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vegan

Comida Latina, Condiments and Salsas, Dairy Free, Mains, Recipes, Side Dishes

Grilled Pumpkin Steaks with Black Beans and Jalapeño Pesto

November 15, 2017
Grilled pumpkin steaks are an excellent way to eat up that delicious Halloween Jack-O-Lantern with creamy black beans and spicy jalapeño pesto sauce!

I can tell it is starting to get cooler out when I start wearing a blanket like an elongated tube top around the house. I guess the shorter daylight hours just doesn’t give the sun enough time during the day to warm things up in here. It’s still not cold enough to turn the heat on, (I believe it was after Thanksgiving when that happened last year if I remember correctly), but still a slight chill in need of a blanket.

Grilled pumpkin steaks are an excellent way to eat up that delicious Halloween Jack-O-Lantern with creamy black beans and spicy jalapeño pesto sauce!

I was in touch with some friends back in North Dakota over the weekend and they filled me in on their recent snowfall. Comparatively I have nothing to complain about, just an observation that subtle seasonal changes do occur, even here in Southern California.

Grilled pumpkin steaks are an excellent way to eat up that delicious Halloween Jack-O-Lantern with creamy black beans and spicy jalapeño pesto sauce!

Aside from snowy, long distance texts, this past weekend was filled with eating up our Halloween Jack-O-Lantern before it got too old and moldy to do something with. It goes without saying that I’m my spirit-decade is the Great Depression and I can’t bear to throw anything remotely edible and I remembered this idea from when I was the Pastry Chef at Firefly Restaurant in San Francisco. These grilled pumpkin steaks were a staple on their fall menu and I always thought it was such a genius idea.

Grilled pumpkin steaks are an excellent way to eat up that delicious Halloween Jack-O-Lantern with creamy black beans and spicy jalapeño pesto sauce!

They are good with any type of winter squash— kabocha, butternut, sugar pie pumpkin—but in my opinion if you are going to eat a big, honkin’ Jack-O-Lantern, there’s no other way. You see, normally, those bigger pumpkins are super stringy and watery and really not that good to eat, but throwing them straight on the grill, uses that extra water to their advantage. As it cooks over the hot, direct heat the water bubbles up inside the flesh of the pumpkin, evaporating from the surface as it cooks and intensifying its flavor, while making it tender at the same time.

Grilled pumpkin steaks are an excellent way to eat up that delicious Halloween Jack-O-Lantern with creamy black beans and spicy jalapeño pesto sauce!

Dealing with a big pumpkin is a tad bit cumbersome, but we’ve all carved one at some point and this is much easier than that. You need a sharp, heavy knife and just slice it open. Scoop out the seeds and use a Y peeler to peel off as much skin as you can. I find it’s easier to cut the pumpkin into 4-inch “steaks” first, then peel. Don’t worry if every bit of skin doesn’t come off. Pumpkin skin is actually pretty thin and edible.

Grilled pumpkin steaks are an excellent way to eat up that delicious Halloween Jack-O-Lantern with creamy black beans and spicy jalapeño pesto sauce!

Then on the grill it goes. Thirty minutes is all it takes for a delicious vegan main or the pumpkin with the pesto sauce would make a lovely Thanksgiving side dish. Give it a try!

