Mexican cuisine dates back to 7000 BC. Before this land was colonized, Mayan Toltec and Aztec cultures were to be found in the areas that are now known as Belize, Panama, Guatemala and, of course, Mexico. Camotes (sweet potatoes) and yucca were the main ingredients used in almost every meal together with corn, cacao, chili peppers, avocados, papayas, tomatoes, and squashes among many others.
In 1521, the Spaniards reached Mexico. Hernan Cortés led the colonization of Mexican lands, pulling his ship into the port of Veracruz. He found all these different ingredients and the many recipes that the natives had and took them to Spain. In return, the settlers brought with them farm animals like chickens, beef, pigs, dairy products like cheese and milk, grains like wheat, rice and also nuts and garlic.
Today’s Mexican food
Nowadays, Mexico has a wide variety of staple recipes and a perfect blend of Spanish and native cuisine.
Most famous dishes are based on corn, chile peppers, tortillas, rice and some protein like chicken or beef and cheese. Spices cannot be forgotten! Mexican cuisine is also known for its special and unique flavors.
As you can see, Mexico has all the ingredients needed to carry out a healthy and nutritious diet: proteins, grains, dairy, spices and many different vegetables.
Burrito bowls, for example, are made with lettuce, tomatoes, chili peppers, avocados, salsa, brown rice, black beans and grilled chicken. This combination is exquisite and provides your body with carbs, protein, and fats. Dishes like that can frequently be found in Mexican cuisine! Another great example is Mexican rice. Rice is so versatile that it can be eaten as a complement to another ingredient or as the base for any dish. Keep on reading to find out an easy Mexican rice recipe to master the best Latin flavor!
- 1 Cup of Basmati rice.
- 1.5 Cups vegetable broth or chicken broth.
- 1 Yellow corn.
- 1 Tomato.
- 1/2 Jalapeno pepper.
- 1 Red onion.
- 2 Garlic cloves.
- 1/4 Teaspoon cumin powder.
- 1/4 Teaspoon cayenne pepper.
- 1 Lime.
- Olive oil.
- Salt and pepper to taste.
- First, rinse and drain the rice. Let it soak in water for about fifteen or twenty minutes.
- Heat some olive oil in a saucepan over medium to high heat. Chop a red onion and two garlic cloves and sauté them for a couple of minutes. They should be translucent but not brown or golden! Add the jalapeño chopped; if you like spice and heat in your meals, add the seeds of the pepper, but if you enjoy mild recipes, remove them. Cook for another minute.
- Add the soaked rice and saute for three to four minutes. The grains should be translucent as well and well coated with olive oil. Chop tomato and add it together with the yellow corn kernels.
- Now it’s time to add the spices! Add the cayenne pepper, cumin powder, salt, and pepper to taste. Stir and combine all the ingredients together.
- If you enjoy a vegetarian diet, add a vegetable broth but if you eat meat, chicken broth will go perfectly well with this recipe! After adding the liquids, turn the heat to high.
- Cover the saucepan and let it cook for about ten to twelve minutes. After this time has passed, lower the heat and let it simmer for five extra minutes. If you notice that the rice is still not thoroughly cooked, leave it for another five minutes.
- Turn the heat off and let the rice sit for about 10 to 15 minutes (saucepan covered).
- Use a fork for fluffing the rice gently. To give this dish its final Latin touch, before serving, add some lime juice and chopped parsley on top.
This easy and delicious vegetarian Mexican rice can be made within an hour and it is a great recipe to eat as a main dish or as a side dish. It can also be used to stuff bell peppers and increase the number of vegetables you include in your diet!
It has the right amount of fats, potassium, vitamin A and C, carbohydrates, fiber, iron, protein and calcium.
Give this typical Mexican meal a try and surprise your diners, you’ll not only eat fantastic but also healthy!