Healthy Baja Mediterranean Fusion Mexican Cuisine

Tag: healthier solutions

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

Vegan Bolognese and Zoodles

This is a delicious whole food, vegan, low carbohydrate bolognese over zucchini noodles. 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.


Vegan Bolognese and Zoodles

July 31, 2017
: 6
: 20 min
: 1 hr
: 1 hr 20 min
: Easy

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.

By:

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
Directions
  • Step 1 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.

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



Grilled Chicken Bacon Ranch Salad, Make Your own Yogurt Ranch Dressing

Grilled Chicken Bacon Ranch Salad, Make Your own Yogurt Ranch Dressing

Grilled chicken breast marinated in homemade yogurt ranch dressing, wrapped in bacon and tossed with fresh spinach, avocado, and tomatoes. Drizzle more yogurt ranch dressing for a main meal salad inspired by a California Club sandwich.

Grilled Chicken Bacon Ranch Salad with Spinach and Avocado

This is a low carb, whole food meal with healthy substitutions of low-fat Greek yogurt dressing, no nitrate bacon and skinless chicken breasts.

Feeling spicy?
Make chipotle pepper ranch dressing by adding 1/2 to 1 chipotle pepper and a teaspoon of adobe sauce. Heat it up!

I’m sharing my salad at Fiesta Friday.

Grilled Chicken Bacon Ranch Salad

July 28, 2017
: 4
: 15 min
: 20 min
: Easy

Grilled chicken breasts marinated in yogurt ranch dressing and wrapped in bacon. Serve over salad greens and avocado for a main meal salad.

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Ingredients
  • 2 chicken breast halves
  • 4 bacon slices, nitrate free
  • 1 avocado, sliced
  • 1 tomato, sliced
  • 4 cups salad greens, any combination, spinach, kale, arugula, romaine lettuce
  • 1/2 cup plain 2% or fat-free yogurt
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 2 teaspoons minced shallot or green onion
  • 1 teaspoon dried dill weed
  • 1 tablespoon fresh or dried parsley
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
Directions
  • Step 1 Slice each chicken breasts length wise into two pieces. Mix yogurt, mayonnaise and seasonings for the marinade and dressing. Place 1/2 cup of dressing/marinade over chicken breasts and marinade 2-24 hours.
  • Step 2 Remove chicken from marinade and discard marinade. Pre-cook bacon in the microwave for 2 minutes, discard bacon fat. Wrap each breast in a slice of bacon. Grill chicken and bacon on medium heat until chicken is cooked through, about 15 minutes, carefully turning once.
  • Step 3 Assemble salad greens in a serving bowl or platter. Top with avocado and tomato slices. Slice chicken breasts and assemble over salad greens. Drizzle with remaining yogurt ranch dressing. Serve immediately while chicken is warm.

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Grilled chicken, bacon, avocado, tomato salad and homemade yogurt ranch dressing

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Vegetarian Mushroom Tamales, Swiss Chard Wrapped

Vegetarian Mushroom Tamales, Swiss Chard Wrapped

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. (more…)

Vegan Chorizo Black Bean Burrito Bowl, Make it Mexican

Vegan Chorizo Black Bean Burrito Bowl, Make it Mexican

#MeatlessMonday: Make it Mexican

Vegan Mexican style chorizo burrito bowls are an easy healthy weeknight one bowl meal. For best results make the mushroom walnut chorizo a day in advance so the spicy chorizo seasonings can develop. Save leftover chorizo for tacos, stuffed sweet potatoes or tostadas. You can purchase soy chorizo but I prefer making my own without soy. I’m sensitive to soy so I try to avoid it. I’ve seen lentil and quinoa taco meat recipes which would also work well.

I used black beans but any legume would be fabulous in this burrito bowl. I prefer to cook my own beans besides you don’t find many canned beans in rural Mexico. Dried pinto and back beans are a great vegan protein source and they are readily available and so inexpensive. Many homes keep a pot of pinto beans stewing on the stove all week long for quick snacks or meals. I make vegetarian pinto beans in my crockpot almost every week. If you are a vegan and you eat out in Mexico you shouldn’t assume that the beans are animal free. I suspect lard is added to most frijoles so make your own and be certain. If I want refried frijoles, I use olive oil.

Sauté any vegetables for your burrito bowl. I had bell peppers, onions, avocado, jalapeño and fresh tomatoes. I occasionally make a large batch of brown or white rice to have ready for weeknight meals.

I’m not sure that this warrants a recipe card but here it is Google search engine. 🤔

 

Vegan Chorizo Black Bean Burrito Bowls

July 17, 2017
: Easy

Build a weeknight complete vegan meal with vegan chorizo, black beans and vegetables. Make it Mexican with peppers and salsa.