Grilled Pumpkin Steaks with Black Beans and Jalapeño Pesto
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Grilled pumpkin steaks are an excellent way to eat up that delicious Halloween Jack-O-Lantern with creamy black beans and spicy jalapeño pesto sauce!
Author:
Serves: 6 servings
Ingredients
For the pesto:
  • 3 jalapeños
  • ¾ cup packed mint leaves, plus more for garnish
  • ½ cup packed cilantro leaves
  • ¼ cup raw pumpkin seeds
  • 1 clove garlic
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 6 tablespoons olive oil
  • juice from 1 lemon
For the pumpkin steaks:
  • 4 pounds pumpkin, peeled, seeded, and cut into 4-inch pieces
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • ½ cup toasted pumpkin seeds, for garnish
  • salt and pepper
For the black beans:
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 small yellow onion, chopped
  • 1 jalapeno, seeded and chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • ½ teaspoon cumin
  • ½ teaspoon coriander
  • ¼ teaspoon ground arbol chile
  • 2 (14.5 ounce) cans black beans
Instructions
For the pesto:
  1. Heat a dry skillet over high heat. Add jalapeños and char, turning occasionally, until blackened on all sides, about 10 minutes. Let cool, then remove stem, seeds, and charred skin. Chop and transfer to a food processor fitted with the blade attachment.
  2. Add mint, cilantro, pumpkin seeds, garlic, salt, and blend. With the processor running add olive oil and lemon juice. Stop blade a few times to scrape down the sides. Blend until very smooth, about 1-2 minutes. Taste and add more salt if needed. If pesto is very thick add a tablespoon or two of hot water to thin out. You want to be able to spoon it over the pumpkin.
For the pumpkin:
  1. Heat a gas or charcoal grill to medium-high. Remove as much peel as you can from the pumpkin with a Y-style vegetable peeler. It's okay if not all of it comes off, pumpkin skin is actually pretty thin and edible. Rub with olive oil and season with salt and pepper.
  2. Grill about 30 minutes or until pumpkin is easily pierced with a fork and is charred on the outside. Turn pumpkin about every 10 minutes or so.
  3. Meanwhile, cook the beans. Heat oil in a small saucepan over medium heat. Add onions and jalapeño. Season with salt and let cook until tender, about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  4. Add garlic, cumin, coriander, and ground arbol chile, and cook a minute more. Add black beans, juices and all and bring to a boil.
  5. Reduce heat to a simmer and let cook until slightly thickened, about 10 minutes. Mash with a potato masher until about ½ of the beans are broken up. Taste and add more salt if needed.
To Serve: Spoon black beans on plates and top with a pumpkin steak. Drizzle pesto over the top and sprinkle with more toasted pumpkin seeds and mint. Dig in!
Notes
To toast your own pumpkin seeds, heat a generous teaspoon of oil in a hot frying pan. Add raw pumpkin seeds and toss in the oil. Cook until starting to pop and golden, stirring often. Season with salt and remove from heat.

 


Menu

La Bruja Cocktails (aka Tamarind Margaritas)

Pumpkin Steaks with Black Beans and Jalapeño Pesto

Grilled Achiote-Lime Chicken

Mexican Chocolate Pudding with Raspberries and Whipped Cream

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One More Thing

Did you love this post? I want to know! Leave me a comment and snap a photo for Instagram. Tag @holajalapeno so I can see your beautiful creation! Your feedback is super important to me. If you run into trouble shoot me a message on Instagram and I’ll walk you through it.

Also, don’t forget to sign up for my weekly newsletter, lots of good stuff there too!

 

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Comida Latina, Dairy Free, Mains, Recipes, Side Dishes

Coconut Quinoa with Roasted Squash and Pumpkin Seeds

October 12, 2017
This coconut quinoa makes an excellent holiday side or vegan main dish with fluffy quinoa, big flakes of coconut, toasted pumpkin seeds, and roasted squash.

Here’s how you go big with quinoa: coconut, lots of fresh herbs, and roasted winter squash!

I’ll be the first to admit, quinoa doesn’t make me as jubilant as most carbs. It’s soapy nature doesn’t help. But I keep at it, because for one, it’s like megahealthy on the health charts and two, I think I’ve found the tastiest way to cook it yet.

I prefer the white quinoa to the other darker varieties. It cooks up light and fluffy and doesn’t squeak as much between your teeth. I simply boil the quinoa like you would pasta, then drain off any excess water. Toss the warm quinoa with coconut oil and here comes the best part: large slices of fragrant coconut. I find mine at Trader Joe’s but also Bob’s Red Mill sells bags of delicious big unsweetened flakes too and when I was living in North Dakota with not a Trader Joe’s in sight, those are the ones I would use.

This platter of goodness could be a healthy alternative for all the big holiday dinners coming up—working equally well as a side or a vegan main dish. But it also has #meatlessmonday written all over it.


Coconut Quinoa with Roasted Squash and Pumpkin Seeds
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
This coconut quinoa makes an excellent holiday side or vegan main dish with fluffy quinoa, big flakes of coconut, toasted pumpkin seeds, and roasted squash.
Author:
Serves: 6 servings
Ingredients
  • 1 small kabocha squash (about 2 pounds), peeled and seeded
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil or coconut oil
  • ½ teaspoon salt, plus more for seasoning
  • 2 cups quinoa, rinsed
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin coconut oil
  • 1 cup unsweetened coconut chips
  • ½ cup chopped mixed herbs, such as basil, cilantro, mint, or parsley
  • ½ cup roasted, salted pumpkin seeds
  • ½ cup pomegranate seeds
  • 1 large, ripe avocado, peeled, pitted, and sliced
Instructions
  1. Heat oven to 450°F and arrange a rack in the top of the oven.
  2. Carefully cut squash into 1-inch wedges with a sharp knife and place on a parchment-lined baking sheet (you can also cover it with a Silpat or nothing at all, this just makes clean up easier).
  3. Drizzle squash with the tablespoon of olive oil or coconut oil and season generously with salt. Toss to coat then place in the top of the oven to roast until knife tender, about 15-20 minutes. If you'd like a little extra char on the squash you can put them under the broiler for a minute or two once they are cooked through. Set aside.
  4. Meanwhile, place quinoa in a large saucepan and cover with water by 1-inch. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat and cook until tender, about 10 minutes. Drain and return to pan. Add coconut oil, ½ teaspoon salt, coconut chips, and herbs and stir to combine.
  5. Transfer to a large serving dish, top with squash, pumpkin seeds, pomegranate, and avocado and serve.
Notes
If you can't find roasted, salted pumpkin seeds you can make your own by heating 1 teaspoon of oil (coconut, olive, vegetable) over medium heat in a medium frying pan. Add ½ cup raw pumpkin seeds and cook, stirring frequently until toasted and starting to pop. Season with a pinch of salt and remove from the pan.

