Swiss Chard and Quinoa Patties With Cilantro Yogurt Sauce, Vegetarian

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

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

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


  • 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.


  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

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. 

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 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


  • 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


  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

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

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


  • 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


  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. 

Pin it for later
Sticky Asian Lemon Cashew Cauliflower, Easy Heathy Vegan

Check out my Best Vegetable Side Dishes Pinterest Board.

Balsamic Glazed Green Beans and Almonds, Healthy Vegetable Side Dish

Balsamic Glazed Green Beans with Almonds/

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/
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.

[lt_recipe name=”Balsamic Glazed Green Beans With Almonds ” prep_time=”20M” cook_time=”15M” total_time=”35M” difficulty=”Easy” summary=”Grilled balsamic glazed green beans with almonds are an easy healthy vegetable side dish for any occasion. ” print=”yes” image=”×300.jpg” 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” ]Wash and prepare green beans, snap off the ends. Combine beans, garlic, vinegar and seasonings.;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.;Serve warm or cold. [/lt_recipe]

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/
Vegetarians could serve them with more almonds and a Thanksgiving lentil meatloaf or vegan chorizo and grilled tortillas.

Simply Delicious, 4 Ingredient Watermelon Basil Feta Salad

Watermelon Basil Feta Salad

Watermelon is so easy to love by itself but mix it with herbs like basil or lovage, spicy greens like arugula or endive and salty cheese then magic happens. I’ve made this salad many times with arugula but I think I love the basil even more. Make this watermelon basil feta salad as a side dish or as a main meal salad.



I grow basil, arugula, lovage, parsley, lavender, Swiss chard and arugula on my deck in pots, all winter long in Mexico. Some greens and fresh herbs are available at the organic markets. I buy seeds and plant the herbs that I frequently use. I have seen herb plants at the farmers markets in the spring.

Arugula is easy to grow and difficult to find so grow your own.



Market Fresh Mexican Produce Let local farmers know that you need fresh arugula and basil. Join a CSA, community supported agriculture, in your community or get together with your farmers and create one.

Stay tuned to My Baja Newsletter Fall edition for an update on the Loreto, BCS, CSA.






[lt_recipe name=”Watermelon Basil Feta Salad” servings=”6″ prep_time=”10M ” total_time=”10M” difficulty=”Easy ” summary=”Simple 4 ingredient watermelon, basil and feta salad. Toss with balsamic glaze for a quick, protein packed salad. Travels well when chilled. ” print=”yes” image=”×300.jpeg” ingredients=”Watermelon, 6-8 cups cubed;Fresh basil, 1 cup sliced;Feta or quéso fresco, 1 cup crumbled;Drizzle of balsamic vinegar glaze, or reduced balsamic vinegar. May substitute orange marmalade thinned with apple cider or rice vinegar.” ]Cube watermelon and slice basil. Mix with feta and toss. Drizzle salad with glaze before serving. Keep chilled under ready to serve. Best eaten immediately. [/lt_recipe]


Pin it for later or make it tonight!

Watermelon Basil Feta Salad

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Fresh Baja Salsas

Fresh salas made with fruits and vegetables are essential to Baja cuisine. Salsas are easily tailored to the available produce and to your individual tastes. Mix and match basically any fruits, peppers and onions and you have a salsa. What’s your favorite Mexican salsa recipe?

Sunday is my market and prep day. Even beach girls need some organization in their foodie lives. I have the same problem as many of you do at 4 pm when I’ve been writing all day and I’m hungry, “What’s for dinner, La Gringa?”

If I have a plan and some veggies and fruits prepped in advance then I am much less likely to reach for the tortilla chips or a quick quesadilla. I don’t have the American luxury of buying pre-washed bags of salad or veggies, which is really a great fall back plan for busy cooks who want nutritious food on the table quickly. So I wash and cut up jicama, cucumbers, carrots, melon, pineapple and lettuce.

I make fresh salsas every week with the fruits and vegetables that I have on hand. You can add salsas to tacos of course but try a fruit salsa as a side dish for fish or chicken. Salsas are flavor packed and you can adjust the heat to your preference by varying the types and amounts of chili pepper.



[lt_recipe name=”Pico de Gallo” servings=”Multiple ” prep_time=”10 MINUTES ” cook_time=”NONE” total_time=”10 MINUTES ” difficulty=”Easy ” summary=”Fast fresh tomato and pepper salsa for any occasion. Keep a batch on hand for any Baja meal. ” print=”yes” image=”×300.jpg” ingredients=”2 ripe tomatoes ;1 red onion;1 serrano chili;1/2 cup packed chopped fresh cilantro;1 key lime, may substitute Persian lime;Dash of sea salt” ]Dice tomatoes and onion into desired size, usually 1/4 inch pieces. Mince serrano chili, the amount you use is directly related to your preference for spiciness. Start with 1 tablespoon, about 1/2 of an average serrano chili. You may substitute any hot chili, try jalapeño, habanero, or poblano depending on your heat preference. ;Chop cilantro. Mix all vegetables and the juice of one key lime or 1 tablespoon of any lime juice. Adjust salt. It’s best served after allowing the ingredients to mingle for 20 minutes. The salsa will keep in a sealed container in the refrigerator for 5-7 days. [/lt_recipe]




Simple Additions to Pico de Gallo: 

Pico de Gallo, mild
If you’re feeling creative try a sweet red bell pepper and add chopped cucumber or jicama.

Pineapple Salsa
Make pico de gallo but substitute chopped ripe pineapple for the tomatoes and add chopped orange, yellow or red bell pepper.

Pineapple Salsa

Mango Ginger Salsa

Substitute ripe mango for the pineapple. Then add 1 tablespoon of fresh grated ginger root.
 Mango Salsa

Watermelon Salsa

Substitute chopped watermelon for the pineapple and add chopped cucumber for crunch.

Buena salud, disfrute de su comida. Good health, enjoy your meal.

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