By:

Ingredients
  • 2 cups black beans
  • 2 cups white or brown rice cooked
  • 2 cups vegan mushroom chorizo or soy chorizo
  • 1 bell pepper, any color
  • 1 onion
  • 1 jalapeño seeded
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 tomato diced
  • 1 avocado diced
  • 1/2 cup chopped cilantro
  • 1/4 cup sliced green onions
  • 1/2 cup prepared salsa
Directions
  • Step 1 If making mushroom walnut chorizo, prepare it at least one day in advance.
  • Step 2 Dice bell peppers and onions. Finely chop jalapeño. Sauté all peppers and onions until soft.
  • Step 3 Place a 1/4-1/2 cup each of warmed black beans, rice and chorizo into large bowls. Top each bowl with 1/2 cup of cooked vegetables.
  • Step 4 Sprinkle each bowl with cilantro, chopped tomatoes, avocado and green onions. Top each bowl with a tablespoon or more of salsa.

 

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Vegan chorizo, black bean, burrito bowls. Healthy Mexican Vegan Recipe

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Spicy BBQ Baja Shrimp Kabobs

Spicy BBQ Baja Shrimp Kabobs

 

Fresh shrimp, red and orange bell peppers, red onion, red potatoes and a chili lime marinade come together in a rainbow of colors to bring Baja, Mexico to your next BBQ. Serve with caprese salad and fruit or Mexican rice and grilled vegetables for a perfect backyard BBQ meal.

Buying and cleaning raw shrimp:

Fresh shrimp, camerones are readily available on the Baja.  At the market you could ask for a kilo of shrimp by saying, “Necesito un kilo de camarón, por favor.” I need a kilo of shrimp, please.

You will need to learn how to clean raw shrimp while living in Baja. The freshest shrimp is sold raw without prior deveining. I use a sharp paring knife to slit the back shell and remove the vein but you could use a special shrimp tool.

These shrimp were deveined and the shells were removed before marinating and skewering them.

 

I use flat, stainless steel kabob skewers. I’m not a fan of the bamboo skewers. They burn easily and the food twirls on them making it difficult to grill properly.

 

Spicy Baja BBQ Baja Shrimp Kabobs

June 22, 2017
: 4
: Moderately easy

Spicy Baja shrimp kabobs with colorful vegetables and chil lime marinade make an impressive meal. Perfect for a backyard barbecue.

By:

Ingredients
  • 2 pounds raw large shrimp, cleaned and deveined
  • 2 tablespoons ancho chili powder, substitute any chili powder
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • 2 tablespoon olive oil, divided
  • 2 tablespoons lime juice
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt, divided
  • 1 red bell pepper
  • 1 orange bell pepper, any combination of bell peppers is fine
  • 1 red onion cut into 1 inch pieces
  • 4 small red potatoes, may substitute yellow, or purple potatoes
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
Directions
  • Step 1 Clean and devein raw shrimp. Toss shrimp with 1 tablespoon of olive oil, chili powder, lime juice, cilantro, and 1/2 teaspoon of salt. Set aside while preparing vegetables.
  • Step 2 If using a charcoal grill start coals in advance. A gas grill should be preheated to 400 degrees.
  • Step 3 Cut peppers and onion into 1 inch uniform pieces. Cut potato into 1 inch cubes. Parboil potatoes for 7 minutes in boiling water. Let cool enough to handle. Combine potatoes, peppers, onions, 1 tablespoon olive oil, salt and pepper.
  • Step 4 Prepare kabobs by carefully skewering marinated shrimp through the body and tail, alternating with peppers, onions and potatoes. The vegetables are skewered through the center.
  • Step 5 Grill kabobs for 5 minutes and turn and continue to grill until shrimp are pink and vegetables are al dente and lightly charred, about 5 additional minutes.

I’m taking my Baja shrimp to #FiestaFriday. I have had intermittent internet so please forgive me if I don’t get a chance to comment on everything’s party recipes. Please stop by and say hello to this week’s cohosts Ai and Jhuls

Please visit #CookBlogShare for more amazing recipes. Send some blog love to this week’s cohosts http://www.hijackedbytwins.com/ http://www.easypeasyfoodie.com/ and http://recipesmadeeasy.co.uk/

Spicy Baja Shrimp Kabobs

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Weekly Meal Plan and Healthy Baja Recipes

Weekly Meal Plan and Healthy Baja Recipes

Making a weekly meal plan helps me save money, time and reduces the stress of “What’s for dinner?” I make healthy choices at the market, reduce waste because I know what is in the pantry and I’m less tempted to eat out. I always buy the freshest produce at the Baja market. I save money in the United States by choosing sale items, produce that’s local and in season and I avoid the processed foods.

