To Grandmother’s House…

I have a love/hate relationship with mayo. I refuse to say the entire work because it kind of freaks me out. I mean, who came up with that name? Mayonna…yuck. My earliest, and fondest, memory of mayo doesn’t actually involve “real mayo,” but the good stuff…Miracle Whip. They don’t call it Miracle Whip for nothing.

Let’s begin with my grandmother’s (this is my Czech grandma) po’boy sandwiches…or just her sandwiches in general. Seester and I would spend occasional weekend nights at my grandparents house when we were little. It was the same routine every time, lunch, trip to Wal-mart to purchase 1 new toy from the kids section…usually a Barbie for me. Side note: I was a Barbie freak…I even had the Barbie horse that I named Buttercup. I was determined to purchase a real horse one day and name it Buttercup…even though realistically, that would never happen because I am deathly allergic to horses. Why me?

Anyhoo, our evening would round out with a trip to Luby’s cafeteria and a night of Shirley Temple and Doris Day movies, and if we had time…a little Nick at Night. But, back to the important part…lunch. My grandmother made/makes the best sandwiches on earth. Seriously. It all started with potato bread…do they even make this stuff anymore? Then, she would slather a good helping of Miracle Whip on both sides of the bread, top with fresh deli meat and cheese and then…if we wanted (oh and I wanted)…a little toasty-toast in a pan melted with better. This insured a crisp outer edge around my sandwich and a gooey center. Oh, and that Miracle Whip hit the spot…tangy and sweet…every.single.time.

Today, I don’t use mayo unless it’s homemade or unless I just get an extreme craving for Miracle Whip.

Honestly, I think mayo scarred me when I had an over dose on chicken salad one year.

Note to self: chicken salad sitting in the fridge for 5 days does not have a pleasant taste.

Killed it for me.

So, why am I even telling you this?

Today we make egg salad.

Which…duh is usually made with mayo.

Not today.

This egg salad is mayo-free.

Mayo haters unite!

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On another note…I love me some boiled eggs. Although, the smell I could do without.

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We do a little choppity-chop. This isn’t your ordinary egg salad.

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Nope…this egg salad has a spicy side to it.

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We added some jalapeno and Mexican spices to this egg salad.

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Can you say ole?

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This egg salad has the perfect amount of heat without being too spicy!

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Still can’t believe no mayo is involved here.

Give me potato bread or give me death!

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Mexican-Inspired Egg Salad
Author: 
Recipe type: Salad, Lunch, Dinner
Cuisine: American/Mexican
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4-5
 
Gluten-free/Paleo/Mayo-free
Ingredients
  • 6 large eggs, hard boiled
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • ½ small red onion, finely diced
  • 1 jalapeno pepper, finely diced
  • ¼ c. fresh cilantro, roughly chopped
  • ½ t. ground cumin
  • ½ t. ground smoked paprika
  • ½ t. New Mexico ground Chile powder
  • ½ t. fine sea salt
  • ½ t. freshly ground pepper
  • 3 T. unsweetened, plain almond milk
Instructions
  1. Place the eggs in a medium sized sauce pan and cover the eggs with water just over the top of the eggs.
  2. Place the saucepan on the stove over high heat and bring to a boil.
  3. Once the eggs are boiling, turn off the heat and cover the sauce pan.
  4. Let the eggs sit for 15 minutes.
  5. Drain the eggs and fill with cold water and ice. Let sit while you prep the other ingredients.
  6. Peel the eggs by rolling them across a hard surface, the peels should come right off.
  7. Chop two whole eggs and four egg whites using a large serrated knife. Discard the remaining egg yolks.
  8. Add all of the ingredients to a large mixing bowl and mash using a fork.
  9. Serve a top toast, with cracker, or over a bed of greens.

MANGIA!!!

Zuppa Del Sol.

Yesterday, I wrote an email to Summer.

Dear Summer, please come quick.

I need a snow cone and a sunbathing session like yesterday.

I am sick and tired of the days of gloves and layers.

I need to see my legs and wear flip-flops that show off my freshly painted toes.

Did I mention I need a snow cone?

Yea.

Let’s talk Mexican food. Tex-Mex is the stuff I grew up on.

Buuuuut I was also privileged to grow up around many authentic Mexican restaurants down here in Houston.

Taqueria’s run rampant here. No joke.

Sometimes all I want is to take a trip to my childhood Taqueria Del Sol. I grew up 5 minutes from this place and it was a treat on weekday/weekend nights for my parents to take seester and I out for an authentic Mexican meal.

Now, I’m talking enchiladas with homemade red sauce, smothered in Mexican cheeses, and rolled between corn tortillas that you know your abuela is back there pounding out with her hands.

Did I mention this place has a bakery? My fave are the “pig” cookies.

Google it.

The best part of this experience for me was the check-out line and a frozen cooler that carried a variety of “La Brisa” Mexican popsicle flavors.

You haven’t lived unless you have tried a coconut or a chocolate La Brisa.

This past Sunday my parents called me from a little Mexican market that they found a couple of blocks away from my house.

La Brisa jackpot!

They were like kids in a candy store.

Spring/summer is on the way, but let’s make the most of it.

Chicken Enchilada Soup.

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Take that winter!

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And by “winter” I mean it’s 70 degrees here and it’s freezing.

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This stuff is legit. Heartwarming, ooey, gooey, crispy with crushed tortillas on top, “Did I really just eat a bowl of enchilada filling?” soup.

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Today, I am your abuela.

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Chicken Enchilada Soup
Author: 
Recipe type: Lunch, Dinner
Cuisine: Mexican
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 6-8
 
Gluten-free, Paleo
Ingredients
  • extra-virgin olive oil, for drizzling the pan
  • 1 poblano pepper, seeds discarded, roughly chopped
  • 3 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 small sweet yellow onion, roughly chopped
  • 3 large carrots, peeled and roughly chopped
  • 3 large stalks of celery, roughly chopped
  • 1 t. ground cumin
  • 1 t. ground paprika
  • 1 t. ground New Mexico chile powder
  • 1 t. granulated garlic
  • 1 t. granulated onion
  • freshly ground black pepper and fine sea salt, to taste
  • 28 oz. can of diced tomatoes, no salt added
  • 2½ c. low sodium organic chicken broth
  • 1 plain, rotisserie or smoked chicken, shredded
  • ½ bunch fresh cilantro, chopped
  • crushed corn tortilla chips, optional garnish
Instructions
  1. Heat a large dutch oven or saucepan over medium heat and drizzle with olive oil.
  2. Add the poblano pepper, garlic, onion, carrots, and celery and saute until the vegetables become tender and break down. About 10-12 minutes.
  3. Add the cumin, paprika, chile powder, granulated garlic, granulated onion, salt and pepper and stir well, coating the veggies evenly.
  4. Saute for an additional 1-2 minutes.
  5. Add the diced tomatoes and chicken broth and bring the mixture to a boil.
  6. Once boiling, reduce the temperature to low and allow the mixture to simmer for 30-45 minutes.
  7. Add the shredded chicken to the pot and mix well. I divided the shredded chicken in half, pureeing some of it, and leaving a few chunkier pieces. 🙂
  8. Using an immersion blender, gently puree the soup until you reach your desired texture. I love my soup slightly chunky. You can also do this using a high powered blender or food processor.
  9. Add the chopped cilantro to the soup last and stir well.
  10. Check the seasonings and season with salt and pepper according to your taste.
  11. Serve warm with crushed tortilla chips, a dollop of sour cream (or Greek yogurt), warm corn tortillas, fresh garnish of cilantro, and/or Mexican cheese.

MANGIA!!!