Category Archives: Mexican

Cooking Up My Bookmarks: Quinoa Chili

I should be working right now. I should be reading about hagiography in the Merovingian period. I should be reading about bishop-saints, and how they were represented throughout the course of the middle ages. I should be reading about how the rising non-landed plutocrats of Victorian Britain were undermining the British aristocracy.

Instead I made chili. Chili with quinoa. Doesn’t it look really meaty? It does, doesn’t it? You’d be fooled into believing that that’s mince meat in there. I got my inspiration from this source, but I adapted it slightly.

It was delicious this was. It was bizarre when I was eating it because it definitely didn’t have the texture of meat, but it didn’t feel like it was trying to be something it wasn’t. It was very…wholesome? Satisfying? idunkno.

I would write more, but I’m a bit worried about my work. I hate exams.


-1/2 cup of uncooked quinoa

-1 red onion

-1 clove of garlic

-1 carrot

-1 green pepper

-1 tsp salt

-1 tsp gr coriander

-2 tsp cumin

-1 tsp cocoa powder

-1 tsp paprika

-1 tsp chili

-1 x 400g tin kidney beans, drained

-1 x 400g tin chickpeas, barlotti beans or black beans, drained

-1 x 400g tin of chopped tomatoes

-2 tbsp tomato puree

-200 ml water


-Cover your quinoa with water, bring to the boil and cook for fifteen minutes or until it’s soft (when eaten).

-Meanwhile, cook your vetegables in some olive oil in a large saucepan and add some salt.

-Once vegetables are soft add remaining ingredients, bar the quinoa.

-Bring the mixture to the boil and add the quinoa. Cook for 15 minutes and take off the heat.

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Filed under Grains, Mexican, Pulses, Quick, Store Cupboard, Vegetarian

How to be Healthy: Mexican Roast Bean Salad

I recently read a blog, I wont name which one, the writer of which is a holistic nutritionist. People read her blog, and use her for advice. She recently made a series on  healing her digestion, which resolved to having a juice-fast for 3 days before she undertook her ‘repair’. Basically, drinking smoothies for three days. It doesn’t take a nutritionist to tell you that this is crap. It will leaving you clutching your stomach in hunger. I believe this writer has a lot of issues with her digestion, and she explains the various restrictions she has tried (low-carb, or low-fat), and they didn’t work. She in turn is seeking various therapies to help her.

I am not denying digestive problems. at. all. But I think the human mind these days reads too much into their body. People love to have problems, I think they tend to exaggerate discomfort. The first instruction I would give anyone is to relax. Don’t limit, don’t try fads, just use your common sense. It’s very easy me saying this, I do a lot of sport and I don’t have issues involving self-control. I’m slightly underweight, but it works for me. The doctor said so. Isn’t the best thing that I feel sprightly and happy? The perfect way of being healthy is tricking. Trick the body into thinking its indulging. You will therefore have a delicious meal, which is good for you.

This roast bean salad is perfect, because it tastes as if you’re indulging in some Mexican, but’s it’s not indulgent at all. Me and my house mate have fallen into a state of routine in which we only eat roast vegetables. ‘It’s SO EASY, and it’s HEALTHY’. We roast everything, sweet potatoes are a must but I like to roast pulses, she likes to roast celery. ONE TIME (everyone loves an anecdote), I bought what I thought was romaine lettuce for 50p, bargain I thought. URM, well it was actually cabbage. I threw into the roasting tin, and believe it or not roast cabbage is delicious.

Analysis of Mexican Roast Beans.

  • Olive oil is very high in protein, and is essential in muscle growth and repair.
  • Beans are really high in fibre, fibre is great for many things, helping digestion and keeping you full are some of its benefits.
  • Tomatoes are a super-food, extremely high in vitamin C and they’re healthier when cooked.

Ingredients-Serves A LOT

1 x 400g tin of black beans

-1x 400g tin of kidney beans

-1 x 200g tin of sweetcorn

-2 tsp of each: cumin, coriander leaf (if possible), ground coriander seed, Salt, paprika, chilli powder.

-3 tbsp olive oil.

-3 tbsp tomatoe puree


-Preheat oven to gas mark 7, or 200 c (if my conversions are correct).

Drain all the beans and rinse well.

-In a bowl, mix all the ingredients together.

-Place in a roasting dish and place in the oven for about an hour. Remember to stir about with a spoon after half an hour.  It’s ready when the beans have started to split.

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Filed under How to be Healthy, Mexican, Pulses, Store Cupboard, Vegan, Vegetarian

Have you tried cornbread?

I have made cornbread a lot, it’s a bit like cake but you tend to eat it as a savoury accompaniment. I must admit though, that the cornbread you see in this photograph tasted like soap, or deodrant, or something quite chemically. BUT THAT IS BY NO FAULT OF MY RECIPE. It’s just because I think there was something dodgy in one of my equipments I used, because this has never happened before. My sister had two slices though…which is a bit weird. Anyway, this is great with chilli, and for a great veggie chilli recipe, click here. I would say it’s thrifty because it uses a lot of store cupboard ingredients, and if you don’t have these in your store cupboard, then each ingredient literally costs nothing. If you buy a sack of flour, cornflour and caster sugar, it will total to about £1.50 and you will have them to hand for a while. Not like buying 500g of beef for £3 and only using it once.