My Loreto Sunday Market

Money Saving tips:
Make out a weekly menu
Stick to your list
Buy organic when it makes sense for your budget and health
Never leave the produce aisle at Whole Foods, never

Seductive Whole Foods

A trip to Whole Foods doesn’t have to break the bank.Look for sale items which usually means that the item is in season, locally grown and ready to eat. Never leave the produce section at Whole Foods. Do you really need organic bunny crackers, blue corn tortillas, expensive cheese and organic clothing? No judgement, if your answer is YES, DUH! Just think before you wander. I can impulse buy faster than anyone but I try to stick to a list and a plan. Always write out a meal plan before shopping.

I love Whole Foods and Trader Joes but I also know that the stores are a land mine of processed trigger foods. Save your money and buy real food. Processed organic food is still processed. Save money by only buying organic produce for the dirty dozen. Although I love the idea of saving the planet from pesticides in general if you want to save money and want to reduce your exposure to toxin then buying some organic produce makes sense.

 

Recipe links for this week’s meal plan:

Coming soon to MyBajaKitchen: chili rubbed shrimp kabobs

Weekly recipes under development: zucchini, corn vegan patties, grilled watermelon salad and sweet jalapeño & orange sauce over salmon.

 

Sweet Jalapeño Lima and orange sauce
Ground turkey stuffed bell peppers similar to these at Whatsfordinnerdoc.com


Grilled prosciutto and sage chicken inspired by saltimbocca

Smoked salmon muffins, inspired by these cheese muffins and these salmon muffins.

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Homemade Lean Mexican Chorizo

Homemade Lean Mexican Chorizo

Lean homemade Mexican chorizo is a delicious, rich addition to any meal. I use it mostly as a seasoning for eggs, soups, or tapas. Mexican chorizo is a soft crumbly sausage which is distinctly different from Spanish chorizo which is a dried, firm sausage popular in Spain.

Unfortunately I never really know what parts of the pig are in a store bought chorizo. I do know that I searched high and low for a packaged chorizo without soy. I’m sensitive to soy so I don’t want it snuck into my food. You can buy chorizo from a butcher and it usually tastes fabulous but I can’t really ask about which parts are included in my broken gringa Español. “Are there snouts and hooves in my meat?” I know, I know, I hate to think about what goes into any sausage, actually.

I am concerned about the amount of saturated fat that I eat and lard is a saturated fat.

Mexican chorizo has added lard and yes lard makes Mexican cuisine, Mexican cuisine but I want to manage the fat in my diet for optimum health so I choose to avoid lard. The ideal solution was to make my own lean chorizo at home. I drew inspiration from Honest Cooking but modified the spices. I left out the warm spices of cinnamon and clove and used ground New Mexico and California chilies. I can be lazy in the U.S. so I bought the ground chilies but I also wanted to double the spices recipe and keep the chili powder in my pantry so I used all dried ingredients. In Baja, the dried whole chilies can be purchased everywhere so I would recommend soaking the dried chilies in hot water for an hour before combining them with the other seasonings. Substitute 4-5 dried chilies for 2 tablespoons of ground chili powders. I used garlic powder but you can substitute fresh garlic, 2 cloves or more.

You can ask the butcher to grind a pork loin or lean looking chops for you if you can’t find ground pork. Pointing with a smile and a few Google translated key words usually works for me.

Helpful español: Try, “Necesito esta carne de cerdo molida por favor.” I need this pork meat ground up, please. Molida is ground meat.  Cerdo is pork.

I purchased this meat grinder to bring to Baja to grind my own pork, beef and chicken.

Chorizo recipes:

Mushroom Chorizo Tapas @Whatsfordinnerdoc.com, my original blog.
Chorizo, chard and potato chowder
Chorizo Crashed Potatoes

Lean Mexican Chorizo

June 11, 2017
: Multiple
: Easy

Homemade leaner pork chorizo. Lower fat, soy free alternative to store bought Mexican chorizo. Perfect for seasoning tapas, soups, or eggs. Delicious mixed with potatoes or roasted vegetables for tacos.

By:

Ingredients
  • 16 ounces lean ground pork
  • 3 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon cumin seeds
  • 1 tablespoon ground California chili
  • 1 tablespoon New Mexico chili
  • 1 tablespoon Spanish smoked paprika
  • 1 tablespoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon dried Mexican oregano
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 bay leaf crushed
Directions
  • Step 1 Combine all spices in a mortar and grind until leaves and cumin seeds are crushed. Combine spice mix, vinegar and ground pork and mix by hand or place in a ziplock bag and gently squish until combined. Store in the refrigerator at least 3 hours to allow the seasonings to mingle.

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