Natural fruit paletas with watermelon and Tajín

Natural paletas made with watermelon and TajínEvery kid I know loves paletas—and every mom I know wants to reduce the amount of sugar in their kids’ diet. With summer upon us, I’m already seeing watermelon everywhere in the farmers markets and grocery stores. I love watermelon and would eat it for three meals a day if I could, so I’ve been getting more creative with how to use it. These are especially great on a really hot day! A bonus: Because these natural paletas aren’t like traditional popsicles, they’re much less likely to drip and stain clothing if that’s an issue with your kids.

And you don’t need to have kids to enjoy these simple paletas! You can honor your inner child or summer cravings for a popsicle with a healthier twist. For those with diet restrictions, these paletas are gluten-free, dairy-free and vegan-friendly. This “recipe” isn’t really a recipe; I like to think of it more as a healthy tip I’m passing on to you. Don’t discard leftover pieces that don’t make the cut: Sprinkle Tajín and squeeze a little lime juice on it for a snack, or cut them into bite-sized pieces and freeze to use as watermelon ice cubes to flavor your water…. 

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Spicy ancho chile baked kale chips

I love baked kale chips, but have you seen what they charge for them in the grocery store? It’s a crime! That’s why I started making my own baked kale chips at home with a Mexican twist: Spiced with ancho chile powder. It’s just enough spice to give the kale chips a little kick, but not too spicy. Trust me when I say you’re going to want to eat them all in one sitting… and it’s OK if you do, because these chips are healthy for you!

baked_kale_chips_ancho_chile_spicy_TOSOTTThe chips are easiest to make with the flat leaf kind of kale (called dinosaur kale, Tuscan kale or lacinato kale, and called col rizada in Spanish), and you really don’t have to use that much cooking spray to coat them. I’ve been making my own kale chips for a few years and have experimented with other chile powders to make them spicier, using ground chile morita for a smoky chipotle flavor and even ground chile de árbol for a really spicy snack. Ancho chile powder is perfect for kids or anyone who doesn’t like very spicy snacks but still like a little chile flavor. I got a great deal on kale at the farmers market in Mar Vista this weekend, so I made a few batches of these spicy kale chips to snack on during the week. I hope you like them as much as I do!… 

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Chorizo and avocado cups with chipotle cream

Posadas navideñas are one of my favorite times of year, but they can also be a stressful time with relatives and friends dropping by with short notice. These chorizo and avocado cups with chipotle cream are sure to please your crowd, even if you don’t have much time to prepare.

Since we typically head to Mexico for the holidays, it’s not as stressful for me because I usually don’t have to play hostess. But my family threw me a bit of a curve ball this year when they requested I bring a dish of some kind to the posada at my tía’s house the same day that I arrive. I immediately began to think about what I could make that would be simple but authentic and satisfying, and that I could whip up with only a few hours in between the airport and heading to the posada. I decided on this easy appetizer because it has only six ingredients and one of them can be bought already prepared.

Many families celebrate posadas like potluck dinners where everybody is responsible for bringing a dish. But in this case, everyone in our family is assigned with tasks ranging from bringing food to a piñata, being in charge of taking photos and so on. Everybody does their part so that the party runs smoothly, even down to the end when someone is responsible for helping clean up the dishes.

While this recipe isn’t a traditional one, like, say, an ensalada nochebuena, it’s an excellent savory appetizer that you can incorporate into your holiday traditions. I usually have most of the ingredients on hand, and I bet you do too. You can easily make this appetizer a bit healthier and vegetarian-friendly by swapping the chorizo for soy chorizo.

Chorizo and avocado cups with chipotle cream

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 10 minutes

Total Time: 30 minutes

Yield: 30 mini cups

3 cups per person

An easy appetizer for posadas and other holiday parties using Avocados from Mexico.

Ingredients

  • 2 boxes of mini phyllo shells (or a total of 30 mini phyllo shells)
  • 2 avocados
  • juice of 1 lime
  • 4 ounces of cooked chorizo
  • 1/2 cup crema Mexicana
  • 1 chipotle en adobo plus 1 1/2 teaspoons adobo sauce

Instructions

  1. Cook the chorizo, drain grease on paper towels and set aside.
  2. Prepare the crema in a mini food processor or blender by adding the crema, chipotle chile and adobo sauce and blend until smooth. Refrigerate until ready to use.
  3. Preheat the oven to 350º F, then bake the shells on a cookie sheet for 3-5 minutes.
  4. Remove them from the oven, add 1/2 teaspoon or so of chorizo into each cup and put back in the oven for 3-5 more minutes.
  5. Score the avocados two ways while still in the skin and scoop out into a bowl. Squeeze lime juice over the avocado and gently toss with a spoon to coat the avocados with the juice.
  6. Once the chorizo cups are out of the oven, spoon a little avocado over each cup, followed by a little crema.
  7. Transfer to a serving platter and serve.
http://theothersideofthetortilla.com/2012/12/chorizo-avocado-cups-chipotle-cream/

For more avocado recipes for posadas or avocado recipes for any time, visit Avocados from Mexico’s website. And check out the blog hop below for holiday recipes using Avocados from Mexico from other bloggers.


Disclosure: This is a sponsored post through Latina Bloggers Connect to promote Avocados from Mexico. We received compensation for writing this post, but all opinions and recipes are our own.

Chicharrón de queso

On any trip to Mexico City, I look forward to my first visit to any of my usual taquerías. Not only because I need to satiate my appetite for tacos (read: stuff myself to practically the point of no return), but also because I get an order of chicharrón de queso while I wait.

It’s a delicate, crunchy salty treat—the name basically translates to cheese cracklings.

For years, I never considered making my own chicharrón de queso. Not because I thought it was too hard, but because I don’t have a flat top griddle like the taquerías do. I thought the hot griddle was the key to the texture and the high heat was responsible for the ability to mold it; but one day I had a nagging craving that forced me to experiment and I discovered it can be done at home in an easy way that doesn’t sacrifice any of the things that you’d expect from a good chicharrón de queso…. 

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VEGETARIAN: Tacos de hongo, chile poblano y cebolla

Vegetarian tacos with mushrooms, chile poblano and onions. Recipe on The Other Side of The Tortilla via @MauraHernandez.I’ve really been wanting to reduce the amount of meat we eat on a daily basis in order to be a bit healthier. I love veggies and don’t mind vegetarian meals, but when you live with a serious carnivore, it’s sometimes really difficult to convince them that a vegetarian meal is a) good and b) filling enough to be a meal and not just an appetizer.

Sometimes the mere mention of serving a vegetarian meal summons an apocalyptic response in my household. If you can’t get your family to eat a full vegetarian meal, this dish makes a great appetizer to ease them into enjoying it; just double or triple the recipe depending on how many people you’re feeding. They may soon see that an all-veggie meal isn’t so bad after all.

And if you’re truly desperate to get them to eat veggies, you can always add a little crumbled chorizo to this dish. It’s not meatless, but hey, at least they’re eating veggies, right? (You could also attempt to substitute soyrizo for chorizo if you’re brave, but I can’t be held responsible if they figure you out and throw chanclas at you.)

Regardless, whether you’re vegetarian, trying to get your family to eat less meat or just trying to observe meatless meals during Lent, this is a quick and easy recipe you’re bound to enjoy.

I like to use baby portabellas for this recipe, but you can use  just about any kind of regular-sized mushroom you like so long as you slice them somewhat thickly so that when they saute with the onions and butter, they don’t shrink too much or get too thin when they’re fully cooked…. 

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