Category: Foods for LENT

Fried Bean And Cheese Empanadas

Fried Bean And Cheese Empanadas


I’ve been making Fried Bean And Cheese Empanadas for a while now. When I first started sharing my food creations back in 2011 I made a potato corn and cheese version of these empanadas… at the time I was calling them ‘Presley’s Pantry Veggie Gourmet Empanada/Pockets!’ – I know that’s a mouth full. I had decided to share them back then after hosting my extended family over for dinner one night. It was something to document since they had been a huge hit.

Torta De Milanesa De Calabacita

Torta De Milanesa De Calabacita


I remember it like it was yesterday.  I had just crossed the border into Tijuana, Mexico with my Dad (which was a rare occasion, since I hardly ever spent time with him).  He was determined to take me on an adventure and show me all the customs of TJ. From the stories that my Dad shared, TJ was a place with no rules, a grown-up fun house where you could take your shoes off and run through the streets and no one would say anything or look twice.  He also had a big love for the food and was hard set on taking me to his favorite torta shop.  My Dad has always loved a good torta de milanesa and this is one thing I know for sure about him, so I wasn’t surprised when this was the first thing he had on our agenda.

Enchiladas Rojas de Queso

Enchiladas Rojas de Queso


Enchiladas Rojas de Queso make me really happy because I know I’m about to bite into the most heavenly dish. I think it’s fair to say enchiladas are my most favorite thing to eat of all time. They hold such a heavy anchor to my childhood, and my grandfather making them for our family. He would make his own enchilada sauce, and my little eyes would watch worried they might be too hot. They never were…. they were perfect.

As I got older I realized enchiladas were a source of comfort for me, wanting them for birthdays or anytime I needed a little extra pop of pizazz in my life. I learned many ways of making them over the years from canned enchilada sauce to various types of fillings and cheeses. Gotta be honest, it’s only been on a very rare occasion I’ve met one I didn’t like, but nothing quite hits like the ones my grandfather used to make.

I have taken his enchiladas rojas de queso recipe and made it more times than I can count, and have the homemade enchilada sauce down. At this point I believe mine taste just like his and am grateful that I still have that little piece of him here on earth… even if only through an enchilada.


Ingredients for Enchiladas Rojas de Queso:

  • 1 white onion
  • 2.5 oz New Mexico Chile
  • 6 garlic cloves
  • 2.5 oz California Chile
  • 2 Pasilla-Ancho Chiles
  • Salt (to taste)
  • corn tortilla 
  • vegetable oil
  • queso fresco 
  • 1/4 of red onion, sliced in rings
  • cilantro
  • crema


Enchilada sauce:

  1. Let’s make enchilada sauce! Boil onion, New Mexico chile, garlic, California chile, pasilla-ancho chiles, and salt until chiles soften about 35 minutes. 
  2. Remove chiles from water and discard stem and (optional seeds). 
  3. Place all chile skins, onion, garlic, and 3 cups of boiled chile water to blender. Blend until smooth. 
  4. Pour chile sauce mixture through a sieve and into a bowl. Press chile flesh against sieve to squeeze out all the liquid. Discard any seeds and skin collected in sieve. Place to the side until ready to use. 

Enchilada time:

  1. Fill a frying pans with 1 cup vegetable oil over a med-high flame.  Allow to get hot.
  2. In a seperate frying pan, fill with 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil over a medium flame and allow it to heat. Pour in 3 to 4 cups of your enchilada sauce. Let the oil and chile combine then lower your flame very low to simmer the chile.
  3. Dip your corn tortilla into the frying pan filled with oil, and let it fry on each side for 30 seconds. What you’re looking for is a tortilla that is slightly hard but still bends.
  4. Dip the fried tortilla into the enchilada sauce with tongs.
  5. Remove the dipped tortilla from pan and place on a clean surface.
  6. Fill the center of the tortilla with 2 tablespoons of cheese.
  7. Gently roll into a tube shape.
  8. Place in a 9×13 baking dish. Then start the frying process all over again until you fill your baking dish with as many enchiladas as you can.
  9. Once the baking dish is filled take remaining enchilada sauce from hot pan and spoon over top. 
  10. Drizzle crema over the enchiladas, then sprinkle a couple tablespoons of queso fresco and chopped cilantro over the top. Lastly adorn with red onion slices.
  11. Enjoy!

Looking for a delicious bowl of lentils? Click here.

