No-Heat Lunches, Ready in Three Steps!

Coming up with quick lunch ideas para la familia can be a challenging task. On the one hand, sopas are too hearty for the summertime. On the other, basic salads and sandwiches can quickly become monotonous. Here’s a little lunchtime inspiration for no-heat recipes that take three steps and 15 minutes or less to prepare.

Summer Corn Ensalada (Serves 4)


4 teaspoons olive oil

1 tablespoon lime juice

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon hot sauce

1 1/2 cups fresh corn

1 1/2 cups cherry tomatoes, halved

1/2 cup cucumber, chopped

1/4 cup chopped red onion

2 tablespoons fresh basil, minced

1/4 cup crumbled feta cheese


1. In a small bowl, combine olive oil, lime juice, salt and hot sauce.

2. In a large bowl, mix the corn, tomatoes, cucumber, onion and basil. Drizzle with dressing and toss.

3. Refrigerate until chilled. Sprinkle with cheese before serving.

Thai Veggie Salad + Diced Mango (Serves 4)



1 red bell pepper, thinly sliced

1 bunch scallions, thinly sliced

3 cups snow peas, thinly sliced

3 carrots, thinly sliced

1 bunch radishes, thinly sliced

1/4 red cabbage, thinly sliced

1/2 cucumber, cut into strips

1 cup dried mango, thinly sliced

2/3 cup peanuts, chopped

3/4 cup fresh cilantro, chopped

1/4 cup fresh mint, chopped


3 garlic cloves, minced

1 piece fresh ginger, minced

1 tablespoon sesame oil

3 tablespoon soy sauce

1 tablespoon Sriracha sauce

1/2 cup rice-wine vinegar

1/3 cup peanut butter


1. In a large bowl, mix all salad ingredients.

2. In a separate bowl, mix all dressing ingredients and stir until smooth.

3. Combine contents of both bowls. Toss and serve!

Lime Shrimp and Avocado Salad (Serves 4)


1 pound jumbo cooked shrimp, peeled and deveined, chopped

1 tomato, diced

1 hass avocado, diced

1 jalapeno, diced

1/4 cup chopped red onion

2 limes

1 teaspoon olive oil

1 tablespoon chopped cilantro

Salt and pepper


1. Combine red onion, lime juice, olive oil, pinch of salt and pepper.

2. In a separate bowl, combine chopped shrimp, avocado, tomato, jalapeño.

3. Mix together all ingredients, add cilantro and gently toss.

A Father’s Day Feast Fit for a King

Celebrate El Día de Los Padres with a delectable three-course menu sure to please all of the dads in your life.

Appetizer: Spring Asparagus Salad

Serving Size: 4


1 tablespoon rice vinegar

1 teaspoon red wine vinegar

1 teaspoon soy sauce

1 teaspoon white sugar

1 teaspoon Dijon mustard

2 tablespoons peanut oil

1 tablespoon sesame oil

1 1/2 pounds fresh asparagus, trimmed and cut into pieces

1 tablespoon sesame seeds


1. Whisk together rice vinegar, red wine vinegar, soy sauce, sugar and mustard. Drizzle in the peanut oil and sesame oil while whisking vigorously.

2. In a pot of boiling water, add the asparagus and cook three to five minutes until just tender, but still mostly firm. Remove and rinse under cold water.

3. Toss the dressing and the asparagus together. Sprinkle with sesame seeds to serve.

Entrée: Grilled Skirt Steak with Salsa Verde

Serving Size: 4



1/4 cup finely chopped flat-leaf parsley

2 tablespoons finely chopped rosemary

2 tablespoons finely chopped thyme

4 garlic cloves, minced

1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil

2 pounds skirt steak


1 packed cup parsley leaves

1 packed cup basil leaves

1 packed cup mint leaves

2/3 cup capers, drained

2 large oil-packed anchovy fillets, drained and chopped

1 garlic clove, chopped

1 tablespoon Dijon mustard

1 teaspoon sugar

1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil

Salt and fresh pepper

Smoked paprika


1. Combine parsley, rosemary, thyme, garlic and olive oil. Spread the mixture all over the steak. Cover and refrigerate for at least four hours.

2. In a food processor, combine parsley, basil, mint, capers, anchovies, garlic, mustard and sugar and process to a paste. While the machine is running, slowly pour in the olive oil. Add salt and black pepper to taste.

3. Scrape most of the marinade off the steak and season with salt and pepper. Grill for three minutes. Flip the steak over and grill for two minutes longer, until browned outside and medium-rare within. Transfer to a cutting board and let rest. Slice the steak and sprinkle with smoked paprika. Serve with salsa verde.

