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Mexican Food Made Easy with Marcela Vallalodid

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By Rachel Stockton

Foodies, take note – the Food Network has a new show in store for its viewers:  Mexican Food Made Easy with Marcela Vallalodid, premiering January 23.

Vallalodid, who won 4th place in a Martha Stewart cooking contest, grew up in Mexico and California and throughout the series will transform some traditional Mexican dishes into healthy family meals.

Traditionally, Mexican food has not been on anyone’s A-list for healthy fare; but that’s too bad, because in actuality, classic Mexican dishes are chock full of healthy nutrients.  Lentils, avocados, corn tortillas – all are staples of Mexican food dishes.  But Vallalodid goes beyond the obvious with recipes from her cook book Fresh Mexico.

Recipes for squash, roasted chicken (pre-cooked from a rotisserie, Vallalodid admits) and even Brussels sprouts – clearly not what most people think of when driving through Taco Bell.

And if you are a traditionalist, don’t worry; Vallalodid’s book is full of classic such as cheesy rice with poblano peppers and fried flour tortillas.

The book is also full of stories from Vallalodid’s childhood; her descriptions are almost literary.

Mexican Food – A Brief History

One of the reasons Mexican food is so unique is that the cuisine is a convergence of several different cultures.   While historians believe that corn tortillas came from the Mayan Indians, the 1521 invasion of Mexico by Spain also influenced many Mexican dishes.

According to Food and Wine, the Portuguese are responsible for introducing chili peppers to Mexico, and tamales can be traced all the way back to pre-Columbus days, although the first documented mention of them dates back to the 1550s, when the Aztecs served the dish to the Spaniards. 

Not only will Marcela Vallalodid’s show spark interest in Mexican food cooking, it might also serve as a colorful history lesson.



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