Authors: Kat Samson
Amazingly Good Tex-Mex Paleo Recipes at Home
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Table of Contents
Mexican cuisine is a fusion of indigenous American cooking and European cooking, especially Spanish, since it is Spain who first discovered and conquered the Aztec empire. They were the first to come in contact with the indigenous people and influence them in many ways, including cooking. But despite all of the many influences and changes that the Europeans brought, the basic staple of the Mexican cuisine remains the chili.
Basically, there is no recipe that without or other sort of spiciness in it, usually dried chili flakes or hot sauce. Apart from this, the Mexican cuisine also uses beans, corn, cheese and plenty of fresh herbs, and all of them are common ingredients in most Mexican dishes.
Paleo on the other hand, is a modern diet based on the way our ancestors used to eat and that excludes beans, corn and wheat. However, what remains are the spices and herbs which are enough to give any dish a Mexican kick.
Plus, native ingredients also include tomatoes, avocados, squashes, pork, chicken and beef, as well as many tropical fruits which can also be found in savory recipes sometimes. Most of these ingredients are Paleo and can be combined in a creative way they can yield delicious, rich, and flavorful dishes for the entire family.
Mexican food has a reputation for being spicy, but the heat in most dishes is never overwhelming. Every dish is a delicate balance of spices and seasonings, fresh ingredients and herbs so you can taste all the flavors in the end, not just the heat. Of course, you are free to reduce the heat if that’s what you prefer, but never cut it off completely; because that is not Mexican at all. Heat is what defines Mexican cuisine.
As expected, Paleo and Mexican in the same dish is a relatively hard task to master. The two of them have few common points, but there are recipes that don’t need beans or corn, and there are other recipes where you can easily replace them with other vegetables. Just keep an open mind throughout and be creative, and that way you can’t go wrong as long as you add the chili pepper first!
The chili pepper is definitely the staple ingredient of the Mexican cuisine. If a recipe doesn’t have some sort of chili
in it, either fresh or dried or in form of a hot sauce, then it’s simply not Mexican. Chili peppers were cultivated in America for centuries and they spread worldwide when the Spanish conquered the Aztecs. But not many people enjoy their heat, except the Mexicans, who are the remains of the indigenous people.
There are many types of chili peppers, but the most common types are: cayenne, jalapeno, tabasco, piri piri, habanero, serrano, poblano, and chipotle. They can easily be found in stores either fresh, dried or in sauces, but you can also grow them at home from seeds, too.
An interesting fact about them is that their heat is measured in Scoville heat units (SHU). Just to give you an idea, pure capsaicin which is the substance that gives chili peppers their heat, has 16 million SHU. Jalapeno peppers have from 2500 up to 8000 SHU; while habanero peppers have 10 times more. The pepper with the highest heat is considered to be the Carolina Reaper with more than 2 million SHU, but it is a hybrid pepper cultivated solely for industrial use.
Apart from heat, peppers also have a high amount of vitamin C and small amounts of beta-carotene, but also vitamins B, potassium, magnesium, and iron.
Fresh or canned, tomatoes are found in most Mexican recipes. Their tangy taste balances the heat well and they are easy to find all year around, no matter where you
are on the globe. Not to mention that they are a bomb of antioxidants and vitamins, and they are very healthy and nutritious if consumed fresh. Canned tomatoes are a good alternative for when you can’t find fresh tomatoes, and I definitely recommend the canned ones when the produce is out of season.
Avocado is considered one of the healthiest fruits ever. It is creamy, rich and has a high content of good fats, fibers, vitamins and antioxidants. It also has a mild taste which means that it doesn’t influence the taste of any food, and it is easy to pair with most spices.
Limes or lemons, they are without doubt part of the Mexican cuisine because the tangy taste mellows down the
ferocious heat in most dishes.
When it comes to fresh herbs, the most common is cilantro, known as coriander in many countries. Its intense aroma is used in many Mexican recipes to enhance all
of the other flavors and add a touch of freshness. However, parsley can also be used if cilantro proves hard to find.
All recipes found in this book require basic tools and equipment, but here is a list of all you need and a short guide on what to buy.
There is a difference between the two of them – the skillet is heavy and conducts heat better than any frying pan. It can also be used in the oven
, and if maintained properly, it will last you for a lifetime. But its weight can also make it hard to handle and that is when a frying pan steps in with its lighter weight. The options when it comes to frying pans are wide and varied. You can choose a non-stick pan or a ceramic pan, but no matter what the material is, make sure that the pan has a thick, double bottom to conduct the heat properly and to protect the food from burning.
Mexican cooking requires quite a lot of chopping
, so a good knife is a great addition to your kitchen. When buying a knife, hold it in your hand, make sure it fits your hand and it is lightweight and easy to use. A knife that is difficult to use represents a danger in the kitchen.
You will often have to mash various ingredients and a potato masher is handy to have in the kitchen. Making guacamole will be much easier with this
Technology can surely make cooking easier and a powerful food processor is the tool you need for blending ingredients,
especially for making sauces or creamy coups or chopping ingredients. Many Paleo Mexican recipes use cashew nuts, so I recommend investing in a powerful blender or food processor, that’s able to mash nuts.
What would a kitchen be withou
t some bowls and spoons? I recommend buying metal or ceramic bowls because they are easier to clean and don’t retain stale smells or get stained. As for spoons, the silicone ones can be found in most cooking stores, and are both flexible and easy to clean; they don’t retain smell and are heat-proof.
These are perfect recipes to share at your next gathering!
Spicy and creamy, this appetizer is a staple of the Mexican cuisine. Nachos are without doubt from there and so is the seasoning. It’s a rich and filling appetizer to enjoy with your family and friends.
Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 20 minutes
2 tablespoons coconut oil
2 tablespoons arrowroot powder
1 cup almond milk
1 cup hot sauce
2 cups shredded chicken
1 cup cashew nuts, soaked over night
2 tablespoons lemon juice
2 tablespoons nutritional yeast
Salt, pepper to taste
oz. plantain chips
Nutritional information per serving