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Mexican-inspired

Mexican-inspired

dishessure to appeal to the whole family!

When the kids ask, "what's for supper?" and you tell them you're serving up Mexican food, you're bound to have a happy bunch on your hands. That's because Mexican dishes are an unmistaken fan favourite with broad consumer appeal, a style of cuisine loaded with complex flavours and fresh ingredients.

Food fads may come and go, but Mexican is here to stay. You can thank traditional favourites like crunchy tacos or flavour-packed fajitas for that. In fact, one of the fastest-rising food trends in recent years is the hot-enough-for-ya jalapeño and cheese combination. Jalapeños have been one of the hottest food trends, seeing an increase in popularity of 84%over the last three years in 2019. Pair these jalapeños with cheese for an unbeatable tasty match: cool, creamy cheese cuts the heat of the jalapeño. You'll find this pairing making its way onto so many Mexican dishes and into the hearts and tummies of food-lovers.

Mexican feasts are made to be savoured year-round, whether you're hosting a Taco Tuesday gathering in the backyard, finally getting around to trying out that fajita recipe, or serving up some heartwarming chilli on that first cold day of the year. In this article, we invite you to experience all the rich, intense flavours and tastes that make Mexican food so enjoyable, with a few meal ideas peppered in to serve at your next family fiesta. Is your mouth watering yet?

What makes Mexican food so delicious?

An abundance of zesty herbs. An array of earthy, spicy seasonings. A hit of jalapeño here and there. These are just some of the fixings you'll find in your average Mexican recipe. Unique flavour notes and traditional tastes come from a confluence of Spanish and indigenous Mexican elements that have shaped Mexican food into a treasured cuisine. Popular Mexican spices like cumin, coriander and chilli powder are all common ingredients that add complexity and depth to every bite. As a parent, you want delicious meals that incorporate every group to ensure your kids get the nutrition they need. Mexican food is a perfect choice, as so many protein-rich meals also contain bright, sunny vegetables and other essential nutrients.

Perhaps what makes Mexican meals so delicious is that you get to top every plate with piles (and piles) of shredded cheese. Though Cheddar is a popular choice, Mozzarella or Havarti would also make great toppings. The free-flowing cheese is as good a reason as any to make something Mexican-inspired the next time you need meal inspo.

On the Mexican menu

Call it comfort food with a kick. Mexican food is renowned for its intricate flavours, with every dish having so many different layers. Many staples are spicy, but never scorching hot (unless you add some extra chilli powder). Earthy, but not too intense. There's also plenty of zesty herbs to go around with coriander and garlic often used to season. Below, more ingredients on every Mexican menu.

Vibrant veggies

Beyond its flavourful palette, Mexican food incorporates tons of fresh vegetables in every dish. For starters, make sure to include lots of sweet corn onto your plate – grilled corn on the cob is a great meal choice or base for a salad. Fresh tomatoes are often used in salsa or as a taco topper. While avocados are fruit and most often appear as a base for side dishes like guacamole, this nutrient-rich ingredient can be your plate's star or used as a garnish when thinly sliced. Try our corn on the cob or our Tex-Mex steak salad recipes which integrate these delicious vegetable ingredients.

Beans, beans, beans

A star of Mexican dishes, beans are densely-flavoured and a high source of protein. Dishes made with white or black pinto beans are incredibly popular. If you're looking for an innovative way to transform these pantry staples into a flavourful meal, turn to a white chicken chili recipe to fill up the whole family's tummies. Make a big batch at the beginning of the week and have it for lunch through Friday.

Tortilla everything

Tortillas play a significant part in so many Mexican dishes. Made from either flour or corn (though corn is the more traditional method of preparation), tortillas are an ultra-thin flatbread that is almost crepe-like in texture and present in so many of your favourite dishes, like fajitas or soft shell tacos. If you're looking to incorporate tortillas into your weeknight meals, try our grilled steak tacos with medium Cheddar cheese. Or, give our Tacos Al Pastor with spicy Tex Mex shredded cheese a try for your next taco night with friends. Even though tacos are considered Mexican celebration food, you don't need an occasion or excuse to enjoy something this delicious.

Have some jalapeños

Crowd-pleasing peppers are a celebrated part of so many Mexican dishes, and the jalapeño is one of the most popular choices. Jalapeños are deep green medium-sized chilli peppers that enhance so many of your favourite Mexican mains while adding ample heat to sides like salsa. If you're looking for a creative way to incorporate them, serve these pulled pork tostadas with pineapple-jalapeño salsa for a signature dish that'll satisfy the whole family. This meal would make the perfect moment to try our newest flavour, Mexican Fiesta Marble Cheddar cheese with jalapeño, a blend of mild yellow Cheddar and sharp white Cheddar, lightly enhanced with jalapeño peppers for a little heat. Heads up: jalapeños range from moderate to very spicy, so they may not be suitable for the young ones. 

Family fun

Besides all the aromatic and unbelievably delicious flavours, part of the joy that comes from making Mexican food isn't just eating it. Mexican cuisine is the kind of dining that brings the whole family together from start to finish. Kids will love all the sizzle that comes with prepping the meal and the DIY assembly required with so many Tex Mex dishes. Gather the whole family, work as a team, and make mealtime magic happen.

Cheese, please!

Cheese is an indispensable element in any Mexican lunch or dinner. From bowls of chilli to enchiladas, no dish would be complete without it being served by the handful. The right cheese elevates any Mexican dish, so choose your favourite: Armstrong Smoky Spicy shredded cheese, Tex Mex Spicy shredded cheese, or sliced cheeses like Armstrong sliced Monterey Jack with Jalapeño all have pronounced, piquant flavour. Are you serving up fajitas for the family? Our creamy, marbled Tex Mex shredded cheese mix, or our brand-new Mexican Fiesta cheese block are all worthy choices sure to make mouths water.

Easy as uno, dos, tres!

We've got plenty of easy weeknight meals to inspire your Mexican meal. Taco-stuffed shells made with marble Cheddar cheese are like a trip around the world, incorporating elements of Italian and Mexican cuisine into one delicious dish. Chicken Enchiladas are a delightful oven-baked meal, and we've got a recipe that includes garden-fresh, thinly-sliced zucchini for a little hit of green. Want to give nachos new life? Try this recipe! Things get kicked up a notch with the addition of Italian sausage for a meaty dish covered in shredded cheese.

When it comes to putting together the perfect Mexican recipe, the right ingredients — along with copious amounts of grated cheese, of course — make the meal. However, the most essential ingredient is enjoying every bite with your loved ones, so be sure to include plenty with every meal you make.

 

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