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Meatless Monday: Zucchini tomato goulash

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Los Cabos (the capes) wraps around the southern tip of the peninsula. The region is mostly mountainous, rocky desert, quite beautiful (and to my Midwestern eyes, exotic) under the relentless sun and blue skies. And for all the heat (mid-90s during the day), the dry desert air and nearly constant ocean breezes keep things reasonably comfortable, especially in the shade. At night, the temperatures dip into the 60s, and jackets are encouraged. As a result, the lines between indoor and outdoor spaces are often blurred or obliterated – you flow seamlessly from one to another. I am a sucker for this use of space.

Our hotel, the newly opened Grand Solmar Land’s End Resort & Spa, is a perfect example. The spacious lobby area is open at both ends; the ocean breezes and sounds let you know you’re not cooped up inside as you sit around large, low tables in big, comfy chairs, sipping your check-in welcome drink. And there are no interior hallways, just covered outdoor walkways to take you to your suite.

But it wasn’t all refreshments and cool breezes. We were expected to work. Well, a little, at least. So one morning we made our way to Huerta Los Tamarindos, an organic farm operated by chef/restaurateur Enrique Silva. We trekked around the fields and then up to an 1880s brick ranch house that has been converted to an inviting, well-equipped demonstration kitchen. There we helped prepare our lunch. Turns out fellow Chicagoan Rick Bayless had recently cooked in this very kitchen, filming an upcoming episode for his PBS series, Mexico: One Plate at a Time, and impressing Chef Silva with his exhaustive knowledge of regional Mexican cuisine.

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