Mexican cuisine started many centuries ago, even before Mexico even existed. The Mayans and Aztecs used to live in Mexican territory before the Spanish people colonized those territories. They centered their everyday meals around locally grown produce, around those foods that were easily prepared and also preserved. Before the Spanish conquest, Mayans and Aztecs grew maize, beans, squash, tomatillos, cacao, agave, chili peppers and sweet potatoes among other vegetables. Since their lands had a lack of meat sources, beans and maize were a great source of protein as well.
The Spanish settled in the early 1500s and their traditions of Mediterranean cuisine were introduced to the natives. The Spanish people brought with them many new ingredients and different habits that included the consumption of meats from domesticated animals like goats, cows or chickens; the intake of dairy products like cheese or milk; the use and production of sugar; the harvest of grains like rice and other various fruits and vegetables. They also introduced new methods of cooking used in Europe, like deep frying, that were unknown to the locals by that time.
All of these cultures influenced Mexican cuisine as we know it nowadays.
Mexican food today
It’s impossible not to fall in love with Mexican cuisine: from its drinks like tequila, mezcal or tepache to its delicious enchiladas, tacos and burritos, Mexican food has it all. If you eat meat, you can enjoy delicacies such as tacos al pastor, which are corn tortillas with shredded pork, onions, coriander and pineapple. And if you are vegetarian or vegan, meatless options like enchiladas filled with vegetables, or mole with rice will leave you speechless.
There is a widely spread misconception that has to do with Mexican food being unhealthy. People tend to believe that cuisine is all about tacos with plenty of cheese and fried ingredients or burritos that have loads of fats and unnecessary amounts of calories.
However, the truth is that Mexican food can be very healthy; the ingredients this country has are excellent for our health. Avocados, lime, tomatillos, corn, beans, chili peppers, rice, herbs and spices are incredibly nutritious, and they are great to add to our diets and live a healthy life.
We want to encourage you to try healthy Mexican rice recipes so that you can enjoy this great country’s cuisine, culture and flavors.
So, let’s find out how to make flavorful, healthy, vegan Mexican rice!
- 2 cups white rice.
- 2 cups vegetable broth.
- 10 oz of diced tomatoes.
- 1 medium white onion.
- 1 oz of chili peppers.
- 4 garlic cloves.
- 1½ tablespoon of salt.
- Pepper to taste.
- 3 tablespoons of olive oil.
- 1 avocado.
- Parsley to taste.
- First of all, before cooking, preheat your oven to 350 degrees. This is a Mexican rice dish that will finish its cooking in the oven.
- Now you can start making this recipe: rinse your rice thoroughly under cold running water. Drain it and remove excess water.
- Use a large oven-safe skillet and heat some olive oil in it. Add the rice to your skillet and cook it until it becomes translucent, this will take seven to eight minutes. Stir it frequently so that your rice does not burn.
- While doing this, take your blender and pour in your vegetable broth, one minced onion, two thinly sliced garlic cloves, your chopped chilies and diced tomatoes. If you like spicy food, make sure you leave the chili seeds on!
- Now it’s time for the seasonings: add salt and pepper to taste. Blend all the ingredients together until you obtain a smooth consistency.
- Add that mixture to your rice and stir to combine. This will be the liquid that will cook your rice.
- Over medium heat and without placing the lid over the skillet, bring it to a boil. The rice should be absorbing all the liquids and flavors from the ingredients that you’ve blended before.
- Now it’s time to give this mix its finishing touches: put the lid over the skillet and take your rice mixture to the preheated oven. Let it bake for about thirty to thirty-five minutes.
- Dice some avocados up, sprinkle them with lime, salt and some chili powder, and put them on top of each serving of rice before bringing them to the table; this will add a creamy and fresh texture to your dish.