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



Savory Low-fat Vegetarian Rosemary Cheddar Cheesecakes, #LowCarb

Savory Low-fat Vegetarian Rosemary Cheddra Cheesecakes, #LowCarb

Holiday Challenge Party Tip:

Bring your own appetizer or entree to the party. 

These savory low-fat vegetarian rosemary cheddar cheesecakes are high in protein and low in carbohydrates. Feel free to substitute full fat cheeses if you can’t find reduced fat options.

Serving suggestion: As an entrée, plate 1-2 cheesecakes over arugula and thinly sliced red and green apples. Drizzle with a citrus or cranberry vinaigrette. These cakes would pair well with oranges, grapes, pears, spinach, kale, whole cranberry sauce or orange marmalade.

Serve them as a warm or room temperature appetizer or as the star of a fruit and cheese tray.

More appetizer ideas:

 Jalapeño poppers
Killer Salsa, bring with baked tortilla chips.
Easy Sushi Towers

Savory Low-fat Vegetarian Rosemary Cheddra Cheesecakes, #LowCarb
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Savory Low-fat Vegetarian Rosemary Cheesecakes

Savory cheddar and cream cheese cheesecakes for a vegetarian main meal or appetizer. Reduced fat makes them a healthy low carb choice for everyone. 

Course Appetizer, Main Course
Cuisine American
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes
Servings 12 Cheesecakes
Author TraceyDelaplain

Ingredients

  • 3/4 Cup Toasted panko bread crumbs May substitute gluten free crumbs
  • 1/4 Cup Toasted walnuts
  • 2 Tablespoons Olive oil

Cheesecake filling

  • 8 Oz Reduced fat cream cheese
  • 4 Oz Reduced fat sharp cheddar cheese May substitute any sharp cheese
  • 2 Eggs
  • 1 Tablespoon Fresh chopped rosemary 1 tsp dried
  • 1 Clove Minced garlic
  • 1/4 Teaspoon Salt
  • 1/4 Teaspoon Ground black pepper

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F.

    Spray 12 muffin tin with olive oil mist and set aside.

    Lightly toast the walnuts and the bread crumbs separately in a sautéed pan. Watch carefully to prevent burning. Place the bread crumbs, walnuts and butter in a food processor and process until combined. Press crumb mixture into the bottoms of the muffin cups to make a crust. Bake 5 to 6 minutes. Let cool completely.

    Beat the cheddar and cream cheese in a food processor or with a mixer until smooth. Add the eggs , garlic, salt and pepper and mix until blended. Add the rosemary and combine. Pour mixture into the prepared pan and bake until set, golden and puffed, but not loose in the center, about 20 minutes.

    Remove from the oven and cool at room temperature. You can serve these chilled or at room temperature.

Recipe Notes

Omit bread crumbs and substitute coconut flour to make this a Keto diet recipe.

Pin this recipe for later. You might like my Pinterest Mexican Appetizer Board for more Ideas.

Savory Low-fat Vegetarian Rosemary Cheddar Cheesecakes, #LowCarb



What’s the Real Cost of Eating Out in Mexico? Maintain, Don’t Gain Holiday Challenge

Holiday challenge/MyBajaKitchen.com

Let’s be honest about the real cost of eating out!

It is so inexpensive to not cook at home in Mexico but what’s the real cost of eating out? I cook at home every day because it helps me meet my personal fitness and nutrition goals.

The “holiday season” in the U.S. begins with Halloween candy and ends with champagne and regrets on New Years Day. For many it’s a downward spiral of poor eating and drinking choices that results in an average weight gain of seven pounds during the holidays.

7 Pounds! Let that sink in!

Continue reading “What’s the Real Cost of Eating Out in Mexico? Maintain, Don’t Gain Holiday Challenge”

Sticky Asian Lemon Cashew Cauliflower, Vegan

Sticky Asian Lemon Cashew Cauliflower, Vegan

Feeling stuffed after Thanksgiving weekend? Try this Sticky Asian Lemon Cashew Cauliflower, Vegan recipe for a healthy protein rich Chinese “take out” inspired #Meatless Monday meal to cleanse your palate.

