Hispanic Fusion Flavors

Hispanic Fusion Flavors

Hispanic food—from Mexican quesadillas to Cuban pressed sandwiches—is technically an ethnic foodservice category, but because we’ve embraced these dishes for so many years, they don’t seem foreign…in fact they feel American. Generations ago, immigrant restaurateurs brought their authentic dishes to this country, yet along the way they morphed into something entirely unique to the U.S. Think breakfast burritos or hard-shell tacos. Fajitas or chili con queso. And while most of these fusions are delicious and craved by millions of customers, much of the nutritional value was left back in the kitchens of their home countries. Old-school nachos piled high with fatty refried beans, ground beef, and melted yellow cheese were ripe for a makeover. Ditto the soupy, mayonnaise-avocado concoction some call guacamole.

Today’s diners are savvier than ever—most say they want menus that offer more nutritious choices. That’s why a healthier, more produce-centric revolution is taking place—one that is being driven by the rising food force known as the Millennials. This influential generation demands more flavor-focused foods that incorporate on-trend ingredients so chefs are getting creative with ingredients that lend texture, color, and balance to many classic recipes.


Markon First Crop Red Onions

Pair With
Avocados, cilantro, corn, garlic, pork, and raw tomatoes.

Prepare
Pickle and use as garnishes on ceviche, conchinita pibil, and pozole; serve raw in salsas and pico de gallo; grill and use in salads and tacos.

Benefits
Red onions are an excellent source of quercetin, a bioflavonoid that can help reduce free radicals in the body, chromium that helps control glucose levels, and allicin that is said to promote cardiovascular health.

Usage Tip
Create bar snacks by stuffing fried plantains with carnitas, pickled red onions, and fresh cilantro.

Did You Know
Onions are related to asparagus, chives, Easter lilies, garlic, leeks, and shallots. They were thought to be a powerful medicine during the Civil War—General Ulysses S. Grant made sure his army always had a large supply on hand.


Markon First Crop Red & Yellow Bell Peppers

Pair With
Epazote, flour tortillas, grilled beef, herbed rice, and onions.

Prepare
Char over an open flame, peel skins and serve with grilled meats; stew with garlic and chicken thighs; roast and purée—add to gazpacho and summer soups.

Benefits
Red bell peppers are powerhouses of vitamin C, which is important in fueling the immune system and vitamin E, which keeps hair and skin youthful. Not to mention their high beta-carotene and lutein levels that help maintain eye health.

Usage Tip
Skip lard-laden refried pinto beans and top nacho chips with healthier black beans, diced avocado, chopped tomatoes, roasted red and yellow bell peppers, and crumbled queso fresco.

Did You Know
Although they are now grown all over the world, bell peppers are native to Mexico and South America. They were spread to the rest of the world by Spanish and Portuguese explorers during 16th and 17th centuries.


Ready-Set-Serve Pure Avocado Pulp

Pair With
Crab, eggs, lime juice, pineapples, quinoa, and romaine lettuce.

Prepare
Blend with RSS Urban Blend, RSS Pineapple Chunks, and RSS Proprietary Blend Orange Juice for a vitamin-rich smoothie; add to dips like hummus or creamed spinach; mix into salad dressings for a creamy component.

Benefits
Avocados are loaded with heart-healthy monounsaturated fatty acids (oleic acids) shown to reduce inflammation and have positive effects on the genes linked to cancer.

Usage Tip
Stir together RSS Pure Avocado Pulp, lime juice, cumin, salt and pepper. Add pomegranate seeds for citrusy flavor and texture contrast.

Did You Know
Cinco de Mayo and the Super Bowl compete with each other for the days when most avocados are consumed. They also contain more potassium than bananas!


Ready-Set-Serve Romaine Ribbons

Pair With
Jalapeño chile peppers, lemon juice, olives, pomegranate seeds, and tuna.

Prepare
Add deeper color and flavor to burritos, fajitas, and tacos; toss with avocado dressing, tomatoes, and watermelon radishes for a vibrant salad; layer with beans, beef, cheese, and sour cream for a sharable entrée.

Benefits
Romaine is actually 17% protein! Far from being nutritionally void, it also contains vitamin K, calcium, omega-3s, and more vitamin A than a carrot.

Usage Tip
Modernize taco salads by offering meat substitutes like tofu and tempeh; layer with tomatoes, avocado chunks, sour cream, romaine, and shredded cheese.

Did You Know
Romaine is low in oxalic acid—making it a good leafy green choice for those with kidney stone problems.


Ready-Set-Serve Shredded Kale

Pair With
Chickpeas, queso fresco, roasted cauliflower, sour cream, and sweet potatoes.

Prepare
Toss with lime juice and chili powder—roast until crisp; substitute kale for lettuce on tacos and tostadas; sauté and stuff in burritos and enchiladas.

Benefits
High in fiber with zero fat, kale is also concentrated in vitamins A and K, as well as iron.

Usage Tip
Add shredded kale and radicchio to quesadillas for a balance of nutty cheese and bitter greens.

Did You Know
Kale has more vitamin C than an orange. And cooking it doesn’t diminish its nutritional value.

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