La Gringa’s Weekly Baja Menu and CSA Boredom

CSA boredom/Weekly Baja Menu

CSA BOREDOM?

It’s easy to get bored with Mexican winter vegetables; Swiss chard, beets, butternut and spaghetti squash, cherry tomatoes and peppers. Greens and squash, rinse and repeat. Making a weekly menu and adjusting your focus may help. I have to remind myself to feel gratitude. Boredom just means that I haven’t tried any new ways to eat the available vegetables.

It’s Fresh

The majority of my produce has been grown locally and was picked within a couple of hours to days of harvest. When you go to Whole Foods in the U.S. you will find a much larger and expensive selection of produce.

It’s Local

However those fruits and vegetables probably traveled hundreds to thousands of miles before they landed on your plate.

The transportation process robs us of ripe-picked produce and nutrients and the carbon footprint takes its toll on the environment.

It’s All Relative, Others Aren’t as Lucky

When I consider all of this and reframe the situation then I am happy to eat the same healthy fresh foods week after week in new and exciting ways.  I’m up for the challenge.

I feel sorry for anyone who doesn’t have access to any fresh produce or is eating a larger variety of warehouse ripened, flavorless vegetables that were picked a few weeks ago.

Powerful Nutrition

Cheers for greens and winter squashes.
Deep green leafy veggies provide an abundance of  folate, vitamins C, K, A, potassium, magnesium and other phytonutrients. Yellow squashes are filling and help you meet your daily requirement of vitamin A, E and Bs, calcium and manganese.

What’s For Dinner, Doc?

We have been blessed with excellent mild days so the fisherman can bring us delicious yellowtail, cabrilla (grouper) and red snapper; the stars of this week’s healthy menu.

Weekly Baja Menu/Whatsfordinnerdoc?

Cabrilla with Lemon and Thai Basil; Saute garlic in olive oil, basil, add fresh fish and cook until just opaque. Deglaze the pan with a squeeze of lemon.  Finish with a tablespoon of butter and serve with steamed snow peas and sesame seeds.

Spaghetti Squash and Mushroom Bolognese

Sesame seared yellowtail or tuna. Season fish with sea salt and pepper. Coat with black and white toasted sesame seeds. Briefly sear in hot coconut oil, serve with baked butternut squash and bacon. or Asian zucchini noodles.

Quinoa and Chard Patties

Moroccan Chicken and Cumin Carrots, Here’s a recipe for inspiration.



La Gringa’s Weekly Menu, Made With Love

La Gringa’s Weekly Baja Menu/MyBajaKitchen.com

La Gringa’s Weekly Baja Menu/MyBajaKitchen.com

Made With Love

by T. Delaplain

La Gringa’s Weekly Menu is a useful tool to help me eat real food at home, use the abundance of fruits and vegetables that I buy and stop the “what’s for dinner?” woes. I’m trying to get back on the real whole food wagon and planning is everything for me.

Have you kept your New Year’s intentions?

I have definitely kept my workout schedule full but I can’t seem to shake the sugar “monkey on my back”. I think skipping meals and/or not planning a high protein lunch is my biggest downfall. If I eat a piece of toast on the run in the morning then I’ll be starving by noon and go foraging for granola bars, candy, tortillas, muffins: all carbs, all the time. Yuck, a high carb diet zaps my energy and I swear it causes more chronic pain.

So here’s La Gringa’s Weekly Menu with a few links to inspire you.

La Gringa’s Weekly Baja Menu/MyBajaKitchen.com

Chard and Potato Pie I think I’ll add a little bacon or chorizo for flavor but it would be a great vegetarian dinner.

Chicken in Salsa Verde, not really a recipe but add chicken pieces to prepared Herdez salsa verde or make your own with tomatillos and green chili’s, chopped cilantro, onion and ground cumin. Slow cook it 4-6 hours. Shred with a fork and serve with cumin rice or cauliflower cumin rice. I’ll save the leftovers for quick, high protein lunches on salad or with a small tortilla.

Zucchini Patties. These look delicious and I’ll serve them with Swiss chard topped with lemon and garlic tossed with toasted panko bread crumbs. Recipe in development.

Grilled flank steak, Carne Asada.  Served with rosemary butternut squash.

Carne Asada Tacos

Sheet Pan Chicken Fajitas

Sheet pan chicken fajitas/ MyBajaKitchen.com

Taco Seasoned Ground Beef and Quinoa One Pan Meal, recipe under development.

Lemon Piccata  

Lunches and snacks

I will fill in the gaps with lots of greens, baby lettuces that I’m growing on my deck, roasted beets, fresh pineapple salsa, roasted green beans,  peppers, cherry tomatoes, zucchini noodles and Brussel’s sprouts.

Market Fresh Mexican Produce

What’s on your menu this week? 

Pin it for later to your Pinterest Menu Board.

Baja Weekly Menu/#farm fresh, #healthy,#dinner ideas

Check out my Pinterest Paleo, Whole Foods  And  Taco Tuesday, All Taco Board for more dinner inspiration. 

 

Instant Pot Chicken Tortilla Soup, Freezer Meal

Instant Pot or Slow Cooker Chicken Tortilla Soup, Freezer Meal/MyBajaKitchen.com

.Instant Pot or Slow Cooker Chicken Tortilla Soup, Freezer Meal/MyBajaKitchen.com

Prepare this Instant Pot chicken tortilla soup on the weekend and freeze it for later or if you have the time you can make it in the morning and toss it in the Instant Pot or a slow cooker. Either way you return to a delicious soup in the evening. You can cook this recipe on the stove top without a slow cooker, simmer for 40 minutes.

I made a double batch and froze one batch for later.