My inspiration came from Chocolate Covered Katie’s Lemon Cauliflower. I added cashews, soy sauce and fresh ginger. Hang out awhile on Katie’s site and savor her healthy delicious recipes. She is truly inspirational.

Sticky Asian Lemon Cashew Cauliflower, Vegan

This delicious vegan meal gets high marks for the crispy texture of the cauliflower, a protein boost from cashews and the rich sweet and sour sticky lemon sauce.

Try this crispy roasted cauliflower with Italian spices and parmesan or spicy it up with cumin and cilantro and serve with poblano cream for a Mexican twist. The possibilities are endless now that you’ve found crispy cauliflower!

You’re welcome.

Watch for more crispy cauliflower recipes.

Sticky Asian Lemon Cashew Cauliflower, Vegan

Lemons are sometimes difficult to find in rural Mexico so substitute orange juice and reduce the syrup by half. You can be the first on the block to make Orange Sticky Cashew Cauliflower. Let me know how it turns out.

Sticky Asian Lemon Cashew Cauliflower, Vegan

Special diets:

Cauliflower is a cruciferous vegetable full of anti-oxidants and vitamins C and K. Cashews are a good source of vegetarian protein, vitamins E, K, and B6, and provides minerals like copper, phosphorus, zinc, magnesium, iron, and selenium.

Vegans and vegetarians:

Enjoy this recipe was made for you and it is loaded with healthy fats and protein.

Paleo and gluten free diets:

Substitute almond or chic pea flour for the wheat flour and serve without rice. Reduce the baking time because almond flour will burn and leave an unpleasant bitter taste. I haven’t tried this with almond or chic pea flour.

Weight Watchers:

A small portion fits perfectly into a weight reduction plan and you’ll save calories by not stopping for “take out”. A small portion of brown rice or quinoa will give you a fiber boost.

Sticky Asian Lemon Cashew Cauliflower, Vegan
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Sticky Asian Lemon Cashew Cauliflower, Vegan

Roasted crispy cauliflower and cashews in a sweet sticky lemon sauce. Healthy, Asian style protein rich vegan main dish. 

Course Main Course
Cuisine American, Chinese
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Total Time 55 minutes
Servings 4
Author TraceyDelaplain

Ingredients

  • 1 head cauliflower
  • 1/3 cup almond, soy or coconut milk
  • 1/3 cup flour
  • 2 tablespoon olive oil, divided
  • 3/4 cup Panko bread crumbs substitute any unflavored bread crumbs
  • 1/2 cup vegetable broth, divided save 2 tablespoons for corn starch
  • 3 tablespoons lemon juice juice from about 2 lemons
  • 3 tablespoons maple syrup or agave syrup or honey for non-vegans
  • 1 tablespoon mined garlic
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger
  • 1 tablespoon corn starch
  • 2 teaspoons rice vinegar
  • 1/2 cup whole cashews
  • 1 tablespoon lemon zest
  • 2 cups cooked rice or quinoa

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Wash cauliflower and cup into 2 inch pieces. Mince garlic and ginger root. 

    Combine flour, oil and almond milk. Toss in cauliflower and dredge in bread crumbs. Arrange in a single layer on a baking sheet. Bake 40 minutes until cauliflower is crispy and browned on the edges. 

    Make sauce while the cauliflower roasts. Salute garlic and ginger in 1 tablespoon of olive oil until soft. Add broth, syrup, lemon juice, soy sauce, vinegar and cashews, simmer on low heat. When cauliflower is ready, add corn starch to 2 tablespoons of broth. Slowly add corn starch to sauce. It will thicken fairly quickly. 

    Combine crispy cauliflower with the lemon cashew sauce. Serve immediately over rice or quinoa. 

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Sticky Asian Lemon Cashew Cauliflower, Easy Heathy Vegan

Check out my Best Vegetable Side Dishes Pinterest Board.



Turmeric Ginger Cauliflower Rice

Turmeric Ginger Cauliflower Rice/MyBajaKitchen.com

 

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, 4 Ingredients/ MyBajaKitchen.com

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 I say, “I’m not a baker.” I have to admit that making pie crust scares me a bit. I found this great article at Food 52 with several recipes for pie crust and some day…..I’ll make a butter or coconut oil pie crust. Actually I’ve never seen prepared pie crusts in Baja so if I want to make a pie for Thanksgiving then I better get over my pie crust fears or make crust less desserts like crumbles.

