Pineapple cucumber lime paletas

Paletas made with pineapple, cucumber and lime juice are a refreshing, healthy treat you can enjoy without any guilt! This all-natural, no sugar added popsicle recipe is one of my favorite ways to cool off from the summer heat, without consuming lots of empty calories or sugar. The lime zest gives these paletas a bright zip of color and a citrusy aroma that lime juice alone just can’t provide. I also love how the lime zest sinks to the bottom of the popsicle mold as it freezes, embedded in the pineapple juice and some of the cucumber juice naturally floats to the top of the mold. It makes for a pretty layered look with zero effort for it to turn out that way!

Pineapple, cucumber and lime #popsicle #recipe on theothersideofthetortilla.com #paletas

After going 10 days without eating sugar last month, I began thinking a lot about how much added sugar we actually consume in our household. Although we won’t completely cut all added sugar out of our diet, there are definitely some places we can easily cut back to make healthier choices. And although it’s true that pineapple has a moderately high amount of natural sugar, the juice, when cut by cucumber  and lime juice and divided into 10 popsicles, still has way less sugar per serving than almost any store-bought popsicle, and absolutely no preservatives, chemicals, sugar substitutes or artificial color dyes.

If your family consumes a lot of popsicles in the summer like mine does, then you probably already know that making your own ice pops can be both cost effective and healthier. Especially if you’ve got little kids  you don’t want eating lots of sugar, this recipe is a great, tasty option. Be sure to cut the skin off the cucumber so that the flavor is mild and blends in well to mellow the sweetness of the pineapple. Leaving the skin on the cucumber often results in a bitter flavor that throws off the balance.

This pineapple, cucumber and lime popsicle recipe is vegan-friendly, dairy-free and gluten-free…. 

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Gluten-free Brazilian cheese bread with Mexican cotija

Brazilian cheese bread is a staple at most Brazilian restaurants—especially a Brazilian steakhouse. These addictive, light and fluffy cheese rolls are called pão de queijo in Portuguese, which simply means cheese bread. They’re a popular breakfast item (similar to how Mexicans love pan dulce) or a snack.

I loved these Brazilian cheese rolls so much after having them for the first time about a decade ago that I went on a quest to try to reproduce them in my own kitchen almost immediately. I’ve been making them for years now, and what better time to share this version with you when we’re about to embark upon a summer filled with soccer matches in Brazil!

This traditional Brazilian recipe is most commonly made with Minas cheese or parmesan cheese, but I’ve given my recipe a bit of a Mexican spin by substituting cotija cheese.

Brazilian cheese bread recipe (pão de queijo) using Mexican cotija cheese | Get the recipe at theothersideofthetortilla.com… 

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Paletas de horchata

These horchata popsicles are a spin on Oaxaca-style horchata, which usually includes diced cantaloupe and red prickly pears that give it it’s signature pink hue. In Oaxaca, this kind of horchata is commonly referred to as horchata con tuna. Some people even like to throw in chopped pecans and a sprinkle of ground cinnamon as a garnish. Horchata has always been one of the most popular recipes on The Other Side of The Tortilla, so I thought I’d share a popsicle version that my family loves to eat.

This recipe for horchata popsicles is gluten-free.

Horchata popsicles with cantaloupe and blackberries | Get more Mexican recipes on theothersideofthetortilla.com… 

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Vegan banana chocolate smoothie

This vegan banana chocolate smoothie recipe is a creation I’ve been drinking over and over again for the last few weeks. I love experimenting with Mexican ingredients that aren’t necessarily always in traditional Mexican dishes. Cacao has been harvested and consumed in its raw state by ancient cultures such as the Aztecs and Mayans in Mexico as well as some other Latin American countries for centuries. Today, it’s easy to find a variety of raw cacao powders commercially available and made by different brands; it’s often sold in health food stores and it’s easy and inexpensive to buy online as well. Raw cacao powder has plenty of health benefits in addition to the rich flavor it provides to any dish. It’s packed with antioxidants, and has high amounts of nutrients and minerals such as magnesium, copper and manganese.

This banana chocolate smoothie recipe is vegan, dairy-free, gluten-free and has no added sugar, but trust me when I say that you will feel like you’re committing a sin while drinking it.

Creamy, frosty #Vegan banana chocolate smoothie #recipe from theothersideofthetortilla.com #dairyfree #glutenfree… 

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Mexico City in watercolors

There is so much to love about Mexico City.

I’ve been traveling to Mexico City—affectionately known as Chilangolandia—several times a year for the better part of a decade to visit my husband’s family, and it never ceases to amaze me. From the world-class museums and interesting historic landmarks to the variety of culinary experiences, ranging from street food to haute cuisine, I have a serious love affair with this city that is home to more than 21 million people (including the metro area). You can see and experience everything from fancy, modern skyscrapers to old-school open air markets. At times it can feel like a major metropolis, but at the drop of a hat, you may find yourself in a neighborhood that feels less like the city and more like a pueblo. It’s a diverse city with so much culture and history to explore.

Everything about the place calls my name, and each snapshot I take while visiting is a permanent memory embedded in my mind and heart. It’s strange, but when I’m away, I sometimes feel homesick for this magical place although it’s not where I was born and raised. Having spent so much time there, though, it has become like my second hometown. Recently, I discovered an app called Waterlogue that blew me away with its ability to turn my photos into stunning watercolor painted images. I started sorting through some of my favorite travel photos from Mexico City as well as other places in Mexico that I’ve visited, and have become addicted to turning my photos into works of art. Here are 10 photos I’ve taken in Mexico City over the years that I’ve turned into watercolor images.

A chicharrón vendor on the UNAM (Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México) campus, Cuidad Universitaria

A chicharrón vendor on the UNAM campus in Ciudad Universitaria, Mexico City | More watercolor images of Mexico City on theothersideofthetortilla.com… 

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Carnitas at El Venadito in Mexico City

Basically every carnitas joint in Mexico claims they have the best carnitas. Who can blame them? To somebody, each place DOES have the best carnitas. One of my favorite places in Mexico City, El Venadito, is no exception. This restaurant, which is a neighborhood staple and has no other locations, has been open since 1950. Like many other places, they have a sign that says “super carnitas, las mejores de México.” I will say: They are pretty spectacular, and among my top choices when I’m craving carnitas in Mexico City. After all, what place could stay open for more than six decades with signs saying they have the best carnitas if they didn’t?

Although there’s a restaurant where you can actually sit down in the back, I prefer the charming, tiny curbside taco stand. The only thing separating me from Tomás—the taquero who has been there as long as anyone I know can remember—is a window that’s about five feet high with a counter on top, so I can watch my carnitas go from being chopped to tortilla, salivating while I watch.

I always order them the same way: Surtido, which is a mix of white meat, dark meat, other parts, skin and some crunchy bits of chicharron. Top it with fresh, raw salsa verde and it’s truly a heavenly taco. If you’re squeamish about eating certain parts of the pig, you can always ask for maciza, which is white meat only.

Mexico City eats: El Venadito carnitas, Av. Universidad 1701, Col.Agrícola Chimalistac (Coyoacán) | More recommendations on theothersideofthetortilla.com… 

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