¡Viva México! Mexican Food Made Healthy!
The weather is warming up outside, so how about giving your meals a dose of heat too? Mexican inspired dishes are easy, fun, and flavorful and with a few healthy substitutions, made-over Mexican meals will be on your dinner table just in time for Cínco de Mayó! Use these tips when preparing your next South of the Border meal!
Mexican cuisine just isn’t Mexican without cheese! Keep it healthy and prepare dishes with low-fat or fat-free versions, sticking to about 1 ounce or ¼ cup per serving. If a recipe calls for mostly cheese, like cheese quesadillas, add in veggies and/or beans and cut the amount of cheese in half.
Corn vs. Flour Tortillas
When making fajitas, tacos, or enchilada, opt for soft corn tortillas. Since they are soft, they usually haven’t been fried. They are also made from whole grain corn and contain less sodium and about half the fat and calories of similar sized flour tortillas. Plus, these six-inch rounds have built in portion control since they are smaller than most flour tortillas.
Better with Beans!
Traditionally prepared with rice or served refried, frijoles are a staple in the Mexican diet. To cut calories and fat, choose fat-free versions of refried beans. For an easy side dish, look for canned black or pinto beans in cumin, chili or lime sauce in the International Foods Aisle.
Make your own refried beans! Sauté 1 can of black beans with 2 tbsp canning liquid and 1 tbsp cumin in a medium skillet. Mash with the back of a wooden spoon until smooth.
Kicked Up Condiments!
Salsa, guacamole and sour cream — the triplet of toppings in most Mexican dishes. Fresh or jarred salsa is a low-calorie way to add lots of flavor to your tacos, baked corn chips, or quesadillas. Guacamole contains healthy monounsaturated fats, since it is made with avocados, but limit portions to about 2 tablespoons in order to keep fat and calories in check. When it comes to sour cream, choose a reduced fat version or try substituting low-fat or fat-free Greek yogurt in place of sour cream. Try this! Mix 2 Tbsp salsa with ¼ cup nonfat Greek yogurt. It’s a cool, creamy topping for tacos or even salads!