My blog friends make pie baking look so easy. Share your recipe in the comments and I’ll re-post them. I can’t be the only girl in Baja who is afraid of pie crust!

 

Health tip:

I used a Trader Joe’s pie crust for this pie because it has coconut oil and no lard or trans fats (hydrogenated oils are trans fats). Given the choice I will choose coconut oil, butter, or lard over hydrogenated oils every time. Vegetable shortening is a hydrogenated oil.

What’s the deal with trans fats?
Trans fats never leave your fat cells until the cells die and they increase inflammation in your body and increase the bad cholesterol, LDL and reduce the good cholesterol, HDL. They are the most dangerous fats you can eat. Here’s a quick article from the Mayo Clinic about trans fats.

Read the labels:

There is a product in Mexico that is on the shelves next to the condensed milk products in the baking section of the market that has no milk but is a can of trans fats. Read the labels closely because this product looks like sweetened condensed milk but is actually hydrogenated vegetable oil with sugar or even worse, fructose. It is less expensive but don’t be fooled into buying it. Sweetened condensed milk is not a healthy product either but at least it’s real food and if you are making this easy pumpkin pie or key lime pie it is an essential ingredient.

There is room for dessert as part of a healthy lifestyle, but keep the portions small, eat them sparingly and savor every bite.

If I haven’t scared you to death about eating this easy pumpkin pie then here’s the recipe. I thought I was a genius for developing this recipe. Uh, not so much. There are a million versions of this 4 ingredient pie all over the internet. *sigh.

[lt_recipe name=”Easy Pumpkin Pie” servings=”8″ prep_time=”10 MINUTES” cook_time=”45 MINUTES” total_time=”55 MINUTES” difficulty=”Easy” summary=”Mix pumpkin, sweetened condensed milk, eggs and spices for a quick and easy pie. ” print=”yes” image=”http://mybajakitchen.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/09/741CC440-4A51-4459-9C19-AC978A371766-225×300.jpeg” ingredients=”1 prepared pie crust;14 oz can of pumpkin or 2 cups cooked pumpkin;10 oz can sweetened condensed milk;3 eggs;1 tablespoon pumpkin pie spice” ]Pre-heat oven to 425F;Mix all ingredients in a food processor or with a mixer until smooth. ;Fill prepared pie crust.;Bake 15 minutes, then reduce heat to 350F without opening the oven door. Continue baking another 30 minutes. Pie should be set when finished. Let cool and serve with whipping cream or la crema if desired. [/lt_recipe]

What’s your favorite, easy pie crust recipe without hydrogenated oils, which includes vegetable shortening, that even I can’t mess up?  Please share in the comments and I’ll re-post your recipe. 

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Easy Pumpkin Pie/MyBajaKitchen.com



Crispy Panko Crusted Grilled Jalapeño Poppers

Crispy panko crusted grilled jalapeño poppers/MyBajaKitchen.com

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.

[lt_recipe name=”Crispy Panko Crusted Grilled Jalapeño Poppers ” servings=”12″ prep_time=”20 MINUTES” cook_time=”20 MINUTES” difficulty=”Easy ” summary=”Perfectly crisp, healthier grilled jalapeño poppers. No need to deep fry. ” print=”yes” image=”http://mybajakitchen.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/09/IMG_1571-225×300.jpg” 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 ;” ]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.;Mix remaining ingredients with a fork until combined.;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. ;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.;[/lt_recipe]

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



Should You Stop Cooking in Aluminum Foil?

Stop cooking in aluminum foil/MyBajaKitchen.com

Should you stop cooking in aluminum foil? I did.

I’m a physician and I care about health and food safety. Frankly it never occurred to me to question the wisdom of cooking in aluminum foil until I posted a recipe for taco zucchini boats grilled in foil and a reader posted, “THERE’S NOTHING HEALTHY ABOUT COOKING IN FOIL.”

I might have said it in a nicer way to get my point across. 😬 Don’t worry I won’t be shouting comments at you if you decide to continue cooking in aluminum foil.

