My husband & I have 2 different favorite categories of food: cheese & chocolate. (Just kidding, but not entirely.) I love Mexican food, he loves Italian food. We call this our “default food setting”. You know how it is, when you can’t decide what you’re in the mood for, most of us have a certain “genre” of food that we generally fall back on. I could eat cheese enchiladas for days on end. He could eat a pizza everyday of the week. Here’s 2 recipes from chef Kimo Elliot that are healthy takes on our favorite international cuisines… 1. CHIPOTLE TEMPEH This bold and spicy tempeh dish is rich with tomato and chipotle flavors. This Mexican-inspired dish will warm your stomach and your soul! It is also good served with brown rice. 8 oz. Tempeh, cut in 1“ cubes Marinade: 1 tablespoon chipotle paste 1 teaspoon granulated garlic 1 teaspoon granulated onion 2 tablespoons tomato paste 2 cups water 1 tablespoon lime juice 2 tablespoons agave or sweetener of choice 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes 1 teaspoon olive oil ½ medium onion, cubed 2 teaspoons garlic, minced cilantro, minced for garnish Combine tomato paste, water, lime juice, seasonings, agave and chipotle. Place tempeh in marinade in covered dish or pan in refrigerator for 1-2 hours or overnight. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Sautee onion and fresh garlic in olive oil until tender. Remove tempeh from marinade and set tempeh aside. Add marinade to sautéed onions and garlic. Bring to a simmer and cook 5 minutes. Place tempeh cubes in pan and cover with onion and marinade mixture. Cover with foil and bake for 30 minutes. Place tempeh on plates and garnish with cilantro (and extra pepper flakes if you want it more spicy.) Serves: 4 Cooking time: 45 minutes 2. GARDEN VEGETABLE PIZZA Straight from the garden, these vegetables make a colorful topping on this delicious pizza. The fresh basil and the delicateness of the vegetables give this pizza a light feel but packed with yummy pizza flavor. 1 teaspoon olive oil 1 teaspoon garlic, minced 2 x 9 inch pizza crusts (we use Udi’s*) 2 tablespoons pesto sauce 1 cup tomatoes, diced small 3 tablespoons red onion, minced 1 cup zucchini, shredded ¼ bunch basil, fresh, sliced thinly 2/3 cup goat cheddar, shredded 2/3 cup mozzarella, shredded Salt and pepper to taste Brush pizza crust with oil and garlic and bake in oven at 350 degrees for only 3 minutes (just enough to infuse the oil & garlic flavors, but not enough to brown.) Remove from oven and let cool to room temperature. Spread pesto on cooled pizza crusts. Sprinkle with 1/3 cup of both types of cheese per crust. Layer with zucchini, onions and tomatoes. Sprinkle with remaining cheese, salt and pepper. Bake at 375 degrees for 8-10 minutes, until cheese is melted and lightly browned. Garnish with basil and serve. Serves: 4 Cooking time: 25 minutes *Udi’s pizza crust is a gluten free pizza crust that is very thin and is sold at Whole foods and various health food stores. But any pizza crust you like will work. The thinner the better so the dough isn’t a distraction from the delicate flavors of the vegetables on top.