One More Thing

Did you love this post? I want to know! Leave me a comment and snap a photo for Instagram. Tag @holajalapeno so I can see your beautiful creation! Your feedback is super important to me. If you run into trouble shoot me a message on Instagram and I’ll walk you through it.

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Comida Latina, Dairy Free, Mains, Recipes, Soups and Stews

Simple Summer Vegetable Soup with Cilantro Pesto Croutons

July 25, 2017
How to make a summer vegetable soup packed with white beans, garden veggies and topped with a crispy crouton slathered with cilantro and baby spinach pesto.

We got back late last night from our European summer adventure.

The two things I’ve been dreaming about for the last couple weeks of the trip have been going for a run and a simple summer vegetable soup. I’m not sure exactly who I have become.

Normally I’m not such a health freak but after six weeks of gluttony my body was in desperate need of a reboot. This morning I hit the pavement vowing never to go on such an extended excursion without my running shoes again and then made a big pot of soup for dinner.

There’s something so intensely satisfying about potatoes and carrots and beans bubbling away in a tomatoey broth. It is the kind of simple food to regroup to, to find your balance, and most importantly, fill your belly.

As you can imagine, I’m a bit exhausted from our trip, but I wanted to share this recipe with you as I have a feeling I’m not alone in the need for simple comforts, getting back on track, or maybe just a recipe to use up your garden’s summer bounty.

The cilantro pesto croutons are obviously optional but I love their crunchy edges and soft middles, plus any extra pesto gets mixed into the soup giving it a happy little herby boost.

Simple Summer Vegetable Soup with Cilantro Pesto Croutons
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Author:
Serves: 10-12 servings
Ingredients
For the Soup:
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 2 leeks, halved, washed well, and sliced
  • 1 yellow onion, chopped
  • 2 carrots, sliced
  • 2 stalks celery, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 (15-ounce) can crushed tomatoes
  • 3 small yellow potatoes, peeled and cubed (about 1 cup cubed)
  • 1 cup dried large white beans, rinsed (I used lima beans)
  • 4 cups water
  • 4 cups vegetable broth
  • 1 cup chopped green beans
  • 1 small zucchini, chopped
For the Croutons:
  • 1 small bunch cilantro, thick stems removed (about 2 packed cups of leaves and tender stems)
  • 1 packed cup baby spinach leaves
  • 1 clove garlic, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • ¼ cup toasted pumpkin seeds
  • 6 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 baguette
Instructions
To make the soup:
  1. Heat oil in a large soup pot over medium-high heat. Add leeks and onions and season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until tender, about 8 minutes.
  2. Add carrots and celery and season again with salt and pepper. Cook about 5 minutes more then add garlic and cook another minute.
  3. Add tomatoes, potatoes, beans, water, and vegetable broth. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to a simmer, cover, and cook until beans are tender, about 1-1½ hours.
  4. Add green beans and zucchini and continue cooking until tender, about 10 minutes. Taste and add more salt if needed. I added about 1 teaspoon more.
For the Croutons:
  1. Heat oven to 425°F.
  2. Combine cilantro, spinach, garlic, salt, and pumpkin seeds in the bowl of a food processor fitted with the blade attachment. Add oil and blend until smooth.
  3. Slice baguette into ½-inch thick slices. Spread about ½-1 teaspoon of pesto on one side of each slice then place pesto-side-up on a baking sheet. Bake until outer edges are crisp about 10 minutes.
  4. Spoon any remaining pesto into the soup pot and stir to combine. Ladel soup into bowls and top with one or two croutons.

