This morning I was up very early to harvest ruby red prickly pears (nochtli in Nahuatl) from my friend's yard. This ancestral food has been confirmed by anthropologists to have existed in Mexico for over 25,000 years! If you have never tasted a prickly pear, they are surprisinly sweet and refreshing, with flavors reminiscent of kiwi, melon, and pomegranate. Rich in calcium, vitamin C, and antioxidant compounds, prickly pears are a great compliment to homemade lemonades and salad dressings. If you don't mind the seeds, they are beautiful in a green salad. My favorite ones are bright crimson red such as the ones I harvested today. If you are unable to harvest them yourself, look for them in your local Mexican market, usually in late summer.
Thank you to everyone that participated in today's class at the Desert Botanical Garden! We had a great turnout for a hot monsoon day! We prepared mesquite-fig tarts, ancho chile and dried fig salsa, and lastly a refreshing salad with grilled corn, fresh figs, pepitas and more. I truly enjoyed teaching this class as I really do LOVE figs and look forward to them every July. For those of you that were not in attendance, I will share one of the recipes from the class on my Cocotzin's Kitchen tab....
Honoring my ancestors through food is one way I remain connected to my culture. So being asked to participate in the first ever Native Chef Competition, in the mountains of Idyllwild, CA was an honor. I was blessed to meet one of my mentors, Chef Loretta Barrett Oden (Potawatomi), who validated that I am on the right path, and I was excited to work alongside two well known Native chefs, Chef Sean Sherman (Oglala Lakota) on the left, and Chef Freddie Bitsoi (Navajo). Chef Sherman and Chef Bitsoi made incredibly tasty dishes showcasing indigenous foods using ingredients such as duck, salmon, blue corn, and squash. As the only vegetarian of the group, I was looking forward to showcasing my beloved plant relatives! I prepared a savory dish of Pawi and Wild Greens, which went over well and can be found on my Cocotzin's Kitchen tab.
It was a great weekend creating new food memories as well as remembering old ones.
I am excited to be a participant in this year's Idyllwild Chef Competition...representing my New Mexican roots!
The Amitabha Stupa Peace Park in Sedona for tranquility and reflection. Truly beautiful.
Gracias Madre (Local, organic, Vegan)
1221 Mission St
San Francisco, CA 94110
I had an amazing lunch here recently.....vibrant flavors, unique combinations.
What a busy morning preparing blueberry mesquite tarts for tasting. Makes my heart swell to be at the Indian fair. So much love here.