrooms but you could substitute carrots or bell pepper to create an equally delicious topping. I have used this topping as a taco filling, with tortilla chips and on sliced baguette.

 

Mexican Chorizo Mushroom Tapas

Chorizo and Mushroom Tapas

: Several
: Easy

Mushrooms mingle with spicy Mexican chorizo for a perfect tapas on baguette slices or tortillas. Use as a taco or tostada filling. A fiesta in your mouth.

By:

Ingredients
  • 4 ounces chorizo, either ground texture or firm Spanish style chopped.
  • 1 pound of mushrooms, any variety
  • 1/4 cup sliced scallions, green only
  • 1/2 cup chopped cilantro
  • Sliced baguette
Directions
  • Step 1 Brown chorizo and drain any oil. Add rough chopped mushrooms and simmer on medium heat until the mushrooms are soft and have released their water. Stir in scallions and cilantro just before serving.

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