Mexican food is one my favourites, and I’m delighted to be able to still enjoy those delicious flavours, without meat or dairy products.
In fact, the elimination of these transforms any meal into a powerhouse of nutrients, while masking any suspect ‘healthy’ ingredients with a clever mix of herbs and spices.
So I had a stab at some vegan alternatives this weekend, and they were a huge hit with my meat eater and vegan guests alike!
I’ve included the recipe and method below, and if you’re a fan of Mexican food I highly recommend you give them a go!
For the Guacamole:
2 nicely ripe avacados
2-3 large ripe tomatos
1 red onion (finely chopped)
1 chilli (deseeded, finely chopped)
Chop tomatos into small chunks and place into a bowl. Scoop out the avacado flesh, discard the stones and add flesh to the bowl. Mash the avacado with a spoon and mix well with the tomato, chilli and onion. Sprinkle with lime juice.
Tip: Make the guacamole last, right before serving. Or if it needs to be stored, add extra lime, place an avacado stone in the middle of the mixture to stop it browning, cover tightly and refrigerate.
For the salsa:
6 ripe tomatos
1-2 chillies (deseeded)
1-2 cloves garlic
Pink salt/black pepper
Bunch of fresh coriander
Finely chop the tomatos and add to a bowl. Blend the chillies, garlic, olive oil, onion, some of the coriander and salt and pepper. Add mixture to tomatos and combine well. Finish with the rest of the coriander.
For the Quesadilla and filling:
1 butternut squash, peeled and chopped into small cubes
2 courgettes, chopped into small cubes
400g black beans
Garlic infused olive oil
1 pack of tortilla wraps
Prepare and cook the beans as you prefer. I used dried beans, soaked overnight then simmered with onion, garlic and cumin for 60 mins. Tinned beans can be simply drained, rinsed and simmered.
Add courgettes and butternut squash to a deep baking tray. Cover with a few tsp of olive oil and coat well. Add fajita seasoning and flip everything over so it’s all coated evenly. Roast at 200° for 40 mins or until cooked; the outside of the veg should be crispy.
I used a packet of fajita seasoning, but if you’ve taken the plunge of a sugar free diet as well as veganism, you can make it yourself really easily:
Just mix together chilli powder, cumin, paprika, cayenne, garlic, and salt, for a fresh, sugar – free alternative.
Boil the rice to the packet instructions, then once it’s very almost cooked add it to a frying pan with some garlic, freshly chopped tomatos, chilli, pepper and coriander. Fry it off in a little olive oil to infuse the flavours. The rice should become a little crispy.
Once all the parts of the filling are ready, layer a little of each onto one half of a tortilla wrap. Then fold it over and add to a dry frying pan for a couple minutes each side, until the filling is warm and the tortilla pockets sort of seal together.
Once warm and crispy, remove from the pan and carefully cut into quarters.
Serve with guacamole and salsa. Or for a creamier filling, add some of these to the tortillas as well as the veg and rice before frying. You can even add vegan cheese inside if you wish!