At the time I wasn’t feeling the blog love but I did start to wonder about the safety of cooking in aluminum foil, especially with high heat, so I turned to the research. The commenter wasn’t too far off base and I’m grateful now for her shout out. Continue reading “Should You Stop Cooking in Aluminum Foil?”

Vegan Bolognese and Zoodles, Low Carb and Low Fat Mediterranean Meal

Vegan Bolognese and Zoodles

This is a delicious whole food, vegan bolognese over zucchini noodles but you can and should serve it over pasta, rice, quinoa. A definite addition to a Mediterranean style diet and is perfect for #MeatlessMonday.

The mushrooms give a nice meaty texture and the nutritional yeast lends a cheesy flavor so you won’t miss the parmesan cheese. The sauce is loaded with flavorful vegetables and herbs. For more protein add legumes or nuts to your sauce.

I was traipsing around my old food blog, Whatsfordinnerdoc and found my version of vegetarian bolognese and decided to make it vegan. The original recipe had marscapone cheese but I wanted to see if nutritional yeast would give this vegan version a cheesy boost of flavor. I was pleasantly surprised that it tasted as if I’d added parmesan cheese.

 

Vegan Bolognese and Zoodles

The zoodles are low in calories and carbohydrates with a pasta mouth feel but you can eat this over any wheat, brown rice or quinoa pasta. I bring a spirilized with me to Baja because I haven’t seen one to purchase. I love Trader Joe’s quinoa spaghetti when I want pasta and it has 5 grams of protein per serving if you aren’t watching your carbohydrates. I have used this spirilizer for 4 years and it still works great and is easy to clean.


[lt_recipe name=”Vegan Bolognese and Zoodles ” servings=”6″ prep_time=”20M” cook_time=”1H” total_time=”1H20M” difficulty=”Easy” summary=”Vegan bolognese is low calories and loaded with nutritious vegetables for an easy Mediterranean meal. Make it low carb over zoodles or serve it with pasta. ” print=”yes” image=”http://mybajakitchen.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/07/image-81-300×266.jpeg” ingredients=”2 medium zucchini, spirilized;;2 medium carrots, coarsely chopped;1 medium onion, coarsely chopped;1 fennel bulb, coarsely chopped;1 stalk celery;2 cloves garlic, minced;1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil;1 tablespoon chopped fresh oregano;1 tablespoon chopped fresh basil;1 tablespoon fennel seeds ;1 teaspoon Kosher salt;1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper;2 cups any combination of mushrooms, coarsely chopped;1/2 cup dry red wine, may substitute vegetable broth ;14 oz can diced, no salt tomatoes;2 tablespoons nutritional yeast ” ]Wash and chop all vegetables except the zucchini. Spirilize the zucchini. Sauté onion and garlic in olive oil for 2 minutes. Add carrots, fennel, celery and continue to cook for 5 minutes. Add herbs, mushrooms, tomato, salt and pepper. Simmer 45 minutes. Add zoodles and stir gently for 5 minutes. You want the zucchini to be warm but maintain its texture. Stir in yeast just before serving. [/lt_recipe]

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Vegan Bolognese over Zoodles, low carb, lowfat, Mediterranean diet



Vegetarian Mushroom Tamales, Swiss Chard Wrapped

Vegetarian mushroom parmasen filled tamales, wrapped in Swiss chard leaves

Make these vegetarian mushroom parmesan cheese filled tamales wrapped in Swiss chard leaves without corn husks for a special occasion or weekend meal with friends.

 

Corn husks are readily available in every Baja market and they are traditionally used to make Mexican tamales. They lend an earthy (dusty) corn flavor to tamales which I did not miss with these flavorful Baja Mediterranean tamales. The mushroom parmesan filling is reminiscent of mushroom ravioli with a Baja twist. I can find parmesan cheese in Baja but it is a specialty item and can be expensive. A substitute would be aged cotija Mexican cheese. The filling would be great in empanadas, quesadillas or on baguette slices at a tapas party.

“I like to cook with wine and sometimes I even put it in the dish.”
Pair a hearty Mexican red wine, vino tinto, with these mushroom parmesan tamales and remember to save a glass for your guests. You can easily make them vegan by substituting minced walnuts or vegan cheese for the parmesan. Continue reading “Vegetarian Mushroom Tamales, Swiss Chard Wrapped”