Delaney Mes is a food writer and blogger.

Delaney Mes: Down Mexico way (+recipes)

Put everything on the table and let people help themselves.

Delaney's Mexican spread. Photo / Michael Craig
Delaney's Mexican spread. Photo / Michael Craig

Mexican is a great way to feed a crowd. It's perfect for people with food intolerances as a lot of Mexican food is gluten free, and it's great for vegans too. Braised beef or crispy fish can be added to this feast for fish and meat-eaters.

Charred broccoli and cauliflower salad

Charred cauliflower and broccoli salad. Photo / Michael Craig
Charred cauliflower and broccoli salad. Photo / Michael Craig

1 head broccoli, chopped into florets and stalk chopped into bite-sized pieces
½ head cauliflower, chopped into florets and stalk chopped into bite- sized pieces
1 Tbsp olive oil
1 generous pinch sea salt
1 bunch spring onions, sliced with ends removed
½ cup thinly sliced marinated red peppers
Juice of 2 limes
3 Tbsp chopped almonds (or other nut of your choice, optional)

Lay broccoli and cauliflower on a baking tray, drizzle with oil and season with salt and pepper.

Place high on grill in a very hot oven (about 220C) for about 15-20 minutes, until the edges char.

Remove from the oven and place in a bowl. Add spring onions, peppers, lime juice and nuts. Toss gently and serve. It works well in a taco instead of meat.

Jalapeno black beans

Jalapeno black beans. Photo / Michael Craig
Jalapeno black beans. Photo / Michael Craig

Serves 5-6

2 cups black beans
5 cups water
2 bay leaves
1 tsp salt
Cracked black pepper
2 Tbsp olive oil
1 brown onion, finely chopped
½ cup chopped jalapenos (I used them from a jar, drained)
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 tsp chilli powder
1 tsp ground cumin
2 Tbsp brown sugar
1 Tbsp rice wine vinegar
Juice of 1 lime

Rinse the black beans and soak in boiling water for an hour.

Drain well, then add to a large saucepan with the 5 cups of water.

Add the bay leaves and the salt and pepper, then bring to the boil. Reduce to a simmer and cook until soft - this can take 30-45 minutes.

Saute the onions and add the chopped jalapenos, garlic, chilli powder and cumin. Cook on a medium heat about 10 minutes.

Remove the bay leaves from the beans and add the onion mixture. Cook a further 30-45 minutes until thickened.

Add the sugar, taste and adjust as necessary - you may want to add more chilli or salt.

Remove from heat and add the vinegar and lime juice, then garnish with fresh coriander and a little extra chopped jalapenos. Serve with tortillas and slaw.

Smoked paprika and minty yoghurt

1 cup natural yoghurt (to make this vegan, use coconut yoghurt)
Pinch sea salt
2 tsp finely chopped mint
½ tsp smoked paprika
Juice of 1 lime

Mix all ingredients together.

Super seedy slaw

Super seedy slaw. Photo / Michael Craig
Super seedy slaw. Photo / Michael Craig

Makes 1 large slaw

½ cup sunflower seeds
¼ cup pumpkin seeds
½ cup mixed nuts of your choice,roughly chopped
1 tsp chipotle powder
½ red cabbage, thinly sliced
½ small green cabbage, thinly sliced
2 carrots, grated
1 red onion, thinly sliced
1 large bunch coriander, roughly chopped
1 small bunch Italian parsley, roughly chopped
1 small bunch mint, roughly chopped

Juice of 2 limes
2 Tbsp vinegar (red wine vinegar is good)
2 Tbsp olive oil
1 Tbsp honey
1 clove garlic, crushed
1 tsp cumin

In a frying pan, add the seeds, nuts and the chipotle powder. Stir constantly over a medium heat, until golden. Set aside.

Add cabbage, carrots, onion, herbs and nuts to a large bowl. Toss to combine.

To make the dressing, place all ingredients in a small jug or bowl and whisk well until emulsified.

Add dressing to the slaw and toss to combine.


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