One More Thing

Did you love this post? I want to know! Leave me a comment and snap a photo for Instagram. Tag @holajalapeno so I can see your beautiful creation! Your feedback is super important to me. If you run into trouble shoot me a message on Instagram and I’ll walk you through it.

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Condiments and Salsas, Dairy Free, Recipes, Salads, Side Dishes

Red Lentil Picnic Salad with Sweet Cider Dressing

June 27, 2017
This Red Lentil Picnic Salad is a no-cook salad that won't wilt and is hearty enough to eat on it's own but also an excellent side for picnics or barbecues.

Summer is the time for picnics and barbecues. It is not the time for standing over a hot stove, sweat beading on your brow. This is where the magic of ultra-tender split red lentils come in. Did you know you don’t even have to cook them?!!

I got this idea when I was experimenting with lentils back in April. It was my first attempts at sprouting lentils that lead to the discovery that the red ones didn’t really need to be cooked at all! When I tried to sprout them they instantly became soft and mushy, just a good soaking in water was all it took to turn them from hard seeds to beans so soft you could smash them between your fingers.

Then I thought what if I soaked them briefly, in boiling water. I bet they would be the perfect consistency for a nice crunchy salad, with just enough give to add great texture while still maintaining all their peppery flavor. Not to mention, eating them virtually raw like this keeps their nutrient level high, making them a powerhouse of a meal without the calories or fat of meat or other foods with similar amounts of protein.

Thus this picnic salad was born. I love make-ahead salads to bring to barbecues or picnics that don’t require any last-minute fussiness. Because all the components of this salad are hardy enough to handle a long marinade in the sweet ginger and cider vinegar dressing you don’t need to worry about them wilting or getting water logged by the time you get to where you’re going. That being said, the baby arugula will wilt a bit on especially long road trips so if this is a bother to you, you can always add it right before serving.


Red Lentil Picnic Salad with Sweet Cider Dressing
 
Prep time
Total time
 
Author:
Serves: 6 servings
Ingredients
  • ½ cup red lentils
  • ¼ cup minced scallions or spring onions
  • 1 tablespoons minced ginger
  • 1½ teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1½ teaspoons granulated sugar
  • 3 tablespoons cider vinegar
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 small head broccoli, cut into small pieces
  • ¼ small head red cabbage, thinly shredded
  • 2 cups baby arugula
  • 2 large radishes, thinly sliced
  • 3 tablespoons dried cherries
  • 3 tablespoons sunflower seeds
Instructions
  1. Pour lentils into a fine mesh sieve and rinse under cold water. Transfer to a heat proof bowl and cover with boiling water. Let sit while you prepare the rest of the salad, or at least 30-40 minutes until they are tender but still maintain a slight bite.
  2. Combine scallions, ginger, salt, sugar, and vinegar in a small bowl. Slowly add the olive oil, whisking continuously until incorporated.
  3. Combine broccoli, cabbage, arugula, radishes, cherries, and sunflower seeds in a large bowl. Drain lentils and add to the vegetables. Pour dressing over the top and toss to combine. Taste and add more salt if needed.

One More Thing

Did you love this post? I want to know! Leave me a comment and snap a photo for Instagram. Tag @holajalapeno so I can see your beautiful creation! Your feedback is super important to me. If you run into trouble shoot me a message on Instagram and I’ll walk you through it.

Also, don’t forget to sign up for my weekly newsletter, lots of good stuff there too!

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Lentils.org. The opinions and text are all mine. Thank you for supporting the brands that make this blog possible! Follow the hashtag #LetsLentil for great recipes all summer long!

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Comida Latina, Dairy Free, Recipes, Snacks, Sweets

Creamy Coconut Lime Paletas

June 21, 2017
Coconut lime paletas are one of my all-time favorite Mexican popsicles. They are so creamy and delicious but are actually vegan, low-cal, and easy to make!

Hey, Hey! 2017 #PaletaWeek is here!!

Thank God and bless the lovely Lola from Lola’s Cocina; she has impeccable timing, because it is HOT and all I want to eat are creamy, dreamy, frozen treats and she’s organized an entire WEEK of them!! Make sure you follow the #PaletaWeek hashtag on social for all the updates.

My contribution is about the easiest paleta you can make (aside from maybe pouring juice in a popsicle mold). It requires no special equipment—you could totally make these in paper cups if you want— and takes about 10 minutes to put together from start to pouring them in the molds.

But oh my are they delicious! Creamy coconut milk and fresh-squeezed lime juice are a dream combination. I sweetened them with agave syrup to save a little on the calories but the secret ingredient is the tiny shreds of lime zest which pool a bit at the bottom of the mold making those first few bites just sing with tart flavor.

