If the cold winter days are leaving you aching for warmer climes, why not spice up your day with a taste of Mexico?
If the cold winter days are leaving you aching for warmer climes, why not spice up your day with a taste of Mexico? A savory grilled fish taco topped with crisp, cool cabbage and salsa fresco can bring to mind a hot day at the beach. Sizzling and spicy shrimp fajitas with onions and peppers can transport you to a balmy night in paradise. It’s a mini vacation, without the cost of airfare but with all the nutritional benefits of traditional ingredients:
Chiles – With so many varieties of peppers, it’s easy to find one with just the right amount of spice for your taste buds. These sweet, spicy or sometimes throat burning beauties are known for their vitamin C to help fight infection and capsaicin to reduce inflammation. Look for sweet red and green bell peppers, savory and spicy poblanos and firey jalapenos in many Mexican dishes. Beware the native
Habanero pepper, spicy enough to catch your stomach and plate on fire.
Beans – If you like Mexican food, you know that beans, primarily pinto and black, are a staple of the cuisine. Often cooked with garlic and onions, these earthy fiber gems are a great way to get folic acid and iron. Beans are also a great stand-in for meat as a lean protein with a lower cost and all the great health benefits.
Avocado – It’s rich and decadently creamy with a cool flavor that can often help temper a spicy dish. While avocados should be enjoyed in moderation, these tasty fruits (that’s right, fruit) are best known for their high levels of monounsaturated fats
, which have been shown to help lower cholesterol
. Look for them sliced up as a garnish or mixed with ripe tomatoes and fragrant garlic as guacamole.
ilantro – This leafy green herb is regularly used to flavor Mexican cuisine (in addition to Asian cuisine) and with a bright and fresh flavor, it is a great replacement for added salt. Cilantro and all its cancer-fighting phytochemicals can be found in everything from salsa to soup, guacamole to garnishes.
What’s your favorite Mexican or Latin American dish? How do you enjoy traditional favorites when eating out while still maintaining a healthy diet?
Ready to eat away the winter doldrums with a Healthy Dining Mexican dish? Here are some delicious ideas to get you started:
- Shrimp Burrito
Sauted shrimp, red/green bell peppers and onions, Mexican rice, red cabbage and our delicious low-fat salsa blanca.
- Salsa Chicken Enchilada - Sodium Savvy
Topped with New Mexico Red Chile Sauce. Sodium Savvy Tip: Pair with the Side Salad to complete your Sodium Savvy meal.
- Southwest Rice and Bean Burrito
Flour tortilla with guacamole, fresh salsa, rice and black beans.
- Chicken Fajitas
Citrus-chipotle marinated fresh chicken breast served sizzling with sautéed garden-fresh vegetables on a cast iron skillet.
Sombrero - Mexican Garden Salad
Romaine and iceberg lettuce, bell epper, carrot, onion, tomato, cilantro and chicken breast.
Tio Leo's - Black Bean Tostada
Black beans with feta cheese, avocado, lettuce, and pico de gallo.