Life Recipes: Taking the huevos out of huevos rancheros

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One of my favorite breakfast meals is huevos rancheros. I’ll admit I’m slightly biased, being that I grew up in Santa Fe, New Mexico, where “huevos” — as they are simply known — are a breakfast staple.

Traditional huevos (eggs in Spanish) includes fried eggs, tortillas, and chili sauce with extras such as beans, rice, tomatoes, avocados, and grated cheese. It was and is the basic breakfast food served on rural Mexican farms (“rancheros” means farms in Spanish).

A more heart-healthy version of this dish retains all the flavors of huevos, but removes a the cholesterol found in eggs. Increased cholesterol can block artery walls and restrict blood flow to the heart. Cardiovascular disease, or conditions involving narrowed or blood blood vessels, is the leading cause of death in the world, accounting for 31 percent of all global deaths, according to the American Heart Association.

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Here is a modified (New Mexicans please cover your eyes), plant-based version of the dish using tofu:

Huevos Rancheros with Tomatillo Salsa

Serves 4

Tofu Scramble:

  • 1/2 yellow onion, diced
  • 1/2 red bell pepper, seeded and diced
  • 1/3 cup water
  • 1 block of firm tofu, drained
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric

Add onion and red pepper to a frying pan with a little water or vegetable stock.

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Add salt and pepper to taste and sauté until they start to soften. Crumble the tofu and add to the pan along with the turmeric.

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Stir to combine and continue to cook until most of the water is evaporated and the ingredients are cooked through.

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Tomatillo Salsa:

  • 12 tomatillos, skins removed, cut in half
  • 1 yellow onion cut in half
  • 1 1/2 Jalapeño, seeds removed and cut in half
  • 3 Garlic cloves
  • 1 small bunch cilantro
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons fresh oregano

Grill the tomatillo, onion and Jalapeño with 1 teaspoon of extra-virgin olive oil either on a grill or in a broiler for about five minutes. Cool slightly before transferring to a blender. Add the garlic, cilantro, fresh oregano, water and salt and pepper to a blender and blend a few seconds. Continue to blend until the ingredients are still chunky and not over processed.

Other ingredients:

  • 1 can black beans or 2-3 cups fresh dry beans (drain and rinse the canned variety, as most brands have tons of sodium)
  • 1 avocado cut into slices
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 8 Corn Tortillas (NEVER FLOUR — anyone who knows anything about New Mexican food knows you only use flour tortillas for burritos and enchiladas)
  • Your favorite hot sauce

To Serve:

Wash and then heat the beans in a saucepan or microwave.

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Warm the tortillas wrapped in a moist paper towel, in the microwave or wrapped in foil in the oven for a few minutes. Place two tortillas on each plate.

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Top with black beans, then a large spoonful of the tomatillo salsa, tofu scramble, a little more salsa. Finish with avocado slices.

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Serve with hot sauce — the hotter the better 🙂

Life Recipes is published in conjunction with Inside & Out — a new series by Global Business America focusing on what’s making news in health and business.