Meatless Monday: Red, White, and (Would Be) Blue Edition

I posted previously about my Fourth of July dinner that was based on recipes brought to our country by our Asian-American citizens. But since July 5 was the federal holiday for this event, I decided to cook one last holiday meal inspired by our country’s largest immigrant population––Hispanic or Latinx communities.

This is no surprise because Mexican/Southwestern/Caribbean food are some of my family’s favorite meals. My son and I are especially fond of spicy food, so many of the recipes from that part of the world really appeal to us. Plus, when I discovered these different colors of tortillas at Trader Joes, I realized I could many another foreign-fusion meal and stick to the US red, white, and blue color scheme!

The red (reddish?) torillas are Habañero Lime, the white are just plain flour, and the blueish (OK, it looks more purple) is BLUE corn and wheat (so it counts as blue, even if it looks more purple). My plans were to make quesadillas with cheese, tomatoes, and hot peppers with the red ones, tortas (Mexican sandwiches) with refried black beans with the white ones, and tostados with chili-lime grilled eggplant and squash with the blue ones, all grilled on our grill.

However, before proceeding, I need to share this quote by one of my favorite current actors, Tom Hiddleston (he of Loki fame––more on that SOON):

“I try not to make plans. God always laughs at your plans. I’m going to keep the door open, and keep the page blank, and see what gets painted upon it.” 

― Tom Hiddleston

In my case, it was a good plan for a Meatless Monday dinner for the federal holiday of July 4. A really good plan, until I came out and lit up my grill and flames started shooting up not only under the space in which I usually grill, but also out the sides of where the gas container connects to the grill. I’m not super mechanical, but even I know flames coming out the side of your grill close to your gas container is probably not a good idea. So I turned off the gas, made sure all the flames went out, and decided to figure out a new picture to paint on my July 5 page.

The first two weren’t really an issue, because I could do those in/on the stove. I had already made the refried black beans out of some black bean soup I had made on Friday and drained out of the liquid. But I really wanted the eggplant and squash to have a grilled taste. I could fry them or roast them, but that would take more time, and I was also running out of space in the oven. So I decided I would just ditch the tostado idea for another time, and go with quesadillas and tortas.

Fortunately, earlier in the day I had made some lovely pico de gallo from all the wonderful variety of tomatoes and onions I got from the Cary Downtown Farmers Market from Parker Farm, Meadowhawk Farm, LB’s Farm, and Sapony Creek. I used some of that with some hot banana peppers from Sapony Creek with a Mexican cheese blend for the quesadillas, garnished with avocado, then added more PDG on top of my tortas, which were vegan. So it all ended up looking like this:

We also had some raw carrots and sweet peppers (both from CDFM) to munch on, so even though we were missing our most vegetable-heavy entree, I felt it was still a fairly healthy meal.

Then it came down to what to drink. For me, it was a choice between a bottle of Sangria that a friend of mine had recently turned me onto when she had us to her house for WONDERFUL grilled Mahi Mahi tacos:

OR, I had tequila, so I could make a margarita.

I considered the fine print on my natural margarita mix…

Margaritas it is!

So I ended up with a different version of blue…

Happy Meatless Monday July 5 Everyone!

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