Poor tacos with potato peelings. Photography by Ignacio ‘Nacho’ Urquiza

Try a healthy and affordable slice of Mexican vegetarian cuisine via these tasty tacos

Tacos de pobre might make for a budget-conscious dinner, but they’re rich in both taste and nutrients.

One of the great pleasures of trying a new cuisine is discovering the different ways in which home cooks around the world approach ingredients. Consider the potato. First discovered in the Americas, and now cultivated, cooked and eaten almost everywhere, many of us peel our spuds, before boiling, mashing or roasting them.

However, as author Margarita Carrillo Arronte points out in The Mexican Vegetarian Cookbook, we might be doing it all wrong. Arronte is an author, chef, TV host, and prominent Mexican food advocate; she campaigned successfully for Mexican cuisine to be entered into UNESCO”s list of Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity.

Now, in her new book, she guides readers through the lighter, healthier, and often, more economical side of Mexican cookery. Not all of her dishes call for fancy spices, or elaborate kitchen utensils. A few, such as tacos de pobre con cáscrasa de papa for example, even hint at their frugal promise in their names.

This dish name translates as poor tacos with potato peelings, though the recipe is a little more complicated than that sounds. Alongside 2¼ lb/1 kg cleaned, raw potato peelings (which are higher in fibre and vitamins than the vegetable’s white fluffy, innards), this recipe also calls for corn oil, for shallow frying, a large white onion (halved and thinly sliced), as well as a couple of serrano chiles, cut into thin strips, 8-12 corn or wheat tortillas, sea salt, and chile sauce or salsa of your choice, to serve.

First get enough oil for shallow-frying in a frying pan or skillet and sauté the potato peelings. When they are almost golden, add the onion and chile and sauté until the onion is translucent. Season with salt to taste. Spoon onto a plate lined with paper towels, to absorb excess oil. Finally, heat the tortillas and serve as tacos with the potato peeling filling, with chile sauce or salsa on the side. You can even arrange them inside a basket like tacos de canasta, the book suggests, to give this simple dish a fancy look.

The Mexican Vegetarian Cookbook

For more on this recipe, as well as much more besides, order a copy of The Mexican Vegetarian Cookbook here.