Dessert: Key Lime Pie Bars

Serving Size: 4



11/2 cups crushed graham crackers

2 tablespoons sugar

1/3 cup butter, melted

1/2 cup sweetened flaked coconut


3 cups sweetened condensed milk

1/2 cup sour cream

3/4 cup key lime juice

1 tablespoon grated lime zest



1. Combine the crumbs, coconut, sugar and butter. Blend well. Press onto the bottom of a 9-inch pan.

2. Bake at 350 F for eight minutes; cool on wire rack.


1. Preheat oven to 350 F.

2. Combine condensed milk, sour cream, lime juice and lime rind. Mix well and pour into graham cracker crust.

3. Bake in preheated oven for five to eight minutes. Cool pie thoroughly before serving. Cut bars and garnish with whipped cream and coconut or lime pieces.

One-pot Winter Wonders

Want to make an easy meal for your family? Ana Frias, the Latina blogger behind the great website, Fit, Fun & Delish, has created three meals that are sure to keep everyone warm and happy this winter. The best part is that they only require one pot!

Perfect for chilly nights, this comfort food recipe is a traditional Mexican soup that Frias often cooks up for her family. 


1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil or canola oil

  • 7-ounce package of Mexican pasta. Shells, alphabet, or fideo (or vermicelli noodles, broken into 2 inch pieces)
  • 1/4 cup white or yellow onion, chopped
  • 6 cups chicken broth
  • 8-ounce can tomato sauce
  • 1 beef bouillon cube
  • 1/4 cup cilantro, chopped
  • A dash of kosher salt (about 1/8 teaspoon)
  • A dash of black pepper (about 1/8 teaspoon)


  1. In a 4-quart saucepan, heat the oil over medium heat. Sauté the pasta until slightly browned. About 5 minutes.
  2. Add the onions and sauté for another 1-2 minutes until soft.
  3. Add the broth, tomato sauce, beef bouillon, cilantro, pepper and salt.
  4. Bring to a boil, and reduce heat to medium low; simmer until the noodles are tender, about 15 minutes.

Sloppy Joes
Although Frias likes to cook many dishes that honor her Mexican heritage, she serves this delicioso American classic to her family using lean ground beef and low-sugar ketchup. By adding a side of salad, she’s modified this one-pot dish into a healthy meal.


  • 1 pound ground beef, 96% lean
  • 2 stalks celery, finely chopped
  • 1/2 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup green bell pepper, finely chopped
  • 8-ounce can tomato sauce
  • 1/4 cup ketchup
  • 1/4 cup barbecue sauce
  • 1 tablespoon white or red wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tablespoon firmly packed brown sugar
  • Salt and pepper to taste


  1. In a large skillet, brown ground beef.
  2. When the beef is halfway cooked, add the celery, pepper and onion.
  3. Add the rest of the ingredients in a separate bowl and mix well (this is an optional step).
  4. When the beef is cooked all the way through, drain the juices, if any (I usually let it cook until all of the juice is gone. Since the meat is so lean it won’t have much fat juice to drain).
  5. Add the liquid mixture and simmer covered for about 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  6. Cook until the meat has a consistency you like for serving on toasted buns.

Cochinita Pibil
Give the cheese and sour cream a break and head to southern Mexico for inspiration. In the Yucatan, you will find recipes for a savory, slowly roasted pork.


  • 2 pounds of boneless pork loin roast cubed into beef stew size (fat trimmed off)
  • 3.5 ounces achiote (annato condiment found in the Hispanic section of grocery stores)
  • 1 coke or 1 beer (“I use beer on mine,” says Frias)
  • 1 cube of beef bouillon
  • Add salt and pepper to taste if needed


  1. Put all ingredients in pot.
  2. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low and simmer for about 3 hours or until the meat is very soft and pulls apart easily with a fork. Make sure to keep stirring so that it doesn’t get stuck at the bottom and the achiote dissolves all the way.
  3. Shred meat. Add it back to the pot and cook for a little while longer. Add a little water if necessary to keep the meat juicy.
  4. Heat the corn tortillas and enjoy!
“I like to add pickled red onions, salsa, and a squirt of lime juice to my tacos,” says Frias.

Balancing Act: The Adult-Kids Menu

Do your kids run at the sight of verduras? Do they request grilled cheese sandwiches day after day? Tranquila. According to Chef Anthony Lamas, owner of Seviche restaurant in Louisville, Kentucky, there are easy ways to sneak vegetables and “adult” ingredients into kids’ menu for the whole family. “Don’t be afraid to add flavors and textures, layered components are interesting to kids,” says Chef Anthony, father of two boys and winner of Food Network’s Extreme Chef title.

As a dad, Chef Anthony knows first-hand how tricky it can be to prepare healthy meals parents and kids will enjoy. The key is to take tired ingredients such as chicken, arroz and vegetables and add flavor so your palate will be pleased, and the kids will ask for seconds. Try adding these tricks and healthy recipes for kids to the kids’ menu at your house.