-100g plain flour

-100g cornflour

-100g caster sugar

-2 eggs

-100g butter melted

-400ml milk

-2 tsp baking powder

-1 tsp salt

-If you have sweetcorn, throw about 3tbsp of that in too.


-Preheat oven to gas mark 6/200 c, and grease some sort of tin, it could be a cake tin, or a loaf tin. Your choice. I used a spring form cake tin so I could cut the bread properly. The only problem with this is that it’s hard to store post baking.

-Mix all the ingredients together, be careful about milk. You might not need so much, so preferably add it in slowly until your mixture is runny but still has a slight thickness to it. The mixture should resemble yoghurt in its consistency.

-Pour into baking tin and bake for about 40 minutes, or until it is brown and top and when you prod a skewer down the centre it comes out clean.

– Take out of spring form tin, if you used on, and leave to cool. Enjoy!


Filed under Bread, Pastries and Pizza, Mexican, Store Cupboard, Vegetarian

Meat-LESS flavour-FULL Chilli

When I was first a vegetarian, I thought that if you add substitute meats it would not taste different. I thought it would be like nothing had ever happened…like the companies make you believe. Well they were wrong, I spent a lot of my time buying sachets of spaghetti bolognese and chilli spice mix because my food just tasted bland and depressing. I should have realised that vegetarian chilli tastes better without fake meat, and bolognese tastes better with lentils. So the secret to flavourful veggie chilli? No substitute meats, and lots of pulses which absorb all the flavour.

And the secret to cheap chilli? The world food aisle. I was so happy when I went into Tesco’s and they had a special aisle for, I think, the Hindu festival of chariots. Lots of cheap chopped tomatoes, curry spices etc. But venture in to the world food aisle for black beans, jerk spices and cheap fizzy drinks!


1 carrot

-1 onion

-1 clove of garlic

-1 sweet potato peeled and chopped

-200g can of sweet corn

-1x 400g can of black beans

-1 can of chopped tomatoes

-1 tbsp cornflour

-2 tsp Cumin, Coriander, Paprika and 1 tsp cocoa powder


-Place the sweet potato in a pot and cover with water, bring to the boil and simmer for 10-15 minutes until they are soft. Drain.

-While these are boiling you can chop up your onion, carrot and garlic and fry in a casserole dish with a little bit of oil. Add some salt.

-Add the sweet potato and seal the edges.

-Add the remaining ingredients apart from the cornflour and bring to the boil. When the sauce begins to thicken add the cornflour. Leave the chilli to cook for an hour and serve with all your favourite Mexican garnishes!


Filed under Mexican, Pulses, Rice and Pasta, Vegan, Vegetarian

Mexican Quinoa

I do love me some Mexican food. Everyone knows that I do. And everyone else loves it too. What’s not to love? Spice, flavour etce etc. Well, a few days ago I  had quite an off day. Actually it was fine, but my internet had still been playing up, and so I resorted to filling out a free health care form which was too bureaucratic for me, and then my work shift was not that great…And then I finished reading Anne Frank on the way back from work at about 12am, and I was almost in tears. And then weirdly enough, a man who shouted at me for jumping the bus queue(I didn’t) last week happened to sit next to me this week (he had just told off another man for doing the same thing). This just got all my anger riled up, and I still had not had any dinner. So when I got home I had a reasonable meal, hummus, bread, cheese salad-but I was not satisfied. My mum and sister have the ability to be content with NOTHING(i.e salad) for dinner, so to prevent this from happening again I decided to prepare a dinner that would make me happy when I got home. I made this, and it’s tossed in a chilli and lime dressing so it tastes really fresh but also quite spicy.  So, although work had given me some lovely risotto canapes I was not full enough to not eat this. It was great!

Ingredients (feeds 3)

2 Sweet Potatoes

-stalks of asparagus, maybe about 7-8

-Half a can of black beans (200g)

-1 cup of quinoa, cooked to packet instructions


For the dressing(approx.)

Juice of half a lime

-2 tsp of powdered cayenne pepper

-1 tbsp white wine vinegar

-1 tbsp oil

-a handful of cherry tomatoes

-1 tsp honey


-Preheat the oven to gas mark 8/220c. Peel your sweet potatoes and chop them into chunks.

-Place in a baking dish with the asparagus, and drizzle with a dainty bit of oil and smother in paprika.

-Leave this to cook until the potatoes are done, around 30-40 minutes, turning halfway through. However, after 20 minutes place your black beans in the dish and cover in paprika. Continue to cook until potatoes are crispy, but soft.

-Once done mix this contents of the baking dish with the quinoa and prepare your dressing.

