This blog post has been compensated by Dairy Farmers of America, Inc. All opinions are mine alone. #LaVaquitaCheese #CollectiveBias #Ad
Mexican food might be my cuisine of choice these days, and living in Texas for 5+ years has only added to my deep and abiding love for it. Because our state shares a border with Mexico, we have the fabulous perk of having very authentic, and delicious Mexican products at our fingertips, both in restaurant form, and in the grocery stores.
One of my favorite authentic finds is La Vaquita® Queso Fresco. It was created in the 70's by a woman who emigrated from Mexico to the US, and has been a staple in Hispanic food in Texas ever since. And it is yummy! La Vaquita® actually has a few different types of cheese; they have queso and cremas, so they can supply all your cheese and crema needs for your next Mexican fiesta.
Despite having eaten a lot of Mexican food while growing up, I don't know that I had ever tried queso fresco until moving here. The only time I had tried it was at a restaurant a few years ago, and despite liking it, had forgotten about it until a few months ago, when it entered my life again. And how glad I am that it did!
After rediscovering queso fresco, we have eaten it with just about everything (and by itself), but it is particularly delicious crumbled over this gorgeous veggie bowl. I have become a huge fan of large bowls of vegetables and grains, but they are never quite the same without a heavy sprinkling of cheese.
Skip the holiday cookies, and make yourself this amazing and healthy veggie bowl instead! Your brain, mouth and stomach will thank you for it!
**Ibotta.com (a rebate site) is currently running a special on La Vaquita® Queso Fresco right now, and you can earn a $1.50 at your grocery store from their site. Check out all the details here.
Mexican Veggie Bowl with Queso Fresco:
1 medium sweet potato
1 Tbs olive oil
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp cumin seeds
1 cup red cabbage, thinly sliced, then chopped
1/4 cup corn, fresh, frozen or canned
2 tsp lime juice
4 cups fresh spinach
2 cups cooked quinoa
1 cup cooked black beans
4 -8 oz La Vaquita® Queso Fresco, crumbled
fresh lime juice (optional)
salt, to taste
Preheat your oven to 400°F. Wash and chop your sweet potato into 1/2" cubes. Line a baking sheet with a silicone mat and spread the sweet potato across it. Pour the olive oil over the top, and then sprinkle with garlic and cumin seeds. Stir with a spoon to evenly distribute oil and spices. Place the potatoes in the oven to cook for 20-25 minutes, until they are soft. Flip them halfway through the cook time.
While your potato is cooking, combine your red cabbage, corn and 2 tsp of lime juice in a medium bowl. Toss to coat and let sit for 20 minutes.
Make your dressing (see recipe and directions below) and set aside.
Now begin stacking your salad, starting with the spinach on the bottom, next, add a layer of quinoa, add the black beans, then, when your red cabbage and corn has finished marinating in lime juice, sprinkle some of that on your bowl, then top with cooked sweet potato.
Pour your dressing over the whole bowl, and generously top with your crumbled La Vaquita® Queso Fresco. Enjoy!
Avocado Lime Dressing:
1 medium avocado
1/4 cup fresh cilantro (stems and all)
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp lime juice
1 cup water
Combine all ingredients in a food processor and blend until smooth.
I found the La Vaquita® Queso Fresco by the Deli at my local Fiesta in Austin, TX.