I got a new popsicle mold this year and I’m loving it, I feel muy profesional because now my paletas look just like the ones from our local paleta shop. But I’m known to make popsicles in just about anything, juice glasses, paper cups, you name it. What I’m trying to say is there should be absolutely nothing stopping you from making yourself some homemade paletas this summer.

Creamy Coconut Lime Paletas
 
Prep time
Total time
 
Author:
Serves: 6-8 paletas
Ingredients
  • 1 (13.5 ounce) can full-fat coconut milk
  • 6 tablespoons agave syrup
  • ¼ cup fresh-squeezed lime juice
  • 1½ teaspoons finely shredded lime zest
  • pinch of salt
Instructions
  1. Whisk all the ingredients together in a large bowl.
  2. Pour into popsicle molds, insert sticks and place in freezer for 4-8 hours depending on how cold your freezer is.
  3. To remove: run each mold under hot water for 10-20 seconds or until the paleta easily removes from the mold. Return to the freezer until ready to eat.

Head over to Lola’s Cocina for a list of all the Paleta Week Recipes and check out these favorites too!

 

One More Thing

Did you love this post? I want to know! Leave me a comment and snap a photo for Instagram. Tag @holajalapeno so I can see your beautiful creation! Your feedback is super important to me. If you run into trouble shoot me a message on Instagram and I’ll walk you through it.

Also, don’t forget to sign up for my weekly newsletter, lots of good stuff there too!

Comida Latina, Dairy Free, Recipes, Snacks, Sweets

Vegan Guava Cream Pie Pops

June 25, 2016
Vegan Guava Cream Pie Pops Recipe

My sincerest hope is by the time you read this all our shit will be loaded into a semi trailer and out of our house. What will be left is the scrubbing of the bathtub and the wiping down of everything else. The truck will be pulling out of town tomorrow so whatever is not on there by now is getting left behind. What’s the funniest thing you’ve ever left in a move?

When Armando and I moved from Montana after grad school we left two mattresses in the back of someone’s pick-up truck and some horse hair in their cowboy boot. It’s the wild west out there man…and also we’re assholes.

Vegan Guava Cream Pie Pops Recipe

It goes without saying that moving is exhausting. I wake up every morning feeling like I was a contender on America Ninja Warrior the night before but had done nothing nearly as glorious. Unless wrapping unopened soy sauce in foam and plastic wrap is similar.

I appreciate last week’s self when I remember I still have a couple of these creamy paletas in my freezer. A couple weeks back Meg from Beard + Bonnet shared her Vegan Mexican Chocolate Popsicles on the blog and her method of combining raw cashews with coconut milk was so easy and the results so creamy I had to try it with other flavors to see if it would work with something else. When Lola from Lola’s Cocina asked if I’d share a recipe for #paletaweek I knew exactly what I wanted to do.

Vegan Guava Cream Pie Pops Recipe

Guava is a passionate flavor. It is sour like quince but when cooked down into a thick fruit paste the sugars are deepened and become bold. Guava takes well to creamy things. That’s why the combination of guava paste and cream cheese is so popular in Latin homes. Puff pastry + cream cheese + guava = heaven. You can buy guava paste at practically any grocery store next to where they sell other Mexican products. You can absolutely find it at a Latin grocery store, or buy it online.

Vegan Guava Cream Pie Pops Recipe

Let’s not let our lack of retro popsicle molds come between us and creamy frozen dream pops. Popsicle molds don’t have to be from a fancy kitchen store, nor do they have to be specifically popsicle molds at all. These cute little molds I’ve had for so long that I’ve lost the sticks that came with them so I just tightly cover the top with plastic wrap and make slits just big enough for wooden sticks to fit through. You can do the same with small paper cups, little juice glasses, or whatever you have on hand (champagne flutes, perhaps?).

Vegan Guava Cream Pie Pops Recipe

Paper cups are easy to get off, just tear away the sides and there you have it. With juice glasses you will need to run them under hot water for a few seconds until they start to loosen then twist and turn them until they come loose. Stick them back in the freezer for a 15 minutes to get hard again.

Vegan Guava Cream Pie Pops Recipe

A pie popsicle would not be a pie popsicle without the exterior crunch of the “crust” component. A few graham cracker crumbs are like the icing on the cake, so to speak.

Don’t forget to check out all the paleta recipes over on Lola’s Cocina. My favorites have been Tamarind and Mango Paletas with Chile from HolaSus, Paletas de Fresa con Crema (Strawberries and Cream Pops) from The Other Side of the Tortilla, and Cochata Paletas (Coffee + Horchata) from Two Plus Luna but there are over 30 more on her Paleta Week Page.

