Australians love Mexican food. A huge subjective statement we know, but the stats speak for themselves. A 2015 business report by Zepol showed that over 700 tonnes of tortillas were being shipped from the US to Australia in the space of 12 months. Which ever way you look at those statistics, we’re mad for some Mexican flavour. And why wouldn’t we be?
Well prepared, fresh Mexican food can deliver a substantial nutrient-rich punch. Take the humble black bean as an example; a staple in Mexican cuisine, they are responsible for maintaining healthy bones, lowering blood pressure, aiding digestion and weight loss… did someone say ‘superfood’? Healthy levels of iron, phosphorus, calcium, magnesium, potassium, copper, zinc and fibre in black beans make them an ingredient not to be ignored.
But wait, before you head out to your nearest Mexican takeaway joint, get involved in a little home preparation. Luckily, Paediatric Nutritionist Mandy Sacher, author of Wholesome Child, has an incrediblely easy, gluten free recipe than is 100 per cent man-proof.
If you’re not on the Mexican train yet, jump on board with this recipe for the whole family.
Prep time: 30 mins / Cooking time: 15-20 mins / Serves: 6-8
1 medium-sized sweet potato, peeled, finely cubed
1 tbs extra virgin olive oil
1/2 brown onion, finely chopped
1 garlic clove, finely diced
2 medium-sized carrots, peeled and grated
1 ½ cups (270g) cooked black beans or 1 x 400g canned beans, rinsed and drained
1 2/3 cups (420g) tomatoes, diced
1 medium-sized red apple, peeled and finely grated
1 cup (170g) corn kernels
1/2 lime, juiced
1/4 tsp ground cumin
1/4 tsp dried oregano
sea salt and pepper, to taste
1 large avocado, peeled, finely chopped
1 cup (75g) shredded lettuce
1/2 cup (120g) sour cream or natural yoghurt
1/4 cup (5g) fresh coriander
- Preheat oven to 200°C and line a baking tray with baking paper. Toss the sweet potato cubes with 1/2 tbs olive oil and bake in the oven for 10-15 mins or until cooked through and browned on the outside.
- Meanwhile, heat oil in a large frying pan on medium heat and fry onions and garlic for 3 mins or until soft. Add carrots and fry for another 3 mins. Add beans, tomato, apple, corn, lime juice and spices and simmer for 10 mins. Season to taste.
- Serve black bean mix in Arrowroot Tortillas (see below) topped with avocado, lettuce, sour cream and coriander leaves (optional).
Serving and storing leftovers: Serve immediately, store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 4 days or freeze for up to 4 months.
Tip: Replace sweet potato with fried chicken strips for a meaty version. For a dairy-free version, replace the sour cream with coconut cream.
Prep time: 4 mins per tortilla / Cooking time: 16 mins / Makes: 8 small tortillas
4 eggs, beaten
2 tbs coconut cream
1/2 cup (60g) arrowroot
2 tsp coconut flour
1/2 tsp sea salt
Coconut oil, melted (for frying)
- In a bowl, combine all ingredients (aside from the oil) until a smooth batter forms.
- Heat a small frying pan over medium heat and brush with some coconut oil.
- Pour 1/8 of the batter into the pan, swirling it to coat the base.
- Cook for approximately 1 or 2 mins on each side. Continue with rest of batter.
- Keep tortillas warm until ready to serve.
Serving and Storing Leftovers: Serve immediately, warm. Store in the fridge for up to 4 days.
Tip: Replace the coconut cream with milk of choice. These can be used to replace wraps and are delicious on their own.