Recently, my parents came back from about a week long trip to Alaska where they spent the majority of the trip on a boat fishing and enjoying all the natural beauty Mother Nature has to offer. One of those days spent on the boat was spent fishing for halibut and after a very successful catch, they ended up freezing and transporting 15 pounds worth of wild caught Alaskan Halibut! Me being the foodie that I am couldn’t have been more excited to get my hands on the fish and right away I made my Crispy Fish Tacos with the fillets. Safe to say they were the best fish tacos I have ever had in my life and I do not mean that as an exaggeration. I have never had fresher more tender fish and now I don’t know that I can ever go back to conventional frozen seafood. But for now that I am being spoiled with the fresh fish, I decided to come up with some other yummy recipes. Last week I was looking through my fridge and pantry and noticed I was starting to run low on quite a bit of my staple items. Instead of making a run to the grocery store, decided to make due with what I had and with that this recipe was born. I started by defrosting the fish about 30 minutes ahead and started working on the marinade. After throwing some ingredients to a bowl and whisking it together this soy and honey marinade was born and let me just say that this recipe was a huge hit in my household. Adrian, my boyfriend, is not the biggest fan of fish but he devoured this meal and kept praising me for how good this was. I decided to serve the fish alongside some zucchini and shredded carrots that I tossed in a small amount of soy sauce, garlic powder, and sriracha all atop some white rice. This recipe is incredibly simple and can be used on just about any protein source but I find it goes really well with fish. Fish is a great lean protein source that is also abundant in omega-3 fatty acids which is particularly important for cardiovascular health. With the weather being so dreadful and many of us wanting to spend as little time a possible in the kitchen, this recipe is ideal because dinner can be on the table in no time if you prep the marinade in advance. All you need is 30 minutes to marinate and about 6-7 minutes to cook. Now let’s get into the details of what you will need for this recipe.(more…)
Green Enchiladas + Chile Verde Recipe
If I had to pick one of my favorite Mexican dishes, it would have to be enchiladas without a doubt. While I will never pass up a good taco or chile rellenos, I think enchiladas are usually my go-to dish. My mom makes the absolute best red enchiladas I’ve ever had in my life and since I already recreated that recipe here, I decided to take a whack at the green enchildas. When I was a little girl, I actually did not like green enchiladas and it wasn’t because of the taste or anything, but just because they were green and at that an odd shade of green. Well, fast forward to now and I can’t get enough of them and here I am all these years later making a recipe for them. Who would have thought? One of the reasons I made these was because of the abundance of tomatillos I have growing in my garden along with the poblanos I have coming in. I have started to plant vegetables and fruits that I utilize quite a bit so I can save myself some money and so far it definitely has. Anyways, back to these delicious enchiladas. Before we get into the ingredients, let’s talk about the nutritional benefits of tomatillos–the star of the recipe.(more…)
Chorizo Egg Skillet
A few weeks ago, I was looking for some new brunch ideas to change up the routine. I came across a recipe for shakshuka and decided to give it a try. As I was making it, I kept thinking to myself of ways I could modify it to give it more of a Mexican flare. Shortly after I made shakshuka, I decided to get back into the kitchen to try to recreate what I had in my head. To start with, I decided to add in some soy chorizo for some extra protein and also an extra kick. From there I decided what if I placed the filling over a bed of a corn tortillas to mimic huevos rancheros and then I added some cheese over that. Well, to say the least I ended up completely transforming the “shakshuka” but let me tell you that it may be one of my favorite things I have made to date. I made this for brunch on a day I had one of my friends coming over and it did not disappoint. It’s simpler than you may think so let’s dive into what you will need for this recipe.(more…)
Peppermint Mocha Tart
It’s the most wonderful time of the year! Not just because it’s the holidays but mostly because school is finally coming to an end! With just a few days of the semester left, I felt inspired to make a little dessert for the holidays. After giving it lots of thought, I decided to turn a classic holiday drink into a yummy treat you can easily make for a holiday party or to enjoy at home! This peppermint mocha tart is decadent and perfect for the holidays. It’s so incredibly easy to make and is sure to be a crowd-pleaser. Whether you are a fan of peppermint or not, I am sure you will love this one. Not only is this tart easy but it’s also gluten-free, and vegan! Instead of using heavy cream like so many recipes during the holidays do, I used coconut milk to yield a creamy filling. Rather than using a graham cracker crust, I utilized nutrient dense walnuts that are packed with essential fatty acids, fiber, and a great source of protein.
