It’s hard not to love Mexican food--the spicy, cheesy, creamy or crunchy goodness with every bite can just be too good to resist! But because Mexican food is often fried or topped with cheese it contains high amounts of sodium and saturated fat. According to the American Heart Association there are changes that you can make if you’re eating out. Their tips include:
- Tell your server not to bring fried tortilla chips to the table.
- If you order a taco salad, don’t eat the fried shell.
- Veracruz or other tomato-based sauces are better than cream or cheese sauces.
- Ask for low-fat sour cream or use salsa to add flavor.
And if you’re staying in, there are a lot of ways to make your Mexican dishes both nutritious AND delicious. We found 3 great recipes on NutritiousEats.com:
Prep Time: 25 minutes Cook Time: 10 minutes Total Time: 35 minutes
Yield: 2 tacos Serving Size: 4 servings
INGREDIENTS: 1 lb white fish (tilipia, red snapper, halibut) 1/2 teaspoon cumin 1/2 teaspoon coriander 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper salt and pepper to taste 2 cups cabbage slaw 8 corn or flour tortillas (6 inch) For the Mango Salsa: 1 mango, peeled and diced 1/2 red bell pepper, chopped 1/2 jalapeno, minced 1/4 cup cilantro leaves, chopped salt and pepper to taste 1 Tablespoon fresh lime juice For the Cilantro Crema: 1/4 cup Greek yogurt 1/4 cup light mayonnaise 1/4 cup cilantro leaves, chopped 1 clove garlic, grated 1/8 teaspoon salt squeeze of fresh lime juice DIRECTIONS: Prepare salsa by combining mango through lime juice in a small bowl. Prepare cilantro crema by combining Greek yogurt through lime juice in a small bowl. Set aside both. Prepare spice rub for fish: in a small bowl combine cumin through cayenne, rub all over fish. Season fish with salt and pepper. Grill on outdoor grill set to medium heat for ~3 to 3 1/2 minutes per side or until opaque and cooked through (depending on thickness of fish). Remove from grill and cut into chunks. To serve, warm tortillas for a minute on grill or for a few seconds in microwave. Place chunks of fish along center of tortilla and top with slaw, some mango salsa and cilantro crema. Serve with line wedges and hot sauce.
Yield: 9-10 enchiladas
INGREDIENTS: 2 Tablespoons of olive oil 1 red bell pepper, chopped 1 zucchini, chopped 1 squash, chopped 1 corn on the cob, kernels removed from cob 6 ounces Portobello mushrooms, cleaned and chopped 1 cup shredded cheddar and jack cheese combo, divided 1 teaspoon cumin 1/2 teaspoon chipotle chili powder salt and pepper 9 corn tortillas For the sauce: 14 ounce red enchilada sauce (such as Old El Paso Original) 1 cup chopped green bell pepper 1 cup chopped onion Toppings optional: chopped cilantro, reduced fat sour cream DIRECTIONS: Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Combine red bell pepper through Portobello mushrooms on a large cookie sheet. Drizzle with 2 Tablespoons of olive oil, season with salt and pepper and roast for 10 to 15 minutes or until lightly browned and tender. Meanwhile prepare sauce. Heat a nonstick skillet over medium heat. Spray with cooking spray or a drizzle of olive oil. Add chopped green bell pepper and chopped onion and saute for about 5 to 6 minute until tender but still crisp. Stir in enchilada sauce and bring to a boil, then reduce to simmer and simmer for about 5 minutes. Turn heat down to low until enchiladas are assembled. When roasted vegetables are done, transfer them to a large mixing bowl. Add cumin and chipotle chili powder and stir well to combine. Stir in 1/2 cup of shredded cheese. Reduce heat to 375 degrees. To assemble: wrap a few tortillas at a time in a damp paper towel and microwave 10-15 seconds or until softened. Fill them with a 1/3 cup of vegetable mixture. Roll tightly and place seem side down in 2 qt (11x7) casserole dish coating with cooking spray. Pour sauce over enchiladas. Top with remaining 1/2 cup of shredded cheese or more if you prefer. Bake at 375 degrees for 15 minutes or until cheese is melted and sauce is bubbly. Top with chopped cilantro and reduced fat sour cream if desired. Yield 9 enchiladas.
Prep Time: 5 minutes Total Time: 4 minutes
Yield: 2-3 servings (if stuffing avocado will yield 3 avocado halves)
INGREDIENTS: 5 ounce pouch wild caught boneless salmon 1/3 cup finely diced red bell pepper 2 Tablespoons sliced green onion 2 Tablespoons chopped cilantro 1/2 small jalapeno (more or less to taste) 2-3 Tablespoons fresh lime juice 1 Tablespoons Greek yogurt or sour cream (or could sub a little olive oil for a nondairy version) 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder 1/4 teaspoon cumin salt and pepper to taste salsa or hot sauce (optional to serve on top or stir into salad) DIRECTIONS: Drain salmon of juices. Add all ingredients to a bowl and mix gently with a spoon. Season to taste with salt, pepper and hot sauce. Spoon mixture onto a cut avocado half. Serve with salsa and extra lime wedges.