One of our favorite ethnic foods is Mexican food. My family always gets excited, whether I am making tacos, burritos, enchiladas, taquitos, or our favorite Friday night dinner….Nachos! In honor of Cinco de Mayo, I thought this week was a perfect week to do a spiel on Mexican food. Mexican food is ideal for our family when prepared correctly, because most of the ingredients are whole, natural foods that come from the earth…beans, corn, tomatoes, onions, and chilies. More importantly, these ingredients are also gluten free. However, since most restaurants use soybean oil to prepare their Mexican dishes, eating out isn’t a great option for us, thus, I have to make all of our foods from scratch. But that usually is not a problem, especially now that I have discovered the art of making my own refried beans and yummy tortillas. If you are learning the ways around gluten free living and are trying to figure out foods that you can eat and that your family will not grumble about, here are 7 meal ideas, one for each day of the week, that you can make and they will never know they are eating gluten free. Oh, and don’t forget to try my homemade taquitos! They are great to make ahead of time and freeze or to bring to a potluck so you are sure to have something there that you can eat.
1. Tacos – Whole Foods 365 Brand makes soy free hard corn taco shells that are out of this world. Stuff with your favorite taco fixings.
2. Burritos – Chebe’s is a gluten free brand of mixes that you can use to make your own tortillas. Chebe’s makes many different bread mixes. We use the Chebe’s ‘Breadstick’ mix in the green package. I buy mine at King Soopers.
3. Tostadas – I love the Food for Life Gluten Free Rice Tortillas, but frankly, they are a little tough to roll, so I use them as tostadas. I lay out my favorite taco ingredients on the tortillas and then heat them in the oven to melt or warm up. I often put them on the cutting board and slice them up like a pizza.
4. Nachos – Nacho Friday is my favorite night of the week because I can take any of the leftovers from the week, sprinkle some cheese, lettuce, tomatoes and salsa on top and you have a quick and easy meal that is nice and light before we go sit in services.
5. Taquitos – Easy to make ahead of time and freeze or to bring for a potluck. Enjoy recipe below.
6. Enchiladas – Although I have yet to give you my personal favorite enchilada recipe, I recommend you look one up. It will most likely call for flour tortillas, but feel free to substitute with white corn, yellow corn, rice tortillas or the tortilla recipe below.
7. Breakfast Burritos – The great thing about breakfast burritos is you can serve them anytime. I like making these on my Chebe tortillas with homemade refried beans, egg beaters, tomatoes, green salsa and some jack flavored almond cheese.
Baked Chicken Taquitos
1 T olive oil, more for brushing tortillas
1 cup chopped onion
2 tsp garlic, chopped
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp paprika
¼ cup chopped cilantro
2 cups shredded cooked chicken meat
12 (6-inch) corn tortillas
1 cup shredded Monterey jack and cheddar blend
Preheat oven to 425°F. Take a 13 X 9 baking dish and spray with olive oil.
Heat olive oil over medium heat in a skillet. Add onion and cook until starting to soften and turn translucent, 3 to 5 minutes.
Add garlic, cumin, paprika and salt. Stir to combine and cook 2 to 3 minutes longer, until fragrant.
Take from heat and stir in cilantro and chicken. Set aside.
Use a 9 in cast iron pan to heat your olive oil. Place fresh corn tortillas in the hot oil, 20 seconds per side.
Lay tortilla on a work surface and spread 2 or 3 tablespoons chicken mixture over bottom third. Top with a tablespoon of cheese and roll up.
Place seam side down in the baking dish.
Repeat with remaining tortillas. Spray or brush tortillas lightly with oil and bake until crisp and lightly browned, 12 to 15 minutes.
Serve immediately with salsa, sour cream and guacamole and basmati rice.