Healthy Mango, Bacon, Caramelized Onion Spinach Salad

Mango Bacon Caramelized Onion Spinach Salad

Spinach is a powerhouse of vitamins, anti-inflammatories and antioxidants. It is more readily available than kale in rural Baja and in my opinion it’s more versatile and just as nutritious. This salad isn’t your Mom’s bacon grease, sugar soaked wilted spinach. I’ve taken a tiny bit of bacon for flavor, fresh mango and caramelized onion to sweeten the dressing and turned spinach salad into a tropical salad loaded with nutrition and style. I served this salad with seared sesame tuna and a crisp vino blanco for an elegant al fresco lunch by the water.

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Tropical Spinach bacon mango salad

Mi enchanta una  fiesta.

I know you love a party too, so join us at FiestaFriday.net and meet new amigos, learn new recipes and share some blog love. Our cohosts are CH @ Cooking from Heart and
Nimmi @Adorable Life

Many of you have enjoyed my healthy recipes at WhatsForDinnerDoc.com but this is a new adventure where I discuss cooking and living an expat life in Loreto, Mexico on the Sea of Cortez in Baja Sur. I’m also finding my way around WP.org. There are many new and exciting (frustrating) widgets and plug ins to learn. To comment you have to click on the blog title and scroll to the end of the post. The comment box will show up there and you should be able to easily comment with WordPress and Google +. Let me know how it works for you, please. It takes a village to get a blog running smoothly.

[lt_recipe name=”Healthy Spinach, Bacon and Mango Sweetened Salad ” servings=”4-6 ” prep_time=”20 MINUTES” cook_time=”20 MINUTES ” total_time=”40 MINUTES ” difficulty=”Easy ” summary=”Healthy spinach and bacon salad sweetened with mango and onions. A perfect lunch or dinner salad with a tropical flair. ” print=”yes” image=”http://mybajakitchen.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/07/image-5-225×300.jpeg” ingredients=”Fresh spinach, 6 cups;Sweet onion 1/2 sliced;Bacon 2 slices;Mango, 1 large;Rice vinegar, natural with no sugar, 4 tablespoons;Extra virgin olive oil, 1/4 cup ;” ]Triple wash spinach leaves, remove any old or thick stems, tear into bite sized pieces. Cook bacon in a medium skillet. Drain bacon on paper towels, saving just enough bacon grease to lightly coat the skillet. Crumble bacon. ;Add olive oil to pan and cook the onions on medium heat until translucent and lightly caramelized, about 15 minutes. Add 1/2 of the mango diced to the onions, slice the remaining mango and reserve for serving. Reduce heat to low and add mango, bacon and vinegar. Cook an additional 10 minutes, the mixture will become syrupy. ;Pour warm dressing over spinach and toss when ready to serve. Arrange remaining mango slices on top of the salad. [/lt_recipe]

Spinach bacon mango salad

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Grilled Healthy Turkey Taco Zucchini Boats, Baked in Your Outdoor Grill

Healthy Mexican Turkey Zucchini Boats.

Bake these healthy Mexican turkey taco boats in your outdoor BBQ grill. A delicious whole food, low carb alternative to traditional tacos,Bake these healthy Mexican turkey taco boats in your outdoor BBQ grill. A delicious whole food, low carb alternative to traditional tacos, packed with extra vegetables and healthy fat from avocado and olives. They are gluten free and you can make them even lower in fat by skipping the cheese.

Update: I am no longer cooking in foil but these would be great in a dutch oven over an open fire or an outdoor grill.

I’m cohosting Fiesta Friday this week with Jhuls at The Not So Creative Cook. Please stop by Angie’s Fiesta Friday, where you will find more delicious recipes to try. Add your recipe link with the blue link button @ FiestaFriday.net Let’s party likes it’s Friday.

 

I included affiliate links to Amazon products in this post that I actually use as a reference but if you buy one then I get a few cents.

Healthy Baja Kitchen Tips:
Ground turkey may not be available in Baja so I have used home ground chicken. When you can’t buy what you want in Mexico, then make your own. A food processor can mince chicken or you can grind the meat with a special electric meat grinder. I’ve seen hand cranked meat grinders at the Sunday Market in Loreto but a grinder should be on your list of kitchen gadgets to bring from home.  Seriously, I want to know what’s in my ground meat. Chicken beaks and feet? No thanks. I plan to grind my own pork for home made chorizo too.

How to bake Mexican zucchini taco boats or enchiladas in your outdoor BBQ grill: 

Line a grilling basket with overlapping crossed heavy foil. If you are limiting your exposure to aluminum then try these in a cast iron skillet and let me know how you adjusted the baking time and etc.  Assemble your zucchini boats and/or enchiladas in the foil lined basket. Fold bottom flaps over the food and crimp the flap together, tenting it over the food. This is especially important if you are topping your dish with cheese. Otherwise you will have cheese on the foil wrap but not on your dish. Fold the remaining  flaps over that and seal with a crimp. Bake with indirect moderate heat, 350-400 degrees.

