Maria Parra Cano, a Le Cordon Bleu trained chef and the owner of Sana Sana Foods is on a mission to heal her community with ancestral foods. She was so kind to take time to share a Guest Chef Contribution, created with staples you can find at most Mexican markets.
In addition to her work at Sana Sana Foods, Maria also owns another small business called Indigena, where she says, “Indigena’s goal is to honor my mother and our ancestors by reaffirming our indigenous ways through the art of sewing.” Be sure to check out that link as well after the notes.
Makes 12 servings
2 medium Mexican squash, diced
4 medium red potatoes, diced
2 large *nopal leaves, diced
2 pieces corn on cob, kernels removed
2 cups **verdolagas, washed and trimmed
1 cup white onion, diced
4 cups homemade ***green salsa
2 tablespoons grapeseed or sunflower oil
salt and pepper, to taste
1. Once all items have been washed and chopped, use a medium pot or cazuela to cook the dish.
2. Begin by adding 2 tablespoons of grapeseed or sunflower oil to the pot. Let it warm.
3. Add the potatoes and let cook for about 5 minutes on medium heat.
4. Add the onion and let cook for another 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
5. Add all other vegetables to the pot and cover with the prepared green salsa.
6. Bring all ingredients to a boil, season with salt and pepper and then lower to a simmer. Cover the pot.
7. Once potatoes have completely cooked, turn off heat.
Pairs up nicely with frijoles de la olla and warm corn tortillas.
*Nopal leaves are the pads from the prickly pear cactus. You can find them cleaned and de-spined (usually sold in 1 lb. bags) at many Mexican grocery stores. Or, if you’re feeling adventurous, you can purchase them or harvest them with the spines still on which means you have to clean them. It’s very easy and you can see how to do that HERE on one of my YouTube videos
**Verdolagas, also known as common purslane, can be found at most Mexican grocery stores and possibly your local farmer’s market
***Homemade green salsa is easy to make, however, if you don’t have a recipe (I don’t have one for you at the moment), most grocers now sell their own version ready for you to take home
You can read more on Maria and her work at Sana Sana Foods, where she offers catering, classes, and meal planning in the Phoenix metro area HERE.
To see more on her work at Indigena, click on the link HERE.