Seasonal Sundays (Week 18) Mexican Meal Prep

Seven recipes to kick start those Cinco de Mayo tacos you're fantasizing. Good news, all the "extras" (condiments, rice, beans, salads, etc.) may be made a day or two or three or four or five ... ahead of time.

Seasonal Sundays, a weekly newsletter ♥, a seasonal collection of recipes and life ideas in and out of the kitchen.

Welcome to Seasonal Sundays ...

Hey, all. Thank you for following Kitchen Parade, for checking in on these Sunday recipe collections. It's an honor to be welcomed into your InBox and RSS readers and most of all, your kitchens. So thank you, thank you. Truly.

Five years ago! It's hard to believe that it's been five years since my husband and I on a whim launched what we dubbed "Deep Mexico". It was so fun, we learned so much, we ate so well, we found so many of "our" house recipes. (See Deep Mexico: Ingredient-Driven Mexican Meal Prep.)

And we're doing it again! The timing feels right: the fridge is e-m-p-t-y. Cinco de Mayo is next week. Plus, we've already decided to do a big taco bar for a family gathering later in the month, is that undécimo de mayo?!

Maybe you'd like to join us? If anyone's intrigued, maybe we could form a little Deep Mexico group to share what we're up to? It's actually easy, there's no rules, just a curiosity of delving into a certain cuisine for awhile.

For us, we just buy "Mexican" ingredients, grab a Mexican cookbook or two for inspiration (and some times follow actual recipes), then start cooking. We found it very natural to just put a Mexican spin on our meals, an example is this pretty little salad, Deep Mexico Fruit Salad.

It was definitely a fun couples project and I know I have a half dozen or so recipes which I'd love to "finish" to share with all of you.

About the Photo By Popular Request, a Little Insight into the Image of Forget-Me-Nots: When our father passed away two years ago yesterday, I don't think my sister and I realized, then, in our fog of loss, the ongoing import the day would have, placing the anniversary of his death just two days before the anniversary of our mom's death 19 years earlier. Adanna and I both still mark those days in our own quiet ways. For Dad, that meant pie. "Cream pie" was his favorite so when the planned Banana Cream required a grocery trip, instead I cobbled together a chocolate-raspberry pie which he'd have really loved, I think. For Mom, that means tomorrow I'll bake bread, maybe Homemade Yeast Rolls, it makes great cinnamon buns. These food tributes, they are a simple, quiet, homey way to forget-me-not.

Oops ...

A Veggie Venture was down for a couple of days this week, my apologies to anyone who tried to check a recipe there. Luckily, it was a quick, inexpensive fix but still. :-(

In Praise Of ...

  • ... the pool repair guys who showed up in droves the last couple of weeks, turning an aged pool into something that looks almost like new ... they were great to have around, appreciated warm muffins in the mornings and brownies in the afternoons ... one lovely man about my age told me he hasn't seen his wife in more than nine years ... immigration is such a complicated issue, but his sad eyes offered a new sort of understanding
  • ... this Nordic Ware Microwave Tortilla Warmer (affiliate link) is ugly but it sure does the trick, keeping a stack of tortillas (or pancakes ... ) warm for a good hour
  • ... a warm (albeit verrry dry) forecast, letting us start putting herbs and summer annuals in pots well before Missouri's "last frost" date of Mother's Day weekend before ... that said, I've been burned frost-bitten before, let's hope not this year ... here's how I do it, Never Buy Fresh Herbs Again

Democracy Matters

The country needs calm, thoughtful and assertive voices amid the chaos inflicted by a minority hellbent on taking/retaining generational power by strangling democratic principles and equal rights. None of us have to personally change the world. We just have to do our part. Pick one thing for the top of your To Do List this week.

The Suppression Has Begun by Jay Kuo, who among other things, is working with developing content for Star Trek-famous George Takei's 23 million followers. He's super-smart, worth paying attention to. Takeaway here: "Political observers look for patterns of behavior that might indicate a broader issue. Here, the signs are flashing red. Republicans, who are in full, supermajority charge of these three states [Florida, Montana, Tennessee] have now used that power to actively silence dissent, and they aren't even trying to hide it."

May I Suggest ... a Link?

Let me just presume that if you're reading this, well, you're both a cook and a recipe collector. Don't the two kinda go together? And that means you tuck aside interesting recipes all over the place and then, dang, where is that chicken recipe that looked so good anyway? Here's an idea. Start a folder on your phone, call it "Kitchen Parade" or "Alanna" or whatever makes best sense to you. Then save the recipes you're most interested in right there in one place. Easy Peasy.


Planning a party for Cinco de Mayo?

The "downside" is that even a "simple" taco bar takes guacamole, salsa, sour cream, taco fillings, rice and beans , warm tortillas and that doesn't even take into account a salad or two!

But do not despair.

The "upside" is that almost everything can be prepped ahead of time and be ready to go on party day, leaving you to that (in-your-dreams) bubble bath before family and guests show up. I've got these recipes all laid out for you! You're probably not making everything, just spread it all out.

Quinoa & Black Bean Salad ♥, a great make-ahead salad recipe. Hearty with quinoa and crunchy with vegetables, bright with lime.

