Hispanic Heritage Month is celebrated in the United States from September 15 to October 15. The celebration honors the rich cultural contributions of Hispanic and Latino Americans, including their diverse and delicious cuisine. From the spicy dishes of Mexico to the aromatic stews of Cuba, there’s a lot of diversity across Hispanic nations’ cuisine. However, they all share an emphasis on fresh, whole ingredients.
Vegetables play a central role in many Hispanic dishes, providing essential vitamins, minerals, and dietary fiber. From fajita-style onions and peppers to tomato-rich salsas, vegetables add a burst of flavor and nutrition to many dishes. These vegetables are low in calories and rich in antioxidants, promoting overall health.
Beans are a staple in Hispanic cuisine, featured prominently in dishes like frijoles refritos, arroz con frijoles and more. These legumes provide plant-based protein and a good dose of fiber, which supports digestive health and helps control blood sugar levels. They are also rich in vitamins and minerals, including folate and iron, essential for overall well-being.
The creative use of spices and herbs is one of the reasons Hispanic cuisine is so flavorful. Check out this recipe featuring staple ingredients like garlic, cumin, oregano and cilantro:
16 large shrimp
1 Tbsp. olive oil
1⁄4 tsp. chili powder
1⁄4 tsp. garlic powder
1⁄4 tsp. onion powder
1⁄2 tsp. dried oregano
1⁄2 tsp. paprika
1⁄4 tsp. ground cumin
1 cup brown rice, cooked
1⁄2 cup fresh or canned corn
2 Roma tomatoes, diced
1 bell pepper, diced
1⁄2 red onion, diced
1⁄4 cup cilantro lime dressing (recipe below)
2 Tbsp. chipotle ranch or similar sauce, store-bought
1⁄4 cup cotija cheese, optional
Preheat oven by turning on the broiler.
Rinse the shrimp, pat to dry, then add to a bowl.
Add olive oil and spices, then mix gently until shrimp are evenly coated.
Arrange the shrimp in a single layer on a foil-lined baking sheet. Broil them until cooked through. Depending on their size, this should take between 5-7 minutes. For small or medium shrimp, cooking time may be as short as 3 minutes.
In a bowl, add brown rice, veggies and broiled shrimp. Drizzle over chipotle ranch and cilantro lime dressing and sprinkle cotija cheese if desired.
Cilantro lime dressing is a zesty and flavorful condiment that not only enhances the taste of your favorite dishes but also offers several health benefits. The lime juice supports digestion and fresh cilantro leave have anti-inflammatory properties. This vibrant dressing is a delicious addition to bowl dishes, salads, tacos, grilled meats, or as a dip.