Although I always aim to make recipes that are healthy, I do want to make a point that sometimes, the calories, sugar, or fat content are unimportant. The holidays should be about spending time with family while enjoying delicious food. You shouldn’t deprive yourself of the foods you want to eat during a holiday party because they don’t fit into your lifestyle. As I have said before, there is a time and a place for fun foods and rather than stressing out about your food choices, enjoy whatever makes you feel good and happy. Anyways, enough with the ranting for this simple and delicious recipe, let’s get into the details of what you will need to make it happen.
Pumpkin Spiced Waffles
Fall has officially arrived and although the weather here in Southern California has been a little on the warm side, that hasn’t stopped me from working on meals that are perfect for the chillier days. I have to admit, not too long ago I actually did not particularly care for pumpkin spice as I typically do not enjoy the flavor of very heavy spices like cinnamon. However, more recently I have started to come around to these flavors and have taken some time to play around with the m in different ways. One of the first recipes I ventured out to make was pumpkin spice pancakes which turned out okay but not great. After making them I created a poll on my Instagram asking if you prefer waffles or pancakes. The answer came back with over 50% voting for waffles so we are starting with that! I really wanted to make these waffles gluten-free since it’s been a while that I made a gluten-free option and also because waffles are typically more on the indulgent side. Although these waffles are superior in their nutrient content than traditional waffles, they still taste very decadent and like a treat.(more…)
The BEST Red Salsa
Today was a very exciting day as I finally got to harvest the peppers I have been growing in my little garden. I have spent so much time & effort into growing my garden because what’s better than homegrown food? The answer to that is absolutely nothing because right away I ran to my kitchen to get to work on a new & improved salsa recipe. I decided to utilize the Anaheim chiles I picked because they were the largest & I know my mom swears by these chiles & her salsa is some of the best I have ever had in my life (I’m not just saying that either mom). After whipping up the batch today, I will never go back to a salsa where I don’t include the Anaheim chiles. These peppers while mild provide SO much flavor that it tastes like it took hours instead of minutes. The Anaheim chiles add a depth of flavor that according to my boyfriend, is the best salsa I have ever made, I can’t argue with that. There are a few things I did differently this time that made the world of a difference and I am going to share them with you so you can boost your salsa game.(more…)
Stuffed Zucchini (Two ways)
In the last few weeks, I have spent so much time working on various recipes but sometimes they take longer to develop than others. The process of running a food blog is that of trial and error. I would say most of the time, the process of creating recipes is fairly straight forward but that’s not always the case. The last few recipes I have tried to nail have been an absolute headache, but I wanted to put out something I knew would be easy and delicious and that is how these zucchini boats came to be. Now, I personally tend to eat more vegetarian style on a day-to-day basis but I wanted to give you a healthier option that also contained leaner sources of protein because I realize not everyone centers their meals around veggies. So with that being said, I have provided a recipe with both a vegetarian option and a ground turkey version so that way no matter how you eat, you can find something that works for you and your lifestyle. In addition, these are also great if you are being mindful of your carb intake which can be important if you are prediabetic or full-onset diabetic. However, even if you’re like me and obsessed with everything carbs, you will love these because they are absolutely delicious and definitely do not taste “healthy”.
