True Mexican cuisine isn’t unhealthy, however, what restaurants do to Americanize it does make it a very unhealthy food that causes gain weight and fills our blood with life threatening cholesterol. The foods of Mexico are not only healthy, they are delicious and inexpensive. Here are some tips for eating healthy Mexican foods that are nutritious and delicious.
*Eat True Mexican Foods
Most menu items at fast food joints aren’t Mexican at all. True Mexican food is all about using fresh or dried vegetables, herbs and peppers. When creating Mexican dishes avoid using canned vegetables and salsa that contain high amounts of sodium. You won’t need that extra cheese or richness of fats if you use a combination of herbs and spices such as oregano, cilantro, cloves, cinnamon and cumin
Avoid the menu items at Mexican fast food restaurants that are deep-fried and were created or altered to please the palate of those who grew up with saltier, fat filled foods and with fried meat as the base of each meal. Some that were created in America and are not Mexican are chimichangas, nachos and fajitas.
*Use Refried Beans
Refried beans are cooked pinto beans that are fried until dry. However, you can make delicious and healthy refried beans by adding cooked and mashed pinto beans to a dry iron skillet and stirring constantly over med-high heat until they are dry. You don’t need to add any fat and if stirred constantly, they will not stick to the pan.
These are delicious served as a side with fresh, low-sodium salsa spooned on top or they can be cooled and then have the salsa and low-fat cheddar cheese stirred in, to create a delicious dip for baked tortilla chips.
*Use Brown Rice
Rice is a basic part of Mexican cooking and brown rice taste just as good as white with a little of the right seasoning. Add chopped mint and lime juice to the pot when cooking rice to serve with seafood or chicken or cook it in chicken or beef broth and add some jalapenos, oregano and dried tomatoes as it cooks.
*Use Whole Wheat Tortillas For Burritos And Chips
A truly healthy choice is a whole-wheat tortilla instead of a white flour tortilla. Use, fried ground turkey, tasty refried beans, spicy fresh salsa, crunchy lettuce and some low-fat cheese and sour cream for a real mouth watering burrito. They can also be fried or baked into tasty, crunchy chips for your favorite dips.
*Tacos And Quesadillas
Tacos and quesadillas are favorites and you can lighten the fat and calorie load by using low-fat cheese and sour cream, grilled chicken breast strips or ground turkey or chicken and fresh lettuce, tomatoes and onions.
Instead of frying chicken or flank steak for fajitas, try marinating in lemon or lime juice and grilling over mesquite flames. Add sauteed vegetables such as tomatoes, onions, bell pepper, scallions and garlic. For an added touch of flavor and texture, add avocado slices and fresh spicy salsa instead of a fatty sauce.
Enchiladas made with strips of grilled chicken or turkey and topped with turkey chili are no longer as fattening as they would be if fried. Saute chunks of onion to add to your chili and use fresh tomatoes to cut down on the sodium. For a great, healthy sauce, check out this recipe.
Traditional tamales are very labor intensive but are very low-fat because they are cooked in steam rather than fat. They depend on lots of spices for a delicious flavor. Serve on a bed of brown rice cooked in chicken stock with a few jalapenos added for loads of flavor.
Salads are always healthy if you’re careful of the dressings and added meats. Use lots of fresh vegetables, a little grilled meat and low-fat cheeses topped with a light dressing. You can make a light Mexican dressing with lemon juice, olive oil, onion, fresh green chilies, fresh parsley, garlic, cilantro and cumin. Just place it all in a blender and pulse until well blended.
Mexican cooking doesn’t have to be loaded with fat to be delicious, healthy and satisfying. Follow these tips for eating healthy Mexican foods and eat south of the border whenever you want.