One last thing: we are moving this week so it might be radio silence from me for a little while. I will be back (from my new California kitchen!!!!) in a few weeks, so stay tuned. I hope you all have an excellent 4th of July, stay safe, have fun and keep in touch on Instagram, Facebook, and Snapchat (@holajalapeno). xoxo, Kate

Vegan Guava Cream Pie Pops Recipe

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Yield: 12 Popsicles

Recipe inspired by these popsicles from Beard and Bonnet.

Cover frozen pops and keep in the freezer for up to 3 days.

Guava paste is a jellied fruit much like membrillo and can be found in the ethnic aisle of most grocery stores and also online here

Ingredients

  • 1 cup (about 6 ounces) raw cashews
  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • 1 (24.7 ounce) can guava paste
  • 1 (13.5 ounce) can full-fat coconut milk
  • 9 graham crackers, crushed

Instructions

  1. Combine cashews and water in a blender and blend until smooth. Add guava paste and coconut milk and blend until smooth. You may need to do this in batches depending on the size of your blender.
  2. Pour into popsicle molds and freeze until solid, about 6-8 hours.
  3. Remove paletas from molds by running under hot water for a few seconds. Roll in the crushed graham crackers and freeze again until hard.
http://www.holajalapeno.com/2016/06/guava-cream-pie-pops.html

Comida Latina, Dairy Free, Recipes, Snacks, Sweets

Lemon Balm-Lime Paletas

June 22, 2016
Lemon Balm Lime Paletas Recipe

I planted lemon balm in my herb garden last summer. I planted lemon balm because last June 14th when our local greenhouse closed for the summer (so the employees could tend their own expanding gardens) they were giving the remaining plants away and I would never/could never abandon a live plant.

Lemon Balm Lime Paletas Recipe

My garden is typically a 50/50 mix of intentional plants and orphan plants that are given to me by friends and closing greenhouses. I’m both not picky and continually surprised by what pops up the next year. When the lemon balm came back this spring I was overjoyed with its return. If you’ve never seen, or better yet, smelled lemon balm you are in for a pleasant surprise. The scent and flavor is lemony of course, but also minty and green grassy with a hint of thunderstorm. It makes a down right sophisticated glass of iced tea and is completely sublime frozen into popsicles.

Lemon Balm-Lime Paletas Recipe

Which brings me to the importance of this post—It’s Popsicle Week!! Billy Green of Wit and Vinegar has brought together a gazillion food bloggers to show off their best popsicle creations (as if you didn’t know) and my, my are things getting frosty.

Lemon Balm Lime Paletas Recipe

I dedicate my creation to my favorite Mexican paleta flavor–Limón. Paletas de limón are like eating limeade concentrate with a grapefruit spoon, equal parts super-intense and super-refreshing. Add to this the gentle flavors of lemon balm and you have pure summer magic.

Lemon Balm Lime Paletas Recipe

Don’t forget to check out the Popsicle Week page all week long for an ever expanding list of popsicle flavors. So far my favorites include Cinnamon and Toasted Almond Dulce de Leche Cheesecake Pops from An Edible Mosaic, London Fog Pops from Erin Made This, and Vegan Sea Salt Caramel Coffee Pops from Dula Notes but there’s going to be like 100 more—which ones are your favorites?

Lemon Balm-Lime Popsicles Recipe

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 5 minutes

Total Time: 20 minutes

Yield: 8 popsicles

Ingredients

  • 1 packed cup lemon balm leaves, divided
  • 2 cups water
  • 2/3 cups granulated sugar
  • 4 (1-inch) strips lime zest
  • 1 cup fresh lime juice (about 5 large limes)

Instructions

  1. Combine half the lemon balm leaves, water, lime zest, and sugar in a medium saucepan. Set over medium heat and bring to a boil; stirring until sugar dissolves. Cover, remove from heat, and let cool.
  2. Thinly slice remaining lemon balm leaves. Strain sugar mixture into a 1-quart measuring cup or bowl. Add lime juice and sliced lemon balm leaves.
  3. Pour into popsicle molds using the measuring cup or funnel and freeze until solid, about 4-5 hours. If you want the leaves to be dispersed in the popsicles, give them a stir every hour for the first 2-3 hours or until too hard to stir.
http://www.holajalapeno.com/2016/06/lemon-balm-lime-paletas.html

Apps, Comida Latina, Condiments and Salsas, Dairy Free, Recipes, Snacks

Tomatillo Avocado Salsa

June 7, 2016
A simple (and simply addictive) tomatillo avocado salsa with raw tomatillos, avocados, and chiles, and blended until smooth and creamy, ready in 10 minutes!