If you use a baked recipe then check for doneness after 3/4 of the suggested time.  The outdoor grill will cook faster and burn more easily but it’s worth the effort to get an interesting smokey flavor and to keep the summer heat out of the kitchen.

[lt_recipe name=”Grilled Healthy Turkey Zucchini Taco Boats ” servings=”2 ” prep_time=”20 MINUTES” cook_time=”35 MINUTES” total_time=”55 MINUTES” difficulty=”Easy ” summary=”Healthy Mexican inspired spicy ground turkey zucchini boats, loaded with vegetables and baked in the outdoor grill. ” print=”yes” image=”http://mybajakitchen.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/07/image-20-225×300.jpeg” ingredients=”Zucchini, 4;Ground turkey, 8 oz;1 tablespoon olive oil ;Onion, 1/2 large;Garlic, 2 cloves ;Carrot, 1 large;Celery, 1 stalk;Bell pepper, 1/2;Cilantro, fresh chopped 1/2 cup ;Jalapeño, 1 seeded;Tomato, 1 ;Ancho chili powder, 1 tablespoon ;Oregano dried, 1 teaspoon crushed;1/2 teaspoon salt;1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper ;Black olives sliced, 1/4 cup;Cheddar cheese, shredded 1/2 cup;To serve: Avocado sliced, prepared salsa or pico de gallo, and additional chopped cilantro. ” ]Prepare grilling pan by covering pan with overlapping flaps of aluminum foil leaving tails long enough to fold over the dish with excess to seal. ;Slice zucchini in half lengthwise. Scoop out the center of each zucchini with a spoon leaving a 1/4 inch shell. Save all zucchini. ;Brown turkey in olive oil until no longer pink over medium heat in a large skillet. Add chopped onion and minced garlic. Sauté until translucent. Add finely chopped carrot, celery, peppers, remaining zucchini pulp, tomatoes, spices and 1/4 cup of water. Let simmer until vegetables are semi-soft about 10 minutes.;Assemble stuffed zucchini in the prepared grill pan. Overfill zucchini boats with meat mixture, you may have leftovers. Sprinkle with cheese and olives. Tent the foil flaps over the meal and seal with crimps. ;Heat grill to 350-400 degrees or moderate heat. Place grill basket over indirect heat and bake for 35 minutes. Open packet very carefully with grilling gloves or oven mitts to avoid steam burns. The zucchini should be soft and the cheese melted. Slice avocado and place over boats just before serving. Serve with salsa and cilantro garnish. [/lt_recipe]

What kitchen gadgets can you not live without? I have a list of things to bring back to Baja, which I will share, because I couldn’t find them in rural Mexico. Stay tuned.

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Healthy Mexican turkey zucchini taco boats

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Easy Korean Pork Lettuce Wraps, Mexican-Asian Fusion

Pulled Pork Korean Lettuce Wraps

Korean pork lettuce wraps meet the Baja with a salty, sweet, spicy explosion of flavor. You can make everything in advance and serve these as a main meal or in bite sized cocktail nibbles.

Northern Baja, Baja Norte, cuisine has a strong Asian influence. Restaurants in Tijuana and Ensenada are making a name for themselves with Mexican-Asian fusion cuisine.

Lettuce wraps are a low carb, whole food alternative to tortillas. I’ll eat anything in a tortilla, I love tortillas, but sometimes a filling begs for the crispy freshness of an iceberg lettuce cup. Some fillings like Asian inspired meats and meat substitutes, like tofu, just taste better in simple vegetable wraps. Iceberg lettuce is the perfect shape but you can use collard green leaves, romaine and butter lettuces for wraps as well. Continue reading “Easy Korean Pork Lettuce Wraps, Mexican-Asian Fusion”

Carne Asada Tri Tip Tacos, Baja Style

Carne Asada Tri Tip Tacos

Carne asada tacos are a taqueria specialty in Mexico.
Carne Asada translates to grilled meat. The traditional Mexican marinade includes fresh orange and lime juices, lots of garlic, cilantro, hot chilies and vinegar. I added cumin seed and oregano for a unique Baja twist. Flank steak, skirt, round and sirloin steak are all used to make carne asada tacos. The Ley’s grocery store in Loreto sells paper thin cuts of sirloin that soak up the marinade beautifully and grill in a matter of minutes. I use that cut frequently for carne asada tacos, broccoli beef stir fry and for Korean BBQ recipes.