Mexican Rice ♥, an easy addition to taco parties, fajita nights or easy lunch-time quesadillas. Vegan.

Quick Jalapeño Pickles ♥, easy homemade refrigerator pickles, no canning required. Great for Mexican Meal Prep.

My Guacamole, the restaurant-style house recipe ♥ Very Weight Watchers Friendly. Unusually Low Cal. Low Carb. Vegan. Gluten Free. Weeknight Easy, Weekend Special.
  • THE RECIPE My Guacamole Restaurant-style guacamole, our house recipe. (PIN This)
  • ANOTHER TAKE Lime Crema A DIY Mexican crema for tacos, enchiladas, quesadillas and more.

Best Quick Tomato Salsa ♥, 10 minutes start to chip. Budget Friendly. Low Carb. Vegan. Great for Meal Prep.

Slow Cooker Shredded Beef Tacos ♥, just cook beef in slow cooker (no browning!) with pantry ingredients, then add quick sauté of veggies, black beans.

Mexican Salsa Bread ♥, easy homemade bread with a kick, just salsa and spices.
A collection of Mexican recipes for Cinco de Mayo ♥

What's New?!

Wondering about a recipe from the last while? Check Recent Recipes from Kitchen Parade and Recent Vegetable Recipes from A Veggie Venture.

Sunshine Orange Muffins ♥, barely sweet, sweetened mostly with a whole orange and one of my favorite pantry ingredients for a flavor boost, frozen orange juice concentrate.

Looking Ahead ...

Looking Back ...

A Quick Peek Into a Real-Life Kitchen

Just so you know, everything's not all pretty pictures around here, in the background is a pile of dirty dishes. And just like many (all?) of us, come five o'clock, I too draw a blank about what to make for supper, despite so many recipes I so dearly love. Here's a quick peek from the last week, not including the oatmeal, salad dressing and sautéed greens on repeat this time of year.

My Everyday Creamy Herb Salad Dressing, another Master Recipe ♥, quick, easy meal prep. Low Carb. Weight Watchers Friendly. Naturally Gluten Free.
  • THIS WEEK It happens allll the time, LOL. Ever since looking at all those feta-centric recipes last week, this week it's been all-things-feta. First up? A very feta-rich version of this oh-so-adaptable salad dressing that's been draping itself off everything except, well say, toes, all week long.
  • THE RECIPE My Everyday Creamy Herb Salad Dressing Never the same twice.

Spiced Pickled Red Onions ♥, a game changer for tacos, salads, eggs and more.
  • THIS WEEK I had 80% of a big red onion leftover. While supper was in the oven, it took about 10 minutes to turn that onion into pink gold. I'm one among legions who rave about pickled red onions. You should be too!
  • THE RECIPE Spiced Pickled Red Onions A game changer for tacos, salads, eggs and more.

Banana Nut Cake with Caramel Frosting ♥, my mom's famous recipe, a great special-occasion cake yet simple enough to make often. Plus, a new banana technique: no more waiting for bananas to ripen! Recipe, tips, nutrition & WW points included.
  • THIS WEEK May I please-please just say ... WOW. This cake knocked us over all week, such big banana flavor. I didn't frost it, the first night just served it with Brown Sugar Lemon Curd and whipped cream. It was still-warm from the oven, of course it was awesome. But then I just left it on the counter in a tin, we nibbled small slices all week. A literal seven-freaking-days-later (yes, I had to sliver off a bite just now, just to make sure), it's still as fresh as can be.
  • THE RECIPE Banana Nut Cake with Caramel Frosting My mom's famous (and famously versatile) cake, so banana-y, stays moist for days. (PIN This)

Just Updated!

Roasted Asparagus & Mushrooms, another simple, healthy vegetable side ♥

Finn Crisp with Marmalade & Cheese, a typical Finnish breakfast ♥

Don't Be a Stranger ...

I'd love to hear from you. Comment, send me a quick e-mail (my current address is in the FAQs), dot-dash in Morse code, build a fire for smoke signals, launch a message in a bottle, send a Christmas letter, get the dog to yip, toss me a note wrapped in a rubberband, write a message in the sky, scratch a note in the sand, listen to a seashell, tuck a question into a plastic Easter egg, whatever.

Kitchen Parade is written by second-generation food columnist Alanna Kellogg and features fresh, seasonal dishes for every-day healthful eating and occasional indulgences. Quick Suppers are Kitchen Parade favorites and feature recipes easy on the budget, the clock, the waistline and the dishwasher. Do you have a favorite recipe that other Kitchen Parade readers might like? Just send me a quick e-mail, you'll find my current address in the FAQs. How to print a Kitchen Parade recipe. Never miss a recipe! If you like this recipe, sign up for a free e-mail subscription. If you like Kitchen Parade, you're sure to like my food blog about vegetable recipes, too, A Veggie Venture. When you make my recipes, I'd love to know your results! Just leave a comment below or better still, on the specific recipe's page.

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Alanna Kellogg
Alanna Kellogg

A Veggie Venture is home of "veggie evangelist" Alanna Kellogg and the famous asparagus-to-zucchini Alphabet of Vegetables.