Mexican Fiesta

¡Hola

The first time I ate Mexican food was when I moved to NYC; before that I had no clue about the Mexican cuisine and was happy to discover how colorful, fresh and vegan friendly it can be (back then I was only a vegetarian though).

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Today I am happy to present to you my version of a Mexican Fiesta; a mix of simple and quick recipes that together make up a wonderful meal. The cool thing about the recipes is that they can be used for different kinds of Mexican dishes: from burritos (what will be shown in the photos, my favorite!) and enchiladas to tacos and nachos, and sometimes, when I want to feel a bit healthier I just create a Mexican plate!

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The recipes are also perfect for a dinner party – if you rather not stand in the kitchen for a long time and prepare things the day of your dinner party then this is a great solution – before the guests arrive you just need to heat a few things up and set them on a table!

So let’s start:

  • Guacamole –  avocados are vegans’ diamonds

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For Guacamole – mix:

  1. 3-4 ripe avocados
  2. Juice from 1-2 limes
  3. Cubes from half a tomato
  4. Cubes from half a bell pepper
  5. A bit chili pepper (depends how hot you like it)
  6. Salt & pepper,
  7. Small garlic clove finely diced
  8. And a lot from the mother of all herbs: freshly chopped cilantro

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  • Pico de gallo – I really love this uncooked type of salsa; medium chunks of tomatoes, bell peppers and onions, it is not too watery and fits perfectly in burritos – if you wish for it to be more “saucy” like, just mix it all in a blender

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For the salsa – mix:

  1. Cubes from 3-4 big tomatoes (any kind will do)
  2. Cubes from 1-2 bell peppers (I like to mix colors)
  3. Cubes from half an onion (red or white, doesn’t matter)
  4. Small garlic clove finely diced
  5. Salt & pepper
  6. Juice from 2-3 limes
  7. And oh yes, again, freshly chopped cilantro

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  • Lime rice – rice is one of my big loves, I can eat rice every day and always make extra from this lime rice, so I will have leftovers!

For the rice:

  1. One cup of white rice – well washed and silghtly sautéed in a spoon of olive oil for 1 minute
  2. Add cubes from half a tomato
  3. Add a few pieces of chili
  4. Add juice from 1 lime
  5. Add  teaspoon of curcuma
  6. Add salt & pepper
  7.  Add a few cilantro leaves
  8. Add 1.5 cup of water, bring to boil, lower heat to minimum and cook for 10-15 minutes

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  • “Mexicanized” TVP – use the small pieces TVP! (I sometimes use tofu marinated in BBQ sauce, and spices instead of the TVP)

Soak the small pieces TVP in:

  1.  Boiled water mix with: chili, paprika, onion powder, garlic powder, cumin, oregano, salt, pepper, and every other spice that can enrich the flavor

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The followings are essential for the feast but can be bought – no work here!

  • Refried beans – the brand I buy has no weird additives; I do add cumin and mix it very well before warming it up in the microwave
  • Corn mix – Mexican corn mix; comes in a small can

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  • Jalapeño – I buy these in a jar at the Turkish supermarket in my neighborhood
  • Shredded cheese  – I use Wilmersburger vegan cheese
  • Sour cream – if you are lucky enough to be able to get a tasty one; I’m not… 
  • Shredded lettuce – iceberg!

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Once all the dishes are ready you just need to decide how you want your Mexican fiesta:

  • For burritos you’ll need Tortillas – I buy mine at Rewe – they are flour tortillas, super fresh and very tasty. Just create your burrito as you like, putting a bit from everything and trying to roll it without losing some ingredients. Very challenging!  Since the tortillas I buy are rather fresh (I heat them in the microwave for 30 seconds before rolling) I do not press the burrito but it is possible to wrap the burrito in aluminum foil and bake it in the oven for 10 minutes on high heat OR press it in a Panini maker for 5 minutes.

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  • For tacos you’ll need taco shells – these are not at the top of my list, they always break once I bite into them but I know some people LOVE them. Just fill them as you wish, create 3-4 at a time and party!
  • For enchiladas – originally we will need chili sauce made from Ancho Chiles – alas, it is too much work! In the easy version we can use cooked tomatoes sauce (with some chili powder) or salsa. Make 2 “skinny” burritos (with rice, beans, some sautéed veggies like bell peppers and onions, TVP). Bake them in the oven, cover with tomatoes sauce or salsa and shredded cheese; once they are cooked they can be served with rice, beans, lettuce, sour cream, guacamole and fresh salsa.
  • For nachos – we will need black olives  and nachos, aka tortilla chips: on a microwavable or oven plate pile: nachos, shredded cheese, jalapeno, shredded cheese, beans, shredded cheese, black sliced olives – cook/warm/bake till the cheese is melted and serve with guacamole, salsa and sour cream.

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¡buen provecho

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Dorian Gray

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