The garnishes for this hearty Mexican stew make for a fun meal that lets everyone at the table customize their serving according to taste.
Served in a dessert goblet known as a coupe, this winter fruit salad gets extra grown-up flavor from the combination of tequila and lime. If the fruit macerates for longer than 1 hour, the juices will increasingly dilute the liquor. So taste before serving, and add more tequila for more kick and/or more lime juice for tartness.
These make a great on-the-go breakfast or sit-down brunch. Serve with light sour cream and salsa.
In Mexico, Micheladas, ice-cold beers doctored up with a mix of hot sauce and fruit juices, are known as a hangover cure.
This recipe, created by Lila Y. Cornelio, won Best Entrée in VT's 2011 Chefs' Challenge. After going veg at age 15, Cornelio began making meatless versions of her family's Mexican recipes. For her athletic performance cuisine class, she fed a wrestling team this tortilla casserole, based on a chicken dish her grandmother used to make. Her aim: keep it nutritious but just as flavorful. "Instead of frying tortillas, I baked them, which eliminated hundreds of calories alone," she says.
If you want to expand your horizons with Mexican flavors, this is a good dish to try. Green plantains have a starchy, almost potato-like consistency when cooked. Queso fresco is a nonmelting Mexican cheese that can be pan-fried or grilled. If you can’t find queso fresco, substitute feta cheese.
Traditional chiles rellenos are dipped in a light egg batter and fried. Here, we keep the same crisp outside but take away extra fat and calories by baking the stuffed, breaded chiles.
“When Real Food Daily first opened, I used to sneak away to a nearby Mexican-inspired restaurant for a black bean–and-corn salad with guacamole, chips, and a beer,” reminisces Ann Gentry, chef-owner of Real Food Daily in the Los Angeles area, and VT executive chef. “One day, I realized I could make my own version.” Extra dressing will keep two weeks in the fridge. Recipe courtesy of Real Food Daily.
Juicy, earthy portobello mushrooms make these tacos a mouthwatering treat. Don't worry if the mushroom caps seem slightly undercooked when you pull them from the grill; leave them out on a plate, and they will continue to cook (this is called carryover cooking).