·         Start with whole pollo: Plan ahead and flavor with salt, water, sugar, onions, herbs and lemon zest and garlic. Let sit overnight and roast.

·         Experiment with rice: Add interesting and tasty textures such as dried cranberries, macadamia nuts, butternut squash, pumpkin seeds or zucchini.

·         Add appealing sabores: Sautéed onions, celery and carrot will add flavor to any dish, while giving kids their veggies. Kids may say they don’t like bland spinach, but it takes on a new taste flavored with lemon and garlic.

·         Include los niños: Have kids help you create a tasty homemade buttermilk dressing for salads or parsley flavored butter for corn. They’re sure to want to try their concoctions.


Soups and stews are a basic -- but healthy -- meal idea, and an easy way to incorporate oodles of meats, vegetables and healthy herbs without the kids catching on. Straight from his kitchen, Lamas shared his recipe for Albóndigas (small meatballs) stew.


Ground beef chuck/round

3 ears of corn cut off cob

1 cup shredded cabbage

4 carrots cut into 1-inch rounds

4 celery stocks cut into 1-inch pieces

2 zucchinis cut into 1-inch rounds

1/2 onion chopped

Juice of 1 lemon

Juice of 2 limes

Zest of 1 lemon

1 tablespoon of garlic

3 bay leaves

1 cup cooked rice

2 tablespoons salt

1 tablespoon pepper

1 tablespoon ground oregano

1 gallon chicken stock

1 tablespoon chopped cilantro

Mix beef with rice and season with one tablespoon of salt, oregano, and a pinch of pepper. Make meat into three-ounce meatballs.

In a large pot, sauté onions, carrots and celery for two minutes. Then add garlic and remaining vegetables. Continue to sauté for two minutes. Add broth and bring to a boil. Lower to simmer and add meatballs. Simmer for 15 minutes. Finally, garnish with a fresh squeeze of lime and a pinch of fresh cilantro.

Chef Anthony’s recipe calls for oregano and garlic, which both benefit your health. Find out why -- and other health-boosting ingredients -- here.

Easy Cocktail Recipes: El Dia De Los Muertos

Host a party for El Dia de los Muertos the festive way, with these five tasty and easy cocktails recipes that will get the party started. “When creating a good cocktail for parties, make sure your flavors are consistent with the theme,” says Ion, head mixologist at Yerba Buena Avenue A. And don’t forget the green-slime guacamole and chips for guests to snack on.

Blood-red sangria

Sangria is not only an easily prepared crowd-pleasing cocktail, but also has an interestingly spooky meaning; this refreshing beverage’s literal Latin understanding translates to bleeding.

Orange, sliced thin

Lemon, sliced thin

Lime, sliced thin

Apple, sliced thin

2 tablespoons sugar

¼ cup triple sec

¼ cup brandy

1 bottle of dry red wine

Mix wine, brandy, triple sec, sugar in pitcher until sugar is dissolved. Add fruit and let chill for 2 to 4 hours.

Dark and stormy

Skip the “dark” rum for this spooky cocktail, and opt for a festive spiced option to add a little kick to your fiesta. Serving this fizzy libation in a goblet will add some ghoulish flair.

2 ounces spiced rum (can substitute for the true “dark” rum)

8 ounces ginger beer

Put ice in a highball glass. Add in rum and beer, and garnish with a lime.

Chocolate martini

An adult version of trick-or-treating goodies, this dessert cocktail is really paying homage to explorers of the Spanish Conquest. Chocolate has been used as a drink for centuries tracing back to one of its first recorded uses in Honduras, dating from about 1100 to 1400 BC.

Chocolate sauce or syrup (to dip rim of glass)


2 ounces chocolate liqueur

1 ½ ounce vodka


Dip martini glass rim in chocolate sauce, then sugar. Fill shaker with ice, and add chocolate liqueur and vodka. Shake and pour into glass.


El Kookooee (The Boogeyman)

From Ion at Yerba Buena Avenue A: pumpkin spice adds a celebratory dimension to your cocktail list at any fall festivity.


Rye whiskey

Pumpkin spice liqueur

Cordials and lime juice

Mix ingredients in shaker and pour into highball glass.

Bloody Maria

Put a Latin spin on the classic vodka cocktail by subbing-in spicy tequila for a bloody Maria.

1 ounce tequila

1 lemon wedge

4 ounces tomato juice

Squirt of lime juice

3 to 5 drops hot sauce

3 to 5 drop Worcestershire sauce

Celery stick for garnish

Dash of celery salt

Add ingredients to chilled shaker with ice. Mix ingredients and strain into a highball glass. Garnish with lemon wedge and celery.