Healthy Mexican Pt1: Hot mango salsa and Mexican Rice- vegan

A great fresh-tasting relish!
How does tofu quesadillas with guacamole, hot mango salsa and no-fry Mexican rice sound? If you'd like to join us in this virtual dinner, then read this and the following post for the lowdown on how to make them. We love Mexican food for its vibrant colours, robust flavours and easy conversion to vegetarian- trouble is, if you use cheese the calories will stack up! So we decided to explore the lighter side of this cuisine, using less oil, wholefoods and tofu instead of dairy. Try out these dishes and judge for yourself if it worked (we think so)...

Hot mango salsa (serves about 4)
This could equally well be called salsa fresca or pico de gallo ("rooster's beak"; refers to the shape you have to make with your finger and thumb if you eat it with your hands). The heat of the chilli is offset by the sweet, moist mango pieces. Be sure not to let it sit around too long, as it gets watery over time.
1 ripe (but not too soft) mango
1 large capsicum (bell pepper)
1 tsp minced fresh chilli (we used a very hot red Scotch bonnet, hence the small amount)
2 heaped tabs fresh coriander (cilantro)
the juice of 2 limes (about 2 tabs)
1/2 tsp seasalt

  • Finely dice the mango and pepper, and add to a mixing bowl with the chilli.
  • Chop the coriander very finely- scissors are great for this- and add to the bowl combining well.
  • Mix in the salt and lime juice, and you're done- simple as that :)

Although it's colourful, we kept the flavours quite simple, to complement the salsa.
Mexican Rice
This doesn't really need a recipe; it's so simple and so adaptable to what you have. For 5-6 portions as a side, we used 1 1/2 cups (250ml) dry weight of rice. American long grain would be more authentic, but we had basmati in the cupboard and that was just fine. We put the finished rice in a foil-covered dish and kept it warm in the oven before serving with the quesadillas, guacamole, salsa and a green salad.
white basmati rice
chopped bell pepper
sweetcorn kernels
compound hing
dried oregano
tomato puree
a splash of olive oil
  • Wash the rice and put in a pan with the water (your usual amount).
  • Add the olive oil and seasalt.
  • Halfway through cooking, add all the ingredients except the tomato puree.
  • When all the water is absorbed, stir about 1 tab tomato puree and stir roughly- it's nice to get little pockets of it rather than it being evenly distributed.

Mexican rice looks great presented in a glazed earthenware dish


  1. Mango and pepper a perfect sweet, tangy and sour combination!


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