Thursday, March 27, 2014

Healthy Tex-Mex at Home

I'm on a mission to change the way we approach eating Tex-Mex food.  Sure, you can still enjoy quesadillas, nachos and chimichangas.  Occasionally.  If Tex-Mex is a staple of your diet, think 3-4 times per week, make it your goal to eat the healthier options that are available.

Don't believe that's possible?  You're wrong.  Try an all-natural margarita.  You won't go back to the fake, corn syrup-laden nuclear green garbage or skinny slop.

Eating out?  Enjoy these delicious appetizers.  What about your entree?  Here are multitude of options to satisfy your craving.

Don't want to deal with the hassle of going out?  Try some of these great at-home recipes.

Prepare Your Pico

Image via Hajor
Have a bowl pico de gallo on hand.  It's easy to make and a wonderful accompaniment to any Tex-Mex dish or as a topping for your salad.  The simpler the recipe the better.  This one is great.

Nacho Casserole

Recently I made a wonderful Nacho Casserole from Mind Over Munch.  I swapped lean ground turkey for the ground beef and baked blue corn tortillas for original.  It was awesome, impressing my hard-to-impress Tex-Mexpert of a brother.

You can make a simple nacho recipe with baked chips, low-fat Mexican blend cheese, beans and jalapenos.  Add sliced grilled chicken.  Top with nonfat Greek yogurt and serve with salsa and guacamole or sliced avocado.

Enjoy Enchiladas
Craving enchiladas?  Cooking Light has a FABULOUS Cheesy Enchilada recipe.  I even blogged about how wonderful it was.

Image via
Alas, I have lost my photos from the experiment.

A Healthier Quesadilla
I love quesadillas but not the calories and fat that accompany them.  You can make a wonderful version that is figure friendly.
La Tortilla Factory Low Carb Whole Wheat Tortilla
Try La Tortilla Factory Low Carb Whole Wheat Tortilla with either some low-fat Mexican blend cheese or shredded string cheese.  Add whatever veggies you like: broccoli, peppers, mushrooms, you get the idea.  Nuke it in the microwave for a minute.  Once it's done throw some spinach, avocado and salsa or pico de gallo on there.  Maybe some jalapenos.  It's better than you think.  Promise.

The Takeaway
From portion size to the stupidity of the menu items (bacon guacamole?) I am still trying to figure out how Tex-Mex got so out of control.  At it's core, Mexican food is comprised of wonderful produce and lean proteins.  Sure there are some starchy carbs in the form of corn tortillas and rice but think of those as complements to your meal, not the bulk of it.  Enjoy the cheese, too, but take the same approach with it as you do the starches: have it complement the the meal, not dominate it.

Once in a while blow it out.  Have those cheese enchiladas smothered in sauce, Bob Armstrong Dip or chile rellenos.  Enjoying those are a part of the Tex-Mex experience.  Don't make it a daily thing.
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