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Maria Amalia Garza

Avocado Dip
Avocado Dip

Lately I have been on a yogurt kick. I make my own and use it instead of sour cream, cream cheese, and even goat cheese. I mix it with chia seeds, ground flax seed, and honey, and eat it for breakfast with homemade nutty granola. I mix it with hummus and spread it on naan sprinkled with sumac and a drizzle of fruity olive oil. I serve it on toasted bagels and top it with gravlax, red onions and capers. The list of the many ways in which I use yogurt goes on, and on, and on.


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Dip de Aguacate y Yogurt (Spicy Avocado and Yogurt Dip)
Dip de Aguacate y Yogurt (Spicy Avocado and Yogurt Dip)

This creamy, tangy and spicy avocado dip recipe is a lighter, but no less satisfying, alternative to guacamole. It makes a delicious healthy lunch when served with fresh veggies and whole grain pita bread instead of tortilla chips.


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Mexican Style Fruit and Vegetable Salad
Mexican Style Fruit and Vegetable Salad

As a child growing up in Mexico, I was introduced to healthy snacks early on. It was common to munch on fruits or vegetables as an after-school treat. As I got a bit older, I started sprinkling lime juice, salt, and powdered chile on everything. By the time I was a young adult, these flavors had begun exerting a strong influence on my food choices. Today, the mere thought of a plate of cucumbers or mangos sprinkled with lime juice, salt, and chile makes my mouth water, and memories of my childhood come flooding back. 


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Frijoles a la Charra
Frijoles a la Charra (Ranch Style Beans)

Mexican cookery has always been known for three main ingredients: corn, beans, and chiles, which are part of almost every meal of the day. These three ingredients, in a myriad of combinations, can form a perfect marriage of flavors and tastes.


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Frijoles a la Charra
Ranch Style Beans (Frijoles a la Charra)

In Mexico, these frijoles a la charra (ranch style soupy beans) are always part of a carne asada. They can be stewed very simply with only vegetables and bacon, but often include cueritos, pork hock and even weiners, and can be made borrachos by adding beer just before serving. This version stews creamy and plump pinto beans with plenty of salty bacon. Serve them as a side or cook them down, add cheese, and serve them as a yummy dip. 


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