I’ve never considered myself much of a cook, but I’ve grown to actually enjoy being in the kitchen. It helps to have a beautiful kitchen that we own 😃 This year, I’ve been challenging myself to try a new recipe every week.
My girl Kirsten is the beautiful face behind Mesa de Vida, a line of healthy, all-natural, low sodium cooking sauces. She reached out to see if I wanted to try a couple of her sauces, and I immediately said yes. One, because I love supporting women and local business owners; and two, because her sauces reflect all the reasons why I started cooking more for myself in the first place.
Made simply with nutritious vegetables, fruits, and her signature blends of balanced spices and herbs, Mesa de Vida is free of GMOs, added sugars, preservatives, and dairy. They also contain no animal products, perfect for vegan lifestyles, as well. Most are nut free and soy free, so even families with a multitude of allergies can sit down to the same meal.
I received the North African Harissa and Smoky Latin sauces and noticed that Kirsten had gone one step further, providing two of her favorite recipes from her rich archive of recipes - all of which are available online for anyone to enjoy. Now I was REALLY excited to try the sauces in two delicious meals!
The first recipe I made was North African-inspired vegetable tagine, with the North African Harissa sauce. A tagine is a traditional cone-shaped pot used to cook many dishes traditional in North African as well as the Middle-East. I recreated it using my slow cooker pot in the oven. I haven’t been feeling like eating meat lately, but I was worried how I’d feel about an all-vegetable dish. It turned out AMAZING. I reveled in eating that veggie tagine all week. So much so that I still think of it often!
The next week I made a healthy tortilla soup with the Smoky Latin sauce. It was such a clean and light alternative to traditional tortilla soups I’ve had in the past, and such a treat to pair it with some blue corn tortilla chips. We loved this soup so much I actually forgot to take after photos of it!
Sometimes flavor is sacrificed in favor of all-natural, healthy sauces or recipes that are free of all those things we’ve become programmed to crave. These two Mesa de Vida sauces actually packed all the flavor in each of these dishes! I loved the depth of each sauce. You can really taste them, whether it’s the base of a soup or a richer dish like the tagine.