Vegan Frijoles De La Olla

Vegan Frijoles De La Olla


Disclosure: This shop has been compensated by Inmar Intelligence and it’s advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #MyMazolaMoment

February is Heart Health Month! Hello February…it’s time to think about our tickers and make some good for the heart adjustments. I’ll kick it off by sharing my Vegan Frijoles De Olla recipe. I use Mazola® Corn Oil in my better for you bean recipe to add a fuller taste to my beans. A clinical study showed Mazola® Corn Oil reduces cholesterol 2x more than extra virgin olive oil. To learn more about this claim, visit


A challenge many face when trying to diversify the types of cuisine they cook is finding varied ingredients needed for new types of cuisines, or better-for-you ingredients. Another common barrier that keeps people from healthier cooking is a lack of knowledge. Numerous people, including family members have asked me what they could eat that is lighter option. One of the first tips I give, is letting them know having an all-purpose cooking oil on hand like cholesterol free, Heart Healthy* Mazola® Corn Oil​ makes it simple and easy to prepare lighter meals.


Before becoming a vegetarian, I used to use lard in my beans by adding a few slices of bacon to the frijoles while they boiled. Once I decided to go meatless I found I didn’t have to sacrifice flavor. Simply replacing lard/bacon with Mazola® Corn Oil​ in my Vegan Frijoles De La Olla not only made for a lighter recipe, due to the saturated fat content, it still made a full flavor pot of beans that in my opinion taste even better. The chile de arbol, onion, garlic, and bay leaf work together with the Mazola® Corn Oil​ creating a tasty bean broth that will have you sipping till the last drop.

Ingredients for Vegan Frijoles De La Olla:

  • 1 pound dried pinto beans
  • 11 1/2 cups water
  • 1/2 white onion
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 3 chiles de arbol
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 3 tablespoons Mazola® Corn Oil
  • 2 teaspoons salt


  1. Clean dried beans, by removing any little rocks or cracked beans. Then rinse beans under water rubbing them with your hands to remove any unwanted particles.
  2. Place beans in a large pot with 8 cups of water, onion, garlic, chile de arbol, bay leaves, and Mazola® Corn Oil​ over a medium high flame.
  3. Once water is boiling, cover pot with lid and lower flame to a simmer. At the two hour mark add in 3 1/2 more cups of water and continue cooking for an hour.
  4. Add in salt. Mix to combine.
  5. Serve with corn tortillas, cilantro, and (optional) queso fresco.

IMPORTANT DISCLAIMER: Very limited and preliminary scientific evidence suggests that eating about 1 tablespoon (16 grams) of Mazola® Corn Oil daily may reduce the risk of heart disease due to the unsaturated fat content in Mazola® Corn Oil. FDA concludes that there is little scientific evidence supporting this claim. To achieve this possible benefit, Mazola® Corn Oil is to replace a similar amount of saturated fat and not increase the total number of calories you eat in a day. One serving of this product contains 14 grams of Mazola® Corn Oil. 

Mazola® Corn Oil​ is cholesterol-free food that contain 14g of total fat per serving. See nutrition information on product label or at for fat and saturated fat content.

Vegan Picadillo

Vegan Picadillo


Once upon a time when I used to eat meat… I loved picadillo. So much so I made a video singing about it (I recorded this in my bathroom). It was one of the things I missed when I decided to go meatless (never a second of regret). With the evolution of plant based ground meats I am now able to enjoy a hearty bowl of vegan picadillo with all the traditional flavors in tact. I hope you’ll try my recipe… it’s song worthy and ready to be your next meal!

Mushroom Onion Vegan Pozole Rojo

Mushroom Onion Vegan Pozole Rojo


Mushroom Onion Vegan Pozole Rojo for those of you who had one to many drinks last night. It’s the perfect plant based cure for the crudo head spins. This lovely vegan pozole rojo is made up of delicious red chile broth and laced with hominy, mushrooms and sauteed onions. I hope you’ll dig in.

Mole Mushroom Tamales

Mole Mushroom Tamales


Mole Mushroom Tamales: I remember when I first became a vegetarian years ago it’s was the hardest adjustment to make during Christmas time…. because TAMALES. I was taught at a young age to make my own tamales and wanted to continue on with that tradition… but prepared masa 99.9% of the time has lard in it. I was going crazy calling every Mexican market that sold prepared masa and googling vegan tamales to see if I could buy 10 pounds of  lard-less masa. No luck. It was something the city was in desperate need of, and yet no one was doing it. I ended up making my own masa that year.