-In a food processor, process everything, apart from the honey until pulverised. Then add the honey. Do a taste test, and see if you need more vinegar etc.

-Pour the dressing over the quina mixture and mix well.

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Filed under Grains, Mexican, Pulses, Quick, Store Cupboard, Vegan, Vegetarian

Perfect Black Bean Burger

I went into this meal with 2 aims: To not use eggs and to not use oil. I succeeded (almost, but you could definitely do it without both.)

At the moment, in England, there has been a rise in the affection for the sweet potato (in my opinion). It’s obviously down to health-crazed society that we live in, because sweet potatoes are a healthier alternative to the white spuds. They have lower GI, higher Vitamin C and beta-carotene. Win-win? I chose to cover these burgers with a pit of polenta/corn flour, so that they had a crispy outside and held together better. You can make these ahead of time, and then cook when you’re ready.

Ingredients (serves 6)

2 sweet potatoes, peeled

-1 onion, chopped

-1x clove of garlic, chopped

-1x can of black beans

-1 carrot peeled, grated

-1 courgette, grated

-2 tsp cumin

-2 tsp paprika

-2 tsp coriander

-juice of half a lime (or a whole one, I just happened to have half a lime in my fridge)

-100 g polenta


-Chop the sweet potato into chunks and boil for 10-15 minutes, or until they’re soft.

-While the sweet potatoes are cooking, with a masher-or a blender, mash the black beans until they are half pulverised but still retain some or their original form.

-In a bowl, mix all the ingredients up in a bowl, except for the spices, lime and polenta.

-Once the sweet potatoes are done, drain them and mash them until smooth.

-Mix the potatoes, into the mixture in the bowl, add the spices and lime juice and stir really, really well. Make sure that all the ingredients are combined.

-Form burger sized portions with your hands, and dip them in a bowl of the polenta, making sure the whole burger is covered. Repeat this until your mixture is finished.

-At this point, you can decide how you want to cook them. You can either fry them in oil until hot all the way through and brown on the outside, cook in the oven gas mark 8 or grill. I chose to use a griddle pan and fry them in a bit of oil, so that I could brown the outsides, then I put them in the oven for half an hour. I would recommend this method so you can have crispy burgers but don’t have to slave away over a pan.



Filed under Mexican, Pulses, Quick, Vegan, Vegetarian

Nice eat-twice vegetable burritos

I’m sorry, I have been unable to upload a photo, this is because-honestly-my burrito is so nice when I take it out the oven, that I can never be bothered to take a photo. PLUS, my camera is really old and requires me to charge the batteries before each use-a task that I forget to do. A photo may be uploaded in due course, but right now you can type burrito into Google, and that could satisfy you if you don’t know what a burrito is. BTW I also feel that if you’re gonna have mexican, you have to have all the Mexican stuff like guacamole etc. which means I spent about £1.50 on that-leading to this dish not being very thrifty. But it was so nice, i had it two nights in a row-hence “eat-twice”.

Method-For one person

-1 tortilla wrap per person

-1 pepper, red are the best in this situation in my opinion.

-1/4 of a courgette, wrap the rest up in cling film.

-3 Cherry tomatoes


Fajita spices


-A tin of refried beans (only about 85p)

-Cumin and coriander OR new discovery fajita spice (only 75p)

-PLUS-‘tex mex’ dips, such as guacamole, soured cream and salsa. You get all 3 in a pack for around £1.50


– Turn up the oven to 200 c. You don’t have to use all these vegetables, it’s really up to you what you use, but either way chop up peppers and courgette into baton shapes. And slice cherry tomatoes in half. Put these in a dish and drizzle with oil, sprinkle a dessert (cereal) spoon of the fajita mix on top and then move the vegetables around until they’re all covered with the oil and spices. Try and preserve the mix (clip the opening preferably), it can easily be re-used.

-Now put these in the oven. At 15 minutes stir around the vegetables. After another 15 minutes they should be nicely roasted if your oven is good. Turn up your oven if necessary, your vegetables should be soft and crispy at the edges.

-Get a bowl, and put in a few liberal chunks of feta, two dessert spoons of sweet corn, the roasted vegetables and the pièce de résistance about two spoons of the refried beans, or more if you love it. Mix this mixture.

-You might need to put your tortilla in the microwave for about 30 seconds to soften it up. Okay, now YOU MUST USE KITCHEN FOIL. Place a sheet of foil (the size of an A4 sheet) on a surface, matt side up. Put the tortilla on top, and the then put the mixture down the centre, but don’t put it up to the edges.

-Now wrap up the burrito like a parcel, this is hard to describe.  But just make sure the it is sealed nicely and looks like thisDon’t do it like a fajita!!!! Wrap the foil around it like another parcel, put on a baking tray and cook at the same temperature for 15 minutes.

– Take out and serve with dips and salad. I’ve made this sound complicated, but that’s because I’m not good at describing things.

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Filed under Cheese, Mexican, Pulses, Vegetarian