The buzz about "The Tequila Diet" got my little pea brain swirling: how did Tex-Mex get so fatteningly wrong?
Mexican food, at its core, is pretty healthy. A Mexican diet is full of beautiful produce, seafood and quality meats. Sure there is corn and fried chips but you can forgo them. I was married in Mexico and actually lost weight the week I was there while enjoying wonderful food from authentic Mexican chefs. Here is a sampling of what we enjoyed:
|Steak, halibut and vegetables|
|Grilled shrimp with mango salsa|
|Salad with parmesan crisp|
Let's start with starters
I get it. The fried tortilla chips come on the table and before you even order a drink, you have eaten a basket. You don't even want to know how many calories and fat that are in a basket of chips.
Order non-fried corn tortillas to go along with your salsa and use that as your "starter". If you really MUST have chips, take five (it's a nice simple number - that's the only reason I picked it) and break the chips in half. Dunk each one in the salsa and savor it. Eat slowly and you will enjoy the experience even more.
I order guacamole just about every time I eat Tex-Mex. It's a wonderful starter. I usually have that along with tortilla soup or a salad at most restaurants. With your guacamole, employ the same corn tortilla strategy but tear your warm corn tortillas into quarters. Top each quarter with some guacamole and salsa. It's a delicious starter.
Want something even more calorie friendly? Ask for a sliced tomato and enjoy that with your guacamole. It's better than you think.
Try ceviche. Fernando's and Mi Cocina both offer great these amazing appetizers. Mi Cocina's ceviche is a fresh, delicious blend of citrus juices, shrimp, avocado, mango and jicama. YUM!
Another great starter is the shrimp appetizer so many restaurants serve. Pepe & Mito's has a nice shrimp cocktail while La Calle Doce makes a delicious shrimp campechana.
Don't like seafood? Soups are an outstanding option. A cup of tortilla soup WITHOUT the cheese and tortilla strips is a great starter. Matt's Rancho Martinez has a veggie laden tortilla soup that has big chunks of carrots and cauliflower.
There is no problem indulging in nachos, quesadillas and queso occasionally. As often as we eat Tex-Mex in Dallas/Fort Worth, it's not smart to indulge that way meal after meal. Making the produce, seafood and lean meats the bulk of your Tex-Mex diet will help keep your weight in check while enjoying the patio, margaritas and people watching.
Wednesday we'll focus on Tex-Mex entrees.