Back at the beginning of 2012 I set myself the goal of learning more about Mexican cooking and having 10 go-to vegetarian Mexican recipes in my repertoire by the end of the year. I failed completely. I already had a good spinach enchilada recipe and some vegetarian Mexican wraps that we often had for lunch and I had established that I really don’t like green rice (a herbed rice that should be nice but doesn’t do it for me). So I started that year with 2 dishes and ended it with, 2 dishes 🙁
My main problem was that the vegetarian Mexican food I found in the books I had just didn’t inspire me. We eat good dishes when we are out: Veggie Burritos at The Street Food Chef, Three Mushroom Fajitas at Las Iguanas (fantastic!), Smoky Aubergine Quesadillas at Revolucion De Cuba and wonderfully imaginative tacos from Shy Boy Cantina at The Great Gatsby, but I didn’t know where to start at home.
Roll forward to the May 2015 issue of Vegetarian Living magazine and their article “Viva la fiesta!” changed everything. Since then we’ve been having a weekly Mexican night (complete with Mexican beer) and it’s great. Some weeks we have it on Friday evening but some weeks we do it mid-week, Tuesday or Wednesday, which is a very happy highlight in the middle of the week. I’m sure it will be even more cheering when we get to the dark Winter evenings.
Trying each of the recipes in that article boosted my confidence in creating Mexican flavours and I’ve since returned to my Thomasina Miers book and found more joy there too.
I’ll be sharing some of our favourites in future posts but for the record, this is my current repertoire. Though many of the recipes I haven’t followed to the letter, they are my inspiration and starting point:
- Burritos with refried beans, rice and pepper (Vegetarian Living May 2015)
- Squash and black bean tostadas with guacamole (Vegetarian Living May 2015)
- Enchiladas with ricotta, spinach and mushrooms (Vegetarian Living May 2015)
- Cheese and pepper quesadillas with tomato and corn salsas (Vegetarian Living May 2015)
- Mexican wraps with black beans
- Pan-roast lime feta and chilli greens burrito (Vegetarian Living September 2015)
- Summer tacos with courgette and corn (Mexican Food Made Simple by Thomasina Miers)
- Spinach enchiladas (Mexican Cooking Made Easy by Diane Soliz-Martese)
- Black bean and pumpkin burritos (Mildreds, The Cookbook)
- Arroz a la poblana/Pepper and cheese pilaf (The Adventurous Vegetarian by Colin Spencer)
Yes, 10 recipes! And not only do I expect that list to grow but Mexican food also lends itself to mixing and matching: Taking an element from one recipe and using it in different one; swapping in a different salsa; turning a burrito into an enchilada. The permutations and possibilities are endless.
Viva la fiesta!