Instant Pot or Slow Cooker Chicken Tortilla Soup, Freezer Meal/MyBajaKitchen.com

If you freeze a batch then thaw the meal overnight in the refrigerator and dump it into the Instant pot on the slow cooker setting in the morning with a 6 cups of broth or chicken stock. I use generous tablespoons full of spices every time I use the slow cooker because the spices mellow after a few hours or simmering. I want to taste all of those fragrant Mexican spices.

Instant Pot or Slow Cooker Chicken Tortilla Soup, Freezer Meal/MyBajaKitchen.com

Serve Instant Pot chicken tortilla soup with tortilla strips, cilantro, sour cream or la creme, diced avocado, crumbled cotija or shredded cheddar cheese and lime wedges.

Instant Pot or Slow Cooker Chicken Tortilla Soup, Freezer Meal/MyBajaKitchen.com

 

Special Diets?

A Weight Watcher’s friendly meal, but use fat free sour cream (not a fan) and go easy on the cheese and tortilla strips. The soup is loaded with vegetables, fiber and flavor. Soup fills you up faster than tacos!

Paleo diets exclude legumes, the pinto beans, but a real food diet would welcome them. In my opinion legumes are an inexpensive, healthy source of protein and fiber so I include them in my lower carbohydrate real food diet.

Vegetarians and vegans can modify this recipe by leaving out the chicken and using vegetable broth. The spicy soup and vegetables are the best part of this recipe anyway.

 

Instant Pot Chicken Tortilla Soup

An Instant Pot recipe that can be made in a slow cooker or simmered on the stove top. Easy, healthy real Mexican flavored soup loaded with vegetables and fiber. Double the recipe and freeze 1/2 before cooking for a ready to cook slow cooker dinner. 

Servings 4
Author TraceyDelaplain

Ingredients

  • 6 cups low sodium chicken broth or stock
  • 1 pound skinless, boneless chicken breasts and/or thighs
  • 2 cups cooked pinto beans substitute kidney or black beans
  • 14 ounces fire roasted tomatoes 2 cups fresh diced tomatoes
  • 14 ounces canned fire roasted tomatoes substitute 2 cups fresh
  • 1 cup diced onion
  • 1 cup corn kernals frozen, fresh or canned
  • 1 cup sliced fresh carrots
  • 1 cup sweet peppers, poblano or bell pepper
  • 1 cup chopped cilantro divided, 1/2 cup cooked, 1/2 cup raw to serve
  • 3 cloves garlic minced 1 tablespoon dried
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 2 teaspoons Mexican oregano
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 avocado
  • 1 cup crisp corn tortilla strips or tortilla chips crushed
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1 fresh lime
  • 1/2 cup crumbled cojita cheese substitute any cheese

Instructions

  1. Sauté onions and garlic in a tablespoon of olive oil until soft on the sauté setting. Add remaining ingredients and use the slow cooker low setting for 6-8 hours or high setting for 4 hours. 

    Serve with diced avocado, tortilla strips or chips crushed, additional chopped cilantro, sour cream or la creme, and lime wedges. 

Recipe Notes

To freeze this before cooking as part of a weekly meal prep, combine all soup ingredients except canned tomatoes and broth. Let the meal thaw overnight in the refrigerator and toss into the Instant Pot in the morning with the canned tomatoes and broth. To cook this on the stove top, simmer 40 minutes or until the vegetables are soft. 

Pin it for later. You might like my Pinterest Board, Instant Pot Mexican Recipes.  
Instant Pot Chicken Tortilla Soup. #Healthy Mexican Soup, #Freezer Meal, MyBajaKitchen.com



 

Homemade Taco Seasoning, Healthy Mexican Food

Make homemade taco seasoning from dried chilies, cumin, garlic, onion, thyme and oregano. You can customize your taco seasoning by choosing mild, medium or hot chili powders. There are no scary ingredients and you can control the amount of salt. Store bought taco seasoning is more expensive, less flavorful and there are anti-caking agents, artificial seasonings and an over abundance of sodium. This recipe makes enough to season 6 pounds of taco meat.

Homemade Taco Seasoning
Homemade taco seasoning with no scary ingredients. An inexpensive and healthy alternative to store bought mixes.
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
Combine all ingredients and crush with a mortar and pestle or whiz in a spice grinder until there’s a granular powder. Store in a clean dry spice jar.

 

Homemade taco seasoning, #tacos, #mexican food /MyBajaKitchen.com

Healthier Beef Taco Meat

One pound of ground meat will go a long way when you add nutritious vegetables. You essentially double the volume while adding fiber and vitamins. I bet the family won’t even notice the vegetables.

Sauté 1/2 cup of chopped onion, 1/2 cup shredded carrot and/or zucchini in olive oil. Add 1 pound of lean ground beef and cook over medium heat until beef is browned. Drain if there’s excess fat. Add 1 tablespoon of homemade taco seasoning and 14 ounces of fire roasted tomatoes. Simmer for 15-20 minutes. Adjust salt.

Feel free to substitute ground chicken, turkey, pork or tofu. I use this taco seasoning on fish tacos too. I add more or less depending on how spicy I want the meat to taste. Play with your food and make this seasoning your own creation.

Build your taco in a warm flour or corn tortilla with meat, any salsa, shredded cheese and lettuce.  My favorite street taco additions are finely chopped cilantro mixed with onions and shredded cabbage.

Homemade taco seasoning, #tacos, #mexican food /MyBajaKitchen.com

Do you make your own seasoning mixes? Common spices are so inexpensive in Mexico and you can buy them in bulk so it just makes sense to mix your my own seasonings. Stay tuned for more seasoning recipes. I use this seasoning in homemade Mexican chorizo ,salmon and chicken tortilla soup.

PIN IT AND SHARE IT PLEASE
Homemade Taco Seasoning, #healthy Mexican food, #taco seasoning