These zucchini boats are so incredibly easy and more importantly packed with tons of flavor. They come together in 30-40 minutes and are perfect to prep in advance for a busy week ahead. I packed them to take to work a few days in a row just because they were so easy, filling, & nutritious. I didn’t bake the zucchini for too long because I wanted them to maintain their shape so you could eat it like a taco if you want. That’s how I ate them and I basically shoveled them into my mouth one after another because they’re that good. I definitely think they’re worth a try and keep in mind like all my other recipes, you can sub whatever veggies you have on hand. Now that I’ve rambled on long enough, let’s get into what you will need to make the 2 variations of these zucchini boats.(more…)
Soy & Lime Veggie Skewers
Since the weather has warmed up, I have been taking advantage of the relatively nice weather and grilling outside. During the warmer months, I prefer to grill because it helps to avoid heating up the house by using the oven. Also, the fact that it gives food a perfectly smokey & delicious char is an added bonus. Adrian & I have been on a grilled corn kick and the other day when we were waiting for it to finish up, I started thinking about how good skewers would be charred on the grill. I feel like skewers or kabobs scream summer and I thought it would be the perfect opportunity to show you yet another way to incorporate more veggies into your diet in a non-boring way. Since these skewers do not have meat, I knew that meant I needed to do something to these veggies to make them burst with flavor so that is when I started playing around with marinade ideas. I wasn’t really sure what kind of flavor I wanted them to have, but I just started combining flavors I knew would be delicious. First, I added soy sauce for that umami/salty flavor and then proceeded to add in minced garlic because I can’t think of a time where garlic & soy sauce ever tasted bad. To cut the saltiness a bit, I added in some lime juice for some acidity and lastly included some organic raw honey for sweetness. As I whisked away I continued to taste it to make sure everything was balanced and before I knew it, I had created the perfect balance of sweet & savory. This marinade can really be used for anything but I highly recommend you try marinating mushrooms for these skewers because it will change your life! Since mushrooms are so porous and spongelike, they absorb the marinade very well and pack a lot of flavor into each mushroom. The longer you marinate these for the better they taste so I would recommend leaving them for as long as you possibly can to maximize the flavor. Now with all that being said, let’s get into the details of this recipe.(more…)
A few weeks ago, I woke up in the mood for some crispy hashbrowns but decided to try a new method since all my previous attempts have been a failure. In the past, I have attempted to make hashbrowns in the skillet but it usually results in using more oil than is healthy and not the right level of crispiness. So instead, I decided to try it in the waffle maker because if you think about it both sides are being pressed together which helps to keep them together and to get a crisp outside and soft inside. I gave it a try and it was hands down the best decision I have ever made. The result was perfectly crispy hashbrowns that were still nice and fluffy on the inside. The best part about these hashbrowns is that it uses very little oil and also contains carrots which help to lower the starch content of the potatoes while also contributing vitamin C. These have very quickly become a household favorite and one of my go-to breakfasts. The carrots help to add a slight sweetness as they become crispy and takes these hashbrowns to another level. They can be made in advance and stored in the freezer and when you’re ready to eat them you can heat them on the skillet for a quick breakfast. Now that you know why these are a better choice, let’s get into what you will need to make them yourself.(more…)
One of my all-time favorite brunch items is chilaquiles because for one it’s an excuse to have tortilla chips for breakfast, and two they are so easy & almost effortless to make. Today I will FINALLY be sharing with you my recipe for the most delicious chilaquiles you have ever tasted. It’s taken me some time to get around to posting this but only because I was finishing up the last of my spring semester. I am happy to say that I completed the final 2 courses I needed in order to apply for my masters! It feels so good to finally say that as I honestly didn’t think I would survive this last semester. Now that I am done with school, for now, I will finally be able to get back to what I love and give Life at the Mesa my full attention. In my absence, I have been working on various recipes so as the weeks go on I have many new exciting recipes to share with you. Anyways, if you made it this far then I’m sure you just want the deets on these amazing chilaquiles so let’s go ahead and jump straight into the recipe.(more…)