Super Smoothie Starter

  Ever get the shakes?  You know, the I-haven’t-eaten-anything-in-five-hours-yet-I’ve-downed-five-cups-of-coffee shakes? The hastened speech, the lack of concentration, the irrational anger and irritability? Yeah, the hunger shakes.  They hit hard this last month while working at the hostel.  After prepping, cooking, and serving 30 hung over and happy hostel guests, I look up at the clock…

Cilantro Almond Chilaquiles

Chilaquiles (“chee-lah-keel-aiys”) are a classic Mexican hangover dish.   My buddy Juan Carlos first raved about them years back and described them as “tortilla chips in really good sauce”.  They didn’t really sound all that special at the time, but hey, good tortilla chips and sauce is never disappointing, right?  Well, I’m now well versed in chilaquiles, and…

Ginger Carrot Soup

 Despite my best efforts, people, I can’t seem to come up with something clever and novel regarding carrots, fall, or autumn-themed anything.  It doesn’t feel quite like fall here in Guanajuato, Mexico, but the chilly windy nights here call for warm soup nonetheless.  And instead of sharing some forced soliloquy about carrots and fall, I…

Plantain Chips with Mango Salsa and Roasted Garlic Guacamole

In Spanish they’re called the “plátano macho.” In English: plantain.  The literal translation from Spanish to English is pretty spot on: macho banana. A big, manly banana with bravado. The King Kong of the starchy, golden fruits.  They’re also macho intimidating.  As big, starchy, and cumbersome as they are, I’ve really never done anything with…

Chipotle Black Bean Salsa & Baked Tortilla Chips for Michael

Back in high school in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, my little brother Michael and I would race home to the kitchen impatient and ravenous for sustenance.  For me, I needed to calm the storm of angst and hormones feverishly brewing inside.  For Michael, to refuel the enormous man-boy body he possessed by age 14.   We got…

Grilled Corn with Creamy Coconut Sauce

Her stand is smack dab between the lady selling  “gorditas de nata”  (small sweet puffy pancakes) and the guy who hawks all the pirated European house music cds. My elote (corn) lady sets up at Parque Revolución everyday at 5:30pm and doesn’t leave until 11:00 or until the rains chase her away.  Her daughter is always there…

Chocolate Amaranth Cereal with Cinnamon Soy Milk

    Who doesn’t love cereal and milk in the morning?.  But the problem with a lot of brands is that they’re often hiding white sugar and vegetable oil within.  Those are two things I don’t want in my morning routine.  What do I want? I want crunchy, crispy, chewy, grainy, slightly sweet, and filling. …

Roasted Tomato Salsa

Prepackaged salsas used to have a hold on me.  My favorite, Mrs. Renfro’s, knew just what I needed in a good salsa: a subtly roasted flavor, slightly chunky texture, a teeny bit of spice.  She dominated my shelves for years with her perky little label and her chubby glass jar.  She kept a firm hold…

Agua de Chia

    Watch out…here it comes…Blanket Beverage Statement: Mexicans have got non-alcoholic refreshing summer beverages down better than anyone else in the world!!!   Take the U.S. for example: we have our numerous teas, smoothies, milkshakes, icees, and soft drinks, sure.  And at home we are masters at concocting frilly fruity delights, but when it comes…

Baked Sweet Potato Fries Two Ways

I nearly got on my knees and wept.  Perched there on the grocery store shelf amidst all the other vegetables, they beckoned me from across the produce section.  They were so beautiful and vibrant!  I think I actually galloped over to them… I hadn’t seen sweet potatoes since arriving in Guadalajara 4 months ago, and…

Grilled Guacamole

Unfortunately, there were no picnics, sparklers, or blueberry and strawberry flag cake this past Wednesday to commemorate the 4th of July in Mexico.  The day passed like any other, however I did delight(or so I thought) my students with stories of Independence Days past while dreaming of roasted corn and beach volleyball.  So, when my…

Tacos Al Pastor with Pineapple Salsa (Vegan)

Certain things have been hard to let go of as someone who is for all intents and purposes, vegan.  Especially tacos.  I take that back, especially Tacos Al Pastor. Tacos al Pastor are a traditional Mexican style of taco whose origin stems from Lebanese cuisine.  Literally, Tacos Al Pastor means Tacos in the style of…