Int’l Family Meal Challenge – Night #1

We loved the first COVID-19 Family Meal Challenge so much we decided to keep it going with a twist of international cuisine.

We once again drew names out of a hat for the type of international cuisine and the night of the week we would have to each prepare a meal.

Mom ended up with the first meal (after 3 attempts to draw otherwise) and the selection of “Mexican”.

Mexican Meal Challenge

Since I’m not a fan of most Mexican style plates where everything is mushed together, I put my spin on simplistic, fresh Mexican and this is what we ended up with:

  • Shrimp Ceviche
  • Minty Mango Slaw
  • Grilled Vegetable Quesadillas
  • Unfried Ice Cream Cake


Minty Mango Slaw

  • 3 Limes, divided
  • 1/4 of a Red Onion, thinly sliced
  • Head of Purple Cabbage, thinly sliced
  • 2 Ripe Mangoes, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 1 Jalapeno, super thinly sliced
  • 3-4 Tbsp. of Fresh Mint leaves, thinly sliced
  • Kosher Salt
  • Black Pepper

Squeeze 2 limes and place lime juice in a small dish and then add the red onion to the juice and let soak while prepping the other ingredients.

In a large bowl, add the thinly sliced cabbage, mango, jalapeno and mint.

Pour lime juice and onions over top of slaw.

Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Squeeze juice of 1 lime over top and toss salad.


Grilled Vegetable and Black Bean Quesadillas with Lime Crema

Grilled Veggies

  • 1 cup of Organic Frozen Corn or 2 Fresh Corn Husks
  • 2 small Zucchinis, cut into 1/4″ full length slices
  • 1 Bunch of Scallions
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • Kosher Salt and Black Pepper
  • 1/2 cup canned Black Beans, rinsed and drained

Preheat grill pan over medium high heat, drizzle a small amount of olive oil onto both sides of corn, zucchini and scallions and place in grill pan to cook until tender, turning to the other side after a few minutes.  Sprinkle with salt and pepper.  *Can also use outdoor grill.  Place corn and zucchini and black beans in a bowl.

Place scallions on cutting board and thinly slice (reserving 1 scallion for the salsa).  Add remainder to corn.  Set aside.

Spicy Salsa

  • 1 Scallion, thinly sliced
  • 1 cup Cherry Tomatoes, coarsely chopped (I like to use a mini food processor for this)
  • 1 Avocado, pitted and diced
  • 1 Jalapeno, diced
  • 2 Tbsp. Fresh Cilantro, finely chopped
  • Juice of 1 Lime
  • Kosher Salt (approx. 1/2 tsp.)

In a medium bowl, combine the scallion, tomatoes, avocado, jalapeno and cilantro.  Drizzle with juice of 1 Lime and season with salt.  Toss to coat.

Lime Crema

  • 1/4 cup Sour Cream
  • 2 Garlic Cloves, minced
  • 1 Lime, zest and then juiced.
  • Sprinkle of Salt

Stir all ingredients in a small bowl.  Serve as a dip for the quesadillas.


  • Flour Tortillas
  • 1 cup Monterey Jack cheese, shredded
  • Roasted Vegetables & Beans (from above)
  • Salsa (from above)
  • Butter

Preheat large griddle or grill pan on medium high heat.

Arrange as many tortillas as you need on a cutting board.  Layer tortillas with cheese,  roasted vegetables, salsa and another small layer of cheese, place another tortilla on top of each.

Spread a pat of butter across griddle, place tortillas onto griddle and cook until golden brown on both sides.

Place onto cutting board and cut into wedges and serve with lime crema.


Shrimp Ceviche

  • 12 Limes, squeezed to equal 1 cup
  • 1 16 oz. bag of cooked Frozen Shrimp without the tail (you can use raw shrimp too but here in Colorado, it’s not easy to come by so I used frozen cooked shrimp)
  • 1/2 Red Onion, finely diced
  • 1 Cucumber, finely diced
  • 1/2 pint Cherry Tomatoes, finely diced (using paper towel, squeeze out any excess juice)
  • 1 Jalapeno, finely diced
  • 1/2 cup of Fresh Cilantro, chopped
  • 1/4 cup of Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 Lemon, juiced
  • 2 Limes, juiced
  • Kosher Salt
  • Black Pepper
  • Tostadas (optional) – white corn tortillas fried in oil for 2-3 a side until golden
  • Cilantro for garnish

Pour 1 cup of lime juice over top of shrimp in a large shallow dish. Cover and allow to soak for one hour. This will also allow the shrimp to defrost.

In a medium bowl, place the diced onion, cucumber, tomatoes, jalapeno and cilantro.

In a glass measuring cup, combine the Worcestershire sauce and juice of a lemon and 2 limes.  Drizzle 1/2 over top of onion, cucumber, tomatoes, jalapeno and cilantro. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and then toss to coat.

When shrimp is ready, combine with vegetables and then drizzle remaining Worcestershire mixture over top and toss to coat.

Serve on tostadas or in a small glass and garnish with cilantro.

Serving It All Up

Had some fun with the presentation and served everything up on wooden cedar planks (typically sold with salmon).



Unfried Ice Cream Cake

(I probably wouldn’t have otherwise prepared a dessert but it was required for the challenge per kid request.  I forgot to take a picture of the finished version – this was a quick one from my phone after it melted a bit, oops…)

unfried ice cream

  • 1/2 Gallon Vanilla Bean Ice Cream, softened
  • 1 stick Butter
  • 1 cup Brown Sugar
  • 2 cups Corn Flakes, crushed
  • ¼ tsp. Cinnamon
  • Torani Caramel Sauce
  • Torani Chocolate Sauce

In a medium saucepan, melt butter and brown sugar over medium high heat. Add brown sugar.  Bring to a boil and let boil for exactly 2 minutes.  Remove from heat and stir in cornflakes and cinnamon.  Stir to coat.

Press half of cornflake mixture into the bottom of a 9 x 13 pan.

Using spatula, top with softened ice cream. Smoothing across until evenly spread across pan.

Sprinkle rest of cornflake mixture evenly over top.

Cover with tin foil and place in freezer for 3-4 hours or until firmly set.

Remove from freezer and drizzle caramel and chocolate sauce across top.

Dip sharp knife into a cup of hot water and then immediately slice ice cream into squares and serve immediately.

This was such a fun meal to prepare and everyone absolutely raved about it!

Will be fun to see what tomorrow night brings.  Ooh la la!  I am done cooking for the week!

Much Love,


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