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How To Use Fresh Vegetables With Your Tamale Meal

Springtime has arrived. The birds are singing, bright colorful flowers are smiling and the planting season is well underway around the United States. In fact, vegetables that have already been planted early are ready to be harvested. With the aid of technology, planting season produces a wonderful array of fruits, herbs and vegetables for businesses that service the public.  

Kitchens everywhere will display a creative array of colorful and delicious edibles. Whether that be a main dish like “calabacitas” which is a delicious Mexican dish made with zucchini and corn simmered in a spicy fresh tomato and herb sauce and sprinkled with cheese, I prefer to use queso fresco, it’s a soft, mild and slightly tangy cheese. This dish will also make a good filling for delicious vegetarian tamales

The bright colors of springtime and warmer weather entice me into enjoying a fresh colorful bowl of fruit; watermelon, mango, pineapple, cantaloupe and cucumber, sprinkled with lemon, salt and a dash of chili powder. Yum! Sweet, inviting fruit bowls are always a nice accompaniment to your traditional tamale spread.

Mexican food has a reputation for use of toppings. Springtime brightens the delicious veggie toppings. Tacos and tostadas will usually be topped with any or all of these: shredded lettuce, diced tomatoes, green onions, cilantro, jalapenos, shredded or crumbly cheese, sour cream and of course salsa. Salsa always takes the Mexican food experience to greater heights! 
What is your preference? Do you like red or green salsa? Do you like it crunchy or smooth? Do you like it hot or mild? Do you like fruit in your salsa? I love to take all those above-mentioned veggie toppings, minus the lettuce and mix them all up, add fresh lemon juice, salt and pepper and make a “pico de gallo”, also called salsa fresca. Pico de gallo is tasty and refreshing. It’s great with tortilla chips and a perfect topping on your favorite Mexican dish. Authentic tamales topped with pico de gallo are delicious. 
To all those who relax while gardening, good on you! Enjoy the “therapeutic treatment” as you bring in the fresh bounty of organic fruits and vegetables. In the good old fashion American way of generosity, cook up or dice up a refreshing Mexican food delight and share it with your friends and family.

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