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Lately I have such a hankering for “Mexican” flavors. I use the quote marks because what I make has no claim to authenticity. Yet it is so much better than the gloppy messes on offer in most of the so-called Mexican restaurants here. I usually do a plate with (1) brown rice; (2) refried beans to which a can of diced green chilis has been added; (3) a vegetable. And then I top it with all sorts of good things.


Brown rice, beans, sweet corn with red bell peppers, cilantro, lime juice and cheddar.

Closeup of the delectable corn kernels. I love the colors in this. Many people hate the taste of cilantro, but I think it’s delicious. I have been known to make my own refried beans, but it’s too much trouble when you can get tasty ones in a can. I prefer the kind that still has a few whole beans in it.


Here’s another variation with chopped garden tomatoes and grilled summer squash slices. This is really satisfying on a hot day with a cold beer. It’s garnished with salsa, plus Greek yogurt mixed with a little salsa.


I love cornbread, so I tried this one with green chilis, baked in a skillet, from Mark Bittman’s How to Cook Everything Vegetarian.


More Southern USA than Mexican, I think.


Another favorite with Southwestern flavors is vegetarian chili. This one has sweet corn and Boca meatless crumbles.

I only make quesadillas once in a while because of the carbs. But they are hard to resist. So are burritos.


Bean and cheese quesadilla with garden tomato garnish and sweet corn/fava “succotash.”