Mexican Bean, Corn & Kale Salsa with Chorizo

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A few weeks ago, one of my very best friends moved in with a wonderful man–and I couldn’t be happier for them. In fact, when it came time for their housewarming, I wanted to make something really special to bring to the party.

Now, I’m Cuban but Jesse and  I (the friend in question) have an ongoing joke about me being Mexican thanks to a drunken comment made by him years ago. It’s too hard to explain, but suffice it to say that I knew making a Mexican-inspired dish was the way to go. And with it being a party, I wanted something that would be easy for people to munch on–and somehow came up with this Mexican Bean, Corn & Kale Salsa with ChorizoContinue reading

Chayote Kale Breakfast Smoothie

HealthyLatinFood_KaleChayoteSmoothieRemember when, last week, I discovered the “Latin” produce section at my local grocery store and went gaga over the jicama? Yes, I’m sure you do–my Mexican Cole Slaw was the oh-so-yummy result.

Well, this week is a very similar story. Only this time my love affair started with chayote.

Chayote, which originated in Mexico but has since spread all over Latin America, is a member of the gourd family along with melons, cucumbers and squash. However, I find that its texture and flavor is a little similar to pears–and that’s why I decided to make a smoothie out of it.

After the delicious success of my Kale Avocado Smoothie, I knew I wanted to try another one with kale, too. I have to say, I love the extra bit of sweetness that the chayote brought to this breakfast smoothie. I would definitely try this one again, and maybe even with a bit more chayote than the first time.  Continue reading

Mexican Cole Slaw with Avocado Verde Dressing

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I was walking through my local grocery store a couple days ago, when I came across a little corner of the produce aisle that I more-or-less can call the “Latin” section. It had yellow and green plantains, boniato (a.k.a. Cuban white sweet potato, one of my favorites for mashing) and–gasp!–jicama, something I’ve only seen in restaurants until now.

In case you didn’t know, jicama is an edible root vegetable similar to a turnip. It originates in Mexico, and is often known as a Mexican turnip or Mexican yam. And although it looks like a yam, its texture is crunchy and sweet–just like a turnip. Immediately, I had the idea to take this crunchy veggie and incorporate it into a Mexican-style cole slawContinue reading

Kale Avocado Breakfast Smoothie

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I’ve loved a lot of smoothies in the past, and I am sure that I will love many more in my future. But no smoothie will speak to my heart quite as much as this incredible Kale Avocado Breakfast Smoothie.

Here’s a little confession first: my mom has gotten into the habit lately of sending me kale in the mail. It sounds a bit nuts, I know, but in the past two years she has really grown her green thumb and started planting all kids of vegetables and fruit.

Over Christmas, I came back with citrus from home–which I used to make some of my other favorite breakfast smoothies earlier this year. With the latest gift from mom’s garden, I decided to go back to making healthy breakfast smoothies–this time with kale! Continue reading

10 Ways You’re Making Your Kids Fat

photo-1I love my family. We all do. But I also know that, when it comes to any family, there are some habits that we have that just aren’t really the best.

You know what I mean–from keeping chips in the house to boring old cereal for breakfast to always making your kids clear the plate, there’s definitely a few habits that we all have that we should quit.

Trust me, I know, because although I don’t have kids, these are all the things I had to start telling myself in order to lose weight. Read on for what I mean in the 10 Ways You’re Making Your Kids Fat. Continue reading

Cuban-Style Shepherd’s Pie

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Lately I’ve had the craving for the weirdest thing: Shepherd’s Pie.

You see, I studied abroad in London during college and, although it’s rare, once in a while I will crave something from those days. Typically it’s something more like fish & chips (fried fish with french fries) or occasionally Indian food (chicken tikka masala is said to actually come from the UK, not India). But this time it was the simple Shepherd’s Pie–a dish made with beef typically cooked with peas and carrots, then topped by mashed potatoes and baked. But this time I wanted to make it myself and I wanted to add a lot of the Cuban flavors that I grew up with. So, voila, my Cuban-style Shepher’s Pie was born! Continue reading

5 Things Friday (Exercise and Caffeine, Best Restaurants & More)

IMUSAMcCorcmickI would say that May is off to a good start, don’t you think? The weather here in New York is vastly improving and between me exercising more these days and eating vegetarian at least a few days a week, I am feeling pretty great.

I did have a big scare with my weight last weekend, though. I hadn’t stepped on a scale since early April and the number I saw was completely unacceptable. Although I am still within my normal range, I am starting to get to a number I really do not like. It’s what I think everyone who has lost a significant amount of weight would say is their “scary number”, the number where everything starts to really go south. But instead of completely freaking out, I am doing something about it this week. And all of that includes having more Latin superfoods, easy lunches, drinking my greens and more. Check out what I’m reading in this week’s 5 Things Friday–and what you can be doing, too!  Continue reading

Mashed Boniato (Cuban Sweet Potato)

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Sweet potatoes come in all shapes and sizes and, being Cuban, the one I grew up with is the one that you will most commonly find there: the boniato.

Boniato is know as the Cuban sweet potato with its dry, white flesh and skin that ranges in color from pink to purple. Although also commonly referred to as a Florida yam, it is indeed a sweet potato that is often used in Cuban cuisine. I love them because they are an excellent source of Vitamin C and fiber. But, I have to admit, I never tried making mashed potatoes with boniato until this past Christmas.

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#MeatlessMonday: 10 Latin Vegetarian Dishes

LatinVegetarianI know it’s Cinco de Mayo and everyone in the U.S. is likely celebrating this Mexican-American holiday by, well, imbibing some margaritas and whatnot. But today is also #MeatlessMonday, a trend that I happen to love (and do) very much.

I love eating vegetarian (like my favorite tomato-cucumber salad, which I Latin spice up with cilantro and chili powder) because it allows me to add more vegetables to my diet. And I do mean “add more vegetables” to my diet, not the “I’ll just have a cheese pizza” type of vegetarianism. Instead, I use what is called “crowding in” with my diet–meaning that instead of subtracting the “bad” foods, I simply add a lot more “good” foods and the bad stuff simply doesn’t fit in anymore.

I also love converting some of my favorite Latin recipes into vegetarian recipes, like making vegetarian arroz con pollo, kale and cheese tamales or spinach and mushroom enchiladas. To celebrate this weekly holiday, and to remind myself to always have more vegetables, I’ve compiled a list of my favorite 10 Latin vegetarian dishes. Take a look! Continue reading

5 Things Friday (Spring Recipes, Slow Cooker Reviews & More!)

smoothiesI have to admit: this week has turned out great for me! After a way-too-hectic last week, I’ve thankfully had time to recharge my batteries and get back to the things I love to do (and eat) on a regular basis. Plus: two pretty big accomplishments!

First of all, I’ve started making morning smoothies again. I’ve realized that I just don’t have time in the morning for a proper breakfast and so getting back to making smoothies, like my Pink Power Breakfast Smoothie, has been amazing.

The other accomplishment is that after months of talking about it, I’ve finally rejoined the gym and started going on a regular basis. It’s been harder than I realized, but going in the mornings and committing to just 20 minutes a day has been achievable. Not easy, of course, but definitely getting better–and I’m so proud of myself for it!

So what else has been going on this week? Well, I’ve reviewed some slow cookers, read a really great book, explored some Spring recipes and got inspired to cook a very special dinner later tonight. Check out my 5 Things Friday!
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