Just recently I purchased one of the most amazing cookbooks I’ve ever gotten my hands on:

Oaxaca al Gusto by Diana Kennedy

Oaxaca al Gusto: An Infinite Gastronomy (The William and Bettye Nowlin Series in Art, History, and Culture of the Western Hemisphere)

I think ya’ll know my affinity towards authentic Mexican cuisine, so this cookbook was like a dream come true 🙂

The flavors from this region of Mexico use the freshest and most flavorful of ingredients (known for it’s mole – the sauce, not the animal ;), with the beauty of a simple complexity that just can’t be described…

So why am I telling you all this?

Well since my nose has been buried in this cookbook over the past week, tonight’s dinner just had to be inspired by my recent readings…

And boy do I have a treat for you 😀  This was a simple way to whip up a healthy dinner with such unexpected flavors!

Not a traditional Oaxacan dish – but instead, an idea of the flavors of Oaxaca made into an easy weeknight dinner using fresh ingredients.

Plus remember that abundance of veggies that I told you about earlier too?  Still had more to use so this was the perfect dish to do so!

  • red potatoes (love these thin skinned, tender goodies)
  • red & green Italian sweet peppers, seeds removed & chopped
  • zucchini, chopped
  • onion, chopped
  • garlic, minced
  • SPICY HOT pepper (thanks Brittany for hookin’ me up with these fresh-from-the-garden beauties!)
  • 1 tblsp olive oil
  • 1/2 pound grass-fed ground beef
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • sea salt & black pepper to taste

1)  Wash potatoes.  Place in water to cover.  Bring to boil, cook until tender (about 15 minutes).

2) While potatoes boil, chop up all your veggies and saute until tender.  Into the olive oil first, the onion – give it a minute or 2.  Then the zucchini & peppers.  Close to the end add the garlic.  Don’t forget to season with salt & pepper too.

3)  While everything is cooking, whip up your spice mixture – dried oregano, cinnamon & cumin.  This is the stuff that dreams are made of (at least I think so 😉 )

4)  Once the veggies are tender you are ready to add your protein.  I chose grass-fed ground beef, moving the vegetables to the perimeter of the pan and placing the meat in the center to let it brown.  I also added the spice mixture at this time.

Now if you aren’t a fan of beef, I think that chicken would work beautifully in this dish.  Either shredded or chopped. 

And if meat isn’t your thing, black beans would be amazing as well.  In fact, I think I may try that combo next time around for a meatless meal night 😛

5)  Once your meat is cooked, stir it in with the veggies and also add the potatoes (which, once done cooking, are quartered).  Stir lightly, don’t want to break the taters!

Let everything warm through for about 5 minutes and you’re ready to serve!

I chose to top mine with Chipotle Cholula, because I’m in love with the stuff 😛  Any hot sauce would work wonderfully as a topper though, or if that’s not your thing, use none at all!

This had the most wonderful flavor, it was warm & comforting with the sweetness of the cinnamon and the spiciness of the hot pepper & cumin!

I loved it. 

And I loved its versatility factor. 

Don’t have beef?  Use chicken!  Don’t eat meat?  Use beans!

Either way, it definitely won’t disasppoint in the flavor department or keep you in the kitchen for hours 😉  Win!

See you friends tomorrow —>  surprise girls trip planned!!! 

Can you guess where?!?!

Go to fullsize image



7 responses to “Inspiration

  1. GREAT dinner. Love that the potatoes add the filling factor and the spice combination sounds lovely. Have a great trip

  2. That looks amazing. I crave Mexican at least once a week so I will definitely have to try this out! Have fun this weekend!

  3. Diana Kennedy is wonderful. She truly outshines Rick Bayless who gats tiresome.

    Thanks for telling me that the Oaxaca book is out. I also have Zarela Martinez’ Oaxaca cookbook, which is pretty damn good. (Zarela also has a Vera Cruz cook which is also quite good.)

  4. I LOVE the versatility of Mexican food! Chicken, beef (just typed beer hahaha), black beans….the options are endless. 🙂

    Have SO Much fun on your girls trip – I’m so jealous! LOVE NYC!

  5. That meal looks so good! I love Mexican food so much, we even had it at our wedding! : )

  6. Thanks for sharing these delicious and nutritious recipes. It can be hard to find something new to prepare for the family, but this inspires me to head to the kitchen.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s