Mexican Style - Show #511

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Vegetable Quesadilla Bake


1¼ cup diced fresh tomatoes

6 large whole-grain tortillas (about 10-inches in diameter)

2 tablespoons prepared salsa, plus more for serving

½ medium sweet onion, diced

2 cups bite-sized broccoli florets

¾ cup shredded vegan cheese (optional)

1 sweet red or orange pepper, diced

½ cup diced green olives

Preheat the oven to 375 F. Line a large, rimmed baking sheet with unbleached parchment paper.

Put the tomatoes in a fine mesh strainer and place it over a medium-sized bowl. Gently press the tomatoes with the back of a wooden spoon to push out some of the juice, and let them stand for 5 minutes to drain off excess liquid.

To assemble the first quesadilla, put one tortilla on a dinner plate. Spread 1⁄2 tablespoon of salsa evenly over the tortilla. Top with half of the diced onion, then add half of the broccoli florets. Sprinkle one-quarter of the shredded vegan cheese (optional) over the florets. Spoon half of the diced, drained tomatoes evenly over the optional vegan cheese.

Add another tortilla and spread 1⁄2 tablespoon of salsa evenly over the tortilla. Top with half of the diced sweet pepper and then add half of the green olives. Sprinkle one-quarter of the shredded vegan cheese (optional) over the olives. Top with a third tortilla. Repeat the process to assemble the second quesadilla.

Tent with foil. Bake 30 to 35 minutes, or until heated through. Uncover and bake 5 to 10 minutes more, or until the tops of the tortillas crisp up slightly.

Put the sheet on a wire rack and let cool for 10 minutes. Slice each quesadilla into four wedges. Serve 2 wedges per person, with extra salsa served on the side.


Guacamole Taco Salad Bowls

Makes 4 servings


4 8- to 10-inch whole-grain tortillas (spicy variety works well)


2 large ripe avocados

2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice

1 teaspoon chili powder

¼ teaspoon ground turmeric

¼ teaspoon smoked paprika

¼ teaspoon sea salt, plus more as needed

1⁄16 to 1⁄8 teaspoon cayenne pepper (optional)

1 medium tomato, diced

½ medium sweet onion, diced

2½ cups thinly sliced romaine lettuce

¼ cup chopped fresh parsley or cilantro, for garnish (optional)

Zest of one lemon, for garnish (optional)

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Line a medium, rimmed baking pan with unbleached parchment paper.

Arrange four small oven-safe bowls upside down on the prepared pan. Drape a tortilla over the bottom of each bowl, arranging it in the shape of an upside-down “bowl.” Bake for 10 to 15 minutes, or until the tortillas are crisp and almost firm to the touch, checking them often so they do not burn. Carefully transfer the pan with the bowls on it to a wire rack and let cool at least 5 minutes before serving (see note).

Meanwhile, to prepare the salad, peel, pit, and rough chop the avocados. Put the chopped avocados, lemon juice, chili powder, turmeric, smoked paprika, sea salt and cayenne pepper (optional) in a medium-sized bowl and mash with a potato masher or large fork until combined. Gently fold in the tomatoes and onion.

To assemble the salads, carefully remove each cooled taco bowl and place it in the center of a medium-sized salad plate. Place one-quarter of the sliced romaine in the bottom of each bowl. Top with one-quarter of the avocado mixture. Garnish with a sprinkle of chopped fresh parsley or cilantro, and lemon zest (optional). Serve immediately.

Chef’s Note Taco bowls may be prepared up to 6 hours before serving. After cooling, keep loosely covered until you are ready to assemble the salads.


Five-Ingredient Rice Pudding

Makes 4 to 6 servings

2½ cups cooked short-grain brown rice

¾ cup nondairy milk

½ cup raisins

¼ cup maple syrup

¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Put the rice, nondairy milk, raisins and maple syrup in a medium-sized casserole dish and stir to combine. Sprinkle the cinnamon over the top. Cover and bake for 40 minutes, or until all of the liquid is absorbed. Let cool 15 minutes and serve warm with Cinnamon Spiced “Cream,” or cover tightly and refrigerate 4 to 6 hours to serve it cold. Stored in a tightly covered container, leftover pudding will keep for 3 days.


Cinnamon Spiced “Cream”

Makes 4 to 6 servings

1 block (14 to 16 ounces) soft silken tofu, drained

1 tablespoon maple syrup

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon

Put all of the ingredients in a blender and process until smooth and creamy. Cover and refrigerate at least 4 hours. Stored in a tightly covered container, leftover “cream” will keep for 2 days.