I’m trying my hardest to keep on top of life but I fear it is a losing battle. The move—while exciting—is starting to overwhelm in ways I had not expected.

The kids seem particularly on edge or maybe it’s just me blaming their incessant neediness on the move when in reality they are just regular old kids who call my name ten thousand times a day for no reason whatsoever other than to hear the sound of their own voice. Or maybe it’s just that I’m ignoring them more than usual so I can actually pack a box (uninterrupted) or pull some weeds to keep my yard from looking like an abandoned property without having to stop every five seconds to keep one of them from stealing the other one’s toy or eating half a tube of toothpaste (dead serious).

Tomatillo Avocado Salsa Recipe

Then on top of it all they expect me to feed them…like three times a day!!! Does it ever end? I’m embarrassed to admit while Armando was out of town last week they had canned soup for dinner most nights because I wasn’t feeling up to cooking a meal they are just going to pick at while I repeat “sit down and eat your dinner.” Especially when all I really wanted was chips and creamy tomatillo salsa with a side of margaritas. Don’t believe the hype, even food bloggers hate to cook for their kids most nights.

Tomatillo Avocado Salsa Recipe

If you are feeling me and need to make dinner out of salsa then there is no better option than this. If you cook Mexican food with any regularity than you probably have almost everything you need to make it in your kitchen right now. You may not have a pound of tomatillos, so grab those, take the papery husks off and rinse them under cold water until the stickiness goes away. Then all you have to do is put everything in the blender and blend until smooth.

Tomatillo Avocado Salsa Recipe

Because the tomatillos are raw they give the salsa more of a fresh, cucumber flavor than the sour notes you might expect. Leave the seeds in the jalapeño if you like your salsa spicy but I prefer to take them out for this one. I think the spiciness overpowers the delicate flavors of tomatillo and avocado.

Tomatillo Avocado Salsa Recipe

Other summertime salsas to try:

 

Tomatillo-Avocado Salsa Recipe
 
Prep time
Total time
 
Adapted from Better Homes and Gardens Keep salsa covered in the fridge for up to 1 week.
Serves: 2½ cups
Ingredients
  • 1 pound tomatillos, without any bruises or brown spots, husks removed and rinsed
  • 1 bunch cilantro, tough stems removed
  • 1 jalapeño, stemmed and seeds removed if you'd like it less spicy
  • 1 perfectly ripe avocado, peeled and pitted
  • ½ cup chopped white onion
  • kosher salt, to taste
Instructions
  1. Combine ingredients in a blender. Add at least 1 teaspoon salt. Blend on high until smooth. You might have to stop the blender and move ingredients around with a rubber spatula to get it moving.
  2. Taste and add more salt if needed.

One More Thing

Did you love this post? I want to know! Leave me a comment and snap a photo for Instagram. Tag @holajalapeno so I can see your beautiful creation! Your feedback is super important to me. If you run into trouble shoot me a message on Instagram and I’ll walk you through it.

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Comida Latina, Dairy Free, Recipes, Snacks, Sweets

Vegan Mexican Chocolate Popsicles

June 2, 2016
These super simple vegan Mexican chocolate popsicles are rich and creamy with hints of chili and cinnamon and chocolate and take about 10 minutes to make!

Today my friend Meg from Beard + Bonnet is taking over the reigns because I’m too busy devouring chocolate popsicles and also because I asked her to kick off summer for us with one of her delicious gluten-free, vegan treats! I could not be more excited about what she came up with; fudgey vegan pops with a touch of chile and cinnamon that only take 10 minutes to put together, simply amazing, check it out! Don’t forget to hop over to her blog too for hundreds more incredible gluten-free recipes. -Kate

Hi there all of you lovely ¡Hola! Jalapeño readers, it’s Meg from Beard and Bonnet again! I am so excited to share another recipe here with you today. Kate is one of my favorite ladies on the internet, her dishes make my tummy growl on the regular and I just cannot get enough of her fresh take on Mexican food. Now that I have introduced myself let’s get down to business, after all you are here for the popsicles right?!

Mexican Chocolate Popsicles Recipe

Summer is upon us and I am hankering for a popsicle!! Here in Southern California it can get pretty hot for long stretches of time in the warmer months. During those miserably hot weeks my family and I feast on ice cream and popsicles for dinner at least once every year.

