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
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.
Baked Vegan Mexican Falafel
Everything you love about baked vegan falafel with Mexican cilantro and jalapeño peppers. Spicy and easy to make at home.
1 1/2CupsSoaked chickpeas Do not substitute cooked or canned.
1Cup Fresh cilantro
2TablespoonsMinced, seeded jalapeño
1 Teaspoon Salt
1/2TeaspoonGround black pepper
TablespoonLemon juiceMay substitute lime juice
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.
Sweet watermelon, spicy serrano pepper, cool cucumber, fragrant cilantro and red onion make a summer watermelon salsa that is bursting with flavor.
There are a zillion recipes for watermelon salsa on the internet so please try every variation. I wanted more crunch so I added crisp cucumber and of course I love a punch of citrus from lime.
I served my salsa with grilled salmon and zucchini in a lemon basil marinade. You could serve yours with grilled shrimp kabobs, margarita marinade chicken or fish, or topping green leafy veggies like kale or arugula with a few crumbles of cojita or feta, for a vegetarian Mexican salad. I could eat this salsa on tortilla chips, fish tacos or with a spoon.
[lt_recipe name=”Sweet Spicy Watermelon Salsa ” prep_time=”10 MINUTES ” total_time=”10 MINUTES ” difficulty=”Easy ” summary=”Quick and easy sweet, spicy watermelon salsa.” print=”yes” image=”http://mybajakitchen.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/07/image-50-225×300.jpeg” ingredients=”2 cups diced watermelon;1 cup diced cucumber, about 1/2 cucumber ;1/2 cup chopped red onion;1/2 to 1 serrano chili pepper;1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro, about 1/2 a bunch;1 large lime juiced or 2 key limes;Dash of salt” ]The watermelon, cucumber and onion should have a uniform 1/2 inch dice. The serrano should be finely chopped. Remove the seeds if you want less heat. Combine all ingredients. Add a dash of salt and adjust as needed. You can make this ahead of time and store covered in the refrigerator up to two days. [/lt_recipe]
Make this quick margarita marinade for chicken or fish by combining limes, oranges and tequila. You can substitute orange juice for the tequila but the tequila does give this simple marinade a uniquely Mexicana flare. Use a tequila that you would also drink, just like when adding wine to any dish. I’m a fan of aged tequilas, reposado or añejo for sipping and cooking. My favorite is Casadores.
Here’s an article in Town And Country Magazine that you might find interesting about tequila
. Marinade fish or chicken for a tasty grilled or baked Baja meal in margarita marinade.
One sheet pan meal idea.
I marinated my salmon for 20 minutes and baked it on a baking sheet with asparagus at 350 for 20 minutes. The marinade adds a slightly sweet glaze to the salmon. I think tequila lime marinade would be tasty on grilled fresh red snapper, halibut or dorado.
Delicious grilled chicken.
Marinade chicken pieces for 30 minutes to 6 hours. Grill on indirect moderate heat because the sugar can burn. Toss on zucchini slices and corn on the cob for a complete BBQ fiesta.
Of course having a pitcher of perfect margaritas would be a welcome addition to any BBQ.
Margarita Tequila Marinade
An easy marinade of tequila, lime and oranges with a touch of sweetness for fish or chicken.
Fresh orange juice, 3/4 cup, 2 oranges
Fresh lime juice, 1/4 cup,
1 ounce tequila, may substitute orange juice
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup cilantro
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 clove garlic minced
Combine all ingredients for marinade. Marinade chicken 30 to 120 minutes. Marinade fish no longer than 30 minutes.
PIN IT FOR LATER
Check out my Pinterest Board for Marinades. I’ve found all of the best marinades for you.
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