Carne Asada Tri Tip Tacos

I chose a juicy beef tri tip, which is a thick bottom round cut, for my tacos. I served them with chunky pico de gallo, red onions and avocado slices. You can add crumbled quéso fresco or chihuahua cheese but I prefer them without. I’m taking my tacos to Fiesta Friday to party with my blog amigos.

 

Carne Asada Tri Tip Baja Tacos

Carne asada, tri tip, marinaded in orange, lime, cilantro, jalapeño, cumin and oregano. Taqueria style tacos filled with juicy grilled beef and pico de gallo. A BBQ crowd pleaser.

Ingredients:

Beef Tri tip, 3-4 pounds

Marinade;- 1/2 cup olive oil

6 cloves garlic, chopped

1/3 cup lime juice, 4 Mexican limes

3/4 cup orange juice about 2 large oranges

1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro

2 tablespoons red wine vinegar

1 jalepeño, diced

1 tablespoon cumin seed or 3 teaspoons ground cumin

1 teaspoon dried Mexican oregano

Instructions:

Combine marinade ingredients. Place beef in a ziplock bag and pour in the marinade. Marinade at least 4 hours to overnight.

Grill tri tip. Sear each side on high heat, 500 F for 5 minutes then reduce heat to medium 350 F for 10 minutes per pound for medium rare, check meat temperature. Medium rare should read about 130 degrees. Let meat rest 10 minutes. Slice into 1/2 pieces against the grain.

Grill tortillas over medium heat with a drizzle of olive oil. Keep warm until ready to assemble tacos.  Serve with pico de gallo, pickled red onions and avocado slices.

Enjoy your 4th of July celebrations, it’s a perfect day to be outside for a BBQ. Make carne asada tacos, make margaritas – MAKE FRIENDS. Share this post or pin it and maybe your friends will make tacos for you!

Check out my Taco Tuesday Pinterest Board or Mexican Beef Recipes. Send me an email if you would like to join this group Board.
Carne Asada Tri Tip Tacos

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Healthy Mexican Grilled Spicy Shrimp Sweet Pepper Pasta

Healthy grilled shrimp and sweet pepper confetti over pasta.

Easy grilled shrimp with sweet peppers over pasta that you can throw together for a quick week night Mexican meal or a Baja fiesta with friends. Shrimp is readily available and affordable in Baja, about half the price that I pay in the U.S., so you don’t have to save them for special occasions. They are a low fat versatile protein source for any healthy Mexican meal. The sweet bell peppers are a colorful source of antioxidants, vitamin A and C, and fiber. A grill basket works well but you could easily make these into kabobs. If you follow a low carb or Paleo diet serve the shrimp over salad greens or zuddles. I rarely eat pasta but a small portion of spaghetti was a welcome addition to this meal.

A crisp Mexican vino blanco from Valle de Guadelupe, a Mexican lager or a tart margarita would pair well. Add a salad and fruit for a nutritious meal that’s sure to please any crowd.

I’m taking my new blog and my original recipe to Fiesta Friday’s blog party and #FishFridayFoodie. Grab a cold pop and join us.

[lt_recipe name=”Healthy Mexican Grilled Spicy Shrimp Sweet Pepper Pasta ” servings=”4″ prep_time=”30 MINUTES” cook_time=”15 MINUTES ” total_time=”45 MINUTES” difficulty=”Easy” summary=”Grilled shrimp, sweet peppers tossed over pasta for an easy week night or guest ready meal. ” print=”yes” image=”http://mybajakitchen.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/06/image-23-300×259.jpeg” ingredients=”16 ounces raw shrimp;2 cups diced red, yellow and or orange bell peppers ;1 cup diced red onion;8 ounces spaghetti or angel hair pasta;1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro;2 limes divided ;2 cloves minced garlic ;4 tablespoons olive oil divided;1 tablespoon butter, optional;1 teaspoon ground cumin;1 teaspoon ground coriander ;1 teaspoon red pepper flakes, optional;1/2 teaspoon sea salt;” ]Prepare shrimp by deveining and removing the shells if you desire. I prefer to leave the shells on if your guests don’t mind peeling them after serving. You can also ask your fish monger to peel and devein your shrimp. ;Toss shrimp with garlic, spices, squeeze of one lime and 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Set aside. Don’t left the shrimp marinade longer than 20 minutes because the lime will “cook” the shrimp. Boil water for pasta and cook al dente. ;Chop peppers and onion. Combine with 1 tablespoon of the olive oil and a dash of salt. Grill vegetables in a grilling basket over direct medium heat until soft, about 7 minutes. Add shrimp and marinade to the vegetables and continue to grill until shrimp are uniformly pink, about 5 minutes. Drain pasta and stir in 1-2 tablespoons of olive oil or butter. Mix chopped cilantro into shrimp and vegetables and serve over pasta. Garnish with lime wedges. [/lt_recipe]

 

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Healthy grilled shrimp and sweet pepper confetti over pasta.

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