Mexican Chocolate Popsicles Recipe

Look, I know it’s not a healthy choice for a meal, but I figure you only live once and with no a/c in our house there is no way I intend on turning on a stove in 98°F weather. Besides, the kids look forward to our frozen feast all year long and honestly I get a bit nostalgic about it too.

Mexican Chocolate Popsicles Recipe

This year I plan on having a batch of these Mexican Chocolate Popsicles on hand for Todd and I. They are velvety smooth and subtly sweet with a little kick at the end from the addition of cayenne pepper. He and I love them! The kids admittedly can’t take the heat, so I will have to make a batch of just plain chocolate popsicles, but that’s alright. It means more of these babies for Todd and I!

 

Vegan Mexican Chocolate Popsicles Recipe
 
Prep time
Total time
 
Recipe from Meg van der Kruik of Beard + Bonnet
Serves: 12 popsicles
Ingredients
  • 1 cup cashews
  • 1½ cups water
  • 1 (13.5-ounce) can full-fat coconut milk
  • ¾ cup sugar
  • ½ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 ½ teaspoons cinnamon
  • ⅛ teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 12 cinnamon sticks or popsicle sticks
  • Mini chocolate chips, if desired
Instructions
  1. Combine the cashews and water in a blender and process until creamy. Add the coconut milk, sugar, cocoa powder, cinnamon and cayenne pepper then blend again briefly. Pour the mixture into popsicle molds, cover and freeze for 3-4 hours.
  2. Once partially frozen insert cinnamon sticks for handles and sprinkle mini chocolate chips on the bottom, pressing lightly to secure if desired. Keep for up to 2 months in the freezer.

One More Thing

Did you love this post? I want to know! Leave me a comment and snap a photo for Instagram. Tag @holajalapeno so I can see your beautiful creation! Your feedback is super important to me. If you run into trouble shoot me a message on Instagram and I’ll walk you through it.

Also, don’t forget to sign up for my weekly newsletter, lots of good stuff there too!

Breakfast, Dairy Free, Drinks, Recipes, Snacks

Green Tea Smoothie

May 18, 2016
This green tea smoothie is a delicious way to wake-up! Brewed green tea and baby kale make an antioxidant power drink sweetened with kiwi and frozen mango.

I’m just going to come out and say it. I’m not a big smoothie person. I would never be interested in a smoothie bowl. I mean what is that? Why would you put a smoothie in a bowl and then eat it with a spoon like pretend melted ice cream? You can hate me if you want but at least we’re clear on where we stand.

Green Tea Smoothie Recipe

Armando makes smoothies quite often for breakfast and being the gracious soul that he is, always offers me some. I usually, politely turn him down. I’m hungry in the morning (okay, all the time) and I want real food….that needs chewed… not sucked down with a straw.

Green Tea Smoothie Recipe

The afternoon, however, is a different story. I’ll have a smoothie snack in-between meals; that suits me just fine, especially if someone else is making. When that beautiful genius made me a smoothie the other afternoon the verdant color of fresh cut grass I gladly took a sip. What went down after that was a sweet, sultry combination of fruit and greens and tannic jolt of green tea. “Mmmmm!” I said giving him the look of surprise.

Green Tea Smoothie Recipe

Below is his recipe, but you don’t need to follow it word for word. He’s made it with frozen pineapple instead of the mango or cold vanilla soy milk instead of the ice for a creamier drink. The green tea-kale combo is an antioxidant powerhouse that will make you feel like a million bucks or at least a bit perkier than you did before.

Green Tea Smoothie Recipe

 

Green Tea Smoothie Recipe
 
Prep time
Total time
 
A delicious way to wake-up! Brewed green tea along with baby kale make an antioxidant power drink sweetened with kiwi and frozen mango. Vegan and gluten-free! This makes 1 large smoothie or enough for 2 smaller ones. If you like your smoothies a bit sweeter, add honey to your tastes. The smoothie without honey is equally delicious.
Serves: 1 large smoothie
Ingredients
  • 1 cup brewed green tea, chilled
  • 1 packed cup baby kale or spinach
  • 1 cup frozen mango
  • 1 cup ice
  • 1 kiwi, peeled and chopped
  • ½ cup chopped cucumber
  • 1-2 tablespoons honey (optional)
Instructions
  1. Combine all ingredients in a blender, cover and blend on high until smooth. Enjoy!

One More Thing

Did you love this post? I want to know! Leave me a comment and snap a photo for Instagram. Tag @holajalapeno so I can see your beautiful creation! Your feedback is super important to me. If you run into trouble shoot me a message on Instagram and I’ll walk you through it.

Also, don’t forget to sign up for my weekly newsletter, lots of good stuff there too!